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The first debate: where they stood

Rarely has the geography of a leaders’ debate seemed so significant


 

Rarely has the geography of a leaders’ debate seemed as important as it did tonight. Early on Jack Layton established why proximity matters by using his position at the Prime Minister’s left elbow to lean in and make it personal.

“I’m asking myself, ‘cause  I’m  remembering a Stephen Harper once upon a time, who came here to change Ottawa, was going to stick up for the little guy,” Layton said while hold forth on the government’s corporate tax cuts. “But you’ve become what you used to oppose.”

Throughout the evening, his most effective maneuver was to take a policy discussion and turn it into a personal critique of Harper or, pivoting to his other side, Michael Ignatieff.

Harper used his position out on one side to try to remain detached from the fray, fixing his gaze on the TV camera as often as he could, and avoiding eye contact with the other guys that might, I suppose, have brought him down to their level from the prime-ministerial heights.

He’s mastered a tone of voice that might be called lofty exasperation. He seemed most in command whenever he reduced a complex argument to short lists of policy points, or to a brief, impatient lecture on his operating principles.

“Mr. Ignatieff, you’re not able to invest in health care and services and education that matters to people by raising taxes,” he said in one typical exchange with his main rival. “You do that by growing the economy.”

For Ignatieff, being squeezed between Layton and Gilles Duceppe wasn’t good luck. Engaging with Duceppe in the English debate wouldn’t gain him much of anything. As for the NDP leader, Ignatieff clearly wanted to speak right past him to Harper.

But that straining amplified the urgency in Ignatieff’s voice, which was often underlined by intense hand gestures. Pushing that hard is risky on TV. Still, he settled down somewhat in the second half. And his emphatic tone might come across better in ten-second clips than it did over a two-hour broadcast.

“This comes down to a moment of choice,” he said in one of many clip-worthy summary statements. “You can either spend it on corporate tax breaks, multimillion-dollar expenditure of prisons, billions on jets, big gifts to upper middle class Canadians to reduce their taxes, or you can support health care.”


 

The first debate: where they stood

  1. On Immigration – Jack recommended to changes to the Temporary Foreign Work Program so that it would work… the way it does right now pretty much.

    Ignatieff is glad his family immigrated when they did because they might not get in under the CPC gov't, who he says are against family reunification. May I suggest that he's probably right, but for the wrong reasons. As his grandfather was associated with a despot (of the times), they probably WOULD be blocked (see family of Tunisian ex-head-of-state).

  2. On Immigration – Jack recommended to changes to the Temporary Foreign Work Program so that it would work… the way it does right now pretty much.

    Ignatieff is glad his family immigrated when they did because they might not get in under the CPC gov't, who he says are against family reunification. May I suggest that he's probably right, but for the wrong reasons. As his grandfather was associated with a despot (of the times), they probably WOULD be blocked (see family of Tunisian ex-head-of-state).

    • His grandfather was a former education minister turned farmer who emigrated to Quebec from the UK.

    • Despot… Saint… It depends upon who you ask.

      • The Tsar was no different than our own Queen….both monarchs

        • Indeed, but the Russian Empire's monarchy was absolutist, and hence quite different from Canada and the Commonwealth's monarchy, which is constitutionally limited to a few specific reserve/emergency powers.

  3. I commend you on your valient attempt to soft pedal Iggy's dismal performance.

    And it just HAD to be the….ahem…"geography". Yeah that's it.

  4. I commend you on your valient attempt to soft pedal Iggy's dismal performance.

    And it just HAD to be the….ahem…"geography". Yeah that's it.

    • Iggy seemed to experience something common with those who encounter you chet — it's tough not to get upset when someone lies without shame, is corrected with facts, and then witnesses your persistence.

      My favourite was when Harper claimed that all the Liberals did was rase taxes, ignoring the $190 billion in tax cuts made under Liberal government.

      • I think a debate where an impartial moderator corrects glaring errors rather than simply having every statement presented as if it were of equal weight would have helped that debate immensely.

        • I very much agree – I think this would very much help make these things more honest and engaging. Paikin is a pretty balanced guy – I would have loved to see him given the opportunity to play the role of fact checker.

  5. His grandfather was a former education minister turned farmer who emigrated to Quebec from the UK.

  6. Iggy seemed to experience something common with those who encounter you chet — it's tough not to get upset when someone lies without shame, is corrected with facts, and then witnesses your persistence.

