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Change partners and dance?

Maybe the coalition isn’t dead, writes ANDREW COYNE. Maybe it’s just a different coalition.


 

Change partners and dance?What’s this? First the PM lets slip, in a post-crisis interview, that he thinks the two “big national parties” should be “working together to fix the economy.” Next thing you know, he and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff are having a “cordial and businesslike” meeting.” And now this?

Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has conceded that the economic projections in last month’s controversial update were overly rosy in light of deteriorating conditions, two Liberal MPs said today.

Finance critics John McCallum and Scott Brison emerged from a one-hour consultation with the finance minister in Toronto saying they were promised a more “realistic” picture before Christmas.

“He certainly admitted that the economic situation has deteriorated since receiving the forecasts (for the Nov. 27 fiscal and economic statement). He does agree that the forecasts were too rosy,” McCallum said in a cellphone interview…

Brison said the preferred route is for a realistic budget that tackles Canada’s economic problems.

“During these extraordinarily difficult economic times, Canadians clearly want to see a better level of co-operation in Parliament, and the Liberal party is open to that co-operation,” he said.

Something is most definitely up. Just days ago, the official Liberal party line was that the government simply could not be trusted, that cooperation was impossible, etc. (You can read several variations on that theme, in fact, in today’s Hill Times.) But now listen to Brison:

“I am hopeful and indeed confident that Minister Flaherty will come back to us on both counts — a plan that we can consider to be a realistic one around asset sales and fiscal numbers that we can depend on.”…

I believe, based on our meeting today, that there is an openness with Minister Flaherty and the government to actually co-operate with us and to work with us,” Brison said.

Perhaps I was too hasty. Maybe the coalition isn’t dead. Maybe it’s just a different coalition.

MORE:

Opposition Liberals came out of a meeting with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Monday saying pre-budget discussions on how to stimulate the economy were productive and professional…

Brison said the meeting could be the first of several if the Tories are willing to be “square” about the economy

MORER:

Brison, who called the meeting “very constructive and businesslike,” said he’s hopeful the government will respond quickly.

“I would hope that prior to Christmas, we can have our concerns addressed and realistic, up-to-date and honest fiscal numbers for us to work on,” said Brison.

I’m confident that we will get the information that we need to proceed.”

MOREST:

Newly-minted Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff should not defeat the Harper government on the budget vote next month, but he should try to buy some time to rebuild the party, fundraise, and define his leadership before the Conservatives define him as they did to former leader Stéphane Dion, say some top Liberals.

“He should get out and let Canadians find out who he is and get an organization together and then if the government is going to be defeated, it can be defeated a year from now,” said one senior Liberal…

But some of Mr. Ignatieff’s supporters interviewed for this article said that it’s highly unlikely that the budget will be defeated because Liberals are divided on the idea of a coalition government and Mr. Ignatieff himself tends to side with those against the idea of a coalition government.

Also, sources said that by not defeating the government, Mr. Ignatieff as a rookie leader will get some time to get his party ready for an election and raise badly-needed money for the party.

Sources denied that by being Prime Minister of a coalition government, he will be in a better position to build the party arguing that in the Prime Minister’s job, he will always be busy in dealing with crises almost on a daily basis.

“You spend all your time watching your back and fighting for survival and trying to maintain the pretence,” said one top Ignatieff supporter.


 

Change partners and dance?

  1. They’re like kids pretending to get along when the parents burst into the room.

  2. Surely to God it’s not a “different coalition” in the sense of Liberal cabinet seats. It’s just Liberals and Conservatives both recognising that harmony, at least for now, is win-win: Liberals declare victory and the Conservatives get to stay in government.

  3. And the Conservatives and Liberals working together (for a change) to help support the economy and deal with the current crisis is bad why? I’m not saying it will happen but it would be a nice change.

    Canadians are generally pragmatists. I think they see no problem with either Ignatieff holding the threat of a Coalition over the Conservatives’ heads to get results (going through with it may be another matter) or having the Cons and Libs working together for a compromise solution for the economy. Whatever route gets it done.

    The obsessing over the other minor, political details is something best left for the Ottawa media to putter around with.

  4. Wow, nobody could have predicted this!

  5. I will say again: For the month of December the two best friends of the Liberal Party have been Her Excellency Madame Jean and the Right Honourable Mister Harper. Prorogue long enough to let cooler heads prevail, and look what happens. Cooler heads prevail.

    This might even be very good news for the country, so long as these suddenly cool heads don’t get carried away with stimulate-now-pay-later. I wish I had some nonzero confidence in that last bit.

  6. Well, who said that Harper hadn’t been waiting for some real leadership coming from the Liberal side? Harper has never suffered fools gladly, and why should he?The Conservatives and Liberals have always had more in common than the three parties being involved in the latest coalition.

    Harper has shocked the Liberal party out of its paralysis, and I say: “Good on him, and good on this country! ” The men can finally get to work!

