The onus is on who? - Macleans.ca
 

The onus is on who?


 

Stephen Harper rejects your hypothetical and substitutes his own.

The question of who would govern in the 41st Parliament if no party has a majority of seats is threatening to overwhelm this election, after the Liberal Leader said Tuesday he would be prepared to form a government if the Conservatives won the most seats but were defeated on their Throne Speech. The obvious next question is whether Mr. Harper would be willing to temper that Throne Speech and compromise on the budget to secure opposition-party support.

But Mr. Harper was having none of it. “I don’t accept the [premise of the] question,” Mr. Harper replied, when asked by a reporter if he would be prepared to compromise to stay alive. The other parties “are saying that even if we receive a mandate from the people they will defeat us on our budget if they can,” he maintained. “They will get together and form another alternative, of some other kind of government.”

Mr.  Ignatieff responds.


 

The onus is on who?

  1. Harper is right here.

    The media keeps saying there is no coalition. Everybody knows there is.

    Why go through the fraud of negotiating with the opposition ? So that they can say "well we tried but Harper was stubborn" ??

    The coalition was cooked up and put in motion in 2008.

    Don't fall for this trap!

    Harper minority = Ignatieff PM

    Facts Cats!

  2. The premise of the question is perectly legitimate in fact it is incredibly germane, and that is NOT what the other parties are saying.

  3. Harper is right here.

    The media keeps saying there is no coalition. Everybody knows there is.

    Why go through the fraud of negotiating with the opposition ? So that they can say "well we tried but Harper was stubborn" ??

    The coalition was cooked up and put in motion in 2008.

    Don't fall for this trap!

    Harper minority = Ignatieff PM

    Facts Cats!

    • When things started out, a "coalition" was defined as two or more parties getting together and signing an official agreement to rule with a majority and sharing cabinet to some degree. The Liberals have completely ruled that scenario out.

      So the response from the Conservatives is to now define a "coalition" merely as two or more parties working together to pass legislation.

      Thus the Conservatives have been running a coalition government for five years????? LOL

      • that's because the issue with the coalition was not that two or more parties were getting together. it was that the winning party would be turfed from power by the losing parties. constitutionally valid or not, this scenario is not liked by canadians in general.

        • Not the winning party. The party with the most seats.

          Welcome to Canada. We have a parliament. MPs win seats. Party's are just convenient ways of organizing them.

          You are free to move south if you do not like this arrangement. I do.

        • The problem with that logic of course is that all the parties are "winning" parties as all the MPs are duly elected representatives of their riding, the majority of which are not conservative.

          Since "confidence of the house" is a function of the MPs, and not the party with the most votes, there is no such thing as a "winning party" but instead merely an accepted order by which parties are asked to try and form government.

          To suggest that a minority of MPs have some inherent right to out-vote or out-control the majority of duly elected MPs is absurd.

      • Remember, you're arguing with a cat. Seriously, a waste of time.

      • Um if the Liberals need the BQ and the NDP on every vote to pass legislation that's not the kind of ad hoc working arrangements we've seen under Harper where he picks and chooses a partner.

        That's a coalition.

        Cats away!

        • They won't. They'll be able to pass legislation with the support of the Conservatives alone.

          • Exactly. Or are the Conservatives suggesting they won't support any legislation they didn't themselves author?

            The madness continues eh? LOL

        • Judging the outcome already are we?

    • Brilliant insight, Cat. Instead of being able to say "well we tried but Harper was stubborn", they'll only be able to say "well, we tried be Harper wouldn't even talk."

    • Aren't you busy calling Ontario Liberals?

  4. The premise of the question is perectly legitimate in fact it is incredibly germane, and that is NOT what the other parties are saying.

    • Its legitimate for Harper to toss the budget he just got elected on aside ?

      When I vote CPC I expect to be voting for corporate tax cuts. Harper's voters DEMAND he stick to his guns. The opposition's voters DEMAND they stick to their guns. The only logical conclusion is that

      Harper minority = Ignatieff PM.

      Mice away!

      • no.

        • yes.

          We don't elect Conservative members to compromise.

          Either bow down and let us pass or take power. There will be no water in our wine. We play for keeps.

          Cats away!

          • "We don't elect Conservative members to compromise."

            Holy crap. You do standup, right?

