466

The sound of stopping Harper


 

Two articles today make arguments Stephen Harper predicted on the day in March when he visited Rideau Hall. Tonight’s, from Postmedia:

“‘Say Mr. Harper is returned with a comparable minority’ to what he has now, says Franks. ‘Say within a few weeks of Parliament meeting there’s a vote on the speech to the throne and Mr. Harper is defeated. The Governor General is then entitled to determine if any other party leader will enjoy the confidence of the House of Commons.’

“…Ignatieff has not explicitly ruled out the idea of trying to lead a non-coalition, minority Liberal government if the Conservatives fail to secure the majority Harper says is crucial for the country, and then fail to secure enough support in Parliament to govern.”

This morning’s, from the Globe:

“Stack it all up, set events in motion, and they tumble toward a Tory minority government quickly falling and being replaced by a Liberal government propped up by at least the NDP. (Conservative partisans: Please note the lack of the word ‘coalition’ in the preceding sentence. Liberal partisans: Please note that nothing your leader has promised rules out such a move.)

“…Errol Mendes, professor of constitutional and international law at the University of Ottawa’s faculty of law, says there will be no stay of execution: whatever the risks, the opposition will move immediately. The Tories are ‘doomed’ in a minority situation, he says…”

There will be more and more of this discussion as election day approaches. Its effect on voter intentions is hard to predict.

 

 

 


 

The sound of stopping Harper

  1. Better batten down the hatches, there are dangers lapping at our shores, and look over there on the distant horizon PIRATES!

  2. Better batten down the hatches, there are dangers lapping at our shores, and look over there on the distant horizon PIRATES!

  3. I think if Harper returns a minority it is up to him what happens. Put together middle of the road policy most can agree on, he'll be able to stay.

  4. I think if Harper returns a minority it is up to him what happens. Put together middle of the road policy most can agree on, he'll be able to stay.

    • Matt, I don't agree with you. The Libs, NDP and possibly the Bloc will get together in some kind of an arrangement to" throw the bums out " and will try to form a government that is doomed to fail. The election in 2012 will be a blow out.

      • I suspect you are not only wrong, but deliberately fearmongering for partisan reasons.

        • I absolutely agree. It's not only Harper's willingness to work with others, it's his manner and attitude. Minority government can work, but not if he continues to give us more of the same. PM_SHrug deliberately goads the opposition in his endless and hopefully futile bid for a majority. With him in charge we don't have a government at all, we simply have a relentless PR machine.

          • Yeah, see, and so it doesn't matter what SH does after he wins a plurality, you have already decided that he is a big meany who does not know how to play nice. This point needs to be understood: no matter what Harper does after winning a plurality, the opposition will claim that he is refusing to compromise and refusing to work with others. If his throne speech is conciliatory, he will be accused of doing not enough, and deliberately goading. That's the point.

            And look, at the very least this is a bit of a vicious cycle. Harper doesn't think the Opposition will cooperate, so he buckles down. The opposition refuses to cooperate because Harper has buckled down. And so on and so forth.

          • Yeah, see, and so it doesn't matter what SH does after he wins a plurality, you have already decided that he is a big meany who does not know how to play nice.

            Many of us have already decided this – not because we're closed-minded, but because there is five years' worth of evidence to support our belief.

            And look, at the very least this is a bit of a vicious cycle. Harper doesn't think the Opposition will cooperate, so he buckles down.

            It's not the opposition's job to cooperate – it's the opposition's job to oppose. And if the opposition does cooperate, they will be slammed as being too weak to be an effective opposition.

          • "Many of us have already decided this – not because we're closed-minded, but because there is five years' worth of evidence to support our belief."

            Then, let us stop with the idle comments like Mike T. above, to whom I was ultimately responding, that suggest that if Harper gives a good throne speech, he can form government. This is not true. A elected Harper plurality will be defeated at the first opportunity, NO MATTER WHAT, by the opposition parties.

            "It's not the opposition's job to cooperate – it's the opposition's job to oppose. And if the opposition does cooperate, they will be slammed as being too weak to be an effective opposition."

            So you know that Harper won't play nice, and you expect the opposition to not be weak. Yep, this is a good formula for effective minority government.

            And by the way, that's important. I agree with your statement in the context of majority governments. But in the context of minority governments, the opposition is not there only to oppose, but also to be constructive participants in government. And this is where my comment about it being a vicious cycle is pertinent. If Harper perceived that the opposition was not interested in cooperating but only opposing, then he buckled down and his buckling down caused the opposition to only oppose. Two way street. Some don't see this, I understand.

          • It doesn't necessarily have to be either/or. Perhaps fresh election results will cause all MP's to stop and listen to what voters are telling them. They may just decide to make some changes in their behavior out of respect for the voters.

            There is a real possibility that Harper will have to decide to listen to all voters, not just Conservatives, or loose government. I'd bet he could find a way to make a minority work if he wanted to. There would be a lot to gain with voters for any and all who improve cooperation in Parliament.

            It's a lovely spring day where I live. It is sort of coloring my outlook.

          • A elected Harper plurality will be defeated at the first opportunity, NO MATTER WHAT, by the opposition parties.

            ***

            This is somewhere between an unsupported guess and outright falsehood.

          • I'd widen it a bit more than that.. just a guess. Not necessarily unsupported. The contempt issue, and Mr. Harper's insistence that he will keep the same budget that all three parties opposed the same, tends to provide some support for the idea.

            That said, I can see multiple ways around it, most involving some flexibility on Mr. Harper's part. If he can arrange that, he may be able to maintain minority power. Their does remain the question of does he want it that badly? There are some indications that his personal life is starting to suffer, and his grip on the CPC is beginning to weaken as the reformers continually chafe, and who knows, he may want a way to cleanly step out before the results of in-and-out and afghan make it to public light.

          • On a post that links to two separate articles where this very argument is made, you accuse me of fanciful guesswork or malicious lying? You sir, are incredible (in the pejorative sense, of course).

          • Well the post was likely made to discuss the ideas in the links and not just accept that they must be true.

            Many claims are made in an election and they all are not going to be true because some of them are mutally exclusive.

            I doubt we should limit our vision of the future to just two possiblities. Almost guaranteed to be surprised with that option.

          • Honestly, I think the Liberals aren't keen on forming a very weak majority. I can't see them going for it if they have less than 110-120 seats. They'd probably be willing if Harper forced their hand with another poison pill, but they could probably be convinced to let him to continue to muddle along.

          • Agree to disagree.

          • no. you are making up unjustified stories.

          • The Libs/NDP/Bloc have already shown tremendous patience with the Harper Govt. and we can see they do not vote against motions of confidence willy-nilly. It will be Harper's fault if this scenario plays out, I would not expect Harper (of 04' or today) to leave the GG alone nearly as long as the Liberals would if the roles were filpped.

    • So, he should keep doing what he's been doing all along? Why are we having this election again?

      • For with-holding budgetary information in contempt of parliament. How did you not know that?

        • So says Mike—The voters say the contempt call was an excuse for the election. The voters will punish the Liberals for playing with the rules.

          • You are welcome to look it up.

          • You're speaking for voters now Blue?

          • I have complete trust in the Canadian voter recognizing a bull$hit opposition contempt vote and taking that into consideration on May 2nd.

          • Wow! You sure do want it all your way don't you? Minority opposition parties can't exercise their inherent majority in the house,[ Harper circa 97/04 wouldn't agree with you by the way] but no doubt you'll have no problem with Mr H exercising his in a majority govt.It's called democracy bud…you really should learn yourself some about it!

          • The only people who believe that it was proper to refer to the Canadian government as contemptible are the opposition and their most partisan supporters. It was such an extreme and blatantly transparent action, and for what reason, a disagreement over accounting practices.

            We trust governments ( majority and minority ) to govern honourably when we elect them, just as we expect opposition parties to act responsibly, especially in a minority situation.

          • yeah….he lost the confidence of the house so we are having an election….

          • "The only people who believe that it was proper to refer to the Canadian government as contemptible are the opposition and their most partisan supporters"?

            First of all, they were found "in contempt" and not "contemptible" (although I find them the latter). There is a difference.

            How is it "an extreme and blatantly transparent action" to demand costing for bills that are put forward for you to approve? Do you even know why the government fell? It wasn't because of the "In and Out" scam, as you imply with your post. The confidence motion was based on the government being found in contempt for not releasing the cost projections for bills that were put forward in Parliament.

            You last statement is very telling. Yes, we do "trust governments ( majority and minority ) to govern honourably when we elect them". However, we (non-Conservatives), the majority in Canada, do not trust this government. Don't you agree that is a good reason for an election?

    • you are out to lunch if you think he will have time to 'put together … policy'. It has already been decided. The hour that a minority PCP happens, the coalition begins. The spin has already been prepared . . .

      • no.

    • If the Conservative party wins a minority, with Stephen Harper as PM, the Government will not survive the Throne Speech. SH can't/won't compromise or, work with the other parties. He has HIS plan and "damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!" to get his agenda put in place. Frankly, _his_ agenda scares the crap out of me, especially this newest addition to the "Law and Order" Bill. Full surveillance on anyone at anytime via their ISP. Automatic permission to obtain anyone's personal information, email, blogs, _everything_ without a warrant? Forcing your ISP to keep full records on everything you do online at whenever 'they' request it. That is undue invasion of privacy. That isn't "Law and Order" that is fascism. Mr Harper has stated that he will implement that directive within 100 days of being giving a mandate to rule. Once he does, no one will ever be safe to speak their mind on the 'Net again. Places like this will be illegal, unless we all practice 'good speak' of the Leader.

  5. Isn't our system based on which party will enjoy the confidence of the House of Commons? What's all the fuss about?

  6. Isn't our system based on which party will enjoy the confidence of the House of Commons? What's all the fuss about?

    • most of the fuss has to do with a party that is set to destroy Canada, ruling it. Yep, that's the fuss.

      • a party with duly elected MPs….sounds democratic to me……..and I live out west and I hear a LOT of the same kinda BS about "western seperation"…..I think I know who is trying to "destroy Canada"…and it isn't the Bloc

        • if Liberals keep treating Alberta like a piggy bank for paying the ransom demands of a bunch of whiny retarded socialists in quebec, i dont think it's albertan separatists who will have destroyed canada.

          if an abusive husband pushes his wife to leave, the one responsible for the breakup is the husband, not the wife.

          and make no mistake, Ontario and Quebec have abused Alberta for > 30 years now.

          • Liberals? Don't look now bub, but it was Mr. Harper who's promised them an additional 2.2 billion.

          • yes i know, that's bad enough. and that's from the mean and intransigent Harper. just imagine the squishy liberals who will need support from the bloc to survive. 2.2 billion will be a rounding error in the concessions made to quebec by such a "government".

          • Except that's the problem. We *know* what Mr. Harper and his government will do. We have evidence.

            What's your evidence as to what an alternative might do? You have none, because we've never seen any of the alternatives in a governing position. And don't tell me "it's just what Liberals do" after almost a decade of balanced budgets under the Liberals. History has shown that the trite ideas about each parties approach to economics and budgeting holds little water.

            As such, you're making statements completely unsupported by facts.. the only thing speaking there is unfounded fear.

          • fair enough. now, let's not kid ourselves and pretend you would consider voting for Harper if he hadnt offered this 2.2 billion tax harmonization deal. you're a partisan liberal and (crossing fingers) there is nothing wrong with that, per se, sort of.

            but i have a pretty good idea of what the liberals would do. i may be wrong. this idea is based on my impressions of the liberal party over the years and iggy in particular. my impressions may be wrong.

            but, to the extent that my statements are unsupported by facts, and only unfounded fear (i prefer the expression "reasonable paranoia"), so are every single bit of scaremongering surrounding a harper majority we've now endured by the likes of you for over 8 years. nobody has any evidence of how harper would govern with a majority, so all they have is unfounded fear.

      • Care to back that with any evidence? If Bloc MPs are not allowed to support governments, why was it ok for Harper to rely on their support to pass budgets in the past? If they aren't allowed to support governments and want to destroy the country, how is it that Harper is such a gutless dweeb and doesn't ban the party and expell those members of the house?

  7. Matt, I don't agree with you. The Libs, NDP and possibly the Bloc will get together in some kind of an arrangement to" throw the bums out " and will try to form a government that is doomed to fail. The election in 2012 will be a blow out.

  8. Hello Harper Majority!

  9. Hello Harper Majority!

    • Hello Pat Martin, Minister of International Cooperation!

    • That’s certainly the effect on voter intention that I would predict :p

    • Claudia, you've been very consistent with this prediction for quite some time now.
      There is still campaigning left and though Stephen Harper is playing it safe, you never can tell what is going to crop up, and why it might stick with voters.
      I suspect there will be a Conservative carpet bombing ad campaign during the last week to ten days before the vote. Overselling can turn voters off too.

      I certainly hope your analysis is incorrect, and I guess we'll see how the dice shake out May 2.

      • I know you hope Ignatieff wins, all I can say is that the only way he can win is if Harper blows it, which it is always a possibility!

        • To tell you the truth, at this point I have no real hope that Michael can win.
          My hope is that a lesser Conservative minority will shake Mr Harper out of the leader's chair. My beef is with him, more than the party; I find his style cheap and divisive. No thank you.
          Once he steps down/retires I am once again open to voting Conservative.

          • I don't know if he will be kicked out of the party, I think they understand that he is the glue to keep together, but that's my opinion, I think there is going to be a lot of Stephen Harper to come, I agree he can be painfully partisan and that's annoying.

    • Fans of throwing Harper out should be gratified to see the poll results reported today wherein 49 per cent oppose a "coalition", 40 per cent support one, and 12 per cent are undecided.

      What I find encouraging here is that Harepr has spent a few years now spewing misinformation about the legality of a coalition, and not a single party leader at this point accepts the idea, but the anti-coalition argument can't even muster a majority in support.

