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UPDATED: Canadians rally around—and against—the Liberal-NDP coalition

Letters from Calgary and Vancouver


 

Rallies both in support of or against the Liberal-NDP coalition drew Canadians in cities across the country today—thousands on Parliament Hill, perhaps a little less than that in spots like Yellowknife and Charlottetown. In Edmonton early this afternoon, about 200 people unhappy at the prospect of a new government huddled outside NDP MP Linda Duncan’s office, though Duncan, Alberta’s sole opposition MP, has yet to put up signage and telephones aren’t installed. Still, the mob managed a passable rendition of Oh Canada. Curiously, pro-coalition events in Alberta, the heart of Conservative country, attracted comparable numbers. And all this despite the prorogation granted Stephen Harper by Governor General Michaëlle Jean. The following are two scenes, both from pro-coalition rallies, in Western Canada.

Calgary: Despite temperatures that hovered around –10, making it the coldest night of the year so far, about 100 people gathered in support of the coalition outside the federal government’s Harry Hayes Building. Occasionally, a pickup truck buzzed by on the busy thoroughfare shouting down the speakers. But the crowd’s temperature rose now and then, as contrarians penetrated the mix of students and grandmothers holding signs and wearing T-shirts with such slogans as “Down with Harper” or “Support the Coalition.” Paul Caouette, a stocky 49-year-old contractor, darted in and out of the crowd denouncing “The Three Stooges” and accusing Stephane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe of mounting a coup. “You got the wrong address,” advised one wag. “Go to a country that’s really had a coup.” Caouette, butting heads with former Calgary West Liberal candidate Jennifer Pollock—she lost to controversial Conservative Rob Anders—recoiled at the idea that Layton and Dion would rely on the support of the Bloc: “They’re not part of Canada,” he said. “I can’t tell someone else how to run their home—unless I’m part of their family!”

Buttonholed by a radio reporter, Caouette began to speak at length. Just then, an elderly man with a great white beard and a tweed cap broke into the interview. “Why are you talking to this asshole,” he asked the reporter. A microphone suddenly in his face, the bearded man, his face red, told the reporter to remove the instrument. “I’m talking to you,” he said, thrusting a bony white finger at her nose. His critique was brief but not without merit—the crowd here, granola as it may have been, was hefty for this city, and pretty civil. Tomorrow morning, he told the reporter, he didn’t want to hear all the airtime go to a spoiler. Many here recognized the pro-coalition crowd as an exotic species. “Calgary is the centre of the Conservative Party in this country. It’s the stronghold for capital-C Conservatism. So it’s definitely a minority viewpoint to be against what the Conservative want here,” said organizer Grant Neufeld, who introduced himself to the crowd as a community organizer.

One thing was obvious, though—this Calgary minority, lonely supporters of Liberals, New Democrats, Greens and the labour movement, were frequently new to the city. “I think it’s false to say all Alberta is against the coalition,” said 25-year-old Katrine Beauregard, a political science student at the University of Calgary but originally from Montreal. “It’s an interesting time for being here now.” Also in the crowd, Martin Mesvadba, who described himself as a longtime waiter and who was born in Czechoslovakia, could remember Prague during the Warsaw Pact invasion, had been in Montreal in 1970 when the October Crisis prompted Pierre Trudeau to call in the army, then watched his mother country split in two in 1993. “An anti-Conservative groundswell in Calgary is a little rich,” he said, but added: “You need to defend democracy.

Vancouver: “Yes, we can,” shouted the 1,200 to 1,500-strong crowd packed into Canada Place, in Vancouver’s downtown harbourfront. It was a predominantly NDP crowd—a “teamster event,” chuckled a well-known federal Liberal in attendance. Also spotted: Three city councillors from Vancouver’s newly-elected council, David Eby, the widely-known, new Executive Director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, U.B.C. student union president Michael Duncan—who donned Kanye West “shutter” shades to the night-time rally—plus a handful of high-ranking local Greens. Marc Emery, Canada’s “Prince of Pot,” was there too—admittedly, for selfish reasons: “The Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals support canceling my extradition to the U.S.,” said Emery, who’s been indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds into the U.S. “The Conservatives want me out.”

Not everyone had a personal stake, though. “I’m here to celebrate democracy,” said Taylor Verall, a 14-year-old Rockridge High School student, who carried a hand-made poster that read: “36 per cent is not a democracy.” Verall can’t vote, of course, but considers himself an independent and was incensed that Parliament had been suspended. “We need the country pulling in one direction,” rally organizer, B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair, told Maclean’s. “Heading into a recession, a depression, we don’t need divisions,” said Sinclair.

There was one disruption: when Herb Dhaliwal, a Chretien-era cabinet minister, took the podium, three eggs were thrown toward the stage. All whizzed harmlessly past the former fisheries minister, and Dhaliwal carried on, seeming oblivious to the near-miss while a crowd of supporters formed a protective wall in front of him.


 

UPDATED: Canadians rally around—and against—the Liberal-NDP coalition

  1. Shocking, simply shocking. Next you’ll be telling us they have Starbucks in Calgary too.

  2. Yesterday I witnessed something I thought I’d never ever see in this country and that is the seal of approval from our G.G. for a dictatorship to run Canada!