  7. @Francien:

    Er, aaah. Let’s not forget (or perhaps you want to?) that Harper and the Conservatives got us in this political mess to begin with. So, any practical solution (such as a Liberal/Conservative compromise) to save the country more of this ridiculous psychodrama would be most welcome by moderate, centrist Canadians.

  8. D,

    the Liberal party has been missing in action for years! It was Harper’s bluntness about pointing out the pettyfull state of the LIberals that has set this into motion (pul the subsidies and expose some real panick!). You really think Ignatieff could have bluffed his way through this, within the Liberal party, had Harper not put the heat under them?

  9. Hi Andrew,

    Quoting from above:

    “Also, sources said that by not defeating the government, Mr. Ignatieff as a rookie leader will get some time to get his party ready for an election and raise badly-needed money for the party.

    Sources denied that by being Prime Minister of a coalition government, he will be in a better position to build the party arguing that in the Prime Minister’s job, he will always be busy in dealing with crises almost on a daily basis.

    “You spend all your time watching your back and fighting for survival and trying to maintain the pretence,” said one top Ignatieff supporter.”

    Ha, I can not believe you and your colleagues are falling for this tripe. Andrew, you are smarter than this. THEY ARE PLAYING YOU.

    Let me get this straight. You are saying that the Liberals, The Liberal Party of Canada, the Party of the Sponsorship Scandal, the Party of Chretien and Trudeau. You are saying that this gang would willing turn up their noses at the prospect of real power – in government, at the helm, in charge power – because the Harper Conservatives are willing to open the books for them? Maybe promise them some time to get their affairs in order for a civilized election call in, what, 2010 – mid-June perhaps. Listen to yourself. Harper isn’t buying this for a second. He’s scared and willing to offer up billions in the hopes that the Liberals won’t pull the plug on this 16 day-old Parliament and have the GG give the PM job to Iggy. He’s scared enough that he’s packing the Senate.

    If Iggy lets Harper up off the mat now he gets an election call THIS June and the vote will not be over some idealized ballot question – it will be why Iggy needs to be stopped before he beats your children with CBC-funded terrorist porn (or some such concocted nonsense).

    Seriously Andrew, just because they aren’t talking about the coalition doesn’t mean that they aren’t planning to take advantage of it when the time is right.

    Say what you will about the Liberals – unprincipled, corrupt, arrogant, power-obsessed,

  10. ….and do you think, seriously, that Ignatieff as unelected, unproven party leader is going into an election? Let’s get real!

  11. “have the GG give the PM job to Iggy.”
    ———————-

    The country will go into an uproar if the GG hands Iggy the PM seat without an election.

  12. “Andrew, you are smarter than this”

    No, actually, Coyne is playing us, I think, and he’s sitting back for a while. How does the beer taste, Andrew!

  13. Francien,

    Andrew does not drink beer — only KoolAid (snark)

  14. Well, if Andrew doesn’t drink beer, he should start. It might swipe the ‘dark’ look from underneath his brow.

  15. Francien Verhoeven
    Dec 15, 2008 20:45
    Harper has never suffered fools gladly, and why should he?

    * * *

    Have you seen the CPoC cabinet?

  16. It’s clear that the conspiracy King, Jack Layton, is being forced into a corner with the separatist, Gille Duceppee. in fact Gille was in Toronto tday speaking to a bunch of unionists-I’m sure this is a Jack Layton orchestrated move. They wrote a song for guys like Jack:

    As performed by Gille Duceppe

    Hey there, lonely boy, lonely boy
    Let me make your broken heart like new
    Oh, my lonely boy, lonely boy
    Don’t you know this conspiracy needs you?

  17. Good one, Mike!
    Of course, he simply muzzles all the fools, even while stuffing ever increasing numbers of them into cabinet posts.

  18. “Have you seen the CPoC cabinet?”

    and

    “Of course, he simply muzzles all the fools, even while stuffing ever increasing numbers of them into cabinet posts.”

    That’s a tandem then! I like tandems. Please, get in front of the cart!

  19. Oh, my. It’s Dec. 15th , folks. I mean, Mr. Coyne is having a giggle with his agitation and all.

    But Jan.26th is a bit away. Given the personalities involved , let’s just wait and see.

  20. The CPC is playing this very well. They are in a good position to win the next election; all they need to do is ensure that there is one when this Parliament ends. To that end they need to put a wooden stake through the heart of the coalition so that by the time the government does fall, an election will be the de facto result.

    Therefore they are luring the Liberals into cooperation and public statements to that effect. Once the public has seen this, the Liberals will not be able to turn and claim that the government must be felled come January. With each passing day, the coalition will recede into history and an election will become more reasonable. Eventually the Conservatives will table a poison pill, the government will fall, there will be some talk of coalition but not enough to warrant one, and the long-awaited election will then be called.