      I think this speaks to the intelligence of Canadians. I have no doubt that if Harper fails to get a majority, and continues to refuse to negotiate policy with the majority in the House, then a large majority of Canadians will be quite prepared to see if a cooperative minority government led by Ingatieff can govern successfully.

      At this point, there is no reason to think he couldn't form such a government, and polls suggests Canadians will be fine with it, and with seeing Harper walk out the door of 24 Sussex into whatever his next act might be.

    • Our media is refusing to give credibility to the warning of our PM about deal to ignore the election results. How much will the Bloc get from the Lib-NDP coalition?

      English minority in QC are already under repressive laws. All Federal buildings will force French on their employees in Quebec? Eliminating uni-lingual Supreme Court judges already has support from Lib-NDP.

      Lib-NDP desperation to gain power is weakening our respect for Parliament.

      • You still don't get how minority govt might ideally work. If the libs openly support such a move by the BQ [ by the way it's up to Harper to put this question to them…if it is unpopular enough you'll see the libs back off] then the cons can help raise a hue and cry in the country and compel the govt to change course. If the bloc were unwise enough to force the Lib/NDPs hand there is room for the cons to support the govt. It's messy, sure. But that's allowed for in the house rules.Issue by issue is perfectly legit…it's how Harper has survived this long.

        But i take your point, this should be aired during the election.

        • You should read the Book from Brian Topp. This is a done deal. All three opposition leaders have moved their platforms to be insync. Why else was the Democratic reform blocked by them?
          http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2011/04/media-p

          I have ZERO problem with Lib-NDP coalition if they outnumber the CPC. The Bloc is the kingmaker is my only problem.
          If the CPC are one seat short of a majority do you think outside Quebec the Parliament will be seen as legit? Take a look at the LGR vote or the 2008 election. Large swaths of of Canada will be excluded from the levers of power to stop the incumbent from running his minority government.

          The last budget was not a right wing budget. In the last five years the CPC have kept spending in all the big areas of concern (health, education, social services) in spite of the global recession.
          http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2011/04/will-cohttp://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2011/04/volderm

          • I have a problem with LIB/NDP coalition, agreement ot whatever they want to call it, with the block or without the block. I am voting for who I want to govern I am ok if he loses fair and square but not because of a backdoor deal.

          • You are not alone. I don't expect the Liberals or NDP to lose any sleep in removing the PM if he win 154 seats. They have been clear and ony a majority will prevent the next Bloc enabled coup.

            Why else did the opposition delay democratic reform legislation? Why did the Liberals adopt the NDP platform? Dion did not tack as far left as the Ignatieff Liberals.

            Dion forced NDP-BLOC to allow corporate tax rates to drop to spur growth and investment. The current leadership in Liberals have lost all centrist fiscal blue Liberals.

  10. Curt in the subthread above makes a point that few have commented on but which is critical.

    A coaltion between the Libs, NDP, and with the Bloc's support (which I agree is inevitable if the CPC does not get a majority) will be be about as unstable as one can imagine, and likely not survive a few months (recall minority governments in general historically do not last long, Harper being the exception). Once the coalition implodes, it would be a near certainty for a majority government which follows.

    Majority now, or in a few months. I the political winds are certainly favouring the CPC…..life shattering revelations about the CPC not wanting Liberals in their rallies notwithstanding.

  11. Curt in the subthread above makes a point that few have commented on but which is critical.

    A coaltion between the Libs, NDP, and with the Bloc's support (which I agree is inevitable if the CPC does not get a majority) will be be about as unstable as one can imagine, and likely not survive a few months (recall minority governments in general historically do not last long, Harper being the exception). Once the coalition implodes, it would be a near certainty for a majority government which follows.

    Majority now, or in a few months. I the political winds are certainly favouring the CPC…..life shattering revelations about the CPC not wanting Liberals in their rallies notwithstanding.

    • First of all I believe you mean "Aye, the political winds are certainly favouring the CPC …" or else "I believe the political winds are certainly favouring the CPC …"

      Anyway, There could be some sort of accord where the Bloc agrees not to bring the government down for at least 18 months. As long as there is no photo-op it will go fine.

      • It'll go fine, until they run out of money. Think about it: the Libs need the NDP (spend, spend, spend) and the Bloc (give more to Quebec) to hang on. Those two parties will be like pigs at the trough, and the Libs will have to let them, or go to the polls again. By the time they figure it out, Canadians will be ready to boot them all out. I agree that the winds (short term and long term) are favoring the PCP.

        • …or they will be aware that the Conservatives are barking at the door, just waiting to defeat the government at the slightest pretext, so they can get back in power.

          Perhaps, that would convince them to moderate their demands…

    • Holy crap. That actually made sense. See what happens when you get your return key fixed, chet?

      That said, I disagree first that such a thing is inevitable. I can see the Liberals using a C&S agreement to get the Bloc and the NDP onside without going for a full coalition, and depending on how those C&S agreements are set up, we could be relatively stable for a couple of years. If such a thing governs well, we might wind up with a "normal" minority government on the Liberal side, with a much stronger NDP sitting alongside the CPC in opposition, along with a much weaker Bloc.

      That's my hope, anyway.

    • With the winds I smell a touch of Afghanistan, In-n-Out, meddling with RCMP, $B more for planes, and structural deficits.

  12. I think if Harper tries to act like an adult and works with the other parties, he can run a minority. If he starts his usual partisan crap and refuses to cooperate, he'll be gone. So I'm guessing he falls on the throne speech.

    If Harper does win a minority…and let's not forget that his campaign is sucking donkey genitalia…and he is brought down though, I suspect the Liberals can run a relatively stable government for 18 months or a year. Such a defeat would be the end of Harper, so they would have some time while the Conservatives (and probably the NDP), replace their leaders and the new leaders get broken in.

  13. I think if Harper tries to act like an adult and works with the other parties, he can run a minority. If he starts his usual partisan crap and refuses to cooperate, he'll be gone. So I'm guessing he falls on the throne speech.

    If Harper does win a minority…and let's not forget that his campaign is sucking donkey genitalia…and he is brought down though, I suspect the Liberals can run a relatively stable government for 18 months or a year. Such a defeat would be the end of Harper, so they would have some time while the Conservatives (and probably the NDP), replace their leaders and the new leaders get broken in.

    • First of all won't have time to run anything. It will be a coalition in seconds.

      As for the Libs lasting 18 months, I might agree, but it would be nothing close to stable. The NDP and the Bloc would have a field day, they would all spend like drunken sailors, and the Liberals would pay the electoral price.

      • Your prescription is Tory majority or Tory minority that is all but a majority in every sense but name, nothing else is legit…there's a word for that, and it doesn't start with D.

        • something else is legit. this other option most people seem to have forgotten about because its so unlikely. but once upon a time in Canada that's how governments were formed.

          think about it: the Liberals could win the election.

          i know it sounds crazy, but it's a possibility.

          • Ah, the no coalition of losers arguement re formatted, cute.

            If Harper ran a truly cooperative minoriity the rug the liberals stand on would be whipped from under their feet. They could continue howling at the moon if they liked, but noone woulld be listening. People are listening now for a reason. Right now the public is trying to decide who's less wrong.

    • A Reverend! and such language! Very funny, though.
      I agree with your point. If PM_SHrug ever decided to "play well with others," he'd have had his majority long a ago, especially given the weakness of the opposition over the last few years. I am beginning to have the feeling that history will view his downfall as being caused by his obsession with "annihilating" the Liberal party. It is perhaps the most destructive motivation of any Canadian politician since I've been here. It is destructive to him, but also for the country, which is the sad part. If he were obsessed with the good of the country instead, he might even have been a great PM.

      • Somebody who can't even write his name without making fun of him as if he was in the school yard goes on to suggest that it's all Harper's fault that the other parties won't cooperate. Yeah, okay, I'll be taking your view into serious consideration. *shaking head no* Thanks for the input Dick Sillypants!

  14. Based on the recent ipsos poll that shows their is a constituency that supports a co-operation of non-Conservative parties and that Jack is most like of the three opposition leaders, would it make sense for him to stake out a clear "coalition" position, i.e. the NDP would support a Lib minority if x,y,z. or be so bold to state what would be non-negotiable terms for a Layton lead minority?
    He seems to be getting squeezed bad by the Liberals, if he offers the clear "coalition/co-operation" option, how do they Liberals respond? Insist their platform is implemented as is ala Harper my way or highway? How well will Ignatieff respond when first questioned, what are you willing to offer the Bloc and NDP to pass a budget?

  15. Based on the recent ipsos poll that shows their is a constituency that supports a co-operation of non-Conservative parties and that Jack is most like of the three opposition leaders, would it make sense for him to stake out a clear "coalition" position, i.e. the NDP would support a Lib minority if x,y,z. or be so bold to state what would be non-negotiable terms for a Layton lead minority?
    He seems to be getting squeezed bad by the Liberals, if he offers the clear "coalition/co-operation" option, how do they Liberals respond? Insist their platform is implemented as is ala Harper my way or highway? How well will Ignatieff respond when first questioned, what are you willing to offer the Bloc and NDP to pass a budget?

    • Anything they ask is good enough for Iggy. Want a billion for your pet project Jack? No problem we will just up corporate taxes. What about you Gilles? OK I'll give you two billion for the new wind mill farm in Lac St. Jean. We will just implement our new and improved Green Shift program as outlined in our Red Book. Now lets gather around the camp fire and sing…….

      • That's ridiculous, the Liberals don't govern like that. In fact, once in government they adopt a more centrist way of governing. Chretien and Martin did it well. No one can say we were worst off in 1999 than we are now.

        • Chretien Majorities. Martin Minority. Bye, Bye, Paulie. Oh what's on your napkin Jack? $4.2 billion? No problem Jack.

        • Hate to break it to you, but the Libs would have their back to the wall, and would have to spend at Mr. Layton and the french guy's request. Like it or lump it, that is the way it will go.

          • They would have more leverage then you imply. If it was not a coalition terms would have to be negotiated. Sure they might pressure the libs, but they would have no cabinet posts and the libs could always finally say – it's us or Harper – take your pick. I doubt they would take the later – once bitten and all that.Fear is a strong motive to cooperate. Really the only alternative would be a decade of Harper…yikes!
            But what do i know. I haven't a clue how these things are worked out really, and my guess is neither do you.

          • Well, IF there were to be some form of co-operative agreement of the opposition parties, it would all depend on the numbers of seats everyone got. IF PM_SHrug lost a few seats, and IF the Liberals gained a few, then the balance tilts a bit. There could be a scenario in which the Liberals and NDP held the majority of seats and wouldn't need the Bloc. That aside, what's needed to govern the country in a minority situation is the willingness of parties to commit to working together for the good of the country. Since being PM, SHrug has needed opposition parties to vote with the government to get anything passed. That is indeed a "coalition issue by issue." Precisely what he's arguing against now.

          • Actually no, that's not what SH argues against, Dick Sillypants. He argues against a de facto coalition. And let's not argue about semantics. He is saying that the way it will work out, it may as well be a coalition. That is, it won't be issue by issue, but the opposition will have agreed to support one another.

          • Agreement to cooperate? Those treacherous vermin! Those scurrilous dogs!

            Don't they know that every vote is supposed to be an exercise in brinksmanship, extortion and horsetrading?

          • Andrew Andrew Andrew….if you want my personal view, I hope it happens. I have said this elsewhere. I hope they all band together, form a government and have at her. Either it will go well, and Canadians will know see that coalitions are a viable option, or it will be disaster, leading to years of Con majority rule.

            And so, we will see just how well this "agreement to cooperate" works, won't we.

          • "There could be a scenario in which the Liberals and NDP held the majority of seats and wouldn't need the Bloc"

            But don't you understand? The numbers won't make that possible. Any party which wins a minority will face an opposition which can ONLY have a combined greated number inclusive of the BQ. There is NO other way. Do the numbers and you will see what I mean. Do the numbers.

        • Care to back up the budget cuts in 1999 and have the Liberals return to a centrist policy with the NDP-Bloc support. What are you drinking?

          Billions for left wing policies in wealth redistribution and a return to a neglect of our military and personal responsibility.

      • You guys are living in fantasyland.

    • This is actually a fascinating suggestion. I would love to see Jack play this angle. Throw down the gauntlet. Put together their plan to lead the government, with MI's support. Their campaign should go 100 percent in this direction. If you are left leaning, vote NDP, and we will work to form a stable government with the support of the Libs. Don't vote Lib instead of us, because we'll be forming government with their support anyway. Oh, and here's billions and billions for Quebec, all by simply raising the corporate tax rate back to 25%!

      • I'm sure you'd like that, but not because it's in the best interests of the NDP.

        • So you think it would be a bad strategy for the NDP? I know it would not be good for LPC, especially if it started to work. I mean, we can argue all day about 34-40% vs 24-34%, but what was that number for who Canadians would prefer to see lead the coalition: Layton at 60%! Finally, a majority of Canadians agree on something. All I said was that it would be fascinating to see Layton grab hold of that and run with it.

  16. As the campaign progresses…note the change in tone that's been occurring.

    Canadian Conservative Party lead polls, Harper wants majority

    Tory majority looks 'elusive': EKOS

    Liberal minority looming larger on election horizon

    These are real headlines btw…..LOL

  17. As the campaign progresses…note the change in tone that's been occurring.

    Canadian Conservative Party lead polls, Harper wants majority

    Tory majority looks 'elusive': EKOS

    Liberal minority looming larger on election horizon

    These are real headlines btw…..LOL

    • Yes, the headlines do change – that's how you get people to keep reading them. From what I've gleaned from the polls over the past month (and year for that matter), all the parties have been relatively stagnant (+/-5%), so much so that a mere hair's breadth in either direction is used as an excuse to published a different headline (and keep the polling firms in business).

