142

Hey, wait a minute


 

The previous Liberal leader stated explicitly and repeatedly in the last election campaign that he would not enter a coalition with the NDP, let alone the Bloc. Six weeks after the election, he did.

The new Liberal leader stated explicity and repeatedly after the coalition was formed that he supported it, even affixing his signature to a letter to the Governor General to that effect. A week later, he and his anonymous minions are sending out all sorts of signals to the contrary, while his public position has evolved to “coalition if necessary but not necessarily coalition.” 

His predecessor’s signature, moreover, is on a formal agreement with the other two parties committing the Liberal Party to the coalition. The selling point of that coalition is that it’s a formal agreement, binding on all sides — 18 months for the Bloc, 30 months for the Liberals and NDP — and not just an informal understanding that can be cancelled at any time. It is on that basis that we are encouraged to believe it would deliver stable government, and not merely an escalating process of blackmail.

Yet both the public and private positions of the current Liberal leader suggest that is not the case: that the arrangement is entirely contingent, at least as far as the Liberals are concerned. In which case it is hard to see why the other parties should be expected to treat it any differently.

Questions for either Liberal leader, past or present:

1: Once and for all, do you support the coalition, or don’t you?

2: Why should we believe your answer to Question 1?


 

Hey, wait a minute

  1. Good luck in getting a straight answer to that question, Andrew.

    You made the case brilliantly. I hope you make the exact same case in your next TV appearance(s) or article(s). It goes right to the core of several issues, which you are beginning to grasp fully… and have explained to me.

  2. I liked it better when you rarely wrote anything and then only when you had something important to say, as opposed to your new style of writing too much when you have nothing to say.

  3. Good, if somewhat self-serving, question.
    When are you going to start asking that obscure team that is currently ‘avoiding’ governing similar questions, ie. campaigned against a deficit, said there was no recession or at the most we’d have had it already, canadian banks are beyond solid, will work with the opposition et al, and their reverse actions?
    Are there only so many feet-holding-fire tricks you do?

  4. You’ve got to frame it in terms of a comparison.

    Harper is a serial liar the likes of which has never been seen in a Canadian PM.

    Why should we believe ANYTHING out of the sneering mouth of Harper?

    The landscape has completely changed. Iggy has stated that he will look at the budget closely. If Harper has shown maturity and responsibility, then Ignatieff will consider accepting it.

    If not, Harper will once again be reduced to a screeching lunatic. Funny how the fool shows some emotion when it’s apparent his days as PM are numbered.

  5. Biffin,

    I like a different comparison. Serial lying is weak beer compared to organized criminal filth like Chretien

  6. Harper broke campaign financing laws to steal an election. Harper created a law about fixed election dates and then broke it. Harper shut down Parliament like a coward. Harper pandered to Quebec (and countless others) like an S.O.B. on steroids and then reignited the national unity issue. Harper’s finance minister handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to his friend for a measly untendered DAMNED SPEECH!! Harper’s government is incompetent. Harper is the most secretive, hypocritical, lying piece of filth Canada has ever had as a PM.

    Oh, BTW, Chretien is no longer even in politics.

    Try to keep things relevant.

  7. “I liked it better when you rarely wrote anything and then only when you had something important to say, as opposed to your new style of writing too much when you have nothing to say.”

    You said absolutely nothing in your comment, revealing yourself to be an intellectually lazy idiot. I’d love to watch a debate between you and Andrew. It would be farcical. You’d get creamed.

    Andrew, I’ve both disagreed and agreed with you over the years, but have always found you thoughtful, often insightful, and one of the greatest long-term political analysts (as in what’s going to happen a year or two out — often more accurate than my predictions) in any country.

    Keep up the writing. Your engaged readers who like to comment on the issues, not make one-off attacks without an underlying point, really appreciate it.

  8. The circumstances that produced the coalition have since changed now that the GG has allowed for a time out. Harper has been given seven weeks in which to try (hard as it may be) to cooperate with other parties so as to produce a responsible budget.

    I think Ignatieff was pretty clear in the press conference today. The coalition will go forward should the PM produce a budget that is as insulting as the economic update. So yes, I’d say he believes in the coalition in so much that it is an effective tool to either force the government to articulate a responsive budget, or to topple the government should the budget not measure up to the challenge of the times. In the latter case, as he stated in the press conference today, he would propose to the GG that the coalition should go forward with him as its leader.

    Personally (and I know people will disagree) I think that is a responsible position to take given the circumstances. Why that is so confusing, I’m not sure. I think as a public, and I include the media in this, we look for answers that are black and white, but times being what they are, a little bit of nuance isn’t such a bad thing. It’s black and white that got us into this mess.

  9. I liked it better when you rarely wrote anything and then only when you had something important to say, as opposed to your new style of writing too much when you have nothing to say.

    I liked Coyne better when he used to care that his blog had readers and commenters.

  10. Serial lying is weak beer compared to organized criminal filth like Chretien

    Oooh…So, have you forwarded your evidence of high crimes to the RCMP?

    Whatever Harpy and the Gang are saying, the rank-and-file aren’t dialing it down anytime soon, that for sure.

  11. Interesting questions about Liberal commitment to the coalition BUT do you put Harper and the Conservatives under as much scrutiny as you have here? Harper has been a talker but not walker from day one. The media and Canadians seem to be oblivious to his high-road statements followed by his low-road actions. Come on now, treat them both fairly.

  12. Andrew:

    I guess his choice was to:

    1. start a civil war within his party by parting with its duly elected leader, and a significant portion of caucus, in the middle of a leadership campaign; and

    2. if he won that civil war and killed the coalition, either make a deal with Harper or force an election.

    He chose to support the coalition just about as quietly as possible. And now that he is the only leader to do what Canadians want and “come down from the hill” to try to find a compromise, you jump on him for changing positions. Isn’t that the kind of leadership we need?

  13. If we’re in question-asking mode…for any CPC leader, past or present:

    1. When in Opposition, did you ever enter into a coalition agreement with the other Opposition Parties?
    2. Why should we believe your answer to Question 1?

  14. His predecessor’s signature, moreover, is on a formal agreement with the other two parties committing the Liberal Party to the coalition. The selling point of that coalition is that it’s a formal agreement, binding on all sides

    I ask this as a serious question: what legal ramifications would there be if Ignatieff said the Liberals were no longer interested in coalition?

    My money is on “none”.

  15. Christoph,

    I am well aware that Andrew is smarter than I am. That’s not news. Those who know me, would probably agree with your assessment that I am lazy.

    Keep up the insults though, I like to know that I have fans the world over.

    My point, in case you were curious as to what I was getting at, is that when Andrew wrote only occasionally, his words carried more weight.

