Layton Sees Daylight?

by matttbastard

Via pogge, Dawg finally heard back from his MP, Paul Dewar. According to Dewar, the NDP hasn’t taken a final decision position on Bill C-6, the so-called ‘show-your-face bill’. Props to Dewar for allowing Dawg to get out the information prior to publication in the Globe; I will happily issue a ‘mea culpa’ and extract Smilin’ Jack’s shiny pate from his (purportedly) pert and tight posterior (assuming, as Dawg says, “a thorough, proper evisceration of C-6 at committee or an NDP “No” vote” occurs).

Whether it was the Globe that jumped the gun with yesterday’s incindiary article (complete with leaves-no-room-for-doubt headline: NDP supports show-your-face bill) or Yvon Godin, the NDP MP who (apparently) told Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan that the Dippers were going to support Bill C-6, is unknown at this time. Still, one would hope that the NDP’s communication apparatus was more expediant in countering apparently erroneous information–especially in this bloggy age where a story can grow legs and start running within minutes. One also hopes that the message actually has been received loud and clear by the Dipper leadership: this bill (as proposed) stinks and should not be allowed to pass.

Now to wait for the Globe to issue a correction…

Update: Just to further clarify: this retraction is entirely conditional on the NDP killing C-6–full stop. Dewar’s letter to the editor still leaves room for C-6 to pass in a different form. That’s not acceptable, no matter how many (at this point hypothetical) Muslims shrug their shoulders.

More later…

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

6 thoughts on “Layton Sees Daylight?

  1. Matt:

    First, some housekeeping. Your vote button doesn’t work. Check the properties. “Progressive” is spelled wrong.

    Secondly, I don’t disagree with your conclusion. C-6 was ill-motivated and ill-conceived, and it should die an ignoble death. But we are seeing an attempt, I think, to exit gracefully from this mess. We’ll try to “fix” the Bill, Paul is saying, and if we can’t do that…

    Well, the Bill can’t conceivably be “fixed.” Hence my word “eviscerated.” The NDP should be taking the lead in committee, pointing out the obvious. Then, if they don’t get their way, they should vote against it.

    Paul is, in my personal experience, an honourable, principled guy. I consider him a friend. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that he will do the right thing on this.


  2. Thanks for the heads up re: the voting button.

    I hope you are right. The response from hardcore NDP partisans still rubs me the wrong way, though. “Muslims see this as a non-issue” was the preferred talking point. (We’ll leave aside the crass notion of Muslims in Canada holding monolithic views. ) But the point was a misrepresentation of what has been said by some (some) leaders in the Islamic community who have spoken out in regards to the (non)issue. Here’s an example from the Halifax Daily News:

    The veiled voting controversy is a tempest in search of a teapot, says Saleem Ahmad, president of the Islamic Association of Nova Scotia. Framed in the context of “reasonable accommodation,” a national firestorm has been raging over the issue of whether Muslim women can vote while covering their faces with veils.

    “It’s just the hypocrisy of the government,” Ahmad says.

    “There was no controversy. The Muslim community never complained. The women would gladly take off their veil for a woman official.”

    He points out that no one is required to show photo ID to vote, and postal voting does not require photo ID. Further, he estimates that 300 women in all of Canada wear the veil.

    Hamzah Mangera, the imam at the Dartmouth mosque, agrees it is a non-issue. His wife, who wears a veil, happily removes it in private for female officials when using her passport to cross borders.

    Mangera says the row points to a deeper issue of fears over cultural integration, as illustrated by the “code of conduct” produced by Herouxvile, Que., which informed newcomers that stoning women was prohibited and that women should show their faces in public, apart from Halloween.

    Ahmad blames an outburst of xenophobia against Muslims, led by “that idiot down south” (U.S. President George W. Bush) and a lack of nerve among Canadian politicians to say it is not an issue, “rather than courting an easy vote.”

    What has stirred up the tempest is Bill C-6t, not the outcry against it. Face saving or not, the fact that some members of a purportedly social democratic party feel there’s even room for discussion is highly disturbing. The last thing we need is New Labour North.


  3. Well one should not always believe what one reads in the msm.We all know the NDP does not get very favorable or accurate coverage for that matter.I found it quit strange how quick some NDP supporters read more in this than what was there.And then lashed out with out hearing first from the
    NDP leadership.A little benefit of the doubt is always preferable.At least until party officials comes out and definitively state what their actual position is.
    Calling Layton stupid etc was just dumb,over this non-issue, ludicrous.


  4. Matt… to say that I said “Muslims see this as a non-issue” is a bit of a mischaracterization. What I said was it’s hard for me to get object to something, regardless of how my gut feels (In the case, my gut wasn’t sure what to make of this), when those who aren’t affected aren’t objecting themselves. The article that you quoted helped to point that out, and thank you for posting it. That’s the kind of information I was looking for that I was having a hard time finding.

    Either way, i’m not sure if you read it, but I wrote another piece in regards to what I wrote yesterday.
    Please take that into your consideration before labeling me as “hardcore partisan”. As this whole situation with this article has shown, everything is not always what it might seem to be on the surface. Thanks


  5. “The last thing we need is New Labour North”

    Then what does it make of us Grits? I, for one, am not that enamoured of both Tony Blair and Kevin Rudd


  6. dirk: the NDP dropped the ball and still hasn’t picked it up. Period. You (and others) may be comforted by Dewar’s non-response, but, rather than clarifying the Dipper position on C-6, I find it further muddies the water.

    Sinister Greg asked some pertinent questions yesterday that still deserve an answer:

    Was Godin freelancing or did he have reason to think the party was behind him? Why did they sit on this for over 24 hours? Where is Jack Layton? Usually he can’t run to the microphones fast enough, why is he silent now? Why does Dewar say the party has not taken a final position on Bill C-6? Why not? Do they think they can somehow spin shit into gold? I think it is a bit rich too, for Dewar to say this bill was introduced for political reasons, when the NDP, the Liberals and the Bloc egged the government on with their craven attacks on Mr. Maynard. Trying to slam the barn door now is just a laughable attempt at damage control.

    Bill C-6 doesn’t exist in a vacuum. On its own, it may be a ‘non-issue’, but it takes on an entirely different meaning when taking in context with today’s increasingly xenophobic political culture (especially in Quebec). Is easy to shrug off attempts at othering when you’re privileged to be a member of the majority culture. Not to assume that you’re a white male, but I’ve noticed others who were dismissive of concerns regarding the racial/cultural subtext happened to be white males. Yes, yes, correlation != causation, etc.

    Bottom line: why won’t the NDP take a definite position against legislation that is both (admittedly) unnecessary and (IMO) deliberately inflammatory?

    Cam: I haven’t read that particular post yet (meatworld concerns have been infringing on time spent in the matrix) but will try to do so this morning.

    mushroom: Well, at this point, the obvious analogy (though imperfect and not necessarily an inevitability) would be the Liberal Party.



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