      This could all change of course, and one party or another could make a spectacular mistake or an amazing gain – but I doubt it. You know what they say – the only poll that matters is the one on election day!

      • No, the campaign is changing the political field.

        Past polls have no relevance during a campaign, precisely because that changes things.

        • Ah, but most have of the "changes" during the campaign have been within the margin of error, or close to it, have they not?

          Example: Nanos Research states their margin of error for their recent national polls of voter intentions are +/- 3.1%. Between 30 March and 6 April, the change (in percentage) in support for Liberal Party has not moved beyond the margin error in either direction (support seems to be hovering in the 28% to 30% range). Most of the other polls seem to show similar results so far for this campaign (if you can find a poll that shows otherwise, please post a link) for all parties concerned.

          Like I said – there could be a dramatic change, but I doubt it. I guess we'll find out on 2 May. If you find a poll that seems to show a change well beyond the margin of error, please post a link.

          Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/cv11-poll-tra
          I picked Nanos as it had the most data points of the polls listed.

          • I'm pointing out that the 'accepted wisdom' of the last parliament has changed…as it always does during a campaign.

            All polls done then are irrelevant.

          • If I'm understanding you correctly (which I may not be, given your response), you seem to be stating that the "givens" or known information, about the various parties have changed as a result of the campaign. I do agree that the campaigns bring new information to light (about platforms, etc.), but you can't deny the fact that voters look to past actions/performance for information on how they think the parties will perform in the future.

            Therefore, the past opinions of voters (within a reasonable time frame of course) can offer us some indication of the "base level" of support for each party. But like I said, I could be completely misunderstanding you. Perhaps a little more explanation of your point of view would be helpful in this regard.

          • Every campaign means the door is open to something completely different

            In this case, a Harper majority…or an Ignatieff majority….or a smaller Harp minority, or an Ignatieff minority….the less likely scenarios involve the NDP reaching any kind of status.

            Some voters will vote like their grandad did, regardless of platform. Some will vote on a completely new look at things….and there are all the other possibilities inbetween.

            Campaigns make an enormous difference….it's always a chance for a fresh start….so you can't go by what the standings were in the old Parliament. It's in the voter's hands now.

          • No no no, she's obviously saying:

            1) Polls show a change is coming. Liberal minority on horizon!
            2) Polls don't matter.

          • Actually I just posted headlines.

          • By the way, just saw the one about the Liberal minority looming. It absolutely does not say there will be a Liberal plurality. Headlines are misleading Emily, I would take more care.

          • Also this shows a conservative majority as of today.

          • Take more care in what? Posting headlines? LOL

            I said note the change in tone over the last week and a half….it has changed from Con majority to Liberal minority…..reflecting the changing polls.

            Does it guarantee anything….no.

            But 'Liberal minority' wasn't even being mentioned when the election was called.

          • *Sigh*

            That was my point. That headline absolutely does NOT reflect the changing polls. Polls still show Con plurality. That headline reflects some other change over the course of the election, or perhaps something else.

          • Yeah they do.

            Stiff upper lip and all eh

    • All taken from Ekos predictions …BTW (CBC, Liberal polster)

  18. I've been thinking about the so-called ethic vote that Harper is targeting, and it seems to me that one of the reasons new Canadians want to support Harper is that they figure that since he has twice been seemingly elected PM, he must be very popular with most Canadians, and they're supporting the CPC just to be agreeable, because they don't like him much either.

    Maybe they don't quite realize that if they live in a city that isn't in Alberta or Sask, it's likely that most of their neighbours don't like/can't stand Harper. Some really dislike him intensely. If the Libs could run ads to communicate to new Canadians that Harper is very unpopular with most Canadians, 60-plus per cent of whom will vote for other parties, then maybe more new Canadians might see their way clear to not voting CPC because they don't really like Harper either.

    Just a thought. Stay Calm, Carry On.

  19. Lack of leadership and tactical qualities define Harper. I understand that he manipulates the media, as Wells wrote in his previous post, into thinking that he's a great tactition. But a strong leader and tactital politician would have found a way to make parliament work. Why ridicule an opponent who doesn't vote to bring you down and make it sound as if it's a sign a weakness? Maybe the politician in question was wise?

    The situation in Britain,and in other parliaments in the world where numerous parties have seats and none a majority of them, show us what true leadership and political tactics are: an ability to set aside differences for the greater good of the country. Harper has not and never will be able to do this. If Harper had been prime minister of Britain in 1939 he would never had formed a coalition with Atlee like Churchill did – he would have preferred to divide his nation over uniting them for the greater good. Who knows, maybe he would have lost the war!

  20. I've been thinking about the so-called ethic vote that Harper is targeting, and it seems to me that one of the reasons new Canadians want to support Harper is that they figure that since he has twice been seemingly elected PM, he must be very popular with most Canadians, and they're supporting the CPC just to be agreeable, because they don't like him much either.

    Maybe they don't quite realize that if they live in a city that isn't in Alberta or Sask, it's likely that most of their neighbours don't like/can't stand Harper. Some really dislike him intensely. If the Libs could run ads to communicate to new Canadians that Harper is very unpopular with most Canadians, 60-plus per cent of whom will vote for other parties, then maybe more new Canadians might see their way clear to not voting CPC because they don't really like Harper either.

    Just a thought. Stay Calm, Carry On.

    • Wow, are you rude to 'new Canadians'. You might as well have said 'they don't have brains' 'they can't read' or something like that.

      Could it be that you and your buddies don't like Harper, and the 'new Canadians' do like him. Maybe they actually like his policies? Why are you so sure that you are right, that you cannot see that other people, with brains and the ability to reason, support Harper because they want to?

      • The answer to your question is that I know I'm right that the vast majority of Canadians — outside Alberta and Sask — don't vote for Harper's party, and that polls show him to be one of the most divisive and disliked PMs ever.

        Given the nature of our flawed electoral system, and the misinformation about minority "mandates" spewed for the past few years by Harper, I think it is reasonable to think that many people — especially a lot of new Canadians less familiar with our system — think that Harper is much more poplar than is in fact the case.

        In my view, this being the case, the Liberals might benefit from finding some way of conveying this to the blocks of "new Canadians" now being pandered to by Harper. If the voters knew how unpopular Harper really is, and how their neighbours really felt about him, and how divisive he is, then they might feel less inclined to vote for him.

        Worth a shot, I'd say. There is little risk or no shame in making it clear that Harper is a failed leader who cannot win the backing of most people he wishes to govern.

        • Harper is a failed leader? This is the guy who has been PM for 5 year? Just checking.

          So you think the Libs should run some adds and say what? Quote the polls on leadership of the party leaders?

          http://www.nanosresearch.com/election2011/Leader_

          Umm, I'm no pollster, but they kind of show the opposite of your point. Funny eh. You say the majority of Canada (well, except for Alta and Sask, but I mean who would count them anyway, amirite?) dislike Harper, but then what would you say about what the majority of Canadians think of Ignatieff?

          Oh, and the other point. So the Cons have spent the last few years going to the communities of new Canadians in person, and showing them through their actions that they care (*coughabouttheirvotecough*), and now apparently Harper is expending just as much or more campaign energy focusing exclusively on these communities and not even inviting the national media, and then you suggest running a 30 second add to counter this, and that it will somehow make people who have been duped become aware of their foolishness?

          I'm just trying to make sure I understand you correctly.

          • Harper is a failed leader for two reasons:

            First, he has failed to increase his popular support much beyond the 37 per cent (+or -2) he inherited when he took over the Reform-PC coalition; 2. He has demonstrated an inability to work with other parliamentarians to provide stable government and a record of legislative success.

            As for using ads to reach make sure people in the "ethnic" community are not confused (like many other Canadians actually) into thinking that Harper is actually popular with most Canadians, yeah, that could make good sense.

            I'd do it regionally, as in: "75 (or whatever) per cent of Ontario voters don't want Stephen Harper as PM. Join them."

            That sort of thing could help clarify matters a lot.

          • you live in your own reality dont you. harper leads the liberals in essentially every part of the country.

            you're a typical idiot who thinks everybody else thinks like yourself, and you managed to stereotype and insult every immigrant in this country.

          • Boy, this would be hard to counter. Con ad:

            80% of Canadians don't think Layton is the most trustworthy, most competent, or has the best vision for Canada.

            85% of Canadians don't think Ignatieff is the most trustworthy, most competent, or has the best vision for Canada.

  21. Lack of leadership and tactical qualities define Harper. I understand that he manipulates the media, as Wells wrote in his previous post, into thinking that he's a great tactition. But a strong leader and tactital politician would have found a way to make parliament work. Why ridicule an opponent who doesn't vote to bring you down and make it sound as if it's a sign a weakness? Maybe the politician in question was wise?

    The situation in Britain,and in other parliaments in the world where numerous parties have seats and none a majority of them, show us what true leadership and political tactics are: an ability to set aside differences for the greater good of the country. Harper has not and never will be able to do this. If Harper had been prime minister of Britain in 1939 he would never had formed a coalition with Atlee like Churchill did – he would have preferred to divide his nation over uniting them for the greater good. Who knows, maybe he would have lost the war!

    • When Harper was ridiculing, he wasn't trying to make Parliament work because he didn't have to. He knew that the opposition parties were not interested in an election. I think it served his interests to demonstrate how unworkable a minority Parliament could be in order to be able to ask for a stable, secure majority. The goal was to make it is fractious as possible and not at all to make it an acceptable option to voters.

      I agree that to date Harper has not demonstrated any kind of true leadership in bringing parties together, whether with his united right or with Parliament. All I've seen is brute force. I don't know that that means he is unable to lead or just had no reason to bother.

    • "a strong leader and tactital politician would have found a way to make parliament work"

      A strong leader would yes, but a tactical politician would make parliament work only so long as he could get his way, and further, make it work such that if he doesn't get his way he looks like a moderate victim while his opponents look partisan and shrill, ensuring that in an inevitable election he fares better than the previous outing each time, eventually earning the coveted majority. Actually that sounds kind of familiar…

    • Did you actually just suggest that SH would have lost WWII to Hitler? Okay, moving on.

  22. Hello Pat Martin, Minister of International Cooperation!

  23. I fully expect that Ignatieff will get a chance to be PM either shortly after the election, or a few month or so after that, depending on how long Harper wants to hold out before facing defeat in the House. Once asked to form a government, Ignatieff should be able to put together, through negotiations, a Throne Speech and Budget that will win support. No reason to think that won't happen.

    Other than getting a majority, which I doubt will happen for him, the only way Harper could remain as a minority PM after the election is if he negotiated a Throne Speech and budget with the other parties. Since he seems no more capable of negotiating that than he does of getting a majority, it seems likely to me that the Harper regime doesn't have more than another 4 weeks to a month left.

  24. I fully expect that Ignatieff will get a chance to be PM either shortly after the election, or a few month or so after that, depending on how long Harper wants to hold out before facing defeat in the House. Once asked to form a government, Ignatieff should be able to put together, through negotiations, a Throne Speech and Budget that will win support. No reason to think that won't happen.

    Other than getting a majority, which I doubt will happen for him, the only way Harper could remain as a minority PM after the election is if he negotiated a Throne Speech and budget with the other parties. Since he seems no more capable of negotiating that than he does of getting a majority, it seems likely to me that the Harper regime doesn't have more than another 4 weeks to a month left.

    • Err, I meant "4 weeks to a few months" since, ah, 4 weeks is, ah.. oh, nevermind, you know what I mean.

  25. Anything they ask is good enough for Iggy. Want a billion for your pet project Jack? No problem we will just up corporate taxes. What about you Gilles? OK I'll give you two billion for the new wind mill farm in Lac St. Jean. We will just implement our new and improved Green Shift program as outlined in our Red Book. Now lets gather around the camp fire and sing…….

  26. That’s certainly the effect on voter intention that I would predict :p

  27. This comment was deleted.

    • Gawd….you're hours out of date chet….the man was turfed.

  28. When Harper was ridiculing, he wasn't trying to make Parliament work because he didn't have to. He knew that the opposition parties were not interested in an election. I think it served his interests to demonstrate how unworkable a minority Parliament could be in order to be able to ask for a stable, secure majority. The goal was to make it is fractious as possible and not at all to make it an acceptable option to voters.

    I agree that to date Harper has not demonstrated any kind of true leadership in bringing parties together, whether with his united right or with Parliament. All I've seen is brute force. I don't know that that means he is unable to lead or just had no reason to bother.

  29. Watching some of the teevee panel shows tonight, it becomes pretty clear that Mr. Harper is just playing the same game of brinkmanship that he's deployed so brilliantly in the past. He's making it perfectly clear that he has no intention of trying to co-operate with anyone should he get another minority mandate. He won't change a comma in his budget, he won't seek consensus with anyone, he will not bend an inch – in any direction – to respect the decision of the Canadian people, he will sit and sulk in his place until his government is defeated again.

    That's the promise he is making to the Canadian people, and I think it's likely the only credible promise he has made in recent memory. So if that's the promise that Harper is making to us, then I think the prudent thing is to take him at his word and show him the door now. He's not going to get a majority and he's deemed a minority to be beneath him, so I'd suggest we respect his wishs and elect someone who will accept the honour of governing this country with whatever mandate he is given.

    Let's make it so.

  30. Watching some of the teevee panel shows tonight, it becomes pretty clear that Mr. Harper is just playing the same game of brinkmanship that he's deployed so brilliantly in the past. He's making it perfectly clear that he has no intention of trying to co-operate with anyone should he get another minority mandate. He won't change a comma in his budget, he won't seek consensus with anyone, he will not bend an inch – in any direction – to respect the decision of the Canadian people, he will sit and sulk in his place until his government is defeated again.