    If you didn’t care what my point was, please accept my apology, and carry on insulting me.

  16. Andrew,

    You have nailed it. The Coaliton is not dead.

    Iggy claims to be using the threat of a Coalition to squeeze concessions out of Harper which (absent his head on a platter) can not be satisfied. The stimulus (regardless of size) is inadequate and the compromises (regardless of how significant) are still not enough to convince the opposition that this PM is prepared to work with Parliament.

    Cynical, yes, but hardly surprising. Political games, perhaps, but its not like the guy is breaking an election law because the Parlaiment is “unworkable” or ducking a confidence vote because he couldn’t win it. He’ll simply let the country and the GG know that when Canadians voted in October for their Parliament they expected MPs to try and make it work, in spite of the differences they may have, and that the Coalition offers the GG a solid, workable, stable, democratically elected option for a goverment which, by the end of this “time-out” will have lasted three times the current government would have has she not frozen the clock in December. Should she conclude, based on this PMs advice that in the fall the last Parliament was unworkable and that the current Parliament only needed a “cooling off period” in December now requires a new election – I think it quite likely that she will concluded, only 16 days into the 40th Parliament and only 3 and 1/2 months after the last election that perhaps it isn’t the Parlaiment that is not viable but merely this Prime Minister.

  17. If the coalition really is about forcing a compromise (and I see the MSM is out in force, declaring Iggy’s victory through backroom shenanigans a sign of cooperation within the Liberal party), what are Ignatieff’s conditions for Harper on passing a budget?

    When you kidnap somebody, you generally ask for a specific ransom. Instead the coalition has thus far kidnapped parliament and demanded a random of “best offer”.

  18. Biffin,

    Like I said, weak beer.

    Chretien used the RCMP as his personal political thugs to initimidate reporters who dared report on his doings in Shawinigan, to harrass the president of the BDC because he wouldn’t hand government lolly to one of his crooked buddies, made a member of a Mafia family a privy councillor and then ambasador to Denmark, ran a parallel government in Quebec, greased with funds stolen from HRDC, laundered two hundred million through Quebec ad agencies back to the Liberal Party to subvert Federal elections, and single handedly fueled the separatist fires for nothing more than to personally enrich himself.

    Go to hell, Librano.

  19. “Those who know me, would probably agree with your assessment that I am lazy.”

    Your comment was lazy: you didn’t point out any error in Andrew’s reasoning. These are important questions that should, but probably won’t, ever be answered.

    So these three opposition parties — deigning themselves fit to be the government of Canada, and a stable government at that knowing full well that’s one of the Governor-General’s responsibilities — wrote her a letter saying they’d signed a deal for at least 18 months of unity and stability and that they are ready to form Canada’s government now…. with the powers of peace, war, and taxes over all of us?

    And the senior partner in this coalition, the Liberal Party, considers its signature to be nonbinding and subject to popular will and their own electoral fortunes?

    Did they (including the NDP and Bloc) lie to the Governor-General and the people of Canada about the stability they promised to deliver, in writing?

    I think so. I think they should answer these questions.

    The Governor-General should be applauded for making the coalition wait an extra month, thus revealing itself to be a hollow shell unfit in its current form to govern Canada.

  20. Ti-Guy: Serial lying is weak beer compared to organized criminal filth like Chretien

    Oooh…So, have you forwarded your evidence of high crimes to the RCMP?

    Well, Ti -Guy, since a book recently came out detailing the corruption in the RCMP and indicating that Chretch made a deal with them along the lines of you run it how you like, steal what you want, just don’t investigate me and my buddies, it wouldn’t do much good.

    Ask Paul Martin what the Mounties do to you when your in Chretch’s bad books.

  21. Nice fantasy world musings Peter. If you want to obsess over Chretien, fine.

    Most Canadians are more concerned with the current thug who, if left unchecked, will do untold damage to this great country.

  22. If Iggy wants to win every seat in the NCR, all he has to do is demand Harper recall Parliament immediately to enact legislation declaring OC Transpo an essential service. Today was nothing short of a colossal cluster****.

    Can you imagine how much leverage the Amalgamated Transit Union will have once we invest another $5 billion in LRT like Council and O’Brain-fart are planning?

  23. “Most Canadians are more concerned with the current thug who, if left unchecked, will do untold damage to this great country.”

    He’s been in power for almost 3 years now. What great damage has he done to our country?

    Was it reducing the GST by 2 points? Does this constitute a national crisis? Was it the balanced budgets? The maintaining of an effective working relationship with the Americans, including security partnerships?

    What specific thing have they done in 3 years that has damaged this country in “untold” ways?

    Enlighten us. Outside of them having a different philosophy of lower taxes, which has proved increasingly popular with Canadians over the last 3 years hence their pickup of seats, what is their great threat to this country?

    Use specifics.

  24. Interesting how a logical question flowing from the Liberals intractible situation,

    brings the far left fever swamp a buzzing.

    Iggy signed a deal with the Canadian political devil. All of the anti-Harper frenzy in the world won’t erase that fact.

    Oh, did I mention that the vast majority of Candians detest the deal of the damned and all its stand for?

  25. Well, Ti -Guy, since a book recently came out detailing the corruption in the RCMP and indicating that Chretch made a deal with them along the lines of you run it how you like, steal what you want, just don’t investigate me and my buddies, it wouldn’t do much good.

    What book was that? And…mazeltov!…for reading one.

  26. Ignatieff should have refused to sign. Have said he supports the Liberal Party, but disagrees with the issue on this one issue.

    But that would have taken courage.

    If he’d done that, he’d be in great shape with the country today.

  27. *disagrees with the leader on this one issue

  28. Bit thick there, aren’t ya Christoph? What part of “will do” can’t you get your melon around?

    But he has already done enough damage. And slicing the GST WAS one of the screw-ups. Almost all economists labeled that a mistake. Here we are, in full on deficits again. Spare me the Con canard about surpluses not being profits. Having a surplus at a time like this would have been useful. But it’s all gone because Harper wanted the deficits so he could shrug his shoulders and say “we have no choice but to sell off public assets and gut those programs that don’t agree with our twisted ideology.”

  29. The accord between the parties implicitly requires some pre-conditions to be met – the first of which is that the current government actually fall, and the second of which is that the coalition actually be asked to form a new government.

    Until those conditions are met, nothing in the agreement would seem to bind Mr. Ignatieff.

    Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament to avoid the confidence vote on the issue that all parties agreed they could not support. He’s now backpeddled to the point where he’s stated a willingness to work with the Liberals. I think Liberals have every reason not to trust Mr. Harper, and I think he has a long way to go before he regains that trust – but do you honestly think Canadians wouldn’t want their newly minted leader of the opposition to at least look at what gets put on the table before he commits to toppling the government?

