The Commons: ‘Sir, did you make a mistake?’

by Aaron Wherry

The Prime Minister gave himself a half-hour window to appear in the foyer. Somehow still he managed to arrive eight minutes late. Not that one should read into that any indication of his office’s relative state at this point. If anything was to blame it was probably a malfunctioning teleprompter which had various techies sweating and muttering in the moments before Mr. Harper arrived.

While they fiddled, an official from the PMO handed out a piece of paper filled with months-old quotes of Stephane Dion’s, each seeming to dismiss the idea of a coalition with the NDP. The title at the top of the page—”Just the Facts”—mirrored the heading of each missive sent out by the Tory war room during the last election.

Mr. Harper emerged from the House of Commons, the grand theatre of our democracy lit for the occasion, and gazed, for a moment, up at the second floor balcony above. Looking down from just outside his office were Jay Hill, John Baird and Patrick Muttart. None of whom, one hopes, having told the Prime Minister this vote subsidy thing was a great idea.

Once at the podium, Mr. Harper spoke as if a military coup were imminent. The opposition, he said, sought to “overturn” the results of October’s election. They would, he warned, “install” Stephane Dion as prime minister.

He was surely tempted to invoke the War Measures Act. Slightly cooler heads having prevailed he opted instead for a slightly less authoritarian tact. The opposition would, he explained, be allowed to vote against his government. Only not next week. Perhaps the week after.

As his spokesman explained to reporters beforehand, the government will simply prevent the opposition from moving forward with its confidence motion on Monday. Apparently they can do that. Canadian democracy is wonderfully flexible that way. Though not flexible enough, mind you, to tolerate a coalition government comprised of three parties representing more than 60% of voters.

Anyway.

Mr. Harper spoke quietly. He sounded small, even a bit nasally. The foyer was quiet and dark, a massive Christmas tree gleaming in the middle of the room, perhaps ten feet in front of the Prime Minister’s podium. 

He came to the end of his prepared remarks and wished the assembled journalists, political aides, rivals and onlookers a good weekend. He then turned towards the House and made his retreat. A few reporters dared shout questions at the back of his head.

“Sir,” asked one, “did you make a mistake?”

The Prime Minister kept walking, appearing to shake his head and mutter to himself as he turned the corner.




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The Commons: ‘Sir, did you make a mistake?’

  1. And then you heard a chair being kicked?

    I hope the bold reporters used some kind of voice-disguising technology.

  2. Quite a brutal, yet hilarious, question. How’s this for a follow-up: “Sir, is your goose cooked?”

  3. Well..that was quite a one sided, biased and speculative article…
    Maybe we should spin this the correct way based on real Facts.
    The Liberals have just recently indicated that the NDP was unfit to form a coalition and governemnt with.
    The Liberals now want to form a goverment with 26% of the popular vote and spend us into deficit…they have no plan, they have made no recommendations…they just want to throw good money after bad…
    The auto industry…well lets spend more money producing cars that nobody wants to buy…after all isn’t that what they did for years…
    The Liberals have always been power hungry….and will do anything for power.
    Wasn’t it just a week ago that he mocked the NDP for wanting an election…eerrr…that was before taxpayers were being asked to stop giving their hard earned tax dollars to political parties including those who want to break up the country…it really just boils down to entitlements doesn’t it…certainly not sacrifice and ethics….certainly not a plan…or a new policy…Dion and the Liberals get confused when asked what they would do…we all remember the interview…I guess the only thing left to decide is the internal fight over the leadership….now take away the spin and look at the facts….a little different view isn’t it…

  4. “they have no plan, they have made no recommendations…they just want to throw good money after bad”

    Congrats, Cliff. Usually the conbots require at least two sentences to contradict themselves in pursuit of spin. You managed to do it in one. Pray tell, if they have no plan and have made no recommendations, do you know that they just want to throw good money after bad?

  5. T.Thwim: He can’t answer, he’s just following the script and trying to sow fear and uncertainty. Expect more of it in the coming days. (See Wells’ post above.)

  6. Cliff, you posted that exact comment over at Red Tory’s blog.

    Yup….the ConBots have been deployed.

  7. I was reminded of Evita on the balcony.

  8. So, here we go…the War Room will be busy with the “spin”in the next week.
    Ah, Mr. Harper, how often do you think you will fool the rest of the people in Canada who did not vote for you.
    Let us all go and enjoy our Holiday prepration, I will not be changing my plans for the holiday. But, I am sure that many people will have to cancel their flights, do some last minute shopping , etc. while every out east deal with latest “Harper” foray in getting his way. Now, I will focussing my energy on how to keep my the real people who work for me on a payroll longer than the middle of Dec.

