Here's where the whole campaign vanishes down a rabbit hole - Macleans.ca
 

Here’s where the whole campaign vanishes down a rabbit hole


 

This just in from the Conservative war room (here‘s the Globe account of the CBC interview that sparked it all):

April 19, 2011
For Immediate Release

Ignatieff Admits plan to become PM if he loses the election

After denying it for weeks, Michael Ignatieff today finally admitted he is open to trying to become Prime Minister with the support of the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, even if Stephen Harper’s Conservatives win the election on May 2.

During an interview with CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, Michael Ignatieff said:

“If Mr. Harper wins most seats and forms a government but does not have the confidence of the House and I’m assuming that Parliament comes back, then it goes to the Governor-General.”

“And if the Governor General wants to call on other parties or myself, for example to try and form a government, then we try and form a government.”

Later, Michael Ignatieff made it clear that he would work with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to prop up his Government:

“I’m prepared to talk to Mr. Layton and/or Mr. Duceppe [UPDATE: this is a partial and misleading edit by the Conservatives of what Ignatieff actually said. Ignatieff originally mentioned Harper too. See copious comments below – pw] and say we have an issue and here’s the plan that I want to put before Parliament, you know, this is the budget I would bring in and then we take it from there.”

Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe have stated clearly they plan to reject Stephen Harper’s re-introduced budget.  Doing so would clear the way for Michael Ignatieff to become Prime Minister with the support of Bloc Québécois and the NDP and pursue their high-tax-and-spend agenda.

Michael Ignatieff’s ambition to be Prime Minister trumps everything:  our economic recovery, what‘s best for families, even how Canadians vote.

Today Michael Ignatieff made clear this is his agenda to become Prime Minister – even if he loses the election.

The choice on May 2 is now crystal clear:
A stable, national, Conservative government or an Ignatieff-led Coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois.
-30-


 

Here’s where the whole campaign vanishes down a rabbit hole

  1. And Harper predicted this scenario right from the get-go. A waste of over $300 million for an unecessary election just so they could pull a repeat of 2008.

  2. And Harper predicted this scenario right from the get-go. A waste of over $300 million for an unecessary election just so they could pull a repeat of 2008.

    • Well actually roughly 170 years of Westminster Parliamentary democracy in North America predicted this scenario.

      Remember…cooperation does not equal coalition.

      • Why should losers who force unnecessary elections get to form government? Canadians won't stand for it. Iggy just gave Harper a majority.

        • They don't. The party that returns with the most seats does. If, IF they can't keep the confidence of the House, then it is the decision of the GG to either dissolve Parliament or ask any of the Opposition parties if they can keep confidence.

          I'm fairly certain you knew that already.

          • And I'm saying, just like last time, the very idea will outrage Canadians. Iggy backed off then. Looks like he's in it for himself this time – once and for all.

          • Those are two separate points. Canadians may be outraged, but that's not the same as saying it's illegal/illegitimate.

            Many Canadians would be outraged to learn that their Tim Horton's doughnuts aren't baked fresh for them, but that doesn't change the fact that they're only reheated on site :)

          • Illegal? No. Legitimate? Not so sure. Mind you, I never made comments using either term.

          • The difference being donuts are a tad less important than who the government must appease to stay in power. The presence of the Bloc changes everything. Unless the Liberals plus NDP have more seats than the CPC voters will be angry. A better way to look at the situation is the stock market – perception is everything.

          • Unless the Liberals plus NDP have more seats than the CPC voters will be angry.

            And some of us voters are already angry that the Conservatives are deliberately misinterpreting the rules of Westminster parliamentary democracy in order to attempt to gain a partisan advantage.

          • Sure they are but they are also responding to a very real and justified feelings of uneasiness that voters have about the Bloc. Perhaps decades of bribing and appeasing Quebec with no positive results has created a situation that leads voter to believe that a government that is at the mercy of separatists is going to be expensive and unfair to the ROC.

          • Deliberately lying to the voters is never acceptable to anyone with half a brain. I'm sure I'll get an earful for this, but the way the CPC's numbers go up every time they lie has led me to the conclusion that we've become a nation of idiots.

          • 74% of Canadians think penguins live in the Arctic.

            This IS a nation of idiots.

          • I don't remember anyone getting outraged by the idea in 1997 when Harper was pushing for it or in 2004 when Harper tried to do it.

          • That's because, despite desperate attempts to claim otherwise, Harper never did push for it ever.

          • That may be due to the low regard voters had for the Liberal party at the time, anyone seemed better than the party of Adscam. More likely it is because that coalition never came close enough to actually happening. If it had I expect the public would have been just as angry. The problem for the Liberals is that they held that awful public signing with Dion, Layton and Duceppe vs. a piece of paper no one saw with multiple and conflicting interpretations of its meaning.

          • Canadians may be outraged, but, unfortunately, if Igatieff can gain and retain the confidence of the other two parties, he will be the Prime Minister for up to 5 years, reagardless of how few Canadians actually voted for him.

          • And of course Richard, we need to point out to Dennis here that Harper forced the election. The "losers" (who will no doubt get more Canadians votes than Harper again) only stood up for Canadians and did their jobs – it is Harpers fault we have an election.

  3. I only hope Mansbridge is as dogged with Harper when asking the same question of him. Now that it's likely Harper will form another minority government, how does he plan to achieve and maintain the confidence of parliament? If he wants to remain PM, shouldn't the onus be on him?

  4. Well people could solve that by voting for a majority Liberal govt. LOL

  5. Well actually roughly 170 years of Westminster Parliamentary democracy in North America predicted this scenario.

    Remember…cooperation does not equal coalition.

  6. I only hope Mansbridge is as dogged with Harper when asking the same question of him. Now that it's likely Harper will form another minority government, how does he plan to achieve and maintain the confidence of parliament? If he wants to remain PM, shouldn't the onus be on him?

    • Harper HAS relied on other parties to "prop up" his past two governments.

    • Harper's answer is much easier than Ignatieff's. If the seat projections are accurate Harper only needs the support of a few opposition MP's or one other party. The LPC would require the support of the NDP and the Bloc for every vote. Because of that Harper only needs to appeal to the ROCs discomfort with the idea that their federal government must appease the Bloc to stay in power. You can pretend this doesn't matter but it will to many voters.

    • Harper needs only one of three parties to support him, and it can be a different party on different issues. He is NOT beholden to the NDP or the BQ. Harper calls the shots.

      Ignatieff will likely be beholden to both the NDP and BQ, and have no leverage against them. Jack and Gilles call the shots.

      C'est la difference!

      • Did you two sleep through the last 5 years? If Harper could work with other parties he wouldn't be in the situation he is now.

        • I thought Harper managed to lead Canada's the longest running minority government?

          • You forgot the (TM)

          • The one that just got bounced for contempt?

      • Harper would need support of only one other party? Gee, I wish I was a sooth sayer too.

        Last time I heard that was, um,. Kim Campbell.

        If Harper gets most seats, he gets first crack. If he can't get the confidence of the house (as in support of the majority of seats) then GG would ask person with next highest number of seats. If that happens to be Iggy, then he would have to get support from a majority of seats to form a government.

        Nobody can govern Canada without the confidence of the majority of seats in the house. Harper should know that now.

    • Exactly. Specifically will he commit to sharing information with parliament, its committees and Canadians? Will he work with MPs from all parties to create consensus, or will he, his office and his Ministers continue to use their position as a bully pulpit to attack and undermine anyone who dares to criticize the government?

      • I think LC Bennett's forgot his buggywhip when he said: "The LPC would require the support of the NDP and the Bloc for every vote. Because of that Harper only needs to appeal to the ROCs discomfort with the idea that their federal government must appease the Bloc to stay in power."

        In fact, he's forgetting that the Conservatives will have a few mps in the house, too. would you suppose that they wouldn't be a possible choice to support legislation, or are they only interested in ultimate power or endless elections until achieved?

        • I think she realizes that the well documented animosity between the Liberals and CPC moves that situation from plausible to unlikely.

        • While possible, I think she realizes that the well documented animosity between the CPC and LPC makes the chances of this type of cooperation happening range from slim to unlikely which is why it is rarely talked about.

          (my original reply disappeared so I apologize if this is a duplicate.)

      • Not likely… unfortunately.

  7. Well people could solve that by voting for a majority Liberal govt. LOL

    • Or elect enough Greens to hold the balance of power, and then the Conservative meme of Liberal/NDP/Bloc becomes incorrect because it could be Liberal/Green/NDP instead. It may not happen this election, but it's coming.

    • Yes, by all means, get right on that.

      • Harper's facing another minority…maybe even a smaller one than now.

        • We'll see about that.

          • Don't tell ME about it pally, it's what the polls are showing.

          • Like I said, we'll see.

    • I'm glad that even the most hardcore Liberal supporters think that a Liberal majority is laughable.

      • I'm not a Liberal, much less a hardcord supporter. You'll have to look for phantoms elsewhere.

        • I find it suspicious that you claim you're not a "hardcord" (sic) supporter of the Liberals, given that 99.9% of your comments slavishly adhere to Liberal talking points.

          I think you're one of those "Liberals" in disguise. You've posted something like 10,000 comments on this site, so show me single one that criticizes the Liberals.

          • You can suspect anything you like, I don't mind.

            But I'm not a Liberal much less a hardcore supporter.

            I have often criticized Liberals and Ignatieff. It's not my problem you can't find any.

  8. One day after complaining about the Liberals misquoting Harper… the Conservatives misquote Ignatieff.

    Conservative Press Release:
    "“I'm prepared to talk to Mr. Layton and/or Mr. Duceppe and say we have an issue and here's the plan that I want to put before Parliament, you know, this is the budget I would bring in and then we take it from there.” – Ignatieff

    The Globe and Mail:
    "What I'm prepared to do is talk to [NDP Leader Jack] Layton, or [Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles] Duceppe, or even Mr. Harper and say: ‘Look, we've got an issue here. How do we solve it? Here's the plan I want to put before Parliament. This is the budget I would bring in.' Then we take it from there.” -Ignatieff

    Note: how the reference of Ignatieff working with Harper was removed from the quote in the Conservative press release.

  9. One day after complaining about the Liberals misquoting Harper… the Conservatives misquote Ignatieff.

    Conservative Press Release:
    "“I%E2%80%99m prepared to talk to Mr. Layton and/or Mr. Duceppe and say we have an issue and here%E2%80%99s the plan that I want to put before Parliament, you know, this is the budget I would bring in and then we take it from there.” – Ignatieff

    The Globe and Mail:
    "What I%E2%80%99m prepared to do is talk to [NDP Leader Jack] Layton, or [Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles] Duceppe, or even Mr. Harper and say: ‘Look, we%E2%80%99ve got an issue here. How do we solve it? Here%E2%80%99s the plan I want to put before Parliament. This is the budget I would bring in.%E2%80%99 Then we take it from there.” -Ignatieff

    Note: how the reference of Ignatieff working with Harper was removed from the quote in the Conservative press release.

  10. One day after complaining about the Liberals misquoting Harper… the Conservatives misquote Ignatieff.

    Conservative Press Release:
    "“I'm prepared to talk to Mr. Layton and/or Mr. Duceppe and say we have an issue and here's the plan that I want to put before Parliament, you know, this is the budget I would bring in and then we take it from there.” – Ignatieff

    The Globe and Mail:
    "What I'm prepared to do is talk to [NDP Leader Jack] Layton, or [Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles] Duceppe, or even Mr. Harper and say: ‘Look, we've got an issue here. How do we solve it? Here's the plan I want to put before Parliament. This is the budget I would bring in.' Then we take it from there.” -Ignatieff

    Note: how the reference of Ignatieff working with Harper was removed from the quote in the Conservative press release.

    • I'm sure the Conservative War Room will respond that a mangled quote is not the same as a misquote.

      • The Conservative War Room will boldly publish lies to Twitter. Yesterday Macleans called it a "smackdown" when the CPC Campaign Chair waded into the fray of the Medicare quote and supposedly won, while this blog overlooked my real Twitter smackdown of the CPC Campaign Chair who published lies about the scandal in Guelph and the CPC staffer Mr. Sona.

        • Scandal in Guelph you cal it? Grow up.

      • I'm sure they will. But they'll be wrong.

    • That's a very significant catch and worthy, I think, of a note in Wells' post above. What with accuracy of quotes being all the rage this week.

    • The Liberal ad attributed an ad to Harper which could not be attributed to Harper because he never had stated it.

      What has been quoted here has been stated by Ignatieff, whether you like it or not.

      • it's an absurd mischaracterization for which anyone who would repeat it should be ashamed and embarrassed.

      • Here words have been selectively removed from the middle of the quote. Would you like it if I quoted you as saying "The Liberal ad attributed an ad to Harper which could be attributed to Harper because he had stated it. "

        I simply removed two words from what you had said…. just like the conservatives removed 4 words from what Ignatieff was saying.