    We should now be referred to as the Cuba of the north!

    I’am so upset about this I WANT the Coalition to stay and bring this dictator like government down NO MATTER WHAT THEY OFFER IN A BUDGET!

    I did not serve for over 15 years in our Armed Forces to have our country run like this!

    Please support the 64% of people who voted against Mr.Harper to have our voices heard and rid the country of this power hungry man! Faced with a legal vote he cut and ran like the coward he is! Our troops in Afghanistan do not cut and run and their lives are on the line!

    Sorry for the strong language but I’m really upset about what is happening to our country!

    • Some would argue that seizing power without an election is the trademark of a dictatorship.
      Given the massive levels of opposition and support for and against the coalition, there MUST BE ANOTHER ELECTION.

      While its true that 64% of people did not vote for a Conservative MP. This is really irrelevant, examine in this same fashion how many people did not vote for the other individual leaders and you will find that more people voted “against” the NDP, Liberal, or Bloc. One cannot simply assume that everyone who voted for these three individual 3 parties would vote for them if they united under one banner. To do so would be putting words in their mouths… or voting for them…. where’s the lack of democracy there…..

  3. So the new stats are just in for our unemployment figures and it isn’t good news!

    AND OUR PARLIAMENT IS CLOSED DOWN!!!!

    Welcome to Cuba of the north!!!

    Harper has to go no doubt about it! A dictator is not much better than a separatist!!!

  4. It is difficult to understand how Canadians endorse backroom politics to emerge as a legitimate consort to represent its people when clearly; the people had its opportunity to speak via its vote in the general election, thereby retaining PM Harper. If the rationale for the coalition is to deliver guaranteed economic mandates, I am sure it will reflect earmarks of the beginning of Canada to become a Socialist Society, strangling the opportunity for Canada to emerge as a global leader once the world economy recovers. But frankly, that is not reason for the coalition to exist; it is instead designed to install their egos and agendas’.

  5. The Liberals are not even sure who is their leader…one full electoral cycle and they are still trying to figure this out… “Hijack Layton” is smart, with one stone he has knocked out the significance of the entire Liberal party and thanks to the “Ever confused Dion”. Do I hear someone giggling from the background… oh… did I forget our friend Duceppe. Yes, he is very happy that he has been able to take both Jack and Dion for a good ride….

  6. 100 BRAVE CANADIAN SOLDIERS HAVE DIED TO BRING Stability and Democracy to the Afgan People.Our son is also in Afghanistan.And what do we have in Ottawa a bunch of fools that do not put Canada first.I expect when you vote in this country the party that wins take power not a bunch of losers that did not have the mandate of the people to form the government.

  7. Harper has to go, and he must take Flaherty with him. They are just not credible anymore. We are now looking like a 3rd world country. Where is it going to end.? I’ve been getting e-mails from Australia and Ireland asking me to explain ” WHAT HAPPENED TO CANADA ” Seriously,.. it’s the story of a P.M. who wants full control of the country and absolutely nobody should get in his way.

  8. My heart is heavy at the state Canada is now in. Of major concern is the fact that Stephane Dion could very well be Prime Minister. The man Canadians gave the lowest votes for the Liberal party in history. The man who’s party asked him to step down as leader. What right does this man have to crawl in the back door and set himself up to run the country. This is NOT the man we want for Prime Minister. And the fact that he has the backing of the coalition shows how useless they will be. I am also concerned about Prime Minister Harper. Too many mistakes, I’m afraid. Having Parliament shut down for 7 weeks is non-productive. To the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and BLOC, i, as one of your bosses, one of the citizens of Canada who pay your salaries, ask you to GET TO WORK! Start looking after the things that are negatively affecting me and the rest of Canada instead of acting like selfish little men. Please. Get to work.

  9. J. Lucio, lots of people — they’re called Liberal and NDP voters — think the Coalition has a mandate to form the government. “The people” is not the same thing as “my fellow Conservative voters.”

  10. The last couple of weeks have allowed us to see why politicians are regarded so poorly. What has been done on both sides of the fence is absolutely stupid. It makes me wonder why we even need to have political parties. Surely there must have been better ways of dealing with the concerns that arose. Just when our politicians needed to come together for the good of the country and the people in it, they acted like unruly children playing a game and disliking what the other team did so they went away in a huff. There was little or no effort to come together to solve the apparent problems
    Now we have a situation which is very divisive throughout the land. Within communities people argue vehemently for one side or the other. Within the country we may well see the old East-West conflict rear its ugly head again. And what is the response of the people in Quebec when they see this farce?
    The way things were done was wrong. What the parties presented to us was wrong. Will an honest effort be made to make sure the right things are done? I hope so because we have an economy which has suffered greatly because of the actions of the buffoons in Ottawa. Unfortunately, the problems won’t be addressed properly for some time now.
    In the end though, I believe that it was inherently wrong for a coalition party to form when one party’s objective is to separate from Canada. I would have been accepting of a coalition if it could have been formed without the BQ. Yes, I know that wasn’t possible but that’s MY point.
    It doesn’t matter that much now. I believe the damage created by our “esteemed” members in Ottawa will haunt us for months and months to come. As I said earlier, it might be best to dissolve all parties and have people elected who would do what’s right for the country, not what’s supposedly right for the party.

