A working majority


Bob Rae marks the 25th anniversary of the Liberal-NDP accord in Ontario.

The Accord that was negotiated was not a coalition, but a working partnership.  The government gave up the right to declare votes of confidence whenever it wanted, limiting itself to budget bills.  It would accept a loss on anything else.  The deal would last for two years, and the government committed itself to a series of measures – on pay equity, labour law reform, social housing, environmental legislation, the protection of medicare and many others, all within a framework of fiscal responsibility – with timelines clearly set out.  A management committee of both parties would meet regularly to monitor the progress of the agreement…

In a parliamentary system elections produce a parliament, and parliament makes a government.  That was the lesson learned in 1985.  Prattle about “winning a mandate” with less than a majority in parliament is just that – partisan spin, all sound and fury, signifying nothing.  It is a lesson worth remembering.


A working majority

  1. Rae got Hwy 407 built. With private money (not tax money) while retaining public ownership*.
    The only major piece of transportation infrastructure built in the GTA in generations. Toronto would be hopelessly gridlocked with out it.

    *Mike Harris sold off this public treasure for a 'song' to pretend to balance the books just before a election.

    • Did you ever consider why 407 is such a success?

      Note: it's the only fee-paid (as opposed to publicly funded) highway in Ontario.

      With regard to other publicly funded, government-run things suffering from congestion and poor access (cough medical care cough ) there's a lesson there somewhere. Where do you think Rae stands on such things?

      • you should ask him

        He is the most approachable politician (as opposed to a empty-smile-handshaker) I have met.
        He is not ideological – and will support what gets the job done. (Note: People with medical problems are not commuters – hence not a fair comparison.) The 407 would never have been built by tax $ in our current political malaise, but if it had been built with tax $, I am sure it would be "such a success" (ie usership) in any case.

        re: "it's the only fee-paid (as opposed to publicly funded) highway in Ontario. " Rae (the abhorred socialist) created that in partnership with capitalists and unions while all the other simpletons in power twiddled their thumbs!

        • They Twittered their thumbs? Modern technology is amazing.

          Construction on Hwy 407 began in 1987, before Rae became Premier. The public-private partnership plan for the highway was decided and carried out under Harris, not Rae, as a means to cut costs by running it privately for 35 years before having it revert to a public highway. This was then extended to a long-term privatization plan in 1999 to further cut costs…again under Harris.

          Your facts are wrong, and your argument is incoherent.

          • facts facts facts ….OK
            Ontario started acquiring land for the 407 in the 1960s, so it predates all the current pols – in fact it was the same group – who built the 401 and the subway system – that got this started. Politicians (even Ontario PCs) had some vision back then.
            In 87 they built what they 1st called "407" but actually became the 403
            The 407 project was stalled until our hero Bob saved the day by accepting a proposal from a group of capitalists and unions to create a toll road. All Harris ever did was implement Bob's plan when he took over in '95. All architecture, the major work and the 407 corp structure were all in place. (Then Harris screwed it up big time in 99)
            "The book gives high marks to the Rae government for its handling of the development and contracting phase, and to the crown corporation for delivering the highway close to its original schedule and budget. It is, however, sharply critical of the privatization agreement signed by the Harris Government and suggests alternative approaches that would have better served the public interest. "If you build it . . ." concludes by drawing lessons regarding the management of major technology projects, urban transportation policy, and business-government relations." http://www.407etrbook.com/

  2. Treason


    • Clearly at least 3 people do not understand sarcasm…

  3. Clearly, this approach would not work at the federal level, because, ah, ummm…

    • Because of "partisan spin, all sound and fury, signifying nothing"?

    • Because in Ontario in '85 the Grits and Dippers had an actual working majority (PC – 52, Lib – 48, NDP – 25).
      During the last coalition fandarango the proposed Dion/Layton coalition (Libs – 77, NDP – 37) didn't even have as many MPs as the government they proposed to replace (CPC – 143) without going back to the voters.

      As that noted philosopher Gilles Duceppe said…"if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor." The same goes for Bobby's historical revisionism.

  4. all within a framework of fiscal responsibility


    Rae sent the Ontario budget and into free-fall.

    • He's speaking to the Peterson government, not his own I believe.

