97

And again, it comes down to fundraising and organization.


 

“We have so much money,” a Harper aide would admit at the end of the [2006] campaign’s first week, shaking his head in amazement. “We have shitloads of money. Way more than we can spend in a campaign. In a way we wouldn’t have minded Martin’s preferred schedule, which was to go in February, because we could have run this huge pre-writ campaign” — a blitz of television, radio, and newspaper ads, and direct mail, all of it unregulated by Elections Canada spending limits because it pre-dated the dropping of the writ.

Right Side Up, everyone’s favourite Christmas gift

When Mom says no, ask Dad. It’s a universal instinct. When Stephen Harper lost Belinda Stronach he paid closer attention to Chuck Cadman. When Vancouver wouldn’t give the Conservatives an MP Harper reached out to David Emerson. And now it happens again: He cannot win this new confrontation in the Commons. So he has bought himself another week — to reach outside the Commons to the country.

And outside the Commons, the Conservative war chest and tool kit are formidable. This will be one of the most astonishing weeks in the history of Canadian politics.

What follows is based on six years of watching Harper as a political leader, not on fresh reporting. But I think it’s reasonable to assume that email will go out this weekend soliciting fresh donations from hundreds of thousands of Conservative supporters. Direct-mail appeals (“Stéphane Dion: Not a Democrat”), Web ads, broadcast and print buys, messaging for Conservative bloggers and for commenters on other blogs, talking points for talk-radio callers and the party’s teevee spokesmen — that will only be part of it. The messaging will be concentrated against the most vulnerable MPs: If you’re a Liberal or a New Democrat who won narrowly over the Conservative in your riding, you can expect your life to be hell, beginning tonight. There could be public “We Want Our Canada Back” rallies, including probably a big one on the Hill (“Send Ottawa A Message From the Real Canada”) by mid-week. It could be massive.

At every step, the Conservatives are better funded, more experienced at this sort of thing, and a lot more scared, and therefore more motivated, than their opponents. This controversy began with Harper recognizing his advantage in grassroots fundraising and organizing and seeking to consolidate it. It will end with Harper using that advantage to the hilt.

How will it all end? Harper’s crystal ball may be broken, but the battery in mine is dead. I’ll find out when the rest of you do, somewhere between now and Dec. 8.


 
Filed under:

And again, it comes down to fundraising and organization.

  1. The other thing this week does is let ordinary Liberals and Dippers consider the ramifications of their parties working together. What happens on the issue of Afghanistan in 2 months time to a coalition government? What happens on trade negotiations with Europe and with the U.S.?

    Will they agree on a wealth of economic stimulus packages to the forestry industry, auto industry, space industry, etc the list goes on. Where will this money come from? What happens if they DON’T do something big and the public asks why the hell they were given the keys if they weren’t going to do something drastically different?

    What happens to Duceppes when he realises that other than some token arts funding, the new Liberal government can’t grant Quebec the authority to rule the world? This coalition would fall apart before it had time to read a cabinet memo.

  2. I think you’re right and the sad part is that the opposition parties still won’t get it. I’ve signed up for every email alert from the NDP that exists but I don’t get more than 1 email a week from them.

  3. Fear. It’s what motivates conservatives, and it’s what they’ll use.

  4. Paul, I didn’t see where your Rule#1 had a notwithstanding clause.

  5. Harper has governed like he has had a majority since 2006. I see nothing undemocratic about the majority of the house coming together and governing. This is our parliamentary democracy. Had the Conservatives actually tried to govern the minority they have been granted by the Canadian people then we would not be on the brink of a change of government (GWWP). He has made his own bed.

  6. Well, political propaganda doesn’t work on me, so I can’t really comment. But I’m pretty sure CanWest and CTV are seeing dollars signs right now.

    I wonder what the quality of vilification and grotesque defamation will be like this time? Harper was off to a good start, accusing Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of wanting to destroy the country.

    What a liar.

  7. If poll results mean anything, and in a democracy they must at least be considered, Dion is the least popular of the leaders and yet he would become primeminister. If that’s not subverting democracy, then I don’t know what is.

  8. I’m thinking of renaming the Rules as Wells’s Generalizations.

  9. One word: Prorogue.

    Shortest session of parliament in Canadian History.