      • The Liberal ad quoted the Globe and Mail, who misattributed. As did several other news media. Unless you have evidence the people who prepared and approved the ad were aware that the attribution was false and ran with it anyway, then it's a simple mistake.

        Removing words from a quote without at least replacing them with ellipses to clearly indicate the removal, and to then use that quote to deliberately misrepresent what the person actually said, is anentirely different kettle of fish.

        I believe the common legal term is "with malice aforethought".

      • Why did they lie?

        • Because they are psycologically incapabale of differentiating between truth and fantasy.

      • Actually it's a misquote. Full on. Deleting words in the middle of quotations is a mis-quote, period.

        • Agreed.

          A mangled quote would be attributing something to someone without the use of quotes, ie. Iggy said that he would, etc. A misquote would be intentionally (or unintentionally) leaving out words from a direct quote. Iggy said, "I will do this and not that," etc.

          Maybe the conservatives felt a little scorned from what happened with the other "misquoting" fiasco and wanted to enact some of their own 'vengeance.' I'd really like to think that this is not the case and that it was purely accidental, but the evidence to the contrary is pretty compelling.

          With Love and Gratitude,

          Jeremiah

  11. Well, now it comes down to Harper's ability to gain the confidence of the House of Commons. Like it does for every single minority government.

  12. Is it hard to get a job as a stenographer Paul? Your story is a verbatum conservative press release? Does McLeans at least get paid the add rate for running this?

  13. Well, now it comes down to Harper's ability to gain the confidence of the House of Commons. Like it does for every single minority government.

    • and majority – it's just easier then!

  14. Is it hard to get a job as a stenographer Paul? Your story is a verbatum conservative press release? Does McLeans at least get paid the add rate for running this?

    • Read, my friend. Please read and be attentive.

  15. I'm sure the Conservative War Room will respond that a mangled quote is not the same as a misquote.

  16. Harper HAS relied on other parties to "prop up" his past two governments.

  17. Read, my friend. Please read and be attentive.

  18. If harper gets a minority whether he stays PM is up to Harper

  19. If harper gets a minority whether he stays PM is up to Harper

    • Yes and it has always been this way. He seems incapable of working with anyone in opposition to move Canada forward. I hold him solely responsible for this election, and also for the asshattery in the HoC. He has no intention of compromising or negotiating anything.

      If we had a government that would and could cooperate with other parties, we'd be onto something. Vote Liberal; Harper will go away, CPC will get a new leader, and Canada can move forward.

      • So when does Iggy, Jack, and Jill stop lying to Canadians and begin campaigning together so the voters can see what the real purpose of this wasted election is all about.

  20. That's a very significant catch and worthy, I think, of a note in Wells' post above. What with accuracy of quotes being all the rage this week.

  21. A little more editorial content than a full BS press release from the Conservatives would be appreciated, I agree. If the Liberals are "tax and spend" politicians, Macleans and Wells are Copy and paste journalists. I post press releases to my blog too, but contradict mistakes in the release, but our professional journalist/bloggers can't be bothered during a busy election.

  22. A little more editorial content than a full BS press release from the Conservatives would be appreciated, I agree. If the Liberals are "tax and spend" politicians, Macleans and Wells are Copy and paste journalists. I post press releases to my blog too, but contradict mistakes in the release, but our professional journalist/bloggers can't be bothered during a busy election.

    • Now fixed.

      • Now ^not fixed, it's just improved a bit with the update. There's still no correction of "Ignatieff Admits plan to become PM if he loses the election" which is an inaccurate phrasing designed to undermine understanding of the Parliamentary system. What defines #winning, and who gets to define it? The Conservatives sure don't get to define #winning, and they don't get to define "loses" either, and it's irresponsible for the media to let them!
        If Ignatieff wins his seat like any other MP, and the majority of MPs find confidence in Ignatieff as Prime Minister, then THAT'S #WINNING. If the Liberals get fewer seats than the Conservatives, that's not losing, that's democracy too.

        • It's an exact quote of the release. He called them on the real lie – the doctored quote. The title, while completely untrue, is required in order to fully appreciate how low the tories will go.

          • Since when is publishing a press release journalism? Cut out the middle man. Just sign up for all the parties' email lists.

          • There's more than one lie though, I addressed the other elephant in the release, which is a mis-characterization of our political system designed to advantage the Conservatives because they're framing the election as an "us vs. the coalition" when it's not that kind of system.

  23. From the CBC, who conducted the interview:

    "That's exactly how the rules work and what I'm trying to say to Canadians is, I understand the rules, I respect the rules, I will follow them to the letter and I'm not going to form a coalition. What I'm prepared to do is talk to Mr. Layton or Mr. Duceppe or even Mr. Harper and say, 'We have an issue, and here's the plan that I want to put before Parliament, this is the budget I would bring in,' and then we take it from there."

    .. or even Mr. Harper. I wonder why the lying scumbags — er, I mean Conservative Campaign — would omit that from the quote?

  24. "But when considering the Liberal alternative, one wonders which Liberals will turn up. Will we get the deficit slayers of the 1990s or the tax-and-spend, big deficit creators of the Trudeau era? Remember those Liberals with their double-digit inflation and interest rates through the roof? "

    Canada, wake up, wake up!!!!

  25. From the CBC, who conducted the interview:

    "That's exactly how the rules work and what I'm trying to say to Canadians is, I understand the rules, I respect the rules, I will follow them to the letter and I'm not going to form a coalition. What I'm prepared to do is talk to Mr. Layton or Mr. Duceppe or even Mr. Harper and say, 'We have an issue, and here's the plan that I want to put before Parliament, this is the budget I would bring in,' and then we take it from there."

    .. or even Mr. Harper. I wonder why the lying scumbags — er, I mean Conservative Campaign — would omit that from the quote?

    • Maybe because HeII would have to freeze over before they would cooperate with the Liberals?

      • The Conservatives edited OUT the bit where Iggy said "I'm not going to form a coalition" and also where he said he'd be willing to work with the leaders of all the parties — including Harper.

        That's outright lying. Deliberate, deceitful and blatant lying.

        • Agree totally. My point is they would not cooperate with the Liberals should the Libs be in a position where they need the support of other parties to pass a budget.

          Plus, of course, they want to play up the whole Libs/NDP/Bloc "coalition" nonsense.

          The Cons have zero scruples.

  26. "But when considering the Liberal alternative, one wonders which Liberals will turn up. Will we get the deficit slayers of the 1990s or the tax-and-spend, big deficit creators of the Trudeau era? Remember those Liberals with their double-digit inflation and interest rates through the roof? "

    Canada, wake up, wake up!!!!

    • Sorry, Con-fibs. Canada's rise and shine time…

  27. I wonder how SUNTV feels now that Peter Mansbridge–of the CBC NO LESS!!!!–got the scoop that would have defined their fledgling operation?

    I bet a million CPC supporters now think that billion dollars of subsidy money was well spent!

  28. I wonder how SUNTV feels now that Peter Mansbridge–of the CBC NO LESS!!!!–got the scoop that would have defined their fledgling operation?

    I bet a million CPC supporters now think that billion dollars of subsidy money was well spent!

    • No Scoop…PM Harper told us this before the election was called..NO SCOOP for Mansbridge sorry…PM Harper scoops Mansbridge..SORRY PM Harper scoops Mansbridge.

      • You do understand the difference between PM Harper saying something and actually hearing Michael Ignatieff say it himself, don't you?

        Because, quite honestly, if you think that Stephen Harper speaks for Michael Ignatieff than you have some serious perception issues. To put it lightly.

  29. The Conservative War Room will boldly publish lies to Twitter. Yesterday Macleans called it a "smackdown" when the CPC Campaign Chair waded into the fray of the Medicare quote and supposedly won, while this blog overlooked my real Twitter smackdown of the CPC Campaign Chair who published lies about the scandal in Guelph and the CPC staffer Mr. Sona.

  30. Harper's answer is much easier than Ignatieff's. If the seat projections are accurate Harper only needs the support of a few opposition MP's or one other party. The LPC would require the support of the NDP and the Bloc for every vote. Because of that Harper only needs to appeal to the ROCs discomfort with the idea that their federal government must appease the Bloc to stay in power. You can pretend this doesn't matter but it will to many voters.

  31. "“If Mr. Harper wins most seats and forms a government but does not have the confidence of the House and I'm assuming that Parliament comes back, then it goes to the Governor-General.”
    “And if the Governor General wants to call on other parties or myself, for example to try and form a government, then we try and form a government.”

    Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken.

    Liberals need to increase seat total significantly or they are going to have legitimacy problems if they try to take power.

    Iggy did not face vote to become leader of Lib Party and now the carpetbagger wants to take power through back door again. Instead of actually winning election, Iggy wants to ignore elections results, and tradition, in order to take power.

    Would someone in msm ask if Libs/NDP/BQ have already started negotiations on how they plan to carve up cabinet positions. Coaltion was planned in advance last time, curious to know if they planning ahead again this time. Seems to me that Libs, at least, have plans to ignore will of people and I would like to know how far in advance they planned to tell Canadians to get stuffed.

  32. Can you trust or take Ignatieff's word for anything he says – you decide.

    Mr. Ignatieff said. “So I rejected the coalition in 2008 and I've gone into this election, firmly excluding it.”

    Ignatieff signed the document along with all other Liberal MP's that was presented to the Governor General for the coalition in 2008 – we know it and have the proof .
    Does he take Canadian voters as a bunch of turnips or is he a pathological liar?
    Ignatieff said "I think, at this election, it's actually crucial for people to know what you're voting for,”
    It sure is and Ignatieff has tried to pull one over on us once too often.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/19/can-form-

  33. Harper needs only one of three parties to support him, and it can be a different party on different issues. He is NOT beholden to the NDP or the BQ. Harper calls the shots.

    Ignatieff will likely be beholden to both the NDP and BQ, and have no leverage against them. Jack and Gilles call the shots.

    C'est la difference!

  34. "“If Mr. Harper wins most seats and forms a government but does not have the confidence of the House and I%E2%80%99m assuming that Parliament comes back, then it goes to the Governor-General.”
    “And if the Governor General wants to call on other parties or myself, for example to try and form a government, then we try and form a government.”

    Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken.

    Liberals need to increase seat total significantly or they are going to have legitimacy problems if they try to take power.

    Iggy did not face vote to become leader of Lib Party and now the carpetbagger wants to take power through back door again. Instead of actually winning election, Iggy wants to ignore elections results, and tradition, in order to take power.

    Would someone in msm ask if Libs/NDP/BQ have already started negotiations on how they plan to carve up cabinet positions. Coaltion was planned in advance last time, curious to know if they planning ahead again this time. Seems to me that Libs, at least, have plans to ignore will of people and I would like to know how far in advance they planned to tell Canadians to get stuffed.

  35. Can you trust or take Ignatieff's word for anything he says – you decide.

    Mr. Ignatieff said. “So I rejected the coalition in 2008 and I%E2%80%99ve gone into this election, firmly excluding it.”

    Ignatieff signed the document along with all other Liberal MP's that was presented to the Governor General for the coalition in 2008 – we know it and have the proof .
    Does he take Canadian voters as a bunch of turnips or is he a pathological liar?
    Ignatieff said "I think, at this election, it%E2%80%99s actually crucial for people to know what you%E2%80%99re voting for,”
    It sure is and Ignatieff has tried to pull one over on us once too often.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/19/can-form-

  36. "“If Mr. Harper wins most seats and forms a government but does not have the confidence of the House and I'm assuming that Parliament comes back, then it goes to the Governor-General.”
    “And if the Governor General wants to call on other parties or myself, for example to try and form a government, then we try and form a government.”

    Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken.

    Liberals need to increase seat total significantly or they are going to have legitimacy problems if they try to take power.

    Iggy did not face vote to become leader of Lib Party and now the carpetbagger wants to take power through back door again. Instead of actually winning election, Iggy wants to ignore elections results, and tradition, in order to take power.

    Would someone in msm ask if Libs/NDP/BQ have already started negotiations on how they plan to carve up cabinet positions. Coaltion was planned in advance last time, curious to know if they planning ahead again this time. Seems to me that Libs, at least, have plans to ignore will of people and I would like to know how far in advance they planned to tell Canadians to get stuffed.

    • If Harper wasn't such a wanker, we would be discussing what Harper will do to continue to govern, But we all know that isn't the cards.

    • "Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken."

      That depends – Harper may try another bait-and-switch like he did with the Throne Speech in 2008… in which case I'd imagine all bets are off.

    • Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken.

      It is equally traditional for minority governments to work with at least one other party to try to reach a reasonable compromise that can satisfy a majority of the sitting MPs. That's what the whole "confidence of the House" thing is all about.

