Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apparently Ignatieff's destiny is more imporant than the lives of unemployed Canadians

My girlfriend just found out that she'll be laid off at the end of October along with her entire office of co-workers after years of loyal service. The profitable corporation she works for decided microscopic improvement to their bottom line were more important than the lives of Canadian workers and the best interests of their Canadian customers.

So when juvenile Libs sneeringly dismiss efforts to seek improvements to EI - improvements that won't even come close to reversing the damage the Liberals caused when they gutted and looted the program in the first place, but improvements nonetheless - well it pisses me off.

So once again for the those who can't seem to grasp it - the NDP have not said we will support the government, we have not said that the improvements in EI offered by Harper are sufficient, on the contrary 'a step in the right direction' very explicitly means that they aren't. Yet.

But if Harper offers sufficient improvements to EI to make real and immediate improvements for thousands of Canadian workers struggling with unemployment in these hard economic times then I don't see any reason not to take those gains. A billion dollars in improvements isn't chicken feed. It beats supporting them for no other reason but electoral expediency, while loudly decrying the motions you are voting to support and getting nothing for that support. 79 times in a row.

Voting, potentially, to change the Harper agenda is fundamentally, qualitatively different from repeatedly voting to sustain that agenda unchanged because rhetoric aside your party doesn't really oppose that agenda.

If you really don't see the difference than you really aren't paying attention.

UPDATE: The Globe and Mail sneers at Layton for considering supporting EI changes that will benefit 'only' about 60,000 workers. So helping 60,000 Canadians pay their rent and feed their families during an economic crisis isn't worth doing?


janfromthebruce said...

voting to potentially change the Harper agenda is different.

Mark Francis said...

I don't support the Liberals, but this is what everyone always says when the shoes on the other foot in Parliament. "There are principles reasons for supporting this legislation."

How about..the NDP has no money right now, and is having ad agency problems in Quebec?

The Cons EI proposal sucks, and doesn't do much to really help the truly vulnerable. If the NDP don't get major changes, this is all just lipstick on a pig.

I don't like EI being used for budget balancing, but I don't recall the NDP making any reasonable propositions in the 90s to repair what were at that time failing finances. 'Tax more'! wasn't going to work.

I tend to blame Mulroney also for the EI problems. He's the one who had the ability to fix Canada's fiscal mess coming out of stagflation economies of the 1970s, and instead choose to spend his way to electoral success, and leave the bill for future governments to deal with.

All this said, if Layton does a hard deal and gets decent concessions on EI, all the better. Harper dragged his feet all summer on the IE file, and people need help more than ever because of that.

Cliff said...

And again, I don't think a billion dollars and helping 60,000 mostly older workers who otherwise would lose their payments is anything to cavalierly dismiss. There is a difference between voting to actually get something changed and just voting to sustain something you claim to despise.

Once we get those EI dollars flowing to workers who need them we can then judge any future support based on an issue by issue basis - as we have all along. Whether or not we have an election will be up to Stephen Harper and how willing he is to cooperate on the issues important to Canadians.

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