  9. By all means, the press should be on Harper about this move. But likewise, they should be on the opposition leaders, asking them what this is all really about (i.e. the vote subsidy). Get in Harper’s face, by all means, but do the same to the Opposition triumvirate. That’s what a free and fair press would do, at least.

  10. And what do you do, Angelle?

  11. own and operated a specialty mill work and custom furniture business for over 30 years.
    I do not need a rescue plan, but our potential clients are curbing their purchase to say the least.

  12. Sisyphus: “I was reminded of Evita on the balcony.”

    As in . . .

    Don’t cry for me, Ryan Spaaaarrow
    The truth is I never ditched you
    Although this wild scheme
    Was just your drivel
    I broke my promise
    Kept nothing civil

  13. The liberal and dippers are out in force today. If any of you actually thinks any ordinary Canadian will have ONE ounce of patience for your plans to overthrow the recently elected government in order to save your $1.95 that you can’t manage to raise from your own supporters, you are smoking illegal substances.

    Bravo for the Tories for resisting the cries of panic and throwing money at the problem. Let’s take the automotive sector. They are bleeding cash at the rate of more than $2B per MONTH. Anything we could do would give them a grand total of 8-10 weeks of extra life. We should CATEGORICALLY refuse to offer ANY assistance until they come up with a plan that ensures their survival. That’s exactly what the Tories and even Obama have suggested. Of course the party of Buzz Hargrove wants to throw money at the big three. He’s got his cushy pension plan to protect. As long as GM is paying workers the equivalent of $140K/year and Toyota is paying under $80K, they haven’t got a chance. And I say this as a person who just bought a new GM for the first time in 25 years after buying (new) imports all that time – and I love it but I know they didn’t make it at a profit and I would never have paid what it would take to get them profitable.

    ANYTHING we do will be drowned inside the international stimulus packages. Our (combined Liberal/Tory) fiscal prudence has paid off. Rome isn’t burning here yet and we need to make sure any investment we make will have the proper effect. We need to combine it with the US for maximum effect otherwise it’ll just get lost as noise in the system. The biggest thing we need to worry about right now is deflation and we need a bucket of money at the ready to deal with that issue. That’s exactly what Harper (and Obama) is proposing. Again, what’s the problem?

    Its clear. The Liberals and Dippers (and Bloc and Greens) are all in a tither because Harper was planning on cutting off the supply of free money to their party coffers… nothing more, nothing less. If you don’t believe that… where was the righteous indignation, party negotiations, etc in the weeks leading up to this statement. Harper has been saying for weeks that there is NO plan for a big fiscal injection until the budget drops in Feb. This is ALL about losing the tax payer funded subsidies. They each KNOW that they can’t raise any money from their base. And WHO’S FAULT IS THAT?

    Give me a break. Ask any Canadian east or west of Quebec if they think we should donate $7M to the Liberals so that the Bloc gets $3M… and the answer is??? Go ahead… try to take over. See what happens to your parties in an election that will inevitably be called as no Governor General would be foolish enough to invoke Byrne again.

  14. A quote from one one poster at another blog.

    http://tinyurl.com/55y99a

    ‘I would like to draw your attention to something. If I remember correctly when Paul Martin won his minority Harper tried to negotiate the same kind of coalition with the NDP and the BQ. These backroom negotiations fell apart and became public when Jack Layton withdrew from the negotiations.

    It seems from Harper’s speech tonight he forgot all about that.”

    I agree, and hope that the media remembers and brings up this when pursuing questions from spokes people of the Conservative spin Machine next week.

  15. Burt: It’s Byng, not Byrne. It’s easy to remember since it rhymes (King-Byng), so do try to get your constitutional crises correct if you’re going to invoke them.

  16. “Congrats, Cliff. Usually the conbots require at least two sentences to contradict themselves in pursuit of spin. You managed to do it in one”.

