This Magazine Staff
Columnist Chantal Hébert socks it to the NDP for being out of the loop in last night’s near-death experience for the Liberal minority government. Along the way, she gives Jack Layton a history lesson on how to get your way as an opposition party with clout.
All of which might be fair criticism if last night’s gamesmanship had anything to do with actual legislation that may or may not follow the new democratic path. Ms. Hébert, as you yourself say, it was a throne speech, and a pretty lame one at that. No one in opposition, not Harper nor Duceppe, and certainly not Layton was actually going to risk going into another election as the party that just wasted taxpayer time and money over face-time on the National and some pretty chintzy political points. Certainly not over a speech, which will more than likely prove meaningless as the real work of Parliament advances.
I would have liked to see Layton more forcefully denouncing yesterday’s exercise in political pants dropping – the National gave him all of three seconds to complain about “this mess” – but he was right to keep clear of such cheap tactics. There was a real frat boy quality to the smiles on the house floor last night, and the world is tiring of frat boy politics. Let’s get some work done.