Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Layton Excluding May: Good Politics, Bad Values

The consensus seems to be that Jack Layton and the NDP should have done the honourable thing and given Elizabeth May (who likes to indulge the the occasional "Taliban Jack" dig) a place at the televised leadership debates.

The majority of Canadians appears to agree with the blog-o-sphere. Of course, if the NDP had acquiesed to May's attendance they would have been roundly praised by all and would have received significant political advantage from their fair, principled stand. Actually, of course they wouldn't have. Nobody would have cared and the NDP would have allowed even more publicity to "place to park my protest vote number 2" in our first-past-the-post electoral system.

Only Stephane Dion has been consistent in chivaloursly trying to help this alternative to the NDP as much as possible. He's been as fair and collegial as Harpercons are to the Bloc Quebecois alternative to Liberals in their stronghold of Quebec.

I guess when Layton was forced to choose between allowing the leader of a party with SIGNIFICANT NATIONAL SUPPORT to participate in the debates and the relevance and survival of his own party, he put his party first. I can't say I fault him too much for that. Nice guys can finish last.

We desperately need proportional representation.


Cliff said...

It's actually the exact opposite: Good, or at least defendable values and bad politics.

The argument that the Liberal/Green coalition don't deserve to have a tag team in the debates while every other party only gets one debater is valid one even if Harper agrees with it - even a stopped clock is right twice a day - however the fuss that has arisen from the exclusion shows that it was very bad politics,

I think it's the best thing that could have happened to the Greens and will get them many more votes than being revealed in the debates as the empty party serving Liberal interests that they are would have.

Stimpson said...

I think it's pretty clear that the Greens and Libs are working together so closely that they may as well be the same party. I have a friend in the Greens who can't stop talking about how the Libs have such nice environment policies.
In the long run, this partnership likely will destroy the Green party as voters will see no reason to vote Green when a vote for the Libs is a vote for the same environment policies. And the Greens will deserve it for getting in bed with one of the parties of the business class. Fuck 'em, I say.

thwap said...

Well, there's some Greenies that would passionately disagree with you.

On a paranoid-conspiracy level, all this has made me think that the Liberals gave the Greenies their unelected representative, Blair Wilson. But I don't think the Liberal brain-trust is that smart to plan so far in advance.