Coyne v. Wells on the unlikely possibility of an election

“In Canadian politics, there is no duty, there is no honour, no requirement of logical consistency…”

Claire Ward 28

Shot and edited by Kerrin McNamara
Produced by Claire Ward

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Coyne v. Wells on the unlikely possibility of an election

  1. It has gone too far to turn back now! There will be an election this spring. Canadians will expect it and do wish to pass judgement on the present government, before they are hoodwinked to believe that the so called "Harper government" will not further weaken our democracy not only in the eyes of Canadians, but internationally as well. Ethics and accountability matter greatly and the fact that Harper promised to do better but actually did worse, only makes the election more necessary than ever.

    • Canadians will not be hoodwinked all right. The only ones trying to hoodwink them, are the opposition bozos, with their now daily faux outrages and drive-by smear attempts. Most Canadians see right through them, and will punish them accordingly if they force an election. The only ones that have been clear from the get-go are the Conservatives, stating clearly and consistently that they do NOT want an election. The opposition bozos, desperate to gain even a whiff of power, however, have been threatening an election about every six months, since the last one. Canadians are sick of the acting, and if Carpetbagger Iggy, or the slippery Layton want one, bring it on baby – Canadians will gladly reward the Conservatives with a massive majority, if for no other reason that we wouldn't have to put up with you bozos threatening us with an election every six months ad nauseum.

  2. I score it: two bagels and a stick (the latter for Glen Pearson eavesdropping /reflecting on the discussion over Wells's shoulder).

    Surprised the daffodil didn't wilt.

    • Maybe it did – turned into a tulip.

  3. This like Waiting for Godot – both the subject and the clip.

  4. As someone who really looks forward to each bout of Coyne vs. Wells, I have to say how dissapointed I was with the latest round. Not the content (of course), but the technical quality. Nice of you guys to try something new all the same. I have often found myself just listening, not watching, Coyne vs. Wells because it's just heads in boxes. The thing is, turning off the eyeballs and just listening can really help when trying to follow a complex discussion (CBC Radio is a great example). Distracting visuals have the opposite effect, doubly so for lousy sound quality. As someone who works in the teevee biz, let me throw out some completely unsolicited advice: there are microphones designed to reject noise, like the ones sports 'casters use in noisy arenas. If you want to move Coyne vs. Wells into the real world, buy some. While you're shopping, buy the camera operator a tripod. I know this started as a "quick and dirty" thing for you guys but it's become quite popular (I suspect) and I think it's now worth the extra investment of time and, yes, money, to do it right.

    Keep 'em coming! Cheers.

    • Well said Zach. I was really fascinated with Coyne and Wells getting out of their comfort zone and entering the real world. Very entertaining and I don't want to discourage them. I would also suggest getting the right equipment to do the job well.

      Regarding content, doesn't this all still rest with the Bloc? Really, whenever there is a major vote coming up, isn't it the Bloc that really decides what happens. The libs and dippers have painted themselves into a rhetorical corner and, even if they swallow themselves whole, the damage is still there. The Bloc don't make any bones about who they are and what they are there for. Could the tories throw Quebec a few bobbles (a hockey arena or Women's World Cup of Soccer facilities) and buy themselves out of this one?

      I've seen this act before and I get the feeling the climax will be a let down.

      • We're working on raising the production values! Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Zach. We're working on it! This was an on-the-fly experiment, so now we know what to do next time.

  5. Greatstuff guys. For someone like me this is like sitting in on the seminar on politics i was too busy partying to have ever bothered to attend – and so much more worthwhile now.

    "There are no promises to the Belgians in Canadian politics" – that's destined to be a classic.

    I kept on waiting for something to happen; Duceppe to turn up at the table and take their orders or kick them out ; Jk to trip by the window:"Wow! Fancy seeing you here, mind if i sit in?"

    For someone to turn the freaking radio down.

    Don't mind me, i've got cabin fever from living up north too long – can't wait to hit my first decent cafe down south.

  6. Coyne and Wells can always be depended on for their excellent references. The Guns of August should be required reading in all Canadian schools.

  7. Si ….???!!!!!

  8. That bell gets me every time!!

    Well I hope it blows up in their faces if they force an election and Harper gets his majority. Speaking of Belgium, we are heading in that direction, " Unable – or unwilling – to work together, bickering politicians have left unassuming Belgium without a fully functioning government for eight months, the longest for any nation in Europe since World War II."

    Even Tasha Kheiriddin has thrown in the towel and says election May 2 or 9.

    "OK, until now I have still teetered on the fence, but I'm ready to make it official. Yes, I predict we will be having a spring election. Not because anyone needs one or wants one, outside of the frenzied navel-gazing pit that passes for our Nation's Capital these days. No, we will have an election because the polls are making it plain that the Opposition can huff and puff all its wants, but it just can't blow Stephen Harper's house down."

    • Funny…i thought SH had a thing for Begium there for a while…guess it didn't pan out?

      • You're good, lol!!! Forgot about that 'not so well thought out idea'. Win some, lose some, eh :-)

        • Sure. I just hope he's fogotten it too. :)

    • The opposition have not done their homework. They have not made their case to change the government.

      If the coalition parties defeat the budget or vote a motion to remove confidence from this minority we may have a repeat of operation Market Garden. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Market_Gar

      The Liberals are missing over 80 candidates if we go in the next few weeks. The balance sheets? If you were a loans officer would you extend $ 20 million to coalition political parties each?

  9. It excites me everytime I walk past Cafe Doria and see Andrew Coyne sipping on a beverage and tapping away at his laptop (presumably working on his Maclean's column) but this is just too much to handle. Coyne vs. Wells on location in my neighbourhood!

