2008-05-18

Jack Layton is the Stephane Dion of the NDP

The NDP needs new leadership. The NDP needs a leader who doesn't make French Canadians cringe.

Fact: Stéphane Dion's English is better than Jack Layton's French.

Important fact: the NDP could do alot worse than Layton (see Gerard Kennedy).

The NDP should come up with a constitutional position. More importantly, a position on spending (aka, the federal government's power to spend). Is Jack the Prime Minister going to give out checks to hospials, to health boards or to provinces? Dito for education.

I'm sure most Quebeckers would agree with the social leanings of the NDP. However, increased power of the federal government would be seenas dangerous because the Liberals or Conservatives would eventually regain power and cut spending. Many Quebeckers are OK with the Anglo-Protestant majority being in charge of defense and diplomacy, but everything else...

And there lies the problem. If the NDP is the party of increased Federal responsibility, than many Quebeckers would feel better off with the Conservatives. Quebeckers disagree with almost everything the Conservative party stands for (including on defense and diplomacy) but at least they would leave power to the provinces.

We do have provinces after all.

If the NDP had a leader who was going to cut spending on defense, to end corporate welfare, to raise taxes on the rich, to make unionizing easier, to increase the minimum wage, to finance Employment Insurance via taxes instead of wage deductions...

And to allow the taxation room so that provinces can increase social spending, than French Canadians would vote NDP and the NDP would form the next government. But that will take someone who can be passionate in French. Someone bilingual when off text. Not Jack Layton. Sorry.

Sent from my iPod touch.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I totally agree that the NDP needs to shift radically to the left, to have a leader who is better in French, and to include more attention to provincial autonomy à la Quebec federalism.

But, on the other hand, I'm not entirely certain that there is any candidate who could succeed Layton who would meet these criteria.

Realistically, the person most poised to take over right now were Layton to step down would me Mulcair who is pretty much the farthest right NDP MP in the house as far as I'm concerned. A Mulcair NDP would be indistinguishable from Dion's Liberals.

I think we need to start organizing to make sure that there are genuinely leftist, progressive, impeccably bilingual candidates who can run for the leadership of the NDP. I'm just not sure who that would be right now.

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