    Well….they have no plan is a not.contradiction….every day in the commons the Liberals stand up and say spend…spend..spend….the same rhetoric the NDP used dring the election….their plan is to spend….but on what?????
    Spending is not a plan….spending for the sake of spending is a useless waste of taxpayers money….Remember the great Kyoto Accord….spend billions of dollars, but there as no plan on what to spend it on….like there current talk….it was simply election rhetoric….again the FACTS are the FACTS….and empty spending rhetoric is simply rhetoric….it is not a plan.
    And again recent history shows us that the only time Liberals get upset is when their entitlements are threatened…and make no mistake about it…this is about entitlements….they want their 7 million dollars in taxpayer money…nothing more….nothing less. In their mind they deserve this hard earned taxpayer money even when Canadians are forced to cut back….be damned with the economy…be damned with the taxpayer…be damned with leading by example….they want their money….nothing more….nothing less….

  17. I sense a theme;

    Don’t do anything on Kyoto or GHGs because Canada’s weight is insignificant.

    Don’t offer any stimulus because Canada’s weight is insignificant.

    And yet somehow Canada is back?

  18. On King-Byng, this would actually be the opposite situation.

    Byng refused to dissolve Parliament when King asked him to; he should have dissolved it, as a enough time had elapsed since King had taken office. In this case, not enough time has elapsed since Harper took office to justify an election, so if Jean were to dissolve Parliament now she would be breaking convention from the other direction.

  19. If any of you actually thinks any ordinary Canadian will have ONE ounce of patience for your plans to overthrow the recently elected government in order to save your $1.95 that you can’t manage to raise from your own supporters, you are smoking illegal substances.

    Burt Mapson: Libby Davies, on Politics this afternoon explained quite clearly that this about Harper’s failure to address the economic disaster confronting this country.

    So you can claim all you want that the public subsidy is what this is all about, but the truth is rather different.

    Oy, it’s going to a loooong week, as we see this misinformation repeated endlessly.

    I hope the media reports the lying better this time around.

  20. So…weeks after losing an election, the Liberals plan to form a government with the extreme left and the separatists so they won’t have to give up their entitlements? I could maybe understand the mock outrage if this $1.95/vote was around at Confederation, but it seems parties had to fend for themselves up until 2003, and democracy got along just fine.

    The best part about a coalition is, they don’t even have to fight an election they can’t afford and won’t win – they can skip right to the ruling without getting elected part!!!

    Where do I sign up?

  21. … And to all the people who somehow attack Dion for saying during the election that he would not go into a coalition with the NDP, why do you not attack Harper for saying during the election that he would not run a deficit and then saying that he will?

  22. Well Ti-Guy…the FACTS are the FACTS…the Liberals sat on their hands for the last (2) years letting all Conservative money bills pass. They supportes the Throne speech last week….and now after all this continued support, I ask what changed?
    Why this newfound outrage?
    Again the FACTS now show that the only thing that changed was the proposed withdrawal of their public subsidy….their entitlements…as I said earlier be damned with the economy…be damned with the taxpayer…be damned with leading by example….they want their entitlements….nothing more….nothing less….
    And again nothing but the FACTS…as difficult as they may be….they are the FACTS….

  23. Where did you copy that comment from, Cliff?

  24. Cliff, I’m not a Liberal or an NDP-supporter but I find this Tory scheme of removing the subsidies at a moment’s notice absolutely outrageous. It’s ridiculous to defend it “on principle”: it obviously an attempt to kneecap Harper’s opponents. We could have a snap election at any moment, on Harper’s say-so (well, 6 months from now anyway!), and Harper just kicked out the financial basis of the opposing parties. That’s not underhanded, despicable? It’s absolutely scandalous and he deserves to fall. As he’s going to, hard.

  25. Does everyone know that if you capitalize the word facts (as FACTS) the statements are 37% more accurate?

  26. How to defend having no economic crisis worth doing significant about when they simultaneously use the crisis as an excuse to do everything that they wish to do to hobble the opposition, the public service and rights they oppose (constitution be damned)?

  27. Jack – you might notice that the subsidies were actually to be removed in a few months, not a moment’s notice. Also note, the Liberals indicated their confidence in the Government by supporting the Throne speech just YESTERDAY, now today they have “lost confidence”?

    When, oh when will Obama ride his White Donkey across the border to rescue the Liberals?

  28. KfromCanada, yeah, a few months, that’s plenty of time for the Liberals and NDP and Bloc to completely rewire their financial apparatus! Just in time for Harper to try (3rd time lucky) for a majority! Why doesn’t he just add 40 seats to Alberta while he’s at it? The man has zero shame.

  29. I have a hard time believing that the Liberals really want to be government right now. I have a hard time imagining that whoever is in power now will get re-elected after we emerge from this crisis.

    If it is a legitimate power grab from the Liberals, it’s a stupid move and far to easy for the Cons to spin as ‘anti-democratic’.