    My favourite was when Harper claimed that all the Liberals did was rase taxes, ignoring the $190 billion in tax cuts made under Liberal government.

  7. Despot… Saint… It depends upon who you ask.

  8. I think a debate where an impartial moderator corrects glaring errors rather than simply having every statement presented as if it were of equal weight would have helped that debate immensely.

    • Everything a bout that experiment is awesome.

      Also, I'd have gone with the hot dogs, too — I was afraid of cats as a child.

  9. Well we can dissaggree about the reason for the petulant tirade like performance,

    but such a performance it was.

    Must be that Harvard debating pedigree.

  10. Query whether "respect for parliament"

    includes not showing up there SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE TIME.

  11. Query whether "respect for parliament"

    includes not showing up there SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE TIME.

    • Ask Harper. Absent as much as Ignatieff.

        • I believe that's votes, not absences.

          • All the more damning, then! He failed to perform the most basic function of his office, voting on legislation based on his mandate from his constituents, and doing so more often than any other MP.
            Those votes, I'll have you know, helped prop up the very policies they now heap scorn on.
            I also note that the people who showed up to work every single day are solely from one party. 43 of the worst 50 on attendance and missed votes are from a particular opposition party.
            Funny that. Facts can be a real pain in the behind.

          • No argument there. Just pointing out that Blues Clair might be correct, if you want to play semantic games.

            It's an interesting point to note that the ones who were there for every vote were those of the minority government, who needed every vote they could get to pass policy, while the ones who were absent were generally of the opposition party, who, on hearing that any one of the parties might decide to vote with the government, could have no effect on the result.

            This is why party politics sucks.

          • Oh, ok everything's OK them. Iggy only fails to show up for really important matters such as deciding which laws to enact.

            Question for the liberals here:

            Do you think Iggy should be held accountable for anything?

            Anything?

            Not even his own personal voting record?

    • Unlike senators, whose appearances in the Red Chamber are made public each month, MPs' attendance records are confidential, offering little accountability on one of elected officials' most basic functions: being present to debate and vote on the laws of the land on behalf of their constituents.

      And despite a Conservative campaign pledge to lift what Stephen Harper has called a “cloak of secrecy” on government, there is no sign the long-standing tradition is about to change.
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/head

      • Bull. You can see voting records, which technically isn't attendance, but it's attendance for votes that counts.

        • it's attendance for votes that counts

          Really? I'm not sure I'm comfortable with my MP skipping the debates on legislation and just showing up for the final vote on said legislation.

  12. Ask Harper. Absent as much as Ignatieff.

  13. Unlike senators, whose appearances in the Red Chamber are made public each month, MPs' attendance records are confidential, offering little accountability on one of elected officials' most basic functions: being present to debate and vote on the laws of the land on behalf of their constituents.

    And despite a Conservative campaign pledge to lift what Stephen Harper has called a “cloak of secrecy” on government, there is no sign the long-standing tradition is about to change.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/head

  14. Unlike senators, whose appearances in the Red Chamber are made public each month, MPs%E2%80%99 attendance records are confidential, offering little accountability on one of elected officials%E2%80%99 most basic functions: being present to debate and vote on the laws of the land on behalf of their constituents.

    And despite a Conservative campaign pledge to lift what Stephen Harper has called a “cloak of secrecy” on government, there is no sign the long-standing tradition is about to change.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/head

  15. To listen to you, a person would think Harper had spent his life behind a plow.

  16. To listen to you, a person would think Harper had spent his life behind a plow.

  17. I see the Con spin team is out in full force….LOL

    Although who they think they'll convince on here is anybody's guess.

    G&M viewers btw put Iggy at 61%, and Harper at 25%

  18. I see the Con spin team is out in full force….LOL

    Although who they think they'll convince on here is anybody's guess.

    G&M viewers btw put Iggy at 61%, and Harper at 25%

    • And at the National Post, Harper leads Ignatieff 67% to 18%, so what's your point? Besides shilling for the Liberals.

      I think this was Ignatieff's moment to shine and show Canadians the real Ignatieff. Well, we saw it, and he was less then impressive.

    • Harper appears to be leading now with 40% to Ignatieff's 35% on G&M votes.

      • I was referring to the vote at the end of the blog….it was on who impressed you most during the debate.

        I'm sure the Con spin crew is out in force though.

          • Sorry, but that's not me. As you've been told several times now.