      • Yes, that's true. When Bob Rae (or almost any other current or former NDPer) talks about fiscal responsibility it sends my head spinning.

    • Yeah, you're two elections ahead of yourself there. This is the 1985 Liberal-NDP Accord Rae's talking about here – his majority government came 5 years later, after about 3 years of a Liberal majority from 87-90 (which arguably came as a result of the success of the 1985 Accord Rae is discussing above).

      • That's OK….Peterson spent like a drunken sailor as well, he simply had the revenues to accomplish it. In 1990 the Peterson/Nixon Grits claimed to have a balanced budget, but when Bobby and company took over they discovered a multi-billion hole in the books.

  5. ''…Progressive Conservatives lost support.. the Tories held four more seats than David Peterson's Liberals, but were eleven seats short of a majority..''

    Exactly Mr Wherry, if the Libs and Dippers combined gain 41 seats in the next election, they will have a 'working majority.
    Which was a far cry from the 2008 coalition of losers.

    And that' working majority accord' was what Harper was aiming for, tho the media and Libs insist there was a coalition, nah, no cabinet seats for Jack, that's why he backed out.

    • So a coalition between the 2nd place Liberals and 3rd place NDP would be acceptable to you, provided that the Bloc is not lending its support in any way?

      • Which would be rather difficult, just like in 2004 when Harper and Layton would have needed BQ support seeing as how they didn't have a plurality of the seats. Lord knows the point wilson is trying to prove this time.

        • WDM, I suspect that the plan would be put in place following the next election. They might be thinking that they first want to see how many seats they end up with before calling on the Dippers.

          If that's the case, I think that's a mistake. I think that it should all be in the open and that they should both run on it. As they did in Britain, voters should be made aware that when they cast their ballot for either the NDP or the LPC, they may end up with a combination of the two. More importantly, the Libs and the Dippers should agree to run only one candidate in ridings where the battle is hotly contested between them and the Tory candidate.

          • Openly planning to form a coalition if needed would be a huge strategic error. Conservative attack ads would then paint the upcoming election as a stark choice between themselves and a coalition with the socialists and separatists. (Never mind that the Liberals and NDP have never planned a coalition with the Bloc, not even in 2008, when the Bloc just agreed not to vote it down. As others have said, political advertising just needs to sound plausible; whether or not an accusation is true is irrelevant.)

            The Liberals and NDP would never agree to run only one candidate in any riding – after all, both are trying to form the government and are competing with one another.

            An interesting question is what would happen if, fearing extinction, the Liberals and NDP decided to merge. I don't think this is possible – they're too far apart ideologically – but such a unified party could win a majority.

            (An even more interesting question is what would happen if the NDP and the Greens merged.)

          • "Conservative attack ads would then paint the upcoming election as a stark choice between themselves and a coalition with the socialists and separatists"

            And this kind of language might work well out West but it would backfire in Quebec and Ontario, the two key battlegrounds. Harper would put all of his Quebec seats in jeopardy and make it that much easier for the NDP, Bloc and Libs to paint him as the rightwing nut job that everyone suspects him to be.

            "The Liberals and NDP would never agree to run only one candidate in any riding – after all, both are trying to form the government and are competing with one another."

            Total nonsense. If they agree ahead of time to form a coalition if the Libs can't muster enough seat to overcome the Tories, running one candidate in specific ridings to take out the Tory candidate is the logical next step.

          • "An interesting question is what would happen if, fearing extinction, the Liberals and NDP decided to merge. I don't think this is possible – they're too far apart ideologically – but such a unified party could win a majority."

            It is this kind of merger that would make for a "huge strategic error," as you say. The Lib caucus is too unruly to tolerate this kind of infusion. The best scenario is a coalition where both parties retain their brand and can walk away whenever they see fit.

          • "More importantly, the Libs and the Dippers should agree to run only one candidate in ridings where the battle is hotly contested between them and the Tory candidate. "

            McKenzie King did exactly that (with Liberals and Progressives in the 1929 election) and turfed a very Harper like Con out of office. (Both Bennett and Harper were/are head of the CONSERVATIVE party, with the "progressive" part being a lengthy interregnum between these sour bookends showing their true colours. And yes, the Progressives that King allied with went on to donate their name to a temporarily centrist party with the initials PC. )

        • That plan would send Harper in a panic and he is sure to do what he always does under pressure and that is to remove the I'm-a-progressive-leader mask and show his Reformist true colours. Harper will be forced to pander to his base, swinging his platform hard right.

