Saturday, July 31, 2010

Laying the groundwork

I suppose there's enough news value in the fact that a federal leader is actually signalling some openness to an election that I can't blame the Mark for its headline attached to Jack Layton's interview. But the real story looks to me to be Layton's message on the outcome of an election when it happens:
Only in Canada could you go out and say that a party who has twice as many people who don't support them as who do is somehow holding a lead and is able to be the government. It's ridiculous. You've got two Canadians over here that don't agree with this government, and you've got one that does, and yet they get to govern with virtually a hundred per cent of the power in terms of the executive branch of government, appointing people to different posts, gradually transforming our public polity. It's ridiculous...To me, what's interesting is that the two old parties are barely able to get 50% between them now of the support of Canadians. What that says to me is that there are a lot of Canadians whose minds are open to some alternatives.
Of course, there's plenty more work to be done in sending the message that there would be far more legitimacy to a coalition government which can actually point to the approval of a majority of voters, rather than a single party that tries to cling to power without either popular or Parliamentary support. But it's a huge plus to see Layton making the case - and the more he and the rest of us do so now, the less traction the Cons' spin will have when the next campaign comes.

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