NDP offers to prop up Conservatives - Macleans.ca

NDP offers to prop up Conservatives

MP gives conditions to avoid a fall election


Liberals are calling for a no-confidence vote at the first possible opportunity this fall, but the NDP may step in to save the Conservative government. NDP MP Thomas Mulcair said his party would be willing to support the government if Prime Minister Harper enhances employment insurance, stops the foreign takeover of Nortel, and offers pension protection, and protection from credit card fees. This comes only days after NDP leader Jack Layton said his party would be “the least likely of the political parties to support Conservatives.”


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NDP offers to prop up Conservatives

  1. maybe the Bloc can offer something more palatable to the Conservatives…

    • It's a sad comment that Canadians are faced with a choice between Harper and Ignatieff. Harper embarrasses us internationally and Ignatief toys with us like he's Tsarist prince. Talk about a sick political situation. Our best hope is to maintain the status quo. The way to do that is to vote NDP. But my local candidate lives in a forest and eats bark. What can I do?

      • Donate enough money so he can build a cabin and eat vegetables?

    • I'm pretty sure that the Conservative base in Alberta wants nothing to do with the Bloc.

      It's one of the reasons why the ProgCons broke up before.

  2. There is no such quote from Mulcair; that's just the framing of the Canadian Press. The only actual quote from Mulcair is that the NDP would vote on a case by case basis.

    Be a little responsible for heaven's sake.

    • "Be a little responsible for Heaven's Sake" that may be a tall order for anyone in the media these days : )

  3. …and pick up some milk on the way home.

    Harper may as well pick out his tie and order more hair spray for the walk over to see the GG.

    I can see it now…

    "I thought I told you to get out and stay out"

    • Lots of cartoon material here:

      1. GG hiding behind the curtains, being very stil and quiet, hoping PMSH will quit knocking
      2. GG answering the door to little Stevie and asking "is it Halloween already?"
      3. Jack Layton in a doorman's costume opening the door with an obsequious "Yeeeess?" while Gilles Duceppe, Micheal Ignatiett and the GG have tea in the drawing room.

  4. Those are not unreasonable demands. Maybe they could reach a common ground.

  5. Let's have an election and end all this posturing.

    • No – let's have an election to begin another round of this posturing.

    • How would an election that will likely return either a weak Conservative minority or a weak Liberal one end this posturing?

  6. I think slippery old Gilles will be coy and say that he will do what is best for Quebec, and by that he means what is best for the Bloq. There is very little chance of an election this year, poor Ignatieff, dispite his tantrum he will not get his election.

    The Liberals must be very angry that they didn't topple the Conservatives this spring while they had the chance. With the economy slowly recovering, Harper's numbers are sure to go up. I wonder if Ignatieff regrets moving back to Canada?

    • More people are out of work, and that is going to be with us for awhile. Having people out of work affects all of us.

      Oh and one more thing: harper's numbers never go up very much; there is a distinct ceiling. His base will not want him offering concessions to the NDP, and I would think the NDP supporters would hit the roof over supporting harper's government.

      It's a slippery slope trying to form these strange alliances.

  7. Ignatieff knows full well there won't be an election. This is simply a game, as he knows full well neither the NDP nor the Bloc wants an election either. He's just planning to make them wear it for a while.

  8. Except for the takeover of Nortel, those are fairly small requests that could have a big impact on regular canadians… I'm not a Cons or an NDPer, but this impresses me. Though of course it is another spoke in the wheel…

    • I'm not sure protecting pensions is necessarily a small thing.

  9. LOL. When I first read the headline, I just about spit out my coffee. Then I read the conditions on the promise, which I am CERTAIN Harper won't meet. Just for kicks Layton, make Harper support gay marriage. I don't think Layton's comment that the NDP are the "least likely" to support Harper. The only way they will is if Harper jumps through hoops so far to the left that it'd take him til Christmas. LOL

    • I hope Harper doesn't meet any of these conditions. If the Conservatives are going to be criticized at every turn, then let them be criticized for Conservative policy.