          • How do you respond so quickly to a reply in a thread that had been dead for 10 hours? Do you keep tabs with all your posts open, repeatedly checking them?

  19. The Tsar was no different than our own Queen….both monarchs

  20. The most pressing questions of the evening have yet to be broached: What exactly is a "hashtag fail"? In what context might we use this neologism? And did I hear Gilles Duceppe correctly when he said we'd signed an agreement with a banana? Who did Stephen Harper keep staring at when he answered questions? Laureen? Did the rectangular block background behind the debaters leave anyone else with a strong desire to play Tetris, or was it just me?

  21. The most pressing questions of the evening have yet to be broached: What exactly is a "hashtag fail"? In what context might we use this neologism? And did I hear Gilles Duceppe correctly when he said we'd signed an agreement with a banana? Who did Stephen Harper keep staring at when he answered questions? Laureen? Did the rectangular block background behind the debaters leave anyone else with a strong desire to play Tetris, or was it just me?

    • Wrt the background, I found that the hues of the facial makeup and the yellow blocks to be unfortunately close to each other.

  22. And at the National Post, Harper leads Ignatieff 67% to 18%, so what's your point? Besides shilling for the Liberals.

    I think this was Ignatieff's moment to shine and show Canadians the real Ignatieff. Well, we saw it, and he was less then impressive.

  23. I believe that's votes, not absences.

  24. All the more damning, then! He failed to perform the most basic function of his office, voting on legislation based on his mandate from his constituents, and doing so more often than any other MP.
    Those votes, I'll have you know, helped prop up the very policies they now heap scorn on.
    I also note that the people who showed up to work every single day are solely from one party. 43 of the worst 50 on attendance and missed votes are from a particular opposition party.
    Funny that. Facts can be a real pain in the behind.

  25. Bull. You can see voting records, which technically isn't attendance, but it's attendance for votes that counts.

  26. No argument there. Just pointing out that Blues Clair might be correct, if you want to play semantic games.

    It's an interesting point to note that the ones who were there for every vote were those of the minority government, who needed every vote they could get to pass policy, while the ones who were absent were generally of the opposition party, who, on hearing that any one of the parties might decide to vote with the government, could have no effect on the result.

    This is why party politics sucks.

  27. Everything a bout that experiment is awesome.

    Also, I'd have gone with the hot dogs, too — I was afraid of cats as a child.

  28. Harper appears to be leading now with 40% to Ignatieff's 35% on G&M votes.

  29. “This comes down to a moment of choice,” he said in one of many clip-worthy summary statements. “You can either spend it on corporate tax breaks, multimillion-dollar expenditure of prisons, billions on jets, big gifts to upper middle class Canadians to reduce their taxes, or you can support health care.”

    That really stuck out for me, the contrast between Harper who implied we could not raise any taxes, get the most expensive jets, invest billions in new prisons, offer tax cuts in a few years, and it would have no impact on our ability to fund health care. Put together with the fact that Harper caused a structural deficit even without the recession, really drove home the point to me of how shaky our federal finances will be under Harper.

  30. I was referring to the vote at the end of the blog….it was on who impressed you most during the debate.

    I'm sure the Con spin crew is out in force though.

  31. “This comes down to a moment of choice,” he said in one of many clip-worthy summary statements. “You can either spend it on corporate tax breaks, multimillion-dollar expenditure of prisons, billions on jets, big gifts to upper middle class Canadians to reduce their taxes, or you can support health care.”

    That really stuck out for me, the contrast between Harper who implied we could not raise any taxes, get the most expensive jets, invest billions in new prisons, offer tax cuts in a few years, and it would have no impact on our ability to fund health care. Put together with the fact that Harper caused a structural deficit even without the recession, really drove home the point to me of how shaky our federal finances will be under Harper.

  32. Oh, ok everything's OK them. Iggy only fails to show up for really important matters such as deciding which laws to enact.

    Question for the liberals here:

    Do you think Iggy should be held accountable for anything?

    Anything?

    Not even his own personal voting record?

  33. After perusing some other writers who are obvious fans of Iggy's (O'Malley et al),

    they seem to be desperately searching for exuses:

    "maybe he was tired"

    "maybe he was nervous"

    "maybe it was his…ahem….geography"

    How about this: maybe the media fawning of him being this great intellectual debater who would wipe Harper off the map, was just another fabricated media story eminating from the left leaning Ottawa/Toronto media cocoon?

