Hypotheticals - Macleans.ca



Stephen Harper doesn’t want to get into certain hypotheticals.

The Conservative leader was asked today whether he would accept the decision of the Governor General should a minority Conservative government again lose the confidence of the Commons and the next-biggest party was asked to form government.

“I’m not going to speculate on hypotheticals; we’re in this to win, I believe we’re going to win; a lot is at stake, every race is close,” Harper said at a morning news conference inside an auto repair shop. “What we’re doing now is speculating on hypothetical scenarios. We’re putting before Canadians the choice that they have, a Conservative government that will keep taxes low and keep the economy moving forward, or an NDP government that will raise taxes, stall our recovery, and set Canadian families back.”

The partisan crowd apparently booed and heckled the CBC reporter who insisted on pressing the matter.



  1. 'The Prime Minister said he wasn't going to speculate on what might happen after the election, despite the fact his whole campaign has been based on conjecture about what might happen post May 2'

    • Good point.

      • One of Emily's best.

  2. So we're supposed to distrust Jack Layton because of Rae's troubles in Ontario, and distrust Michael Ignatieff because of what happened with Adscam with Jean Chretien or the NEP with Trudeau, and trust Stephen Harper in spite of the income trust reversal, the fixed election date reversal, the Afghanistan prisoner stonewalls, and the refusal to provide parliament with information (to mention just a few things).

    I don't know about you, but I don't find those arguments convincing.

    • You can trust Jack Layton because he has shown he is just a regular John, you can trust Iggy due to his long un-interrupted service to Canada, and you can't trust Harper because of his ability to make the opposition flip-flop on all their previous policies.

    • Oddly enough, the G&M seems to.

    • I was going to make a joke about Vulcan, Alberta, but frankly this is all too depressing :(

  3. The reporter got his answer, apparently he did not like the answer, so he rudely pressed on for an answer that he might like better. Apparently reporters think they have a God given right to be answered and answered in the way that they would like.
    I would like this question answered maybe he could have asked our Prime Minister why John Layton gets naked for a late night massage in a bawdy house.

    • It's called 'freedom of the press'

      He could also have asked just how a last minute smear of Jack Layton was given to Sun news by the PMO….just like the fake photo of Ignatieff in Iraq last week.

      • Why did the liberal war room use Sun news to do their dirty work, John Layton is a bigger threat to the liberals then he is to the conservatives? Why did Iggy take the low road?

        • Sun wants nothing to do with the Libs my dear….this is strictly Con war room stuff, so don't be cute.

          • Why is Baird wasting his time on here?

          • LOL I don't know….you'd think he'd have better things to do.

    • So you'd be ok if he pressed for an answer more politely?

      • "Please sir, can I have some more?"

    • The reporter was Jennifer Ditchburn. She has the right to keep pressing, but the PM also has the right to not answer a hypothetical. The voters will decide what they think of it.

      • The reporter was Terry Milewski

        • When a politician is seeking re-election as an MP, he is bascially auditioning for a job, and he dam well better asnwer questions from reporters. Especially since Harper is too big a coward to ever talk with ordinary Canadians.

          • Absolutely….if you apply for a job, you'd better be prepared to answer your employer's questions.

          • Then John Layton better damn well answer why he was buck naked in a bawdy House.

          • I think you better check your remote. The channel isn't changing.

      • Do you ever have your facts right, Two Yen? Ditchburn works for CP, not the CBC. Milewski asked the question on behalf of the other reporters.

        • Yeah, Two Yen—Holly and Em know their priorities—It makes all the difference in the world whether it is Milewski or Ditchburn.

          Sorry, sarcasm doesn`t work with fools like those two.

          • The article I saw was written by Ditchburn. I now see on TV that it was Milewski. As you say it really doesn't matter. The point is that we do not have a law in this country that says a politician must reply to all questions by CBC reporters. If the voters do not like the PM's reply they have an opportunty on Monday to make their point clear.

          • No law, perhaps, but the understanding that one of the pillars of democracy is freedom of the press. When Harper refuses to answer reporters' questions he is showing contempt toward the people of Canada who have a right to expect our elected representatives to tell the truth.

          • I do not believe even you Liberals are accusing the Prime Minister of not telling the truth. He certainly has not told terry Milwewski not to report on the event. All he is doing is not answering a question. He does not have to answer every single question that is put to him by a reporter.