      • When you write "he just got elected on" you must mean that his party had a plurality of MPs elected. We don't elect Prime Ministers. Maybe you're thinking of Presidents down south?

        As you know, a plurality may or may not be a majority. If he has a majority, he has no problem with whatever budget he chooses (since he already has absolute control over his MPs, they are rubber stamps in the finest Soviet tradition).

        If the plurality is a minority, he needs to turn it into a majority, presumably by compromising. Because in our parliamentary system, a government needs to command a majority.

        Ignatieff's statement that we "all have to put a little water into our wine" is exactly apt.

        I'm sure you knew all that, really.

        Maybe you'd prefer to change our constitution so that a government needs only a plurality once every four years, and there are no subsequent checks on its power?

        • Nope sorry. No water in our wine.

          What are you going to do ? Abstain and accept our agenda or form a coalition and take power ?

          We all know the answer to that one. This game of chicken is going to be played through to the end. Harper doesn't blink.

          Harper minority = Ignaiteff PM.

          Mice day.

      • Incidentally, since you state Harper's voters DEMAND Harper stick to his guns on tax cuts (for corporations of course, not for you — your dollars are needed to make up the revenue shortfall), can I ask you how you felt about Harper promising he "would not tax income trusts" then taxing income trusts?

        And how did you feel about Harper insisting in 2008 that he "would not run a deficit" then running a whopper several years in a row? I forget exactly how much he's added to the federal debt in 2.5 years of his no deficit: is it $100B or $160B?

      • Spoken like my 3 year old.
        As an opposition voter, my demand is that my MP's party enters into good-faith negotiations in order to enact as much of their platform as possible, while recognizing that securing all of their demands will not be possible, and not negotiating will result in none<i/> of their demands being met.

      • "Its legitimate for Harper to toss the budget he just got elected on aside?"

        It is if a majority of Canadians rejected it.

  5. “I don't accept the [premise of the] question,”

    It seems to me that he accepted the premise of the question on Budget 2009. He compromised so much that the opposition was falling over themselves to support that budget.

  6. “I don%E2%80%99t accept the [premise of the] question,”

    It seems to me that he accepted the premise of the question on Budget 2009. He compromised so much that the opposition was falling over themselves to support that budget.

  7. “I don't accept the [premise of the] question,”

    It seems to me that he accepted the premise of the question on Budget 2009. He compromised so much that the opposition was falling over themselves to support that budget.

  8. I think that all along, when we've returned minority governments, that's been the voice of the voting public and we expect the politicians to deal with it. It means the people are divided, so they need to keep that in mind when they govern — they need those other voices in order to meet Canadians' expectations. It means no one has offered a vision that has mass Canadian appeal, that everyone feels speaks to their needs.

    I am surprised to hear the prime minister say aloud that he would never negotiate towards a consensus for Canadians. Why have they all been parrotting this "making Parliament work" line all these years if they had no intentions of even trying?

    It seems that coalition and cooperation are becoming more positive words in this election. I guess that alone is something of a shift.

  9. I think that all along, when we've returned minority governments, that's been the voice of the voting public and we expect the politicians to deal with it. It means the people are divided, so they need to keep that in mind when they govern — they need those other voices in order to meet Canadians' expectations. It means no one has offered a vision that has mass Canadian appeal, that everyone feels speaks to their needs.

    I am surprised to hear the prime minister say aloud that he would never negotiate towards a consensus for Canadians. Why have they all been parrotting this "making Parliament work" line all these years if they had no intentions of even trying?

    It seems that coalition and cooperation are becoming more positive words in this election. I guess that alone is something of a shift.

    • Mr. harper rejects the premise of your post.

  10. Mr. Ignatieff is not like Mr. Harper. In 2004 Mr. Harper met in hotel rooms with "separatists and socialists" weeks, if not months, before the newly-elected parlement first convened.

    Mr. Ignatieff will give Harper a chance. He will let Mr. Harper govern if he has the most seats. He will only speak with Harper, Duceppe, Layton IF the GG asks him to do so.

    Mr. Layton has already declared his willingness to work with Mr. Harper, having done so a thousand times, he said.

    The only leader here unwilling to set aside party differences and work for the common good and the public interest is Stephen Harper.

    No wonder this man sent out Christmas cards of himself admiring photographs of himself.

  11. Ignatieff said they would be willing to form a government if the GG asks him to if Harper can't get the confidence of the house.