          He'd be a sitting duck for the Libs and the Dippers, assuming that Iggy is capable to perform on the campaign trail. That last one is a big IF.

      • the short answer, yes

        I gave my long answer but this site always kicks me off if I don't refresh often. Is it just me?

      • The long answer Out There,
        my first choice is the largest party picks a partner,
        but with the general population now viewing the LibDippers as one, and they can collectively win 41 more seats than they now hold….it's all yours, not because you won,
        but because that would mean the people have lost confidence in the Conservative government and PMSH.

        That's the same reasoning for the Coalition of Losers to have no legitimacy.
        Libs LOST support and needeed the separatists to sign on the dotted line, it was absolutely a move in Liberal self interest, and a reversal of what the people wanted.
        It was a numbers game, not a mandate to govern.
        The coalition of losers was deceptive, crooked and foolish.

        The BLOC represent one province, and should have no national clout what so ever.
        The BLOC represent the break up of our country, and should never be handed the keys to do so from the inside, they should always always be kept on the outside.

        • "but because that would mean the people have lost confidence in the Conservative government"

          What people? The 38% of voters that supported the Conservatives in the last election?
          It must be fun to just make sh$t up about who can form coalitions and when and under what circumstances.
          Wilson shall decide, via some bizarre formula that only exists in its fevered mind, what constitutes a legitimate government.

  6. note to Jack about theLibNDP accord:
    ''…The Peterson government was very popular during its first two years in office,
    and the Liberal Party won a landslide majority government in the 1987 provincial election, called after the conclusion of the Liberal-NDP accord.
    The NDP was reduced to nineteen seats and Rae was nearly defeated in his own riding..'

    • Do you get the feeling Conservatives really, really fear coalitions between the NDP and Liberals? I wonder why?

      • I don't fear the uniting of the left one little bit Greg. Liberals skating on Dipper ice warms my heart, actually.
        Just do it right,
        no coalition of losers crap with giving the BLOC a presence at the national table.
        The BLOC have a mandate from Quebec and only Quebec. They speak for Quebec and only Quebec.
        The BLOC does NOT give a rats butt about anything that does get Quebec more goodies.

        imo Harper was lucky Jack backed out of the Dipper-BLOC accord with him,
        there would have always been the question of 'what did Harper promise the separatists'?

        • fix
          The BLOC does NOT give a rats butt about anything that does not get Quebec more goodies.

  7. I still believe that many of my friends in the Liberal Party would be very uncomfortable with a formal coalition with the NDP as it would push the party too far to the left. The success of the Liberal Party over time has been its ability to straddle the centre (the so-called run from the left, govern from the right strategy). How, pray tell, could the Liberals govern from the right if Jack is Deputy PM?

    • if Jack Layton sat in the Governor General's chair during the speech from the throne, he'd be to the left of the Prime Minister…

      • Are you recommending that Steve name Jack as GG? Nice try.But the previous GG was from Toronto. It's someone else's turn.

        • I thought she was from Haiti. That's about as far from Toronto as you can get (economically, anyway).

          • M Jean is the "current" GG. She was born in Haiti, but as a Canadian I would assume one would say she is from Montreal. The "previous" GG was Adrienne Clarkson. She is the one I was talking about and she is from Toronto.

    • The Libs would only need to make small concessions to the Dippers and they've already made a huge one in agreeing to freeze corporate taxes.

      Layton is a smart guy and he's thinking long term. A seat in govt is essential for the NDP so as to establish legitimacy in the eyes of Canadians. He'll take whatever deal the Liberals give him. The Libs, on the other hand, will likely be so hungry for the opportunity to get back in power that those voices will overcome whatever reticence there may be within their ranks for this.

      Long term? I agree. Iggy doesn't have enough of a hold on his caucus to keep this deal together for long.

      • Freezing corporate taxes is precisely what I am talking about. It sounds good in sound bites when trying to woo Dipper voters before an election, but not so great once in power and companies remind Liberals that the private sector is the only realistic way to create new jobs without increasing the deficit even further. Many Liberals understand this. That's why they do not want to be tied to the NDP.

