Why Jack Layton wants a Harper Majority
It is no secret that Jack Layton spends more time attacking the Liberal party, even in opposition, than the Conservative party. Most NDP supporters place the Liberals as their second choice and the tories as their third when ranking the three major national parties, but this does not stop the current NDP from attacking the more ideologically aligned Liberal party. So what is the agenda? It all makes sense when you consider one thing: Jack Layton wants a Conservative majority government.
It is counter-intuitive, but here is the game plan for the NDP:
In order for the left wing to be in power, the population has to be polarised. When it is not polarised, we have a centrist or centre-right government. As most of us are well aware, Harper's Conservative agenda is far more to the right than their minority is really letting onto. There is now clear intent to return the death penalty to Canada. They want to cut taxes at the cost of our social programs. They want citizens to be unable to challenge the government in court. Minority and women's groups have been stripped of their funding. Environmentalism is a curse word. Free trade is gospel. Decentralisation is imperative.
The opposite of all this is the equally radical left wing, which desires high taxes for high levels of social services, particularly high taxes on anything considered a luxury, the strengthening of unions, and the abandonment of any effort to pay off the debt, as there are other priorities.
In the middle, in every sense, is the Liberal party. The Liberal party's survival is based on amorphously and moderately adopting the most sensible of these left and right policies from the left and right parties as the times call for. It is called the centre because it is a balance of left and right.
If Stephen Harper's Conservatives gain a majority government, the country takes a hard right turn. The fact that everything that would happen in the country is ideologically diametrically opposed to everything the NDP stands for is irrelevant to the NDP: having the right wing in power is an investment in the future of the left.
Under Brian Mulroney's strong majorities, the NDP's Ed Broadbent brought the party its greatest ever success, and while he accomplished nothing of note for the country as leader of the party while the country adopted the GST, free trade, and an ever ballooning debt, he is revered as their most successful leader for winning 43 seats in the Commons.
Jack Layton wants to take this a step further. By having a hard right government, he is gambling that Canadians will want a hard left opposition to oppose it. And if he can gain the title of official opposition, he figures he can lead a government after the Conservatives kill the economy and send citizens, the greedy people that we are, back to the left in their times of economic drought after having gone to the right during our unprecedented boom.
The NDP's philosophical differences with the Conservative party are both irrelevant and of the utmost importance to the NDP. The differences are irrelevant because the NDP is willing to accept the Conservative philosophy at the helm, while it is of the utmost importance because there will be a more easily opposable government than a centrist Liberal government. By having a right wing government the NDP hopes to achieve a divisive left-right split in parliament with little room for the middle, leading, eventually, to a Rt. Hon. Jack Layton.
Posted at 07:07 on November 08, 2007
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