    That's the promise he is making to the Canadian people, and I think it's likely the only credible promise he has made in recent memory. So if that's the promise that Harper is making to us, then I think the prudent thing is to take him at his word and show him the door now. He's not going to get a majority and he's deemed a minority to be beneath him, so I'd suggest we respect his wishs and elect someone who will accept the honour of governing this country with whatever mandate he is given.

    Let's make it so.

    • There was lots in the past budget for Layton. That wasn't enough – Layton wanted it all. (Actually, Layton hadn't even read the whole thing, and was on TV telling folks that he couldn't support it – the election was a given). So, Harper can try compromise all he wants, but the fate of the house was in the hands of the opposition.

      By most people's standards, it was a pretty decent budget. That is why they had to bring down the gov't the the contempt thing. Otherwise, the Cons could have used it against them.

      • Sure they had Millikin in their pocket all along.

        Believe whatever consiracy theories you like if that's sooths you. The contempt charges were a long time coming, and Harper had an opportunity to head them off by compromising. What did he do – defend Oda in the house and dump a load of documents on committee at the 11th hour. Yeah, sure he didn't want an election…they all wanted one…the cracy b $%^&*s. Truth is they couldn't stand the sight of one another anymore.

      • You realise that MPs get to read the budget before it's read in the house by going to the lock-up, right?

        There was some window-dressing for the NDP in the budget, but not a sincere attempt to work with them. There was no need for it to be a surprise. They could have come to an agreement before the budget was released to ensure their support. The government obviously wasn't interested in negotiation.

    • I agree. There is nothing fundamentally different in this election – anymore than others in the past – it's just that Harper is an uncooperative "_ _ _"

      The press is getting wagged, big time.

      • You've put your finger on what most of us are endlessly going around on. Who's the one who's being most uncooperative here? And the public are the ones to sort it out – hopefully. Of course it also comes down to who makes his case the most forcefully. Then there is that fly in the oinment…our voting system that skews everything. In fairness it always has and at different times it's screwed everyone more or less equally. Right now it's screwing the opposition parties.

  31. Gawd….you're hours out of date chet….the man was turfed.

  32. Could Harper really avoid Parliament until the fall if he only gets a minority, especially if it's reduced? What will Parliament come back?

  33. I suspect you are not only wrong, but deliberately fearmongering for partisan reasons.

  34. Could Harper really avoid Parliament until the fall if he only gets a minority, especially if it's reduced? What will Parliament come back?

    • No, he can't.

      A govt has to be in place at all times

      • He doesn't have to convene Parliament until late March 2012. The government might run out of cash in the meantime, but the truth is he can delay 1 year.

    • He _could_ — Parliament only needs to meet once a year.

      He’d be unwise to, as he’d have a better shot at passing a Throne Speech just after the election.

      • No, he can't.

        Parliament meeting has nothing to do with it….we have to have a govt and PM regardless of whether Parliament is in session or not.

        • There _is_ a government, and there _is_ a PM.

          The question asked was, could it wait till fall? The answer is yes.

          Example: the 31st Parliament — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/31st_Canadian_Parlia

          Election on May 22nd, 1979, first session convened on October 9th, 1979.

          It would be a dumb, dumb move — a third Harper minority should/would move swiftly to try to pass a Throne Speech before the opposition had time to hammer out terms of its defeat — but it's absolutely legal.

          Another example of Joe Clark's incompetence — he should have quickly passed his budget. Waiting gave MacEachen his chance.

          • You are making no distinction between a PM and a session of parliament, and there very definitely is one.

            Parliament could go without meeting for the next 5 years….but there has to be a govt in place.

            Hard to do though as a throne speech and a budget have to be presented….and the govt could fall on either one.

            Clark didn't have the numbers to pass the budget…and he was aware of it. He wanted a majority govt.

          • There is a PM. His name is Stephen Harper.

            He has the right to meet Parliament, just as King did after the 1925 election.

            Parliament, per s. 5 of the Charter, _does_ have to meet once a year, as does any legislature in Canada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_Five_of_the_

            And you don't know our constitution.

            It's also a moot point: Harper needs to keep the initiative to govern with a minority. He'd convene parliament as soon as it was legally possible, as it's on the First Throne Speech that he definitely could be defeated, with no escape hatches.

          • Harper may not BE a PM after this election.

            That's the fly in your ointment.

          • He'll be the PM for at least a day or two. Just as Kim Campbell was for a day in 1993, and Paul Martin was for two weeks in 2006.

            You don't understand the constitution.

            And the question was, can Harper dodge parliament until the fall if he wins another minority. The answer is yes, as can be seen from the timeline of Joe Clark and the 31st Parliament.

            He'd just be extraordinarily stupid to, so he wouldn't.

          • The only way Harper can remain PM is if he has the confidence of the House.

            If he doesn't, he's toast.

          • Yes.

            Which is why he's saying — accurately — that he needs a majority in this election, or the other parties will pitch him out.

          • Well that's Harper's problem isn't it….

            And if he doesn't get a majority…his job is up for grabs.

            As it has been all along

          • That's the Tory message in this campaign.

          • Well since nobody gives a rat's patoot about what happens to Harper personally, it's a pointless message.

            The country will manage to go on without him.

          • Do us all a favour and please try to refrain from answering a question, any question, when it is posed by someone, anyone. Your participation means there will be a monotonous, silly, back and forth with the only guarantee being that you will have the last word.

          • The only way Harper can remain PM is if he has the confidence of the House.

            Sure, but he's still PM until the new House votes him down and he's replaced, which is why in theory the Tories might decide to not convene Parliament for as long as possible (though I agree with Tiger that that would probably be a dumb move).

            It's a strange and sometimes confusing nuance in our system, but Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada, and his Tory Ministry forms the government until Harper either resigns, or is voted down by the House and then replaced with another Parliamentary leader after consultations with the Governor General. Even if he were immediately defeated on a new Throne speech Harper would STILL be PM unless and until the Governor General called on someone else to attempt to form a government, or an election were held in which the Tories did badly enough for him to resign (i.e. if the Tories came in second). We ALWAYS have a government, even after the government is defeated in the House (it's not really accurate to say that a government "falls", it's simply defeated in the House, but it's still the government until another government is found to replace it). Stephen Harper is PM and the Tories the government until either Stephen Harper resigns, or the Governor General calls on another party to attempt to demonstrate that it has the confidence of the House of Commons. The results of the election will certainly determine whether or not either of these two things happen, but the election itself doesn't CAUSE, per se, either of these things to happen.

    • Do the GG's warrants financing government operations during a writ period play a role here?

      I thought there was a 60-day expirey on those approvals? Is this true, is it something new since 1979?

      • So Parliament has to sit within 60 days after the election??

        • That would be the implication, yes. It could be just a utility session of coruse (Quick throne speech, vote of confidence, recess for enough time to set up a government.)

          But I'm no expert in GG warrants. Here is a bit of info:
          http://www2.parl.gc.ca/MarleauMontpetit/DocumentV

  35. That's ridiculous, the Liberals don't govern like that. In fact, once in government they adopt a more centrist way of governing. Chretien and Martin did it well. No one can say we were worst off in 1999 than we are now.

  36. So, he should keep doing what he's been doing all along? Why are we having this election again?

  37. Not at all surprised to find potential coalition of losers scheming to take power in supposed bid to restore dignity/rules to Parliament. You think people hold Parliament in contempt now wait till coalition takes over from Cons, the party likely to have most seats, and the freak show when Libs and BQ work together.

    Surely there is convention for oppo parties to change their vote on budget if they don't gain a significant amount of seats after election. I know lots of left wing partisans don't care about what public wants but oppo parties will do significant damage to dignity of Parliament if they are seen as illegitimately taking power by electorate.

  38. Not at all surprised to find potential coalition of losers scheming to take power in supposed bid to restore dignity/rules to Parliament. You think people hold Parliament in contempt now wait till coalition takes over from Cons, the party likely to have most seats, and the freak show when Libs and BQ work together.

    Surely there is convention for oppo parties to change their vote on budget if they don't gain a significant amount of seats after election. I know lots of left wing partisans don't care about what public wants but oppo parties will do significant damage to dignity of Parliament if they are seen as illegitimately taking power by electorate.

    • Yeah, yeah yeah…you need new material.

      • Emily,

        Use your imagination and try to see what a Lib, NDP, Bloc coalition would do. It would not be pretty for anyone, except maybe the PCP. They would clean up on the next election.

        • We've seen how The Harper Government TM operates and that was exceedingly ugly! Dirty, too, so clean-up is NOT their forte. ;0)

        • I have no problem with a coalition of elected MPs ……sound pretty democratic to me…..seeing as how we don't elect a President

  39. Chretien Majorities. Martin Minority. Bye, Bye, Paulie. Oh what's on your napkin Jack? $4.2 billion? No problem Jack.

  40. For with-holding budgetary information in contempt of parliament. How did you not know that?

  41. First of all I believe you mean "Aye, the political winds are certainly favouring the CPC …" or else "I believe the political winds are certainly favouring the CPC …"

    Anyway, There could be some sort of accord where the Bloc agrees not to bring the government down for at least 18 months. As long as there is no photo-op it will go fine.

  42. Yeah, yeah yeah…you need new material.

  43. Serious question: If Harper falls short of a majority, but Ignatieff fares poorly and quickly steps down as leader, would Ignatieff's successor (Interim Leader Bob Rae) still feel bound by Ignatieff's no-coalition pledge?

  44. Serious question: If Harper falls short of a majority, but Ignatieff fares poorly and quickly steps down as leader, would Ignatieff's successor (Interim Leader Bob Rae) still feel bound by Ignatieff's no-coalition pledge?

    • Ridiculous question.

    • I doubt a new leader would feel bound by earlier statements, but that wouldn't mean a coalition would happen or would even be likely. Since he's not likely to leave, it's not a big deal.

    • If Harper doesn't have a majority….he has a minority…which means Iggy held him to that.

      So Iggy would likely stay on…however if he DID leave, they'd have an interim leader until a convention…..and it's highly unlikely it would be Bob Rae.

      What a new leader does is entirely up to the new leader.

      • a la Iggy!

        • I have no idea what that means.

          • He's referring to Iggy changing his stance on the coalition issue post-Dion.

            á la, with the accent, is french for "in the manner of, or in the style of."

          • I know what the French means…but yes, Iggy was a team player under Dion, but not bound by his choices when he became leader.

    • If Harper is tossed for being "the problem" if he doesn't deliver a majority, will whoever replaces him be bound by his?

      • Nope….whole point in having a new leader.

        Fresh page.

        • Nah, my point is that it's a pretty easy to flip that question around.

          • Flip it any way you like….no new leader is bound by anything said or done by the last leader.

    • Brilliant. :)

    • "Serious question: If Harper falls short of a majority, but Ignatieff fares poorly and quickly steps down as leader, would Ignatieff's successor (Interim Leader Bob Rae) still feel bound by Ignatieff's no-coalition pledge?"

      It would be political suicide not to be…unless the numbers are close…then it becomes a moot question, no?

    • I don't think Ignatieff will fare poorly. The Conservatives have done such a tremendous job of denigrating him, that people have really low expectations. I don't think Ignatieff will have any problem exceeding what is expected of him. He is nowhere near as bad as the picture the Conservatives have painted.

    • If the Libs do badly enough to turf Iggy, I doubt they'd be in a position to form a minority.

  45. No, he can't.

    A govt has to be in place at all times

  46. Ridiculous question.

  47. So says Mike—The voters say the contempt call was an excuse for the election. The voters will punish the Liberals for playing with the rules.

  48. You are welcome to look it up.

  49. You're speaking for voters now Blue?

  50. I doubt a new leader would feel bound by earlier statements, but that wouldn't mean a coalition would happen or would even be likely. Since he's not likely to leave, it's not a big deal.

  51. Yes, the headlines do change – that's how you get people to keep reading them. From what I've gleaned from the polls over the past month (and year for that matter), all the parties have been relatively stagnant (+/-5%), so much so that a mere hair's breadth in either direction is used as an excuse to published a different headline (and keep the polling firms in business).

    This could all change of course, and one party or another could make a spectacular mistake or an amazing gain – but I doubt it. You know what they say – the only poll that matters is the one on election day!

  52. If Harper doesn't have a majority….he has a minority…which means Iggy held him to that.

    So Iggy would likely stay on…however if he DID leave, they'd have an interim leader until a convention…..and it's highly unlikely it would be Bob Rae.

    What a new leader does is entirely up to the new leader.

  53. a la Iggy!

  54. If Harper is tossed for being "the problem" if he doesn't deliver a majority, will whoever replaces him be bound by his?

  55. “Any governor general who has that role in a constitutional system like ours, from time to time will be confronted with questions where there is an element of discretion…I think that most jurisdictions that have a system of first-past-the-post or proportional representation will from time to have time have coalitions or amalgamation of different parties and that's the way democracy sorts itself out.”
    –GG David Johnston

    I think it's reasonable to suppose the GG could be convinced that Ignatieff could command the confidence of the House after the Throne Speech is rejected, without a formal coalition arrangement.

    It's also reasonable to suppose that Ignatieff would roll the dice and seize the moment if he had a chance to become Prime Minister, leading a Liberal minority. What would he have to lose by trying?

  56. No, the campaign is changing the political field.

    Past polls have no relevance during a campaign, precisely because that changes things.

  57. “Any governor general who has that role in a constitutional system like ours, from time to time will be confronted with questions where there is an element of discretion…I think that most jurisdictions that have a system of first-past-the-post or proportional representation will from time to have time have coalitions or amalgamation of different parties and that's the way democracy sorts itself out.”
    –GG David Johnston

    I think it's reasonable to suppose the GG could be convinced that Ignatieff could command the confidence of the House after the Throne Speech is rejected, without a formal coalition arrangement.

    It's also reasonable to suppose that Ignatieff would roll the dice and seize the moment if he had a chance to become Prime Minister, leading a Liberal minority. What would he have to lose by trying?

