Relavent exerpt from the Layton entry of the Canadian Encyclopedia:
Not relevant to this discussion but I did think if anyone bothered to read the link they would notice the credit given Layton for the progressive legislation which is why Jack Layton called it an "NDP budget" in his speech at the Empire Club.
Also, appealing to authority (though, I'd hardly call the Canadian media an authority) is a logical fallacy. Why not engage the issue based on math, logic, and the historical evidence instead of just saying something is so because otehr people said so?
I have acknowledged countless times that at the time of the vote Layton could not have saved the government. I am basing it on historical evidence. Layton got the ball rolling, he did it deliberately, it was common knowledge, once it was rolling he could not have stopped it even if he wanted to.
The Liberals are preoccupied with the Tories, but also seem aware that they can't afford to keep feeding the emboldened rival on their left flank. When Stephen HARPER and Gilles DUCEPPE were ready to gang up to defeat Martin's government after Gomery's November report, Layton tried once more to parlay the votes of his little group of MPs into more polices to hang in the NDP shop window. But this time, when he asked for significant steps to curb private health services, Martin's counter-offer was so vague that it would have given the NDP little to brag about. The Liberals were clearly loath to hand Layton more campaign ammunition. So he walked away from the table. As one NDP insider explained, letting the Liberals survive well into 2006 - long enough to deliver a budget that would eclipse the "NDP budget" from last spring - was only worth it if Layton could plausibly claim to have imposed his will on the key health care file. If he couldn't keep running the country, in other words, we'd just have to have another election.
Those who know him well are not surprised Layton is playing the angles to leverage slim numbers into substantial clout.
This is the Canadian Encyclopedia. They would not imply that Layton had the power to impact the election date if he didn't. They are not referring to the non-confidence vote nor am I. At that point Layton could (probably) not have saved the government. No one is claiming that had the NDP voted for Martin the government would have survived. The government's fate was sealed on November 7th, or rather when Layton decided to replace his speech at the Empire Club to announce that he would no longer support the Liberal government. He then made a deal with Harper for the one two punch motions of proposing the February election, and using the failure of that motion to justify Harper's non-confidence motion the following week. That way they could blame Martin for the Christmas election.
All four parties were trying to time the election to their advantage. The Bloc, NDP and Conservatives all wanted it sooner rather than later because they were afraid that the progressive legislation, and Martin implementing all the reforms recommended by the final Gomery report, would help him and he was still leading in the polls.
Most accounts don't go into all the details of what was going on. It's just a given. That's why Thomas Walkom, (the guy who just gave Mulcair massive kodos for not approving the advisers for Iraq) said this:
In 2005, it was then NDP leader Jack Layton’s decision to pull the plug on Paul Martin’s minority Liberal government that helped kill the closest thing Canada has ever had to a national child care system.
He wasn't being delusional or lying or misremembering. It's common knowledge.
This is from the CBC Canada votes, 2006 election guides:
He had to walk a tightrope in November 2005 while deciding whether or not to continue supporting the Liberals after the first sponsorship scandal report was released. Layton tried for what he called a "compromise", getting some health-care guarantees in exchange for further NDP support. In the end, he said the government response wasn't enough. He then came up with what he called another compromise - an agreement among the opposition to wait until January for an election, if the government would agree. Again, that failed.
November 7th is when Layton rejected the Liberal package which started the ball rolling. The talks between Martin and Layton prior to November 7th were critical. If Layton had accepted the deal the election would have occurred as planned, 30 days after the final Gomery report which would have been first week of March.
I find it particularly droll that in a rabble thread from 2012, Arthur confirms what I am saying, only he blames Martin for not accepting Layton's terms.
Post # 17
Arthur Cramer wrote:
The discussions with the NDP prior to the Martin government falling were ongoing from that summer, 2005. It finally came down to Martin's refusal to agree that the government would penalize provinces that allowed the growth in private medicine. I had a whole bunch of references on this but left them at work. I'll post them tomorrow. I am also still trying to get a little more background on this. I am waiting for a call back from someone who was in Ottawa at the time.
I really hate how this issue gets dragged into what was actually happening at the time. It seems to me that if the NDP hadn't been so adamant regarding health care, and gone along with Martin, it would have done to bolster his false "left" bonafides, ultimately at the expense of the New Dems. I realize that political considerations shouldn't play into important things, but they do.
Arthur is referring to the timing of the election being a political consideration because Martin would have passed more progressive legislation and been given credit for it.
That is exactly the calculation that this article explains was a hot debate amongst progressives and amongst NDP party members.
On one side of the debate progressives wanted Layton to fold in order to solidify the gains already made. On the other side of the debate it was argued that the best thing for Canadians was to maximize NDP votes, which meant taking down Martin at his weakest and not letting him present a budget full of all sorts of goodies with his huge surplus achieved through the cuts of the 90s.
The November 7th announcement that he would no longer support the Martin government is what got the ball rolling. The rest was just the formalities. That is why commentators and historians refer to Layton precipitating the election as common knowledge. It has nothing to do with the non-confidence motion of late November.
Post 23 from the same thread
Arthur Cramer wrote:
Well what I know pretty much for sure now is Martin got pushed by the New Dems, and decided to let the government fall, rather then do the righ thing.
Again, Arthur comfirms. He is claiming that had Martin acceded to NDP demands the government would not have fallen.