  11. what is the point of this article you said Canadians rallied around and against the coalition where is the plural against in the article pretty one sided lazy journalism. It is interesting former NDP’er Bob Rae is delivering the sheep liberals to the NDP .Even my diehard liberal friends are furious about this coalition

  12. A. Fillmore, In some of the western provinces, the employment stats were down. There was less unemployed this past Nov. than 1 year ago. The only reason the stats are up nationally is because of the devastating problems with the auto industry. These auto industry problems would have happened no matter which party was in power. It still would have happened. Why is Toyota still showing profits? Perhaps because they don’t have the unions forcing companies to pay exhorbant wages as do the North American companies. A worker earning $70 for one of the NA companies earned $40 for camparably the same work at Toyota. That is still about $16 more than I make with 6 years of university and I live in Alberta where the standard of living has been out of control for the past few years and we are still living the typical middle income life.

    If you think the average person living in Canada has the same life as someone living in Cuba then GO live there. At least it is warm there. Do not even compare. It is an insult to the people who live under a true dictatorship in Cuba. I imagine they would STILL think Canada offers a better way of life (minus the cold). Do you care to exchange your life for the average Cuban? I am sure there are many who would be willing to take your place.

  13. Yesterday I witnessed something I thought I’d never ever see in this country and that is the seal of approval from our G.G. for a dictatorship to run Canada!

    We should now be referred to as the Cuba of the north!

    I’am so upset about this I WANT the Coalition to stay and bring this dictator like government down NO MATTER WHAT THEY OFFER IN A BUDGET!

    I did not serve for over 15 years in our Armed Forces to have our country run like this!

    Please support the 64% of people who voted against Mr.Harper to have our voices heard and rid the country of this power hungry man! Faced with a legal vote he cut and ran like the coward he is! Our troops in Afghanistan do not cut and run and their lives are on the line!

    Sorry for the strong language but I’m really upset about what is happening to our country!

    I can not believe how the 64% which should be 62% but if they want another couple percent thats ok. If you maybe would check the results of the majority of elections nobody (except maybe in Sask and Alberta) does the winner even in a majority government win over 50% of the vote. The Conservative Party won a stronger minority government and how long were they allowed to sit, 2 weeks. This is how rediculous things have become. Just because the constitution allows a coalition to govern there is a reason it has never happened. It is not right. If the Liberals were within a few seats of the Conservatives and could govern without a back room deal with a Seperatist party and giving the socalist NDP cabinet posts, then maybe…but then only after they have given the Elected Party with the most seats at least a chance to govern. This is no more than a power grab and will hurt the Liberal Party for years to come.

  14. It is a sad day for Canada and the future generations of Canadians. Inheriting close to a 1000 year legacy of British Parliamentary tradition, being literally thrown out to the dust heaps of history, by a coup d’ e-tat, by power hungry malcontent opposition politicians who by their own efforts were thwarted by the Canadian voter.
    Since the total number of seats in Parliament of the Liberals and the NDP do not exceed those of the Conservative Party, Dion and Layton are required to get support from a separatist party in Quebec to grab power. The question that should be asked of Dion and Layton: How much is it going to cost the Canadian tax payer by their back room deals to persuade a separatist party the Bloc, and it’s leader Duceppe to get his support.
    The country is facing its worst economic challenge in decades. Canadians rightfully expect their political leaders to pull together for the benefit of all of us. Instead what we have is Dion, Layton and separatist Duceppe making a grab for power. With their shabby backroom deals, that apparently were cooked up some time ago. The Liberals, NDP and the Bloc are trying through plotting and scheming to do what they can’t accomplish at the ballot box. These individuals have shown no interest of the needs of Canadians but rather their self personal interest.
    It is shameful and disgusting that Canadians will never elect a Bloc or NDP government because most of us don’t share their values. Now we face the prospect of having their wrong-headed policies shoved down our throats anyway.
    Canada does not have any history of coalition governments except for a brief period during WWI. It is not part of our political experience or tradition. If the Harper government falls, the Governor General has absolutely no grounds to permit this coalition of opportunists to continue, but should dissolve Parliament and send the Canadians back to an election. Canadians will decide who will govern them. That’s what democracy is all about, not a coup d’-tat by malcontents.

  15. It is becoming more clear and evident that as the daily events unwind and new information is being uncovered on the inept leadership of the Liberals, and NDP. The NDP leader Jack Layton and Bloc leader Giles Duceppe have been plotting for a period of time around a coalition arrangement long before the crisis in parliament that has recently occurred. This coalition, AKA coup d’-tat is a plan to over throw a legitimate elected government. The unfortunate situation is that the Liberals under the leadership of Stephane Dion, because of his weak policy and unity conviction of Canada fell hook line and sinker into the NDP/Bloc entangle web of deceit and deception.
    The real culprit here is NDP Jack Layton who was the driving force to attempt to gain power and control of the Canadian parliament through the manipulative influencing of the two weaker liberal and Bloc leaders by promising them visions of power and grandeur. NDP Layton has shown Canadians how arrogance has transcended all moral and ethical standards.
    The disheartening situation is that Layton has also pulled into his web of deceit and deception the two Windsor MP’s, Joe Comartin and Brian Masse into his precarious house of cards.