    I think it's telling to recall that beginning in 2005, Stephen Harper used every opportunity to vote non-confidence in the government of Paul Martin even when his poll numbers were not that strong. I believe Paul Wells argued that if it had not been for Belinda Stronach's floor cross, the election would likely have resulted in a weaker Liberal minority. Anyways, basically Harper declared that the Liberals had lossed the moral authority to govern and he demonstrated his belief in this in both his words and actions.

  10. It would be great if there were an audio-only version of your feed.

  11. Two things:

    1) Starbucks right across the street, and you sit down at Cafe Doria? Why do you guys hate the troops so much?

    2) Coyne's rant beginning at 7:25 was brilliant.

  12. Theoretically, the Liberals want an election, not because they can win, but because they need to lose to change leaders, and they don't want to lose to a majority. For this I despise them. Change leaders on your own dime. Theoretically, the Conservatives want an election so that they can get the majority Stephen Harper so desperately wants. I agree with something Coyne said in an earlier podcast: Canadians are worried about giving this guy a majority. And so, especially after the latest revelations, I fear Stephen you are dreaming.

    This has been going on since the 40th Parliament started. June 2009, September 2009, December 2009, March 2010, and May 2010 all saw threats of an election. Lots of hype, no action. The parties' communications people hypes to the media, the media hypes to the public, there is a lot of noise and all it seems to be for is to test the temperature of the Canadian public, and once taken they all back down, not willing to risk it.

    I don't see anything about this episode that is anything different. I remain on Team 2012. No election, not now. I would say that I would cheerfully admit it if I was wrong, but my biggest problem is if there were an election, I wouldn't have anyone to vote for.

    • The reason the Liberals need an election is precisely because they don't have the huge bankroll to draw on. Outside a campaign the Liberals are wasting their campaign funds. Inside a campaign they are on the same footing as the Conservatives in providing information to the people of Canada. Outside an election, it doesn't matter who the leader of the lIberal party will be. The Conservative Party will spend millions in advertising and doing a character assassination. So whether it is Ignatieff, McKenna or Jesus himself, the CPC will provide character assassination while the Liberals struggle to make an imopression without the advertising dollar. So in the end, at a time when the true colors of the HARPER Government are showing, it may be the best opportunity the Liberals will get to defeat them. At the moment the CPC continue to campaign with taxpayer dollars. it's time to even the playing field and make the advertising happen within the confines of a level playing field. That is unless the CPC somehow circumvent the election spending laws again.

    • WOW… whatchsmokin?

  13. Coyne always does this to me. Whenever i edge trepidatiously up to the point where i think i can hold my nose and support the libs because they seem the best of an ill favoured assortment of choices in order to send SH a message that he needs to obey both the spirit and the letter of the law [ the best only in the sense they are the most likely to convince voters that Harper needs to be brought down a peg or two] And now this. It was a brilliant rant, and he's stopped me in my tracks again. He's absolutely right. The whole lousy house of cards that is Canadian federal politics is rotten to the core.
    All the world's a stage they say. And here we sit riveted watching our parliamentary democracy play its farcial part….it's already been a joke for a long long time.
    So, if no one is going to implement thoses changes like re-empowering MPs from inside the house, just what can we do outside the house to make them think otherwise – gentlemen?
    Well i can't hold my nose till 2012, so according to you two i can relax can i?

  14. Andrew Coyne comes across as the hopelessly naive idealist. He forgets that "Power is power, is power!!"
    Paul Wells comes across as a political realist who understands Harper's modus operandi! Power is where it begins and ends. Without power you remain an eternal backbencher spitting in the wind. Harper hated being a backbencher. He graves power for the sake of power because it defines who he is and make it possible for him to transform Canada into his image of what it should be – a pale replica of a deeply New Right Conservative Republican United States.
    Yet, Coyne may get his wish – he would like the Harperites to be called to account for their wandering ideological ways and most Canadians it now seems would agree — if Jack Layton comes to his senses and assists the Liberals and the Bloc to defeat the government.
    Harper's attack yesterday on the Bloc tells me that we are headed into an election. Harper's hand outs and photo ops all over the country, including money for a refit of Quebec City's Airport but not a new Stadium, also tells me that he will pull the plug on his own government. Harper has spent Billions of Canadians' tax dollars on stimulus boondoggles and is very anxious to reap the political rewards before Canadians fully realize how politically corrupt and unethical the entire operation was.

    • "Andrew Coyne comes across as the hopelessly naive idealist. He forgets that "Power is power, is power!!"
      Paul Wells comes across as a political realist who understands Harper's modus operandi! Power is where it begins and ends"

      And yet i don't get the feeling Wells is unsympathetic to Coyne's pov. Nor have i seen any evidence in his writing that he believes having or seeking power is a justifible ends by any means. I've formed the opinion he's basically been saying: if you don't like Harper you need to look realistically at just what will bring about his downfall – which given liberal impotence i read as: COALITION!! Coyne chooses to think otherwise[ for a bunch of inside baseball stuff] and that the libs need to get serious about real reform. Naive? Maybe?Wrong? Hell no!

  15. I would suggest going south to the Rebel House…great beer and pretty darn good food. And great beer.

  16. I'm falling more and more into the "get it over with" camp. I'm really starting to feel like we should have the election and get it over with and if the Tories end up with a majority then so be it. I'm not sure a majority government that holds Parliament in contempt because Parliament can't stop them would drive me up the wall nearly as much as a minority government that holds Parliament in contempt because Parliament WON'T stop them.

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