    It has nothing to do with Harper winning a minority and Ignatieff denying him anything. Harper played rough with the majority of parliament and is now paying the price.

  12. Even Dion, Layton and Duceppe accepted the corporate tax cuts in the '08 coaltion agreement.

    Harper just finished fighting a campaign on the cuts.

    The idea that he could toss them overboard to keep a minority gov't alive is ridiculous.

    Harper minority = Ignatieff PM

    Unless, of course, the opposition said they'd be willing to drop the demand to stop the corporate tax cuts. Which would never happen.

    Corporate Cats!

  13. Mr. Ignatieff is not like Mr. Harper. In 2004 Mr. Harper met in hotel rooms with "separatists and socialists" weeks, if not months, before the newly-elected parlement first convened.

    Mr. Ignatieff will give Harper a chance. He will let Mr. Harper govern if he has the most seats. He will only speak with Harper, Duceppe, Layton IF the GG asks him to do so.

    Mr. Layton has already declared his willingness to work with Mr. Harper, having done so a thousand times, he said.

    The only leader here unwilling to set aside party differences and work for the common good and the public interest is Stephen Harper.

    No wonder this man sent out Christmas cards of himself admiring photographs of himself.

  14. Ignatieff said they would be willing to form a government if the GG asks him to if Harper can't get the confidence of the house.

    It has nothing to do with Harper winning a minority and Ignatieff denying him anything. Harper played rough with the majority of parliament and is now paying the price.

  15. The premise of the question is perectly legitimate in fact it is incredibly germane, and that is NOT what the other parties are saying.

    • oops.

    • And the cpc cut out the part where Ignatieff also said he would work to compromise with Mr Harper if harper is returned to minority. They are so deliberately misleading; I wonder if it's scaring them.

    • Ted Betts is in agreement:

      Harper minority = Ignatieff PM supported by NDP and BQ

      RIght leaning Canadians everywhere who care about small government (unlike Ted Betts) NEED to vote CPC majority.

      Mice day! Best fishes! Oh hey Its Ted Betts = I claim to support low spending so i'm going to vote for a BIG SPENDING party!!

      • Those right-leaning Canadians who desire smaller government need to RUN for the CPC, not VOTE for them.

      • Harper Minority = Mr. Harper making Ignatieff PM.

  16. Its legitimate for Harper to toss the budget he just got elected on aside ?

    When I vote CPC I expect to be voting for corporate tax cuts. Harper's voters DEMAND he stick to his guns. The opposition's voters DEMAND they stick to their guns. The only logical conclusion is that

    Harper minority = Ignatieff PM.

    Mice away!

  17. If Harper increases his votes and seats the ONLY message is keep on doing what you've been doing.

    Cats away!

  18. oops.

    • Glad you agree:

      Harper minority = Ignatieff PM supported by NDP and BQ.

      Any right leaning Canadian out there needs to elect a CPC majority if they don't want this country to drift far to the left!

      Cats away!

      • Harper minority = Harper PM supported by LPC.

        Why can't that be the case?

  19. It doesn't matter what Harper 'accepts' or 'doesn't accept'.

    He'll either follow the rules or the GG will bash his fingernails out of the 24 Sussex doorjamb with a crowbar.

  20. It doesn't matter what Harper 'accepts' or 'doesn't accept'.

    He'll either follow the rules or the GG will bash his fingernails out of the 24 Sussex doorjamb with a crowbar.

    • Big assumption there, Emily!

  21. And the cpc cut out the part where Ignatieff also said he would work to compromise with Mr Harper if harper is returned to minority. They are so deliberately misleading; I wonder if it's scaring them.

    • Ok cool here goes:

      Harper minority = Ignaiteff PM supported by NDP and BQ

      Like small gov't ?? Vote CPC majority.

      Birds flying pigeons let lose amongst the Cats!!

      • Harper miority = Harper minority

        Like exploding deficits, through the roof government spending?? Continue to vote Conservative.

        Sorry, I don't speak in tongue like other members of the sect.

  22. Glad you agree:

    Harper minority = Ignatieff PM supported by NDP and BQ.

    Any right leaning Canadian out there needs to elect a CPC majority if they don't want this country to drift far to the left!

    Cats away!