  16. When the MP’s get home and hear the public I believe this will all crumble. Ralph Goodale in Regina, I thought was a good man and the only LIberal in Saskatchewan and he has betrayed his constituants and lost any chance to ever be elected in Regina again. Its sad but will the NDP or Liberals win a seat in Sask or Alberta ever again? Well not in the next 2 or 3 elections anyway.

  17. Wow, found more talking points have we?

    To Nelson and Frans Halls, (especially Nelson) Please put down the Conservative talking points manual and pick up a history book. Grab another book on How our Government Works while you are at the library or book store. And Frans, maybe you could also pick up a book on French. Because you are *gasp* using that, surely evil, language to make your incorrect point!

    The word you want is Coup d’etat, which this isn’t. Canada DOES have a history of coalition governments, although they are rare. Rare means it doesn’t happen all the time–and this isn’t ALL the time. This is just A time.

    And A. Filmore–while Nelson repeated your entire post, he forgot to tell you thanks for serving on our behalf. So I will. Thanks!

  18. Actually the idea of the coalition was not all that bad in particular when led by the bumbling Dion. It would be short term pain for long term gain. It would show all Canadians the true face of the Liberals and guarantee that when this 3 legged and 3 headed creature falls apart it will be replaced by a conservative majority.

  19. Wow,

    the lefty quotient is out of this world on this board.

    for the dimwits who compare PMSH to a Fascist or Herr Hitler, Nazism was a Socialist Nationalist Party not unlike the BQ or NDP, and recently the Libs have placed themselves squarely in those quarters.

    The sheer hatred you have for this man is actually sad, and I think you need a new hobby or medication (both really!)

    and as you all obviously cannot understand the world of politics no one really care about your opinion the election already happened and you all lost.

    PMSH has taken the playbook from the ole’ lil guy from Shawinigan and has mastered it, as he had suffered year after year of character assassination from Hon. Jean Chretien, where even Rick Mercer made fun of the absurdity of the level they went to “Steven Harper owns a dragon”

    Now he controls the message and assassinated the character of Stephan Dion ( He helped the cause by having a weak platform, command of the English language, and being a all around patsy for the party)

    and as for this coalition, as the cat was out of the bag PMSH had only one option and that is play their game and in this case was give them time to self-destruct.

    for all you “people” who thought this coalition was a great idea, Canadian overwhelmingly said “NO” to Mr. Dion and the libs, Canada has always said no to the BQ, and as for the Green party their gambit was an epic failure.
    So why in all that is sane can you think a coalition that guaranteed a separatist voice in Parliament was in any way a “Good Idea”, why in all that is sane do you think that giving the purse strings in an “Economic crisis” to a group that has shown poor judgment with the taxpayers dollar (Adscam, HRDC Scandal, 2 Billion dollar Gun Registry), and to allow the NDP access to that dollar.

    Nuf said for now.

  20. Dion, Rae or Layton, want to be PM, want your party to govern, come out ahead in the poll. That’s how the game is played. That’s first-past-the-post, may not be right but it is the game. Constitutional or not, it’s sleazy. Dion is dismissed by the elctorate and brought his party down, and somehow we are supposed to accept him as PM, got to be joking. Same for Layton, Canada don’t want you as PM in spite of your bribes and now you want to try to get a sniff and steal a cabinet position, low. I am from the interors, we were leaning towards the BC NDP next May but no more.

  21. Jack: Canada is not governed by polls as you suggest. The only poll that matters in any legal sense are when voters cast their ballot for their Member of Parliament.

  22. You do realize that part of what ensures that folks on the left won’t listen to your points is when you try posting under aliases such as “the lone voice of sanity among a sea of leftists”. It immediately identifies you as someone with nothing of substance to say, because it makes it obvious that your mind is so closed it would take a diamond bit drilling rig to get through the arrogance and unwarranted sense of superiority. So, just a hint for future, if you have something semi-intelligent to say, you may consider starting it off without an insult.

    Jack: They did come out ahead in the polls. Together. You know, how the parties in a minority parliament are supposed to work — together. It’s a pity that so many conservative supporters think that finding common ground with someone you disagree with is a bad thing.

    Although it does explain a lot.

  23. Welcome to the newiest Banana Republic , Canada. What a disgrace. Canada’s democracy is no more. We have a dictatorship. The GG made a major blunder and was probably bullied by Harper as he has bullied Parliament. I hope that the coalition can stick it out and vote Harper out on Jan 26. Although the Bloc is a separist party it is still a legitimate Canadian Political party and would support the Liberals and NDP in none confidence votes for 18 months and than we would probaly have an election. The coalition would be a good match with Obama

  24. T. Thwim : I communicated on the level of the posters on the board, sir.

    the much bandied use of Dictatorship and Banana Republic by your ilk prompted my response, not a sense of superiority just an actual understanding of historical fact.