    I suspect the Liberals can see exactly what is going on, but can’t do anything about it. They also have to appear to cooperate or face the wrath of the public. Realpolitik.
    To misquote von Clauswitz, politics is merely war by other means.

  21. Francien, your mesage is so consistent. let me see: Now Harper can work with the libs, which has been the end game all along, hoping to save them from their own weakness. And that’s good for the country, you say. But i’m willing to bet if Harper had suceeded in cutting off the libs funding you would now be telling us, that it was for their own good, and the good of the country, of course. With friends like you and harper we can all rest easy in our beds at night.

  22. Harper has lost his mojo; where is his nerve, his core values, his iron will? He should be daring them to sink the government. Is Harper overestimating Ignatieff? Maybe its a set up…lure them in, then stick it in and break it off.

  23. I don’t think your cynicism is misplaced Andrew, I for one is convinced that Harper has some sort of disorder and he will come back to his old mean self once the crisis is over. Liberals are no fools to be taken by his BS. Conservatives would if they are smart get rid of Harper and get someone who can work in Minority situation.

  24. Francien,

    The uproar over King-Byng in 1926 was because Meighan was incapable of governing for a week. King was able to make the election about something other than why he lost the confidence of the House in the first place. Good politics. Bad basis for assessing the Constitutional precident.

    If the GG is going to follow whatever advice her PM gives her without question, then why did it take 2 1/2 hours to convince her to prorogue the House? A casual look at slides from her European trip? Why was Constitutional advisor Peter Hogg over at Rideau Hall? Setting up the slide projector?

    Harper eventually got her to prorogue but he didn’t get her to ignore the situation. He got a “time-out”, a pause, a cooling off period, a break in the action, however you describe it he did NOT get out of the numerical problem. The opposition outnumber him and until the coalition is formally repudiated by either the Libs or the NDP or the formal offer to support it is withdrawn by the Bloc there is a viable governing alternative (however unpalatable as that may seem to supporters of the Conservatives or even supporters of the coalition members). If the coalition is not disolved by January 26th, and even with all the warm fuzzies between the Tories and the Libs no body as torn up anything, then WHEN the budget is defeated Harper will need to sell the GG on disolution.

    What will be his arguement? Six weeks have passed? So what? We are only in January (at that point) because Harper’s advice was that the coalition will not hold until January, cooler heads and all. Even if you accept the notion that we need to look at the passage of time from the last election – October – we are still well within the 6 month threshold of 1926. If you want to change the constitution, fine – go do so, there’s a formula and everything. Throw in some Senate reform while you are at it. In the meantime, we have a Parliamentary system and if the 40th Parliament has less than 3 weeks under its belt and three votes (electing a Speaker, a louder yays than nays on a vanilla-flavoured Throne Speech and a clear express vote against a government’s budget) then I think Peter Hogg will say this PM is lacking the confidence of the House and you, Madam Goveror General, do not have to take his advice. She can explore whether or not this Parliament is viable, even though this PM is not.

    Maybe it isn’t in the overt political interest of any of the players (Liberals or NDP). Maybe it will enrage the Tories and their supporters. Maybe it will upset Liberals and New Democrats who think getting in bed with the other is a bigger loss than gain. But maybe, just maybe, it will demonstrate that false majority rule is at an end in Canada. Whatever your political stripe, our First Past The Post system has been exposed as a democratic fraud by the exagerated strength of the Bloc (even though it was just as fraudulant when Chretien would get majorities with 37% of the vote). Whatever one thinks of those who voted for the opposition parties – they at least represent a greater number of Canadians than voted for any one of them. Once that concept – majority rule – catches on, then we might be on to something. We could call it democracy.

  25. It is never a democracy in which party leaders toss away party policy platforms in order to defeat a government having been elected on its platform.

    People should really have a closer look at what Layton has done since being re-elected and then comment on the meaning of democracy. I am tired of spin, spin, based on nothing but spin. Check out what Layton has done to his own party policy in order to join the coalition and then explain democracy and elections to me again.

    And by the way: this is not 1926. Can we move on already. My god, the world has changed so much, you cannot be serious when invoking events from 1926 untill eternity. When is this country willing to look at itself from modern perspective.

  26. AlbertaDoug – what is it about the coalition that gives you the impression that it is a viable governing alternative? Either you’re deluded or you’re lying.

  27. p.s. I’m sorry if my comment was impolite, but I’m sick of this fiction that somehow the coalition still has some credibility. Anyone who perpetuates it is either blind to the facts or cynically trying to make people believe in something that can’t possibly happen.

  28. Two national parties? This story is about one national party and a regional Toronto-based party …

  29. One is surprised to hear that the Gambino and the Genovese families can occasionally have cordial and businesslike conferences? Only if one hasn’t been paying attention.

    Just for fun, scroll back up to the article and peruse the quotes, then tell us which mob movies you’re reminded of.

  30. Andrew, tsk-tsk, Stop trying to create the news, just report the news.

  31. As someone who voted for Mr Harper in the last three elections, I have no problem with the two main parties working together…just keep Jack and Gilles away from my piggy bank! I already pay far too much in taxes.

