57

Almost loyal


 

Everyone is praising Bob Rae for the gracious way he bowed out of the Liberal leadership race, which is mostly true. But, is it just me, or was there not one rather important note of discord: his continued emphatic support, at his conceding press conference, for the coalition? Is that not a little off-message, in the Ignatieff-era, what-coalition, Oceania-has-always-been-at-war-with-Eurasia sense?


 

Almost loyal

  1. is it just me, or does coyne’s blogging schedule remind you of a highway cop trying to meet his quota for speeding tickets at the end of the month?

  2. I am not sure why the right continues to dismiss the coalition based on a couple polls and Ignatieff’s somewhat tepid approach to the idea. I think the coalition remains a tremendously useful tool for the opposition and the Liberals to pursue in the short-term.

    Just because Ignatieff wasn’t on a loudspeaker in chanting slogans at Toronto City Hall last weekend, doesnt mean anything has changed.

  3. He has not ruled it out – therefore, etc.

  4. I also thought that Rae’s frank admission that he resigned because of the limitations of the Liberal leadership process was a little off message. Certainly he was gracious and laudatory of his friend and colleague, but it seems to me the door is not quite closed…

  5. There seems to be the possibility for a little good-cop-bad-cop game here.

    So is Feschuck the good cop and Coyne the bad, or the other way around?

  6. Play nice in the blogosphere gentlemen…expectations remain that you are not only available for comment 24/7…but available with concise witty insider insights at a moments notice…please conduct yourselves accordingly

  7. Is it just me, or does it feel as though the evidence for Iggy’s opposition to the coalition is sorta thin? It makes sense that he would be uncomfortable with the idea, but he’s also not Jimmy K. I certainly don’t have access to anyone on the inside, but I think people have been a bit hasty in this respect.

  8. What Steve said ^ .

  9. i’d like to be the good cop, please. here’s how it goes down: i leave the room to go get some coffee, then return just in time to stop my partner from beating socialism within an inch of its life.

    then i tell coyne to go cool off. i’ve always wanted to tell someone to go cool off.

  10. is it just me, or does coyne’s blogging schedule remind you of a highway cop trying to meet his quota for speeding tickets at the end of the month?

    I`ve always assumed it was timed to his meds running out and the need to justify to his doctor that another refill was in order. We can only hope his physician fills out the prescription before Coyne begins speculating on what Iggy`s shoe size reveals about the state of the Liberal Party.

  11. Well, Kinsella is an Iggy supporter and has been very cold to the coalition idea. And Kinsella is nothing if not fiercely loyal to his candidate, so I think it is at least a little relevant.

  12. It seems to me from his body language yesterday, if not his somewhat ‘forced’ appearance of graciousness, that Rae is not a happy camper. I suspect that if the coalition disappears, so does Rae…

    Happy camper? Gosh, that’s an outdated phrase, hasn’t been around since the time Keynes was a discredited economic theorist.

  13. I like the idea of the coalition mainly because it scared the Conservatives into action on the economy 2 months earlier than they planned. A skinny deficit fighting March 2009 budget becomes a generous Jan 27, 2009 budget. Thanks Coalition!

    That is good for Canada even if it is bad for Harper. And the coalition also illustrated the lengths coward-leader will go to hold on to power. The generosity of the Jan 27 budget will be another sign of the usefulness of the Coalition.

    Will the Coalition magic last or will it even be useful? Who knows…But instinct tells me if Harper and Coyne hate it than it must be good for something, if only to irritate them both. :-)

  14. Sure Andrew, if would have been off-message were you not misconstruing Ignatieff’s position on the coalition. But as you are, Bob wasn’t off-message at all, just more strident in his coalition boosterism than Michael.

  15. John D – so when Kinsella thinks loyal, really hard, Ignatieff’s ears burn? And when he scratches his ear, Kinsella knows what exactly, ‘Message received, back at ya’?

    Fletch – So, then, “happy camper” is back? And good call about body language, that unfairly-derided science. “That girl. She’s smiling and her toes are pointed toward me. That means * checks * she wants me!”