  10. Well, they’ll have to do a lot better than Ezra Levant just did on CTV Newsnet, because he was ranting and looked really worried. If anything, he pushed people in the opposite direction.

  11. That all only works IF he can get an election. If he can’t, all his spending (and engendering of more ill will for being purely negative) will be a waste.

    And, won’t trying to screw the opposition throught the country a time of economic crisis when what the opposition is upset about is that he’s a) trying to screw the opposition in Parliament and b) whistling past an economic crisis create more opportunities for the opposition to effectively paint him as a sleazy no-nothing?

  12. Ezra was ranting? How shocking.

  13. But Paul,

    This deal is being hatched to avoid those very people.

  14. When every other reporter and talking head is yammering on about “will they”/”won’t they”… Wells writes about “how they”.

    Prob why Wells is the best journalist there is!

  15. Jesse: I’d say the hope is to paint the opposition as even worse choices than the “sleazy know-nothing”.

    Granted, I’m still not certain what the point is unless he expects another election soon. It’s not the electorate that’s going to have the final decision on his government, but the opposition and ultimately the GG.

    It will certainly be interesting at least, because I’m not certain if we haven’t already passed the point where nobody can back down without losing too much face.

  16. They won’t have to spend all that much. All kinds of freebies await.

    The very attractive John Baird has been all over CBC Radio babbling about Finance Minister Jack Layton.

    You can only imagine what the Duffster has lined up. The forehead must be shiny already.

  17. This whole disaster was triggered by the Tory braintrust. What makes you think giving them more money to act stupid will help?

  18. Wait, if they spend all their money on TV ads this next week, won’t they need public subsidies for the next campaign?

  19. It’s all Peter Milliken’s fault.

  20. Wait, if they spend all their money on TV ads this next week, won’t they need public subsidies for the next campaign?

    They’ll be using this as an excuse to fundraise. They’ll probably turn a profit by the end of the week.

  21. Yup, they’ll raise dough…but will the Liberals and NDP?

    More importantly what will the polls say, likely a Pox on all of you…..

    But as I said above, the Libs and Dips are trying to avoid that whole messy asking the electorate thing.

  22. First week of a coalition government … Tories introduce a motion restating “that this House affirms its previous declaration that our military forces will stay in Afghanistan until 2011” … would love to see the Cabinet solidarity on that one! There will be so many ways for the Tories to drive wedges into such a coalition.

    Any betting lines on which minister is first to resign in disgrace? I’d say Olivia Chow, and then the whole gig is up (Jack will have to defend his woman!!). Give it 6 mos. tops, and we’re into a spring election, in which Harper wins a solid majority.

    Who knows? Politics is a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Best is to not get too high when it looks good, and don’t get too low when things look bleak. Events happen, and circumstances change rapidly in politics.

  23. Didn’t give the party this year because they got too inventive trying to find ways to spend it last time ;).

    But my cheque for 2008 will be in the mail by the time I get home. Hiding behind the G-G won’t cut it.

  24. “but will the Liberals and NDP?”

    Probably not. They’ll just pass the non-confidence motion and replace the Conservatives…as most Canadians prefer.

    It’s true. I just polled them.

  25. stephen: “the Libs and Dips are trying to avoid that whole messy asking the electorate thing.”

    The electorate was asked and they returned MP’s enough for the Liberals and NDP to form a government propped up by the Bloc — just like the Tories could be propped up by the Bloc.

    What is it about our parliamentary system that is so difficult to understand?

    I’ll tell you one thing, it’s fair game for the Tories to advertise the hell out of the Liberals in any number of ways, but if they dare say this is a betrayal of our system then they will be provoking revolution by undermining the State.

  26. First week of a coalition government … Tories introduce a motion restating that this House affirms its previous declaration that our military forces will stay in Afghanistan until 2011

    Uh, wouldn’t the government just vote that down? The decision having been made, “reaffirming” it is a redundant, meaningless gesture. There’s no reason to vote in favour of redundant meaningless gestures. They’re meaningless.

    The Tories could introduce a motion reaffirming that the sky is blue, and the government could vote it down. That wouldn’t turn the sky green.

  27. Some days, I really would prefer to be a Conservative. Then I could assert anything shamelessly and be completely unconcerned about credibility.