    If it’s a tactical decision to show that the reason why the Cons were elected (fiscal management) was bunk, well then it has a kind of genius Harper can surely appreciate.

    Maybe that’s why he’s so down, because he didn’t think of it first?

  30. If the Liberals make this happen I’m mailing a $500 cheque.

  31. Chris B: Not only that… but if you… include… all.. kinds… of ellipses… your FACTS’ accuracy increase… by… another 3…0…%…

    Or you wind up sounding like William Shatner. It’s sometimes hard to tell.

  32. Heaven forfend that any Liberal government would stoop to technicalities to prolong its life.

  33. When, oh when will Obama ride his White Donkey across the border to rescue the Liberals?

    They don’t need them as much as Mini-Bush needed his right wing think tanks and social conservative movements, the guiding principles for which are imported lock, stock and barrel from the US.

  34. The Liberals have just recently indicated that the NDP was unfit to form a coalition and governemnt with.

    The Conservatives have just recently indicated that the fundamentals of the Canadian economy are strong, it’s a great time to stock up on stocks, and there won’t be a federal deficit I can’t hear you la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la.

    I think they are even the same Conservatives who once said there’d be no cap on equalization. I’ve got that right, right? No caps? It was in a ten-percenter they mailed to Newfoundland even.

  35. As a past NDP member who just bought a Liberal membership to support Bob Rae I couldn’t be MORE thrilled by this turn of events. Kick the bums out.

  36. The actual figure is 36.6%, if you want to be factual.

  37. But the whole question is – Is Canada a centre-right country or not?

  38. Probably not, Will.

    But certainly the talking-point-wielding conservative trolls would love you to think so!

    (And your blog is making me wonder about what a LibDem/Labour coalition would look like, and the extent to which it would resemble this Canadian contraption.)

  39. So tell me true, how moist IS everyone at MacLeans right now? Are you having to mop up behind Paul and Kady? Are you drooling?

  40. Do not be fooled here. This thing has been in the works for longer than a couple of days. We’ll see over the coming week just how much support this coalition has. I don’t think Canadians will support the idea of separatists being part of government.

  41. If the Bloc gets 87% of its money from Canada (which they despise), that in itself is a travesty! I didn’t realize how much they relied on it. The Liberals are pathetic hypocrites; they propose that they are the defenders of the “poor” and yet when Big Companies and Unions were taken out of the picture, they collapsed! Yet the Liberal culties still sell flowers at the airpor, unaware of how stupid their “cause” of “progression” makes them look.

    Tell me here Libbies, how can you sit with the NDPCommunists who want to claw back $50 Billion in Corporate tax cuts? The very “stimulus” that your bluster and fuming MPs (like fat Goodale, and Smuggy Iggy) are all in a tither about, is now going to where? Brown envelopes taped under restaurant tables to bolster Party coffers? Notice that once the Liberals were kept away from the Public Purse (Opposition) that they are failing financially? I hope these crooks collapse!!! I absolutely cannot stand to hear their lies anymore. Pox on their houses!!!

  42. I’ve heard commentary on TV comparing this situation to that of King, Byng and Meighen after the election of 1925. This is rubbish as there is no comparison.

    King was the sitting PM in 1925 during the election. He won 99 seats and 39% of the vote but Meighen won 116 seats with 46% of the vote. It was a 245 seat House af Commons with the balance of power held by the 24 Progressives and six others. King chose to face the Commons(as was his right) to see if he could govern. He was shortly afterwards defeated and the G-G asked the party with the largest numbers of seats in the Commons and votes in the election( Meighen’s Conservatives) to try and form the government.

    Now fast forward to today – DIon and the Liberals are reduced to 77 seats and their lowest vote total since Confederation. The Conservatives receive a strenghtened mandate and Canadians made it very clear they did not want Dion and the Liberals running the country. Now six weeks later they propose to have the government of the country turned over to them in a coalition with the NDP, both of whom would be put in power by the BLOC!

    This is a disgrace and anyone in the Liberal party and NDP who would be a part of this farce are quislings who are selling their country out. Ed Broadbent and Jean Chretien cutting deals in the back rooms – What a joke!!

  43. And it’s all Harper’s fault, Cicero. Please remember that at your next Conservative convention.

  44. Not to mention the entire point of the King Byng fiasco was that the popular outrage over the meddling of the Governor General in politics basically has caused every subsequent Governor General to act as a rubber stamp…

  45. If the Dippers and Libs can actually agree, if the GG hands them the power, it won’t last long. And when it does fall it will most likely lead to a Conservative Majority. The came close this last time, and having the Liberals and Dippers team up will drive the last center right liberals to the Tories. Add in the support from the Bloc and that should put just enough extra support for the few seats they need from the rest of Canada!