  16. Fletch: It seems to me from his body language yesterday, if not his somewhat ‘forced’ appearance of graciousness, that Rae is not a happy camper.

    Speaking of forced mannerisms, any comment on Harper’s ‘ghost of Nixon’ performance on the CBC National last night? Does Harper’s ‘Lets be very clear on this’ equate to Nixon’s ‘Let me make myself perfectly clear’?

    Harper held himself together during the first half of the interview. He interupted Mansbridge several time to get his economic message out, the obvious reason for his appearance.

    Last half of interview was a slow Harper melt down, hand grasping, convoluted explanations on why Bloc support is evil in 2008, but not evil in 2004 when he proposed a Bloc coalition. Mansbridge pulls out a 2 paragraph clip from a Harper September election speech in which he contradicts his actions of last week.

    September’s Harper message ‘I’ll face Parliament on matters of confidence!’

    December Harper’s action ‘I’ll cut and run away from Parliament’

    Harper today = Nixon circa pre resignation.

    Does Harper grasp that his smooth words mean very little to most Canadians anymore?

  17. No, it’s you.
    There’s no discourse from a concrete sense that one can support the coalition but also provide the Govern’t an opportunity to present a budget that incorporates what the coalition wants.
    But you keep working this angle. It helps those sleeper agents in the time-bomb that’s the Conservative caucus to sleep in a little later…

  18. Trancanada, you and I must have watched different TV interviews. I thought Harper gave his best performance in months. He made his case and responded to most of the critics’ assertions over the past week…and he actually refused to be cut off by Mansbridge in mid-thought — a huge victory in this day and age when politicians are expected to respond to the most complex questions in 10-second soundbites. I thought Harper was at his very best last night. And might I add…statesmanlike.

    I think what Harper was saying last night is that before the opposition parties declare they have no confidence in the gov’t, they should at least wait until there’s something on the table in which not to have confidence in…in other words, a budget. An economic statement is not a budget, and a gov’t duly elected by the people should have longer than two weeks to make its case to Parliament.

  19. Just have to say, I really enjoy your columns Coyne. Always insightful, and always entertaining.

  20. OK, That`s it— I just heard Judy Wash a leash a leash a leash say for the umpteenth time that she does not trust the Harper Gov`t . You know maybe The Harper gov`t does not trust an opposition who were secretly plotting to overthrow a. democratically elected gov`t . Maybe if there was more willingness in the case off the opp. to think about the people out here, instead of their own power ambitions then Harper might stop looking over his shoulder and see if he can`t help us out of this mess—-So smarten up with your own trustworthiness.
    And by the way would someone tell Layton that the NDP doesn`t have half as many seats as the gov`t ,like the LIbs, but only one–quarter as many—they are really not very important. Half the people that vote for them do so as a protest hoping they will never have any power.
    And while I am on this rant , I am sick of various Liberals receiving credit for the Clarity Act after being pressured by Manning and Harper for years to do so. The Clarity Act basically says that Quebecers should be aware that Separition from Canada is just that—-gone completely–forever—no more weasely words like soverignity assosciation. So what happens when a man of courage like Stephen Harper describes the Bloc as separtists ? You guys say he is being inflammatory. C`mon guys we see your actions not your words.

  21. From Fletch: “in other words, a budget. An economic statement is not a budget, and a gov’t duly elected by the people should have longer than two weeks to make its case to Parliament.”

    See, Mr. Coyne? Many Canadian people don’t understand that a ‘money bill’ automatically becomes a confidence vote. An economic and fiscal update IS a money bill. I got that part directly from my Conservative MPs office. As far as I can tell–and again, I’m one of those who needs my suggested primer in the Macleans magazine–in order to send a bill to committee it must FIRST PASS its first reading. I also understand that you can’t make amendments to a bill that would contradict the bill (in other words, you can’t amend a bill that says “we will take the left fork in the road” with an amendment saying “we will take the right fork in the road”.