      They should grow a backbone and stand firm for a change.

  10. LOL. When I first read the headline, I just about spit out my coffee. Then I read the conditions on the promise, which I am CERTAIN Harper won't meet. Just for kicks Layton, make Harper support gay marriage. I don't think Layton's comment that the NDP are the "least likely" to support Harper are being contradicted. The only way they will is if Harper jumps through hoops so far to the left that it'd take him til Christmas to get there. LOL

  11. "and protection from credit card fees"

    Allow me assist if I may…

    Fellow Canadians. You do not have to use your credit cards. If you never need a hotel or rental car, you don't even need to carry one at all. If you do, ensure you pay off the balance when the bill arrives. There are many cards offered with no fees, but higher interest. But the interest doesn't matter if you pay off the balance every month. And, just a reminder – it's just about the most bone-headed loan vehicle ever invented.

    Consider yourselves protected.

    • Sean, I support that mantra but it is very patronizing. I am sure most people who carry credit card balances understand that they are a poor financing vehicle.

      • I don't know about that. I think it has more to do with folks unable to grasp the concept of living within their means, and/or failing to defer purchases until they can afford them. I'm doubtful that most balances are the reluctant product of buying groceries, for example, in the face of income shortfalls.

        Even if the latter is the case, and people are using their credit cards for necessities because they have no other loan vehicle available (line of credit, etc…), they'd honestly be better off using a food bank or declaring bankruptcy than digging themselves into a credit pit they cannot dig out of.

        This only gets my on nerves when the NDP trots out this plank out. There's a long list of things we need protection from ahead of optional credit cards.

        • But you are still only speaking of 'shoulds' that people are well aware of, but in everyday life fail to achieve. What most people are also aware of, is the tendency for banks to take advantage of the situation, with usury level interest and user charges. The NDP would be totally ignoring its constituency if it did not advocate for these restrictions.

          • I'm being mean here, but are you suggesting the NDP's support consists of individuals with no self control when it comes to buying crap? Who can't understand the difference between short-term credit and a loan? Who can't budget thirty days out as they grab that new flat screen television?

            Something tells me if you take away the shovel from these types of people, they'd keep on clawing at the ground with their fingers to dig their pit of debt.

          • I am saying the NDP has to own the cause of looking out for the economically disadvantaged, to be successful.

          • Thanks!

        • I can't give real thumbs up, so here's my fake one – thumbs up on this stance.

          You can't fix stupid – no sense trying to legislate it away either.

  12. I could see Harper cave on all of those conditions – though there would probably be some meeting half way on EI.

  13. Whoops, I thought Tom was thinking of joining the Liberals. Too bad because old Jack is about to fail.

  14. This is about as good as it gets for Ignatieff. He needed to take a hard stand against Harper or risk Dion's fate, but the Liberals aren't in great shape to run an election. The NDP now becomes the scapegoat for propping up Harper's government and the Liberals can move to a position of real opposition. The only way this could backfire is if the NDP get some real concessions, but I don't see that as overly likely – too big a risk for the Conservatives.

    • The NDP also wins big if the Liberals don't follow through.

      And I disagree that they will be scapegoated for the election. Their supporters want them fighting against Harper. I say they pick up support where they are already strong, in constituencies affected by layoffs in manufacturing, mining and forestry indusctries. Pension security is a big issue for people who have been forced into early retirement.

      • True enough, but I this recent run of press announcements from the Liberals is rather definitive – there's no hedging of bets, no ifs, ands or buts in the language. They'll vote down the government given the choice, perhaps not because they want to, but because the alternatives are worse (namely, Iggy getting Dion'd).

        If the NDP don't support the government, you're right, there'd be no scapegoating, but the NDP aren't in great shape for an election either – the Lib vs. Conservative numbers are inconclusive, but the NDP ones are stagnant at best. I think they'll have to go for the election as well, but it's the lesser of two evils at this point.