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Thursday, January 19, 2006

we shook jack layton's hand! oh oh!

"Woah, Dave! You're certainly wading into enemy territory" were the words that came from the mouth of an acquaintance last night when they saw us at Jack Layton's rally at the Bonnie Doon Community Hall.

That is correct, Senator, we were indeed in attendance at the Jack Layton rally. But no, we are not now, nor have we ever been a member of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

Anyway... having been to and organized many political rallies in the past, we have some reflections about this one in particular...

1. There was definitely a lot of positive energy in the room.

2. 100% Props to the organizers, it was a packed and well managed event.

3. We attended a rally way back in 2004 for Paul Martin in the same hall (this is more of a general comment).

4. Though he was speaking to a converted crowd, Mr. Layton's performance was impressive. He had energy, and his message was clear. He also made a convincing call for soft-Liberal voters to "put the Liberals in the penalty box."

Suggestions for Jack Layton...

1. Don't wade into provincial politics. Last night, in the presence of Brian Mason and the mighty Alberta NDP Caucus of 4, Layton took a tiny swipe at the Alberta Liberal Opposition, calling the Alberta NDP the "real opposition" in Alberta's Legislature.

Number 1#, perhaps Mr. Layton doesn't realized that there are a lot of Alberta Liberal/Federal NDP supporters in Linda Duncan's Edmonton Strathcona riding who will be supporting Linda on the 23rd.

Federal support for a political party does not equal support for a provincial party. We may support Linda Duncan in Edmonton Strathcona, but provincially, we support Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman in Edmonton Centre. There are many like us who support different parties at different levels. We don't appreciate the slam (plus, Brian Mason is a flake).

This has to be one of our top "pet peeves" we have with the NDP, and one of the main reasons why we would never join them (among other reasons). When you become a member of the federal wing, you automatically become a member of the provincial wing. Not a positive in our books. Provincial and Federal politics are two different puppies.

2. Working Families. Mr. Layton majorly overused this phrase during his speech. It's fairly obvious that "working families" is code for "union members." Call it what it is. Working families sounds corny when it's overused. It also assumes that someone is classified by their occupation. Perhaps it's because we don't believe in the overall "class-war," but it sounded quite flakey.

Yeah, that's our take... check out c-lo's take on the rally here



CFAC Library said...

I think working families or "working people," as Jack likes to say, covers quite a bit more than only union members. The most vulnerable workers are not unionized and I think that NDP policy is generally aimed at those folk as well. The proper presence and influence of union members and union administration has been a "contested concept," as some University hippies might say, within the party. Much of the focus in the party membership been shifted away from just labour politics to different areas. I don't think that it would make sense if the rhetoric were still being used in a way that reflected only labour concerns.

ps. I heard that Linda and Jack danced to country music, and quite frankly I am appalled. :)

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

I actually thought it was Celtic music. Which is much, much weirder.

interlocutor said...

Also, who the hell are the 'ordinary canadians' he was refering too? Presumably he meant "everyone who won't benefit from the Conservatives' promise to greatly relax the capital gains tax provisions." But that's a bit of a mouthful.

Anyway, I like to be pandered to under a more robust banner than merely 'ordinary.'

Nevertheless, I like Jack hands down, and I also thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Jim said...

I went to a Jack Layton rally back in June of 2004 in Windsor Park and got to shake his hand, too. He definitely has a rock star appeal. I like the guy.

And yeah--I agree with you 110% regarding the comments on Provincial Politics. I'm a pretty hardcore member of the Alberta Liberal Party, but I can't be bothered with the Federal Liberals at all. In fact, I've never voted for a Federal Liberal. I don't appreciate being lumped in the same boat as them, and I certainly don't appreciate Ottawa politicians coming down here and slamming my local representatives. I hate that ideological/partisan rigidity that comes with the NDP--once you're a member, you agree to accept the beliefs of BOTH the federal and provincial wings--not very cool, in my opinion. Yeah, I want more of a center-left presence in federal politics. That's why I'm voting NDP next week. But I also can't be bothered the the Alberta NDP--there's a viable, ethical centrist party that's more in line with my ideology, the Alberta Liberal Party, and they have my full support.

In my opinion, the Federal NDP would get more crossover votes if they'd be less condescending towards centrists and liberal-minded people like myself.

Fuckers still have my vote, though. :P

Art said...

As a NDP supporter, I'm thrilled that provincial Liberals are supporting Linda Duncan.

But I think you guys are a little hard on Jack. It was one little comment, and come on what do you expect - all four NDP MLAs were actually AT the rally. I didn't see any Liberal MLAs there.