    Speaking of which, I heard on the braawdcast today that some economists are speculating that Flaherty has cooked the books. *tsk* Canadian really need to get to the bottom of that.

  28. Ti-Guy: I’m surprised more people aren’t speculating that Flaherty has cooked the books. That said, I’m also surprised he has any credibility as finance minister after Ontario.

  29. As an interesting aside, I just scanned through the foreign press and there’s nary a peep about this. Canada’s back, baby, Canada’s back.

  30. Events, dear boy, events!

  31. Colleague Wells – I’ll see your crystal ball – and Harper’s fundraising efforts – and I’ll raise you a centre / left fundraising effort starting tonight that will be the equivalent of Obamas south of the border.
    Mr. Harper has unleashed the best Xmas present the Left ever had!
    Oh – and a couple of partridges in pear trees for good measure!

  32. McClelland:

    The story has been picked up by Bloomberg and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, among others.

  33. “…I’ll raise you a centre / left fundraising effort starting tonight that will be the equivalent of Obamas south of the border.”

    Sorry friend, but I don’t see a frankensteinesque New-Liberal-Quebecois party that takes power through the dark voodoo of a constitutional loophole as having quite the same emotional punch as the election first black president. It’s a gutsy and potentially brillaint scheme, but let’s no make more of it than it warrents.

  34. I’ve already send out three cheques. And I’m clicking on donate buttons multiple times per hour. And everyone on “the Left” is doing that as well.

  35. The postage on sending coins can be overwhelming.

  36. That’s excellent. Once the donation surges roll into all parties, the excuses for the public funding will diminish. But that’s beside the interesting point.

    When such a proposed coalition disintegrates, an election and election expenses must follow. The arithmetic is simple: a LPC/NDP coalition requires Bloc support. As pointed out earlier, the electorate returned enough Liberals and NDP to be propped up by the Bloc, just like the Conservatives. The difference is that the Conservatives can also be propped up by the Liberals or NDP. What is the likelihood the Conservatives will prop up the coalition?

    The shorter the time to the next election, the less time to amass funds and pay existing debts. I assume the Liberals and NDP are confident their coalition could stickhandle its way to a longer term than Harper’s minority could, past evidence notwithstanding. I also assume they are confident that the price of Bloc support to go that distance won’t be received poorly by voters outside Quebec.

  37. If Bloc support softens in Quebec following a PQ defeat, expect the BQ to play along for some time.

  38. Wascally Wabbit
    Nov 28, 2008 20:39

    Obama is in about the same political spectrum as Harper: “God Bless America” , Gay rights not marriges etc. He has presented ideas that people can support with donations they can afford.

    If this can actually awake the hands-out- let- my- albertan-neigbours-pay-for-it-all-socailists to put their money where there mouth is will be the best step forward for democracy in Canda since Chretien banned the big corporate donations… through no debate… just decreed and made it so.

    I would be shocked if anyone gives cash to support the Liberals when there is no direct 1000+ to one payback with taxpayer money such as a judgeship or corporate subsidy.

  39. I think Ti-Guy jumped in the sauce pretty early this morning….

  40. One hopes that the Tories DO spend millions from their war chest to unleash ads and professionally staged rallies complete with thunder sticks and innumerate other Conservative Party brik a brak on a disinterested Canadian public — it least at that point Harper can accurately claim to have offered an ounce of economic stimulus.

  41. For all those trying to make Parliamentary arguments in favour of this crazy coalition, just think of David Emerson. As an elected MP, he had every right to decide what he felt was best for his constituents after elected. Most Canadians didn’t buy it for a second.

    I suspect that Canadians will see this attempt by the opposition as a David Emerson — the family pack.

    Canadians generally vote for PM’s and governments. They don’t vote for parliamentary majorities, like some other countries do.

    It’s why I suspect they won’t buy this attempt to take over the government mere weeks after the last election. PR campaign or not.

  42. Paul Wells: “I’m thinking of renaming the Rules as Wells’s Generalizations.”

    — Or, more to the point, “Wells’s Genrealizations.”

  43. Ti-Guy: “…I heard on the braawdcast today that some economists are speculating that Flaherty has cooked the books.”

    — Flaherty can’t cook. He can’t reach the barbeque.