    • Iggy could have done so before, but he turned it down.

      • The first time Ignatieff turned down a coalition, he was probably optimistic that he could become PM the traditional way, by leading the party that wins the most seats in the election.

        A lot of time has passed since then, and Ignatieff's optimism on this point may have diminished. If Harper wins another minority, Ignatieff might see the backdoor route as the best opportunity to achieve his prime ministerial ambitions.

        • He still is…why would you think otherwise?

          • Who still is what?

          • optimistic

    • "Roll the dice" is the expression that is floating around in my head the last couple of days. Only, I have been thinking about it in terms of Mr. Harper.

      I get the sensation that he is going 'all-in' on this election and understands that if he doesn't get a majority this time, he is done.

    • I think it's reasonable to suppose the GG could be convinced…

      I would suggest it's reasonable for the GG to give it a whirl even if he isn't convinced, especially very early into the upcoming new Parliament.

  58. Iggy could have done so before, but he turned it down.

  59. I have no idea what that means.

  60. Nope….whole point in having a new leader.

    Fresh page.

  61. All taken from Ekos predictions …BTW (CBC, Liberal polster)

  62. The first time Ignatieff turned down a coalition, he was probably optimistic that he could become PM the traditional way, by leading the party that wins the most seats in the election.

    A lot of time has passed since then, and Ignatieff's optimism on this point may have diminished. If Harper wins another minority, Ignatieff might see the backdoor route as the best opportunity to achieve his prime ministerial ambitions.

  63. Canadians don't actually seem to have a problem with a co-operative progressive minority. It's just Harper's media campaign that's designed to convince us that it's "scary", but it isn't gaining any traction anymore (to judge by not-opposed-to-even-an-actual-coalition polling).

    So. Bring it on.

  64. Canadians don't actually seem to have a problem with a co-operative progressive minority. It's just Harper's media campaign that's designed to convince us that it's "scary", but it isn't gaining any traction anymore (to judge by not-opposed-to-even-an-actual-coalition polling).

    So. Bring it on.

    • Canadians never had a problem with it or found it 'scary'…..just Cons did, because they had a vested interest.

      • Actually,some very sensible people are bothered by a coalition that needs the help of the Bloc, a separatist party, to stay in power. This would be a crazy government.

        • Perhaps you should direct that same question at SH circa 2004?

          • Is it you, or someone else anyway, that was telling me how the Somalia affair is no justification for Harper's actions with the Afghan detainee issue. Well, same sort of thing here. When Harper proposed it, it stunk, and it stinks now. Thank goodness Harper didn't get a chance to actually follow through on that.

          • Don't be silly. Harper's views on coalitions back then were correct…now they're, conveniently for him, different.

            And no it was not me.

          • Sorry, I wasn't talking about coalitions in general, but specifically coalitions that include the Bloc, whether as part of the government or the propper uppers of the government.

  65. LOL give the 'evil leftie conspiracy' a rest….you'll see more of this.

  66. He still is…why would you think otherwise?

  67. "a strong leader and tactital politician would have found a way to make parliament work"

    A strong leader would yes, but a tactical politician would make parliament work only so long as he could get his way, and further, make it work such that if he doesn't get his way he looks like a moderate victim while his opponents look partisan and shrill, ensuring that in an inevitable election he fares better than the previous outing each time, eventually earning the coveted majority. Actually that sounds kind of familiar…

  68. Canadians never had a problem with it or found it 'scary'…..just Cons did, because they had a vested interest.

  69. I have complete trust in the Canadian voter recognizing a bull$hit opposition contempt vote and taking that into consideration on May 2nd.

  70. Nah, my point is that it's a pretty easy to flip that question around.

  71. He _could_ — Parliament only needs to meet once a year.

    He’d be unwise to, as he’d have a better shot at passing a Throne Speech just after the election.

  72. Ah, but most have of the "changes" during the campaign have been within the margin of error, or close to it, have they not?

    Example: Nanos Research states their margin of error for their recent national polls of voter intentions are +/- 3.1%. Between 30 March and 6 April, the change (in percentage) in support for Liberal Party has not moved beyond the margin error in either direction (support seems to be hovering in the 28% to 30% range). Most of the other polls seem to show similar results so far for this campaign (if you can find a poll that shows otherwise, please post a link) for all parties concerned.

    Like I said – there could be a dramatic change, but I doubt it. I guess we'll find out on 2 May. If you find a poll that seems to show a change well beyond the margin of error, please post a link.

    Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/cv11-poll-tra
    I picked Nanos as it had the most data points of the polls listed.

  73. No, he can't.

    Parliament meeting has nothing to do with it….we have to have a govt and PM regardless of whether Parliament is in session or not.

  74. Flip it any way you like….no new leader is bound by anything said or done by the last leader.

  75. You want to know the most likely outcome of the election if no one wins Majority? Detente.

    Why? Because there's going to be three fairly likely outcomes that will increase in probability based on seat counts:

    1) The more seats the Conservatives lose (potentially, before folks go nuts), the greater the probability the "long knives" come out for Harper for failing to deliver the promised majority.
    2) The fewer seats the Liberals regain, or if they drop, the higher the probability Iggy realizes he's stepped into the fray too late and backs out.
    3) If the NDP stay static, or lose seats, it's fairly likely Layton walks too. Like Harper, he's had a good long run at "getting the job done" as well.

    There's also the outside likelihood that Duceppe cleans up in Quebec, leaves federal politics as a "winner" and decides to go provincial.

    That's potentially 4 leaders looking at other jobs by the fall; 4 parties that won't be looking to start a war while they sort out their internal fires. For each leader that faces the axe/walks at the end of this cycle, the likelihood of anybodies currently expected outcome based on past events coming to the fore goes arcing faster towards the window because you end up with increasing probability of parties wanting to keep the peace in the short term and new interim leadership.

    So, detente and, dare I say it, co-operation may take hold. For a bit at least.

  76. You want to know the most likely outcome of the election if no one wins Majority? Detente.

    Why? Because there's going to be three fairly likely outcomes that will increase in probability based on seat counts:

    1) The more seats the Conservatives lose (potentially, before folks go nuts), the greater the probability the "long knives" come out for Harper for failing to deliver the promised majority.
    2) The fewer seats the Liberals regain, or if they drop, the higher the probability Iggy realizes he's stepped into the fray too late and backs out.
    3) If the NDP stay static, or lose seats, it's fairly likely Layton walks too. Like Harper, he's had a good long run at "getting the job done" as well.

    There's also the outside likelihood that Duceppe cleans up in Quebec, leaves federal politics as a "winner" and decides to go provincial.

    That's potentially 4 leaders looking at other jobs by the fall; 4 parties that won't be looking to start a war while they sort out their internal fires. For each leader that faces the axe/walks at the end of this cycle, the likelihood of anybodies currently expected outcome based on past events coming to the fore goes arcing faster towards the window because you end up with increasing probability of parties wanting to keep the peace in the short term and new interim leadership.

    So, detente and, dare I say it, co-operation may take hold. For a bit at least.

    • The more seats the Conservatives lose (potentially, before folks go nuts), the greater the probability the "long knives" come out for Harper for failing to deliver the promised majority.

      Is there anyone left in the Conservative party hierarchy who would have enough clout or nerve to ask Harper to step down? He seems to have his entire caucus pretty much under his thumb.

  77. I'm pointing out that the 'accepted wisdom' of the last parliament has changed…as it always does during a campaign.

    All polls done then are irrelevant.

  78. A smaller Con minority than we have now would likely produce 4 new leaders.

    That doesn't mean eithr detente, or cooperation.

  79. If I'm understanding you correctly (which I may not be, given your response), you seem to be stating that the "givens" or known information, about the various parties have changed as a result of the campaign. I do agree that the campaigns bring new information to light (about platforms, etc.), but you can't deny the fact that voters look to past actions/performance for information on how they think the parties will perform in the future.

    Therefore, the past opinions of voters (within a reasonable time frame of course) can offer us some indication of the "base level" of support for each party. But like I said, I could be completely misunderstanding you. Perhaps a little more explanation of your point of view would be helpful in this regard.

  80. Every campaign means the door is open to something completely different

    In this case, a Harper majority…or an Ignatieff majority….or a smaller Harp minority, or an Ignatieff minority….the less likely scenarios involve the NDP reaching any kind of status.

    Some voters will vote like their grandad did, regardless of platform. Some will vote on a completely new look at things….and there are all the other possibilities inbetween.

    Campaigns make an enormous difference….it's always a chance for a fresh start….so you can't go by what the standings were in the old Parliament. It's in the voter's hands now.

  81. Wow! You sure do want it all your way don't you? Minority opposition parties can't exercise their inherent majority in the house,[ Harper circa 97/04 wouldn't agree with you by the way] but no doubt you'll have no problem with Mr H exercising his in a majority govt.It's called democracy bud…you really should learn yourself some about it!

  82. There _is_ a government, and there _is_ a PM.

    The question asked was, could it wait till fall? The answer is yes.

    Example: the 31st Parliament — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/31st_Canadian_Parlia

    Election on May 22nd, 1979, first session convened on October 9th, 1979.

    It would be a dumb, dumb move — a third Harper minority should/would move swiftly to try to pass a Throne Speech before the opposition had time to hammer out terms of its defeat — but it's absolutely legal.

    Another example of Joe Clark's incompetence — he should have quickly passed his budget. Waiting gave MacEachen his chance.

  83. You are making no distinction between a PM and a session of parliament, and there very definitely is one.

    Parliament could go without meeting for the next 5 years….but there has to be a govt in place.

    Hard to do though as a throne speech and a budget have to be presented….and the govt could fall on either one.

    Clark didn't have the numbers to pass the budget…and he was aware of it. He wanted a majority govt.

  84. There is a PM. His name is Stephen Harper.

    He has the right to meet Parliament, just as King did after the 1925 election.

    Parliament, per s. 5 of the Charter, _does_ have to meet once a year, as does any legislature in Canada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_Five_of_the_

    And you don't know our constitution.

    It's also a moot point: Harper needs to keep the initiative to govern with a minority. He'd convene parliament as soon as it was legally possible, as it's on the First Throne Speech that he definitely could be defeated, with no escape hatches.

  85. “…Ignatieff has not explicitly ruled out the idea of trying to lead a non-coalition, minority Liberal government if the Conservatives fail to secure the majority Harper says is crucial for the country, and then fail to secure enough support in Parliament to govern.”

    In fairness to Ignatieff he is on record as reaffirming the rule that the party who wins the most seats gets first crack at winning the confidence of the house. With the greatest respect to messrs Frank/Mendes they are indulging in alittle premature adjudicating.
    I was going to repeat MT's response that if Harper wants to play nice the opportunity is there for him. That is until i read lgarvins snorter of a comment…he's absolutely correct…Harper is telegraphing his insistence on it being his way or the highway…and i concur. Let's give him what he richly deserves…the door!

  86. “…Ignatieff has not explicitly ruled out the idea of trying to lead a non-coalition, minority Liberal government if the Conservatives fail to secure the majority Harper says is crucial for the country, and then fail to secure enough support in Parliament to govern.”

    In fairness to Ignatieff he is on record as reaffirming the rule that the party who wins the most seats gets first crack at winning the confidence of the house. With the greatest respect to messrs Frank/Mendes they are indulging in alittle premature adjudicating.
    I was going to repeat MT's response that if Harper wants to play nice the opportunity is there for him. That is until i read lgarvins snorter of a comment…he's absolutely correct…Harper is telegraphing his insistence on it being his way or the highway…and i concur. Let's give him what he richly deserves…the door!

  87. Harper may not BE a PM after this election.

    That's the fly in your ointment.

  88. He'll be the PM for at least a day or two. Just as Kim Campbell was for a day in 1993, and Paul Martin was for two weeks in 2006.

    You don't understand the constitution.

    And the question was, can Harper dodge parliament until the fall if he wins another minority. The answer is yes, as can be seen from the timeline of Joe Clark and the 31st Parliament.

    He'd just be extraordinarily stupid to, so he wouldn't.

  89. The only way Harper can remain PM is if he has the confidence of the House.

    If he doesn't, he's toast.

  90. Yes.

    Which is why he's saying — accurately — that he needs a majority in this election, or the other parties will pitch him out.

  91. you are out to lunch if you think he will have time to 'put together … policy'. It has already been decided. The hour that a minority PCP happens, the coalition begins. The spin has already been prepared . . .

  92. Well that's Harper's problem isn't it….

    And if he doesn't get a majority…his job is up for grabs.

    As it has been all along

  93. most of the fuss has to do with a party that is set to destroy Canada, ruling it. Yep, that's the fuss.

  94. It'll go fine, until they run out of money. Think about it: the Libs need the NDP (spend, spend, spend) and the Bloc (give more to Quebec) to hang on. Those two parties will be like pigs at the trough, and the Libs will have to let them, or go to the polls again. By the time they figure it out, Canadians will be ready to boot them all out. I agree that the winds (short term and long term) are favoring the PCP.

  95. That's the Tory message in this campaign.

  96. First of all won't have time to run anything. It will be a coalition in seconds.

    As for the Libs lasting 18 months, I might agree, but it would be nothing close to stable. The NDP and the Bloc would have a field day, they would all spend like drunken sailors, and the Liberals would pay the electoral price.

  97. Hate to break it to you, but the Libs would have their back to the wall, and would have to spend at Mr. Layton and the french guy's request. Like it or lump it, that is the way it will go.

  98. Wow, are you rude to 'new Canadians'. You might as well have said 'they don't have brains' 'they can't read' or something like that.

    Could it be that you and your buddies don't like Harper, and the 'new Canadians' do like him. Maybe they actually like his policies? Why are you so sure that you are right, that you cannot see that other people, with brains and the ability to reason, support Harper because they want to?