    Do you think that he would prefer he commit to toppling the government on a budget he hasn’t seen because of some moral obligation to Jack Layton?

  30. Peter,

    You might want to be careful.

    “… slander … may be divided into five classes, as follows: (1.) Words falsely spoken of a person which impute to the party the commission of some criminal offence involving moral turpitude, for which the party, if the charge is true, may be indicted and punished. (2.) Words falsely spoken of a person which impute that the party is infected with some contagious disease, where, if the charge is true, it would exclude the party from society; or (3.) Defamatory words falsely spoken of a person, which impute to the party unfitness to perform the duties of an office or employment of profit, or the want of integrity in the discharge of the duties of such an office or employment. (4.) Defamatory words falsely spoken of a party which prejudice such party in his or her profession or trade. (5.) Defamatory words falsely spoken of a person, which, though not in themselves actionable, occasion the party special damage.

    “Certain words, all admit, are in themselves actionable, because the natural consequence of what they impute to the party is damage, as if they import a charge that the party has been guilty of a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, or that the party is infected with a contagious distemper, or if they are prejudicial in a pecuniary sense to a person in office or to a person engaged as a livelihood in a profession or trade; but in all other cases the party who brings an action for words must show the damage he or she has suffered by the false speaking of the other party.”

    — Duhaime

  31. “The previous Liberal leader stated explicitly and repeatedly in the last election campaign that he would not enter a coalition with the NDP, let alone the Bloc.”

    You got full quotes on that? All I’ve heard lately is some clip from a Conservative ad that’s edited so close to the vest there’s no telling what he was really saying. You might not have noticed but forming a coalition is precisely what Dion didn’t do after the election.

    Harper got his dibs and screwed up. Now he’s left with a padlock and sour grapes and he’s not alone on the latter.

  32. Christoph .. ‘What great damage has he done to our country?’ Exactly. And after they cant answer that and start spouting how Chretien and Martin saved the country, ask them how? The GST and cutting transfer payments turned around the ruinous downward spiral started by Trudeau. Not any great liberal ideology. Oh, and who came up with the GST ?

  33. This may sound crazy, but is Michael Ignatieff a Theosophist? Has anyone done any digging?

  34. ‘What great damage has he done to our country?’

    He’s trying to fix what isn’t broken. And making a mess in the process.

    *sheesh* It’s not that hard to figure out.

  35. Yawn. Apparently all CON talking points include the clause ‘We don’t take responsibility for our own actions.’ It seems no matter how badly Harper screwed over the economy — never mind the GST cut, how about evacuating the contingency fund, lathering one province with so much lucre as to choke a horse but with no payoff, establishing multiple brushfires among provincial leaders and the feds, spending enormous amounts of time and energy kneecapping your rival while the economy fizzles, providing seniors and business people with a glimpse of ‘Recession-redux’ by pulling the plug with his halloweenie treat ’06, et al, etc — the CON-victed never seem to lack for an evil, unprovoked attack at something.
    Kind of makes me misty eyed for Duplessis…

  36. Is there some type of penalty clause in the Coalition Contract? Does one party have to pay any damages to the other. This struck me when I read it last week.

  37. This may sound crazy, but is Michael Ignatieff a Theosophist? Has anyone done any digging?

    Yes it does sound crazy, but unexpected. Unlike comments about “CON TALKING POINTS”

    I swear, every time I take a shot someone says it again.

  38. Jesus, the ConBots are shorting out.

  39. Andrew with all due respect please drop the coalition line. Rather than post the letters to GG by Harper of Day that the entire world has seen several times just amid it is tool for the GG….. What is interesting is Mr. Ignatieff’s demand that Mr. Harper open the books for we the taxpayers to see…. many economist have predicted we are as much as $10 billion in debt, others have stated on CBC, the show you guest on that Harper may have cooked the books…. Andrew…. on a scale of one to ten where do suppose Canadians would rank the state of taxpayer $$$$$ against what the GG/PMSH will do “IF” the government falls due to a non confidence vote. Little ode me would like the truth about our countries finances…. I would hope you and others in media would also…. is that too much to ask Sir?

    For what is worth I applaud Michael for making that a prerequisite prior to any input from the LPC on budget input…. starting from 10B in the RED is much different than starting from 16B in the Black! and that is what Mr, Ignatieff has made reference to Andrew… and if we are indeed 10B down he has options open to cope with the outright lie by Harper/Flaherty as does the GG….. that Sir is called Canada’s parliamentary system….

  40. Twist-Ti-Guy, Don’t get all wrapped around the axle because the natural governing party isn’t sitting on the throne ….

  41. Twist-Ti-Guy, Don’t get all wrapped around the axle because the natural governing party isn’t sitting on the throne ….

  42. How can this possibly be on the Liberals? The Liberals and NDP (for better or worse for their political futures) wrote to the GG and told her that the government did not have the confidence of the House and that they were willing and prepared to form a new coalition government. The PM went to the GG and asked her to prorogue Parliament even though it had only sat for a week. The GG chose the PM’s option over the proposed coalition’s. Clearly, the understanding in granting prorogation must have been that an effort would be made to regain the confidence of the House. I really don’t see how the position of the Liberals can be anything other than a) We signed on to a proposed governing coalition, b) The GG refused our proposal and gave the government an opportunity to win our confidence, c) If we have any respect for the GG, we have to respect her decision and be open to an actual attempt by the Prime Minister to win back our confidence.

    So I don’t see where the conflict is in saying a) the government should have the opportunity to maintain the confidence of the House, but b) if it does not, we are prepared and have agreed to form a governing coalition with the NDP.

  43. Questions for Coyne:

    1. Do you miss your old career as an independent journalist?

    2. Why should we care about your answer to Question 1?

  44. Hey wait a minute Andrew!

    If the coalition idea is as dead as you you have been claiming it is, then why are you still spending so much energy trying to kill it? Is it possible that it’s not really dead? Is it possible that you just WANT it to be dead?

    Follow up question; do you think your readers are idiots and we don’t notice these little inconsistencies in your arguments?

    kisses!

  45. “Was it reducing the GST by 2 points? Does this constitute a national crisis? Was it the balanced budgets? The maintaining of an effective working relationship with the Americans, including security partnerships?”

    The GST cut was ill advised, but looked good. Nearly all economists would say that income tax cuts are more useful than sales tax cuts. The Conservatives inherited massive surpluses from the Liberals and we would not be looking at coming deficits if the Conservatives had not engaged in the spending and tax cutting that they did. The Liberals have this brain-dead tendency to disparage the US for domestic political purposes. The Conservatives, OTOH, seem to have an equally brain-dead tendency to cozy up to US interests regardless of Canada’s interests – a small, but telling example is bill C-61; wanting Canada to take part in the Iraq War is a not-so-small, but telling other example.