  23. Ted Betts is in agreement:

    Harper minority = Ignatieff PM supported by NDP and BQ

    RIght leaning Canadians everywhere who care about small government (unlike Ted Betts) NEED to vote CPC majority.

    Mice day! Best fishes! Oh hey Its Ted Betts = I claim to support low spending so i'm going to vote for a BIG SPENDING party!!

  24. This is getting tiresome. Anybody up for an Easter Bunny Hunt? I'll bring the rifle.

  25. This is getting tiresome. Anybody up for an Easter Bunny Hunt? I'll bring the rifle.

    • You do know that rifle will not hunt if it is not registered.

    • Don't worry Joe. I'll set some snares.

  26. Ok cool here goes:

    Harper minority = Ignaiteff PM supported by NDP and BQ

    Like small gov't ?? Vote CPC majority.

    Birds flying pigeons let lose amongst the Cats!!

  27. Let's hope Mansbridge brings up Harper's total about face on this tomorrow night.

  28. If Harper can't find a few MPs from other parties — or a single opposition party — to support him in minority, he can't hold the confidence of the House and quite correctly cannot form a government. Same is true for any other party. Having the greatest number of minority seats simply means he'd have first crack at winning the confidence of the House. If he can't do that, he cannot govern (and should not). It's possible he could step down as leader and a new Conservative leader could hammer out a compromise with the other parties (becoming PM). Barring that, it's on to another leader to give it a go — or back to the polls.

    As for your tax-cut gibberish, 18% was the corporate rate a year ago — and was 10 points lower than in 2000. We set records for business profits under much higher rates. Pegging the rate at 18% won't harm anything except the deficit.

  29. If Harper can't find a few MPs from other parties — or a single opposition party — to support him in minority, he can't hold the confidence of the House and quite correctly cannot form a government. Same is true for any other party. Having the greatest number of minority seats simply means he'd have first crack at winning the confidence of the House. If he can't do that, he cannot govern (and should not). It's possible he could step down as leader and a new Conservative leader could hammer out a compromise with the other parties (becoming PM). Barring that, it's on to another leader to give it a go — or back to the polls.

    As for your tax-cut gibberish, 18% was the corporate rate a year ago — and was 10 points lower than in 2000. We set records for business profits under much higher rates. Pegging the rate at 18% won't harm anything except the deficit.

    • To paraphrase, he's negotiated to pass a budget before. We know what he is, now we're just arguing about the price.

  30. When things started out, a "coalition" was defined as two or more parties getting together and signing an official agreement to rule with a majority and sharing cabinet to some degree. The Liberals have completely ruled that scenario out.

    So the response from the Conservatives is to now define a "coalition" merely as two or more parties working together to pass legislation.

    Thus the Conservatives have been running a coalition government for five years????? LOL

  31. If. If he doesn't, what's his message?

  32. If. If he doesn't, what's his message?

    • If he doesn't the opposition will take that as a green light to put Ignatieff in as PM.

      Obviously Cats

  33. When you write "he just got elected on" you must mean that his party had a plurality of MPs elected. We don't elect Prime Ministers. Maybe you're thinking of Presidents down south?

    As you know, a plurality may or may not be a majority. If he has a majority, he has no problem with whatever budget he chooses (since he already has absolute control over his MPs, they are rubber stamps in the finest Soviet tradition).

    If the plurality is a minority, he needs to turn it into a majority, presumably by compromising. Because in our parliamentary system, a government needs to command a majority.

    Ignatieff's statement that we "all have to put a little water into our wine" is exactly apt.

    I'm sure you knew all that, really.

    Maybe you'd prefer to change our constitution so that a government needs only a plurality once every four years, and there are no subsequent checks on its power?

  34. A mandate from the people? If you cannot gain the confidence of the people's House, that is your mandate.

  35. Mr. harper rejects the premise of your post.

  36. Incidentally, since you state Harper's voters DEMAND Harper stick to his guns on tax cuts (for corporations of course, not for you — your dollars are needed to make up the revenue shortfall), can I ask you how you felt about Harper promising he "would not tax income trusts" then taxing income trusts?

    And how did you feel about Harper insisting in 2008 that he "would not run a deficit" then running a whopper several years in a row? I forget exactly how much he's added to the federal debt in 2.5 years of his no deficit: is it $100B or $160B?