      If the election returns another Conservative minority, the people will have spoken, yes – but what they will have said that is that they do not trust the Harper Government to go it alone. The people will be demanding that the Conservatives listen to other voices besides their own to get legislation passed.

      If Harper reintroduces the exact same budget, and gets defeated again in the House, he will have only himself to blame.

    • This is simply wrong. The convention in Canada is that any party that wins a plurality but not a majority recognizes that it must reach out to be fair to those voters who did not support them. You can review acceptance speeches at both the federal and provincial levels to see this is the Canadian tradition. (Indeed, typically a minority win should not be seen as providing a mandate from the people.) It is an important tradition, it says that our government should always respect the views of the Canadians majority.

      The exception is of course, Joe Clark in 79, and in this case I think the exception certainly proves the convention.

      Harper of course made no reference to reaching out in his last acceptance speech. Once he gained his plurality, his view has been, there was a game, I won, so I get to do what I want. He stepped down from that view when the threat of a coalition threatened his position as PM, but he has never rescinded it.

      If Harper fails to get a majority, and brings in the same budget without discussions with the opposition there is absolutely no reason associated with tradition or legitimacy that compels the opposition to vote for it. After all, each and every opposition member has campaigned against this budget. To attempt to tell the majority of Canadians that because of the way the vote split that their elected representatives must change their position from the one they campaigned on to fall in line with the party supported by the minority of Canadians is at best arrogant. (Now that I have written it out it is clear it is much better described as idiotic)

      It is not that I disagree that if Harper gets a strong plurality that he should be PM. Indeed, everyone has stated that he gets first shot. His responsibility is to genuinely reaches out to attempt to gain the confidence on the House. If he instead attempts to rub the opposition collective noses in an unaltered budget, then the resulting chaos is on him.

      If we have status quo following the election, the determining issue will which party(ies) fear/want another quick election. That will depend on the perceptions of momentum near the end of this campaign and unfortunately money. I fear that Harper will once again have a dominant financial advantage and he will be unable to contain himself.

  37. Can you trust or take Ignatieff's word for anything he says – you decide.

    Mr. Ignatieff said. “So I rejected the coalition in 2008 and I've gone into this election, firmly excluding it.”

    Ignatieff signed the document along with all other Liberal MP's that was presented to the Governor General for the coalition in 2008 – we know it and have the proof .
    Does he take Canadian voters as a bunch of turnips or is he a pathological liar?
    Ignatieff said "I think, at this election, it's actually crucial for people to know what you're voting for,”
    It sure is and Ignatieff has tried to pull one over on us once too often.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/19/can-form-

    • no.

  38. Paul,

    You really should update your post to note that the press release is inaccurate at best.

    Printing it verbatim is Taberesque.

  39. And I thought Paul Wells did some research on is articles

  40. Harper has been clear from the outset: “Majority or bust!” The clear implication is that, if he is returned as leader of a minority government, he is unwilling to work with the other parties in a cooperative manner.

    And this is supposed to be a winning strategy?

    If Harper is unwilling to work with other elected representatives, Canadians should vote for a leader who will.

  41. Harper has been clear from the outset: “Majority or bust!” The clear implication is that, if he is returned as leader of a minority government, he is unwilling to work with the other parties in a cooperative manner.

    And this is supposed to be a winning strategy?

    If Harper is unwilling to work with other elected representatives, Canadians should vote for a leader who will.

    • Yeah, so a leader with less votes received you would consider a more legitimate leader?? So,less votes is better??

      • The argument is less than a majority of the nation has confidence in him as a leader. Canadians have more confidence in the other options put together, and as such, having those parties work together is the will of the nation. Just because you get the most votes doesn't mean you become prime minister. You still need the confidence of the nations elected officials, which Harper does not have.

        • If the Conservatives win the most seats then the most Canadians have selected Harper as leader over any other leader.

          If the three other parties combined win more seats it still means that Canadians have not voted for any of those leaders over Harper.

          Votes for Layton's leadership are not votes for Ignatieff's leadership and vice versa.

          And how do you think Ignatieff will garner the confidence of the House? By implementing his own platform? How could he? He is claiming that were the Conservatives to from a minority goverment, the Conservatives should do everthing to satisfy the opposition demands. And so, were Iggy to form a minority government, HE would have to satisfy the opposition demands which would leave the Liberal platform pretty well out of governing.

          This is crazy thinking. It is illogical. It doesn't hold any common sense.

          • If the three other parties combined win more seats it still means that Canadians have not voted for any of those leaders over Harper.

            But if these parties can somehow reach a compromise, they would have the support of 60+ percent of the voters.

            Which seems fairer than having the party with 38.6% (or whatever) of popular support get to dictate policy.

          • Yes, he would have to do everything he can to make the government work, just like Harper should. And as for platforms, Iggy's platform is closer to Layton's than Harper's is so logic would dictate it's much easier for those two to get along than Harper. I'm sorry you don't get that < 40% is not a majority of Canadians. The other ~60% of Canadians voted for someone else.

    • Yes!

    • Would you work with any of these opposition leaders,knowing they will stab you in the back at the first opportunity and keep blackmailing you for everything under the sun.NO THANKS..CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY

  42. Exactly. Specifically will he commit to sharing information with parliament, its committees and Canadians? Will he work with MPs from all parties to create consensus, or will he, his office and his Ministers continue to use their position as a bully pulpit to attack and undermine anyone who dares to criticize the government?

  43. Or elect enough Greens to hold the balance of power, and then the Conservative meme of Liberal/NDP/Bloc becomes incorrect because it could be Liberal/Green/NDP instead. It may not happen this election, but it's coming.

  44. The fact that the Conservatives are being allowed to claim that Ignatieffs's reference to the normanl functioning of a Westminister-style Parliamentary democracy is somehow actually an effort to create a Coaltion (not that there would be anything wrong with that – but that's another story) is a big moment of truth for the Canadian Media. Are they going to challenge the Conservatives on their BS? If not, then as far as I'm concerned then our country is doomed. It is being taken over by the inmates of the asylum.

    The fact that there are many who might challenge me here on this will just support my point. This is a moment of truth for Canadian Democracy – and Ignatieff has to fight back on this crap or all is ost – not just this election.

  45. Is Ignatieff not simply stating that unless Harper gets a majority, he will not receive the confidence of the House? I am surprised this angle is not being picked up. I think the opposition parties are just stating that regardless of how Canadians vote, Harper is not going to get the confidence of the House. Am I wrong?

  46. Why should losers who force unnecessary elections get to form government? Canadians won't stand for it. Iggy just gave Harper a majority.

  47. Is Ignatieff not simply stating that unless Harper gets a majority, he will not receive the confidence of the House? I am surprised this angle is not being picked up. I think the opposition parties are just stating that regardless of how Canadians vote, Harper is not going to get the confidence of the House. Am I wrong?

    • Yeah, I think you are. They're saying that if a majority of Canadians vote for parties that aren't Harper's, and a majority of seats in the Commons don't go to him, AND he re-introduces a budget they've already said they won't accept without amending a comma to reflect the refusal of Canadian voters to increase his mandate, they probably won't give him confidence. Essentially they're warning him that he may not be the only guy who gets to be obstinate in the next Parliament.

    • That's certainly what the CPC wants you to think… why is one of the reasons they removed the Harper reference. But this press release is serious spin… and factually deceptive. Deliberately so.

  48. They don't. The party that returns with the most seats does. If, IF they can't keep the confidence of the House, then it is the decision of the GG to either dissolve Parliament or ask any of the Opposition parties if they can keep confidence.

    I'm fairly certain you knew that already.

  49. Anything's possible, but it's taken the Green party 30 years to get anywhere in Germany, so it may take that long here.

  50. The Liberal ad attributed an ad to Harper which could not be attributed to Harper because he never had stated it.

    What has been quoted here has been stated by Ignatieff, whether you like it or not.

  51. Yeah, I think you are. They're saying that if a majority of Canadians vote for parties that aren't Harper's, and a majority of seats in the Commons don't go to him, AND he re-introduces a budget they've already said they won't accept without amending a comma to reflect the refusal of Canadian voters to increase his mandate, they probably won't give him confidence. Essentially they're warning him that he may not be the only guy who gets to be obstinate in the next Parliament.

  52. Ambition to be PM? Who is it that's stoking fear as a siren call to majority government? "Lapping at our shores," indeed.

  53. I would like to read Well's comments on this.

  54. it's an absurd mischaracterization for which anyone who would repeat it should be ashamed and embarrassed.

  55. Yeah, so a leader with less votes received you would consider a more legitimate leader?? So,less votes is better??

  56. Ambition to be PM? Who is it that's stoking fear as a siren call to majority government? "Lapping at our shores," indeed.

  57. I would like to read Well's comments on this.

    • Not much different from Geddes', posted separately and a little later.

      • Yeah, I noticed that you and Geddes posted at about the same time, which I found confusing, but you guys may have some fun with this as we posters scuttle from one site over to the other. It makes for some mindful navigating.

        But nonetheless, I am serious, Mr.Wells; Canada's political landscape has changed because of the BQ involvement in federal politics, and the first few years, or the first decade and a half, such involvement of the BQ had not become so clear because to the Conservative parties having run as two parties.

        But since the merger of the two Conservative parties, the involvement of the BQ making a mess of our federal system – for the reaching of majorities as well as for the formation of coalitions – has become blatantly apparent. And I would like to read more about that coming from the media.

        Someting fundamentally is changing with the involvement of the BQ within coalition agreements. And we need some media involvement in clearing up these confusions. That's what I was hoping for.

  58. And I'm saying, just like last time, the very idea will outrage Canadians. Iggy backed off then. Looks like he's in it for himself this time – once and for all.

  59. and majority – it's just easier then!

  60. Why did Iggy make these comments at this time? Did he just give Harper his long-coveted majority? Wow.

  61. So, what would Stephen Harper do if the Liberals win the most seats on May 2nd, but cannot get the confidence of the house. Would he refuse to try to get the confidence of the house if the GG ask him under those circumstances?

  62. Did you two sleep through the last 5 years? If Harper could work with other parties he wouldn't be in the situation he is now.

  63. Yes, by all means, get right on that.

  64. Why did Iggy make these comments at this time? Did he just give Harper his long-coveted majority? Wow.

    • No idea why he said this. It was either strategy or error.

      Either way, I'm sure we'll now get to see the full force of both the LPC and CPC war rooms for the next few days as they try to spin this.

      • I'm actually watching the clip on the CBC website, and Iggy made the comments under tough questioning from Mansbridge.On the one hand, Iggy said he think Canadians should get clarity on what they're voting for. So, Mansbridge pushed him on clarity regarding Harper not gaining confidence of the House. Iggy was clearly reluctant to go there, but walked straight into it once pushed. Probably a rookie political leader mistake. Sometimes you just have to sit there and answer a question without answering it. That's politics.

        • Now I'm annoyed that I'm forced to attend a dinner tonight. I really want to see how Ezra Levant is going to handle having the CBC's Mansbridge pulling that quote out of Ignatieff! He and Lilley spent the whole night railing against the CBC and their Liberal ties and now they'll be forced to watch a real CBC journalist grilling the Liberal leader really hard.

          • lol, well, there's been a theory floating about for some time now that Mansbridge et al have been making efforts at being more balanced, in part to deflect any political pressures in the wake of a possible Harper majority. Might be working.

          • Right – a self-serving theory that rests on the assumption that Mansbridge et al are biased to begin with.

          • It re-runs at 10 PM.

            You can watch Ezra then. :-)

          • Lets hope that he is as hard on Harper as he was with Mr. Ignatieff. Hopefully a little tougher than he was on Harper on his one on one. Looks like hes pandering to the Cons to try and save his job and CBC.

          • Mansbridge is 62; I doubt he'd throw away a lifetime's reputation for the remaining months of his job or his old employer.

            Mansbridge cornered Ignatieff because that's what he's paid to do. And thank goodness we have good hard-working journalists at the CBC. :)

    • he's trying to stop the bleeding from the left

      • I'm watching the interview now, and he certainly didn't volunteer these musings. Mansbridge forced him to come clean on it, so to speak. So, I have to think this is an unforced error. This is not what the Liberals wanted to talk about today, tomorrow, or for the rest of the week. They were hoping to talk about these bogus health care quotes they desperately came up with again. I guess that won't be happening now, thanks to the Iggster himself.

  65. So, what would Stephen Harper do if the Liberals win the most seats on May 2nd, but cannot get the confidence of the house. Would he refuse to try to get the confidence of the house if the GG ask him under those circumstances?

    • They won't

    • Well, if the Liberals get the most seats but still in minority territory, than Ignatieff will give the opposition parties, including the Conservatives, everything they demand of him.

      That is what Ignatieff is suggesting. Can you not read what has been suggested??

      Are we as Canadians really that dumb to not understand this conundrum??

      • Apparantly F . At least you conbots are. Time to go back to school and study political science instead of reading cartoons.