    Jack Layton did come ahead in the polls, at the expense of the liberals, the rest of the liberals losses went to you? guessed it, the Tories.

    as for Jack Layton and those in the coalition, perhaps next time they may want to wait more than a week or two after the election before trying to usurp control.

    as for finding common ground, the only common ground the coalition found was a complete lack of respect for the electorate.

    again reminding you most of the dictatorships in these banana republic’s fly under a socialist banner.

    and funny enough you talk but say nothing constructive either, proving my point that I must speak in the level of the posters.

  25. From a historical perspective, it is interesting to note that if Stephane Dion becomes Prime Minister, his legitimacy from the point of view of his party’s standing in the legislature will be far less than when Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933. At that time, his party held 100 more seats than any other party and governed by a coalition. In comparison, the Liberals hold 66 seats less than the Conservatives, after clearly losing the election, and yet would lead a coalition. So here in Canada we could have a government being appointed with far less voter legitimacy than when Hitler was appointed by President Hindenburg. So while Canada is unlikely to become a despicable dictatorship like Germany, we would become a joke, especially to investors. Hang on to your wallet.

  26. I think the NDP-coalition is out of order and do not respect the decision of the people of this country.if they are allowed to do this then god help us if they should become the leader of this country.

  27. I just wish people would stop picking their political alleigances as they would pick a sports team. Whether you lean for or against the coalition, or whether you lean right or left politically, weigh this issue on its facts. Surely there must be people who voted Liberal or NDP that find a marriage with the BQ distasteful. Sure 64% of the vote was “against Harper” last election, but generally the ruling party does not enjoy 50+1% or more of the vote. If parliament wants to defeat the government, fine, but trust me…0% of the population voted for this menage a trios. There is no political party that will represent your interests for your entire lifetime, keep your vote fluid, and make them earn it, too many of us have our parties picked before an election is called, or an issue raised.

  28. calgary is indeed the fiefdom of conservatives. just a few hours ago, a handful of conservative supporters were downtown, just across from the city hall. just don’t dare tell a calgarian you are a liberal – or god forbids – a socialist… precisely because of this widespread attitudes, the liberals and the ndp should have a stronger – way stronger- presence in this city/ province. the more they disregard it, the harder it will be to change the predominant way of seeing things.

  29. Two hours ago we had a very good turn-out in Edmonton. The crowds were not partisan at all. It was really a rally for the unity of Canada.

    Lots of Canadian flags and Canadian hats.

    Together we stood up for Canada. A federal Canada where federal parties must decide.

  30. “The coalition would be a good match with Obama”

    Bandwagon, load us up: here we come!!!!

  31. At the Edmonton rally we had succeeded without the help of Obama. Very refreshing, I must say.

  32. The image of 3 faces – The Foolish, The Fierce, The Foxing recall in my memory congruent faces menacingly watching people from TV screens during anoncement of coupe-d’etat replacing M.Gorbachev in USSR ( of course “in the name of people and for people’s benefits”). Mr. Layton’s remark that time wouldn’t change their intention to replace (even illigally!) existing Canadian Government – tells us a lot… In the time of “economical cholera” it is shameless bustardness to destabilize our country. Shame on you Three Fs!

  33. While no party acted illegally. Harper knew that the coalition would assume power on Monday. In his shoes I would have done the same, a coalition that includes the BQ is NOT in our great country’s best interest period. He had no choice. Layton and Dion had a choice, they just chose poorly. Mr Dion is weak, Layton knows he’ll never form government, and his share of the vote is solid, Duceppe is the clear winner, unity is now an issue no matter the outcome. To all the incensed people left of center, the rest of Canada endured many years of Liberal rule, it is only because power changes hands, that our leaders need to listen and respect the population.

  34. These rallies are pointless. We are not in an election campaign and are not going to be for at least 18 months,so rallies and public opinion polls are equally meaningless. The coalition will take office at the end of January, their new leader will take over as PM in May, and they will do a good enough job that, a year from now, nobody but the real hard-core Conservatives will remember why they were worried.

    Then, in about two years, the coalition will dissolve and an election will be called. The Liberals will win a majority with the NDP as Official Opposition and the Conservatives will be left as an Alberta rump.

  35. I’m glad to see that Canadians across our county attended rallies in favour of the coalition; confronting the desperate and dishonourable actions of our Prime Minister. I’m tired of hearing the reckless and irresponsible spin from the right that this coalition solution represents some kind of ‘coup d’etat’… what bloody fools! Characterising the political situation in that fashion IS what borders on TREASON! Our constitution INCLUDES this ‘loss of confidence’ mechanism/option expressly to topple a MINORITY government that the opposition parties have determined they CAN NO LONGER WORK WITH and SUPPORT…with the formation of a coalition one of the options! Period. Smarten up people!

    So why couldn’t the opposition support Harper’s new government? Because the Conservative leader, fresh from an election that he himself called (yep, he wasn’t forced into an election by a non-confidence vote of the opposition parties), cost taxpayers 300 million dollars …with the result of yet another minority conservative government; he gained a few more seats, but NOT majority status. In calling the recent election, Harper chose to ignore his own government’s legislation that the governing party must face an election every 4 years. This legislation was passed with opposition support (obviously), so that future governments, including Harper’s government in power at that time, would NOT call elections based on their Party’s good standing in the polls at a given time. But, Harper, ignoring HIS OWN legislation and the inherent fairness of it, chose to call an election a year early…no…NOT after losing a vote of confidence, but …BECAUSE HIS PARTY’S STANDINGS IN RECENT POLLS SUGGESTED HE MIGHT WIN A MAJORITY! Is the right wing so rabidly partisan, that this kind of self-serving, two-faced crapola sits just fine with them!? Not with me it doesn’t.