            If you don't like this, you are free to vote for someone else tomorrow.

      • The reporter was Jennifer Ditchburn. She has the right to keep pressing, but the PM also has the right to not answer a hypothetical. The voters will decide what they think of it

        That's freaking hilarious. Harper's been peddling hypothetical all campaign…suddenly it's cracy, right!

    • no.

    • Absolutely. Unless Harper calls himself the devil incarnate, people like Mileski are not satisfied with the answer.

      Typical Milewski:
      "So Mr Harper, is it not true that you are a threat to all peoples of the earth and the future of humankind? Would you dare to deny that?"

      • how could he deny that?

      • Milewski can barely talk of Harper without using the word "creepy". But of course this counts as objective reporting for the progressive haters.

        • Haters like yourself have no objectivity whatsoever, so of course you would not recognize it in other people,.

    • Didn't like the answer, or didn't get an answer? There is a difference, you know.

      • "I'm not going to speculate on hypotheticals" is more of a refusal than an answer. It does still tell us something about how Harper would govern: with a lack of respect for Canadians right to know.

  4. I think Harper's plan, if he's a few seats short of a majority, is to stall, and whip up a national crisis. He'll rant about "socialism" and "separatism", try to dig up more dirt on his opponents (helped by Fantino and Sun Media no doubt)(indeed maybe he's already got that dirt and he's just saving it for the right moment) and call his supporters into the streets to protest. With protests and counterprotest there will almost certainly be property damage and physical violence.

    So then, maybe Harper gets a few Liberals (or maybe Bloc MPs, who knows?) to cross the floor. They might do so because of intimidation, but they'll justify their crossing as necessary to "end the national crisis". (Crisis manufactured by Harper of course.)

    And that way Harper's got his majority. No need to break the law. It just breaks the spirit of democracy that's all.

    • I think the CPC is going to find it's going to be very very hard to convince people cross the floor to be an mp under Harper.

      • Right…those mps have constituents, who just sais no too Harper. He's not the only one who can whip people up. That said i'm not yet convinced by Ian's argument.

  5. " an NDP government that will raise taxes, stall our recovery, and set Canadian families back.” Although I'm not an NDP supporter (I voted Liberal in the advanced poll) I dont think the comment by Harper is even close to be correct. My experience with NDP governments is that they are all about families and not about big business like the tories are. What a hypocrate Harper is. Vote ABC folks.

    • 'Hypocrit'. A hypocrate – if there were such a word – would be a box full of hypodermic needles.

    • Traditionally in Canada, the Liberal party has been the party of big business. The Tories have a populist streak that is not all that comfortable with big business. Just look at the record.

      • Not that the current Conservatives have much in common with the old-time Tories.

  6. Many on this site have (justifiably) noted that considering any Canadian PM a dictator is absurd. It appears Mr. Harper is not so sure.

    • You and Milewski should get together for a beer while plotting strategy.

  7. The far leftists at the CBC are fighting for their jobs.

    • The far righties are fighting for their entitlements via a majority.Two can play that silly game.

  8. How fitting that the crowd was chanting to defund the CBC.

    • Of course they were. Then the tories would own all the press in this country and of course you are OK with that.

    • How else do you think they're going to find that $4 billion in cuts? Not that they'd ever be forthcoming with such a plan… kinda like that whole global warming thing.

  9. I heard an native elder say something interesting in my community the other day.[ i love these guys. They really love the big picture and the long game – sorry for generalizing a bit]
    On the incumbent[ NDP] he said: sure he's made mistakes. Let's send him back and see if he's learned anything.
    On Ignatieff: Why should i vote for that guy? He's running for second now – that's not leadership.[ there's a really good native candidate running for the libs by the way]
    On PMSH: He's asking us to trust him after five years…why would he need to do that NOW?..that's not leadership at all.

    These guys seem to have different priorities and timelines then many of us.[ non natives]

    • I have much respect for Native Elders. We could all learn from them. Good post, and i'm a liberal.

      • me too:)

    • That last comment is a good point.

      Mr. Harper, if you have to ask for our trust after five years, you're obviously well aware you don't deserve it.

  10. Great way of looking at things. I voted PC for the last 30 years but not this time. ABC.