        • you mean grade 11 poli-sci, where we learn "how a bill becomes a law"? lol. this ain't academics, Bugzy, it's the real world. if lib+ndp>tory, you are right -it's ok to form a union and govern. if lib+ndp<tory, they need the BLOC's support, and that is not politically legitimate, and quite dangerous.

    • Ooh, good question! But Harper will refuse to answer a question from an ordinary Canadian.

      • Yes, I see some journalist asked Harper just that and Harper refused to tell Canadians what he will do if he gets a minority. He might step down, he didn't rule out stepping down, but he also would say whether that is what he plans to do.

        When the election was called, the way he talked with such certainty that there would be a coalition if he didn't get a majority made me think Harper planned to step down. Probably fewer people would vote for him if he was open about this, because most people don't want to back someone with that kind of lack of commitment.

    • I think that the new Stephen Harper has been pretty clear that he doesn't see trivialities such as "maintaining the confidence of the house" as relevant, and is betting that enough Canadians just can't be bothered to understand or care either. Where is the old Stephen Harper when you need him?

  66. In fact, if the Conservatives are returned with a 140-ish seat minority — a big 'if,' but that's the scenario everyone's assuming when we spin out these alternate universes — I just think there's zero chance Harper would re-introduce the March budget unchanged. He's not an idiot. He might survive a confidence crisis, but it's so much easier to avoid one.

  67. Those are two separate points. Canadians may be outraged, but that's not the same as saying it's illegal/illegitimate.

    Many Canadians would be outraged to learn that their Tim Horton's doughnuts aren't baked fresh for them, but that doesn't change the fact that they're only reheated on site :)

  68. Here words have been selectively removed from the middle of the quote. Would you like it if I quoted you as saying "The Liberal ad attributed an ad to Harper which could be attributed to Harper because he had stated it. "

    I simply removed two words from what you had said…. just like the conservatives removed 4 words from what Ignatieff was saying.

  69. Illegal? No. Legitimate? Not so sure. Mind you, I never made comments using either term.

  70. I thought Harper managed to lead Canada's the longest running minority government?

  71. Paul, are you saying that we'll all wake up on May 3, it all having just been a terrible dream?

  72. If Harper wasn't such a wanker, we would be discussing what Harper will do to continue to govern, But we all know that isn't the cards.

  73. The argument is less than a majority of the nation has confidence in him as a leader. Canadians have more confidence in the other options put together, and as such, having those parties work together is the will of the nation. Just because you get the most votes doesn't mean you become prime minister. You still need the confidence of the nations elected officials, which Harper does not have.

  74. "Why should losers who force unnecessary elections get to form government?"

    Fair enough, you didn't use those specific terms. But at the very least you seem to think that such a situation would be unfair.

    And this is about as far down the semantic hole I'm willing to go.

  75. No idea why he said this. It was either strategy or error.

    Either way, I'm sure we'll now get to see the full force of both the LPC and CPC war rooms for the next few days as they try to spin this.

  76. "He might survive a confidence crisis, but it's so much easier to avoid one."

    Your First Rule applies here so I am sure you are right but I was daydreaming about this.

    During the last coalition crisis, when Cons were going to withdraw funding for political parties and then backed down when oppo had a fit and formed coalition, the spin was Harper wanted to let coaltion take power, Cons be in oppo for a while, and public will quickly hate coaltion. But Con caucus told Harper he had to hold on to power or he would no longer be Con leader so Harper had GG prorogue instead.

    I assume Harper is not thinking let coalition take power, heighten the contradictions – but it would be great if he was. Canadian politics needs some excitement, for people to get hot and bothered again – and coaltion taking power would do it, I think.

    The spin is last time Harper was looking for fight but caucus made him back down, hopefully this time Harper is itching for fight again and does not back down.

  77. "He might survive a confidence crisis, but it's so much easier to avoid one."

    Your First Rule applies here so I am sure you are right but I was daydreaming about this.

    During the last coalition crisis, when Cons were going to withdraw funding for political parties and then backed down when oppo had a fit and formed coalition, the spin was Harper wanted to let coaltion take power, Cons be in oppo for a while, and public will quickly hate coaltion. But Con caucus told Harper he had to hold on to power or he would no longer be Con leader so Harper had GG prorogue instead.

    I assume Harper is not thinking let coalition take power, heighten the contradictions – but it would be great if he was. Canadian politics needs some excitement, for people to get hot and bothered again – and coaltion taking power would do it, I think.

    The spin is last time Harper was looking for fight but caucus made him back down, hopefully this time Harper is itching for fight again and does not back down.

  78. You forgot the (TM)

  79. I don't remember anyone getting outraged by the idea in 1997 when Harper was pushing for it or in 2004 when Harper tried to do it.

  80. I think LC Bennett's forgot his buggywhip when he said: "The LPC would require the support of the NDP and the Bloc for every vote. Because of that Harper only needs to appeal to the ROCs discomfort with the idea that their federal government must appease the Bloc to stay in power."

    In fact, he's forgetting that the Conservatives will have a few mps in the house, too. would you suppose that they wouldn't be a possible choice to support legislation, or are they only interested in ultimate power or endless elections until achieved?

  81. I'm sure they will. But they'll be wrong.

  82. The difference being donuts are a tad less important than who the government must appease to stay in power. The presence of the Bloc changes everything. Unless the Liberals plus NDP have more seats than the CPC voters will be angry. A better way to look at the situation is the stock market – perception is everything.

  83. Harper's facing another minority…maybe even a smaller one than now.

  84. If the Conservatives win the most seats then the most Canadians have selected Harper as leader over any other leader.

    If the three other parties combined win more seats it still means that Canadians have not voted for any of those leaders over Harper.

    Votes for Layton's leadership are not votes for Ignatieff's leadership and vice versa.

    And how do you think Ignatieff will garner the confidence of the House? By implementing his own platform? How could he? He is claiming that were the Conservatives to from a minority goverment, the Conservatives should do everthing to satisfy the opposition demands. And so, were Iggy to form a minority government, HE would have to satisfy the opposition demands which would leave the Liberal platform pretty well out of governing.

    This is crazy thinking. It is illogical. It doesn't hold any common sense.

  85. I'm actually watching the clip on the CBC website, and Iggy made the comments under tough questioning from Mansbridge.On the one hand, Iggy said he think Canadians should get clarity on what they're voting for. So, Mansbridge pushed him on clarity regarding Harper not gaining confidence of the House. Iggy was clearly reluctant to go there, but walked straight into it once pushed. Probably a rookie political leader mistake. Sometimes you just have to sit there and answer a question without answering it. That's politics.

  86. They won't

  87. Oh, I don't think Canadians would see any fairness in a bad Iggy campaign being rewarded with his long-coveted prime ministership. Liberals are messing with fire on this, in my opinion, big time.

  88. The Liberal ad quoted the Globe and Mail, who misattributed. As did several other news media. Unless you have evidence the people who prepared and approved the ad were aware that the attribution was false and ran with it anyway, then it's a simple mistake.

    Removing words from a quote without at least replacing them with ellipses to clearly indicate the removal, and to then use that quote to deliberately misrepresent what the person actually said, is anentirely different kettle of fish.

    I believe the common legal term is "with malice aforethought".

  89. Well, if the Liberals get the most seats but still in minority territory, than Ignatieff will give the opposition parties, including the Conservatives, everything they demand of him.

    That is what Ignatieff is suggesting. Can you not read what has been suggested??

    Are we as Canadians really that dumb to not understand this conundrum??

  90. Oh, I don't think Canadians would see any fairness in a bad Iggy campaign being rewarded with his long-coveted prime ministership. Liberals are messing with fire on this, in my opinion, big time.

  91. Unless the Liberals plus NDP have more seats than the CPC voters will be angry.

    And some of us voters are already angry that the Conservatives are deliberately misinterpreting the rules of Westminster parliamentary democracy in order to attempt to gain a partisan advantage.

  92. Now fixed.

  93. Sorry, Con-fibs. Canada's rise and shine time…

  94. Now I'm annoyed that I'm forced to attend a dinner tonight. I really want to see how Ezra Levant is going to handle having the CBC's Mansbridge pulling that quote out of Ignatieff! He and Lilley spent the whole night railing against the CBC and their Liberal ties and now they'll be forced to watch a real CBC journalist grilling the Liberal leader really hard.

  95. Iggy just handed Harper the majority – mark my words – this is the biggest and most stupidest mistake an unelected leader of a poltical party has ever made – what Iggy has done here is fire up more of harper's base and stuck a knife in a lot of Jacks supporters – you see as it stood the NDP had a fire in hteir belly developing and started to think like a winner and possibly go for broke and maybe just maybe take on the Lib's and now Iggy has handed both Harpers base and NDP'ers a chance here as after all who says Iggy will have more MP's than the NDP – Jack as PM – think about it – in this case why would they need the Lib's … hmmmmm

  96. Maybe because HeII would have to freeze over before they would cooperate with the Liberals?

  97. Iggy just handed Harper the majority – mark my words – this is the biggest and most stupidest mistake an unelected leader of a poltical party has ever made – what Iggy has done here is fire up more of harper's base and stuck a knife in a lot of Jacks supporters – you see as it stood the NDP had a fire in hteir belly developing and started to think like a winner and possibly go for broke and maybe just maybe take on the Lib's and now Iggy has handed both Harpers base and NDP'ers a chance here as after all who says Iggy will have more MP's than the NDP – Jack as PM – think about it – in this case why would they need the Lib's … hmmmmm

    • No kidding. It didn't take even a week to resort to desperately admitting he was lying about the coalition all along. You know they're desperate when they think that admitting to lying is a good communications strategy.

  98. Ooh, good question! But Harper will refuse to answer a question from an ordinary Canadian.

  99. he's trying to stop the bleeding from the left

  100. lol, well, there's been a theory floating about for some time now that Mansbridge et al have been making efforts at being more balanced, in part to deflect any political pressures in the wake of a possible Harper majority. Might be working.

    • Judy Rebick hasn't been right in her life.

  101. Richard, back away from the troll. It's a neverending cycle of blather!

  102. Richard, back away from the troll. It's a neverending cycle of blather!

    • Says the person who posts one-line trolling remarks because he/she can't engage superior posters. Next.

  103. My estimation is government for the Greens by 2025. I've been predicting that for a few years now, and I think I'm still on track for seeing that happen. The Reform were 1 seat in pre-'93 and are essentially government as of 2006, so a few extra years for the Greens to do the same thing, coupled with demographic changes, and climate changes, makes it very doable if we maintain our democratic system.

  104. "Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken."

    That depends – Harper may try another bait-and-switch like he did with the Throne Speech in 2008… in which case I'd imagine all bets are off.

  105. Ignatieff is forgeting/ignoring important precedent/convention/ tradition – that either Libs, NDP or BQ have to eat crow and vote with Cons to pass budget because Cons will have won election and the people have spoken.

    It is equally traditional for minority governments to work with at least one other party to try to reach a reasonable compromise that can satisfy a majority of the sitting MPs. That's what the whole "confidence of the House" thing is all about.

    If the election returns another Conservative minority, the people will have spoken, yes – but what they will have said that is that they do not trust the Harper Government to go it alone. The people will be demanding that the Conservatives listen to other voices besides their own to get legislation passed.

    If Harper reintroduces the exact same budget, and gets defeated again in the House, he will have only himself to blame.

  106. My estimation is government for the Greens by 2025. I've been predicting that for a few years now, and I think I'm still on track for seeing that happen. The Reform were 1 seat in pre-'93 and are essentially government as of 2006, so a few extra years for the Greens to do the same thing, coupled with demographic changes, and climate changes, makes it very doable if we maintain our democratic system.

    • Certainly possible…but the one difference is that the Greens are scattered across the country, whereas Reform had that solidly conservative Alberta population behind them to give them that first boost up. And even then they had to merge with the PCs to do it.

      Greens have finally gotten a boost in Germany because of the strong anti-nuclear sentiment right now caused by the mess in Japan. It wasn't anything to do with climate change, or demographics…just the nuclear problem.

      • The raise d'etre of the Greens in Germany was always the nuclear issue. That is why you don't see the country powered by nuclear like it is in France.

        The Greens are gaining influence in other places too. For instance, here in Australia, the Labor Party is introducing a carbon tax, largely to allow easy passage of other legislation through the Senate (the Greens will hold the balance of power in the senate starting in July).

        If Elizabeth May manages to win her seat in this election, I think it could spark a real start in the rise of fortunes for the Green Party. Of course, I could be completely wrong, and the party could wither away.

        • We've always had anti-nuclear people, and they've been ignored for the most part. The Japanese problem has given a new boost to it, that's all.

          It would be nice to see a new party making gains….I just wish some of the old parties would disappear.

