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It looks like Canadians are finally giving the NDP and Jack Layton a serious look. It’s about time, and hardly surprising given what they have to offer, and given the alternatives.
Stephen Harper, after all, just keeps giving us more reasons not to trust him.
Whether it’s his billion-dollar boondoggle for the G20 used to syphon money to cabinet ministers ridings, or the convicted frauds he hires to work in his office, or his tendency to just shut down Parliament whenever he doesn’t get his way, Harper has shown he can’t be trusted with the reins of power.
Even Conservative insiders know Harper has a trust problem -- compiling a dossier of his most outrageous quotes on cutting social programs, banning abortion, limiting Quebec representation, and more so they could be prepared when his words became public.
Normally, the Liberal leader would be the logical alternative for many, butMichael Ignatieff hasn’t won much trust either. He comes across as aloof and opportunist, putting the interests of his corporate friends first. He says he loves this country, but spent most of his career in the United States. So it’s no surprise people dont trust him, either.
Harper and Ignatieff also look cranky and tired. Harper whines that the democratic choice of Canadians to keep him in minority governments is an inconvenience that must be eliminated so he can rule Canada the way he wants. And Ignatieff just seems annoyed that we all don’t see how brilliant he is.
Layton, on the other hand, is optimistic and enthusiastic. Despite cancer and a broken hip, he’s been going back and forth across the country telling Canadians they have an alternative -- one that plays to their better instincts of helping each other and co-operation, instead of their baser instincts of greed and self-enrichment. That’s what the other parties offer.
Jack is intelligent. Everybody knows that, but he doesn’t rub it everybody’s face the way Ignatieff does. He’s comfortable in his own skin, unlike Harper, and he doesn’t pander to voters with fake folksiness. He’s confident on the campaign trail, and people respect that.
This election, Canadians are realizing that the Conservatives and the Liberals are more alike than they are different. Both pass laws that favour their friends and use big government projects to keep themselves in power.
Canadians have seen what the other parties have to offer, found them wanting, and are looking for a real alternative.
That’s the NDP. The other parties try to paint the New Democrats as spendthrifts but Canadians know that across the country, NDP governments have the best records for keeping budgets in line. The other parties talk about how important medicare and social programs are to them, but Canadians know that for the NDP, these are not just issues to be discussed at election time.
And working people know that while the Liberals and Conservatives would limit union rights at the first chance, whereas the NDP will stand by us.
We’ve seen what the other parties can do. We know what they would do if they returned to power. None of us wants that.
It’s time to give the NDP and Jack Layton a shot.