  37. Harper miority = Harper minority

    Like exploding deficits, through the roof government spending?? Continue to vote Conservative.

    Sorry, I don't speak in tongue like other members of the sect.

  38. Stephen Harper rejects your hypothetical and substitutes his own.

    Who is "your?"

  39. that's because the issue with the coalition was not that two or more parties were getting together. it was that the winning party would be turfed from power by the losing parties. constitutionally valid or not, this scenario is not liked by canadians in general.

  40. Spoken like my 3 year old.
    As an opposition voter, my demand is that my MP's party enters into good-faith negotiations in order to enact as much of their platform as possible, while recognizing that securing all of their demands will not be possible, and not negotiating will result in none<i/> of their demands being met.

  41. Remember, you're arguing with a cat. Seriously, a waste of time.

  42. So, Michael Ignatieff is saying he's willing to continue supporting a Harper minority. What is he asking from Harper in return? Other than asking Harper not to think he's King…

  43. So, Michael Ignatieff is saying he's willing to continue supporting a Harper minority. What is he asking from Harper in return? Other than asking Harper not to think he's King…

  44. Brilliant insight, Cat. Instead of being able to say "well we tried but Harper was stubborn", they'll only be able to say "well, we tried be Harper wouldn't even talk."

  45. To paraphrase, he's negotiated to pass a budget before. We know what he is, now we're just arguing about the price.

  46. Um if the Liberals need the BQ and the NDP on every vote to pass legislation that's not the kind of ad hoc working arrangements we've seen under Harper where he picks and chooses a partner.

    That's a coalition.

    Cats away!

  47. "constitutionally valid or not, this scenario is not liked by canadians in general."

    Really? Care to prove that? I think if you do the math you'll find that 'canadians in general' ie the majority that elected and will elect non-Conservative MPs would very much like a scenario in which a government is formed that includes their MP

    you don't speak for me and you don't speak for canadians in general.

  48. Those right-leaning Canadians who desire smaller government need to RUN for the CPC, not VOTE for them.

  49. I am no fan of Michael Ignatieff, and I have never voted Liberal, but I'll take a Liberal government led by Ignatieff over Thievin' Stephen and his gang of liars any day.

  50. If he doesn't the opposition will take that as a green light to put Ignatieff in as PM.

    Obviously Cats

  51. yes.

    We don't elect Conservative members to compromise.

    Either bow down and let us pass or take power. There will be no water in our wine. We play for keeps.

    Cats away!

  52. I'm sure the majority of Canadians having elected a majority of MPs will be outraged should the MP they voted for become a member of Government. Surely they have something else in mind for those they vote for.

  53. Nope sorry. No water in our wine.

    What are you going to do ? Abstain and accept our agenda or form a coalition and take power ?

    We all know the answer to that one. This game of chicken is going to be played through to the end. Harper doesn't blink.

    Harper minority = Ignaiteff PM.

    Mice day.

  54. They won't. They'll be able to pass legislation with the support of the Conservatives alone.

  55. Harper minority = Harper PM supported by LPC.

    Why can't that be the case?

  56. "Its legitimate for Harper to toss the budget he just got elected on aside?"

    It is if a majority of Canadians rejected it.

  57. just look at the reaction in December 08

  58. just look at the reaction in December 08

    • And since 08 we've had nothing but Harper thumbing his nose at parliament.

    • In December '08, I was at a pro-Coalition rally that had 3000 people at it. The anti-coalition rally had about 200.

  59. I'd be interested in some pundits addressing hypothetical situation number three: the Conservatives fall just short of achieving a majority (say around the high 140s/low 150s). How likely is it that some of the more right-leaning members of the Liberal caucus would rather cross the floor than put their faith in what would likely be a very weak Liberal minority government which is utterly dependent on the NDP and Bloc?

    Intelligent thoughts on this scenario would be welcome.

  60. actually, yes, NDP votes are not cast in the hope of electing a Liberal PM, and neither are Bloc votes. and Liberal votes, in many cases, are not cast in the hope of implementing parts of the NDP platform.

    the Liberals are trying to pass a fast one on the voters. it's not right.

  61. I'd be interested in some pundits addressing hypothetical situation number three: the Conservatives fall just short of achieving a majority (say around the high 140s/low 150s). How likely is it that some of the more right-leaning members of the Liberal caucus would rather cross the floor than put their faith in what would likely be a very weak Liberal minority government which is utterly dependent on the NDP and Bloc?