        On the other hand, the is always the example of former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, the leader of the Japan Socialist Party who entered a coalition with the right wing LDP in 1994. He was named prime minister in return for abandoning all of the JSP's socialist policies. Not one of the left wing policies ever became law.

        • "That's why they do not want to be tied to the NDP."

          They may not want this but they have no other choice. What is the alternative? Another leadership contest? Another 5 years or more in Opposition?

          It would be complete and utter stupidity on the Libs' part to not consider the one option that pretty much guarantees them a return to power.

          • 'What is the alternative? Another leadership contest? Another 5 years or more in Opposition?'
            Rebuilding the party, instead of accepting defeat and trying to turn it somehow into a win.
            They have to pick,
            and analyse the perils of actually governing from the left instead of from center.
            IF there was strong Liberal leadership, they could pull it off and still keep the liberal brand.
            But there isn't.

          • So… Would you say that the CRAPP accepted defeat when they decided to merge with the Progressive Tories?

            Wilson, I understand your disquiet over this. As far as I'm concerned, logic and a need to win again will move the Libs into the bed of the Dippers. When that happens, the Tory base will be outnumbered.

          • Wilson has it right. What the liberals need is patience. They probably are not coming back to power within 5 years in any event. So, instead of a marriage that many in the party see as unwise and likely leading to divorce, why not spend the five years rebuilding the party seriously. Quick fixes tried to date only re-emphasize how desperate the party is to regain power for power's sake. A Liberal Party that spends the time to build itself from the base up would be a far more formidable force and be a party that could aspire to challenging the Conservatives for the middle of the road voter. What we have now is two parties (NDP and Liberal) fighting over the same 25 percent of the electorate. That's not a long term strategy for growth to me.

          • I suspect that at some (subconcious) level Harper and the CPC recognize a rebuilt Liberal party as a much bigger threat to them than the current opposition.

            And so they are somewhat content to keep on governing as they have been, a tiny bit here and a tiny bit there, not really all that interested in an election that would give them a majority but also give the Liberal party a forced, non-negotiable four year window to get that rebuilding process underway.

            Sure, a minority has its obvious limitations, but it does have the advantage of disuading the Liberals from starting that rebuilding process, with or without the current leader.

          • Addendum

            To that extent it might almost be in the Liberal's best interest to engineer their own election defeat (CPC majority) so as to give themselves the opportunity.

          • "What we have now is two parties (NDP and Liberal) fighting over the same 25 percent of the electorate."

            Yeah well let's just say that math isn't your strong suit, Two Yen. If you combine the Lib and NDP base along with potentially gaining other voters who want Harper out office (Bloc and Green supporters), that's the majority of the electorate. There is a reason why Harper can't seem to get past that 33% bar. That's the size of the Tory base and it hasn't grown.

            This whole "rebuilding" mantra is just a talking point used to get the Libs to settle in the Opp benches. A coalition is an almost guaranteed return to power.

            That's probably why you and Wilson are now pretending to be so fond of the LPC's well-being and supposed need to rebuild.

            I get it. If I was part of that 33%, I too would be seriously worried about a coalition.

          • What we have now is two parties (NDP and Liberal) fighting over the same 25 percent of the electorate.


            I mean, I suppose you're attempting to calculate in the percentage of Liberals who'll never vote NDP and vice versa, and presuming they wouldn't support a coalition either, because the Liberal NDP vote combined, even in today's bad polls, is around 40%. I'd say the Liberals have about 20% locked up, the NDP about 10%, and then there's another 15-20% they're fighting over who could go either way or might support a combination. And there's the temptation. If 30% of the votes are basically a lock, it starts to look like things would be a lot different if the combined parties weren't fighting over that other 15-20%. It's a mirage of course, but when you're thirsty that can look an awful lot like 45%-50% of the vote and majority governments for as far as the eye can see. Convince the Greens to join the mix, and you can lose 15% of your combined vote and STILL get about 45% of the vote for the conceivable future. Also, lets face it, the last time two parties merged it was with the hope of maybe forming a minority government. Some day. I too think the Liberals need to be patient, but it's tough to be patient when even the really BAD polls show combined Liberal-NDP-Green support above 50%.