  44. Maybe I missed this during the election,

    Did the governing party mention during the campaign that ended just a few weeks ago that one of their first decisions would be to change election financing?

    Shouldn’t this be something voters should have thought about before they voted?

  45. Canadians love the idea of getting rid of Harper. After all, most of us didn’t vote for his squalid party.

  46. Barry D, voters had a lot to think about during the election, like who they wanted to run the country.

  47. To Ben Hicks!
    We’ll make a believer i you yet!
    Heck maybe Doug Ferguson will become a believer too!
    Only condition on Doug Ferguson – no more elites – and definitely no-one leadership candidate getting an inside track on all this!
    We work on Centre / Left rules – not Harper’s Happy Holiday Camp rules.
    to BC Voice of Reason – tough – to have to eat your words! It is happening already!
    If it doesn’t – the Centre / Left vast majority in this Nation realize they will be serfs to their Neo-con masters forever – and they fought the Nazis for their freedom – and they will not cede to this bunch of ideologues!

  48. Paul Wells: “everyone’s favourite Christmas gift”

    — I respect your craft and like your stance. The cover art repels me though. Have Indigo add a brown bag sleeve, please?

  49. Dennis F, hang around here long enough and you will learn many people went to the trouble of voting merely to assign an annual $1.95…

  50. I just got an email from the Liberals asking me to donate over this very issue. And no doubt all parties are doing same?

  51. Consider yourself honoured Shawn ( pity you can’t even spell your own name correctly)

  52. madeyoulook, you can’t possibly be making the argument that the number of people who voted based on subsidy allocation even closely matched the number of people who voted based on the government they want. Can you?

  53. But if Libs/NDP can ignore the short term public outcry caused by Con blitz this week, and pull it off, with Iggy as PM, they could last until spring, by which time what’s happening this week will be forgotten.

  54. I’m not making that argument at all, Dennis. I responded to your idealistic notion (which I share) that people vote in an election to, you know, elect. I’m just pointing out that the commentariat around here has a few anti-democratic elements who believe that purpose is sooo passé, when presented with the groovy notion of spreading around other people’s money, nickels and dimes at a time, to their party of choice instead. Beware of them, they’re hard to spot at first blush, they type English really well, and they only confess this silliness on rare occasions. But they’re out there.

  55. Paul,
    You beter cut down on whatever it is that you are currently smoking or shoting up.
    It is Liberals who are running scared at the moment and not Conservatives.

    ===Desperate times call for desperate measures===

    As soon as Conservatives publicly declared their intention to end subsidies for political parties they effectively cooked Liberals.

    Liberals are in debt and have to borrow money in order to operate. Who is going to lend them money on commercial bases if their main source of revenue might soon be eliminated??

    Harper already sent Liberals to get knee-capped by the bankers regardless if this motion it tabled at HoC next week or half a year from now.

    Liberals’ only chance to avoid bankruptcy is to try to defeat Conservative government in a non-confidence motion and form coalition government.

    That is a worst excuse that anybody could ever think of as a reason for trying to defeat newly elected Conservative government.

    What we need now is a good editorial cartoon of Dion dressed in shorts pulled down to his ankles with his knapsack and Kyoto dog on a leash submitting loan application to a Bank Manager. Bank Manager asks: Stephanie my sunny boy but you have no income to pay us back all that money, so where is the signature of Uncle Harper?

  56. So, madeyoulook, Harper is supposed to be more mindful of the overwhelming minority than the overwhelming majority?

    I mean, what’s the relevance of your point?

    Some of us shave every other day. So?

  57. If a week’s lead time was enough for the Cons to launch an all-out ad blitz, couldn’t they have done that in the November 2005 pre-writ period when an election was already a virtual certainty? Not that I doubt they’ll try to leverage their money for all it’s worth to try to define any coalition that gets put together, but I’d think they have to bank on controlling the headlines rather than much of a paid ad campaign to try to scare off a non-confidence vote in the meantime.

  58. I suspect I’m not the only one who’s noticed,

    that when having the standard water cooler conversation regarding the subsidization of parties issue, that even the most intelligent well informed individuals (save for hard core political junkies that frequent blogs like this) had no idea that the government actually funded political parties in such a way.