    Intelligent thoughts on this scenario would be welcome.

    • Any elected Liberal MP thinking of doing so need only look at Emerson for the result.

      They might get their five years.. but it'd be their last five.

      And even then, they'd be doing it knowing that under Mr. Harper they'd have no say whatsoever.

    • they might – MIGHT – support him on an issue by issue basis against iggy's wishes. But I doubt anyone is subjecting themselves to Harper's leadership by deserting the LPC.

      • My thoughts exactly. When it comes to attracting MPs from other parties, Harper's shot himself in the foot by being so utterly unlikable.

    • The media is really quiet on this issue. Strange.

      • they're trying to track down your auto dialler villian…

        • Cogent arguments only – please and thank you.

    • The CPC lost their minds when Stronach crossed the floor well in to a mandate, ostensibly because she lost faith in the leadership of her old party and had hopes for what the leadership of her new party had in mind. Emerson was induced to cross the floor seconds after he won his riding as a Liberal candidate, but his party lost power. Fresh from the battles, having excoriated the CPC. Both of these examples caused quite a bit of debate over floor crossing generally.

      Liberals right now would say your proposal would be an affront to how our system works. However, they are also arguing at the same time that their leader can be considered a potential PM, if he can demonstrate he has the confidence of the House after the election. To my mind, you can't have it both ways. For Ignatief to claim he has the confidence of the House, MPs from two other parties that have just fought a battle against him will have to stand and be counted as having confidence in him.

      • Conservatives, however, face the opposite conunudrum: if they argue that a combined majority of the House can't declare a ministry, because it would be a betrayal of their voters' expectations, then they can't accept floor crossers immediately after an election, which they have already done.

  62. actually, yes, NDP votes are not cast in the hope of electing a Liberal PM, and neither are Bloc votes. and Liberal votes, in many cases, are not cast in the hope of implementing parts of the NDP platform.

    the Liberals are trying to pass a fast one on the voters. it's not right.

    • "constitutionally valid or not"

      "it's not right"

      Pick an argument, will ya?

    • Ah, so those votes are cast in the hope of implementing a Liberal, Bloc or NDP platform in its entirety and, fail that, implementing nothing of the aforementioned platforms, but instead the Conservative platform?

      Funny that Conservative voters seem to know so much more of Liberal, Bloc and NDP voter intentions than do those voters themselves.

    • Are we to ignore the fact then that in this so-called "coalition" scenario, the leaders of the NDP and BLOC are SUPPORTING a Liberal government?

      In case you missed it, that means they're representing their constituents by judging what they should and shouldn't support.

      How is that any different then during any other period for these minority parties?

  63. The election is starting to become very surreal, Harper and Ignatieff seem to be fighting over who can do the better job of invoking Wells' fourth rule.

    Ignatieff doesn't appear to have a prayer of winning a plurality, but Harper seems to be indicating that he will go out of his way to avoid getting the confidence of the house.

    Coyne's statement that everyone is losing, looks like it will be borne out.

  64. 'The other parties “are saying that even if we receive a mandate from the people they will defeat us on our budget if they can,” he maintained. “They will get together and form another alternative, of some other kind of government.”'

    The other parties are saying that? Hmm. I must have missed something along the way. But let's say he's right. Didn't Harper throw a bunch of money at Quebec as HST compensation AFTER the election was called? That was what the BQ was asking for before the election. Assuming he's going to stick to his election promise to throw money at Quebec, it stands to reason the BQ might prop him up, at least until the TS and budget are passed.

    • Harper would reject everything you just wrote.

  65. A Conservative majority would be the worse nightmare to hit the Canadian people since the second world war! Harper has said he is prepared to change Canada so none of us will recognize it! Take him at his word!

    A minority Government is just fine. Stall for time until we rid the Western Provinces (including BC) and the northern Premiers and then, have another Federal Election and get rid of the Federal Conservatives. Think positive here; the Liberals could have a chance to re write their phony red book and elect a new leader!

  66. this is brilliant ….. Iggy running around in circles after chweing his own foot off – the best part is that he basically has told Stevie okay I will let you hold me up for the next 2 rounds of the fight .. in the meantime Layton slicing and dicing off of the LPT and most of the other harper hater votes !!! – and Harper diodn't have to drive the agenda on his game plan as Iggy is doing it for him hahahahahaha!

