BTC: What the world needs now is more debate -

BTC: What the world needs now is more debate


From the Conservative campaign.

OTTAWA – Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

“I have asked my campaign to contact the TV networks about the amount of time devoted to the economy during this week’s broadcast debates.

“The United States financial crisis has deepened since the debate format was finalized.  The economy is, understandably, top of mind for most Canadians.  Unfortunately, the current debate format does not devote sufficient time to the economy, the most important issue facing Canada today.

“I have instructed my party to do everything possible to accommodate a format change to ensure these debates focus on the number one issue on the minds of Canadians – the economy – and that the economic discussion take precedence over less urgent issues.”


BTC: What the world needs now is more debate

  1. Thank you jack Layton!!!!!! This would not have happened if you hadn’t pushed for an all party leadership meeting on the bail out failure and the global economic crisis. Bravo!

  2. Canadian service people are dying in Iraq. Canadians here at home are dying from Listeriosis. Canadians are afraid to shop for food because Harper killed government food inspections.

    But none of that is important. It’s all about money with Harper.

    I don’t really care either way, except that it smacks of Harper intending to push his agenda on the debate. That’s not appropriate. The questions and discussions are to be lead by the moderator and to address issues important to Canadians. The economy is important, but if we’re all dying from war and food, money isn’t going to help. What’s the point of money if you’re dead?

  3. Whoa – is Harper in charge of the debate? How much influence does he have over the “conglomerate?

  4. Wow. This is the third or fourth time just in this campaign that Harper has followed in the wake of Layton.

    1) Layton asks for all-party meeting on economy – harper who had previously been disdainful of questions about our economic health now wants to expand the topic during the debate
    2) Layton asks for all-party approval for the Parliamentary Budget office to release the Afghan costing report prior to election day – now Canadians can have vote with complete knowledge of the financial issues facing our country
    3) Layton first to call for Ritz to resign and to push for more meat inspectors and a review of the planned deregulation of inspections in the wake of the listeriosis deaths – Harper says he will call inquiry
    4) Layton releases his consumer protection plans – Harper releases similar promises right after

    Before the election even Harper credited Layton with convincing him that an apology to First Nations people was necessary and that it had to take place in the House of Commons.

    I guess we know who the real leader is now.

    Vote NDP Stop Harper!

  5. Carrie: I agree with you that the Afghan War and social issues like poverty are very important and should be addressed and I would assume will be addressed. None of us can dismiss the seriousness of the economic crisis that seems to ben spreading globally.

  6. How long does he need to say: “Friends, we’re screwed.”?

  7. Does this mean that we are going to hear something other than “our economic fundamentals are strong?”

  8. “Wow. This is the third or fourth time just in this campaign that Harper has followed in the wake of Layton.”

    Olivia, to the rest of us, this underscores the undeniable partnership between those two leaders.

    Make no mistake, a stronger NDP cannot take place without a stronger CPC. Their fate in this election are very much linked.

  9. Personally, I would love nothing more than giving Canadians the chance to hear what Layton has to say about the economy.

    More light needs to be shed on his “I have a dream” budget.

    That being said, they at least provided us with an economic platform to look at, however ridiculous it might be.

    Harper has given us ziltch!!

  10. boudica: maybe you should read douglas bells comments from the globe. I am pretty sure you are liberal so you will slag this off regardless but just so you know the liberal plan is an unholy mess and I am very comfortable discussing the NDP’s platform – but I think Douglas and Brian Topp the NDP campaign chair address some of the concerns raised by liberal sops like Jeffrey Simpson:

  11. Boudica: Oh and regarding ‘collusion’ between Layton and Cons. Beyond stupid – sorry. Liberals need to get over their arrogance that everyone who disagrees with them must be in cahoots. Conservatives disagree with libs for their own reasons.

    The New Dems are simply saying that the Liberals never deliver unless a metaphorical gun is held their heads. Usually that pressure is the threat of an election or the negotiations during a minority government when they are trying to stay in power.

  12. oliviabrown, FYI, this will be the first election where I will be voting for a party other than the NDP.

