Coyne v. Wells on the chances of a fall election - Macleans.ca
 

Coyne v. Wells on the chances of a fall election

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Coyne v. Wells on the chances of a fall election

  1. Good discussion, I enjoyed it.

    As for an autumn election, I believe Wells' first rule can be taken to the bank but I don't know which, election or not, is the 'least exciting possible outcome'. Either outcome leaves me gloomy at the moment.

    As for Harper legitimizing coalition if he brings the topic up, I think it depends greatly on how Libs and Dippers respond to his accusation. If they say 'ya, maybe we will form coalition' then it is legitimate. If both parties deny strenuously that they will
    form coalition and then go on to form one anyways, there will be problems.

    And as far as third minority for Harper and what that will mean for his future prospects, I am divided. Harper must be feeling pretty secure in his position at the moment if he can appoint a dipper to the most coveted diplomatic posting in Canada. But if he does get third minority, surely the chum will be in the water and someone will start moving against Harper.

  2. Good discussion, I enjoyed it.

    As for an autumn election, I believe Wells' first rule can be taken to the bank but I don't know which, election or not, is the 'least exciting possible outcome'. Either outcome leaves me gloomy at the moment.

    As for Harper legitimizing coalition if he brings the topic up, I think it depends greatly on how Libs and Dippers respond to his accusation. If they say 'ya, maybe we will form coalition' then it is legitimate. If both parties deny strenuously that they will
    form coalition and then go on to form one anyways, there will be problems.

    And as far as third minority for Harper and what that will mean for his future prospects, I am divided. Harper must be feeling pretty secure in his position at the moment if he can appoint a dipper to the most coveted diplomatic posting in Canada. But if he does get third minority, surely the chum will be in the water and someone will start moving against Harper.

  3. Good discussion, I enjoyed it.

    As for an autumn election, I believe Wells' first rule can be taken to the bank but I don't know which, election or not, is the 'least exciting possible outcome'. Either outcome leaves me gloomy at the moment.

    As for Harper legitimizing coalition if he brings the topic up, I think it depends greatly on how Libs and Dippers respond to his accusation. If they say 'ya, maybe we will form coalition' then it is legitimate. If both parties deny strenuously that they will
    form coalition and then go on to form one anyways, there will be problems.

    And as far as third minority for Harper and what that will mean for his future prospects, I am divided. Harper must be feeling pretty secure in his position at the moment if he can appoint a dipper to the most coveted diplomatic posting in Canada. But if he does get third minority, surely the chum will be in the water and someone will start moving against Harper.

    • There is another option. If the Conservatives win a slim majority, then no doubt the GG will ask them to form a government. If that government falls immediately, even in the absence of any coallition the GG can ask the Liberals to attempt to form a government. That super-minority government would then have to deal with the other opposition parties on a case by case basis in the absence of a coalition.

      While this would be a difficult choice for the GG, having another election immediately would not be any easier.

      • That super-minority government would then have to deal with the other opposition parties on a case by case basis in the absence of a coalition.

        This scenario seems highly unlikely. Without some sort of coalition agreement, that super-minority government would be extremely unstable and short-lived.

      • If the conservatives win a slim majority as you state the GG has nothing to do with it . I assume you meant minority. If not and she asked for an alternative there would be riots in the streets.

  4. Why was the discussion about toppling the government only about Jack, Gilles and Michael?

    Harper is clearly grumpy.
    How long in this atmosphere can Harper go without doing an in-you-face move that leaves the opposition no choice?

  5. "Why was the discussion about toppling the government only about Jack, Gilles and Michael? "

    Because we assume Stephen won't remove confidence from his own government?

  6. you are forgetting something it odes not matter whether harper wins a majority or minority he is still the leader and the PM as there is no leadership review unless he loses – he could win 4,5 even 6 ,7,8 even 9 or 10 minorites .. which is what will be driving people crazy!

    • Puh-leaze. Whatever you think of the Tories, the caucus isn't a bunch of wait-around-forever-to-see-if-Stephen-can-win-his-majority wisps. Politicians are ambitious. Since becoming the first leader of the re-amalgamated Conservatives, he's never faced even a whisper campaign of a challenge to his leadership of the party. Most members and MPs will be reasonably happen to win yet another minority, but questions about the future leadership of the party will be less self-censored.

