Friday, April 29, 2011

The Demonization of Jack Layton

Attention. This man is dangerous.
It isn't easy to attack Jack Layton, he's eminently likeable and comes off as honest and affable, even if he represents some pretty goofy political ideas.
But it matters little to many of his new found supporters, who look to Jack and the Ndp not as a potential government but rather an effective force to counter a Conservative party juggernaut.

In truth, none of his supporters expect victory and so are not particularly invested in Ndp policy.

The Conservatives don't have much to gain by attacking Layton, the chance of a stray Ndp vote coming their way is almost slim to none, but for the Bloc Quebecois, it's a whole different ballgame.

The Bloc has lost up to 25% of its support to the Ndp, a cataclysmic change that has rocked the party and sent a panicked Gilles Duceppe into his war-room to define a new strategy to counter the Layton effect.

There isn't much there politically and even less on a personal level, to disparage, but both the Bloc and it's fawning media supporters are mounting a somewhat desperate effort to take the shine off the Ndp rose.

Jack Layton has been around the block (no pun intended) and these new attacks are unlikely to ruffle his feathers.  The veteran politician deflects criticism better than any other politician in Canada and does so in a charming, modest, self-deprecating  "aw shucks' manner. It'll be hard to score points without being cruel and I'm not sure the voters are interested in seeing a charming, cane toting character beaten up. Things like that often backfire.

But try the Bloc will and try its allies in the media will as well. To do nothing is to admit defeat and so it starts......

In lautjournal. Pierre Dubuc writes;
"Layton makes ​​a pact with the religious right"
We had clear proof on Good Friday, when a television report showed us Jack Layton participating in a march of Forgiveness in Toronto and again on Easter Sunday, while the NDP leader summoned reporters and cameras to witness him attending a church service....
....Clearly, the NDP leader has lamentably capitulated to the religious right....
....The next step is to change the progressive values ​​that characterize Canadian society by the conservative values ​​of the religious right. The Liberals and the NDP are well aware of these issues. But the Liberals and the NDP have capitulated to the religious right, as evidenced by their participation in the  highly publicized Easter  religious ceremonies.
All these 'bon mots' set under a Photoshopped image of Jack Layton wearing a turban. Ouch!

In the Tribune libre de Vigile Michel Gendron has dubbed Layton 'Smiling Jack,' and offered us a less than clever cartoon of Layton (is that Thomas mulcair in the background?)  in a sailor suit over a caption "Cracker Jack Layton"
I was a little surprised by the author's use of the term "CRACKER" and I'm doubtful that the author understands its connotation in English. "CRACKER" is a racial slur against white people, similar to 'nigger' against blacks. Hmmm.....

It seems that the French press is obsessed with showing Layton wearing funny hats, as if it were somehow un-Quebecois.

Even the staid La Presse ran a story that on the surface seemed to be straight reporting, it's subject, Jack Layton attending a Sikh religious day in Toronto took on shades of Layton-bashing.
Showing the Ndp leader with a white-bearded Sikh, plays into the fact that Jack is in favour of reasonable accommodations, a concept on the outs with the majority of francophone voters.

"Women  members of the NDP team attending wore a scarf on their arrival in the park."

Undoubtedly, another observation meant to inflame Quebecois' sensitivity to women's right, is the wearing of religious attire, including the hated veils. LINK{FR}

But there is clearly a danger in attacking Jack Layton on his character as Gérald Larose, the ex-union leader and sovereignist militant found out when he challenged Layton to publicly answer five questions. The questions were clearly loaded and meant to show Layton's federalist bend, and so hopefully for Larose,  embarrassing the NDP leader.
Presumptuously, Mr. Larose demanded an answer to his questions by a prescribed deadline, failing which, according to him, would be clear evidence that Layton was an 'impostor,' 'villainous' and a 'double-crosser'
Mercilessly attacked in the French media for his remarks, Larose beat a hasty retreat and apologized for his exuberance a few hours later. LINK

Such is Layton-mania in Quebec that nothing negative sticks to Jack.
Even when he was forced to explain why one of his 'not a hope in Hell' Quebec candidates, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, was vacationing in Las Vegas during the campaign, the Press laughed it off.  Incredibly, the fact that she was employed in Ottawa and couldn't speak French worth a lick, didn't seem to matter to the Press, in spite of the fact that the riding where she was running was over 97% Francophone! LINK
Had it been any other leader, there would have been Hell to pay.

Why the is the leader of the Ndp getting the 'kid glove' treatment?
Well, perhaps as loud-mouth André Arthur, the independent conservative candidate, running in Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, said;

"We see poor Mr. Layton with his cane, and we pity him, and so, we want to vote for him to console him. Clearly, this man has the sympathy of everyone, including me" LINK


  1. Very foolish post. I will explain why. The main reason that folks are voting for the NDP outside Quebec is because they see an incredible NDP resurgence in Quebec (and they can't stomach Iggy).. (I am certain others must have some romantic though unrealistic views of the NDP as underdog).

    Now more importantly, the main reason a great many former Bloc voters in Quebec are turning to the NDP en masse is mainly because the NDP (outside of the Bloc) is the friendliest by far to the Nationalist platform in Quebec (which by the way is not a good thing AT ALL for minorities in Quebec).

