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Quick Hits, Volume XLIV -- Mostly Layton

A point I was going to note before the big Layton news today:

Insightful Colby Cosh seems to be saying that if suburban Paris had been developed along the lines of Jane Jacobs' precepts, rather than Le Corbusier's, maybe they wouldn't be having the strife that is going on now.

But the big news today revolved around Jack Layton...

Here's a link to his speech today at the Empire Club. Excerpt:

If the content of the government's response to us on private health care were a bill before parliament, we would oppose it... there's no basis for our party to express confidence in this government.

Stephen Harper says this is a soap opera, and that Layton may still be trying to negotiate a better deal with the Liberals.

He very well may be right, but he sounds a bit stupid saying it after Conservatives spent all of last week and the weekend slamming Layton for supposedly refusing to bring down the government.

Of course, Layton probably would be willing to consider a very good offer coming out of the Liberals. Why not? It would have to be very good, though... essentially an NDP bill, in full.

So, either he wins by passing legislation as he wants it -- nearly becoming Prime Minister -- or he wins by heading into an election leading strongly on the issue of health care.

I never doubted it, but Jack is certainly playing his cards well, and is a better negotiator than Buzz.

Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh responds: "I'm actually disappointed that Jack Layton is playing politics with some very important issues in health care." What a tool. (H/T: Don.)

Equally foolish is any sort of argument that Parliament is engaged in business that is too crucial to interrupt.

Parliament stays in business only so long as it's passing legislation supported by a majority of MPs.

Meanwhile, here's how Stephen Harper is reacting, as per Reuters:

Harper said he would be willing to discuss with Layton the option of allowing the New Democrats to use the Conservative's "opposition day" on November 15 to introduce a no-confidence motion.

I think Layton should take Harper up on his offer. He can politically outmaneuver the Conservatives too. Greg at Sinister Thoughts has a potential motion already drawn up.

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