    If all that was not enough then they will also be able to pin any deficit at the feet of the liberals/dippers. This economic update showed clearly that we don’t need to go into deficit got get through this economic downturn. When they bail out the auto industry only to have it go belly up because the US does not bail it out in time, or when the US does bail it out they require the big three to bring most production back to the US thus ending or drastically cutting back Canadian production. Bailing out the big three is not a good idea.

  46. hey Con army, don’t sweat the small stuff. Besides spending a lot of your hard-earned donations this coming week with hard-edged blarney, Harper could also come up with a real action plan for this economic thing, you know, the one he told the press in Peru could be the next ‘great depression’? He just needs to appease one other party. Or doesn’t he have that skill in his tool box?

  47. This post reads better if you imagine it written in Cyrlic script in some Menshevik pamphlet:

    Boris Sergeyevich ate the last of his breadcrumbs while he waited impatiently for the Tsar. His comrades’ spirit coursing through his veins, the press conference was about to begin. The Tsar appeared from the East Hall. Slowly, then quickly, then slowly again, he approached the podium, his chin glazed with the spunk of feudalism. A sickly, pale man, he coughed nervously as the people awaited his decree.

  48. The Prime Minister kept walking, appearing to shake his head and mutter to himself as he turned the corner.

    Next you will hear stories that Harper asked John Baird to pray with him in the PMO. Harper truly is the reincarnation of Richard Nixon.

  49. Harper has two realistic options, one is admit his mistake and withdraw his economic statement and other is to gracefully accept the defeat of his government and face the prospect of a minority coalition government. Either way he will be humiliated and more importantly weakened and his party would most likely replace him. He has proven to be an erratic man, mentally unbalanced, who frequently appears to neglect taking his medications.
    Harper’s argument that the only future course of action, once his government is defeated is to call a new election. This is absurd as the Governor General has not only the right but also the obligation to call on the opposition leader to form the Government if the opposition can demonstrate that it can. It has been done before and there is no reason why it cannot be done again. In fact Harper himself has made the similar argument four years ago when the shoe was on the other foot. He is simply a liar and a hypocrite.

  50. But certainly the talking-point-wielding conservative trolls would love you to think so!

    (And your blog is making me wonder about what a LibDem/Labour coalition would look like, and the extent to which it would resemble this Canadian contraption.)

    Demosthenes -

    It didn’t work in the past, but that doesn’t say that both parties haven’t evolved. Can I say that? Labour became ‘New Labour’ and the Liberals became the Liberal Democrats via Social Democratic Party. A disaffected left, if you will.

    Is this the same in Canada – I am looking on and taking great interest in the way Canada is developing politically-wise.

    From my high-horse in the UK I used to look at Canada with great envy! Canadians always seemed to go with the consensus and be happy with it, was I looking through rose-tinted glasses?

    Now, the country seems to be split down the middle – much like the UK, US and other nations – calling all to come home and stifle opposition voices.

    I fully agree with a Parliamentary democracy – I just cannot see how a minority government can work without the support of other parties and that un-political word, compromise.

    Harper, to me, just doesn’t want to compromise and wants to rule as if he has a majority, which obviously he doesn’t.

    The fact that in the last election so few voted should make politicians worry – they should be asking why so few did – even if that should bring them defeat. A democracy cannot be called such if only 4 out of every 10 vote.

  51. “He sounded small”

    He always does.

  52. Harper is bankrupt of ideas – this is what policy wonks usually are. They only see black and white and operate like a chess game where the game is played by tricking your opponent in to believing you will go one way and you move another or manipulating your pawns to force your opponent to move in a direction they do not want to go. In the end it is either a draw or one leaders dies. The chessboard is empty of life but the winner gets the carcus. This is real life we are dealing with – not charts and statistics. Mr Harper – stand up and make a difference in our lives.

  53. Your math is wrong. Those 3 parties do not represent “more than 60% of voters”. It’s actually a fair bit less than 60%. Check again.