            That EKOS poll recently that had the Tories talking about a majority the NDP falling slightly and the Liberals in Stephane Dion territory? Even THAT devastating poll showed the combination of the Liberals and the NDP 6 points ahead of the Tories (and 18 points ahead of the Tories if you factor in the Green Party). Not that that means that this preference would stay that way if there was a lot of talk of coalitions going on, but still. When two parties that are nowhere near their historic highs in popularity (to say the least) observe that even in the worst of polls their combined support is 5-10% above that of the government, it's not shocking that people would start to talk.

          • Yes, you are right about how I was calculating the combined vote. Perhaps it is 30 percent. Who knows the real number? But what was learned from the Reform/PC merger is that 1 + 1 does not always equal 2.

            What is missing in all of the hype from leftists about a merger is the fact that there are many Liberal voters who will never vote for a party that includes the NDP as part of its core. Likewise for died-in-the-wool NDPers. The addition of the Greens would only scare away more centrists from the new party.

            Sure, if the Liberals and NDP want to try a coalition, let them go ahead. It's a free country. But I won't be surprised if it doesn't turn out exactly as they predict it will.

          • I don't entirely disagree. It is a mirage.

            I can see how it's a tempting one though.

  8. Yawn – wilson wilson wilson – how soon they forget!!
    Your talking points very conveniently omit the point that ALL parties were losers in that election – that YOUR favourite party only commanded 36% of the votes cast…and despite 4 years to spin themselves into a majority – have found the Canadian public apparently don't trust them with one!

    • Outside of Quebec, in the ROC, the Harper government won 54% of the ridings in 2008, and big increase in Harpers mandate.
      The CPC was only formed in 2003,
      in the 7 years since, they have governed for 4 years 4 months of it, so far.

      • Outside of Quebec, in the ROC, the Harper government won 54% of the ridings in 2008, and big increase in Harpers mandate.

        I'd be careful with that one if I were you. There are plenty of people who already think that Harper would be just fine with just being PM of the ROC.

  9. Rae is absolutely right.

    Unfortunately his record running a government is one of near-complete failure. This makes some people nervous about letting him anywhere near the reins of power on a larger enterprise.

    • If it led to the massive federal Conservative majority of 2015, that'd be some consolation, at least.

    • It didn't stop constituents from voting in Clement, Baird, Flaherty , etc. who were eager participants in the 8-odd years of ideological vandalism that was the Harris gov't. Apparently anyone can be rehabilitated.

  10. Unfortunately his record running a government is one of near-complete failure. This makes some people nervous about letting him anywhere near the reins of power on a larger enterprise.

    Of course the record of the government following Rae's was even worse. How fortunate for the refugees from that failed, bloody, government , (Baird, Clement and Flaherty) that their friends own most of the papers and TV and radio stations in this country. It's amazing what a tame press can do for someone's reputation.

    • It is funny how some people seem to always remember how bad things were in Ontario under Rae, but forget that they then got WORSE.

      • That's right, things got so bad that Harris was re-elected.

  11. A coalition makes perfect sense and is, frankly, the only way out of perpetual Opposition for the Libs.

    Knowing this, I wouldn't be suprised if Harper approached the NDP first. I know that's what I would do if I were him.

    • If Liberals would quit play the Harper is evil game,
      they would realize that the Liberals are not the target,
      it's the BLOC.
      Liberals are just an annoyance, not the problem.

      Since Harper won the leadership of the CPC, every election the BLOC loses a few seats.

      • I gave you a thumbs up because that's a new theory I haven't heard before. That said, I don't think the facts we've seen in QP, or Mr. Harper's behavior toward the Liberals or the BLOC provides you much evidence, but I'm willing to be convinced. What has Mr. Harper done that suggests he's trying to reduce the BLOC?

        The only actions I've seen toward Quebec and the Bloc are appeasement of the Bloc's demands. Unless you're arguing that he's trying to take them out by simply becoming "Bloc-lite" in Quebec, which I suppose is a possible strategy.