    • Look, unless you're Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, you need to use punctuation. Is that so much to ask?

      • Latte-sipping elitist!

    • They seem to have added a hallucinogen to the Kool Aid.

  67. You're simply wrong.

  68. For the few principled CPC supporters who remain. I put to you, Mr. Harper has now made clear that if he comes even one seat shy from his vaunted majority, he will do absolutely nothing to make sure *anything* that you want comes to fruition. He will refuse to bend even an inch, and so lose you everything. He's willing to throw all of you under the bus for a final desparate shot for personal power.

    Is this really what you want in a leader?

    There's only one way to get rid of Harper. Don't vote for CPC candidates this election.

    When that's done, consider running as a CPC candidate in the next. You're probably a better representative for your riding than the current candidate anyway.

    • Assuming the Conservatives achieve a very strong minority, I don't see them making any conciliatory gestures that would be seen as "bending over backwards" to satiate the opposition, given that their last budget was pretty centrist to begin with. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if a "revised" budget were introduced which threw the other parties a bone or two in the form of some increased funding for caregivers or seniors.

      If that's not enough for the opposition, it may just be better to let the Liberals form their minority government rather than dilute the Conservative platform any further. Not an ideal situation given that centre-right voters like myself wouldn't be happy, but it may give people enough of a "reality check" to see what would happen to the country if a weak Liberal government beholden to the NDP and Bloc were given power. Hopefully that won't happen though…

    • Mr. T.
      Why would Mr. Harper want to answer that question. The underlying assumption behind the question is "if he gets a minority"
      Mr. Marper's objective is a majority. If he answers the question then he is admitting that the majority is in doubt or is not achievable. The polls tell him otherwise.
      When Iggy replied to the question on CBC yesterday he already knew that he hasn't any hope for a majority and is likely not going to recieve the largest # of seats in a minority parliment. So he had nothing to lose and maybe something to gain.

      • First, pretty much every poll these days *does* have his majority in doubt.

        Second, things have been close enough for so long, that even if a majority wasn't in doubt, he could still say that "We don't think we'll get a minority at all, but of course if one happens we'll be willing to work with other parties if they're reasonable"

        Third, he *did* answer the question when he went on about the opposition trying to take him down, despite what Mr. Ignatieff has said throughout, that he'd be willing to work with anyone.

        Fortunately, I did direct my initial comment toward "principled" CPC supporters.. not spin-doctors like yourself.

        • You don't have the faintest idea to whom you are speaking. Take off eh!

  69. Wow, Harper totally flubbed the opening this provided. Instead of putting on his Statesman Sweater and pulling in disaffected centrist voters and those on the fence about supporting him, he doubles down on his scary coalition talk and allows Ignatieff to remind those centrist voters of those tendencies in Harper that have kept him from majority so far – that he's autocratic and unwilling to compromise, ever.

    Now he just seems to be preaching to the converted…not sure how that gets him to 155 though.

    • Dear 70% of the country: I know you hate me, but if you vote for the parties you like they might win instead of me!

  70. Aaron, Vague notions, april 7

    When you think about the idea of a coalition government in Canada do you have a positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or negative impression?

    Positive 18%
    Somewhat positive 22%
    Somewhat negative 17%
    Negative 32%
    Unsure 12%

  71. They corporate tax cuts were passed before we had the deficit. That is the difference.

  72. I think what Mr Harper said was that he doesn't believe the opposition parties have a genuine interest in considering any budget a Conservative minority government would put forward:

    “If you look at what they're saying in this campaign, it is very clear. They're saying that even if we receive a mandate from the people, they will defeat us on our budget if they can. They will get together and form another alternative of some other kind of government.”

    I don't think the above statement bars Harper from making a few minor adjustments to the budget (a bone or two, as I put it above) in the hopes of bringing some opposition MPs on side. Are you thinking of something else he said? Post links or quotes if possible please.

      • From the above article:

        He (the Finance Minister) said the only possible changes to the budget would be updates to the economic assumptions used for fiscal planning.

        "But fundamentally it would be the same document, updated if necessary," he said.

