NDP’s Jack Layton dancing with all partners

It’s hard to separate fact from fiction with the NDP mixed messages routine. You’re a bad, bad man Mr. Harper that we need to "get rid of" pronto, but we’re willing to work with you if you give us some face saving scraps. Remember all that bragging about how many non confidence votes we’ve cast, that was so yesterday, let’s "get things done" now, unlike these irresponsible Liberals who seem to be taking a position BEFORE reading the budget- tsk, tsk.

In all seriousness, I get the spin, I mean what else can the NDP do this point? As a Liberal, this scenario is well known, so my perspective takes no high ground, just a recognition once again, than when push comes to shove, all these parties are the same, all will compromise supposed core principles in the name of political expediency, self interest can and does trump. That people can still claim otherwise, well…

Are the NDP really gearing up for an election? Is this olive branch routine just pre-writ posturing so the NDP can say "we tried to work together, but.."? Or, are the NDP actually laying the groundwork to prop up this government, for what everyone agrees amounts to another year of reign? Remember all the nonsense the government put in the budget omnibus bill last year, the "end run" around Parliament, where the real agenda was found? I see nothing but embarrassment for the NDP if they support this budget, no matter what they are able to "extract". 

Honest to goodness, a more mockery laden treasure trove of past NDP quotes and positions, you won’t find, whatever the deal, it will never reconcile with the record to date. Liberals can tell you from experience, no matter the justification, supporting the budget, while others object with free reign, is a recipe for perpetual defence. If you accept that reality, I find it quite hard to believe the NDP will see any improved electoral position, based on supporting the budget? Maybe the situation now isn’t ideal from the NDP perspective- assuming this, based on their current posture- but I highly doubt propping up this government will bring upside. What I see, no real improvement, but with the added burn of selling out.

Go re-read the lead up to last year’s budget. What you’ll find is the CORE NDP position centered around corporate tax cuts, giving big banks a break, etc, etc. The NDP have purposely put out a meager "demand" list, but even if these issues are dealt with, you still are left with these core affronts in the budget, no reasonable philosophical way the NDP can support such measures. And yet, the NDP might just let corporate tax cuts pass THIS year, after all the rhetoric? From the Liberals perspective, I honestly can’t think of a more advantageous development, the NDP self neuters and they get to play "weak Liberals" for a year. Again, strategically, the ultimate upside here is hard to fathom, the fact Liberals would welcome it about the biggest red flag for the NDP.

What we know, the NDP clearly aren’t keen on an election right now. Beyond that, it really becomes a question of how far the NDP are prepared to bend to let this budget pass. Layton is correct, Harper has a responsibility to try and hash out some agreements, that is a factor moving forward. I don’t think the Conservatives want an election right now, so I suspect they will do this and that to try and secure NDP support. However, given what we already know is coming, the cornerstone budget commitments, coupled with all those jewels that will come out with subsequent budget revelations, support seems a hard, hard swallow. Strange days indeed, when the Liberal security blanket is removed from the equation… 

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