  99. Well since nobody gives a rat's patoot about what happens to Harper personally, it's a pointless message.

    The country will manage to go on without him.

  100. There was lots in the past budget for Layton. That wasn't enough – Layton wanted it all. (Actually, Layton hadn't even read the whole thing, and was on TV telling folks that he couldn't support it – the election was a given). So, Harper can try compromise all he wants, but the fate of the house was in the hands of the opposition.

    By most people's standards, it was a pretty decent budget. That is why they had to bring down the gov't the the contempt thing. Otherwise, the Cons could have used it against them.

  101. Emily,

    Use your imagination and try to see what a Lib, NDP, Bloc coalition would do. It would not be pretty for anyone, except maybe the PCP. They would clean up on the next election.

  102. Brilliant. :)

  103. Who still is what?

  104. Actually,some very sensible people are bothered by a coalition that needs the help of the Bloc, a separatist party, to stay in power. This would be a crazy government.

  105. Your prescription is Tory majority or Tory minority that is all but a majority in every sense but name, nothing else is legit…there's a word for that, and it doesn't start with D.

  106. Sure they had Millikin in their pocket all along.

    Believe whatever consiracy theories you like if that's sooths you. The contempt charges were a long time coming, and Harper had an opportunity to head them off by compromising. What did he do – defend Oda in the house and dump a load of documents on committee at the 11th hour. Yeah, sure he didn't want an election…they all wanted one…the cracy b $%^&*s. Truth is they couldn't stand the sight of one another anymore.

  107. "Serious question: If Harper falls short of a majority, but Ignatieff fares poorly and quickly steps down as leader, would Ignatieff's successor (Interim Leader Bob Rae) still feel bound by Ignatieff's no-coalition pledge?"

    It would be political suicide not to be…unless the numbers are close…then it becomes a moot question, no?

  108. Perhaps you should direct that same question at SH circa 2004?

  109. So, all thing considered the absolute minimum desirable outcome for MI is a reduced Harper minority, everything else is icing on the cake. And if Harper holds true to form, it's life or death for the liberals too. Although i note he has pledged to grandfather in the per vote elimination, or was that just a promise to negotiate? Always vital to get the wording battened down with this character. Of course he could have foreshortened some of the agony that has transpired by proposing such a plan back in…i don't know…08?

  110. So, all thing considered the absolute minimum desirable outcome for MI is a reduced Harper minority, everything else is icing on the cake. And if Harper holds true to form, it's life or death for the liberals too. Although i note he has pledged to grandfather in the per vote elimination, or was that just a promise to negotiate? Always vital to get the wording battened down with this character. Of course he could have foreshortened some of the agony that has transpired by proposing such a plan back in…i don't know…08?

  111. They would have more leverage then you imply. If it was not a coalition terms would have to be negotiated. Sure they might pressure the libs, but they would have no cabinet posts and the libs could always finally say – it's us or Harper – take your pick. I doubt they would take the later – once bitten and all that.Fear is a strong motive to cooperate. Really the only alternative would be a decade of Harper…yikes!
    But what do i know. I haven't a clue how these things are worked out really, and my guess is neither do you.

  112. I am optimistic.

    Something that is missing above is that Liberal & Conservative policies are not that far apart. Yes the Liberal's platform is a shift to the left, in part to distinguish them from the Conservatives. (Coyne must be pleased to see his advice followed, even if he doesn't like the leftness of the platform.) Still what ultimately caused this election was a fundamental difference of opinion with regard to the concepts of mandates & governance.

    The Conservative position has been that by virtue of winning the most seats, that they have a mandate from the people to carry out their agenda. Everyone agrees they form the government, but they believe they should be free to govern without interference. The examples of consultation and cooperation with the opposition parties are sparse. A key element in their strategy to hold this power, was to withhold information.

    An alternative position is that in a minority situation, the people have not provided a mandate to any one party. After all, with first past the post & 4 (or 5) parties & low turnouts only about 20% of eligible voters are necessary for a plurality. Moreover, in a minority parliament the opposition parties actually share credit/blame for the legislation passed. Their votes were necessary. Based on this they obviously want input and ultimately they got the backbone to demand information.

    Given that is the reason for this election, and that democratic reform if not Democratic Reform was one of the first Liberal planks, I would expect that a minority Harper government would be given the option of governing provided some reforms were passed. Given the lack of trust, I would hope the reforms proposed by the Liberals would be strengthened and given teeth.

    In some respects, it would be a replay of what happened following the last election. Harper would bluster but acquiesce to keep power, it would be very hard to run a second election against democratic reform. (as Wells has noted, he really likes being PM) Harper might even get something about Senate reform as part of the package.

    So the outcome of this election might be that Canadian rules for governance would be tightened up. Future Chrétiens & Harpers will find their bad behavior more constrained. We would get another couple of years of Harper, but a better Harper.

    My glass is half full.

  113. Of course ‘experts’ Ned Franks and Erol Mendes are long time anti-Conservative crusaders. Which is their right. But you’d think the writers would be a little more discriminating in the ‘experts’ they choose to consult.

  114. Of course ‘experts’ Ned Franks and Erol Mendes are long time anti-Conservative crusaders. Which is their right. But you’d think the writers would be a little more discriminating in the ‘experts’ they choose to consult.

    • The Harper Government TM has exhibited a flagrant disregard for our democratic institutions so , of course, learned people in the field of study would oppose Conservatives who crusade for such a government.

    • Before you go throwing more 'leftist elite conspiracy' hoo-ha around, you might want to consider the fact that the information these two 'anti-Conservative' crusaders are presenting is actually GOOD news for the Conservatives, in the long run. If they're crusading for the Liberals right now, they've got a funny way of showing their 'true colours.'

    • Mendes yes, Franks no.

      …and since they're supporting the Conservative narrative here, I don't understand why that matters.

  115. I absolutely agree. It's not only Harper's willingness to work with others, it's his manner and attitude. Minority government can work, but not if he continues to give us more of the same. PM_SHrug deliberately goads the opposition in his endless and hopefully futile bid for a majority. With him in charge we don't have a government at all, we simply have a relentless PR machine.

  116. A Reverend! and such language! Very funny, though.
    I agree with your point. If PM_SHrug ever decided to "play well with others," he'd have had his majority long a ago, especially given the weakness of the opposition over the last few years. I am beginning to have the feeling that history will view his downfall as being caused by his obsession with "annihilating" the Liberal party. It is perhaps the most destructive motivation of any Canadian politician since I've been here. It is destructive to him, but also for the country, which is the sad part. If he were obsessed with the good of the country instead, he might even have been a great PM.

  117. Well, IF there were to be some form of co-operative agreement of the opposition parties, it would all depend on the numbers of seats everyone got. IF PM_SHrug lost a few seats, and IF the Liberals gained a few, then the balance tilts a bit. There could be a scenario in which the Liberals and NDP held the majority of seats and wouldn't need the Bloc. That aside, what's needed to govern the country in a minority situation is the willingness of parties to commit to working together for the good of the country. Since being PM, SHrug has needed opposition parties to vote with the government to get anything passed. That is indeed a "coalition issue by issue." Precisely what he's arguing against now.

  118. We've seen how The Harper Government TM operates and that was exceedingly ugly! Dirty, too, so clean-up is NOT their forte. ;0)

  119. Claudia, you've been very consistent with this prediction for quite some time now.
    There is still campaigning left and though Stephen Harper is playing it safe, you never can tell what is going to crop up, and why it might stick with voters.
    I suspect there will be a Conservative carpet bombing ad campaign during the last week to ten days before the vote. Overselling can turn voters off too.

    I certainly hope your analysis is incorrect, and I guess we'll see how the dice shake out May 2.

  120. The answer to your question is that I know I'm right that the vast majority of Canadians — outside Alberta and Sask — don't vote for Harper's party, and that polls show him to be one of the most divisive and disliked PMs ever.

    Given the nature of our flawed electoral system, and the misinformation about minority "mandates" spewed for the past few years by Harper, I think it is reasonable to think that many people — especially a lot of new Canadians less familiar with our system — think that Harper is much more poplar than is in fact the case.

    In my view, this being the case, the Liberals might benefit from finding some way of conveying this to the blocks of "new Canadians" now being pandered to by Harper. If the voters knew how unpopular Harper really is, and how their neighbours really felt about him, and how divisive he is, then they might feel less inclined to vote for him.

    Worth a shot, I'd say. There is little risk or no shame in making it clear that Harper is a failed leader who cannot win the backing of most people he wishes to govern.

  121. optimistic

  122. Do the GG's warrants financing government operations during a writ period play a role here?

    I thought there was a 60-day expirey on those approvals? Is this true, is it something new since 1979?

  123. The Harper Government TM has exhibited a flagrant disregard for our democratic institutions so , of course, learned people in the field of study would oppose Conservatives who crusade for such a government.

  124. Fans of throwing Harper out should be gratified to see the poll results reported today wherein 49 per cent oppose a "coalition", 40 per cent support one, and 12 per cent are undecided.

    What I find encouraging here is that Harepr has spent a few years now spewing misinformation about the legality of a coalition, and not a single party leader at this point accepts the idea, but the anti-coalition argument can't even muster a majority in support.

    I think this speaks to the intelligence of Canadians. I have no doubt that if Harper fails to get a majority, and continues to refuse to negotiate policy with the majority in the House, then a large majority of Canadians will be quite prepared to see if a cooperative minority government led by Ingatieff can govern successfully.

    At this point, there is no reason to think he couldn't form such a government, and polls suggests Canadians will be fine with it, and with seeing Harper walk out the door of 24 Sussex into whatever his next act might be.

  125. Yeah, see, and so it doesn't matter what SH does after he wins a plurality, you have already decided that he is a big meany who does not know how to play nice. This point needs to be understood: no matter what Harper does after winning a plurality, the opposition will claim that he is refusing to compromise and refusing to work with others. If his throne speech is conciliatory, he will be accused of doing not enough, and deliberately goading. That's the point.

    And look, at the very least this is a bit of a vicious cycle. Harper doesn't think the Opposition will cooperate, so he buckles down. The opposition refuses to cooperate because Harper has buckled down. And so on and so forth.

  126. Somebody who can't even write his name without making fun of him as if he was in the school yard goes on to suggest that it's all Harper's fault that the other parties won't cooperate. Yeah, okay, I'll be taking your view into serious consideration. *shaking head no* Thanks for the input Dick Sillypants!

  127. Before you go throwing more 'leftist elite conspiracy' hoo-ha around, you might want to consider the fact that the information these two 'anti-Conservative' crusaders are presenting is actually GOOD news for the Conservatives, in the long run. If they're crusading for the Liberals right now, they've got a funny way of showing their 'true colours.'

  128. Actually no, that's not what SH argues against, Dick Sillypants. He argues against a de facto coalition. And let's not argue about semantics. He is saying that the way it will work out, it may as well be a coalition. That is, it won't be issue by issue, but the opposition will have agreed to support one another.

  129. Heck, if we're talking about a Liberal minority government without a plurality of the vote, I'm going to go all in – how about we just let Jack Layton form government with his 30-some MPs (most of which would be cabinet ministers). He would effectively have to govern from the centre, since he would always need Liberal (if not Conservative) support, and he has the benefit of being the most well-liked guy in Canadian politics. It could be his last hurrah before retiring in a year or so due to health issues, at which point we can just have another election in which the Libs would have to actually justify their existence as a centrist party.

  130. This is actually a fascinating suggestion. I would love to see Jack play this angle. Throw down the gauntlet. Put together their plan to lead the government, with MI's support. Their campaign should go 100 percent in this direction. If you are left leaning, vote NDP, and we will work to form a stable government with the support of the Libs. Don't vote Lib instead of us, because we'll be forming government with their support anyway. Oh, and here's billions and billions for Quebec, all by simply raising the corporate tax rate back to 25%!

  131. Been checking out their facebook profiles, have you?

  132. Heck, if we're talking about a Liberal minority government without a plurality of the vote, I'm going to go all in – how about we just let Jack Layton form government with his 30-some MPs (most of which would be cabinet ministers). He would effectively have to govern from the centre, since he would always need Liberal (if not Conservative) support, and he has the benefit of being the most well-liked guy in Canadian politics. It could be his last hurrah before retiring in a year or so due to health issues, at which point we can just have another election in which the Libs would have to actually justify their existence as a centrist party.

  133. This all seems very plausible… but it seems to fly in the face of your rule that suggests that, in Canadian politics, count on the least-exciting possible outcome. The least-exciting possible outcome is the status quo.

  134. This all seems very plausible… but it seems to fly in the face of your rule that suggests that, in Canadian politics, count on the least-exciting possible outcome. The least-exciting possible outcome is the status quo.

    • The most interesting outcome of this election would be the Liberals gaining enough seats from the NDP and Cons to place themselves within, say, + – 5 seats but creates a situation in which both sides short of what either of the other parties need to govern with the NDP alone.

      The Bloc rationalizations, or the sudden interest in the Lib and Con parties for consensus would be quite amusing.

  135. No no no, she's obviously saying:

    1) Polls show a change is coming. Liberal minority on horizon!
    2) Polls don't matter.

  136. The only people who believe that it was proper to refer to the Canadian government as contemptible are the opposition and their most partisan supporters. It was such an extreme and blatantly transparent action, and for what reason, a disagreement over accounting practices.

    We trust governments ( majority and minority ) to govern honourably when we elect them, just as we expect opposition parties to act responsibly, especially in a minority situation.

  137. Oh, another thought, completely unrelated to my last: We will know pretty much instantly after the election whether the Libs intend to try to form a minority government by what Ignatieff does on election night or the day after. If, after winning only about the same number of seats the Libs have now, Ignatieff announces his retirement as leader, there is no way the Libs are going to try to minority government trick. (A big part of the reason the coalition failed was because the PM was going to be Dion – who had already resigned as Liberal leader!) If, on the other hand, Ignatieff stays on as leader, especially if the seat count is not much changed, then it is much more likely they will try to form government themselves. So my prediction: if Ignatieff stays, the Libs are seriously considering trying to govern themselves; if he goes, they are not.