  2. Right you are, Anon @ 1:13AM! Editor has already clearly pointed out Layton's and Mulcair's about face on the orphaned minorities who are strictly and unequivocally on their own with ZERO government support at the federal and the provincial level.

    My plan is to reveal a manifesto on a federal party that recognizes English as the language of the Canadian majority and it is OUR goal to take a stand on several issues. This DOES NOT imply that other points of view are intolerable, but to chart a new political course in Canada.

    French shall not be anything less than it is right now, the other equal official language and those who seek services of the federal government shall have their choice across Canada to be served in French.

    Unlike Alberta's recent decision to remove French as an obligatory subject from its education curriculum, this party shall continue to encourage the teaching of French as a second language outside Quebec.

    Those Canadians who choose to live in French are free to do so, and they do have their right to services in French not only in Quebec, but outside Quebec where numbers warrant such service. Aside from any legislation, it makes good business sense to communicate in the language of your customers.

    As for the NDP, this wave they're riding on will be short lived, especially when they have to put their money where their mouths are...well...OUR money actually! Want proof? Speak with ANY Ontarian who was of voting age in 1990 when Boob Rae by surprise became premier in Ontario--for one whole term!

    When Boob Rae left office in 1995, the Ontario income tax rate was 58% of the federal rate (as Canadians outside Quebec file just one tax return, and normally the provincial tax is a percentage of the federal tax), and when Mike Harris left office nine years later that rate dropped to 39.5%!!

    Do bear in mind that labour governments tend to rob from the middle class to pay for the poor! In communism, everybody gets an equal share of nothing. The average Cuban has about $20 of disposable income per month after government provisions, as few and skimpy as those are!

    No doubt the NDP will leave your wallets lighter (as if the cost of energy isn't doing this now) in order to pay off their special interest groups and programs that benefit few and cost all of us!

    Get out there and vote on Monday, or as well-respected one-time journalist Patrick Watson put it over 20 years ago: "Voter apathy will lead to the democracy Canada deserves." It's NOT pretty!

  3. Mississauga Guy said..@4:57 AM

    "labour governments tend to rob from the middle class to pay for the poor!"

    True, and conservative governments rob from the
    middle class to reward the top 2% of society.
    The level of inequity mushroomed under Mulroney.

    Harper is decimating the middle class by
    trashing the dollar (see graph below).


  4. Did you know?

    UFC fighter, GSP the Separatist, nice eh? Tell us why George, tell us why you wear a mouth piece with the flag of France on it. Go check for yourself. You will see it in his other fights when he poses for the camera. I have seen it several times. Some Canadian you are. NOT.

    Nice to see some real Canadian fighters on the card instead of this separatist clown GSP.

    I am a proud English speaking Canadian and i can tell you that GSP is a phony “Frenchman” who is not a proud Canadian at all. Some of you may not know this but he is an anti-English language bigot from a province (Quebec) that has spent the last 5 decades banning the English language and culture with racist anti-English language laws such as bills 22, 178, and 101…In 1993, the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Quebec's sign laws broke an international covenant on civil and political rights. "A State may choose one or more official languages," the committee wrote, "but it may not exclude outside the spheres of public life, the freedom to express oneself in a certain language." Quebec is violating the agreements and policies of the U.N. by creating racist language laws that make English essentially illegal.

    But it gets even better. This bigot GSP walks out in all his fights wearing a mouth piece from another country. Yes go look at the mouth piece he wears and shows off all the time. It has the flag of France on it. Nice eh!!! Some proud Canadian my butt. He is just opportunist trying to make money, but for those of us that are informed, we know what the Tattoo (similar to the swastika…) on his right calf also stands for. He is a separatist. The media in Canada won’t touch this, they are just as pathetic. So why if you were a proud Canadian GSP, would you wear a mouth piece from another country? Well tell us. You are a phony, a fraud, some Canadian you are, NOT!!!

    You are a phony that needs to be exposed for this. You are nothing but a phony and a fraud GSP and the world should know this.

    Go Shields Go!

  5. @ Anon 11:21

    GSP has a mouthpiece from another country, OMG!!!!!!!!!

    Lynchmob time! I'll get the forks, you light the torches!

  6. @ Anon 11:21

    A) A mouthpiece from another country... big friggin' deal. I'm half Italian; would I not be allowed to show an Itlian flag were I to be in the UFC if I stated my primary nationality to be Canadian?

    B) A fleur-de-lys is NOT a symbol for seperatists. It is simply a symbol of the French monarchy and royalty and the Quebecois have come to identify with it as their own because they don't all identify with the maple leaf. Just because most seperatists are Quebecois doesn'e mean most Quebecois are seperatist.

    C) Fleur-de-lys like the swastika? Seriously? Some people might question your sanity for this, and I'm one of them.

    To me you just seem like you don't like French people in General and got all excited at the concept of having proven GSP to be a NAZI, completely oblivious to your own obliviousness.

    Yes seperatists are a problem but it's people like you that exacerbate things and end up giving them more power by making yourself look like a racist asshole and taking the rest of us down with you.

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