  107. The one that just got bounced for contempt?

  108. That's because, despite desperate attempts to claim otherwise, Harper never did push for it ever.

  109. That may be due to the low regard voters had for the Liberal party at the time, anyone seemed better than the party of Adscam. More likely it is because that coalition never came close enough to actually happening. If it had I expect the public would have been just as angry. The problem for the Liberals is that they held that awful public signing with Dion, Layton and Duceppe vs. a piece of paper no one saw with multiple and conflicting interpretations of its meaning.

  110. Yes and it has always been this way. He seems incapable of working with anyone in opposition to move Canada forward. I hold him solely responsible for this election, and also for the asshattery in the HoC. He has no intention of compromising or negotiating anything.

    If we had a government that would and could cooperate with other parties, we'd be onto something. Vote Liberal; Harper will go away, CPC will get a new leader, and Canada can move forward.

  111. Says the person who posts one-line trolling remarks because he/she can't engage superior posters. Next.

  112. Yes!

  113. I just think there's zero chance Harper would re-introduce the March budget unchanged. He's not an idiot. He might survive a confidence crisis, but it's so much easier to avoid one.

    Or he could be playing a longer game:

    – Win minority
    – Introduce exact same budget
    – Get defeated
    – Ignatieff becomes PM
    – Conservatives launch propaganda blitz about coalitions, separatists, etc.
    – The Liberal government falls
    – Harper tries for majority again
    – Repeat if necessary

  114. I just think there's zero chance Harper would re-introduce the March budget unchanged. He's not an idiot. He might survive a confidence crisis, but it's so much easier to avoid one.

    Or he could be playing a longer game:

    – Win minority
    – Introduce exact same budget
    – Get defeated
    – Ignatieff becomes PM
    – Conservatives launch propaganda blitz about coalitions, separatists, etc.
    – The Liberal government falls
    – Harper tries for majority again
    – Repeat if necessary

    • That's exactly what I think too…the only way the GG is forced to make the decision between dissolving parliament or asking the opposition if it can maintain confidence is if Harper wants it that way.

  115. Mansbridge himself said this write-up by the Conservatives was "incomplete…at best." Yes, there are a lot of other terms for it.

  116. We vote for our MPs. That's it. Too much American TV (and admittedly, a fairly large chunk of deceptive info from all parties) may lead people to think otherwise.

    The MPs, as the representatives of their individual ridings, decide then whether, collectively, they have confidence in the party asked to form the government by the GG. If not, then another party gets to try – or we have another election.

    That's how it works. No one says you have to like it.

  117. Mansbridge himself said this write-up by the Conservatives was "incomplete…at best." Yes, there are a lot of other terms for it.

    • i think it's pretty fair to say the 147 Conservatives projected to be elected would oppose Liberal/NDP/Bloc legislation, so what difference does it make?

  118. If the three other parties combined win more seats it still means that Canadians have not voted for any of those leaders over Harper.

    But if these parties can somehow reach a compromise, they would have the support of 60+ percent of the voters.

    Which seems fairer than having the party with 38.6% (or whatever) of popular support get to dictate policy.

  119. That's certainly what the CPC wants you to think… why is one of the reasons they removed the Harper reference. But this press release is serious spin… and factually deceptive. Deliberately so.

  120. Sure they are but they are also responding to a very real and justified feelings of uneasiness that voters have about the Bloc. Perhaps decades of bribing and appeasing Quebec with no positive results has created a situation that leads voter to believe that a government that is at the mercy of separatists is going to be expensive and unfair to the ROC.

  121. I'm watching the interview now, and he certainly didn't volunteer these musings. Mansbridge forced him to come clean on it, so to speak. So, I have to think this is an unforced error. This is not what the Liberals wanted to talk about today, tomorrow, or for the rest of the week. They were hoping to talk about these bogus health care quotes they desperately came up with again. I guess that won't be happening now, thanks to the Iggster himself.

  122. That's exactly what I think too…the only way the GG is forced to make the decision between dissolving parliament or asking the opposition if it can maintain confidence is if Harper wants it that way.

  123. I think Iggy should just do what Harper did when he was facing a Liberal minority government. Simply pen a letter to the GG, along with Jack and Gilles, informing him that he has options. You know, OPTIONS! Why all the hand-wringing? The GG has OPTIONS when a minority government can't make it work. Options. After all, Harper would never have countenanced being at the head of a government when he didn't WIN the election. There are options, just like he said. Options. All sorts of options. OH the options.

  124. The tears are sweet . I'm waiting for the lamentations of the wimmens .

  125. I think she realizes that the well documented animosity between the Liberals and CPC moves that situation from plausible to unlikely.

  126. I think Iggy should just do what Harper did when he was facing a Liberal minority government. Simply pen a letter to the GG, along with Jack and Gilles, informing him that he has options. You know, OPTIONS! Why all the hand-wringing? The GG has OPTIONS when a minority government can't make it work. Options. After all, Harper would never have countenanced being at the head of a government when he didn't WIN the election. There are options, just like he said. Options. All sorts of options. OH the options.

  127. The tears are sweet . I'm waiting for the lamentations of the wimmens .

    • #ReferenceFail

  128. Inkless said he was posting the CPC release verbatim.

    Taber pretty much just prints without attribution Liberal Party press releases verbatum as news.

    C'est la difference!

  129. Inkless said he was posting the CPC release verbatim.

    Taber pretty much just prints without attribution Liberal Party press releases verbatum as news.

    C'est la difference!

    • Evidence please.

  130. While possible, I think she realizes that the well documented animosity between the CPC and LPC makes the chances of this type of cooperation happening range from slim to unlikely which is why it is rarely talked about.

    (my original reply disappeared so I apologize if this is a duplicate.)

  131. Now ^not fixed, it's just improved a bit with the update. There's still no correction of "Ignatieff Admits plan to become PM if he loses the election" which is an inaccurate phrasing designed to undermine understanding of the Parliamentary system. What defines #winning, and who gets to define it? The Conservatives sure don't get to define #winning, and they don't get to define "loses" either, and it's irresponsible for the media to let them!
    If Ignatieff wins his seat like any other MP, and the majority of MPs find confidence in Ignatieff as Prime Minister, then THAT'S #WINNING. If the Liberals get fewer seats than the Conservatives, that's not losing, that's democracy too.

  132. #ReferenceFail

  133. Hmm, does the Governor General only have two options in such a scenario? Can he only dissolve parliament or ask the opposition if they can maintain confidence?

    Can a GG refuse to accept that the House has lost confidence and force them to sit again and work out a compromise? My first instinct is to say no way, that undermines the primacy of the parliament…but it's interesting to consider, no?

  134. Hmm, does the Governor General only have two options in such a scenario? Can he only dissolve parliament or ask the opposition if they can maintain confidence?

    Can a GG refuse to accept that the House has lost confidence and force them to sit again and work out a compromise? My first instinct is to say no way, that undermines the primacy of the parliament…but it's interesting to consider, no?

    • No, it doesn't work that way.

      Well, there are the 1967 and 2005 precedents, where sitting PMs fiddled with the confidence convention. (To say nothing of 2008, tho' there was no defeat then, just an imminent one.)

      If the opp votes Harper down, Johnston either has to dissolve parliament or invite the opposition to try to form government.

      • I tend to agree with you, but could there not be a scenario where Johnston creates a new convention? Is it even in the realm of possibility?

        Just curious, what's the 1967 precedent you speak of? (Any chance to learn a bit more Cdn history is a good thing! :)

        • Well, he can _do_ whatever he likes — convention is unenforceable, and created anew each time.

          But it'd be highly controversial.

          1968, I was off by a bit.

          Pearson lost a money vote accidentally: http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/federal_politics/

          He managed to talk Stanfield (idiot!) out of an election right then, won a confidence vote, as the Liberals were heading into a leadership campaign, and then Trudeau came in.

          • Ah yes, now I remember! Thanks!

        • I imagine he could do it but not for very long. And they'd probably be at his door because that kind of compromise wasn't in the cards.

        • It's an interesting question, and I agree with everything's Ben said so far. But note that neither Parliament nor the Governor General fires the Prime Minister: the Prime Minister resigns, as he is bound to (unless he's granted a dissolution of Parliament), after losing a confidence vote. Regardless of what David Johnson wanted to do (and I think that there's roughly a zero percent chance he'd try anything weird), your suggestion would rely on Harper not resigning after losing a confidence vote. I find that very unlikely for political reasons, and I don't think there's any ability on the Governor General's part to decline a resignation.

          I'm not aware that there's ever been a plurality minority party in the the history of Westminster democracies as aggressively uninterested in working with other parties as the Conservatives currently are, so we are in a bit of a unique situation. But it will all work itself out eventually, because the MPs don't want to have elections every few months, which is basically the alternative situation.

          (Though if no arrangement could be found and we just had an endless series of elections, the Harper government would remain in office without ever having the confidence of the House of Commons, which would essentially make Canada a dictatorship. Although the government would also presumably grind to a halt when Parliament failed to pass supply.)

  135. Mansbridge is stumping for a continuation of CBC funding. Nothing more, nothing less. He throws Iggy under the bus and gives the Cons a majority. Sweet! He likes Harper better than Iggy. Scoops SUN NEWS TV, too. I call that good journalism!

    Your guy just fell flat on his face! Harper is right, these clowns just spent $300 million of taxpayer's money on an election, when we least needed one, to feed their own egos. Stick a fork in 'em, they're done!

    Jack Layton: "…What about the legitimacy of the democratic process, yeah, what about it?" http://www.stephentaylor.ca/2008/11/transcript-of

  136. Mansbridge is stumping for a continuation of CBC funding. Nothing more, nothing less. He throws Iggy under the bus and gives the Cons a majority. Sweet! He likes Harper better than Iggy. Scoops SUN NEWS TV, too. I call that good journalism!

    Your guy just fell flat on his face! Harper is right, these clowns just spent $300 million of taxpayer's money on an election, when we least needed one, to feed their own egos. Stick a fork in 'em, they're done!

    Jack Layton: "…What about the legitimacy of the democratic process, yeah, what about it?" http://www.stephentaylor.ca/2008/11/transcript-of

    • Stephen really oughta lose some weight — he's starting to look like a swarthy Stephen Harper.

  137. #1 – Ignatieff simply stated the rules by which parliament runs. If Harper disagrees with his interpretation, they should say so.
    #2 – Ignatieff did not deny this possibility at any time. He said that he will not form a coalition, and he still says that. The arrangement he describes need not be a coalition.
    #3 – As Wells mentions, ALL parties including the Conservatives will be asked to work on a new budget if a Con minority falls.
    #4 – Thus the final line, describing the options as a Con majority vs "an Ignatieff-led Coalition with the NDP and the Bloc" has two errors in it.
    #5 – In Canada, the party that wins the most seats does not "win" anything, except (by tradition at least), the right to try to gain the Confidence of the House. If they don't gain that confidence, and another election is impractical, someone else is asked to try by the Governor General. Those are the rules!

  138. #1 – Ignatieff simply stated the rules by which parliament runs. If Harper disagrees with his interpretation, they should say so.
    #2 – Ignatieff did not deny this possibility at any time. He said that he will not form a coalition, and he still says that. The arrangement he describes need not be a coalition.
    #3 – As Wells mentions, ALL parties including the Conservatives will be asked to work on a new budget if a Con minority falls.
    #4 – Thus the final line, describing the options as a Con majority vs "an Ignatieff-led Coalition with the NDP and the Bloc" has two errors in it.
    #5 – In Canada, the party that wins the most seats does not "win" anything, except (by tradition at least), the right to try to gain the Confidence of the House. If they don't gain that confidence, and another election is impractical, someone else is asked to try by the Governor General. Those are the rules!

    • Everything you mention is true.

      However perception is reality, and if people think it's a coalition, then for all intent and purposes it would be one.

      • Well, people will cast their votes according to their own beliefs, but if the Conservatives do not win a majority, then people's misconceptions about our political system won't really matter.

    • All of what you say is true. I would note in response to point 1 that Harper has said that he disagrees with this interpretation: he has said that whoever wins the most seats gets to form government, full stop. He's wrong, of course, as you and I and he all know, but you can't accuse him of not making his current position on the subject clear.

  139. Right – a self-serving theory that rests on the assumption that Mansbridge et al are biased to begin with.

  140. I like Ignatieff, I think he's a smart person.

    But going on CBC and saying this was probaly a big mistake.

  141. I like Ignatieff, I think he's a smart person.

    But going on CBC and saying this was probaly a big mistake.

    • Understatement of the campaign goes to …

    • He seems smarter now that Martin and Chretien are pulling his puppet strings.

  142. Certainly possible…but the one difference is that the Greens are scattered across the country, whereas Reform had that solidly conservative Alberta population behind them to give them that first boost up. And even then they had to merge with the PCs to do it.