    Of course, things are still early and we have no real idea where this is all going to end up.

  138. Oh, another thought, completely unrelated to my last: We will know pretty much instantly after the election whether the Libs intend to try to form a minority government by what Ignatieff does on election night or the day after. If, after winning only about the same number of seats the Libs have now, Ignatieff announces his retirement as leader, there is no way the Libs are going to try to minority government trick. (A big part of the reason the coalition failed was because the PM was going to be Dion – who had already resigned as Liberal leader!) If, on the other hand, Ignatieff stays on as leader, especially if the seat count is not much changed, then it is much more likely they will try to form government themselves. So my prediction: if Ignatieff stays, the Libs are seriously considering trying to govern themselves; if he goes, they are not.

    Of course, things are still early and we have no real idea where this is all going to end up.

  139. Yeah, see, and so it doesn't matter what SH does after he wins a plurality, you have already decided that he is a big meany who does not know how to play nice.

    Many of us have already decided this – not because we're closed-minded, but because there is five years' worth of evidence to support our belief.

    And look, at the very least this is a bit of a vicious cycle. Harper doesn't think the Opposition will cooperate, so he buckles down.

    It's not the opposition's job to cooperate – it's the opposition's job to oppose. And if the opposition does cooperate, they will be slammed as being too weak to be an effective opposition.

  140. …or they will be aware that the Conservatives are barking at the door, just waiting to defeat the government at the slightest pretext, so they can get back in power.

    Perhaps, that would convince them to moderate their demands…

  141. Harper is a failed leader? This is the guy who has been PM for 5 year? Just checking.

    So you think the Libs should run some adds and say what? Quote the polls on leadership of the party leaders?

    http://www.nanosresearch.com/election2011/Leader_

    Umm, I'm no pollster, but they kind of show the opposite of your point. Funny eh. You say the majority of Canada (well, except for Alta and Sask, but I mean who would count them anyway, amirite?) dislike Harper, but then what would you say about what the majority of Canadians think of Ignatieff?

    Oh, and the other point. So the Cons have spent the last few years going to the communities of new Canadians in person, and showing them through their actions that they care (*coughabouttheirvotecough*), and now apparently Harper is expending just as much or more campaign energy focusing exclusively on these communities and not even inviting the national media, and then you suggest running a 30 second add to counter this, and that it will somehow make people who have been duped become aware of their foolishness?

    I'm just trying to make sure I understand you correctly.

  142. The more seats the Conservatives lose (potentially, before folks go nuts), the greater the probability the "long knives" come out for Harper for failing to deliver the promised majority.

    Is there anyone left in the Conservative party hierarchy who would have enough clout or nerve to ask Harper to step down? He seems to have his entire caucus pretty much under his thumb.

  143. I am thoroughly enjoying the delusional bed time stories that Conservatives on this thread are telling themselves.

    Since 1984 left of centre political parties have gotten more than 55% of the vote in every election; more than 60% of the vote in every election save for one; and posterity should acknowledge that if there were two options on the ballot – generic left of centre party and generic right of centre party – the left of centre party would win 9 out of 10 elections in perpetuity.

    The only reason we have a conservative government is because progressive people are split on their options. This is different from the 90's when PC/Reform was splitting the vote; together those parties never had more than 40% of the electoriate supporting them.

    If after the election Harper's own rhetoric dooms his minority government – which is looking more and more likely – the resulting government will be far more of a reflection of where the Canadian people are than the current government is.

    That is fact.

  144. yeah….he lost the confidence of the house so we are having an election….

  145. a party with duly elected MPs….sounds democratic to me……..and I live out west and I hear a LOT of the same kinda BS about "western seperation"…..I think I know who is trying to "destroy Canada"…and it isn't the Bloc

  146. "Many of us have already decided this – not because we're closed-minded, but because there is five years' worth of evidence to support our belief."

    Then, let us stop with the idle comments like Mike T. above, to whom I was ultimately responding, that suggest that if Harper gives a good throne speech, he can form government. This is not true. A elected Harper plurality will be defeated at the first opportunity, NO MATTER WHAT, by the opposition parties.

    "It's not the opposition's job to cooperate – it's the opposition's job to oppose. And if the opposition does cooperate, they will be slammed as being too weak to be an effective opposition."

    So you know that Harper won't play nice, and you expect the opposition to not be weak. Yep, this is a good formula for effective minority government.

    And by the way, that's important. I agree with your statement in the context of majority governments. But in the context of minority governments, the opposition is not there only to oppose, but also to be constructive participants in government. And this is where my comment about it being a vicious cycle is pertinent. If Harper perceived that the opposition was not interested in cooperating but only opposing, then he buckled down and his buckling down caused the opposition to only oppose. Two way street. Some don't see this, I understand.

  147. Do us all a favour and please try to refrain from answering a question, any question, when it is posed by someone, anyone. Your participation means there will be a monotonous, silly, back and forth with the only guarantee being that you will have the last word.

  148. I don't think Ignatieff will fare poorly. The Conservatives have done such a tremendous job of denigrating him, that people have really low expectations. I don't think Ignatieff will have any problem exceeding what is expected of him. He is nowhere near as bad as the picture the Conservatives have painted.

  149. So Parliament has to sit within 60 days after the election??

  150. Did you actually just suggest that SH would have lost WWII to Hitler? Okay, moving on.

  151. Are you a moderator Blue……because as far as I am aware she can answer any question she likes and you have no real say……do you have ANY idea how much I would like to say the same thing to Dennis or Cats?!….ignore her if you wish

  152. "Roll the dice" is the expression that is floating around in my head the last couple of days. Only, I have been thinking about it in terms of Mr. Harper.

    I get the sensation that he is going 'all-in' on this election and understands that if he doesn't get a majority this time, he is done.

  153. I have no problem with a coalition of elected MPs ……sound pretty democratic to me…..seeing as how we don't elect a President

  154. Thanks for this. It's great to see a positive for Canada outcome is still possible.

  155. Thanks for this. It's great to see a positive for Canada outcome is still possible.

  156. Honestly, I think the Liberals aren't keen on forming a very weak majority. I can't see them going for it if they have less than 110-120 seats. They'd probably be willing if Harper forced their hand with another poison pill, but they could probably be convinced to let him to continue to muddle along.

  157. Is it you, or someone else anyway, that was telling me how the Somalia affair is no justification for Harper's actions with the Afghan detainee issue. Well, same sort of thing here. When Harper proposed it, it stunk, and it stinks now. Thank goodness Harper didn't get a chance to actually follow through on that.

  158. You mean the Harper Government? It seems you didn't get the memo.

  159. I agree. There is nothing fundamentally different in this election – anymore than others in the past – it's just that Harper is an uncooperative "_ _ _"

    The press is getting wagged, big time.

  160. Care to back that with any evidence? If Bloc MPs are not allowed to support governments, why was it ok for Harper to rely on their support to pass budgets in the past? If they aren't allowed to support governments and want to destroy the country, how is it that Harper is such a gutless dweeb and doesn't ban the party and expell those members of the house?

  161. Harper is a failed leader for two reasons:

    First, he has failed to increase his popular support much beyond the 37 per cent (+or -2) he inherited when he took over the Reform-PC coalition; 2. He has demonstrated an inability to work with other parliamentarians to provide stable government and a record of legislative success.

    As for using ads to reach make sure people in the "ethnic" community are not confused (like many other Canadians actually) into thinking that Harper is actually popular with most Canadians, yeah, that could make good sense.

    I'd do it regionally, as in: "75 (or whatever) per cent of Ontario voters don't want Stephen Harper as PM. Join them."

    That sort of thing could help clarify matters a lot.

  162. Mendes and Franks aren't addressing at least 2 possibilities –

    1. The government fails to secure the confidence of the house, and the opposition is unwilling to attempt to govern. (this is, I think, an extremely possible scenario if a Liberal minority would be forced to rely heavily on Bloc support.)

    2. Another member of the Conservative caucus (i.e. someone other than Stephen Harper) solicits the opportunity to command the confidence of the house.

  163. Agree to disagree.

  164. Actually I just posted headlines.

  165. Mendes and Franks aren't addressing at least 2 possibilities –

    1. The government fails to secure the confidence of the house, and the opposition is unwilling to attempt to govern. (this is, I think, an extremely possible scenario if a Liberal minority would be forced to rely heavily on Bloc support.)

    2. Another member of the Conservative caucus (i.e. someone other than Stephen Harper) solicits the opportunity to command the confidence of the house.

    • You forgot an other equally likely possibility:

      3. Ignatieff reveals himself to be a reptilian extra-terrestrial monster with super powers and after losing the election he eats Canada.

  166. Mendes yes, Franks no.

    …and since they're supporting the Conservative narrative here, I don't understand why that matters.

  167. You guys are living in fantasyland.

  168. Agreement to cooperate? Those treacherous vermin! Those scurrilous dogs!

    Don't they know that every vote is supposed to be an exercise in brinksmanship, extortion and horsetrading?

  169. Play with words all you like but these opposition parties will go down in history as the group that referred to our democratically elected government as contemptible.

  170. I'm sure you'd like that, but not because it's in the best interests of the NDP.

  171. Play with words all you like but these opposition parties will go down in history as the group that referred to our democratically elected government as contemptible.

    • Well, not quite. They ruled that the government was in contempt of Parliament, not that they are contemptible in general (though that may be true!). They were in contempt of Parliament's unconditional power to call for documents and persons as it deems fit in its oversight of government activity. Do you deny that the government was withholding documents, contrary to Parliamentary privilege? Seems pretty cut and dried to me.

    • And the Conservatives will go down in history as the most contemptible government in history.

  172. You realise that MPs get to read the budget before it's read in the house by going to the lock-up, right?

    There was some window-dressing for the NDP in the budget, but not a sincere attempt to work with them. There was no need for it to be a surprise. They could have come to an agreement before the budget was released to ensure their support. The government obviously wasn't interested in negotiation.

  173. He doesn't have to convene Parliament until late March 2012. The government might run out of cash in the meantime, but the truth is he can delay 1 year.

  174. He is until he resigns or is defeated in the House.

  175. If the Libs do badly enough to turf Iggy, I doubt they'd be in a position to form a minority.

  176. The only way Harper can remain PM is if he has the confidence of the House.

    Sure, but he's still PM until the new House votes him down and he's replaced, which is why in theory the Tories might decide to not convene Parliament for as long as possible (though I agree with Tiger that that would probably be a dumb move).

    It's a strange and sometimes confusing nuance in our system, but Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada, and his Tory Ministry forms the government until Harper either resigns, or is voted down by the House and then replaced with another Parliamentary leader after consultations with the Governor General. Even if he were immediately defeated on a new Throne speech Harper would STILL be PM unless and until the Governor General called on someone else to attempt to form a government, or an election were held in which the Tories did badly enough for him to resign (i.e. if the Tories came in second). We ALWAYS have a government, even after the government is defeated in the House (it's not really accurate to say that a government "falls", it's simply defeated in the House, but it's still the government until another government is found to replace it). Stephen Harper is PM and the Tories the government until either Stephen Harper resigns, or the Governor General calls on another party to attempt to demonstrate that it has the confidence of the House of Commons. The results of the election will certainly determine whether or not either of these two things happen, but the election itself doesn't CAUSE, per se, either of these things to happen.

  177. I thought that was an interesting question posed by Eva and I really would like to have heard some intelligent answers and we received some from Tiger but, as usual, the thread was hijacked for selfish reasons.

    And no, I have no wish to moderate, and I do understand your dilemma, but sometimes I feel if you don`t speak out against the hijacking above, then you are part of the problem.

  178. I thought that was an interesting question posed by Eva and I really would like to have heard some intelligent answers and we received some from Tiger but, as usual, the thread was hijacked for selfish reasons.

    And no, I have no wish to moderate, and I do understand your dilemma, but sometimes I feel if you don`t speak out against the hijacking above, then you are part of the problem.

    • Well, the useful hypothetical question is, "could Parliament's sitting be put off till fall?"

      The answer is, "Yes".

      Though we've learned something else — because of the timing of supply bills and the like, the government would probably run out of money by July. So Parliament has to sit by then, or the country will grind to a halt. (No constitutional requirement till March 2012, tho'.)

      Very useful sub-thread, I say.

  179. Well, not quite. They ruled that the government was in contempt of Parliament, not that they are contemptible in general (though that may be true!). They were in contempt of Parliament's unconditional power to call for documents and persons as it deems fit in its oversight of government activity. Do you deny that the government was withholding documents, contrary to Parliamentary privilege? Seems pretty cut and dried to me.

  180. It doesn't necessarily have to be either/or. Perhaps fresh election results will cause all MP's to stop and listen to what voters are telling them. They may just decide to make some changes in their behavior out of respect for the voters.

    There is a real possibility that Harper will have to decide to listen to all voters, not just Conservatives, or loose government. I'd bet he could find a way to make a minority work if he wanted to. There would be a lot to gain with voters for any and all who improve cooperation in Parliament.

    It's a lovely spring day where I live. It is sort of coloring my outlook.

  181. On the day of the election it's determined if he has enough support to form a govt. If he does not, then it has to be determined who does.

    He can't just lose, and then refuse to call parliament.

  182. The GG can also dismiss him.

  183. When you go to the polling booth on May 2nd, tell them you are voting for The Left Of Centre Political Party—-good luck with that.
    The Liberals I know would rather move to the Congo then vote for a NDP-Bloc Party.

  184. "The only people who believe that it was proper to refer to the Canadian government as contemptible are the opposition and their most partisan supporters"?