    • Puh-leaze. Whatever you think of the Tories, the caucus isn't a bunch of wait-around-forever-to-see-if-Stephen-can-win-his-majority wisps. Politicians are ambitious. Since becoming the first leader of the re-amalgamated Conservatives, he's never faced even a whisper campaign of a challenge to his leadership of the party. Most members and MPs will be reasonably happy to win yet another minority, but questions about the future leadership of the party will be less self-censored.

  7. Gentlemen, thank you for your discussion. I feel good about Mr Coyne's prediction of a next election in 2012.
    I don't understand how come more people don't see Stephen Harper as a very good person, my gut feelings about people rarely do me wrong, and I trust the man. I am a conservative obviously, but I think I will vote Bloc, should an election be held, because my county has been held between a Bloc (now held by Maria Mourani – Ahuntsic) and a liberal, only by a few votes).
    I am glad I found you, enjoyed your talk a lot, glad that Mr. Coyne seemed to speak more clearly than what I usually hear him do on CBC At Issue.
    Mr Wells, really enjoyed pages 18-19, first thing I read this morning.

    • I am curious why you prefer the Bloc to the Liberals given that you are a Conservative. The BQ tends to be slightly to the left of the Liberals on most issues. I suppose there is the possibility that you legitimately believe that Quebec has no place in Canada, but the way you phrased your argument seemed to suggest that you'd vote Bloc only to keep the Liberals out of power.

      • Dave Z. It's simple. Michelle is obviously a strategic voter. She supports the Conservatives and the best way to keep the Conservatives in power is to limit the number of Liberal seats by voting Bloc where she lives.

        • I had surmised as much from her post. My only surprise was that I had supposed that, for a conservative federalist, even a Liberal government would be more palatable than strengthening the Bloc.

          • I believe that, despite the left-wing nature of many Bloc positions, there are many small "c" conservative voters in Quebec who also support the Bloc, especally in rural Quebec. These voters will never vote "rouge". The challenge for the Tories is to find a way to get them to vote Tory rather than Bloc. In the last election the Tories were damaged by the bitter fallout from the PM's decision to blackball Brian Mulroney in advance of the Schreiber Inquiry. The decision to reconcile with Brian Mulroney as seen by the lage number of Conservative cabinet mnisters who are planning to attend the 25th anniversary celebrations in mid-September is a sign that the Tories hope that they can draw on the Mulroney legacy to help them in rural Quebec. This will probably help theTories save a number of their swing seats and may even help them win a couple more. The Tories will not sweep Quebec in the next election, but they won't be wiped out either.

  8. Hi, Michelle — I think your gut needs a tune-up because mine is in fine gear, and it says that harper is not to be trusted anywhere, anyhow. EVER!

    Cheers!
    Patchouli

    • you've obviously been eating to many Liberal laxatives.

  9. I can't see how, in the middle of the one of the worst economic downturns for a very long time, we are going to spend the writ period talking about coalitions. Harper may want to frame it that way, but I don't think that even the media relatively sympathetic to the Conservatives will allow him to get away with this. People are concerned first and foremost about economic security, present and future. Whoever has the answers on that issue wins the prize.

    • Mulletar,
      If you a correct on the ballot question – i.e. that whover has the answers to the economic downturn, then the Tories win since polls consistently show that most Canadians do not trust Jack Layton to manage economic policy.

    • Mulletar,
      If you are correct on the ballot question – i.e. that whomever has the answers to the economic downturn wins, then the Tories win since polls consistently show that most Canadians do not trust Jack Layton to manage economic policy.

    • Mulletar,
      If you are correct on the ballot question – i.e. that whomver has the answers to the economic downturn wins, then the Tories win since polls consistently show that most Canadians do not trust Jack Layton to manage economic policy.

  10. "There is another option. If the Conservatives win a slim majority, then no doubt the GG will ask them to form a government. If that government falls immediately, even in the absence of any coallition the GG can ask the Liberals to attempt to form a government. "

    Just one problem. If the Conservatives have a "slim" majority, short of forgetting how to count which is pretty unlikely, how are they going to be toppled ?