    I’ve voted Conservative in the past and will likely do so in the future if the alternative is the Lib-NDP-BQ coalition (FWIW, I voted Liberal last time). Just don’t expect me to do so with a smile.

  46. Gee, the Connies are quite rattled. You can just picture Harper’s ungodly, gray-irised gaze as he hears a voice in his mind saying…fear the priest!

  47. Thank you, Darrell, for being the lone voice of reason in a silly thread.

    Mr. Coyne, are you not smarter than that? The Coalition binds the members to specific periods of time–in the event of a coalition! It doesn’t bind them to 30 months from last week, it binds them to 30 months from whenever the coalition begins. It is a formal, binding agreement between the two parties and the Bloc, that, should the Governor General call on them to do so, will provide stable, viable government. It doesn’t do anything if she doesn’t call on them–and she won’t call on them if the Conservatives don’t go visiting again to ask for dissolution of Parliament. Jeez!

    I’ve asked you twice with no response from you to provide the Canadian public with sorely needed factual advice on how our Parliamentary democracy really works. Maclean’s magazine is, in my opinion, the ONLY place this could be done in a timely and relevant fashion. Instead, you create yet another misleading and harmful piece of propaganda for those who’d rather argue than use common sense.

  48. Thank you, Darrell, for being the lone voice of reason in a silly thread.

    Mr. Coyne, are you not smarter than that? The Coalition binds the members to specific periods of time–in the event of a coalition! It is a formal, binding agreement between the two parties and the Bloc, that, should the Governor General call on them to do so, will provide stable, viable government. It doesn’t do anything if she doesn’t call on them–and she for sure won’t call on them if the Conservatives don’t go visiting again to ask for dissolution of Parliament. Jeez!

    I’ve asked you twice with no response from you to provide the Canadian public with sorely needed factual advice on how our Parliamentary democracy really works. Maclean’s magazine is, in my opinion, the ONLY place this could be done in a timely and relevant fashion. Instead, you create yet another misleading and harmful piece of propaganda for those who’d rather argue than use common sense.

  49. Ti-Guy Jesus, the ConBots are shorting out

    Aw Ti, you’ve been around here long enough to do better than that. I’m so tired of the same old insults being tossed around.

    It’s your job to keep me entertained. The dead-tree press is dead.

  50. >>>Ignatieff should have refused to sign. Have said he supports the Liberal Party, but disagrees with the issue on this one issue.
    But that would have taken courage.
    If he’d done that, he’d be in great shape with the country today.<<<

    If the LPC would’t have been as sick as it has been for years, they would have had something in hand to propose to the Conservative minority government, rather than flee into the open arms of the NDP and BQ as an excuse for hiding the LPC’s lack of any substance (notice how Harper last night used the words “the Libs having been cornered by the other opposition parties). In other words: the Libs had no choice. But lack of choice by their own making. Harper has pointed to it repeatedly.

    The Green shift was solidly rejected by the voter, and the 50 billion tax cuts to business was supported by the LPC, still is, and was not supported by the NDP before the coaltion agreement. I would like for Igantieff to explain those things while simultanuously trying to explain the need for a coalition government instead.

    The issue had clearly been the party subsidy cuts proposed. Last night on CBC interview, Mansbridge had tried to pressure Harper into making an apology for having proposed the cuts. Harper clearly did not apologize. Furthermore, Harper said that the voter is on his side on that particular issue, and I think if our country stands in favour of free and open debate, this would have come to the fore, early and clearly.

    The LPC has been a sick party for a long time. As a result, not only did they end up with a weak leader (Dion), and not only did they lack any sort of proposals regarding the state of the economy other than the Green shift, they also had completely overlooked the party’s internal financing situation.

    Within the last ten days, Harper has been able to flush out a lot of the LPC’s shortcomings, including the financial mess the LPC finds itself in.

    Now, because the LPC found themselves in a complete mess of their own making (weak leader, no policies, internal financial mess), the party does not even have to ask it’s membership if choosing a leader who was in support of the Iraq war was the right thing to do. The LPC has accused Harper for years about his stand regarding the Iraq war. Now, the LPC has a leader who supported the war in Iraq but the membership weren’t even asked if they could support such a man.

    Another thing Mr.Harper has been able to fully expose throughout, is that some of our national media, the G&M and the CBC in particular, are very willing to try and blame all of this on Harper, whereas the Liberal shortcomings have been completely overlooked within their reporting. I think for Harper, that is a good think to know for sure.

  51. I too feel it would be responsible editorial policy to remove the posts referring to a former Prime Minister as a criminal.

  52. “Peter,

    You might want to be careful.”

    I expressly and unreservedly apologize for all remarks, opinions and blog postings which may have offended any Liberal, or other person who read them. I meant no harm and will refrain from making any comment in the future about my natural rulers.

  53. Shammeh! Shammeh! Come quick, Shammeh! Shumweah in Canadah, there’sh a little boy who’sh losht hish faith in a politician’sh promishes. Oh, Shammeh! Come quick! Do come quick!

  54. “too feel it would be responsible editorial policy to remove the posts referring to a former Prime Minister as a criminal.”

    Why? Aren’t they allowed to express an opinion? Former Prime Ministers are very much public figures and members of the public expressing opinions about them is pretty much protected under law. Only specific allegations of wrongdoing would be subject to libel action and it’s doubtful a former PM is going to do that every time someone calls them a crook.

  55. Andrea, are you trying to tell us that politicians make promises / offers / threats that they later break / withdraw / silently back away whilst wagging their finger to mean I’ll get you, you’ll see? I am shocked, SHOCKED. Next.

  56. Jenn,

    if you were a reporter, how would you propose to plaster over the differences between the NDP and the LPC? How, for instance, would you be able to the NDP supporters, and to those who had voted for the NDP, that now within the coalition the party’s stand on the 50 billion tax cuts to businesses has been completely reversed. During the past election, how had Layton managed to get his base to support him?

    By promising to NOT implement the 50 billion tax cuts,

    and yet, now Layton claims to have support for the coalition by reversing his stand completely

    and why does Ignatieff not find this strange.

    Both men have a lot of questions to answer; better now than later.

  57. “Oooh…So, have you forwarded your evidence of high crimes to the RCMP?”

    You mean the RCMP that he improperly directed to seize documents from a principled business executive who was attempting to show evidence against Chretien?

    That RCMP?