    So if I am wrong would SOMEBODY please point me to where I can learn what is right, but as I see it the opposition had two, and only two, choices. They could vote for the bill and therefore confidence in the government, or they could vote against the bill and therefore non-confidence in the government.

  22. Not to give Coyne a crumb (since he’ll invent his own anyway) – but Iggy has another coalition he has to take care of first – within the Liberal (once was) big tent!
    Others had the idea of spreading it wider – larger catchment area – larger base – recruiting from the right of the NDP – former ADQs – some Blocists – some (or all) Greens – but Iggy’s stringpullers are revolted by the idea!
    However – they – and Coyne – and Manley – better get used to the fact that the Liberal tent will be spreading wider – and leftwards – while still occupying the Centre – and soon…otherwise I’m not sure Iggy’s crown will have much value in a few months!

  23. Rae is on behalf of the liberal party playing the coalition as it was meant to be played: the Yvon Cournoyer fake shot; are they serious and going to commit or are they posturing to keep the pressure on the Conservatives not to be too brazen. The only problem is that the fake shot only works well if you are in front of the net…. the opposing teams net.

  24. Why would Rae be a happy camper? He dropped out because he saw the writing on the wall–he owes a lot of money and can’t get any support. He’s smart enough to know that he can’t be too acrimonious about it, and maybe he’s thinking that things change so quickly these days that he could still wind up leader of the Liberals. Or he’s secretly plotting to take over the Tories (he’s already been through the NDP and Liberals).

  25. So, Coyne, I heard something about Canada entering into a recession (right before you changed the channel to offer some ruminations on speculation of something you might have perceived).

    Is the Bank of Canada in on the plot to instill panic in Canadians?

    I know real topics imminently facing Canadians are boring, but please, discuss.

  26. William, the opposition was not “secretly plotting to overthrow a. democratically elected gov`t.” They were very openly and legitimately using the parliamentary process to form government based on who has confidence. Please try to stick to the facts. You don’t have to like the coalition or the reasons behind it anymore than I like Harper and the Conservatives, but I would never suggest that Harper somehow seized power undemocratically.

  27. Andrew,

    Your problem of what to get Scott for Christmas is now solved . . . a calendar would be appropriate.

    Then you can sit down and, speaking very slowly because it is Scott you are speaking to after all, explain to him how to use a calendar. The revelation that the 10th of the month is not close to the end of the month will be a real breakthrough in Scott’s rehabilitation program.

  28. To Sunny

    Jack Layton can be heard on tape saying he had been negotiating with the Bloc for some time—they were not talking about the economy or Zimbabwe—they were agreeing on a good time to approach the Libs with a deal. THAT is a FACT.
    Now go back and read the last sentence from your post at 12:56 and see how foolish you look. Harper did not seize power undemocratically . He was told very clearly by Canadians on Oct. 14 in what we like to call an Election that he was to be our leader. You don`t have to like it but you should get your party in order and wait patiently for the next Election just like the Conservatives did.

  29. “Jack Layton can be heard on tape saying he had been negotiating with the Bloc for some time”

    William, what the recording actually says is that the Bloc was brought in “early.”

    Please define “early.”

  30. Whether Iggy is capable of reviving…for that is truly what is required here…the Liberal brand, at least give him credit for being a smart guy. A smart guy would look at Canadians response to the coalition and say to himself…”hmmm…this does not bode well for us.” A smart guy would look at the Liberal bank account and the prospect of financing another election campaign in 6 weeks and say to himself…”uh-oh.” A smart guy would look at the GG’s decision to prorouge and say to himself….”no telling what she might do next…but whew!… thanks.”

    Add these all up and a smart guy like Ignatieff should come to the conclusion that he needs to drive a stake through the coalition’s heart…which in fact might have already been accomplished by the turfing of Dion.

    It will be very interesting to see if Ignatieff the smart guy shows up at his 3pm conference today…or Ignatieff the fence sitting politician shows up.

  31. I asked this in another thread but I’ll do it here too since it is on topic. Since we’re talking about alleged coalition plans that predate the FU, does anyone know the status of the NDP lawsuit against the Conservatives for their alleged wiretapping?