  32. Harper’s strategy: divide and conquer. His willingness to compromise will last exactly as long as the coalition threat lasts.

  33. I’m intrigued by Gaunilon’s assertion that this is a gorgeously-elaborate Conservative trap for the Liberals: that after much-publicized consultation and a “we did everything they wanted” budget– designed to satisfy everyone (and no-one) regarding stimulus vs. fiscal prudence, and thus be Just-Votable-For by the electorate at large– that Harper would include one final little f.u. poison pill, wedging apart the electorate into a “self-sacrificing Conservatives vs. self-serving leftist parties” ballot question (and demand and likely be granted another election by the GG). It would be another high-risk play, but (let the flaming begin) perhaps too high risk. (How the Liberals really could effectively fight another election so soon I don’t know). As Bill Davis was criticized for and McGuinty has followed in practice, “bland works.” (Most Canadians and not just Ontarians, when not provoked, prefer blandness.) I suspect Harper is actually following the blander path until he gets a sense of Ignatieff’s rapport with (not just the media which is admittedly lovey dovey) but with the Canadian people. And he’ll have to wait until after the holidays are well over to do that. 2009 here we come!

  34. Some people are writing that Harper can’t work in a minority? That is exactly what he’s doing by meeting with Iggy. What else is working in a minority supposed to mean? He’s worked a minority for 3 years. People who write stupid comments like that are just tunnel visioned partisans.

    If it wasn’t for coalition planning since the election by Dion (and Bob Rae), instead of being open to working with the PM as Ignatieff is doing, we wouldn’t have had all the charades of the past few weeks. Dion was simply not open to discussing anything with the PM. Dion’s unwillingness to offer reasonable ideas and policies in a minority parliament (and the Ethics Committee obsessive witchhunts) is what caused the deterioration of parliament in the last few years.

  35. Well, people always suspected that it was Ignatieff’s crew telling Dion to prop up the Conservatives.

    I guess now that he’s finally succeeded in acquiring by intrigue what he could not win through democracy, it’s time to really show the Liberal grassroots just how unwanted and unloved they truly are.

    (How the man will find volunteers during that prospective future election is beyond me. I suppose that he expects it to be through sheer power of bushy-eyebrowed will.)

  36. Demosthenes – Wait and see what happens in January. Don’t be so quick to buy Coyne’s spin. Ignatieff is playing a very delicate balancing act.

    And always keep this in mind: who has the best chance to beat Harper?

  37. Interestingly, this also raises the question of what, actually, is the difference between Messrs. Ignatieff and Harper. Both appear to be gravitating to the same center-right policy positions (albeit from different directions), both intend to rule their respective parties with an iron fist…

    …and both have proven wonderfully adept at running against Liberals.

  38. Jean, the coalition is dead. Ignatieff would have work to do convincing me that he’s even a centrist, let alone someone progressive enough to work with Jack and Gilles.

    Were he at all inclined towards attracting progressives, he wouldn’t have had to intrigue to get his job, because he would have won it in 2006.

  39. All I am saying is that no one know for sure whether the coalition is dead or alive, including you and I.

    Well one person may know, but I’m pretty sure he’s still making up his mind.

  40. Also judging by Harper’s change in behavior HE still thinks the coalition may come to pass. I think that’s telling. You can be sure that he will be watching like a hawk though for any signs of division, either within the LPC or between the coalition partners. Furthermore he will be encouraging his minions (including certain ideologically compatible pundits) to encourage such division.

    It is not only Michael Ignatieff’s judgment and nerve that is being tested, we are all being tested. If we blink before Harper does than he wins. It’s as simple as that.

  41. That’s a tandem then! I like tandems. Please, get in front of the cart!

    That, Francien, is the nature of Conservatives — their motto? — tell me where you want to go and I’ll lead you there.

  42. Demosthenes,

    “(How the man will find volunteers during that prospective future election is beyond me. I suppose that he expects it to be through sheer power of bushy-eyebrowed will.)”

    He has dark eyebrows, not bushy eyebrows. Leonid Brezhnev had bushy eyebrows.

    Stalin had dark eyebrows.

    Now you’ve got me imagining Harper with a truncated mustache.

    The two would make a formidable team, like Laurel and Hardy.

  43. “a government having been elected on its platform.”

    Surely you are joking??

    As one of the millions of voters who had to vote in advance polls, Harper never gave me the chance to see his platform before I voted. The Liberals shamed him into releasing a platform and he quickly threw together one with 22 photos of himself. I don’t recall removing the right to strike, pay equity or political financing was in his platform. For that matter, I don’t recall a stimulus package, which he is putting together now, was in his platform either. Or appointing 18 senators. Or greatly expanding cabinet. Or having Parliament sit for the fewest days possible.

    Harper’s platform, like his words, are worthless. He can’t be counted on standing by anything he says or writes.