    The idea was met with general outrage (as also seems to be the case in the ctv and cbc online polls).

    Harper’s got the opposition by the kahunas on this one. There’s no other way to slice this.

  59. And Kady,

    if you’re around,

    I’m flattered that you miss me so much ; )

  60. Karol, please stop spamming.

  61. One more thing,

    politicians rank just above used car salesmen and journalists, in terms of public respect.

    Wanna know how the public takes this issue?

    Imagine their response to “fast eddies used car emporium” getting millions of dollars in handouts from hardworking Canadians.

  62. Dennis, my only point was that some commenters here have confessed to not thinking very much, if at all, at the polling booth, contra your “lot to think about” argument. I agree with you that people should be thinking about electing a government there. I’m just explaining to you why there were a few quizzical looks at your message. They were far too busy considering who was worthy of $1.95, that being the far more serious democratic urge in their soul at that moment.

  63. Kody:

    Online polls mean squat, because one thing Conservatives are good at is freeping online polls.

  64. Yes, but you have to admit…water cooler population surveys conducted by l’il Dakota up there are très scientifique

  65. I’ll take blog comment protestations over online polls as a useful guide to what’s bad for the Libs, to be sure,

    and the signs seem to be pointing to another brilliant chess move that will further weaken the left.

  66. kody,

    It would be disastrous for Harper to lose power. It would give the Opposition the opportunity to go digging for dirt on Conservatives, most especially the lies Flaherty just produced using economic projections described by many private sector economists as ‘cooked’.

  67. and the signs seem to be pointing

    Oh, stop lying. Seriously, if you’re going to fill up these comment sections with your fabrications, I’m just going to call you a liar, Ffib.

  68. It should be noted that there’s only one party that is urging Canadians to speak out about what’s going on.

  69. And yet all of this runs up against a simple wall: while vulnerable Liberal (and presumably NDP) MPs may be tempted to sway, the reality is that the “no public funding” cat is out of the bag.

    MPs will know that they aren’t going to be any better off if their broke parties get steamrolled by the Conservative dollar machine.

  70. Also, I’m terribly amused that people like “Karol” there are proving Paul’s point about Harper’s legion of puppet bloggers.

  71. Demosthenes, but you miss one real possibility — that the people who elected these characters have no love affair with the very subsidy they’re desperately trying to cling to.

    So, are you better of fighting for the subsidy, and losing the vote that ends up providing it? I don’t think so.

  72. The questions I have are a) what were the Tories trying to do with the financing resolution – I don’t think they expected it to pass and, if not, then what was the end game? and b) are they actually scared right now, and why not go to the House on Monday?

  73. Dennis, if the parties are facing an existential crisis, then no lacking “love affair” will change that.

    And, besides, that’s looking at it through the prism of Harper (and his minions’) reflexive loathing of government. What this funding scheme does–and why it’s so elegant–is that it ensures that a vote always, always matters. Even if your candidate doesn’t win, you can rest assured that your vote will indirectly help your chosen party; and because the parties know that your vote directly affects their finances, they’ll pay more attention to you.

    Look at the Liberals’ “308 strategy.” It’s not only a vote-getting strategy, but it’s a financing strategy, taking advantage of the fact that even “orphan” voters will have a real financial impact on the party. Harper’s scheme would ensure that the Liberals would never venture outside of areas of traditional support to fundraise, just as his party relies on the same-old same-old direct mail appeals to the far right that propelled the Republicans in America.

    What’s a healthier system? One that ensures that parties court voters without fear or favor, or one that rewards parties that cater to the base?

    Assuming you don’t break out in hives at the word “public”–and even Americans don’t these days–I think your appeal is less, well, appealing than you’re assuming.

  74. (But besides, the Liberals don’t even need to appeal to that. Harper’s ideology is as much his downfall as his politics. Slashing government spending to keep a surplus during a recession is such woefully poor economics as to defy description. It shows he is the hopeless prisoner of his own neoconservatism, and Canada cannot afford to be governed by someone so deluded.)

  75. I have enough loose change accumulated over the past three months to more than make up for the annual cost of the subsidy. The notion that people will be up in arms about their vote translating to a $2 donation to that same party is laughable.

    Of course, I think I’ll be making some donations myself soon.