    • I too was confused, but I believe he meant to say "slim minority" (but I'm not trying to speak on his behalf)

      • Gene, Please feel free, I would appreciate the help.

  11. I am no Harper fan, have never voted for him but he is right on one thing, Canadians DO NOT want an election now and Michael Ignatiff will shoot himself in the foot if he makes it happen, what could the liberals get at best, another minority government!!! This shows how politicians do not know how to read the population. For goodness sake, can we not have some focus on the real problems facing us, ofcourse by 2012, politics will be a moog point anyway!

    • The problem with this is two-fold. One, there are two other Opposition parties, so it wouldn't be the Liberals causing all this. Secondly, the present government has shown virtually no willingness to work with other parties. Out of one side of their mouth this week they disparage the Liberals for trying to take down the government, while at the same time gassing up the campaign plane as they have no intention of trying to work anything out with the other two parties, and are now trying to engineer their own defeat. Unsurprisingly, all parties are trying to take the moral high ground on this nonsense all four are failing miserably. They all take a big game, but all sides seem to worried about the optics of being seen as too close to another party to actually do something for the country.

      • This is the best summary of the situation I've read in a long time.

    • "I am no Harper fan, have never voted for him …"

      If you start out like that, scientific research has proven that, with a probabilty of 97% 19 out of 20 times, you're a conbot.

      • She said she doesn't like Harper, but she doesn't want an election now

        I see nothing in Elizabethia's post that suggests she's a "conbot". Polls show that most of the Canadian population doesn't wan't an election, yet when some poor CvW viewer posts a comment for the first time and says as much, you yank the welcome mat out from under her and accuse her of being a Conservative troll.

        • I'm thinking that if Elizabethia is adult enough to post on these pages, he or she is adult enough to defend him or herself. On the other hand, we now know that the NDP is also against having an election.

  12. I'm saving this clip for future reference. Coyne makes a good case that there might not be a fall election, after all. We shall see.

    • I'm surprised Coyne hasn't mentioned the economy, given that he's an economist by training. People are losing their jobs left and right, and even when they're keeping them, they're typically getting fired then rehired as a temp employee without benefits. Even in mighty Alberta. In other words, people are angry.

      Remember back to the last election. During the campaign, the stock market started tanking and voters watched their RRSPs and other savings drop by half in value within days. Dion started going up in the polls, and until that fateful moment with Mike Duffy, he looked like he could pull something off.

      During an election campaign now or next spring, Harper risks the release of unfavourable data, creating a narrative he can't control: damning unemployment figures, housing starts, housing prices, sales projections for the Christmas season, etc. All of that can throw off the campaign, as surely as the tanking stock market did last time.

  13. It never ceases to amaze me how often I find myself agreeing with Andrew Coyne. There will not be an election as Layton will hold his nose and very unfortunately keep Harper in power. As to the question of a coalition, I would be willing to bet that if a poll was done asking whether the populace would prefer a Liberal/NDP coalition (no Bloc which is what I feel was what was objected to last fall) or a continuation of the toxic Harper government, the coalition would win.

  14. If the economic downturn is the main issue, the coalition is still the critical factor. The decision between seats in cabinet or no seats in cabinet is not difficult for the cash-strapped NDP who have otherwise hit their high tide mark for the next few years. The Bloc will "support" for the sake of benefits for QC, no seats necessary. A Liberal "super-minority" can only freeze out the NDP for so long.

    If the Conservative government is not good enough for the combined opposition now, it should not be more acceptable to the combined opposition after a mere election hiatus. A Conservative minority will be short-lived, and I think it unlikely the G-G will entertain another time-out.

    A fall election is ultimately a decision between CPC majority or coalition; a CPC minority will just be a transitional state. Harper doesn't need to even suggest what should be an overwhelming likelihood to observers.

  15. I think there ought to be some fun-minded or charity-inspired wager between the two pundits, no?

  16. I don't know where else to put this, but that inset picture of Coyne and Wells on the front page link to this video is quite dashing, dare I say almost cute.