    Greens have finally gotten a boost in Germany because of the strong anti-nuclear sentiment right now caused by the mess in Japan. It wasn't anything to do with climate change, or demographics…just the nuclear problem.

  143. Everything you mention is true.

    However perception is reality, and if people think it's a coalition, then for all intent and purposes it would be one.

  144. Yes, he would have to do everything he can to make the government work, just like Harper should. And as for platforms, Iggy's platform is closer to Layton's than Harper's is so logic would dictate it's much easier for those two to get along than Harper. I'm sorry you don't get that < 40% is not a majority of Canadians. The other ~60% of Canadians voted for someone else.

  145. Well, people will cast their votes according to their own beliefs, but if the Conservatives do not win a majority, then people's misconceptions about our political system won't really matter.

  146. It re-runs at 10 PM.

    You can watch Ezra then. :-)

  147. No, it doesn't work that way.

    Well, there are the 1967 and 2005 precedents, where sitting PMs fiddled with the confidence convention. (To say nothing of 2008, tho' there was no defeat then, just an imminent one.)

    If the opp votes Harper down, Johnston either has to dissolve parliament or invite the opposition to try to form government.

  148. Pitiful.

    The way Harper has wagged the so called "pundits".

    I predict Wells and company will lose a whole lot of readership if status quo or a Haprper majority – it really won't matter what he/thay or what we say here, or elsewhere.

    I know I'll move on.

  149. Why did they lie?

  150. I tend to agree with you, but could there not be a scenario where Johnston creates a new convention? Is it even in the realm of possibility?

    Just curious, what's the 1967 precedent you speak of? (Any chance to learn a bit more Cdn history is a good thing! :)

  151. Pitiful.

    The way Harper has wagged the so called "pundits".

    I predict Wells and company will lose a whole lot of readership if status quo or a Haprper majority – it really won't matter what he/thay or what we say here, or elsewhere.

    I know I'll move on.

    • You mean, "I'll move on again."

    • silver linings

  152. Understatement of the campaign goes to …

  153. Well, he can _do_ whatever he likes — convention is unenforceable, and created anew each time.

    But it'd be highly controversial.

    1968, I was off by a bit.

    Pearson lost a money vote accidentally: http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/federal_politics/

    He managed to talk Stanfield (idiot!) out of an election right then, won a confidence vote, as the Liberals were heading into a leadership campaign, and then Trudeau came in.

  154. Time for a new Conservative campaign ad.

  155. Time for a new Conservative campaign ad.

    • or just re-run the same old lies

  156. The Conservatives edited OUT the bit where Iggy said "I'm not going to form a coalition" and also where he said he'd be willing to work with the leaders of all the parties — including Harper.

    That's outright lying. Deliberate, deceitful and blatant lying.

  157. Ah yes, now I remember! Thanks!

  158. Mansbridge, in a premeditated move, laid a trap for Ignatieff and he fell into it big time. Shame on Mansbridge. He has lost a lot of credibility and so had CBC. He was shameful and very determined to play a king maker role in the election.

    Harper is a constitutional revolutionary. He has poisoned and warped Canada's parliamentary system into a strange republican system where he remains in power no matter what transpires in the House. How? By claiming, quite wrongly, that it is constitutionally and politically illegitimate for any other opposition party to form a government at any time between elections.

    If, after the election, a prospective Harper minority government falls on its Throne Speech or its budget that matter is punted to the GG. The GG must decided one of two things:
    1) drop the writ for an election. He is unlikely to do this immediately after an election;
    2) call upon the leader of the official opposition to form a government if he can assure the GG than he can obtain the confidence of the House.
    Harper, by warping and undermining our Parliamentary system, has put himself in a win-win situation. He can't loose power because he will hold a plurality of the seats. He will be called upon to become PM and form a cabinet. The opposition might defeat him but the GG's hands are tied. The GG will not be able to call upon the leader of the Official Opposition, as is custom, to form a government.
    The media, badly informed on the nature and scope of Canada's Constitution Act, 1867 as well as the unwritten rules of how Parliament functions, has aided and abetted Harper's constitutional revolution.
    Peter Mansbridge's entrapement ploy is merely the confirmation that he has sided with Harper all along in his attempt to subvert our Parliamentary and constitutional democracy. Shame on him!

  159. Mansbridge, in a premeditated move, laid a trap for Ignatieff and he fell into it big time. Shame on Mansbridge. He has lost a lot of credibility and so had CBC. He was shameful and very determined to play a king maker role in the election.

    Harper is a constitutional revolutionary. He has poisoned and warped Canada's parliamentary system into a strange republican system where he remains in power no matter what transpires in the House. How? By claiming, quite wrongly, that it is constitutionally and politically illegitimate for any other opposition party to form a government at any time between elections.

    If, after the election, a prospective Harper minority government falls on its Throne Speech or its budget that matter is punted to the GG. The GG must decided one of two things:
    1) drop the writ for an election. He is unlikely to do this immediately after an election;
    2) call upon the leader of the official opposition to form a government if he can assure the GG than he can obtain the confidence of the House.
    Harper, by warping and undermining our Parliamentary system, has put himself in a win-win situation. He can't loose power because he will hold a plurality of the seats. He will be called upon to become PM and form a cabinet. The opposition might defeat him but the GG's hands are tied. The GG will not be able to call upon the leader of the Official Opposition, as is custom, to form a government.
    The media, badly informed on the nature and scope of Canada's Constitution Act, 1867 as well as the unwritten rules of how Parliament functions, has aided and abetted Harper's constitutional revolution.
    Peter Mansbridge's entrapement ploy is merely the confirmation that he has sided with Harper all along in his attempt to subvert our Parliamentary and constitutional democracy. Shame on him!

    • I don't see how this reflects poorly on Mansbridge: he asked a fair question that deserved to be answered. Harper and much of the electorate are going to react completely unreasonably to the answer in question, but if Mansbridge refrained from asking it because he anticipated those reactions, *that*'s what would cost him credibility.

  160. And of course Richard, we need to point out to Dennis here that Harper forced the election. The "losers" (who will no doubt get more Canadians votes than Harper again) only stood up for Canadians and did their jobs – it is Harpers fault we have an election.

  161. Not likely… unfortunately.

  162. He seems smarter now that Martin and Chretien are pulling his puppet strings.

  163. Yes, I see some journalist asked Harper just that and Harper refused to tell Canadians what he will do if he gets a minority. He might step down, he didn't rule out stepping down, but he also would say whether that is what he plans to do.

    When the election was called, the way he talked with such certainty that there would be a coalition if he didn't get a majority made me think Harper planned to step down. Probably fewer people would vote for him if he was open about this, because most people don't want to back someone with that kind of lack of commitment.

  164. I think that the new Stephen Harper has been pretty clear that he doesn't see trivialities such as "maintaining the confidence of the house" as relevant, and is betting that enough Canadians just can't be bothered to understand or care either. Where is the old Stephen Harper when you need him?

  165. We'll see about that.

  166. Don't tell ME about it pally, it's what the polls are showing.

  167. Stephen really oughta lose some weight — he's starting to look like a swarthy Stephen Harper.

  168. Agree totally. My point is they would not cooperate with the Liberals should the Libs be in a position where they need the support of other parties to pass a budget.

    Plus, of course, they want to play up the whole Libs/NDP/Bloc "coalition" nonsense.

    The Cons have zero scruples.

  169. It's an exact quote of the release. He called them on the real lie – the doctored quote. The title, while completely untrue, is required in order to fully appreciate how low the tories will go.

  170. Like I said, we'll see.

  171. "Why should losers who force unnecessary elections get to form government?"

    I've been asking myself that since 2008. Harper's a loser in my book – and he definitely forced an unnecessary election then.

    I'd argue that he effectively forced this one, too, with his deliberately unparliamentary behaviour; he wanted an election but didn't want to look like he'd broken his own law yet again – so he deliberately withheld necessary information from the committees knowing that he'd put the opposition into a corner that would require a vote of non-confidence or admit total domination by the CPC.

    Don't bother replying, Dennis – I've heard all your nonsense by now and will ignore you.

  172. "Why should losers who force unnecessary elections get to form government?"

    I've been asking myself that since 2008. Harper's a loser in my book – and he definitely forced an unnecessary election then.

    I'd argue that he effectively forced this one, too, with his deliberately unparliamentary behaviour; he wanted an election but didn't want to look like he'd broken his own law yet again – so he deliberately withheld necessary information from the committees knowing that he'd put the opposition into a corner that would require a vote of non-confidence or admit total domination by the CPC.

    Don't bother replying, Dennis – I've heard all your nonsense by now and will ignore you.

  173. Deliberately lying to the voters is never acceptable to anyone with half a brain. I'm sure I'll get an earful for this, but the way the CPC's numbers go up every time they lie has led me to the conclusion that we've become a nation of idiots.

  174. Evidence please.

  175. Because they are psycologically incapabale of differentiating between truth and fantasy.

  176. "Shame on Mansbridge"?

    Really? Is the media bias so bad that there's an overt expectation that only softballs will be lobbed at Iggy?

    Iggy wants to be leader of the greatest country on earth, but must be sheilded from scrutiny?

  177. "Shame on Mansbridge"?

    Really? Is the media bias so bad that there's an overt expectation that only softballs will be lobbed at Iggy?

    Iggy wants to be leader of the greatest country on earth, but must be sheilded from scrutiny?

  178. Judging by the comments above, well done Paul. Hope they paid you well.

  179. Judging by the comments above, well done Paul. Hope they paid you well.

    • Here's a guy with keen insight into how these things work.

      • You print a misleading (at best) press release with no comment then run away and hide (until now).

        I guess that's how it works.

        • You print a misleading (at best) press release with no comment then run away and hide (until now).

          (Sorry should edit to note that you added a sad parentheses after you were called Taberesque)

  180. BTW, for those who are suggesting Iggy really didn't MEAN what he said,

    is he that tone deaf?

    Waxing eloquent on the theorhetical possibilities of taking power in a minority situation when that is the singular issue of the day, and he thinks he should be shielded from the potential ramifications of that.

    It's like speaking "hypothetically" about a bomb in one's suitcase in the airport. You may not REALLY mean it, but if you're so tone deaf to do that, don't be surprised if you undergo a two hour strip search.

    Iggy's either being a slippery politician on the most important issue of our day,

    or he's more out-of-touch that we all could have imagined.

  181. BTW, for those who are suggesting Iggy really didn't MEAN what he said,

    is he that tone deaf?

    Waxing eloquent on the theorhetical possibilities of taking power in a minority situation when that is the singular issue of the day, and he thinks he should be shielded from the potential ramifications of that.

    It's like speaking "hypothetically" about a bomb in one's suitcase in the airport. You may not REALLY mean it, but if you're so tone deaf to do that, don't be surprised if you undergo a two hour strip search.

    Iggy's either being a slippery politician on the most important issue of our day,

    or he's more out-of-touch that we all could have imagined.

    • The issue is the CPC taking his statement and altering it, then presenting the altered quote in a way that severely distorts what was said. Arguably, that's libel. Definitely, it's CPC SOP. Ask Fraser et al…

      Zero scruples.

  182. Great stenography, not a single typo!!

  183. Great stenography, not a single typo!!

  184. Harper would need support of only one other party? Gee, I wish I was a sooth sayer too.

    Last time I heard that was, um,. Kim Campbell.

    If Harper gets most seats, he gets first crack. If he can't get the confidence of the house (as in support of the majority of seats) then GG would ask person with next highest number of seats. If that happens to be Iggy, then he would have to get support from a majority of seats to form a government.

    Nobody can govern Canada without the confidence of the majority of seats in the house. Harper should know that now.

  185. A question for the constitutional scholars here.

    Lets say for the sake of argument we get a Parliament returned that looks pretty much like this one, with the CPC just a few seats short of a majority. Let's further say that the opposition defeats the Throne Speech or the budget. At that point the GG will go to Ignatieff and ask if he can command the confidence of the house.

    My question is, what would he need to hear from Ignatieff to believe him, in order to allow a party with 75ish seats to govern over a party with 145ish seats? I don't think a simple "Yes, I can command the confidence of the house" is good enough. When you have only 75 seats out of 308, you need to demonstrate that you can get and maintain the confidence of the House. If Ignatieff doesn't have a coalition, I don't see how the GG can possibly accept a positive answer from Ignatieff. A party with only 75 seats and no long term support agreement from another party simply can't govern "issue by issue".

    Without a coalition agreement in place, assuming similar numbers as today, I think the only option if Harper is defeated is another election.

  186. A question for the constitutional scholars here.

    Lets say for the sake of argument we get a Parliament returned that looks pretty much like this one, with the CPC just a few seats short of a majority. Let's further say that the opposition defeats the Throne Speech or the budget. At that point the GG will go to Ignatieff and ask if he can command the confidence of the house.