  58. Looking at this whole snafu from outside the country, I cannot believe how the Liberals can claim that a Jerry-built coalition will provide for “stable” government. Not only was this coalition formed by a bunch of parties who have diametrically opposed policy positions, at least two of the parties promised during an election campaign only 8 weeks ago not to form a coalition.

    At the very minimum, Ignatieff will have to promise to seek public support for a coalition through an election even if he does defeat the government. To do otherwise is indeed anti-democratic – in spirit, if not technically.

  59. Christoph,

    I lost my temper, my bad, and what I said was over the top. It does not serve the discussion.

  60. Well, Francien, I guess the same way the reporters have plastered over the differences between what Mr. Harpers says (fixed election law, no recession, no deficits, banks in great shape, etc.) with what he does and /or reality (calls early election, Bank of Canada calls it a recession, even Flaherty is expecting a deficit, and I’ve lost count of the billions to the banks).

    To be honest, I don’t mind that Harper said he wouldn’t take us into deficit and then, once elected, does just that. It’s a stupid question to ask of a political leader–of any stripe. As most grown-ups know, things change and sh*t happens. I guess more truthfully, it’s stupid of the Canadian public to demand an answer to that question, with only one answer acceptable. That is on us. If we don’t want our politicians to lie to us, why do we make them?

  61. Aw Ti, you’ve been around here long enough to do better than that. I’m so tired of the same old insults being tossed around.

    I am trying to do better. I really am. But it’s hard…so very, very hard…

  62. So far Mr.Ignatieff has said nothing of substance.

  63. Kind of like Ti-Guy.

  64. He wants to have it both ways. When Harper comes in with the budget, Iggy will back down and take credit for the stimulus. He will say his threat of a coalition kept the PM in line.

  65. Mr.Ignatieff doesn’t like to answer questions and neither does Jenn.

    But that’s alright; the default mode ABC springs into action as soon as the mind comes up empty.

  66. By the way, Andrew Coyne, that picture of James Coyne in the paper today: doesn’t that man look a lot like you?

    But I could be wrong.

  67. Wow, the blogs here are probably the best in the country, but the comments really leave a lot to be desired.

  68. I’ve been reading the blogs on Macleans.ca for the past few weeks and I’ve been dismayed by the amount of hate expressed in the comments sections. Whether it’s attacking Dion or Harper, or the people who support them, commenters seem to have abandoned all generosity or civility towards each other. While I don’t support the actions of Prime Minister Harper in recent weeks, I’m shocked that anyone can realistically compare his behaviour to that of Hitler or Mugabe. As a Canadian who has lived abroad in Zimbabwe, may I suggest that we can all learn to better appreciate our country’s political system and the privilege we have to speak freely without recrimination. Go ahead and vote out/ in whoever and whatever party you wish to see in government. But realize that in the greater global community, the differences between a Harper and and an Ignatieff are slight at best. And can we stop verbally attacking and insulting our journalists whenever they say something we don’t agree with? Whether it’s Wells or Coyne or Kady, they’re just doing their job and reporting things as they see it.

  69. Johnny – If you think the comments are bad here you should go on yahoo news some time!

  70. People feel free to say whatever they like in the most strident tone possible since their real identities are hidden by fake names and because there are no real consequences for what they say.

  71. Jean,

    I see you’re not wearing your dancing shoes………………..

  72. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,
    C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
    Governor General
    Rideau Hall
    1 Sussex Drive
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1

    Excellency,

    As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister
    to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program.

    We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We
    believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the
    opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.

    Your attention to this matter is appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
    Leader of the Opposition
    Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

  73. On the contrary Francien. I feel like doing a victory jig :)

  74. “I’ve been reading the blogs on Macleans.ca for the past few weeks and I’ve been dismayed by the amount of hate expressed in the comments sections. Whether it’s attacking Dion or Harper, or the people who support them, commenters seem to have abandoned all generosity or civility towards each other.”

    Meh.

    A month ago I would have — and did — defend Stéphane Dion as a fundamentally decent man, a patriot (I used that word frequently in discussions), and a federalist — who was too liberal for my tastes.

    Then he lied to the electorate to get their votes and said he wouldn’t forge a coalition with the NDP.

    Weeks after the election he did exactly that, bringing in the Bloc separatists (so much for Dion’s patriotism and federalism, both of which **I** defended) in a separate side deal and sending off a letter to the Governor-General signed by all 3 parties to topple the government Canada had sent to Ottawa with an increase in seats.

    So as far as “hatred” goes? Well, put it this way. Stéphane Dion is a liar, he is unpatriotic, and he put his own interests before the interests of his country and even the interests of his party.

  75. Christoph: “So as far as “hatred” goes? Well, put it this way. Stéphane Dion is a liar, he is unpatriotic, and he put his own interests before the interests of his country and even the interests of his party.”

    Feel the love.

  76. …commenters seem to have abandoned all generosity or civility towards each other.

    You’re right of course. But when did we ever have any? I don’t remember such an Internet as that. Even the old Usenet (apparently, because I was never on it) was full of flame wars and insults.

  77. Jack Mitchell, why would I love the man?

    He is a liar, he DID form a deal to install himself as prime minister propped up by separatists, and he did selfishly put himself before the interests of both Canada and his party.

    I don’t give love to everyone. I give it to those who deserve it. He had my respect a month ago. I plainly said it.

    Worse, he had my public and private declarations of respect. He lost both by his unethical, dishonest, slimy actions.

  78. >>>On the contrary Francien. I feel like doing a victory jig :)<<<<<

    Yeah, performing an inward pirouette can be uplifting.

    But what about coming out in the real world for showing us your dancing steps?

  79. >>>> to consult the
    opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority..>>>>>

    exactly: NO formal agreement to form a coalition government. NO formal agreement to govern with the BQ as the kingmaker.

    One of the options could have been a call for an election. That might very well have been the opposition’s demand at the time, would they have had a chance to consult with the GG

    Democratic? VERY

  80. By the way guys, I need some opinions here:

    Michael Ignatieff = Sam Waterston [the guy from law and order]

    Any takers?

  81. Christoph: “Jack Mitchell, why would I love the man?

    They say it’s mostly genetic.

    “I don’t give love to everyone.”

    That is very wise. You should also practice safe partisanship.

  82. What were the other options? What were ALL of the options contemplated by Mr. Harper as he signed that letter?

  83. “By the way guys, I need some opinions here:

    Michael Ignatieff = Sam Waterston [the guy from law and order]”

    Sam Waterston is a small-l liberal.

    So it could be.

  84. >>>>What were the other options? What were ALL of the options contemplated by Mr. Harper as he signed that letter?<<<<<

    There might have been several other options: the GG might have asked Harper to form government without any formal governmental agreement signed by any of the parties. The GG might have decided that the Conservatives could hold such position as stable for the time being.