  17. Wells says there will be an election this fall; Coyne says 2012.

    Wells will win the bet if the election day is in 2011 or after; Coyne will win if election day is in 2010 or earlier.

  18. Oops! It should be Coyne will win the bet if the election day is 2011 or after; Wells will win if the election day is 2010 or earlier.

  19. I think Harper will surprise the other parties sometime between 2009 and 2012 by just going directly to the governor-general and ask for an election. He will claim that Parliament can't function.

    • The bet will be a draw if Harper asks for an election without a vote of non-confidence in the H of C.

      Three points for a win for either Coyne or Wells; one point for a draw. Fussball rules!

    • I think Harper will happily surpise all of us and resign in the next few weeks.

  20. Maybe harper , Iggy or Layton will surprise Canadians and run a open fact based campaign ? They would decimate the opponents that used rope – a – dope tactics of last several elections .

    i.e. – real facts on shifted tax burden 2000 to 2009

    i.e. – real facts on 800,000 to 1.2 million jobless or E.I. dependant Canadians while 200,000 non Canadians work here . ( less than 20% are farm or domestic rest cover 500 occupations Canadians can't do ? )

    i.e. – real facts on defense spending , PMO spending or job retaining spending instead of harper's waistline , Iggys obvious mental advantage over harper , RAE'S buttocks or Laytons face hair .

    If Canadians will have an election worth attending or not would be a sounder bet .

  21. Gents,

    I really enjoyed your podcast. I have one question that I'd like you both to respond to.

    Isn't another Conservative Minority victory automatically going to be an opposition coalition?

    You answered it, but not completely. What are the odds of Harper getting to enact another minority government after winning the most seats in an election that is not a majority.

    • Well Scott, I don't think anyone can predict what'll happen, but I think you've just identified the game (stern voice from stage right: "This is not a game!") for the next election. Ignatieff was able to resist the whole coalition thing when he thought he could win the normal way. But if he almost wins, but not quite, how will he be able to resist counting the results a different way? Stéphane Dion swore to me, after all, that the NDP were too far left to govern with. And then that became the only way he could.

    • I think they both implied that a third minority by Harper would likely see his replacement (by who?) as leader/PM.

    • I think they both implied that a third minority by Harper would likely see his replacement (by who?) as leader/PM.

      Also I think that puts it up to the GG who may have had some advice and or time to ponder her decision on prorogation.

    • I think they both implied that a third minority by Harper would likely see his replacement (by who?) as leader/PM.

      Also I think that puts it up to the GG who may have had some advice and or time to rethink her previous decision on prorogation.

  22. While until recently i was very confident that there was no chance of an election this fall -a few wild cards have come into play that, while I still think it unlikely, I am much less sure.

    1. while jacko and co have no money, and have been polling less than he/they did last year and thus would likely lose seats, the vitriol that iggy has generated towards himself by insisting that he wants an election that a huge majority of cdns do not want may give jack a chance to grant iggy’s wish and then steal some seats from the libs. Polling this coming week that shows the libs heading down and the ND up may seal the deal.

    2. The senate appointments recently and the strong likelyhood that several more openings early in 2010 will make it possible for the cpc to table and pass elected senate reform in both houses. An elected senate is anethema to the liberals. To loose this ultimate patronage honeypot is almost as life and death as the vote subsidy for them. To fight a spring election on an anti-elected senate issue would mean annihilation of the lpc as 65% of cdns favour it with the balance favouring abolition.

    Now is the liberals last best chance for the liberals to forstall this.

    The separatist coalitIon issue will not go away BTW. It was the liberal party’s chappaquidick. They left the idea of a unified Canada submerged upside-down in 15 ft of water when they signed an agreement with the separatist bloc that had the first sentence ending in “…Canada and Quebec”.
    All those who signed the document are now indelibly stained by it and it will take a new generation of liberals to regain power. The MSM can downplay it – giggles taber can sock puppet the “Dion coalition” liberal talking point – and bob Rae can lie and flat out deny it ever happening (and presumably his prominent role in drafting it ) but loyal, true canadians like their townhall rabble-rousing counterparts south of the forty-ninth will foil such attempts and alert their fellow countrymen to the weasels that run the lpc today.