        I see that as a possible "out" for explaining how a new budget could contain a few updated items which some opposition MPs could support. It's a grey area, but that's politics for you – I'm under no illusion otherwise. Bismarck's famous comparison between politics and sausage making comes to mind…

        • So you're saying you're fine if they lie. Gotcha. I guess this means I'm still waiting for my comment to be responded to by one of the folks it was actually addressed to.

          Now, to your other point, once again I see the assumption being made that Liberal minority government would have to rely on the NDP and Bloc. Please tell me why that would be, unless, as I said before, Mr. Harper would prefer to get absolutely *nothing* of the CPC agenda done than compromise.

          • I guess what I'm saying is there is political rhetoric and then there is reality. All of the parties have engaged in partisan political rhetoric, and all have been caught telling lies. That's politics, and that's human nature. It's sad, but that's reality. As long as the party I vote for sticks makes an effort to stick to the major planks of their platform, I'm largely happy. If they don't, then they better have a good reason, or I won't vote for them the next go 'round.

            Regarding my other point, I would expect the Conservatives to vote against any motion put forward by a hypothetical Liberal minority which seriously deviates from the Conservative vision of government. Also, I wouldn't be upset if the Conservatives started abstaining from votes if said hypothetical Liberal government started becoming too beholden to the NDP and the Bloc. If that happens, the Liberals would have to rely on the Bloc and NDP to get their bills passed.

          • Is wastoing billions of dollars one crappy jets that don't fill our needs a part of the "Conservative vision of government"? Was destoyring the usefulness of the long-form census part of it? How about the PM kicking citizens out of his rallies when they do not appear to be sycophantic enough. What about losing that seat on the UN Security Council? What about pledging to support Israel no matter what war crimes that state commits? How about cutting funding to women's groups? How about taking away women's right to choose?

            Are those all part of the "Conservative vision of government"? If so it and you can go to h3ll.

  73. “They will get together and form another alternative, of some other kind of government.”

    You keep saying that, Prime Minister. And people who type before they think keep interpreting that as a declaration that it's illegal or unconstitutional. They keep complaining that you are confusing Canadians. Now I see why they complain about that.

    When you say this "some other kind of government" WILL happen, the unthinking typists hear you say that this "some other kind of government" cannot happen. So they are indeed confused by ordinary meanings of common words. How dare you confuse them with ordinary meanings of common words.

  74. Harper has run this campaign from the beginning as Con majority vs coalition. Obviously he thinks this is a winning hand.
    By each opp. leader confirming they would vote down the budget as it was first given, they are allowing Harper to fulfill his own prophecy. All he has to do is promise to push that dead-on-arrival budget, and now he has forced the choice on Canadians that he wanted us to be considering all along.
    It may not be nice or good for Canada, but Harper has succeeded in framing this election exactly how he wants it. Now it truly is Harper majority vs coalition of some kind.

    • Actually, Ignatieff took great pains today to say that he won't vote down a new budget sight unseen. Only Harper is saying that they will.

      • He's trying to avoid the binary choice Harper is forcing on the electorate. However, he also stated very clearly that he would not support the past budget if reintroduced. So it is not sight unseen. All Harper has to do is promise to introduce the same budget and Ignatieff will either have to recant that position or concede that Harper's government will be voted down on its first budget, and as he has just stated, he may offer to form a government himself.

        • Didn't the Conservatives also promise Quebec the $2.2B HST harmonization in their platform? I suspect that would be enough to win the support of the BQ…so whether or not he reintroduces the same budget is sorta moot, no?

          • Yeah, that may be the wild card, but in terms of public relations, is Ignatieff's rallying cry going to be: its safe to deny Harper a majority because the Bloc will prop them up?

  75. In other words:

    "I got the ball fair and square, and if nobody wants to play the game that I want, well…I'm just gonna piss all over the court".

  76. Translation of this post:

    How dare Harper dissagree with us!

  77. Note to Liberals,

    If you think trotting out a bunch of constitutional lawyers arguing that a coalition with a socialist and, more importantly, a seperatist party which avowedly wishes to destroy our Country, is technically legal,

    will convince the public that such a course of action is good for them,

    you are more deeply enmeshed in that cocoon that we could have imagined.

    It's "legal" for me to stay at home, not get a job and drink vodka all day. No lawyer can tell me that I'm breaking the law. But would the public approve of that?

    You keep clinging to process, and ignore substance, and we'll see how that turns out for you.

    • I agree with you post Chet.