Jack Layton is starting to scare me
(Well, more so than before):
Prime Minister Paul Martin has until Tuesday to decide whether he will change the budget in order to win the support of the New Democratic Party, NDP Leader Jack Layton said Monday.
Appearing on CTV's Canada AM, Mr. Layton said he wants the situation resolved sooner rather than later.
“We don't have much time here,” Mr. Layton said.
“I want to hear back by Tuesday morning. This isn't a time for overthinking it. It is a question of just simply getting on and moving forward.”
Mr. Martin has said he is open to changing the budget.
Business leaders, however, have expressed concerns about suggestions that corporate tax cuts could fall by the wayside if the Prime Minister were to strike a pact with NDP in an effort to hold onto power.
Mr. Layton and Mr. Martin met Sunday to discuss possible changes. The NDP want the Liberals to remove corporate tax cuts outlined in last winter's budget and replace them with social spending.
I had assumed, when the NDP's proposed quid pro quo was first floated, that it was nothing more than a cynical case-building exercise to justify taking down the government; surely, the demands Layton was making were simply too much, and he knew it. That he's still actively pursuing removing the tax cuts - and that the PM claims to be negotiating the issue - is terrifying. The only thing more frightening than a cynical socialist is an earnest socialist.
The idea of a Liberal-NDP alliance - even an informal one, not a coalition government - bothers me for another reason. If the NDP is seen as too close to Liberal corruption, they cease to become a 'clean' alternative for the centre-left. Those voters who've switched to them from the Liberals right now over Adscam might decide not to even bother. In the case of (quasi-) coalition government, what's the difference, especially if it keeps the Tories out? Conservative victory relies on splitting that national centre-left vote. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I might actually vote for Ed Broadbent, this time around; better him than whichever party hack runs for the Liberals.