Harper willing to water his wine - Macleans.ca

Harper willing to water his wine

Faced with another minority, PM admits opposition may be talking about things “Canadians care about”


With the NDP on an unexpected surge in the polls, and another Conservative minority looking like a real possibility, Stephen Harper has suddenly become conciliatory toward the very same parties his campaign has spent the last month ridiculing or vilifying. “Ultimately you have to listen to Canadians and the opposition may be saying some things Canadians care about,” he told the National Post’s John Ivison. The PM voiced a reluctance to change the recent budget that the Liberals and NDP have both said they won’t tolerate. “We’re running on a platform, trying to get a mandate for that platform.” Harper said. “I’m not here to tell you that we’ll turn around the next day and change it all.” But he did create some wiggle room to govern again after the May 2 vote: “It’s obviously life and death to listen to what other parties are saying … I’ll work with people who make compromises but we’re not going to make compromises on things that would hurt the country.” It’s a marked shift for the Conservatives, who throughout the campaign have stressed that they plan to reintroduce the budget tabled in March. The tone, moreover, suggests an awareness that Harper’s image as remote and uncompromising may be limiting his party’s fortunes.

The National Post

Interview transcript

Filed under:

Harper willing to water his wine

  1. Did you hear that? He's proposing a coalition! The country will implode and fall into the Arctic Sea!

  2. Well, he's already said that the ONLY outcomes of the election are a Conservative majority or the reckless coalition. So if he doesn't get his majority he's duty-bound to hand over the keys.

    • To be fair, the reckless coalition could include Stephen Harper, PM.

      • Yes of course, because he's proven how well he works with others, compromises, negotiates.

      • NOT! Harper has demonstrated his complete unwillingness to work with any of the other parties. Except for the BLOC who he would not form a coalition with.

  3. Too little, too late, Harper. You've had five (5) years to show us how you can compromise for Canadians, and you simply have turned away every time. Your campaign has been listless, visionless, and fear-mongery.

    I hope you go away, and soon. Cooperation sounds awfully sweet to Canadians who have endured your regime, your insults, your smears.

    • Theoretically speaking, if he can't pull a majority this time then the party will pick a new leader that is more attractive to the other parties.

  4. Well, talking about issues Canadians care about does tend to preferable to talking about how if your opponents win the world will end and sun will implode.

  5. Most unlikely. Everyone knows he doesn't play well with others.

  6. The way seat projections are going, that is the most likely result. The two biggest Iraq-war boosters in the country really are a match made in heaven (thank Dog they weren't in power at the time).

  7. Harper is willing to water his wine and pi$$ in yours

    Pardon my French.

  8. You know, a smart leader would've left himself/herself a little breathing space from the get go. Especially when it was clear from the beginning that they had a good chance of ending up in a minority position again. Until recently Harper hasn't really slammed Layton too badly. He should of stuck with that.

    In terms of representing Canadians, it would obviously make the most sense if the parties with the two largest mandates were to work together.

    Surely they could find a couple dozen things they could agree on to put before parliament?

    Even if that only lasted a couple years, it's still better than the ridiculous situation we've had in parliament the past few years.

    Of course none of that can happen now, and you can chalk it up to Harper's unwillingness to show the slightest bit of reasonability.

    • if anything it will be a Con/Lib coalition. That would be the preference of most people. They want change, but they know Jack will spend like mad. I think the slide to Layton was really a testament to how well Ignatieff did as a leader.

      • That would've been doable years ago before the CPC began its non-stop 24/7 media attack siege of the Liberal leader of the day. Even if they'd stopped after the first character assasination of Dion and toned it down a bit they may have had a chance.

        At this point I can't imagine the Liberals entertaining any advances from the Conservatives, unless they have some sort of Stockholm Syndrome.

        And I wouldn't bet on the Liberals forming government as a junior member with the NDP either.

        Given the fact that they'll likely lose seats, their party has essentially been condemned again by the voters, and actually ending up in government after all that would be the quickest way to kill their party and create a defacto merger.

        I expect that either Harper will govern, or the NDP will, by itself with opposition support. Almost gauranteed.

      • I don't know what makes you think "most people" prefer anything of the kind.

        I believe the slide to NDP happened when Canadians realized the Liberals were not going to get rid of Harper. Or if they did, they wouldn't be different enough. There was a large undecided vote in every poll for all these years that the Cons were supposedly nearing majority. What do you suppose they (I should say we) were waiting for? What has made up their minds now?

        This is the result of a country with a majority of centre and left-of-centre people being offered right-centre and way-right-of-centre as the only choices.

        In my opinion a Con/Lib coalition will not stand. Both those parties are losing support so it would be a "coalition of losers".

        • a coalition of losers with more than 50% of the popular vote (keeping in mind that the Block skews things), and with probably more seats by representation.

  9. This turkey has gone on public television telling the world he will change Canada to a point none of us will recognize it.

    It think I will wait for the votes to be counted. Momentum being what it is may just push Harper into the Official Opposition.

    His plans on health care are killing him. To fix health care by knocking half of Canadians off their health care coverage will certainly do something for lineups but dam little for the way of life for Canadians.