  32. I think the opposition coalition should proceed with the original plan and vote non-confidence in Harper and form an alternative govt. They can then invite Conservatives to collaborate on budget discussions in a truly non-partisan and collaborative fashion. After all the Conservatives did win a significant number of seats and percentage of the popular vote and so their ideas should be taken seriously.

    There are 3 main reasons to remove the Conservatives from power and form a coalition govt sooner rather than later:

    (1) Because of their inaction/incompetence on the economy (prior to the panicked realization that they might lose power)

    (2) Because of the poor way they have managed public finances (i.e. reducing what was once a substantial surplus into a deficit through poor public policy choices like cutting the GST instead of cutting income taxes or making needed investments in things like infrastructure)

    (3) Because Mr. Harper demonstrated very clearly the past 2 weeks that he is unworthy of being a Prime Minister for all Canadians

    It is possible that you might get action on items (1) and (2) without a coalition, but (3) can only be addressed by voting non-confidence in Harper. I suppose if the Conservatives got rid of Harper themselves and replaced with with a radically different person than that might make a difference.

    In addition to the above there are some other very compelling reasons to go with the coalition idea:

    (a) The logic of a first-past-the-post system means that you cannot really have 5 major parties. This will produce perpetually unstable minority govts. Adding to the problem is that with 4 parties to their left, and with the fact that they have such a strong regional concentration of seats in Western Canada, the Cons are likely to be the main beneficiaries of vote splitting as long as this situation persists.

    The Liberals, NDP and, yes, the Greens, should at least try cooperating now and see if it sticks. If so, it might make sense to consider forming one big centre-left-greenish party. You cannot really include hardcore Quebec sovereigntists in such a coalition (no federal party could) but you COULD include Quebec nationalists who are willing to vote for a progressive federal party and who are willing to consider that such a party might do a better job of “defending Quebec’s interests” than a perpetually marginalized Bloc Québecois.

    Furthermore merging the centre-left should reduce partisanship (at least it will be a straight ahead left-right fight instead of an all-out battle royale. It will likely have a moderating effect on the far right and the far left) and will “normalize” Canadian politics somewhat.

    (b) Harper has been throwing sand in the face of Liberals for years now (it started with Paul Martin and got much much worse under Dion). The Liberal base is craving for its leaders to fight back hard and get revenge and they need to be thrown a bone after the Ignatieff coronation (which, frankly, revealed the fix was in for him in May regardless)

    There are of course arguments to be made against the coalition, but I just thought I would make the case for it.

  33. William, go back and re-read Sunny 12s post. Take your time, we’ll still be here. (See, she said she WAS NOT saying Harper seized power undemocratically. Arguing with her about something she agrees with is rather silly.)

    Now let’s discuss Jack Layton saying he had been negotiating with the Bloc for some time. This is not news–it certainly isn’t something that would be the end that justified the means of taping a conversation the Conservatives weren’t meant to be in on.

    We know Jack Layton and the Bloc have been discussing a coalition arrangement for some time because they did it back in 2004–with HARPER! Just because one part of the coalition has changed, doesn’t mean that any terms arrived at between Layton and Duceppe have to.

    Frankly, it would be irresponsible of any opposition party in a minority government NOT to discuss the possibility of a coalition, although I imagine these things normally take longer than the few days this Parliament was sitting. They are there, officially, to oppose the government. But I find it most interesting that Jack Layton, in that tape he didn’t know he was on, did NOT say an agreement had been worked out with the Liberals “early”. So this whole idea that the opposition was set to remove Harper from the get-go is ridiculous.

  34. Coyle is deeply tortured with the Idea of Coalition ../..Even More then Harper /The Coalition is here one way or other it may ebb and flow…. But it will always be ONE OF THE CHOICES..
    Hoplessness is No MOre!!!

