Thursday, December 01, 2005

Layton's golden opportunity

One thing strikes me about the upcoming Canadian parliamentary elections...
One man has a golden opportunity, if he has the brains and guts to seize it.
That man is Jack Layton, the foppish leader of Canada's national Socialist party, the NDP.
Brains? He may have 'em.
Guts? I tend to doubt it.
He has to see that a sizable chunk of Liberal voters are in play because of the disgust with the corruption Canada has had to face in the last 12 years. Many of those voters might turn to the NDP as an alternative.
But Layton can't just sit back and expect to get them.
And he may have to move toward the centre of the spectrum to get them -- perhaps not so far as to alienate his base, but far enough to convince the dubious that his party has a broader understanding than it presently displays of the nature of economic realities.
Does he have the guts to do that, to slide a bit rightward to give his party a chance to be more than just an adjunct to the corrupt Liberals? Does he have the guts to make the NDP a viable alternative, not just as a "protest" party, but a potential governing party?
From what I have seen, I don't think he does.
I don't even know if he would want to.
More's the pity, for debate's sake.
Not that I would want to see an NDP government, by any means.
But a vital NDP and and a vital Conservative Party coming out with real ideas, attacking the Libranos from both flanks, could consign the Liberals to the graveyard that any real philosophy that party had was buried years ago.