  34. After perusing some other writers who are obvious fans of Iggy's (O'Malley et al),

    they seem to be desperately searching for exuses:

    "maybe he was tired"

    "maybe he was nervous"

    "maybe it was his…ahem….geography"

    How about this: maybe the media fawning of him being this great intellectual debater who would wipe Harper off the map, was just another fabricated media story eminating from the left leaning Ottawa/Toronto media cocoon?

    • Yes chet. It really is that simple. Keep lowering that bar….

    • Exactly. Ignatieff has never been articulate or particularly visionary with his policies. When I mention his lack of clarity to people and his failure to address policy issues in the debates, people inevitably bring up Harvard or say "well he's a renowned writer." But those things are hard to put weight on when he can't seem to make a coherent case why he would make a good prime minister.

      We already know all the reasons Harper can be dubious, but saying Harper is bad does not make other leaders good.

      Iggy really missed a huge opportunity here to make his own view know, rather than focusing on his disdain for the viewpoint of others.

      Pretty much the definiton of a bad debater.

      • very much have to agree and the liberals spin today does not help them – if the LPT is smart it will use tonight to attack Jack seriously as the NDP have momentum in Quebec and the Lib's are in the toilet – if the lib's are wiped out in their entirety in BC which is more than likely as the fight here in BC is between the CPC and the NDP and if Quebec is between the BLOC and the NDP then Iggy is sliced and diced with the remains going into the recyclable container – this a very real danger and one rarely metioned by pundits – the Lib's just may become irrelevant to the poltical scene in Canada – this assumes Iggy keeps focusing on Harper allowing Jack to carve him up into even smaller pieces than he has already started to.

  35. I very much agree – I think this would very much help make these things more honest and engaging. Paikin is a pretty balanced guy – I would have loved to see him given the opportunity to play the role of fact checker.

  36. Yes chet. It really is that simple. Keep lowering that bar….

  37. although there was no winner in the debate there was a loser. Iggy clearly lost as he had the lowest expectations hand the most to gain – he needed to serioulsy wound Harper and make himslef the choice to be the next PM and this clearly is NOT the case. Iggy is now just another oppostion leader and Harper clearly PM material …. Jack was brilliant in that he has finally turned on Iggy and now the real fight begins. Folks the real fight here is not everyone against harper but who will be the official oppostion. Look at all the polls and the intersting fights are all between the Lib's and the NDP – just how it is folks … if Iggy keeps focusing on Harper and lets Jack slice and dice him he loses big time. If t you don't like Harper you are going to have to choose who you think can replace him and right now that question is still open for debate. Harper has effectively poisoned the coalition well. This is a fight between the who is the official oppostion and NOT who will be the PM … just how it is folks.

  38. although there was no winner in the debate there was a loser. Iggy clearly lost as he had the lowest expectations hand the most to gain – he needed to serioulsy wound Harper and make himslef the choice to be the next PM and this clearly is NOT the case. Iggy is now just another oppostion leader and Harper clearly PM material …. Jack was brilliant in that he has finally turned on Iggy and now the real fight begins. Folks the real fight here is not everyone against harper but who will be the official oppostion. Look at all the polls and the intersting fights are all between the Lib's and the NDP – just how it is folks … if Iggy keeps focusing on Harper and lets Jack slice and dice him he loses big time. If t you don't like Harper you are going to have to choose who you think can replace him and right now that question is still open for debate. Harper has effectively poisoned the coalition well. This is a fight between the who is the official oppostion and NOT who will be the PM … just how it is folks.

  39. Indeed, but the Russian Empire's monarchy was absolutist, and hence quite different from Canada and the Commonwealth's monarchy, which is constitutionally limited to a few specific reserve/emergency powers.

  40. So was our monarchy at one time.

  41. Ignatieff failed but he was in a difficult spot. The man is clearly very emotional and he couldn't keep his emotions in check and Harper played that card very well.

    I still think he's a good leader for the Liberals: he's rallied the party and he's run a decent campaign. I hope they keep him because he's shown a lot of progress in his tenure as leader of the opposition and he'll undoubtedly do better next time around.

    But it's clear that Ignatieff did not rise up to the plate as he was expected. I figured this would happen because the man does come across as out of touch when he gets emotional.

  42. Ignatieff failed but he was in a difficult spot. The man is clearly very emotional and he couldn't keep his emotions in check and Harper played that card very well.