    My question is, what would he need to hear from Ignatieff to believe him, in order to allow a party with 75ish seats to govern over a party with 145ish seats? I don't think a simple "Yes, I can command the confidence of the house" is good enough. When you have only 75 seats out of 308, you need to demonstrate that you can get and maintain the confidence of the House. If Ignatieff doesn't have a coalition, I don't see how the GG can possibly accept a positive answer from Ignatieff. A party with only 75 seats and no long term support agreement from another party simply can't govern "issue by issue".

    Without a coalition agreement in place, assuming similar numbers as today, I think the only option if Harper is defeated is another election.

    • The best and likely option is to ask Iggy to hold a confidence motion. This is also what Michelle Jean should have done of Harper in 2008.

      I dislike very much the notion that the governor general should be anticipating the results of future confidence votes and making decisions based on his/her speculation.

      And as ever, the worst thing that can happen is that there be an election.

      But it is interesting that your sides new talking point is now a coaltion is a requirement to govern. Lies obfuscation you guys should be ashamed.

      • OK then Mike…why did they even bother to form a coalition in 2008? Why not just defeat the Conservatives and let Dion lead a Liberal government with 75 seats, much the same way Iggy is saying he could do today?

        • Probably for surety amongst themselves, rather than assuring Mme. Jean.

      • Hold on, so the GG shouldn't take a read of Parliament to see who's got a chance of passing a confidence motion, but should just go mechanically through the motions? So if Ignatieff tries and fails, I assume he moves on to Layton (assuming that Duceppe would decline an invitation to form government)? And then Andre Arthur or Hec Clouthier or Elizabeth May or whoever's left? And hell, why restrict it to party leaders inside the House of Commons? I wouldn't mind a crack at forming government, and there's certainly no precedent that you have to be an MP when you're asked to form government.

        The notion that the Governor General shouldn't "be anticipating the results of future confidence votes and making decisions based on his/her speculation" is absurd.

        • I disagree completely and don't feel you've described a basis for your opinion.

          • Let me try again, then. There are two possibilities: either the Governor General is permitted and required to exercise discretion in inviting somebody to form government, or there are unambiguous rules on the subject that can be followed by rote. In denying the first possibility, you are implicitly endorsing the second.

            What are these rules?

    • Not a constitutional scholar, but I'm days away from an LL B, so I'll give it my best shot: there's genuine discretion there on the GG's part. There's no formula he would need to follow to determine whether it was worth giving Ignatieff (or Layton, for that matter) a shot at forming government.

      In practice, because there was just an election and presumably nobody wants another election right away (I think the only time there were two elections without any confidence motions passed between them was 1925-1926, though it's also possible in 1979-1980), I see no reason Johnson wouldn't give Ignatieff a shot. As Mike says, the worst that happens if that you get an election, which is what you'd get if you didn't give Ignatieff a shot anyway.

  187. Senator Mansbridge should be sacked for this shameless American style gotcha journalism.

    'The National' is now 'The National Enquirer'.

    CBC – making news instead of reporting it.

  188. Senator Mansbridge should be sacked for this shameless American style gotcha journalism.

    'The National' is now 'The National Enquirer'.

    CBC – making news instead of reporting it.

    • Iggy faces his first tough interview of the election and his supporters are in hysterics.

      Nice to know how much confidence they have in Iggy being able to take the heat.

      Imagine going toe to toe on an important bilateral trade negotiation, and his supporters being all outraged that our mortal trade enemies aren't being "nice" to Iggy like the Toronto Star is.

    • Whether or not Ignatieff will form a coalition is going to have a huge impact on his policies (not to mention, whether or not he will get to implement them). Voters have a right to know what Iggy's intentions are.

  189. We get it. You're an ideologue. You don't understand how parliamentary democracy works.

    Go away and learn something.

  190. Not much different from Geddes', posted separately and a little later.

  191. The issue is the CPC taking his statement and altering it, then presenting the altered quote in a way that severely distorts what was said. Arguably, that's libel. Definitely, it's CPC SOP. Ask Fraser et al…

    Zero scruples.

  192. You mean, "I'll move on again."

  193. Here's a guy with keen insight into how these things work.

  194. You print a misleading (at best) press release with no comment then run away and hide (until now).

    I guess that's how it works.

  195. You print a misleading (at best) press release with no comment then run away and hide (until now).

    (Sorry should edit to note that you added a sad parentheses after you were called Taberesque)

  196. Yeah, I noticed that you and Geddes posted at about the same time, which I found confusing, but you guys may have some fun with this as we posters scuttle from one site over to the other. It makes for some mindful navigating.

    But nonetheless, I am serious, Mr.Wells; Canada's political landscape has changed because of the BQ involvement in federal politics, and the first few years, or the first decade and a half, such involvement of the BQ had not become so clear because to the Conservative parties having run as two parties.

    But since the merger of the two Conservative parties, the involvement of the BQ making a mess of our federal system – for the reaching of majorities as well as for the formation of coalitions – has become blatantly apparent. And I would like to read more about that coming from the media.

    Someting fundamentally is changing with the involvement of the BQ within coalition agreements. And we need some media involvement in clearing up these confusions. That's what I was hoping for.

  197. Anyone complaining about Mansbridge's line of questioning needs a frying pan up the side of the head. Not a single thing wrong with what he asked, or, frankly, with how Ignatieff answered.

  198. Anyone complaining about Mansbridge's line of questioning needs a frying pan up the side of the head. Not a single thing wrong with what he asked, or, frankly, with how Ignatieff answered.

  199. Lets hope that he is as hard on Harper as he was with Mr. Ignatieff. Hopefully a little tougher than he was on Harper on his one on one. Looks like hes pandering to the Cons to try and save his job and CBC.

  200. Apparantly F . At least you conbots are. Time to go back to school and study political science instead of reading cartoons.

  201. Mansbridge is 62; I doubt he'd throw away a lifetime's reputation for the remaining months of his job or his old employer.

    Mansbridge cornered Ignatieff because that's what he's paid to do. And thank goodness we have good hard-working journalists at the CBC. :)

  202. Scandal in Guelph you cal it? Grow up.

  203. I imagine he could do it but not for very long. And they'd probably be at his door because that kind of compromise wasn't in the cards.

  204. or just re-run the same old lies

  205. So when does Iggy, Jack, and Jill stop lying to Canadians and begin campaigning together so the voters can see what the real purpose of this wasted election is all about.

  206. The best and likely option is to ask Iggy to hold a confidence motion. This is also what Michelle Jean should have done of Harper in 2008.

    I dislike very much the notion that the governor general should be anticipating the results of future confidence votes and making decisions based on his/her speculation.

    And as ever, the worst thing that can happen is that there be an election.

    But it is interesting that your sides new talking point is now a coaltion is a requirement to govern. Lies obfuscation you guys should be ashamed.

  207. John G,

    is correct above.

    The only path to gaining governance when you have not won the election is via a coalition.

    You cannot have your "that's how the parliamentary system works" cake and eat it too.

    Iggy's diavowing a coalition, yet leaving open the possibility of governing after LOSING an election, is either fantasy or dishonesty. It's difficult to say which is worse at this point.

  208. John G,

    is correct above.

    The only path to gaining governance when you have not won the election is via a coalition.

    You cannot have your "that's how the parliamentary system works" cake and eat it too.

    Iggy's diavowing a coalition, yet leaving open the possibility of governing after LOSING an election, is either fantasy or dishonesty. It's difficult to say which is worse at this point.

    • Neither you nor John G. actually hold this opinion. You are pretending to in order to convince those with the misfortune to be even more foolish than yourselves. There is no other rational explanation.

    • That's not quite what I'm saying chet. I'm saying it's true when the second place party has only about 75 seats and the first place party has about 145-150. Otherwise they wouldn't have even needed to form the coalition the first time around in 2008; the opposition could have defeated the government and Dion could have become PM without forming a coalition at all.

      If the spread was something closer like 120-110 then it might be feasible. But barring a miracle I don't think we're looking at those kind of numbers.

  209. Iggy faces his first tough interview of the election and his supporters are in hysterics.

    Nice to know how much confidence they have in Iggy being able to take the heat.

    Imagine going toe to toe on an important bilateral trade negotiation, and his supporters being all outraged that our mortal trade enemies aren't being "nice" to Iggy like the Toronto Star is.

  210. Neither you nor John G. actually hold this opinion. You are pretending to in order to convince those with the misfortune to be even more foolish than yourselves. There is no other rational explanation.

  211. I wonder if Harper has told his children any time in the past four years that it's wrong to lie. And if they just looked at him and laughed if he did.

  212. I wonder if Harper has told his children any time in the past four years that it's wrong to lie. And if they just looked at him and laughed if he did.

  213. That's not quite what I'm saying chet. I'm saying it's true when the second place party has only about 75 seats and the first place party has about 145-150. Otherwise they wouldn't have even needed to form the coalition the first time around in 2008; the opposition could have defeated the government and Dion could have become PM without forming a coalition at all.

    If the spread was something closer like 120-110 then it might be feasible. But barring a miracle I don't think we're looking at those kind of numbers.

  214. OK then Mike…why did they even bother to form a coalition in 2008? Why not just defeat the Conservatives and let Dion lead a Liberal government with 75 seats, much the same way Iggy is saying he could do today?

  215. Certainly, there are at least two cases in which the opposition replaced the government following a VONC, rather than an election. In 1873 Alexander Mackenzie became PM over the Pacific Rail scandal and in 1926 Meighen became PM after King lost the support of the Progressives over another scandal.

    However, it isn't clear that those cases are good facsimiles for the likely results of this election. Mackenzie was only a caretaker PM, and at any rate, there were some "loose fish" that he could plausibly maintain the confidence of the house. As for Meighen, he had actually won more seats than King in the 1925 election (King got first crack at forming a government because a Prime Minister is not defeated till they lose the confidence of the house – this hasn't come into play otherwise, because every other leader has resigned after not winning the most seats).

    Lets say the results are exactly as Eric Grenier predicts
    CPC: 147
    LPC: 80
    NDP: 35
    Bloc: 45

    1. Ignatieff could form some sort of Liberal-Bloc-NDP arrangement
    2. Ignatieff could form some sort of Liberal-NDP arrangement
    3. Ignatieff could propose to govern alone, working with the other parties on an issue-by-issue basis
    4. Ignatieff and Harper could form a grand coalition

    A governor-general would be hard-pressed to deny number 1 or 4, since such a coalition/accord would comprise a majority of the house. That said, it would be a massively unpopular move – one that would probably result in a Conservative majority in the next election. A grand coalition is also unlikely, at least given the rhetoric each party has presented (although it is the best option in my view).

    Number 2 would be iffy, but possible. True, opposition parties have been given the chance to govern after VONCs, but all of them commanded a large percentage of seats. Mackenzie had 48%, Meighen had 47%, while Ignatieff plus the NDP would only have 37%. On the other hand, while that would make them the weakest government in Canadian history, they wouldn't be too far off from Harper's share of seats in 2006 (40%). Maybe if Ignatieff could get the assurances of the Bloc to support just one budget that would be enough, although that would probably have political ramifications (despite the fact that the Bloc has supported Tory budgets without a fuss.

    Number 3 sounds like a non-starter to me. The Liberals alone would have only 26% of the seats in the house. If a party that small can form a government, why not the NDP? Why not let Andre Arthur try to form a government?

    In that sense, majority or coalition really is the choice we face.

  216. Whether or not Ignatieff will form a coalition is going to have a huge impact on his policies (not to mention, whether or not he will get to implement them). Voters have a right to know what Iggy's intentions are.

  217. Probably for surety amongst themselves, rather than assuring Mme. Jean.

  218. If there's a non-confidence vote within a few weeks of government, let the guy with the second most seats try to keep confidence of the house. If he can't, then Canada holds another election.

  219. If there's a non-confidence vote within a few weeks of government, let the guy with the second most seats try to keep confidence of the house. If he can't, then Canada holds another election.

    • Even if the number 2 party is the Bloc (it happened in 1993)?

  220. Reading all these blogs a person can take it with a grain of salt. I was thinking of trying out for politics and then remembered the one of "when can you tell when a politician is lying? when his lips start moving".

  221. Reading all these blogs a person can take it with a grain of salt. I was thinking of trying out for politics and then remembered the one of "when can you tell when a politician is lying? when his lips start moving".

  222. I'm glad that even the most hardcore Liberal supporters think that a Liberal majority is laughable.

  223. I wouldn't mind seeing a CPC/LPC coalition government. It's getting the Dippers and BQ in there that scares the crap out of me. Obviously this won't happen, because Iggy wouldn't be PM under such a coalition, and Iggy being PM is the only thing that matters to the CPC.

  224. I'm not a Liberal, much less a hardcord supporter. You'll have to look for phantoms elsewhere.

  225. I wouldn't mind seeing a CPC/LPC coalition government. It's getting the Dippers and BQ in there that scares the crap out of me. Obviously this won't happen, because Iggy wouldn't be PM under such a coalition, and Iggy being PM is the only thing that matters to the CPC.