  44. Catherine,

    I have to correct you Stephen Harper ran on a very clear platform: Stéphane Dion is a wimp and a loser and there’s no chance he will win this election. And his accent is funny. And we’re not even sure he’s really Canadian. He has French citizenship. If we vote for him he may nationalize Alberta’s oil and make us join the EU. also he wants to raise taxes on everything. I could give two shits about “climate change”. I don’t want any more of my money going to Ottawa. Also did you see interview Dion did with Steve Murphy. Ha, that was hilarious. What a boob. Vote Harper.

  45. Francien,

    There is much to what you indicate. If you have an irrational player on the other side then it will inevitably end in tears. Dion was not a rational player. Did the cons miscalculate…..sure….they thought Dion would back down when faced with reality…they thought the Liberal party would reign him in. There was no command and control left…the Liberal party would have gone rogue, launch codes in the clear.

    You cannot negotiate with that. Dion wanted redemption for the past, a fundamentally irrational concept, although understandable. So maybe Harper started it, perhaps Kennedy started the Cuban missle crisis by the Bay of Pigs…..but at the end of the day a way out was required before the missles flew. IN the the CMC it was finding the rational elements within the Soviet leadership and then agreeing to a removal of missles in Turkey. In this on, it was finding the rational elements within the Liberal party, buying them time and removal of the offending elements.

    Dion was nuts….his actions have given the Liberals another debt to pay, tarnishing the brand.

    I have said the tories didnt want an election, and they still dont. They’ll do it if they ave to but they would rather govern without the the oppsoition trying to be a govenrment with them. Dion and Layton dont get that. I think Ignatieff understands that even in minorities governments govern, because the opposition will never get credit for governing, they get it credit for NOT being the government.

  46. Stephen
    While agreeing with the gist of your comments i can’t help but being struck by the disparity between your pov and catherines,a couple of positions above. I n a way you’re both correct. I believe the big picure is not kind to either gentleman. Dion was’nt nuts, but weak and tone deaf, a dangerous combo, But let’s not serve him up as a scape goat. Harper has been shone up in a very ugly light too.

  47. There was aboluteley nothing “nuts” about Dion agreeing to join a coalition in order to prevent the destruction of his political party. It, in fact, is the only thing he or the other opposition parties could have done. Any backing down would have been pounced on by Harper and he would have rammed through his party financing “reforms” at the first available opportunity. In fact, he probably still will; whixch is why I am still suppoting the coalition and why I think it is still in play (despite the certainty of Conservatives and slect pundits who are quick to write it off as dead…having already been forced to back away from their predictions more than once)

    If the other parties are bankrupt they cannot very well contest an election or meaningfully oppose the Conservative government. So what Dion did was not only the right and rational thing for the LPC, it was in the interests of all Canadians who value having real choice in our democracy.

  48. I’m a little amused by Liberals demanding that the Conservative government provide an ‘honest’ account of government finances – isn’t that a little ironic coming from the LPC who still really hasn’t acknowledged the huge amouns of money they stole from the Cdn. taxpayer. But I will try to be positive and not see this an an attempt to smear the government. It would be nice if the Liberals and Conservatives could work together to develop some strong plans, but I doubt that wll happen for a couple of reasons 1. There is very little that the government can do to solve this and 2. once some plans are announced the oppostiion will revert back to name calling since they have very few actual policies to promote.

  49. Whatever irony created by imagined withholding from adscam, it’s completely to be expected considering Flaherty’s history of not providing accurate financial information.

  50. “Perhaps I was too hasty. Maybe the coalition isn’t dead. Maybe it’s just a different coalition.”

    For the sake of Coyne’s health (physical and/or mental), I do hope that this coalition never sees the light of day.

  51. This might not have anything to do with this story .. but it has something to do with life

    when nature heals man fails..

    Science often seems to run into dead ends and/ or in circles.. We are in a period of evolution.. change is not always physical.. This one is helping us with information.. For instance Darwin’s work on evolution is over a century old. and science seems to be stuck looking for the next clue.. Darwin wrote in Africa where the people evolved from apes.. Here in Canada we evolved from bears.. look up bear paws.. you will see five digit feet that look like our feet and hands with fingers although not as long as ours.. Also google standing bears.. you will see they have no problem standing straight like a human form.. As long as we are limited to searching for monkeys we won’t get the full picture..
    this is some of the information that’s being introduced or set free..

    We are born spiritual, emotional, mental, physical. what we call spiritual is like nature’s language.. the connection we have with nature. it’s what causes nature to react..reaction leads to evolution..

    When we leave religion we under go a spiritual (natural) healing that connects us to the living earth.. that’s were Darwin learned from.. Religions have interfered with evolution. it didn’t effect the natural earth, but it has interfered with the development of human society..