    Here’s the reality: Harper is still NOT heading a majority government, and therefore, he’s expected to WORK WITH the opposition to stay in power. That’s how it works, people. So what’s the first thing the PM does? Mr. Harper, instead of being an honourable statesman, chose to play partisan politics which would have a) bankrupted his opposition (how sweet), plus b) he proposed to take away an important right, the right to strike, from the Civil Service (do I detect the stench of a right wing agendae?)…all the while, blatantly ignoring the serious need to address the real issue facing us all: THE ECONOMIC CRISIS!! Ignoring THE CRISIS was the boner that caused this minority government to LOSE THE FAITH OF THE HOUSE!!! As Ex-president Clinton once said “It’s the economy, stupid!” Harper should have known better. period.

    Sorry rightwingers, but the opposition’s loss of faith in a government that plays political games, instead of dealing with the important need for economic action/stimulation, doesn’t make the coalition a coup d’etat. If anything, it underscores that the opposition (who as a group, represent the majority of Canadians – 62%) have done their duty to express its non-confidence, bring down the government and either have another election called (possibly wasting another 300 million to get essentially the same result) OR take the other option/alternative (which was sensibly written into our constitution) to try to form a coalition as a viable alternative to the failed minority government.

    Yet so many of you are willing to call this a coup d’etat!!? You should be ashamed to support such dangerous rightwing folly! When you Conservatives say no to this coalition because you blather on about the government needing to ‘earn power’, you conveniently, ignore our constitution’s mechanism that covers parliament when the Prime Minister (in this case, being an idealogical idiot) EARNS HIS REMOVAL from power…and you also ignore the fact that the 62% who voted for the opposition parties, to any reasonable person’s thinking, totals way more than enough support from the electorate (if the opposition are willing to work together), to have, indeed, EARNED POWER. Geez, did you think all the Liberals, NDP and Bloc seats were, perhaps, appointments?! Instead of trying to spin this situation as a power grab by the opposition, you really ought to be questioning your leader’s judgement to have fomented this political crisis in the first place, when we’re already up to our ears in crises!!! Indeed, the least that should happen, if the Conservatives remain in power, is that Mr. Harper do the honourable thing and step down in favour of a different leader, one who has the will to work with the opposition as any worthwhile minority government is expected to do (especially in trying times such as these). But Steven Harper has shown himself an irresponsible leader and a desperate would-be despot trying to cling to power, after his own blundering arrogance created the problem!! Now, these same morons are calling our parliamentary process wrt forming a coalition…a coup d’etat. Smarten up people!

    Finally, Bloc supporters are NOT all separatists! And they don’t hold the balance of power, either. That’s just more right wing hyperbole! As I understand it, the Bloc simply signed an agreement to NOT bring down the coalition government for 18 months; that’s enough time for the coalition to address the economic mess and bring stability to the nation. Besides, all Bloc members were democratically elected and their purpose is simply to get the best possible deals for Quebec within our federation.

    Smarten up people!!

  36. Just a little story for everyone:

    Having decided that the Detroit Redwings technically won the 2008 Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars have formed a coalition demanding a three way ownership of the league title. Rational for their decision revolves around their total combined scoring in the 2008 Semi-Finals, their total share of season ticket holders versus the Detroit Redwings and their horror at discovering the Detroit Redwings are using a more cost effective and efficient but non-union made Silver polish to keep the Stanley Cup gleaming.

    The three teams are being assisted in their bid to overturn the traditional results by members of the Quebec Hockey League who have no real interest in the success of the NHL in general but sense an opportunity to demand Zambonis and other critical equipment be manufactured in Quebec. Player representatives, Team Owners and Nike are expected to submit their proposals to Don Cherry in the next few days. Fans and ticket holders are neither being asked or allowed a voice in the final decision.

  37. REG
    After five lines –all eyes roll , all stomachs turn and all minds turn off .

    The coalition is –DONE. Dion is –DONE ,and we can all watch and see how the Liberals and NDP run for the exit doors –now that the opinion of the majority of Canadians has been brought so clearly to their attention —and oh yes add Elizabeth May (ex senator–ex cabinet minister in waiting) —to the exit doors as well

  38. Well, L. Gibson…you really must tell us all where you bought your crystal ball…especially as it so perfectly reflects the contents of your apparently empty head! By the end of January, it’s JUST AS LIKELY that your conservative party’s foul mess will be replaced by a coalition government that actually puts addressing the serious economic problem AHEAD OF petty, partisan politics! A coalition has the confidence of reasonable Canadians who can see how Harper has poisoned the House with his partisan, American-style attack ads and dirty politics. Your ignorance is worrisome, Gibson…do you breed?