    I can’t get mad at the NDP for doing what it can to stay alive but I simply cannot stomach Layton getting in bed with the likes of Harper to increase his seat count. How Layton has treated May is also something that has turned my stomach.

    More importantly, I and many others will be focused on one thing and one thing only come October 14 and that is to make sure that the Harperites don’t get a majority.

  13. Carrie,
    let us hope that the panel asking the questions within the upcoming debates are better prepared than you are.

    This financial crisis is much more complicated than you could ever hope to grasp. Or, if I am wrong on that count, then show us how well informed you really are.

    This financial crisis is about much more than just money. It is partly a crisis caused by people no longer being able to understand basic logic.

  14. If the economy needs more “debate”, then fine – schedule more damn debates.

  15. boudica: i am sorry to read your comments (assuming they are true). I would remind you that there have been a few calls for strategic voting in the last two elections and when they have been listened to the results have been MORE cons not fewer because there are many ridings, particularly in BC, SK and MB where the fight is between the NDP and the Cons not the Libs and the Cons so when people voted strategically they ended up voting for the weaker party (BTW – we can thank Buzz Hargrove for those particular conservative seats).

    Also if you are really a New Dem voter than you would likely be as profoundly disappointed by their lack of action for 13 years on any progressive agenda and should realize that it is thanks to the Liberals that Harper governed as if he had a majority for the last 18 months.

    Finally if you really have been a New Dem voter you should realize that this is the first opportunity in 70 years for Canadians to get a REAL progressive alternative to the Liberal party. The Liberal party that only panders to its left during elections and only EVER votes progressively when forced to by either the courts (gay rights, workers rights, women’s rights) or by minority government scenarios.

    So my response – i can’t stand Conservatives, i will fight them in every way I can but when we talk about the Liberal party, as my grandmother would say – Good riddance to bad rubbish. As a lesbian feminist progressive – they have been nothing more than a pathetic shell of the Trudeau version of the party ever since Chretien and then Martin started to fight it out for power.

  16. I do not wish to single out particular newspapers, but this morning I have to commend the National Post for presenting us with an amazing overview of what is happening in the world of today, and with regard to economic understanding overall.

    Page 13 of the Financial Post should be a must read for all leaders running in this election.

  17. boudica: well May and turned stomachs is something we can sort of agree on. May turns my stomach because she actually has completely screwed the environmental movement and the Green Party in the process but hooking her little wagon to Dion and the do-nothing on Kyoto Liberals. Anyone with a brain and who watched Dion’s speech at the liberal leadership convention, could have told you that Dion pitching the carbon tax during an election was going to be a total disaster and now his poor performance and Mays backing has made the pitch for carbon pricing period more difficult.

    Oh and BTW – did you know that the Green Party thinks that Canada should stay in Afghanistan until we win? Win!?!

    So stomach turning and May is something that I get.

  18. Olivia, I know an ideologue socialist when I see one. No need to continue this discussion. The only thing we might possibly agree on is that a Harper majority would send this country into a tail spin.

    Where you and I will never agree is in thinking that voting NDP – a party that will never garner enough support to replace the feared Harper regime – isn’t splitting up the vote in such a way that the CPC is certain to increase its seat count.

    Let’s just agree to disagree.

  19. boudica: final word is – check your facts but from the last two elections but it is true, strategic voting elected more cons than not in the west. That is not spin or ideology it is math.

  20. oliviabrown, that’s an NDP blogger’s lie. Her quote is out of context and you can’t even hear the question asked.

  21. Saskboy: are you claiming that I am lying or boudica?

    So to prove I am not lying. In 2006 Martin went into Saskatchewan and said that you should vote LIb to stop Harper. The Libs had few if any shots to take the conservatives in Sask so the Tories took all but two (i think) seats.

    In terms of BC – same message but again the real alternative to the Cons in many seats was the NDP not the libs so here are 2 examples and folks can go to the elections canada website to check my numbers:

    Cons won by 9.1%
    NDP – 32%
    Libs – 19%

    Cons won by 8.5%
    NDP 30.8%
    Libs – 25%

    So if any of those 19% or 25% of Liberals in Nanaimo or Kamloops respectively, were soft progressive voters scared into voting for the Liberals to stop the conservatives they achieved the exact opposite of their goal.

