The Droz Report


A warm wind blows from the (centre) left

Jack Layton's positive campaign bears unexpected fruit

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor, True North Perspective

I admit it. Neither I, nor anyone else here at True North Perspective, saw it coming. And even now, there is an aura of doubt, of disbelief, as we watch the polls and see the continuing assent of the New Democratic Party under Jack Layton.

Can this really be true? we wondered last week, when the New Democrats began to poll even with Canada's one-time Natural Governing Party. One poll led to another and another and another.

If stated intentions turn out to be votes on Monday, it looks like it really is true.

If present trends continue, it's just (barely) possible that Monday night will see Layton elected Prime Minister of Canada.

I'm sure it's no secret to long-time readers of True North Perspective that we are not Stephen Harper's biggest fans. Far from it.

What might be less clear is that, just as we do not run un-signed editorials, neither do we maintain a Fox SunNews-style party line. Our loyalty is to the truth, and if it might seem with this edition that we have slanted our coverage to present an anti-Harper united front, we can only admit that there is some truth to the charge.

But it needs to be said, our slant is based on the truth. Our slant is based on the fact that the Harper Government has been neither honest nor competent, neither fair nor compassionate, and that Harper has never come clean with the Canadian people.

His reign has been one of terror for civil servants, of roll-backs of women's rights, and of the billion-dollar police/military occupation of downtown Toronto. The Harper Government's rule has been one of unprecedented contempt for Parliament and for the rule of law, of subtle corruption and the erosion of the Canadian social fabric.

The Harper Government has diminished this nation in the eyes of the world and it has not even been economically competent. Under its sordid rule, most Canadians are deeper in debt, earning less and are watching their homes decline in value — while the Prime Minister Who Would Be President insists that Parliament must promise to purchase 60 unnecessary fighter planes at a price to be determined ... sometime.

Prisons and fighter-jets, the Harper Government's legacy — or will be if we don't take advantage of this opportunity to elect a government more in tune with the values and aspirations, the needs and the potentials, of its people.

That we face an historic chance, not just to "throw the bums out", but to take the chance of electing a party for once that is not in thrall to oil companies and banks and, lately, the Pentagon, is one we should take with both hands.

In place of Liberal confusion and Conservative fear-mongering, the New Democrats have run an admirably positive campaign, pointing to what can be done, rather than what can't. While there will undoubtedly be many new faces in the New Democratic caucus — and, yes, there will be mistakes and stumbles — the core of the New Democratic Party's team is not just experienced in opposition, but in governing. Jack Layton is not leading a party that is unprepared to govern, no matter how unlikely even they probably thought the prospect was five short weeks ago.

It is profoundly to be hoped that the record turn-out at last weekend's advance polls will be repeated this coming Monday, and that the politics of fear will not deter Canadians from electing a New Democratic Government.

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