This is stupidity pure and simple. Why say this when threatening an election could be a good way of ensuring that Harper does make changes to EI. Harper does not want an election right now. If there were an election the Liberals might very well obtain a minority providing an opportunity to pressure the Liberals for progressive legislation. I doubt that Ignatieff would be interested in a coalition and even if he did it might be better for the NDP to work from outside rather than inside the government.
Isn't this the same Jack Layton who was so eager to defeat the government only a few months ago because Harper is completely untrustworthy. Talk about political games, Layton has joined the club with a vengeance as the stupidest player of all..
NDP won't try to topple government, Layton says
NDP Leader vows to focus on getting Conservatives to support enhanced EI program before MPs begin summer break
OTTAWA — From Monday's Globe and Mail, Monday, Jun. 01, 2009 09:09AM EDT
NDP Leader Jack Layton said he won't seek to topple Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government in the few weeks that remain in the parliamentary calendar, narrowing the odds of an early summer election.
In a television interview yesterday, Mr. Layton said his focus is on getting the government to support the New Democratic Party's push to enhance the employment insurance program before members of Parliament begin an 11-week summer break at the end of the month.
"We won't be moving a non-confidence motion," Mr. Layton told CTV's Question Period. "We're going to try to move motions that get results for people. I think that's what people would like to see."
Mr. Layton's comments will alter the political calculus on Parliament Hill, which buzzed with fresh talk of an imminent election last week after Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff called for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's firing.
Mr. Ignatieff said the Opposition and Canadians generally had lost faith in the Finance Minister after Mr. Flaherty said the budget deficit had ballooned to more than $50-billion, compared with the $33.7-billion shortfall he predicted in January.
The Liberals, with 77 seats, would need the support of both the NDP and the Bloc Québécois to win a no-confidence vote against the Conservatives, who govern with 143 of the 305 Commons seats that are currently occupied.
"I don't know what the Liberals are going to do, if they're going to play political games," Mr. Layton said. "We're certainly ready if it comes to it."
Instead of picking fights with the government, Mr. Layton appears open to negotiating changes to the employment insurance program in order to cushion the blow from rising unemployment brought on by the recession.
Members of Parliament are set to vote June 10 on NDP legislation that would make the eligibility rules for insurance the same in all parts of the country and that would demand two fewer weeks of employment for seasonal workers to qualify for benefits.
"We're prepared to accept amendments to it, absolutely," Mr. Layton said. "You've got to be reasonable. You've got to be willing to talk to other players in the House of Commons. And we're certainly willing to do that if it produces some results for people."