        Hm. Now that I think about it, it's also a strategy that could get him in trouble out west, which is why we don't see much being made of it. Still, I don't see a lot of solid evidence he's heading that way either. The only thing I see is a consistent effort to do whatever is necessary to remain in power. I'm afraid I just can't see through the conservative actions any larger goal or strategy than that. Remain in power. Principles be damned. Promises be damned. Remain in power. If that takes "A Nation Within a Nation" so be it. If that takes the biggest deficit in Canadian history, so be it. If that takes giving away a billion dollars of the Canadian Lumber Industry to say that you ended the softwood stand-off, small price to pay as it wasn't your campaign money anyway. If it takes giving a billion to failing auto companies or to Bombardier, then let it be done. Larger government? If that's what it takes, he'll do it.

        Lying to the Canadian public to remain in power? No brainer.. of course that's what'll be done.

        So.. what am I missing?

  12. I have identified myself as a Progressive Conservative all my 56+ years, although I will admit to a brief flirtation with the Reform party when the PC's collapsed. I held the belief that I had to do whatever was necessary to keep the Liberals at bay.

    Today, I find myself absolutely appalled at the prospect of Mr. Harper and his brand of Conservatism forming a majority government. However, I am totally frustrated by the opposition and its lack of coherence and cohesion.

    It would be a major change in my lifelong political philosophy to support the Liberals, but I am willing to do it. However, it is becoming abundantly clear that the only way to break the stalemate in the House of Commons is for some kind of process that recognizes that the NDP and the Liberals cannot win an election alone.

    If they don't think that Mr. Harper is as much of a threat as I think he is, then they can continue their separate ways. If they do, they have to show me some indication that they recognize this threat and will start working together to nullify it.

    If they won't do that, I don't see any reason to support them.

    • Take it somewhere else, Moby; the false-flag stuff is pretty tedious.

      • I really don't care what you think or feel. Bullies like you don't intimidate me. I don't have to take it somewhere else; I like it here.

        There is nothing "false-flag" in what I wrote; whether you believe it or not.

        • I choose not to believe it, clearly. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, every pseudonymous online statement that starts along the lines "I'm a lifelong conservative, but I hate/fear/vehemently disagree with conservative figure/policy X" has to be considered a particularly pathological form of trolling.

          (Hint: don't start out an argument by trying to bolster your supposed conservative bona fides. It's just not going to be very convincing to the people you're trying to convince.)

          • I won't argue about what you believe; you are clearly free to believe whatever you want.

            I understand how blogs work, and that 98% of the material is stupid drivel. That's the nature and shame of anonymous postings. It's a damn shame that so many people behave the way they do.

            Again, you can choose not to believe me, but in any of my posts I have only spoken my genuine opinion. My comments are heartfelt and sincere.

            I understand that posting my "bona fides" will be viewed as suspicious. However, I felt they were relevant to my demonstrated willingness to support an alternative party, if it meant we could get rid of Mr. Harper.

            Hopefully, not everyone will question my sincerity.

            (I do wish there was a forum that appreciated civility over insults.)

      • I think EB is Joe Clark in disguise. Most former Progressive Conservatives I know are generally comfortable with the current government – at least compared to the alternatives.

        Mr Harper's real strength for most former PC voters, quite frankly, is not that he is a conservative, but that he is not Michael Ignatieff….

        • I wish I could support Mr. Harper, but I can't. I have posted previously that if he would put as much effort in to governing as he does in to playing politics, he might eventually convince enough people that he deserves a majority.

          So far, though, he has absolutely zero credibility on the financial file. Witness the fiasco of the escalating security costs for the summits. And, again, a fiscally responsible PM would not have cut the GST when he did.

          • You must be joking.

            The US budget is exploding. Greece is in an existential crisis. The Euro currency is at risk. Iceland is bankrupt. Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, England and other European countries have exploding debt crises. Japan has been in a ten year recession. California had to issue IOUs last year when the government ran out of money. Most US states are in dire straits financially.

            Canada has fared extremely well in comparison. In fact, there is almost no comparison.

            And you're saying Harper has financial issues? Cutting the GST when he did provided the perfect stimulus entering the worldwide recession. All of Europe and America is admiring Harper's financial performance in awe.

            AVR is right, you must be a troll.

        • "Most former Progressive Conservatives I know are generally comfortable with the current government"

          Not this one.

      • Just because you want it to be false-flag doesn't mean it is. I could have written the same thing as EB….except I can only wish I was still as young as he.

    • EB you voted for lower taxes, less government, no more special interest group funding, and more personal responsibility…but now you see a moderation of the old Reform Party as a threat , and have turned to the socialitst to save Canada….LOL what a load of pffff
      Oh, and if it true, get some help.