    The Liberals had that option this time around as well. They could have written a request to the GG for forming government without a formal coalition in hand. But they have signed one now, and Ignatieff has insisted that he will not change the agreement of the coalition. He has said so today!

    The fact is that NO formal agreement for forming a coalition government had ever been signed in 2004, no matter how hard others are spinning to change that very fact.

  85. Francien,

    Haha, Good spinning Francien. Harper was clearly open to forming a coalition govt with the support of the Bloc in 2004. It is only now that that Liberals and NDP are proposing the same thing (to harper’s disadvantage) that all of a sudden it is the most unpatriotic and uncanadian thing in all history. What hypocrisy. How pathetic for Harper and his pea-brained min ions to wrap themselves in the flag in a desperate attempt to hang on to their slipping power. This just gets better and better :)

  86. Jean Proulx,

    you have one serious problem. I suspect you are still young, very young perhaps, and some of your conduct can be understood under such circumstances.

    But if it is true that you are fairly young, then perhaps take up the challenge for learning something when debating.

    First sign of weak debater: resort to namecalling and empty rethoric.

  87. Weird. I just got an email offering me a Senate seat.

    Anyone know if this thing is legit?

    Seriously, I know it’s late, but c’mon. Let’s here the rage from the Harper-haters about this latest “hypocrisy”.

    Then again, if we’d have had an elected Senate years ago like western conservatives were demanding, the PM wouldn’t be able to appoint any of them now. But that concept will be lost in the ensuing expressions of appropriate outrage from progressives I’m sure.

    I’m guessing Lizzy May isn’t on his list, but I have no way of knowing that for certain.

  88. Rager, that wouldn’t be a senate seat in Nigeria would it? Can’t be too careful these days.

    Only buy high-quality seats made from Corinthian Leather. Just imagine the Count saying “Corrrinthian Leather” in the correct Mr Roarke voice and you’ll know what I mean.

  89. I think anyone offering Raging Ranter a Senate appointment would have offered him three seats to accommodate his fat ass.

  90. Francien – This is the internet. Not the debating society at Cambridge or something. Deal with it. I have been respectful towards you, but Harper and his minions are jerks and I have no problem saying so. You saw what they did to Dion, a man who has more class in his pinkie finger than the entire Conservative war room will ever have in their entire pathetic lives. They have chosen to drag the debate down to the lowest possible level. I am only too happy to kick them right back in the nuts.

    I offer my sympathy if my comments are too colorful for your delicate sensibilities. You seem like an okay guy.

  91. One thing I miss about Usenet is killfiles. Oh how I miss killfiles.

  92. Jean,

    forgive me, but I’m merely trying to figure out how your mind works.

    There seems to be no back and forth between two hemepheres, and I’m truly interested how that is possible.

  93. hemispheres

  94. Francien, what does any of this have to do with hermaphrodites? Oh, I just saw your correction. Never mind.

    I think anyone offering Raging Ranter a Senate appointment would have offered him three seats to accommodate his fat ass.

    Well, since I won my court case against the airlines, I guess that only makes sense.

    Ti-Guy, that’s the first time I’ve actually laughed out loud – yes, LOLed – at one of your comments in at least two years. I’m still laughing in fact.

    And you’re usually such a loser. Did one of your kids help you out with that one?

  95. Francien – I don’t know whether to be flattered or creeped out that you are so interested in how my mind works. I wish I could enlighten you, but it’s a mystery to me as well :)

  96. “Weird. I just got an email offering me a Senate seat.

    “Anyone know if this thing is legit?”

    You from Chicago?

  97. “You saw what they did to Dion, a man who has more class in his pinkie finger than the entire Conservative war room…”

    A liar to his own voters, a betrayer of his own alleged federalist principles, and a self-serving usurper.

    Dion disgusts me.

  98. Jean,

    >>>, but it’s a mystery to me as well<<<<<

    that much had already been made clear to me.

    Interesting that you see that yourself, but yet cannot really comprehend it at the same time.

  99. Christoph – “A liar to his own voters, a betrayer of his own alleged federalist principles, and a self-serving usurper. Dion disgusts me.”

    ——-

    And you disgust me you fool. Luckily I know idiots like you can never hurt Dion. He know who he is. He is a man of great integrity. That makes him practically indestructible. That is why he was cheerful today, one day after losing the leadership, and happy to go back to his role as an ordinary MP. You will never understand someone like Dion. He is beyond the capacity of your hateful little mind to understand.

    I agree it was time for him to leave as leader, but he will always have my respect.

  100. Francien – I choose not to obsess about the seeming contradictions inherent in all of us and in the world around us. I accept the mystery and am at peace with it.

    I would be more worried if I was you and was working under the delusion that you are always consistent and “logical”. Emotion, bias, misperception, and the limitations of language place limits on how rational any of us can be, and on well any of us can understand ourselves or others. In light of that what can we do but simply try to engage in dialogue and keep as open a mind as possible? What can we do but be humble and ready to admit that we may be mistaken?

  101. Mistakes within debates will automatically be pointed out by false reasoning. That has nothing whatsoever to do with bias, with emotion or with limitations of language.

    As your new leader so eloquently said today: “We want the fact. We want to level with Canadians.”

    I think the country can’t wait. We need the facts.

  102. With over 100 comments posted it appears that Andrew Coyne is very popular indeed! Ti-Guy, I thought that Liberals were supposed to be tolerant and open-minded? Apparently not, and the only rebuttal you can come up with is ConBot? It is tough to get intelligent dialogue with the LoonyLibs and their cheerlearders, I suppose that they are starting to realize that a very large percentage of the Canadian population, from coast to coast, are Conservative voters and supporters. Sounds like democracy, eh?

  103. Well “facts” may exist but our ability to correctly discern them and to decide what to do about them is always subject to human limitations and fallibility. We can only do our best. It would indeed be helpful if the Conservatives chose to share the same “facts” with the opposition parties as they themselves have access to.

    You are obviously a rational choicer Francien, while my view is more influenced by post-modernism.

  104. “…you can never hurt Dion. He know who he is. He is a man of great integrity. That makes him practically indestructible.”

    No.

    Stéphane Dion is a reckless dishonest man who lead his party to electoral disaster even after he lied to his voters, saying he’d never enter a coalition with the NDP and Bloc, which he promptly did. He told the law about the NDP in particular 3 weeks before the election.

    He also colluded with separatists at great risk to the country, my country.

    Dion wasn’t just pathetic and incompetent… he chose to be dishonourable, for personal gain, country (and party) be damned.