    I still think he's a good leader for the Liberals: he's rallied the party and he's run a decent campaign. I hope they keep him because he's shown a lot of progress in his tenure as leader of the opposition and he'll undoubtedly do better next time around.

    But it's clear that Ignatieff did not rise up to the plate as he was expected. I figured this would happen because the man does come across as out of touch when he gets emotional.

  43. Yes, but it has gradually evolved into a constitutionally-limited monarchy since the time of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. By the time of Victoria's reign, the monarchy of Britain and the Dominions was fairly close to the constitutional monarchy we have today. One could argue that the reason for the failure of the monarchies of Russia, Germany and the Habsburg domains was their inability to adapt to European society's increasing expectation of responsible government (i.e. the sovereign's ministers are selected from a legislative assembly elected by the people), and said monarchies tendencies to lapse into reactionary policies when confronted with large popular uprisings.

  44. Yes, but it has gradually evolved into a constitutionally-limited monarchy since the time of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. By the time of Victoria's reign, the monarchy of Britain and the Dominions was fairly close to the constitutional monarchy we have today. One could argue that the reason for the failure of the monarchies of Russia, Germany and the Habsburg domains was their inability to adapt to European society's increasing expectation of responsible government (i.e. the sovereign's ministers are selected from a legislative assembly elected by the people), and said monarchies tendencies to lapse into reactionary policies when confronted with large popular uprisings.

    • Canada didn't have a revolution to get rid of a monarchy…Russia and the US did.

      So?

      • I'm not sure why the US is being dragged into this, but the principle is still similar (but not nearly as extreme as in Russia or Germany). The Tsar's advisory council (i.e. his cabinet) was appointed personally by him, or at least by him and the advisors he trusted most. None of these individuals were elected. Attempts to slowly democratize the government of Russia after 1905 didn't go very far, and could be described as "too little, too late." What I'm arguing is that if the Russian monarchy had adapted earlier into a constitutional monarchy (as the British/Canadian monarchy had done), it could have had a government where the sovereign's advisors are elected by the people, hence giving the populace a say in the governance of the country.

        As I said before, the case with the US is a less extreme example. The people of the Thirteen Colonies felt they had little to no say in the governance of Britain and the Empire, as they could not elect MPs to Westminster. Hence the whole "taxation without representation" bit. That's why they engaged in their rebellion, and subsequently achieved independence over their own governance. Whether this move was justified given the supposed "hardships" they were enduring is a whole other matter entirely.

        This relates to Canadce's comment in that Russia's government of the time was actually very different from Britain and Canada's, hence her point that immigration of the Ignatieff family could have been viewed with suspicion then and possibly today if there were similar circumstances (which I don't necessarily agree with, but that's her point). Your observation of the that fact they are both monarchies is superficial at best, as the people of Britain and Canada had a much larger say in the governance of their country (and the advisors in said governments) than the people of Russia did.

        • I have no idea why you're dragging various monarchies into a thread about the debate to begin with!

          If you're trying to prove our monarchy was better than the Russian monarchy, you're wrong.

          If you're trying to prove immigrants from Russia, then or now, wouldn't be admitted, you're wrong.

          If you're comparing Russia's monarchy in 1917 to anything today, you're also wrong.

          Mostly, I think you just like to argue.

          • Unfortunately you've missed my points entirely. They are plain for anyone who takes the time to thoughtfully consider them, which I doubt you have. An intense debate need not be an ignorant one.

            As for being argumentative, I merely disapprove of individuals like yourself making flippant and largely irrelevant comments to support what was already a flimsy argument. The fact that you make comments like that shows that you are also guilty of having an argumentative streak, and your record on this and other comment threads proves as much.

          • In your former life you were one of those monks who debated how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

            Enjoy yourself.

  45. Canada didn't have a revolution to get rid of a monarchy…Russia and the US did.

    So?

  46. Exactly. Ignatieff has never been articulate or particularly visionary with his policies. When I mention his lack of clarity to people and his failure to address policy issues in the debates, people inevitably bring up Harvard or say "well he's a renowned writer." But those things are hard to put weight on when he can't seem to make a coherent case why he would make a good prime minister.

    We already know all the reasons Harper can be dubious, but saying Harper is bad does not make other leaders good.

    Iggy really missed a huge opportunity here to make his own view know, rather than focusing on his disdain for the viewpoint of others.

    Pretty much the definiton of a bad debater.