  54. The Conservatives have been acting since 2006 as if they had a majority government (true – with the help of the Liberals). Perhaps this will shake them into the reality that their mandate was not a majority endorsement – rather the wish of the right wing percentage (37%?) of Canadians. There is absolutely nothing undemocratic about these events. This is how our democracy is supposed to work. The government must have the confidence of the House of Commons. The Conservatives were trying to destroy the Liberals and their greed and malice galloped ahead of themselves. Stay strong Liberals, NDP and Bloc. How about a uniting of the centre-left ? The Liberal – Democratic Party!! And please – do not demonize the Bloc. Anyone who does does not have a deep understanding of the history of North America. Disagree with the Bloc – but learn about the history and why there has been a need for this party in Quebec. (I am not a separatist)

  55. Jack Mitchell

    “The man [Harper] has zero shame.”

    Yes, and what’s wrong with that?

    Let the others opperate without shame.
    Let Ignatieff take over as PM knowing that he has never won a party leadership race,
    has never subjected himself as party leader to the voting public,
    has never before agreed with the NDP suggestion that proposed business taxes should not be cut, has not lived in Canada for most of his adult life,
    had agreed to the war in Iraq,
    has praised Obama who has been declared president elect by means of running on private donations,

    I predict that this very same man, Mr.Ignatieff, will not feel any sense of shame within his plans for handing the Governor General a plan of action soon, and neither will he feel shame when he expects her to appoint him as Canada’s next PM.

    The real question then becomes: will the Governor General prove to her subjects that she still possesses some sense of shame?

  56. “Next you will hear stories that Harper asked John Baird to pray with him in the PMO.”

    That’s the problem with you libs. It’s always about sex, isn’t it? When Harper “prays” or with whom is none of our business.

  57. Unfortunately, Francien, the GG doesn’t have any choice in the matter. Otherwise we could summon the ghost of Judge Jeffreys and teach Michael Ignatieff a thing or two about shame, human rights, and national security, not necessarily in that order. I couldn’t agree more that Iggy lacks shame, but sadly it’s not a zero-sum game. Anyway, Iggy hasn’t had the opportunity yet to demonstrate a profound contempt for our most ancient and sacred parliamentary traditions, whereas Harper has flunked utterly.

    I am not one of Iggy’s firmest supporters, for the record.

  58. Jack,

    “Unfortunately, Francien, the GG doesn’t have any choice in the matter.”

    How is this for game theory, trying to predict the Canadian political short term future:

    the GG will be asked to approve the formation of a new government, cobbled together as NDP, Lib and ‘unofficially’ BQ.

    GG: who will be the leader of this new government?

    they: Ignatieff

    GG: is Ignatieff currently leader of any of the participating parties?

    they : no

    GG: then how will I be able to appoint him as PM, as representative of which party?

    they: the Liberal party.

    GG: but he is not their leader.

    they: the Liberal party will make him their leader as soon as you have given the go ahead for the installation of this new government.

    GG: but would it not be unconstitutional to appoint a new government without an elected leader

    they: but he will be elected in a hurry after you’ve given the approval.

    GG: I see, so Mr.Ignatieff being elected as party leader will be as result of appointing him PM first?

    they: yes.

    GG: and that would be as if acting within a constitutional responsible manner.

    they: Yes, (maybe).

    GG: what if I do not appoint him PM prior.

    they: then Mr.Ignatieff will not be elected as party leader now but perhaps will be elected later when he’s earned it by having run in a well fought race,

    GG: I need some more advice on this, I think.

  59. “but would it not be unconstitutional to appoint a new government without an elected leader”

    No. It’s perfectly constitutional. Thanks for coming out.

  60. Andrew,

    are you talking about an elected party leader or a voter elected PM?

  61. Some more game theory:

    Dion: the GG will go ahead with appointing a new government if I stay on

    Ignatieff: Yes, but Stephane, we had agreed that you would step down, in fact you have so promised

    Dion: perhaps, perhaps I have been pushed out a bit too quickly,

    Ignatieff: perhaps a bit too late.

    Dion: given the chance, I might make a good PM

    Ignatieff: but if you would serve as PM, then this second Liberal leadership race will look foolish

    Dion: perhaps so, but hasn’t it always looked silly?

    Ignatieff: that might mean that my turn may not ever come to be (I am getting older but wiser)

    Dion: But Mike, didn’t you say during the last election, that I was a very capable man to become PM. I could be the best PM ever! I will be the best PM ever. Hey, this seems to work! (And they were thinking I wouln’t get the last laugh)

  62. It’s always easy to make your side of the argument look good when you’re the one putting the words into the mouth of the other side.

  63. Francien, how did you get onto this idea that Ignatieff is the candidate for coalition PM?

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