  35. It appears most are starting to get it…. the so called “Coalition of the Willing Canadian Style” caused Harper/Flaherty to “STOP, LOOK & LISTEN” then they went into the full spin mode…. you may choose any words or phases…. but Canadians “WON BIG TIME” first he cut three outrageous issues outright, second he moved a budget with an iffy end of March date up to a definate Jan 29th and he fired up a Liberal Team to prove that any political party can place a leader in place on short notice who have appeared until then asleep at wheel…. no more eh? Now he must provide Canadians with a sound plan that they can believe in…. if not…. the ball will not be in his court because we the taxpayers who are most effectived by this world crisis will write, phone and e-mail big time! My last post was not posted perhaps due to another’s point of view that in my humble opinion has merritt but not to mind…. I understand….

  36. Repost due to typos

    1) Jack Layton has been absent from the media… turning down camera time. Even our sycophantic media will be forced to ask him ” Jack, when did you first approach the Bloc to set up the coalition?”

    If he lies on this he takes a chance on Duceppe confirming the leaked tape contents that Jack likely approached him soon after or before the polls were closed. As well Duceppe is in a position that the details of what the Lib/NDP were conceding to the Bloc for support will not hurt him, BUT will devastate both the Liberals and NDP.

    Duceppe telling the truth puts him in a position to be the official opposition in the next parliament.

    Harper’s first rule from his Mansbridge interview — Never , ever put yourself in a position that you depend on support from and are beholding to the separtists. Seems like a self evident truth for all Canadian national political parties.

  37. “Harper’s first rule from his Mansbridge interview — Never , ever put yourself in a position that you depend on support from and are beholding to the separtists. Seems like a self evident truth for all Canadian national political parties.”

    So this means that the coalition could expect to *never* get support from the Conservatives?

  38. BC Voice of Reason reminds me of another good reason to contemplate uniting the centre-left: we can stop splitting anti-Harper fundraising donations 3-4 ways :P

    Has no one considered that one of the reasons that Liberals might be having such a hard time raising funds is because voters recognize they are very unlikely to form a govt as long as there are 4-way vote splits on the centre-left so why waste time and money on them? If the possibility of defeating Harper and actually getting something done becomes real again I imagine this will fire up the latent Liberal base.

  39. Jean Proulx, a question for you. Given the virulent, toxic anti-Harper positions of so many across Canada, and particularly among the urban “intelligentsia”, why is it that the Liberals and NDP find it so difficult to raise donations? Why are they being so badly out-paced in this regard by the Tories. Are they giving all their money to Al Gore? Starbucks? What’s the reason they must rely on taxpayer subsidies?

  40. Listen Ladies : You appear to be a whole lot more educated than me and I just know your typing skills will beat me sideways—all I`m trying to tell you is to get away from this coalition thing.
    I`ve lived in most regions of this country and I know Canadians won`t go for this . You see we may not understand parliamentary procedure but we know numbers and we know you cannot replace a gov`t with 143 seats with 2 parties with114 seats.
    You are just playing with words when you say he said early or whatever—who cares —this coalition is poison—walk away.

  41. Fletch – I have just explained one reason. Because with so many parties to the left of the Conservatives it is unclear to anti-Harper voters where best to send their precious donations. So they either make donations in an inefficient way or, else, they are waiting to see a clear alternative to Harper emerge before they open their wallets.

    – The Liberals has been completely preoccupied with internal leadership politics for years now and their members have been bombarded with appeals to donate money not to the LPC but to various leadership campaigns

    Here are some of the fundraising choices I have faced as an anti-Harper voter in the past year or so…

    A) donate to Dion’s leadership campaign

    B) donate to Ignatieff’s leadership campaign

    C) donate to Rae’s leadership campaign

    D) donate to to the Liberal Party

    E) donate to the NDP

    F) donate to the Green Party

    G) donate to the Bloc Québecois

    H) Not donate at all

    Starting to understand the problem?

    Other reasons…

    – Anti-Harper sentiment is regionally concentrated in Eastern Canada and we are generally less rich than Westerners (despite the fact that Ottawa is screwing you guys over all the time of course)

    – The LPC is an older party than the Reform Conservatives. It has an older infrastructure and internal fundraising culture. These things do not change overnight.