  47. Sorry, but that's not me. As you've been told several times now.

  48. How do you respond so quickly to a reply in a thread that had been dead for 10 hours? Do you keep tabs with all your posts open, repeatedly checking them?

  49. When you have an account, you get a notice in your inbox when someone posts to you….by clicking on it, you're taken right to where it occurs in a thread and it's highlighted in yellow…..so you can answer it right away.

    Nifty feature.

  50. I'm not sure why the US is being dragged into this, but the principle is still similar (but not nearly as extreme as in Russia or Germany). The Tsar's advisory council (i.e. his cabinet) was appointed personally by him, or at least by him and the advisors he trusted most. None of these individuals were elected. Attempts to slowly democratize the government of Russia after 1905 didn't go very far, and could be described as "too little, too late." What I'm arguing is that if the Russian monarchy had adapted earlier into a constitutional monarchy (as the British/Canadian monarchy had done), it could have had a government where the sovereign's advisors are elected by the people, hence giving the populace a say in the governance of the country.

    As I said before, the case with the US is a less extreme example. The people of the Thirteen Colonies felt they had little to no say in the governance of Britain and the Empire, as they could not elect MPs to Westminster. Hence the whole "taxation without representation" bit. That's why they engaged in their rebellion, and subsequently achieved independence over their own governance. Whether this move was justified given the supposed "hardships" they were enduring is a whole other matter entirely.

    This relates to Canadce's comment in that Russia's government of the time was actually very different from Britain and Canada's, hence her point that immigration of the Ignatieff family could have been viewed with suspicion then and possibly today if there were similar circumstances (which I don't necessarily agree with, but that's her point). Your observation of the that fact they are both monarchies is superficial at best, as the people of Britain and Canada had a much larger say in the governance of their country (and the advisors in said governments) than the people of Russia did.

  51. I also noticed Ignatieff could not refrain from injecting another of his "I" moments re working in prisons in his youth (which of course now makes him an expert). Yep, if we give all those nasty gang members a high school education we won't need jails.

  52. I also noticed Ignatieff could not refrain from injecting another of his "I" moments re working in prisons in his youth (which of course now makes him an expert). Yep, if we give all those nasty gang members a high school education we won't need jails.

  53. I have no idea why you're dragging various monarchies into a thread about the debate to begin with!

    If you're trying to prove our monarchy was better than the Russian monarchy, you're wrong.

    If you're trying to prove immigrants from Russia, then or now, wouldn't be admitted, you're wrong.

    If you're comparing Russia's monarchy in 1917 to anything today, you're also wrong.

    Mostly, I think you just like to argue.

  54. very much have to agree and the liberals spin today does not help them – if the LPT is smart it will use tonight to attack Jack seriously as the NDP have momentum in Quebec and the Lib's are in the toilet – if the lib's are wiped out in their entirety in BC which is more than likely as the fight here in BC is between the CPC and the NDP and if Quebec is between the BLOC and the NDP then Iggy is sliced and diced with the remains going into the recyclable container – this a very real danger and one rarely metioned by pundits – the Lib's just may become irrelevant to the poltical scene in Canada – this assumes Iggy keeps focusing on Harper allowing Jack to carve him up into even smaller pieces than he has already started to.

  55. Where they stood ?

    Well, Harper stood there and LIED right to our faces on TV last night.

    Mr Harper again claimed that he was NOT trying to become the PM of Canada in 2004 WITHOUT an election as both Jack Layton and Gille Duceppe said otherwise (and EVEN Tom Flanagan has said otherwise).

    HE LIED RIGHT TO OUR FACE right on TV, its BALD FACED lying.

    Yea, his signature was on the 2004 letter to the GG claiming the Opposition parties (CONs, NDP and the (evil) BLOC were ready to implement/consider another option other than an election should the Government fall or loose the CONFIDENCE of the House … there is ONLY ONE other option … that Mr Harper would become PM WITHOUT an election.

    HE LIED RIGHT to our faces.

    WHAT other LIES does he tell ?

    ONCE a LIAR, ALWAYS a LIAR.

    Yea, a PM who LIES to citizens of a country … people believe what their PM tells them and so they should be able to … its called BETRAYAL.

    TIME to EXIT the Harper FISH BOWL.

    Yea.

  56. Where they stood ?

    Well, Harper stood there and LIED right to our faces on TV last night.