    Indeed, roll YOUR OWN eyes back into the GREAT VOID of your head…perhaps that’s where they’ve been all along! Your comment that “After 5 lines, all eyes roll, all stomachs turn and all minds turn off” regarding what I wrote …seems an apt description of those of you in the political rightwing: You have a short attention span (congrats for making it to 5 lines!); you cannot see the truth… since your eyes have short attention spans and are often found rolled back into your empty heads; your stomachs cannot handle the truth, because the truth apparently makes you sick…and finally, your tiny minds must shut down (around 5 lines apparently)…lest they suffer information overload!

    At the risk of overtaxing your meagre mental resources, I’ll end this rebuttal with an observation:
    It’s sadly clear that you apparently think the Green party, which polled a shade less than one million votes nation-wide in our recent election, deserves to be marginalised. Really? Boy doesn’t that say something instructive about the views of the right wing in our democracy: that a party, which garnered more votes than the individual populations of New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, the 3 territories and won approximately as many votes as the populations of Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba…should HAVE NO SEATS in parliament! Wake up morons…reality calls; our parliament is supposed to be a democracy! First past the post, is not serving the population of this country adequately anymore, when one million dont even have one seat in government representing their legitimate views. But, is it any wonder that the right, with their well-dispersed talking-points-for-idiots, and armed with almost no intellect to understand the reality of this crisis, appear to be such a bunch of arrogant twits! Harper has no sense of rectitude nor the least clue how to successfully run a minority government. Now, conservatives are desperately trying to circumvent the rules of our constitutional parliament to remain in power; spouting such ridiculous crap as it being a ‘power grab’ or even worse, a ‘coup d’etat’!!…I’m sure with the expectation that hysterical BS, if repeated often enough, will sway some support in their favour. Those of us who voted other than conservative, largely have no problem with the conservatives running a minority government, provided their government is run responsibly; they compromise and park all the partisan crap when their are such monumental and monstrous problems facing us all. Get a grip Gibson.

  39. Reg, when you bring the conversation down to outright insulting, you diminsh your veiwpoint. You solidify the right’s opinion that those on the left are unintelligent. Like a tired baby, please have a cookie, and take a nap.

  40. First off, I liked Adam Y’s comments: the hockey thing was an interesting analogy, and really rather well-conceived; indeed, I laughed out loud…thanks for the comic relief, guy! All the same Adam, as creative as your comments were, they still don’t relate to the fact that the coalition option is BUILT INTO our constitution for ALL minority parliaments. Your analogy though entertaining was not congruent with the situation. This coalition process was not invented out the blue to address the current morass that Harper’s arrogance created. You really ought to be mad at Harper for not being able to put his pettiness aside… pettiness and bully tactics which have obviously poisoned the goodwill in our House of Commons. It’s his damned foolish actions that stands a good chance of ending your party’s brief visit with national governance.
    To D. Friesen
    You are such a wit…well at least half of one, anyways. Keep the cookie.

    But, to the point: I’ve read all the right wing commentary made here with curious interest, but I’ve not yet read any, and honestly dont expect to find any either, who can make the right’s case, and yes, Friesen, I mean intelligently not hysterically, that this coalition parliamentary option being exercised, was ill-conceived, illegal or anything other than the mechanism in place to remove dolts who haven’t a clue how to exercise power diplomatically. Any right wing takers out there who think they can confront that one?

    I understand that the coalition option has only been used once previously, but that’s certainly due to the fact that incredibly few former leaders of minority governments have worked as hard as Harper has to ruin the working goodwill in parliament. All the other minorities in Canadian history knew how to hold onto power through honest, genuine give and take, without losing the confidence of the House. But now the opposition, not wanting to force another expensive election only a few months after the last one, deliberated, found their dislike for Harper’s tactics and his inaction re the economy as common ground to unite and were able to exercise the coalition option. For crissakes people, many of the world’s governments are coalitions; stop all the idiotic ‘power grab’/’coup d’etat’ nonsense would you! the Italian government is almost always a coalition, mostly due to the number of political parties available…way too many factions.

    I think the legacy of this crisis might actually be a united left, just as the right did not so long ago (when the real Conservatives merged with the more ill-mannered types found in the Reform Party’s ranks). I’d like to know what Joe Clark, a man whose opinion anyone into Canadian politics can respect, thinks of this political crisis. Indeed, if he has spoken of it, I have not heard his thoughts yet. Looking back, the only time I voted for the Conservatives, was when Joe became Prime Minister. I recall that Pierre Trudeau thought well of him too. Why? Because, he was an honourable leader! One cant say that enough… and I think Harper ought to consult Mr. Clark to learn how to govern with appropriate respect. I’m certain that Joe has enough good sense to see that taunting the opposition, the people that you’ll need to work with in a minority government, was a foolish, divisive tactic. Yet, I’ve not heard ANY of you take your leader to task for this mess. Not one of you!! That’s why this all sounds like blind loyalty, L Gibson, D Freisen et al; and that’s beyond foolish…blind loyalty is the badge of a sheep; easily lead and offers no internal dissent…yep, you’re perfect for the right wing.

    But really …to those of you on the right, try to dispute any of the points made in my comments – I’d be interested to know how you can dispute facts with hysterical conservative cling-to-power hyperbole.