  105. * law = lie

  106. Guys, calm down. Stephane Dion is noe history – where he belongs. What we now need to do is to focus on the newbie. Michael Ignatieff needs to answer the simple question put so well by Andrew Coyne. Does he or does he not support the coalition. And, since he signed the letter to the GG, if he does not support the coalition, how can he have been so irresponsible in signing the letter.

    Ignatieff is trying to have it both ways. He can’t “sleep around” and still claim to be faithful to his party. As in a real marriage, being half faithful can often lead to a divorce. If he truly wishes to rebuild the Liberal Party rather than to cater to the interests ofthe NDP and PQ, he should drop the coalition hot potatao as soon as he can and get to work. Canadians do not want a Liberal/NDP coalition. Only Jack wants it and it will never result in a stable government.

  107. Two Yen – I think Ignatieff stated his position on the coalition more than once yesterday: the coalition if necessary, but not necessarily the coalition. He also clearly answered that if it does come to a coalition he will not revisit the terms negotiated by the three parties (i..e the NDP will get 6 cabinet seats, the Bloc will not vote non-confidence f or at least 18 months in exchange for some economic aid to Quebec, etc.)

    I actually think Ignatieff’s position is quite shrewd. I also see that it is driving conservatives like you and Andrew Coyne batty. Bonus points!

    Let me me try to make Ignatieff’s position a little more clear: if Harper pulls any dirty tricks, as is his wont, (like trying to sneak in cuts to public financing of political parties or launching a barrage of negative advertising against Ignatieff) then get set to lose those limousines in Conservative cabinet ministers. Ball is in your court Harper. Play nice. Play smart. Play fair. Govern well for all of Canada. Be less of a complete jerk and maybe you can stay PM for a little while longer. Love it.

  108. Oh and a follow-up thought: I predict that the thought of having to genuinely cooperate with the opposition parties and actually share power will drive a control freak like Harper absolutely nuts. He will therefore either give in to temptation and try to pull a dirty trick OR maybe he will offer up a surprise resignation. I suppose there is even a tiny possibility that his caucus will realize how toxic he has become and they will revolt.

    Still I would put the odds of a coalition govt actually coming into place at 50/50 or so at this point. We could have another election as well. In any event things will start getting interesting again at end of January.

  109. “Guys, calm down.”

    I’m calm. I’m calmy stating Stéphane Dion is as I described him.

  110. And I’m calming stating that Christoph is an idiot and understands nothing about Dion.

    Everyone is perfectly calm here.

  111. I do not believe Ignatieff can actually accept all of the terms of the coalition deal signed by Dion (and himself)?. In particular, I fail to understand how the leader of a federal party can agree to give a political party regardless of which province it claims to represent, a formal mechanism that effectively creates a veto over governemnt policies that do not satisfy that party’s view of its province’s interests.If Ignatieff wants to be the leader of teh federal government, at a minimum, he needs to reject that part of the deal.

  112. Jean Proulx, did St&eaphane Dion lie to voters — who supported him partly on the basis of his lies — when he said he would not enter a coalition with the NDP 3 weeks before the election?

    Did he then enter a coaltion… which proved unpopular with voters?

    ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ to those questions.

    What’s not to understand? Dion’s a liar and about something mighty significant. I understand him well.

  113. * Stéphane — it doesn’t pay to try to show the courtesy of spelling his name correctly, accent at all. I’ve done it out of respect and now out of habit. Perhaps I should stop.

    He doesn’t deserve it.

  114. Two Yen – The BQ would actually have LESS vet power under a coalition govt than they do now under a minority conservative one. That is because they have promised not to vote against the coalition govt on matter of confidence for 18 months. The BQ made no such promise to the Conservatives. And the Conservatives need the support of at least one other party for them to pass legislation in the house.Even if the BQ reneged on its agreement the Liberal/NDP govt could go to the Conservatives for support (if for instance the BQ was asking for something patently unfair that might harm national unity) At that point the ultra-patriotic Conservatives would stand up for Canada and support the coalition, no?

    Christoph – And Harper promised not to be an ass. Circumstances change. That’s not “lying” That is taking in new information and revising one’s position in an intelligent manner. Unless you want to argue that every politician who ever changes his/her position is a “liar”. In which case ALL politicians, no all human beings in fact, are “liars”. A true lie is when you deliberately misstate something you know to be true. I am sure that Dion meant what he said about the NDP coalition when he said it but then circumstances changed,

    Also, big guy, are we to believe YOU never change your position on anything? Or even that you never lie? Because if so then according to your standards you disgust yourself and you are a scumbag.

  115. “I am prepared to vote non-confidence in this government. And I am prepared to enter into a coalition government with our partners if that is what the Governor-General asks me to do,” Mr. Ignatieff said.
    Globe and Mail – today.

    Andrew Coyne should consider taking a course in professional journalism.

  116. “The fact is that NO formal agreement for forming a coalition government had ever been signed in 2004, no matter how hard others are spinning to change that very fact.”

    Harper’s saving grace is that he’s a one-man show that can’t be trusted?

    Interesting.

  117. You people need to get some sleep. Seriously. Your health is WAY more important than winning an argument.

  118. Gawd, but it is thrilling to watch the loons on the left squirm. Eventually all liars and hypocrites show their true colours. Power is an intoxicating thing, hey lefties.

  119. “You people need to get some sleep. Seriously. Your health is WAY more important than winning an argument.”

    F– you!

    And… you’re right. Thanks. I appreciate it!

  120. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter whether Iggy is hot, lukewarm or cool about the coalition. What matters is what the Canadian people feel and they have made their feelings known to pollsters in the last couple of weeks. If this coalition is to take power with any moral legitimacy, it must be via the ballot box, not some constitutional coup.

  121. Uh, the comments section used to be well above the general level of internet discussion. Now it’s gone to hell. What happened, is the weather getting to people?

  122. What matters is what the Canadian people feel and they have made their feelings known to pollsters in the last couple of weeks. If this coalition is to take power with any moral legitimacy, it must be via the ballot box, not some constitutional coup.

    God have mercy on a country that uses “pollsters” to measure its moral legitimacy.

  123. Biffin,

    If you think Harper is more of a liar than most previous prime ministers, you’re either very partisan or very naive.

    Harper is indeed a big liar, no question (income trusts, floor crossing, fixed election dates, etc), but do some research! I don’t know if you’re young and maybe weren’t around in the Mulroney, Chretien or even Martin years, but do some googling or something. Harper is nothing new.

    Robert

  124. Andrew Coyne should consider taking a course in professional journalism.

    I don’t know..he seems to have done alright for himself. I think your concern is more that his ideas do not meet with your preconceived notions.

  125. If Count Ignatieff is indeed serious about forming a coalition government, I look forward to watching his next news conference with Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe.