    – Dion, while I respcet him as a man of principle, was not a strong organizer and communicator. This certainly affected Liberal fundraising efforts.

  42. Sandi, the reason there is a Conservative guest blogger is that there is not a balance at Macleans as the Liberal REGULAR bloggers outnumber the Conservative REGULAR bloggers almost 2 to 1 (you can get your Lib spin from Aaron Wherry, Scott Feschuk, Kady O’Malley), all of which are as partisan as Stephen Taylor. If you want some fair and balanced reporting the best blogs are from Andrew Coyne and Paul Wells, although I have to admit Stephen Taylor’s was well written and stuck to the facts. Reading the spin from the Lib cheerleaders often makes me wonder if they have the Liberal Party website shortcut on their desktop.

  43. Fletch, here is my direct experience. I don’t know anyone that has ever donated to a federal political party. Ever. I think there is a lot more talk about donations that donations themselves. In fact, how many people that have commented on this blog do you think have donated (and I would think this would be a number far, far higher than the general population)? Of the people that have recently been polled on the vote subsidy, how many of those people have ever donated to a federal party?

    I think overall that the idea of donating to a political party is quite foreign here in Canada. I’d guess that the CPC managed to get this ball rolling starting back from the Reform days, where they would get people pissed off about the (then) current government and get them involved in change.

    The fact that today’s governments are very much dictated by money is pretty disheartening. That an election may be avoided because the opposition can’t afford it, is sad. Well, don’t get me wrong I’m not sad about not having another election, just the principle on why we wouldn’t have one.

    I’d love to see some type of system where each party can campaign purely on money that is allotted publicly and evenly to all the parties. While others would argue that a party’s ability to raise money is their right and good on them, I disagree. Elections shouldn’t be fought on a foundation of cash. Even more importantly, it is abundantly clear to me that such a small percentage of the population makes donations, that private funding does not properly reflect the will of the people. My thought is that a small group of people can make a fundamental shift in how a campaign is waged and the results that follow.

  44. Even if a coaltion were to run in an election be elected and part of their platform was extra special status for Quebec eventually leading to separation I would really really hope that the CPC would never support it.

    Back room deal wise putting the coallition into power would release such contagion on the land that the day would quake to look on.

  45. Fletch: For one, for the Liberals in particular, they used to always rely on several of those “intelligensia” donating quite large sums to the party. There wasn’t a need to go, hat-in-hand, to the rank and file. As such, they haven’t developed the systems to do it. I’ve talked to a couple of people about the situation and they’ve later gone on to donate, saying they didn’t realize what the funding changes had done. A lot of people who don’t follow politics have no clue that the Liberal party is in fairly desparate financial straits, and so don’t even think about donating. It’s one of those things that people think will always just be there.

    The second reason? It’s a lot harder to fund-raise without the non-sensical assertions that you’re under attack. One thing conservatives are very good at (from the various 10 percenters I’ve seen) is that the conservative fund-raising strategy consists of, essentially, “SHRIIEEEK! They’re going to make you marry a gay guy! And force you to have an abortion while splitting up Canada! And they’ll throw you in jail if you say Christianity isn’t all that bad while they let out the paedophiles to prey on your kids! Please donate so that we can stop this!” Yes, that’s hyperbole, but how much of the conservative fund-raising materials have you seen have been based on something other than talking about what the opposition is planning to do? Liberals haven’t cottoned on to this strategy quite yet.. and when they try (Tanks in your street) they rightly get soundly criticized. The difference is, Conservatives avoid doing it in public, relying on personal mail and revivalsconstituent meetings, so the criticisms don’t come out.

  46. BC Voice of Reason – There would be no need for a coalition to run on such a platform because Quebec already has special status. I’ve always thought the constitutional issue was purely symbolic. That’s why the Quebec-as-a-nation resolution was so important even though it accorded absolutely no new powers to Quebec. It was just the Canadian govt expressing its agreement with something Quebecers already know (i.e. that they are a nation, albeit a nation within the Canadian federation)

    Quebec is already semi-independent and has been for a long-time. At some point we should officially change our constitution to reflect this reality, but you know…not if it’s going to cause a big fuss.