  226. Judy Rebick hasn't been right in her life.

  227. No kidding. It didn't take even a week to resort to desperately admitting he was lying about the coalition all along. You know they're desperate when they think that admitting to lying is a good communications strategy.

  228. I find it suspicious that you claim you're not a "hardcord" (sic) supporter of the Liberals, given that 99.9% of your comments slavishly adhere to Liberal talking points.

    I think you're one of those "Liberals" in disguise. You've posted something like 10,000 comments on this site, so show me single one that criticizes the Liberals.

  229. Even if the number 2 party is the Bloc (it happened in 1993)?

  230. I'm hoping the Governor General calls on Ignatieff to form a government, but not because of governance or policy – I simply want to witness thousands of Conservative heads exploding right across the country. This'll be better than fireworks!

  231. I'm hoping the Governor General calls on Ignatieff to form a government, but not because of governance or policy – I simply want to witness thousands of Conservative heads exploding right across the country. This'll be better than fireworks!

  232. It's an interesting question, and I agree with everything's Ben said so far. But note that neither Parliament nor the Governor General fires the Prime Minister: the Prime Minister resigns, as he is bound to (unless he's granted a dissolution of Parliament), after losing a confidence vote. Regardless of what David Johnson wanted to do (and I think that there's roughly a zero percent chance he'd try anything weird), your suggestion would rely on Harper not resigning after losing a confidence vote. I find that very unlikely for political reasons, and I don't think there's any ability on the Governor General's part to decline a resignation.

    I'm not aware that there's ever been a plurality minority party in the the history of Westminster democracies as aggressively uninterested in working with other parties as the Conservatives currently are, so we are in a bit of a unique situation. But it will all work itself out eventually, because the MPs don't want to have elections every few months, which is basically the alternative situation.

    (Though if no arrangement could be found and we just had an endless series of elections, the Harper government would remain in office without ever having the confidence of the House of Commons, which would essentially make Canada a dictatorship. Although the government would also presumably grind to a halt when Parliament failed to pass supply.)

  233. All of what you say is true. I would note in response to point 1 that Harper has said that he disagrees with this interpretation: he has said that whoever wins the most seats gets to form government, full stop. He's wrong, of course, as you and I and he all know, but you can't accuse him of not making his current position on the subject clear.

  234. I don't see how this reflects poorly on Mansbridge: he asked a fair question that deserved to be answered. Harper and much of the electorate are going to react completely unreasonably to the answer in question, but if Mansbridge refrained from asking it because he anticipated those reactions, *that*'s what would cost him credibility.

  235. Not a constitutional scholar, but I'm days away from an LL B, so I'll give it my best shot: there's genuine discretion there on the GG's part. There's no formula he would need to follow to determine whether it was worth giving Ignatieff (or Layton, for that matter) a shot at forming government.

    In practice, because there was just an election and presumably nobody wants another election right away (I think the only time there were two elections without any confidence motions passed between them was 1925-1926, though it's also possible in 1979-1980), I see no reason Johnson wouldn't give Ignatieff a shot. As Mike says, the worst that happens if that you get an election, which is what you'd get if you didn't give Ignatieff a shot anyway.

  236. Hold on, so the GG shouldn't take a read of Parliament to see who's got a chance of passing a confidence motion, but should just go mechanically through the motions? So if Ignatieff tries and fails, I assume he moves on to Layton (assuming that Duceppe would decline an invitation to form government)? And then Andre Arthur or Hec Clouthier or Elizabeth May or whoever's left? And hell, why restrict it to party leaders inside the House of Commons? I wouldn't mind a crack at forming government, and there's certainly no precedent that you have to be an MP when you're asked to form government.

    The notion that the Governor General shouldn't "be anticipating the results of future confidence votes and making decisions based on his/her speculation" is absurd.

  237. Michael Ignatieff has finally come clean.

    If The Conservative are given a minority by Canadians who want Mr. Harper to remain our Prime Minister.

    It is the Liberal intention to topple the Conservatives and with the help of the Bloc controlled Coalition, steal the election and make Michael Ignatieff Prime Minister.

    Canadians have strongly expressed their outrage at this idea more than once.

    Michael Ignatieff knows this is clearly in contempt of the will of Canadians.
    The Liberals do not care.
    The Liberals can not win the election.
    So the Liberals will steal it if we let them.

    If you do not want a Bloc controlled Coalition with Michael Ignatieff as Prime Minister.

    We have to give the Conservatives a majority.

    The future of our country is at stake.
    Sleep on it, talk about it, how do we protect and keep Canada united with what we are facing.

  238. Michael Ignatieff has finally come clean.

    If The Conservative are given a minority by Canadians who want Mr. Harper to remain our Prime Minister.

    It is the Liberal intention to topple the Conservatives and with the help of the Bloc controlled Coalition, steal the election and make Michael Ignatieff Prime Minister.

    Canadians have strongly expressed their outrage at this idea more than once.

    Michael Ignatieff knows this is clearly in contempt of the will of Canadians.
    The Liberals do not care.
    The Liberals can not win the election.
    So the Liberals will steal it if we let them.

    If you do not want a Bloc controlled Coalition with Michael Ignatieff as Prime Minister.

    We have to give the Conservatives a majority.

    The future of our country is at stake.
    Sleep on it, talk about it, how do we protect and keep Canada united with what we are facing.

    • For someone with the pseudonym Eyes_Open, you sure seem willing to ignore the kind of corruption, graft, and autocracy that Harper once railed about.

  239. Canadians may be outraged, but, unfortunately, if Igatieff can gain and retain the confidence of the other two parties, he will be the Prime Minister for up to 5 years, reagardless of how few Canadians actually voted for him.

  240. I have learned more about the intricacies of the Westministers system in the past 5 years than I ever learned in school. Thank you, Mr. Harper.

  241. I have learned more about the intricacies of the Westministers system in the past 5 years than I ever learned in school. Thank you, Mr. Harper.

    • Sorry-Westminister

  242. Sorry-Westminister

  243. The raise d'etre of the Greens in Germany was always the nuclear issue. That is why you don't see the country powered by nuclear like it is in France.

    The Greens are gaining influence in other places too. For instance, here in Australia, the Labor Party is introducing a carbon tax, largely to allow easy passage of other legislation through the Senate (the Greens will hold the balance of power in the senate starting in July).

    If Elizabeth May manages to win her seat in this election, I think it could spark a real start in the rise of fortunes for the Green Party. Of course, I could be completely wrong, and the party could wither away.

  244. No Scoop…PM Harper told us this before the election was called..NO SCOOP for Mansbridge sorry…PM Harper scoops Mansbridge..SORRY PM Harper scoops Mansbridge.

  245. Would you work with any of these opposition leaders,knowing they will stab you in the back at the first opportunity and keep blackmailing you for everything under the sun.NO THANKS..CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY

  246. You do understand the difference between PM Harper saying something and actually hearing Michael Ignatieff say it himself, don't you?

    Because, quite honestly, if you think that Stephen Harper speaks for Michael Ignatieff than you have some serious perception issues. To put it lightly.

  247. The Bloc could never gain the confidence of the House. If the Liberals or NDP tried to support them, they would be committing political suicide.

  248. Did Ignatieff really just toss his campaign….or does this simply share at the least title of a certain Shakespere play and the subject of 9 seasons of Sienfeld?

    Not saying this is about nothing – but is any-one listening anymore? Even the CBC isn't listening. The National where this interview aired? They got to election related stories as the third news item, after a guy with a gun entered a school in Quebec and the floods in Manitoba. After that, if you were like me, you had switched back to the hockey game, any hockey game….

  249. Did Ignatieff really just toss his campaign….or does this simply share at the least title of a certain Shakespere play and the subject of 9 seasons of Sienfeld?

    Not saying this is about nothing – but is any-one listening anymore? Even the CBC isn't listening. The National where this interview aired? They got to election related stories as the third news item, after a guy with a gun entered a school in Quebec and the floods in Manitoba. After that, if you were like me, you had switched back to the hockey game, any hockey game….

  250. This is simply wrong. The convention in Canada is that any party that wins a plurality but not a majority recognizes that it must reach out to be fair to those voters who did not support them. You can review acceptance speeches at both the federal and provincial levels to see this is the Canadian tradition. (Indeed, typically a minority win should not be seen as providing a mandate from the people.) It is an important tradition, it says that our government should always respect the views of the Canadians majority.

    The exception is of course, Joe Clark in 79, and in this case I think the exception certainly proves the convention.

    Harper of course made no reference to reaching out in his last acceptance speech. Once he gained his plurality, his view has been, there was a game, I won, so I get to do what I want. He stepped down from that view when the threat of a coalition threatened his position as PM, but he has never rescinded it.

    If Harper fails to get a majority, and brings in the same budget without discussions with the opposition there is absolutely no reason associated with tradition or legitimacy that compels the opposition to vote for it. After all, each and every opposition member has campaigned against this budget. To attempt to tell the majority of Canadians that because of the way the vote split that their elected representatives must change their position from the one they campaigned on to fall in line with the party supported by the minority of Canadians is at best arrogant. (Now that I have written it out it is clear it is much better described as idiotic)

    It is not that I disagree that if Harper gets a strong plurality that he should be PM. Indeed, everyone has stated that he gets first shot. His responsibility is to genuinely reaches out to attempt to gain the confidence on the House. If he instead attempts to rub the opposition collective noses in an unaltered budget, then the resulting chaos is on him.

    If we have status quo following the election, the determining issue will which party(ies) fear/want another quick election. That will depend on the perceptions of momentum near the end of this campaign and unfortunately money. I fear that Harper will once again have a dominant financial advantage and he will be unable to contain himself.

  251. you mean grade 11 poli-sci, where we learn "how a bill becomes a law"? lol. this ain't academics, Bugzy, it's the real world. if lib+ndp>tory, you are right -it's ok to form a union and govern. if lib+ndp<tory, they need the BLOC's support, and that is not politically legitimate, and quite dangerous.

  252. i think it's pretty fair to say the 147 Conservatives projected to be elected would oppose Liberal/NDP/Bloc legislation, so what difference does it make?

  253. How is a government elected by a small minority of Canadians more democratic than a coalition representing the majority of their votes? Canada needs to finally get the memo on this issue—as it seems do you, Mr. Wells.

  254. How is a government elected by a small minority of Canadians more democratic than a coalition representing the majority of their votes? Canada needs to finally get the memo on this issue—as it seems do you, Mr. Wells.

  255. I disagree completely and don't feel you've described a basis for your opinion.

  256. Time and time again Iggy has said he can't work with Mr. Harper. Now he says he could possibly work with Mr. Harper? Does anyone believe he's try and work with the Conservatives if he leads a coup de etet? Has Iggy not made up his mind yet? Or is he just another lying Lieberal leader??

  257. Time and time again Iggy has said he can't work with Mr. Harper. Now he says he could possibly work with Mr. Harper? Does anyone believe he's try and work with the Conservatives if he leads a coup de etet? Has Iggy not made up his mind yet? Or is he just another lying Lieberal leader??

  258. Since when is publishing a press release journalism? Cut out the middle man. Just sign up for all the parties' email lists.

  259. For someone with the pseudonym Eyes_Open, you sure seem willing to ignore the kind of corruption, graft, and autocracy that Harper once railed about.

  260. This country needs a coalition, in some form or another, so we can just rip the band-aid off and realize it's workable. Having another centre-right party with a handful of seats would come in extremely handy right about now.

  261. silver linings

  262. You can suspect anything you like, I don't mind.

    But I'm not a Liberal much less a hardcore supporter.

    I have often criticized Liberals and Ignatieff. It's not my problem you can't find any.

  263. We've always had anti-nuclear people, and they've been ignored for the most part. The Japanese problem has given a new boost to it, that's all.

    It would be nice to see a new party making gains….I just wish some of the old parties would disappear.

  264. Actually it's a misquote. Full on. Deleting words in the middle of quotations is a mis-quote, period.

  265. There's more than one lie though, I addressed the other elephant in the release, which is a mis-characterization of our political system designed to advantage the Conservatives because they're framing the election as an "us vs. the coalition" when it's not that kind of system.

  266. 74% of Canadians think penguins live in the Arctic.

    This IS a nation of idiots.

  267. Let me try again, then. There are two possibilities: either the Governor General is permitted and required to exercise discretion in inviting somebody to form government, or there are unambiguous rules on the subject that can be followed by rote. In denying the first possibility, you are implicitly endorsing the second.

    What are these rules?

  268. I thought Maclean's job was to report the news and comment on it, not be a cheerleader for one Party. I guess the days of Canada's Fox news is already here. Just what the hell are they teaching in journalism schools these days? How to suck up to the people in power?