Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The NDP and Conservatives Have Formed an Alliance

I've heard of uniting the left and uniting the right, but uniting the NDP and Conservatives? Who'd a thunk it?

Where exactly do their ideologies meet?

I always had a lot of respect for Jack Layton, but his latest move to cozy up to Stephen Harper by joining his ignorant attacks on Michael Ignatieff, has left me cold.

Sadly, he has now added his voice to 'torture', 'out of the country', 'Iraq'.

I realize that most Conservatives would have difficulty reading Mr. Ignatieff's books, let alone comprehending the message; but I was sure that Layton could do both.

Instead, he's buying into the rhetoric, which we know will only split the vote from the left again, and he may be handing Stephen Harper his long sought majority. Way to go Jack. I wonder what Harper has promised him. A cabinet post as Minster of 'shine my shoes and shut your mouth.' Sorry Jack. That one's already taken. It's called the Conservative caucus.

NDP launches attack on Grits
August 11, 2009

NDP National Director Brad Lavigne set the stage for an election war for the left with the Liberals by suggesting Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was into torture, into Iraq and out of the country.

Lavigne made the comments in Ottawa where he said the NDP will use this weekend's conference in Halifax to build an "election ready" NDP primed to fight Prime Minister Stephen Harper, should his government tumble in the autumn.

"Mr. Layton has written a book about investing in Canadians and their communities. Mr. Ignatieff has written books defending torture," said Lavigne. (Obviously Lavigne didn't read the book either. 'The Lesser Evil' was an intelligent attempt to seek a balance in our Post 9/11 world. It was not about defending torture, and indeed he has always been very clear that he does not.)

"Mr. Ignatieff has defended and supported the war in Iraq ... If Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Harper were prime minister in 2004, Canada would still be in Iraq today."

Lavigne also scoffed at Ignatieff's proposed changes to reform the Employment Insurance system saying the Liberal leader was "out of the country" when the system Canada has today was crafted.
(The NDP are spending far too much time on the Conservative Website and have dummed themselves down)

"Attacking the Liberals so early could be dangerous for the NDP. In all likelihood there might be some sort of coalition government after the next election," said Nelson Wiseman, a political scientist at the University of Toronto. Wiseman says that as long as the Bloc Quebecois controls Quebec, the best chance the NDP have for a shot at governing will be holding the balance of power after the next vote.

Cat h e r i n e Cote, a political scientist at the University of Ottawa, says while it's not impossible to imagine the NDP, sometime in the future, supplanting the Liberals as the party of the left, it's unlikely now.

"The NDP has been very good at getting their ideological message out there but not so good at connecting with people beyond their base," she said.

What does Mr Ignatieff did say about torture:

Many of the quotes now being used by the Conservatives (and unfortunately the NDP. Egads! I thought they were smarter than this), come from a lecture that Mr. Ignatieff gave at Harvard University. University students are given conflicting sides in an attempt to encourage free thought.)

Some of the so-called quotes being used, are actually referencing Jean Elshtain's theory of "dirty hands," and cannot be attributed to Mr. Ignatieff at all. He discounts Elshtain's theory:

"I still have a problem. Unlike [Elshtain] I have practical difficulty enumerating a list of coercive techniques that I would be willing to have a democratic society inflict in my name." He also says clearly: "As long as the US-or any state, for that matter-has the power to detain at pleasure and in secret, abuse of detainees is inevitable...It should be mandatory that every single detainee held by the US, wether a citizen or not, be publicly known."

"So I end up supporting an absolute and unconditional ban on torture and those forms of coercive interrogation that involve stress and duress...I also believe that the training of interrogators...must rigorously exclude stress and duress methods."

"The best I can do is to relate the ban on torture to the political identity of the democracies we are trying to defend-by claiming that democracies limit the powers that governments can justly exercise over the human beings under their power, and that these limits include an absolute ban on subjecting individuals to forms of pain that strip them of their dignity, identity, and even sanity."

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