  47. Bridge Over the River Rideau
    When people look back at the Canadian political landscape 40 years from now, someone is going to pinpoint that the epicentre of much of our political turmoil can be attributed to one man; the political anti-cripes…Mr. Bob Rae.
    Someday, years from now, Bob’s going to have his Alec Guinness “River Kwai” epiphany (after Sir’s character realized he had unconsciously helped the enemy war effort). Bob Rae will look back at the lifetime of devastation in his wake, and say, “my God, what have I done?”…

  48. As far as donating to the Liberal party goes, I did so for the first time yesterday. I think the reason the Liberals are having trouble raising donations is the average joanne, like me, hasn’t cottoned on to the real beauty of this donation scam!

    Of my political contribution that I made yesterday, you Conservatives paid 75% of it! Hah! Every time I open My wallet, YOU pay! This is delicious. Oh, I so wish I had thousands more to give. Actually, all taxpayer’s paid it, but I choose to believe my donation’s portion came from Conservative taxapeyrs. What a scam! Heh heh, and you worry about 1.95.

  49. For what it’s worth, Jenn, I hereby declare that none of my personal taxes went to pay for your tax-credit, and I’m not a conservative supporter. Someone else can pay my share of it, and I’ll pay their share of Mr. Casey’s salary.

  50. “they used to always rely on several of those “intelligensia” donating quite large sums to the party.”

    Not so much intelligensia as BIG corporations: Power Corp, Bombardier, The banks and all federally appoint judges. And they were not donating, they were buying influence and setting policy and in the case of the judges just a cost of doing business.

    Thank goodness that Chretien felt so strongly about messing it up for Martin that he banned these transactions.

    Right now imagine how much more expedient it would be in the current crisis if GM were able to say to Harper…. We will take the $500K we gave to the Liberals last year and give it to CPC instead. Just make the “loan” 4B and not the 3B we were talking about. Under the old regime — done and done!!

    And people study why the Liberals were the natural Governing party :)

  51. Many taxpayers don’t realize that you get a bigger tax break when you donate to a political party than you do when you make a charitable donation.

    I’ve never donated to a political party until last week when I gave a small amount to the Liberal Party. (I make regular donations to charity but they are less tax exempt.).

  52. If you don`t think that the average Conservative donates to their political party, then you don`t know them. I`ve heard of old ladies dying and leaving explicit instructions in their will that the benefactor give maximum contribution to the Party for the following 20 years. Part of the reason for this generosity is because of the great organizing skills left over from the Reform Party and also because many Conservatives are charitable people whose way of life is to give to organixations like Churches, Hospitals, etc.
    I think the real reason Conservatives do so well financially is that the average member wants to do whatever he can to keep the Liberals from power. After what happened with Sponsorship they don`t trust the Liberals to have their hands on the purse strings. Can you imagine, considering the state of Liberal finances, what they would do now if they ever got back into power.—-So many bills to pay—so many tax dollars to work with.

  53. William – The sponsorship scandal has to be the most overblown story in all of Canadian political history. You understand don’t you that the Gomery Inquiry looking into it cost MORE then the money that was stolen by a few sleazeballs?

    But you Cons never ever let go of anything. How many more centuries are we going to hear about the National Energy Programme? You mythologize these things beyond all proportion. It’s completely ridiculous.

  54. I am not sure why the right continues to dismiss the coalition based on a couple polls and Ignatieff’s somewhat tepid approach to the idea.

    Because it’s a tremendously stupid idea? If less than 40% vote CPC, and more than 60% poll that they hate the idea, then it ain’t just the right you have to worry about.

  55. Moebius – You are assuming those poll numbers won’t change. i can imagine any number of scenarios where they might :)

  56. Also you are assuming those poll results will translate into voting behavior :)

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