    Any of you LPC members know what time that will be on?

  126. Andrew, you’re becoming an embarrassment. You question the opposition continually but do not question the ethics, lies and deceit of Harper. Shame on you.

  127. From Iggy’s press conference yesterday . .

    “”I hope that Western Canadians forgive and forget, to be very blunt, some of the errors that the party has made in the past,” he said.”

    Seems he doesn’t understand that he has already fanned the flames of western alienation by signing that letter and every day he doesn’t repudiate it, he just digs ever deeper the Liberal Party’s prospects in Western Canada. Channeling Trudeau won’t help his cause.

    And all we hear out of the Ottawa-Montreal-Toronto punditry, tall forehead and political fart catcher crowd is how Harper has destroyed Canada by calling the Bloc what they are – separatists who don’t give a flying foo-foo for the welfare of Canada.

  128. Christoph, did Dion say he would never enter into a coalition? I think the pragmatic way to look at it is that he wouldn’t enter into a coalition for the election. Say for example, it is now 2010 and there is a new election and Dion was still the leader of the Liberals. Could he enter into a coalition at that time?

    Sure, the flip-flop on the coalition is contentious but I don’t think it is as bad as you think. These were extraordinary times, that is for sure. Would Dion crawl away from a vote of confidence, face a new (disastrous) election, or enter into a coalition? Or did the game change enough that a coalition deserved to be tested? I’m not a fan of the coalition but I’m also not a fan of a minority Harper government running amuck – they don’t have the mandate, nor do they have the popular support, to do so.

    I can also appreciate people’s sentiments on the part that the Bloc plays. But I think their “veto” power is much overplayed. As far as I can tell and have read, they agreed to not vote against the coalition in a vote of confidence. I think Quebec got some money out of the deal? But that money goes to Canadians, not the Bloc.

    I honestly don’t think Dion betrayed his convictions. Maybe he didn’t make the best decisions, but to take it much further it’s a stretch.

    How do people add formating in these comments, is it straight html?

  129. Well Jean P. as others have pointed out here, you have lost the argument. Frothing at the mouth, calling anyone who disagrees with you an idiot, and finally threatening to kick people in the nuts. How childish. In another blog here you refered to yourself as an impoverished student. Would that be intellectual or financial poverty?

  130. Would that be intellectual or financial poverty? Quite often they go together. I believe physicians call that “co-morbidity”.

  131. Have the polling numbers changed since Iggy took the helm? Because I remember last week polls showed the coalition opposed by a clear majority and pushing CPC numbers close to 50% if there were an election. Numbers like these would give a housecat pause, and Iggy has a brain so I think we are on the lines of ‘not necessarily a coalition. The NDP are losing it as any party would that saw its only chance at power, possibly ever, slip between its fingers. IMHO, there is a fundamental problem with the coalition’s basic premise; that the ‘majority of Cdns are left-wing’ – this simply is not true but fortunately the leaders of the two largest parties (both) now get this, and are probably likely to govern together in as close to a coaltion as we are likely to see anytime soon. Sorry, left, but it really would take a coup – or “revolution” as you like to call them since elections general don’t work out so well for you, in Canada or elsewhere.

  132. Dion was very clear that he wouldn’t enter into a coalition with the NDP – a party with policies that would hurt the economy is how he put it I believe. And Ignatieff signed the coalition agreement so I think we all need to assume he’s a man of his word and will fulfill his party’s commitment. I mean, if we can’t believe him on this, how could we trust him going forward? The prorogue is no excuse to back out of the deal. I mean, it’s one thing to favour a policy and then when you realize it’s not practical or it’s not going to work because circumstances have changed you change the policy. That’s being practical. We all get that even when we don’t like it. But to sign your name to an agreement and then a few weeks later back out of it even when nothing has change – Harper is still PM and a government favouring free market philosophy is still in power – that’s just wrong. I fully expect Ignatieff will belly up to the bar, denounce free market economics in tandem with his NDP and BQ colleagues and get the country on the socialist path they prefer.

  133. All the talking points aside, the Coalition was extremely effective. It had Harper running scared to GG begging for out of Jail pass. He lost credibility and reversed himself, withdrawing his ill thought proposals. Begging to be a given chance to make amends and present a budget, where he dare not engage in any more silly games and attacks. Liberals were able to get rid of their most inept leader and replace him in record time with a confident leader, ending all the infighting, Liberals is more united than ever. Conservatives on the other hand wish they could get rid of Harper, an erratic petty dictator, who will lose the next election. What other event in this decade has been such a game changer?

  134. Andrew,
    You have been a voice of reason throughout this melodrama. Once again you have scraped away the barnacles and pointed out where the Liberal boat leaks. This has nothing to do with the plight of the economy, Mr. Harper’s personality, or his ability to run the country. It is merely an arrogant, outrageous and cynical disregard for the will of the people which was to give the Conservatives more seats than any other party and the right to form a government. Surely the reproach that the Liberals received through their diminished presence in the Commons should have left them chastened. Instead it has prompted a desperate lunge at the coveted mantle of power which they lost first through their malfeasance and lost again through inept leadership, foolish campaign promises and a penchant for bluster when a few good ideas would suffice. I was a life long Liberal and it pains me to see how far the party has shrunk from its days of glory.

  135. “All the talking points aside, the Coalition was extremely effective…”

    You are a dense moron. May you ever be a political strategist for my foes.

    God? Please? Make it so.

  136. Paul,

    As a lifelong Liberal you have only now discovered that Liberals are arrogant? Where have you been all these years?

  137. Coyne:
    You’re off your game these days, engaging in all manner of partisan blathering.

    The agreement is binding for that period of time if the coalition takes office. If the Liberals reneged on that promise 12 months (for example) after forming a government with the NDP, then I would buy your argument.

    As things stand, it’s just good political manoeuvering for Ignatieff to keep all his options open.

  138. It may be good political manoeuvering for Ignatieff but it is poison in Western Canada. Ignatieff’s refusal to immediately disown teh coalition will provide wonderful ammunition for Harper in the next election.

  139. From Iggy’s press conference yesterday . .
    “”I hope that Western Canadians forgive and forget, to be very blunt, some of the errors
    that the party has made in the past,” he said.”

    Iggy is running behind; western Canadians already considered his signature on the coalition agreement to be an error of the present, taking Ignatieff out for the foreseeable future. It’s Ignatieff who doesn’t understand the quick thinking of westeners. Forgive and forget has nothing to do with it.

  140. as the obviously bitter Bob Rae said in his, sob wah wah, concession speech “It’s only politics!”.. Maybe to the void on the hill but not to actual Canadians..Children go stand in all your corners.

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