    The mysteries of evolution is not the biggest problem that science faces.. it’s medical.. nature is on a path of healing, which means illness is healing.. My great concern becomes medication.. today’s medication are killing people.. this healing is new, it slowly began about 30 years ago. but since the year 2002 it’s a fast growing event…. doctors don’t seem to understand.
    The world of science is use to understanding things within he context of the religious limitations imposed on the human race…

    Religious influence which was slowly imposed on the human race has come to these event.
    On the word of Doctors, governments have made laws against the use of herbal remedies.. Remedies that have evolved over time with the natural earth.
    Today In Canada teas can not advertise their healing properties on the box. It’s illegal

    There was a laws made in the United States last decade where stores that sold herbs could not promote their products as healing.

    Mid wives are made illegal, today we are literally forced to go to a doctor, Usually to a man who will never ever know first hand what it means to have a baby..Denying women, their nature, their knowledge, the right over their own body. Pregnancy is not an illness it’s a natural occurrence of life… Here the church is pushing man as head over woman.. Controlling children from birth..

    What have these experts in medicine have accepted in the place of herbal remedies..

    Kimo Therapy…. In reality this is a nice word for Nuclear Waste

    cyanide.. A highly deadly poison

    nitroglycerine…. A highly unstable liquid, used to blow up Mountains in the days when they built the first train tracks,,,, That’s what they propose to give you if you have symptoms of heart failure…

    side effects of medication is a symptom of the damage being done by the medication.. giving new medication to cover up symptoms just cause more symptoms.. that’s why people today are on more pills than ever before..

    With nature on the mend.. relaxation, taking it easy is a better form of healing..
    The point here is that it’s already begun and Nature can’t hold off for ever… I need help to make this known before it hits… I’m willing to talk to anyone who wants to understand and has a voice to make this public. All the medications doctors are using these days are killers.

    Gypsy

  52. Steve Wart (and Francien, if you like),

    I’m not lying when I say that the coalition is still alive. Oh I know that some have sent out invites to attend the funeral, ordered flowers and set out a nice spread of cucumber sandwiches, but when I peek into the casket I can’t help but notice the lack of a corpse. It would be a simple thing for Iggy or Jack to simply state that it was all a terrible misunderstanding and rip the document up – but that they haven’t tells me that the coalition is still alive.

    Democracy has many definitions and, its true, they sometimes come into conflict but the I see nothing in this coalition agreement that suggests to me that any member is being asked to check his or her principles at the door. It does require them to compromise and cooperate with each other – but that’s what they were, supposedly, elected to do. Pointless partisan posturing and bickering – I for one feel that they have already exceeded the portion of my vote destined for such nonsense.

    As for looking back into history as a guide, I look to 1926 for a precident of action because that was the only time we actually got to see the GG make a decision of this sort. We don’t have to go back that far to get a better sense of the “lay of the land”. In 2004, when it was Harper asking then GG Adriane Clarkson to consider whether, if PM Martin sought to disolve the House and trigger an election, an alternative governement could be found in the House – the Conservatives, with a little help from the Bloc – and we now know that had it come to that Ms. Clarkson would have given Harper a chance. Goose meet gander, enjoy the sauce.

    In Patrick Monahan’s text “Constitutional Law, Second Edition” published in 2002 he preciently discusses the problem PM Harper faces. Monahan and the GG’s Constitutional advisor, Peter Hogg, really have thought about these issues and tend to have some weight to their opinions (for no other reason than they were calmly arrived at years before the current “crisis”). In discussing King-Bing Monahan writes, “Meighe’s government was defeated in the House shortly thereafter, and King won the subsequent election, primarily due to a campaign against the ‘undemocratic’ actions of the governor general. In fact, however, the actions of Lord Byng should not be seen as contradicting the rule that a prime minister who enjoys the confidence of the House of Commons is always entitled to have his/her advice followed by the governor general. …. At the time that King sought a dissolution from Byng, it was clear that the government was about to be defeated in the House. In this sense, as a practical matter, King had already ceased to enjoy the confidence of the House. As discussed above, a prime minister who has been defeated in the House on a confidence vote is not entitled to require the governor general to accept his/her advice. … It is also significant that King was requesting a dissolution for a second time, having requested the dissolution that led to the 1925 general election. As suggested above, it is generally the case that a prime minister who has already received one dissolution is not entitled to receive a second dissolution on his/her defeat in the House – essentially King’s position in June 1926.” And Harper’s in January 2009.

    Wasn’t it Churchill who said, “Read History!” Now he was a Tory, wasn’t he. Oh, and a Liberal before that. :-)

  53. “2004, when it was Harper asking then GG Adriane Clarkson to consider whether, if PM Martin sought to disolve the House and trigger an election, an alternative governement could be found in the House – the Conservatives, with a little help from the Bloc – and we now know that had it come to that Ms. Clarkson would have given Harper a chance. Goose meet gander, enjoy the sauce.”
    —————————-

    Sorry, but you are misleading the public on this one. Never, ever has the Conservative party under Harper signed a formal coalition for forming government. The opposition parties had asked the GG to be consulted, yes. But what has happened in 2008 is the formation of an official coalition, ONLY prepared to take over a minority government.