  41. Well Reg, at the risk of having you bring your massive intellect to bear on me, I offer the following points:

    1: Many of us center-right types have no issue with the coalition I repeat “I have no issue with a coalition government” I think I speak for a lot of moderate types when I state that I have a major issue with a coalition involving the separatists, make no mistake the BQ is working towards breaking up this country.

    2: Many of us also had issue with Mr Dion becoming Prime Minister..I mean come on, it’s a position virtually undefendable, he “leads” his own party to it’s worst showing ever, his own party is fed up with his bungling, bordering on incompetent. Even though I lean right I can respect former Liberal PM’s like Chretien, an would not have a big issue having a proper leader at the helm (although again not with the separatists having any seat at the table)

    3: How quick we forget, that not long ago the beloved Liberal Party was caught stealing money from taxpayers, in Soprano-style deals involving envelopes stuffed with cash, they used this money to get elected. They previously “lost” one billion dollars in the boondoggle I’m sure some of that money went to Liberal coffers. This is fact, this is not made up. So when you talk of us Right-wingers having short attention spans Reg, I would like to suggest that perhaps our attention span is somewhat longer than you give us credit for, and you might want to work on your own.

    In short, coalition….sure if there is no BQ. Another election…..likely pointless but ok. Otherwise keep it as the people chose, Conservative minority.

    The one plus of Liberals seizing power is that it is better the theif you see.

  42. Hi Freisen
    I’m parking my massive intellect, D…it was beginning to hurt my neck anyways.

    Thanks for the points. Finally, something to debate!
    First off, I’m no fan of separatistes. I want Quebec’s beautiful culture to remain a unique and special part of my country. Indeed, this is the best country in the world and the fact that there’s a hard core (approx 25 -30%) of Quebecois who want to separate from it is beyond comprehension. Regardless, I had no problem with the written support of the BQ simply stating that they would not vote against the coalition for 18 months. Therefore, they were NOT holding the balance of power. And I’m sure that what they actually got for their written support is not likely to move them anywhere closer to their goal of separation. And here’s a biggie about the Liberal leader who just stepped down: Canadians have Mr. Dion and his Clarity Act to thank for setting the referendum question in clear terms. Mr. Dion is not just a patriot and an intelligent man, he’s also vastly more honest than Mr. Harper; I knew I could trust Mr. Dion. We should be very grateful for Mr. Dion’s work on behalf of us all. That his English was a bit rough was no big deal to me, and I guarantee his English was at least as good as the French spoken by the leaders of the other parties (excepting Jack who was born in Quebec). We all ought to learn to stop making those inconsequential and vacuous charges about a bright man who was busy with an important election all the while working to better his English. We should feel grateful to have men like him fighting for a better Canada. I’m glad he stood up to Harper’s bullying.

    Re the Liberals worst showing ever: I see it this way. I’ve never seen such a vile bunch of attack ads as Harper launched, way back in the Spring (months before any election WAS EVEN CALLED!!!) These foul things focussed on Dion’s supposed lack of leadership; they kept hammering away on that theme. Guess what folks, I’m in the industry and I know advertising works…lots of people were primed to believe the BS. Yes…unfortunately, even negative ads work….too bad that we all accept those American-style attack politics. On the other hand, the Liberals fell down by not countering Harper’s cruel and unworthy tactics with an education about Mr. Dion and what he accomplished as a member of the Liberal Party. I hoped Gerard Kennedy, Michael Ignatief or Bob Rae would step up and put out ads that supported the man and showed us why Mr. Dion was worthy of our support. Many of the electorate apparently bought the crapola that Harper was selling. I suppose if I were an American, I’d probably admire how Harper killed Dion politically, long, long before he had to face him in an election. Didn’t those ads strike you as something odd…if not… dishonourable?

    Re the Quebec scandal under Paul Martin…too bad, because it was only a few rotten apples that were spoiling it for the whole party and the party’s future. And besides, Brian Mulroney is having his own troubles with scandals, so dont point fingers at the Liberals. I hope and trust that Mulroney’s innocent, but I dont think the Karl Heinz-schreiber matter is done yet. Look…there are morons and crooked types on both sides of the political spectrum…dont let that paint your view of the people running today.

    One small but important thing that my brother-inlaw pointed out: the Conservatives are probably the worst party to face this crisis. They are a party that tends to believe that less government is better. Right now, we need government to see that it needs to take a major role in helping our economy recover.

    And that, D, is all I’m going to say about your points. I hope I managed to soften your position…maybe even turn your opinion around. And I also wish to apologise for my insulting comments earlier; I was really very, very angry with Harper and his manoeuvres and I was looking to vent and rant a bit. I guess I did. All the best…and all the best for the country.

  43. The so called coalition might have had a chance at forming a government if they had only waited until the budget was tabled, debated, discussed in committee and then voted on. Only then if the budget was far short of what was truly good for the country would a change of government be palatable. However Jack Layton is so eager for power and so arrogant (He thought he was going to be elected PM in the last election) that he truly miscalculated and so now we are in the situation as it now stands. The Bloc had nothing to lose in this fiasco and Dion just lost his job. Shows what arrogance, contempt and stupidity can bring.

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