  76. Its about time for Frank McKenna to announce he’s interested in the leader’s job again.

  77. This comment was up there a bit by Ben Hicks, but I loved it and need to comment. He mentioned that the potential coalition involved: “the dark voodoo of a constitutional loophole

    I absolutely LOVE that comment and that somehow the notion that our government consists of whoever can command a majority of the House of Commons is now being referred to as a “constitutional loophole”.

    It’s like calling voting a “procedural technicality”.

    As though our government consisting of the group that can command a majority of the House is just some anachronism no one’s gotten around to fixing yet. Like the Fathers of Confederation just forgot to mention that the formation of a government was supposed to be solely at the discretion of the leader of the largest party.

    Is it that conservatives really don’t understand the fundamental nature of our institutions, or is it just that they don’t care?

  78. LKO, did the constitutionality of David Emerson’s jump to the Tories in any way mitigate the criticism of it from just about everyone in the country, especially Liberal and NDP MP’s?

  79. Is it that conservatives really don’t understand the fundamental nature of our institutions, or is it just that they don’t care?

    Classy over-generalization there, LKO. That would be like me saying all liberals have no clue when some assert that withdrawing the lazy access to free cash for political parties is a full-on assault on democracy. Only the morons spouting that nonsense have no clue, not all liberals.

    You might want to restrict your disdain for those who have earned it.

  80. Parliamentary precedent is that the party that wins the most seats forms the government. If all our erstewhile constitutional scholars who want to point out “that there is nothing stopping the opposition for replacing the government with a different government” might want to consider the blow back with respect to twarting the will of the people in a recent election in seeking to change the duly elected government a month later.

    Secondly, whether the Governor General after the King Byng affair has any real mandate to deny a request by the Prime Minister for a dissolution is a live question. The negative outcry over the use of the Governor General’s discretion has resulted in those powers becoming no more than ceremonial in nature. How do those on the Liberal side of the fence think the country would take a second election this year? Beyond that – how would the Liberal party pay for another election campaign this year?

  81. Chris, do you mean the blow-back from the 62% that wanted someone *other* than the conservatives?

  82. What the NDP and Libs need to do right now is offer a directed donation offer on their websites. I would be happy to slide them both some cash if it was used to for ads to counter the CPC lies, but for their general revenue, not so much.

  83. Lord Kitchener’s Own says:
    “I absolutely LOVE that comment and that somehow the notion that our government consists of whoever can command a majority of the House of Commons is now being referred to as a “constitutional loophole”.

    It’s like calling voting a “procedural technicality”.”

    Excellent, and illustrates that we have done a dismal job teaching people how our parliamentary system works, including our PM.

  84. If the notion of Jack, Dion and Duceppe running our country, was a viable option in the last election, Harper would have gained a supermajority.

    It is now front and center. There will be a Harper supermajority within the next year,

    either through an immediate election the GG decides to hold in the near future, or

    following the crumbling of this grand coalition which most surely will fall apart within six months.

    And so much for a serious period of reflection and renewal the Libs were promising (and badly needed). A week into the new session, before they have a policy convention or even a leader and they’re already clamoring for the reins of government.

    Is there anyone left in the Liberal party who’s willing to look beyond the next week for a vision?

  85. Blame Harper, kody. If he hadn’t forced the Liberals and NDP into this position, say by putting a multi-year timeline on the public subisidy cuts, they wouldn’t have figured out that they can get together and oust him.

    So when you’re looking at Jack Layton, Finance Minister, remember that it was Stephen Harper’s playing games instead of governing that caused it.

  86. I just donated $35 to the Conservative Party and renewed my membership.

    I’d donate more, but I’m not a rich man. How many conservatives commentators are donating money as well? How many left of center people will donate this week, and how much?

    Sound off.

  87. The opposition parties have a perfect right to form a government. That’s the way our system works. We elect parliaments, not governments — governments are formed from parliament. It is not a “loophole” — that’s the essence of the system.

    I don’t think Canadian’s will be upset by a change of government without an election. It has happened before, after all. But they will punish failure. If the coalition craps out in a few months, and we have another election, then the Conservatives (under a new leader) will be well-positioned to finally gain a majority.