    Mr Harper again claimed that he was NOT trying to become the PM of Canada in 2004 WITHOUT an election as both Jack Layton and Gille Duceppe said otherwise (and EVEN Tom Flanagan has said otherwise).

    HE LIED RIGHT TO OUR FACE right on TV, its BALD FACED lying.

    Yea, his signature was on the 2004 letter to the GG claiming the Opposition parties (CONs, NDP and the (evil) BLOC were ready to implement/consider another option other than an election should the Government fall or loose the CONFIDENCE of the House … there is ONLY ONE other option … that Mr Harper would become PM WITHOUT an election.

    HE LIED RIGHT to our faces.

    WHAT other LIES does he tell ?

    ONCE a LIAR, ALWAYS a LIAR.

    Yea, a PM who LIES to citizens of a country … people believe what their PM tells them and so they should be able to … its called BETRAYAL.

    TIME to EXIT the Harper FISH BOWL.

    Yea.

  57. Harper again claimed the ECONOMY (aka BOO in Harper's world, just another TOOL OF FEAR)) was the most important thing (later in the debate he claimed it was Health Care), so important that we should NOT even have an election (that he called like he called the one in 2004 and 2008).

    Really ?

    Was it that important in 2010 when he did his 2nd PROROGATION for the 1st 3 months of 2010 (with no budget done yet, he was planning my guess for the 2010 spring election on our taxes, polls changed so the 2010 spring election did NOT happen) ?

    Was it that important in 2010 when the CONS did their GUN REGISTRY debate for months in 2010 ?

    Was it that important in 2010 when the CONS did the CENSUS debate and dismantle it against all expert advice in 2010 ?

    BUT now no time even for an election …

    WHAT Harper says and what he does are NOT the same.

    Time to EXIT the Harper FISH BOWL.

    Yea.

  58. Harper again claimed the ECONOMY (aka BOO in Harper's world, just another TOOL OF FEAR)) was the most important thing (later in the debate he claimed it was Health Care), so important that we should NOT even have an election (that he called like he called the one in 2004 and 2008).

    Really ?

    Was it that important in 2010 when he did his 2nd PROROGATION for the 1st 3 months of 2010 (with no budget done yet, he was planning my guess for the 2010 spring election on our taxes, polls changed so the 2010 spring election did NOT happen) ?

    Was it that important in 2010 when the CONS did their GUN REGISTRY debate for months in 2010 ?

    Was it that important in 2010 when the CONS did the CENSUS debate and dismantle it against all expert advice in 2010 ?

    BUT now no time even for an election …

    WHAT Harper says and what he does are NOT the same.

    Time to EXIT the Harper FISH BOWL.

    Yea.

  59. I think WE all lost last night … CANADA is the LOSER.

    Here is why …

    Harper again claimed that OUR elected MPS votes do NOT COUNT … we apparently BELIEVE him.

    Get a CONTEMPT OF PARLIAMENT … what do you do … you claim Opposition MPs' votes do NOT COUNT (i.e. BLAME THE OPPOSITION, you know, the EVIL Liberals and NDP who are conspiring (i.e. you know TRAITORS) with the EVIL BLOC to SELL OUT CANADA with a COALITION … yea).

    Yea, doing their JOB (especially in a Minority where we gave Harper to HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE), does NOT COUNT … yea … 2/3rds of our ELECTED MPs ' vote does NOT COUNT … yea … they are just out to get poor little me … basically saying its all a joke the House of Commons … yea … he would rather be PRESIDENT … maybe rather have a system like in China, no pesky MPs … yea.

    I MAKE THE RULES … our PM … yea.

    I guess MP votes COUNT when Mr Harper was part of the Opposition … I MAKE THE RULES.

    TIME to EXIT the Harper FISH BOWL.

    Yea.

  60. Unfortunately you've missed my points entirely. They are plain for anyone who takes the time to thoughtfully consider them, which I doubt you have. An intense debate need not be an ignorant one.

    As for being argumentative, I merely disapprove of individuals like yourself making flippant and largely irrelevant comments to support what was already a flimsy argument. The fact that you make comments like that shows that you are also guilty of having an argumentative streak, and your record on this and other comment threads proves as much.

  61. In your former life you were one of those monks who debated how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Enjoy yourself.

  62. it's attendance for votes that counts

    Really? I'm not sure I'm comfortable with my MP skipping the debates on legislation and just showing up for the final vote on said legislation.

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