    “Read History!” Yes, without reading I know for certain that in 1926 there was no provincial/separatist party involved.

    2008 is not comparable to 1926 for that reason alone.

  54. This just in

    A new alternative for Prime Minister

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    Prime Minister Dio

    A group dedicated to uniting Canada behind a leader capable of inspiring us all. As the original replacement for Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio is the quintessential acceptable second choice. Also he invented rock’s “Devil Horns” gesture, giving mooks from sea to shining sea a new way to express their feelings. Which of the party leaders can say more?

  55. Alberta_Doug, if you really believe in the coalition, I have no quarrel with you

  56. Since 1982, (but already simmering for some time before 1982)Quebeckers have lost their sense of which federal party to belong to. They had tried to align themselves during the Mulroney years and that had worked for a while, untill Mulroney slowly slipped into the -‘two-nation state’ mode. Quebec liked that option but was rejected in its pursuit by the ROC.

    The Reform party found its origins within that framework, namely that the west was not willing to accept an informal understanding of the ‘two-nation-state’. The Conservative party took on the task of building from the ground up (and that includes their healthy fundraising status, and strong membership selection process for party leadership ). After several strong rounds, Harper has emerged.

    While the Conservative party had taken the years necessary for renewal, the Liberal party had been very busy trying to buy the Quebec vote from the top down (adscam) which had only backfired. The Liberal party is still trying to come to grips with how to proceed after 1982. I don’t think crowning Ignatieff as their leader will be a step in the right direction. In fact, I think it will back fire on the party once more. But at least Harper, and Canada,will have a more worthy opponent in the House. I think Ignatieff understands very well that crawling into bed with the BQ is not for the benefit of either the country or his party.

    Ignatieff will come to understand that the politial party subsidies, as they are in place now, is problematic for this country. I think he will come to understand that the Liberal party has to go through some serious reform and that will have to include better fundraising (and a better leader-selection process!)

    In the meantime, the voters in Quebec will have to make up their mind as well. Will they still align themselves with a protest party, or are Quebeckers ready to align themselves with one of the federal parties? The choice is theirs. But they cannot have it both ways. True federal politicians understand the choice fully and do not have to spell it out for them.

  57. Francien – Never, ever has the Conservative party under Harper signed a formal coalition for forming government.
    ——————————–

    They just were really REALLY tempted and kind of…you know…hinted that if the GG thought that was a good idea, well heck…. *lol*

  58. Francien Verhoeven – In the meantime, the voters in Quebec will have to make up their mind as well. Will they still align themselves with a protest party, or are Quebeckers ready to align themselves with one of the federal parties? The choice is theirs. But they cannot have it both ways. True federal politicians understand the choice fully and do not have to spell it out for them.
    —————–

    Once again Francien talks about what Quebecers “have” to do, building on previous comments about what they “must” do. There’s just something you’re fundamentally misunderstanding Francien. Quebecers will continue doing whatever the hell they WANT to do, including having ambiguous feelings about their participation in the Canadian federation.

    If you really REALLY want to push Quebecers into a corner where they HAVE to choose between Canada and Quebec that’s fine I suppose, but be prepared to not like the choice they make. Harper thought the opposition parties would never form a coalition. So he kept pushing and pushing and pushing until he left them little real choice. You propose to adopt the same strategy towards Quebecers. The only difference between Quebec and…for instance the LPC in recent years…is that Quebecers have much less tolerance for people (or parties) who try to push them around.

  59. francien
    Can’t find much to disagree with here. Where you and i part company is on context, Not sure about Ignatieff myself. But i suspect it’s a step in the right direction.

  60. So he kept pushing and pushing and pushing until he left them little real choice but to start forming a coalition before the pushing and pushing even started. Right. Got it.

  61. madeyoulook – So he kept pushing and pushing and pushing until he left them little real choice but to start forming a coalition before the pushing and pushing even started. Right. Got it.
    ———–

    (a) the pushing started LONG before the attempt to ram through the party financing laws in the economic statement. that’s what all those confidence votes were last session of parliament if you recall

    (b) your conspiracy theories about the timing of the coalition are ridiculous. read adam radwanski’s latest blog for more detail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/wbradwanski. he describes such theories as an “insult to the intelligence of canadians” but he clearly did not take into account your eagerness to be insulted.

  62. Jean,

    I will challenge you to find me one G&M piece that has anything positive to say about Prime Minister Harper. Anything positive at all! Any editorial or commentary will do. (Warning: the seach for finding out might take you longer than bargained for)

  63. “The only difference between Quebec and…for instance the LPC in recent years…is that Quebecers have much less tolerance for people (or parties) who try to push them around.”