  22. Olivia: Don’t listen to any partisan supporter for strategic voting. (Or.. really.. for anything)

    How to strategic vote depends entirely on which riding you’re in, and whether your goal is to get more seats for a certain party or to prevent seats from a certain party. is a good guide to give more seats to your preferred party, and and are good strategic sites for anti-conservatives.

    Now I haven’t found a site for anti-voting on any of the other parties.. although to be honest, I haven’t looked.

  23. oliviabrown, give me a break…

    Either Layton is a self-centred opportunist, who basically turned his back on Kelowna, ECE, Kyoto, etc., for the sake of trying to get the Offical opposition crown.

    Or, Layton is really just incredibly naive to believe that any progressive agenda could have gone through with Harper’s blessing in the past 2.5 years.

    If the NDP were true to its roots, and remembered that it was the voice of the “working class”, it should have realized that propping up the previous Liberal government, which basically capitulated to the NDP platform, would have more quickly ensured the “worker’s paradise”, than any amount of sleeping with Harper.

    All of this mess of the past 2.5 years, all of the regression of the progressive side of Canada, can be laid squarely at the feet of Layton.

    “The House that Jack built”.


    “A vote for the NDP means Jack”.

  24. Amen to that Austin.

  25. Martin had the opportunity to maintain a working relationship with the NDP. The NDP was willing to continue supporting the Martin minority as long as there was a commitment made to implement the Romanow report, a report the Liberals themselves called for.

    Martin preferred to implement further tax cuts and the NDP could not support that over the much needed investment in our health care system. This is consistent with progressive values.

    Maybe Liberal activists have forgotten but Martin was equally reluctant to work with the opposition parties during his minority. This was completely contradictory to the desire of Canadian voters. The way a minority works is for the government to work out an agenda with one or more parties. Martin refused to do this.

    Lots of ABC types that post on this comment board repeatedly bemoan Harper’s anti-democratic approach, his unwillingness to work across the aisle. In fact it has been the NDP that worked with Liberals to get the NDP budget amendment in 2005 and that supported the accountability legislation of the conservatives. Now that was the only legislation that the NDP could support from the Cons but the principle remains that the NDP has been a fair player in both minority parliaments. The Liberals on the other hand chose to allow Harper to govern as if he had a majority making no effort to extract anything to soften the conservative legislative agenda. They abdicated their role as Official Opposition.

    The NDP DID NOT bring down the Martin minority. Martin chose to throw his own government under the bus in hopes that he would be able to secure a majority in the 2006 election.

  26. The NDP DID NOT bring down the Martin minority. Martin chose to throw his own government under the bus in hopes that he would be able to secure a majority in the 2006 election.

    Uh…I didn’t realize that Martin tabled a vote of confidence on himself. And you say that the NDP would’ve continued its support for Martin, if he had followed the Romanow report?

    Is this logic, NDP-style?


    Had Jack not gone against the Martin government, all these cuts to women’s programs, to the court challenges program, to ECE, to aboriginal rights, could not have occurred. And I repeat COULD NOT. And it will take years before things are brought back to their original state. YEARS. These very things that I would expect that you hold dear to every fibre of your being. GONE.

    And for what, Olivia? A few extra seats, and the misguided belief that Harper would actually give a sh*t.

    That is the reality. Live in reality, Olivia.


  27. Austin – that is what happened.

    Here are some links that show the history:



    So Austin, maybe my memory of events is different than yours (partisanship does colour one’s understanding of events) but it is not factually wrong.

    You can choose to view Martin’s decision not to keep working with the NDP as principled or you can see it the way I do, a guy who had already promised to dissolve the House in a matter of 6 – 8 weeks after the Gomery report was published (which he promised to do on national teevee) who saw an opportunity to beat the clock and get to the polls before the report could do more damage than the hearing already did. A little less principled…