Does the NDP Die with Layton?

Layton pauses at a press conference on July 25, 2011.

As you might’ve heard, Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, passed away this morning at 4:45am. And as sad as I am for his family, I can’t help but to feel that the rest of the Country is fucked and has a lot more to mourn than the passing of a loved one. With Layton’s passing, we’ve lost probably the only chance we currently have at having an effective opposition and counterweight to the money hungry hacks in the Prime Minister’s Office.

When Harper bulled his way to a majority government on may 2nd, it was mostly at the expense of the Liberals. Voters had lost faith in the Liberals because of the sponsorship scandal and because they had no viable leadership prospect. So when a lot of Liberal supporters cast their ballots o nMay 2nd, they were thinking of their pocket books and their gas tanks. They wanted someone running their country who was actually in control of his party, and it didn’t hurt that that someone would give them the tax breaks they needed to keep up their conspicuous consumption in a down-turn economy.

Of course, even though enough Liberal supporters swung right to give Harper the majority he was looking for, many more more showed a social conscience and swung left, giving the NDP in the official opposition seat. Even the Bloc lost ground to Jack, leaving Quebec an orange province — with the New Democrats taking 59 of the 75 seats.

Canadian 2011 Election Results

It was a momentous occasion and milestone in Canadian electoral politics. Never before had the NDP formed the official opposition at the federal level. And the timing couldn’t have been better, because what more would you want out of the opposition when a bunch of right-wing oil lackeys are at the helm? I mean, the Conservatives might’ve had a majority and carte-blanche to sell the nation off to private interests, but if you’re going to have a watchdog barking up their tree, it mind as well be someone from the labour-left.

At the same time, though, the NDP’s rise to prominence kind of signalled the rise of bi-partisan politics in this country. The more centrist Liberals who’d been a major force for the last half century had been relegated to insignificance, and now the voters’ only two real viable choices were left or right. Suddenly, there was much less room (and need) for compromise in Canadian politics, and only one of the two viable options was likely to ever attract the financial support and backing of private interests.

But if any of the current stakeholders could recognize the problem with that and had the experience and connections to help restore party-diversity in the Canadian electoral ecosystem, it was probably Jack. Something about the man told me that, as much as he revelled in his party’s recent rise, he recognized that to effectively oppose the Conservatives, voters needed a viable centrist option. Now, that could’ve meant a lot of things, from a revamped NDP to a merger with the Liberal party,  but Jack was likely too experienced and committed to his beliefs to ignore this striking reality.

Of course, now with his passing, the NDP just might suffer from the same power vacuum that crippled the Liberals. Even though he stepped down as leader, there’s no longer any chance of him returning, nor a figurehead for party hopefuls to turn or appeal to for guidance of support. If something unexpected and unforeseen doesn’t give soon, we could very well end up spending the next decade selling our freedoms and principles off to the carbon barons just to get by and put food on the table.

2 Years With No Chance of Parole

So they’ve done it again. The Americans have put the Republicans back in charge of Congress. And why? Because they’re mad at the Democrats for not having been able to clean up a mess that the Republicans made.

Source: CNN

It’s like a cruel joke that a bunch of beautiful, hormone addled  co-eds would play on that fat girl from the mid-West who always talks about her mother in the first person. You know, the one that likes to whisper and blush to her roommate about the schoolgirl crush she has on the extreme frisbee player who lives down the hall. The whole fucking thing is stupid, juvenile, and probably going to scar a lot of innocent, helpless folks for the rest of their meager lives.

It took the Republicans and their benefactors nearly a decade to stuff the economy down the drain pipe, and Obama has only had 2 years to try to pull it back out again. I mean, the man has already become first Black man in the White House! How much more can you expect from him? Especially in only 2 years. He has some some pretty damn big shoes to fill as it is. And you know what they say about a man with big shoes…

What do you want him to do next? Walk on water? I mean, Jesus, he’s the first Black president of the United States of America, not Jesus of Nazareth. And even if he was, what good would that do? Jesus might’ve been a miracle worker, and what he did with some bread and fish was impressive, but a lot of good that would’ve done for the credit crisis or unemployment rate.

But really, it’s all seems a bit too convenient to be coincidental. I mean, after Dubya, the GOP knew that the party was over (at least for the moment), so why not let someone else clean up the mess? And when the stains and cigarette burns wouldn’t come out of the carpets and furniture, they’d be there to help pick out new ones.

It kinda remind me of what Chretien did to Martin. Martin spent years trying to oust Chretien. In the end, Chretien managed to hold on to the reigns of the Liberal Party and ended up retiring on his own terms, letting Martin take control of the party with no real contest.

But what what Martin inherited was a sponsorship scandal that had happened on his watch as Finance Minister. He tried claiming that he hadn’t know about it, but the damage was done. Either he was a liar, or he was an inept jackass who was unfit to run the country. The party’s image was ruined and Martin’s career along with it.

But hey, politics is a cutthroat business, so you have to watch yourself when you’re shaving. You think you’re doing something that’s going to make you look good, clean cut, and trustworthy, but you come out looking like a pirate with more scars than war stories, and no one trusts a record with that many omissions.

I mean, for everything that can be said about the strategic genius and tact of Dr. James Carville, he’s just one man. There are hundreds of cutthroat rogues with only half of the talent of Carville swelling the ranks of the GOP, but when you add them all, the Dems are out-manned and out-gunned.

But hey, the problem with the GOP is the same problem with the profession of policing. The sobering reality of it all is that we need police and we need conservative (if only to balance out the left-wing wing-nuts that would have us living on communes and growing cilantro) — liberal democracy just wouldn’t work otherwise.

The tragic reality, however, is that the kind of person attracted to those jobs are the wrong kind of person for those jobs. Both professions seem to attract a disproportionate amount of hate-mongers, tyrants, and douche-bag jocks with small penis complexes and nothing else to do with themselves ever since they graduate high school and had football season confined to the boob-tube.

That being said, it’s kind of hard to ignore that the GOP does seem to be a lot better at the long-term game than the Dems. It seems like every time the history books turn around, the Dems are reacting to some mess, movement, or crisis that has roots somewhere deep in the Good Ol’ Party’s legacy.

Mind you, even that’s probably because of the GOP’s incestuous gene pool. I mean, if they really are attracting a disproportionate number of hate-mongers, tyrants, and douche-bag jocks with penis envy, that’s gotta make it that much easier to arrive at a consensus and build strategy in general.

Gawd, I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’m the mad one for having some semblance of hope or even speaking up in the first place.