    Absolutely! And a lot of Canadians who believe in a federal government have the right to not be pushed around either. That is why we will never agree to special powers for Quebec within our national Parliament. We all have the right to speak up for what we believe is a truly federal nation. If Quebeckers decide they want to vote for a protest party, then I will not hold that against them. That is indeed their choice and their right. But we all have rights, not just people living and voting within the province of Quebec.

  64. kc,

    “Where you and i part company is on context,”

    I truly do not understand what you are referring to.

    I put all of the past few weeks into this sort of context: if the LPC had taken time during the past few years, to working on getting its internal house in order, none of this would have occurred. I believe that Harper had every intention of letting the LPC look long and hard into a mirror. It’s the mirror part for the LPC that has been missing. Harper held up a very clear mirror for them to look into. And it seems that now, little by little, reflections are forming into a comprehensible picture.

  65. Francien – I believe that Harper had every intention of letting the LPC look long and hard into a mirror.
    ————

    HA! Harper was just applying some tough love to the Liberals. You’re too much Francien, really. You need to go on tour.

  66. Actually, Francien, I avoid Globe editorials as much as possible after having read them for a while. But I have read elsewhere, I think, that the Globe actually endorsed the Harper Tories in the last election. More as a lesser of evils sort of thing, but there you are.

  67. Francien Verhoeven
    Dec 16, 2008 23:51
    Report Abuse

    Jean,

    I will challenge you to find me one G&M piece that has anything positive to say about Prime Minister Harper. Anything positive at all! Any editorial or commentary will do. (Warning: the seach for finding out might take you longer than bargained for)

    * * *

    The G & M endorsed him in the last two elections, as I recall…

  68. No, the G&M FIRST talks Harper down, always and repeatedly, and then – very reluctantly – endorses him all within the SAME piece ( because I guess even the G&M cannot circumvent the fact the Harper is indeed a strong candidate for PM. Not even being willing to admit to that much would show off the G&M colours too vividly, perhaps.Complete and utter disdain might ultimately put the reader off.)

    Now the hunt is on for Flaherty’s head!

  69. francien
    What context you say? As i understand you argue the beating harper was handing out to Dion, in particular, was for the good of the liberals. the trouble is this is where you and reality part ways. I challenge you to show me one shred of evidence, lets say in anything Harper has actually written, as opposed to what you merely assert. Ive tried a number of times now to point this out to you. Given recent events i’m not about to simply take your word for it. Enough context?

  70. Francien @ 23:51 – Jean, I will challenge you to find me one G&M piece that has anything positive to say about Prime Minister Harper. Anything positive at all! Any editorial or commentary will do. (Warning: the seach for finding out might take you longer than bargained for)

    Francien @ 0:42 – No, the G&M FIRST talks Harper down, always and repeatedly, and then – very reluctantly – endorses him all within the SAME piece ( because I guess even the G&M cannot circumvent the fact the Harper is indeed a strong candidate for PM. Not even being willing to admit to that much would show off the G&M colours too vividly, perhaps.Complete and utter disdain might ultimately put the reader off.)

    ————–

    logic fail. case closed.

  71. What the heck is going on? We have been put in non-stop crisis mode by the threatened cutting off of public funding for parties that no one will support with their cash.

    We have been reading non-stop on how people are losing their jobs and the sky is falling….

    I looked at the unemployment statistcs to see how incredibly bad things are and found:

    1976 7.1
    1977 8
    1978 8.4
    1979 7.5
    1980 7.5
    1981 7.6
    1982 11
    1983 12
    1984 11.3
    1985 10.6
    1986 9.7
    1987 8.8
    1988 7.8
    1989 7.5
    1990 8.1
    1991 10.3
    1992 11.2
    1993 11.4
    1994 10.4
    1995 9.5
    1996 9.6
    1997 9.1
    1998 8.3
    1999 7.6
    2000 6.8
    2001 7.2
    2002 7.7
    2003 7.6
    2004 7.2
    2005 6.8
    2006 6.3
    2007 6
    Dec-08 6.3

    OK can anyone else see the trend….. In a perfect storm of all auto jobs being lost and not being replaced by other and Forestry and mining continues to suck in 2-3 years we will be back to 1991-1994 levels of enemployment.

    Quote from the Stats Can press release that is being used as a corner stone for overthrowing the elected government:

    “The largest employment declines in November were in Ontario, down 66,000. Full-time workers and men 25 and over were most affected. Ontario’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.1% in November from 6.5% the month before. Since the start of the year, employment in Ontario has grown by 0.5%.”

    OH Friggin NO.!!!!! Ontario’s Unemployment is almost only 1.5% below the average Canadian Unemployment rate over the last 32 years!!!!

    Who the heck are we going to get to do all the stimulus infrastucture work….. Massive immigration!!!! More “undocumented” construction workers in GTA? There is almost unworkable low unemployment rates (> 5%) west of the Ontario/Manitoba border.

    The inmates are running the asylum.

  72. oops that should be less than 5% in the West

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