    • any facts to back up your claims. . .

      • just wikipedia Stephan Harper and you can get a list of facts as long as your arm.

        • I was asking cyberclark if he had any proof to back up the specific claims that he has in his post. I am quite sure that there are none on Wikipedia.

  10. His image as "remote and uncompromising?" He is, it's not an image (although it may be a hologram).

  11. What he's actually saying is that "Ultimately you have to listen to Canadians" because I don't care about Canadian's as long as I get the majority, it's my country and I'll run it how I see fit. Secondly, "the opposition may be saying some things Canadians care about" because I certainly don't give a rats a** about what Canadians care about as long as I, get to flout whichever laws I please, hold parliament in contempt whenever I please and exercise my power in whatever capacity I deem appropriate.

  12. A little unsolicited advice to the leaders of the reckless coalition. Can't recall if it was King or Byng who suggested that when you have a firm grip on your opponents "boys"… be sure to squeeze.

  13. If everyone could just stop for a moment, you will see he is just laying the groundwork. If he now says that he is willing to compromise, as long as it is for the good of the country, he is setting the opposition up as the bad guys. They will be saying that he won't compromise, and the fight will be on. It will be a battle for who looks like they are compromising the most.

    Jack could be drunk with power, like the teapartiers in the states. He might be unwilling to compromise, thinking that he can do anything with his new found support. (I won't say that this is true, Jack is a good politician. I am just saying that Steve is setting Jack up, if he tries to go 'all or nothing' on the budget).

    Harper is nothing, if not good at political strategy.

    • "Political strategy"?! Huh? I thought this smells of desperation, not strategy.

      Beg. Plead. Grovel. But I think (hope) it's just too late in the day for this 11th hour conversion to compromise.

      We've been watching harper for many many years now, first in opposition, then on the outside, then back in oppo and 5 years as pm. I don't see that leopard changing his spots very soon. Do you?

      • He's not a leopard, he's a snake!

    • Harper is nothing, if not good at political strategy.

      I think that particular idea is rather defied by the current state of Conservative fortunes.

    • He could play up a "I'm willing to compromise and they're not" position as you say, but it's too late. Canadians won't believe him. His actions have betrayed himself.

  14. HH – I never thought I would agree with you. :)

  15. Tsk Tsk Tsk

  16. “Stephen Harper has suddenly become conciliatory …”

    “Trust me” he says; “See, I've changed my spots.” Personally, I won't ever do so again, even if he were to – figuratively – fall on his sword.

    Although that might be a good start for the Party to redeem itself and, in case they're short on ideas, please allow me: admit that the F-35s will cost substantially more than he's saying; tell Parliament what the mega-prisons are really going to cost; apologize for contempt of Parliament; reinstate the funding for the Planned Parenthood, absent the Christian fundamentalist strings attached that prevent the funding of abortions; publish the “golden-handshake” agreement (aka gag-order) with Christiane Ouimet; cancel the hypocritical appointments to the Senate; put a scientist in charge of the Ministry for Science & Technology, not (apparently) a young-earth creationist; reinstate the long-form census; apologize for the attack ads; repudiate their “200-page handbook on how to disrupt [Parliamentary] committees”; etc. etc. etc. For starters.

  17. That's exactly what he said! Who the hell does Harper think he is? The nerve of him…"I'll work with people who make compromises but we're not going to make compromises on things that would hurt the country". He has done nothing but hurt our country and I think the public are saying that loud and clear. I'll be glad when he's gone and the sooner the better.

    • Man I love your posts. They are so exciting, energetic, different. That's about it.

      • thanks, cant say the same about yours though!

        • use fact – not opinion.
          provide proof – don't slander.

          Then we can debate.

  18. Mr Layton, is soaring eh? Thats great. In Quebec. Which, is all the media can ever see. But, I think the other jurisdictions are going to be counted again, this time! lol. Particularly the huge voting bloc, the Seniors. I believe Harper is the only one to offer to help them! I think, Ontario will think, whether they join Quebec and ruin themselves, or join the best futuristic Prime Minister since Dion and Cretins mumblings were interpreted as the coming of the savior. I think, that English Canada is smart enough to know, any attempt to unite the unsuitably is a joke. Lets get this job done! Because, its going to be done, one way or another.

  19. Harper is so in the tank for Iggy.

  20. This comment was deleted.

    • Right… You smear one guy who merely $crewed himself and praise the other who tried to $screw the whole "cuntry"

      • Hell no, I didn't go! It was some poor Asian chick trying to stay in Canada that had to do the smearing for him! Layboy always knew how to take advance of the weak, the desperate, or fools, without a slightest sign of compassion. All for Laid and Laid for all. Now his joints are acting up all over! lol.

        • Jack proposes a coaltion, with him on top, this time! lolol

  21. I refuse to address that 'stache as PM. No person with a moustache like that should be PM. It makes him look like a '70s porn dude. Every time I a picture of the guy it makes me want to shave his moustache.

    • Looking like a 70s porn dude isn't necessarily a bad thing.