  88. Personally, I think the Cons need to use some of their money and buy 10 minutes of tv time at 8 pm and have Harper explain what his government is doing right now to help the economy. This collection of Cons are rather dire at presenting their arguments/positions. The Cons make lots of assertions but never an argument. I understand they don’t like our liberal msm, neither do I sometimes, but it is what it is. They have to get their message out and they aren’t.

    In 10 minutes, Harper can talk about the measures implemented in the last budget, but that no one remembers, that are due to take effect over the next year.

    Harper should explain what the Cons proposed a couple of days ago in terms of if people are hurting, than parties should feel pain as well. I think the Cons should have reduced MP salaries a few days ago as well as party funding but that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

    Harper should say they plan to introduce some stimulus spending after the Americans decide what they are doing because there’s no point in getting ahead of the US.

    And to finish his talk, Harper should talk about PM Dion, Finance Minister Layton and Foreign Affairs Minister Duceppe and let people think about if they like that idea or not.

    And I don’t know if Harper is capable of it but he should do his speech in normal language without taking potshots at oppo or scare tactics or use language like ‘screw everybody’ and think that’s an argument.

  89. Historical parallels are not relevant for numerous reasons and being “constitutionally” correct ignors the political realities that exists in Canada and the ramifications of over turning an election barely days into its mandate. These percentages of support ignors the fact that no party exacted a majority so its blissful wishful thinking that Bloc, Lib and NDP votes are interchangable or are a collective force unto themselves, they most assurdily didn’t aquire those votes under that banner and in fact vehemently denied any alliance in asking for peoples support. If they believe they are saving Canada then their first act upon securing power is to ask the people for a mandate to legitimize their move so soon after being defeated independently. Three hundred million you say is too much , wasted expense, sad that our democracy has such low support ,that it now bears a price tag.
    The legitamacy of this coalition fails in one area and would be of concern to all Federalists of all stripes that it exists only if it feeds the needs perceived by the Bloc for its support. This unholy alliance has made me so concerned I’ve forwarded my 1100.00 to the Conservative Party yesterday and they will get another from both my wife and I in the New Year. I will now campaign amongest my friends outlining my concerns to have them forward support as well, should be good for 100,000.00 or more I’m sure.

  90. I’m simply pointing out that current precedent is strongly indicative of the fact that if the opposition parties vote non-confidence we could be going to polls again. The Prime Minister is entitled to ask for a disolution and the diminishing of the Governor General’s powers suggests that he’s likely to get it.

  91. I’m sure somebody here knows….for how long have the parties gotten money for each vote received?
    Has this been around for a long time or is it something relatively recent? I don’t have any problem with this by the way. If I vote Lib or Conservative or NDP and $1.75 goes to the party I vote for. Big Deal.

    And I don’t have a problem with a coalition gov’t. Last election I joined the 62% of voters who didn’t want the Harper party to get a majority. Election before that I voted for Harper due to his promise not to change the way Income Trusts were taxed (we know how he kept his word on that one-he didn’t). Anyway…let the opposition form a coalition, it is a democratic country, and go for it. It will either work or it won’t and we will see the consequences next election.

  92. “By the way, those donations from private donors are tax deductible to the tune of 75 per cent for a donation up to $400, 50 per cent for the next $350, and 33 1/3 per cent for the amount from $750 up to $1,100. How much does this cost the taxpayer?”

    Good question. So if sometime donates $400 to the Cons-taxpayers are actually paying $300.
    Didn’t hear Mr. Harper attacking this subsidy. Did anyone else?

  93. He didn’t. Propose attacking it to the Liberals and NDP. Presumably they will go along, right?

  94. This could be fun. Watching the liberals and ndp blowing themselves up will be spectacular. Do not ever underestimate the power of ads. They will be skewered.

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning

  95. “This will be one of the most astonishing weeks in the history of Canadian politics.”

    Really?

    You oughta get out more.

  96. I haven’t heard one of you mention that the $1.95 that Harper wants removed is the final nail in the coffin legacy of Chretien and his “solution” to scrub free the stain of Adscam. While some of you have conveniently forgotten Adscam, a lot of us haven’t.

    And would someone please produce a list of all these so-called expert economists that are stating Flaherty is cookin the books and that huge bailouts and subsidies are necessary. Prove it.

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