Michael Chong Maverick Watch


“We misread the situation.”

The enigmatic Conservative MP manages to make what is, to my knowledge, the only public, on-the-record admission of fault from a member of Stephen Harper’s government to date.

Then he dismisses the coalition, pledges his allegiance to the Conservatives and follows up with a written statement to reinforce his agreement with the party line.


Michael Chong Maverick Watch

  1. I think the more interesting article from the Guelph Mercury is the one citing Valeriote’s opposition to the coalition. If a few more Liberal MPs come to the same conclusion, the Conservative government may survive a non-confidence vote.

  2. Got a link, Wes?

  3. Wherry just posted about the article, on the Valeriote Maverick Watch. :)

  4. Good for Micheal Chong. I always thought he was a good minister. But of course, Harper had to boot him out when he dared contradict him.

  5. Thank you, Wes.

  6. “Good for Micheal Chong. I always thought he was a good minister. But of course, Harper had to boot him out when he dared contradict him.”

    So you guys hate cabinet solidarity but suddenly discover parliamentary traditions as a justification for a coalition?

  7. This is important, these two MP’s. This is similar to the Cuban Missle Crisis, spare me the Harper is no jack Kennedy, in that you have a this crisis that is being fuelled in part by positions being taken that offer no backdown, a public display of strength and concern that it could get out of hand, i.e. nuclear.

    Neither party wants an election, one cant afford one and the other doesnt want to risk it. One has leaership issues, as the Russians do, who is in control, and there is a third party that is a non rational actor (Cuba) in this case the Bloc.

    The solution came through back channels and signals since the leaders aren’t talking and can’t talk at this stage. the solutio has to come from below, which in Cuba came when there were two letters issued, the US chose to respond to the somewhat concilliatory one and ignored the nasty one.

    The actual deal though came through agreements in back channels.

    These guys could be signalling, the Liberal possibly out of desperation to tell the leadership that they will lose support. Blaikie I think did the same thing. Chong has done the Mea Culpa…..the Coalition, if they want to back down need to respond to the PM’s messgae tonight, he said put ideas on the table and he’ll listen and maybe take Chong at his word as well.

    The PM…he needs to see the signal abot focussing on the economy, but I he needs something to respond to, he has given the hint about what, specific ideas…..will it go unanswered.

    Cuban Missle Crisis was caused by incremental escalation that wasnt guided by any strategy, they almost sleepwalked into the whole thing on a move counter move and then found they had no way out. Sound familiar….in this case, I believe the Opposition did escalate one rung too many, maybe intentionally.,…Jack is hopped on the idea of gaining rspectability, Stephane is fighting the last war, “I am to a leader and I’ll prove it” and Gilles is playing both like a fiddle….the problem is they had no back down. They have only one position, GG hands them power, they cant go to election so they have put themselves in the fight to the death mode….i.e I have to nuke you because you have to nuke me…..

    They need a way out, proroge is one way out. Advantage for the GG is she doesnt have to justify the advice if she accepts it, the PM does. It also buys the time for everyone to find a way out. Sadly, like Kruschev, the price for ultimately doing the right thing in a situation of his own making will be his removal by party appartchiks.

    I know people have their favourite things they want the GG to do, but GG’s don’t want to make history and its not like she has a strong advisor that she feel can defend her decision waiting in the wings (Dion). The rational play is Proroge, buys time…just a little….and she neednt overturn the PM. She is within her rights to refuse, but she has to know that this is the radical play makes the missles fly, because then she has to consider his next advice, which is election if he loses the confidence vote, since he hasnt lost anything yet.

    WHen you trace this back theis could have been seen and mapped out, I suspect it wasnt and the opposition got themselves worked into a lather. There were and could have been exit points for everyone along the way, not least of all at the beginning.

    I think Chong isnt just speaking for himself. I think he represents a signal and a message and if the Oppsoition want to listen then they can build on it, just liek I think the Liberal Guelph MP represents a signal.

  8. Stephen: Nice analysis dude.

    Maybe the following comment will simply show how little I understand what you wrote, but anyway…

    Only one quibble: the bloc is a rational actor. You just don’t need to understand it to have it your way.


  9. Cabinet solidarity does not mean MP’s should be muzzled by the PM.

  10. So Harper’s Russia?
    If Jean gives Harper his election, is it a best-out-of-three or best-of-five? Because obviously minorities don’t count (wasn’t that an ol Reform slogan once?)…

  11. Note that Chong resigned because he understood the principle of the Cabinet’s collective responsibility for its decisions. He is both principled and smart. Thus he must understand how far out onto the limb Harper has taken his party, in terms of defying the constitution.

    I predict Chong will win the first open post-crisis Tory leadership race.

  12. I wonder if Chong and Valeriote, both Guelph area MPs, have been talking and decided to try and form coalition of adults and get the parties to agree to a deal where Cons stay in power but put a few Coalition ideas into the budget.

  13. jwl: The problem being that the primary Coaltion idea is Steve Harper needs to go.

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