      • I voted for what I felt was a socially responsible government within a sustainable fiscal framework. When Mulroney brought in the GST, I was in full support of that initiative. Still am. I don't mind paying taxes, if it results in the services I need.

        I would not describe Mr. Harper as a moderate. And I certainly wouldn't describe him as fiscally responsible. Reducing the GST, when he did, was a cynical effort to secure votes.

        If anyone needs help, it's people like you who defend this group of Conservatives no matter what they do.

      • See, Wilson, I did vote for all that stuff, but Mr. Harper's government hasn't delivered it.

      • you voted for lower taxes, less government, no more special interest group funding, and more personal responsibility…

        Oh, I hope EB isn't one of THOSE people. I feel so sad for those people who thought they were going to get any of that!

    • It's not Mr Harper's brand of Conservatism that offends me – it's his belligerence, hypocrisy and willingness to sabotage the system in pursuit of power that seals it for me.
      I am not closed to the Conservative party (I feel it is simplistic to pledge yourself to one "brand"), but Stephen Harper has to go before I could entrust them.

      • I don't disagree. But, how do we get rid of him and his puppets, once and for all?

        • The only thing that will unseat them is time. While there is no viable opposition right now, sooner or later the reasons behind all the secrecy and obfuscation will rise to the surface and the government will basically oust themselves.

          Patience; pendulums swing.

          • Yes, they do swing..

            ..I'm just worried that we might be the ones in the pit.

        • how do we get rid of him and his puppets, once and for all?

          This almost sounds like the Wizard of Oz ("I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!"). I'm thinking you are Aaron Wherry playing games.

          Anyway, to answer your question, since you are not fond of democracy, you could try a military coup. Perhaps a communist revolution? An uprising of the proletariat?

  13. Funny how tall the former Red Tories are coming out of the closet without admitting they voted Liberal.
    I thought they all quietly took over the Liberal party structure between 2000 and 2006…

  14. I simply see this as another shortcut, or gimmick if you will, by the Liberal Party of Canada in their ongoing attempts to regain power without doing the necessary rebuilding of their party. "Maybe this'll work", they say, as they hope and pray.

    It also raises a host of questions. Who is leading the Liberal Party at the moment? Is it now Bob Rae, or is it Iggy? Does Iggy approve of this rapprochement with the NDP? Does it matter whether or not he approves? Is Bob Rae using this as his trump card to make a move to lead the party, which is precisely what Iggy did in relation to Dion and Rae last time the Liberals contemplated a coalition with the NDP?

    A coalition with the NDP in these uncertain economic times? What does John Manley think of all this or need I ask.

    • "What does John Manley think of all this or need I ask."

      Ask. But ask Tom D'Aquino. It's still his joint.

  15. The current version of the Liberal Party of Canda tilts left enough as it is – what will it become once it throws in its lot with the NDP?

    This is not good news for Canadians who value prudence with the country's finances. Not good news at all. The fiscally prudent Chrétien regime – you can kiss that goodbye.

    The Liberals under Dion veered hard left. This will cement the Liberal Party's direction for years to come. All that's missing is Bob Rae at the helm. And it looks like he's positioning himself squarely behind Iggy's back.

    • I agree with your analysis except for one thing. The veer to the left began with Paul Martin. I remember a lengthy conversation I had with Paul Martin and his EA Terrie O'Leary in 1998 in which he told me he believed that the Liberal Party needed to move to the left. I expressed surprise but was impressed with how serious he was. Several years later when he became PM he did exactly what he said he would. At least he was consistent.

  16. The funny thing with Martin is that he was perceived by many to be moving the party to the right back in 2003 after the Chretien years. The talk was of 200 plus seats including a major Liberal breakthrough in the west. I know he had me fooled. I broke open a bottle of scotch and cheered his arrival in December of 2003 when he took over leadership of the Liberals. I figured that if we were living in a one-party state, at least Martin seemed to be the start of a promising new approach. As it turned out, he was sending mixed signals, and those mixed signals disappointed a lot of people whose expectations were dashed. He paid for it in the polls, although he paid mostly for his inept leadership.

    • (Meant as a response to Two Yen in the comment above.)