    First of all, they were found "in contempt" and not "contemptible" (although I find them the latter). There is a difference.

    How is it "an extreme and blatantly transparent action" to demand costing for bills that are put forward for you to approve? Do you even know why the government fell? It wasn't because of the "In and Out" scam, as you imply with your post. The confidence motion was based on the government being found in contempt for not releasing the cost projections for bills that were put forward in Parliament.

    You last statement is very telling. Yes, we do "trust governments ( majority and minority ) to govern honourably when we elect them". However, we (non-Conservatives), the majority in Canada, do not trust this government. Don't you agree that is a good reason for an election?

  185. And the Conservatives will go down in history as the most contemptible government in history.

  186. That's not going to happen. Why on earth would the GG do something so provocative?

  187. That's not going to happen. Why on earth would the GG do something so provocative?

    • If Harper didn't have enough votes, yet refused to resign, and refused to call parliament….of course the GG would dismiss him. That's the GG's job.

      • True, but I only see the GG doing that if either A) Harper comes in second or worse in the election but refuses to resign AND loses a vote on a Throne Speech or B) he wins the most seats but refuses to call Parliament to sit beyond the one year limit (Parliament being required to sit at least once a year).

        I think Andrew's right that the Tories aren't going to come in second or worse, so I do think THAT scenario is not going to happen; and while I suppose I could THEORETICALLY see Harper refusing to allow Parliament to sit beyond March 26th, 2012, I REALLY don't think that's going to happen either.

        That said, if Harper wins another plurality, but refuses to allow Parliament to sit until sometime beyond March 26th, 2012, then I do agree that under that circumstance the GG not only CAN dismiss him, but WOULD dismiss him (and, in fact would be OBLIGATED to dismiss him). In that scenario I would not even describe such a dismissal as "provocative" as Andrew does, I'd say that in that scenario, dismissing Harper would be the only choice the GG could make.

        • I have no idea why people are parsing all this when it's a) straightforward and b) not likely to happen.

          However if any PM refuses to resign in such circumstances it does indeed fall to the GG to pry his fingernails out of the doorjamb. LOL

          • However if any PM refuses to resign in such circumstances it does indeed fall to the GG to pry his fingernails out of the doorjamb.

            Which circumstances???

            The last time a PM refused to resign the GG at the time let him stay as PM even though he was outnumbered in the House by the two main opposition parties, who wanted to form a government, and he had LOST HIS OWN SEAT IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. The King-Byng affair revolved around EXACTLY the scenario of a PM with a plurality being outnumbered in the House by his main rivals but refusing to resign and wishing to stay as PM until actually losing a vote in Parliament. The precedent set in that case was that the PM was NOT forced to resign and/or dismissed by the GG, and was in fact permitted to continue as PM even though he was no longer even a Member of Parliament.

          • Sigh…the circumstances we've just spent numerous posts discussing

            I'm pretty sure you've presented at least three different sets of hypothetical circumstances in our postings here, so I wanted to know which of those you were referring to in your last post.

            That said, I realize that this was silly, and I have no idea why I so often do this (even while lightly mocking others who do this with you too) so I'll now back away slowly…

  188. This is all based on the erroneous assumption that most Canadians think of politics in terms of left/right like political hacks do. If you look at actual voting preferences you will see a lot of people that waver between the Conservatives and the NDP. You cannot make the assumption that because someone votes for a "left" party they will vote for ANY left party.

  189. This is all based on the erroneous assumption that most Canadians think of politics in terms of left/right like political hacks do. If you look at actual voting preferences you will see a lot of people that waver between the Conservatives and the NDP. You cannot make the assumption that because someone votes for a "left" party they will vote for ANY left party.

    • Some people waver between the Right and the NDP – polls do show its about 25% of their support. the other 25% would not vote at all, and 50% would support the Liberals. And this isn't even counting the greens + bloq whose supporters are even less inclined to have the conservatives as their second option.

      Nanos showed a couple of weeks ago that among the 62% of Canadians who are choosing a non-CPC party, less than 5% are showing the CPC as their second choice.

      Again: the only reason you are able to govern is because of FPTP + rule of the minority. You can never win 50%+1 in this country, because more than half of this country despises what you stand for.

      • That is an incredibly simplistic account of Canadian voting behaviour. Again, as others point out, you continue to labour under the delusion that all people who don't vote for the CPC are voting for some coherent opposition entity and are voting for the exact same motives (to vanquish Evil Lord Harper, of course).

  190. If Harper didn't have enough votes, yet refused to resign, and refused to call parliament….of course the GG would dismiss him. That's the GG's job.

  191. Err, I meant "4 weeks to a few months" since, ah, 4 weeks is, ah.. oh, nevermind, you know what I mean.

  192. A elected Harper plurality will be defeated at the first opportunity, NO MATTER WHAT, by the opposition parties.

    ***

    This is somewhere between an unsupported guess and outright falsehood.

  193. no. you are making up unjustified stories.

  194. The most interesting outcome of this election would be the Liberals gaining enough seats from the NDP and Cons to place themselves within, say, + – 5 seats but creates a situation in which both sides short of what either of the other parties need to govern with the NDP alone.

    The Bloc rationalizations, or the sudden interest in the Lib and Con parties for consensus would be quite amusing.

  195. You forgot an other equally likely possibility:

    3. Ignatieff reveals himself to be a reptilian extra-terrestrial monster with super powers and after losing the election he eats Canada.

  196. Some people waver between the Right and the NDP – polls do show its about 25% of their support. the other 25% would not vote at all, and 50% would support the Liberals. And this isn't even counting the greens + bloq whose supporters are even less inclined to have the conservatives as their second option.

    Nanos showed a couple of weeks ago that among the 62% of Canadians who are choosing a non-CPC party, less than 5% are showing the CPC as their second choice.

    Again: the only reason you are able to govern is because of FPTP + rule of the minority. You can never win 50%+1 in this country, because more than half of this country despises what you stand for.

  197. you live in your own reality dont you. harper leads the liberals in essentially every part of the country.

    you're a typical idiot who thinks everybody else thinks like yourself, and you managed to stereotype and insult every immigrant in this country.

  198. if Liberals keep treating Alberta like a piggy bank for paying the ransom demands of a bunch of whiny retarded socialists in quebec, i dont think it's albertan separatists who will have destroyed canada.

    if an abusive husband pushes his wife to leave, the one responsible for the breakup is the husband, not the wife.

    and make no mistake, Ontario and Quebec have abused Alberta for > 30 years now.

  199. Our media is refusing to give credibility to the warning of our PM about deal to ignore the election results. How much will the Bloc get from the Lib-NDP coalition?

    English minority in QC are already under repressive laws. All Federal buildings will force French on their employees in Quebec? Eliminating uni-lingual Supreme Court judges already has support from Lib-NDP.

    Lib-NDP desperation to gain power is weakening our respect for Parliament.

  200. I'd widen it a bit more than that.. just a guess. Not necessarily unsupported. The contempt issue, and Mr. Harper's insistence that he will keep the same budget that all three parties opposed the same, tends to provide some support for the idea.

    That said, I can see multiple ways around it, most involving some flexibility on Mr. Harper's part. If he can arrange that, he may be able to maintain minority power. Their does remain the question of does he want it that badly? There are some indications that his personal life is starting to suffer, and his grip on the CPC is beginning to weaken as the reformers continually chafe, and who knows, he may want a way to cleanly step out before the results of in-and-out and afghan make it to public light.

  201. "There could be a scenario in which the Liberals and NDP held the majority of seats and wouldn't need the Bloc"

    But don't you understand? The numbers won't make that possible. Any party which wins a minority will face an opposition which can ONLY have a combined greated number inclusive of the BQ. There is NO other way. Do the numbers and you will see what I mean. Do the numbers.

  202. Care to back up the budget cuts in 1999 and have the Liberals return to a centrist policy with the NDP-Bloc support. What are you drinking?

    Billions for left wing policies in wealth redistribution and a return to a neglect of our military and personal responsibility.

  203. For the reason of not providing the house the information it needed to govern.

    Do try to keep up.

  204. Liberals? Don't look now bub, but it was Mr. Harper who's promised them an additional 2.2 billion.

  205. yes i know, that's bad enough. and that's from the mean and intransigent Harper. just imagine the squishy liberals who will need support from the bloc to survive. 2.2 billion will be a rounding error in the concessions made to quebec by such a "government".

  206. Holy crap. That actually made sense. See what happens when you get your return key fixed, chet?

    That said, I disagree first that such a thing is inevitable. I can see the Liberals using a C&S agreement to get the Bloc and the NDP onside without going for a full coalition, and depending on how those C&S agreements are set up, we could be relatively stable for a couple of years. If such a thing governs well, we might wind up with a "normal" minority government on the Liberal side, with a much stronger NDP sitting alongside the CPC in opposition, along with a much weaker Bloc.

    That's my hope, anyway.

  207. It isn't just new Canadians who get confused by our system. A poll a while back showed that almost half of all Canadians think the PM is elected directly by voters.

    Since people this ignorant generally support the Conservatives, my hope is that this group is mostly made up of non-voters.

  208. That would be the implication, yes. It could be just a utility session of coruse (Quick throne speech, vote of confidence, recess for enough time to set up a government.)

    But I'm no expert in GG warrants. Here is a bit of info:
    http://www2.parl.gc.ca/MarleauMontpetit/DocumentV

  209. something else is legit. this other option most people seem to have forgotten about because its so unlikely. but once upon a time in Canada that's how governments were formed.

    think about it: the Liberals could win the election.

    i know it sounds crazy, but it's a possibility.

  210. yeah because that's what corresponds to their experience. most voters dont vote for an MP, they vote for a party. at least that's what they think. and in fact, this view is reinforced left all over the place.

    but you're still an idiot, and you still insulted every immigrant by suggesting that they vote based on what their neighbors think.

    you're like that retarded lady who worked for the ny times who said after bush was elected "how could he win? i dont know anybody who voted for him". That says alot more about your isolated and incestuous worldview than anything else.

  211. yeah because that's what corresponds to their experience. most voters dont vote for an MP, they vote for a party. at least that's what they think. and in fact, this view is reinforced left all over the place.

    but you're still an idiot, and you still insulted every immigrant by suggesting that they vote based on what their neighbors think.

    you're like that retarded lady who worked for the ny times who said after bush was elected "how could he win? i dont know anybody who voted for him". That says alot more about your isolated and incestuous worldview than anything else.

  212. Guys—–as far as the outcome of the election, it really doesn`t matter what any of us partisans think about the actions of the last Parliament. What matters is the feelings of the voters out there, who will decide if the reasons the opposition Parties are giving for referring to our government in contempt is sufficient to force a Spring Election on us.

    That will be as big a problem for the Liberals as the Coalition talk.

  213. Guys—–as far as the outcome of the election, it really doesn`t matter what any of us partisans think about the actions of the last Parliament. What matters is the feelings of the voters out there, who will decide if the reasons the opposition Parties are giving for referring to our government in contempt is sufficient to force a Spring Election on us.

    That will be as big a problem for the Liberals as the Coalition talk.

    • You are correct. Please don't presume to speak for them.

  214. Canadians either will elect a majority government

    or

    Canadians will elect a coalition government with the balance of power to be handed to the BQ

    For me the choice is clear.

    I will always choose for a working federal Canada.

  215. Canadians either will elect a majority government

    or

    Canadians will elect a coalition government with the balance of power to be handed to the BQ

    For me the choice is clear.

    I will always choose for a working federal Canada.

  216. Boy, this would be hard to counter. Con ad:

    80% of Canadians don't think Layton is the most trustworthy, most competent, or has the best vision for Canada.

    85% of Canadians don't think Ignatieff is the most trustworthy, most competent, or has the best vision for Canada.

  217. http://www.threehundredeight.blogspot.com/

    most Canadians are willing to give Harper a chance at a majority.

    But:

    The anti-Harper crowd is trying to build up momentum by having nothing to offer by empty anti-Harper rhetoric. For the next few weeks, this anti-Harper shouting will continue, as it did during the last election.

    Towards the end of the election campaign, wait for Ms.Atwood to do her customary anti-Harper rallying cry which will shortly thereafter be followed up by the CBC Compass results, showing us that Canadians want the Liberals back in power.

    I can hardly wait!

  218. http://www.threehundredeight.blogspot.com/

    most Canadians are willing to give Harper a chance at a majority.

    But:

    The anti-Harper crowd is trying to build up momentum by having nothing to offer by empty anti-Harper rhetoric. For the next few weeks, this anti-Harper shouting will continue, as it did during the last election.

    Towards the end of the election campaign, wait for Ms.Atwood to do her customary anti-Harper rallying cry which will shortly thereafter be followed up by the CBC Compass results, showing us that Canadians want the Liberals back in power.

    I can hardly wait!

  219. Andrew Andrew Andrew….if you want my personal view, I hope it happens. I have said this elsewhere. I hope they all band together, form a government and have at her. Either it will go well, and Canadians will know see that coalitions are a viable option, or it will be disaster, leading to years of Con majority rule.

    And so, we will see just how well this "agreement to cooperate" works, won't we.

  220. So you think it would be a bad strategy for the NDP? I know it would not be good for LPC, especially if it started to work. I mean, we can argue all day about 34-40% vs 24-34%, but what was that number for who Canadians would prefer to see lead the coalition: Layton at 60%! Finally, a majority of Canadians agree on something. All I said was that it would be fascinating to see Layton grab hold of that and run with it.

  221. On a post that links to two separate articles where this very argument is made, you accuse me of fanciful guesswork or malicious lying? You sir, are incredible (in the pejorative sense, of course).

  222. By the way, just saw the one about the Liberal minority looming. It absolutely does not say there will be a Liberal plurality. Headlines are misleading Emily, I would take more care.

  223. Quebecers have a free choice: Quebecers can either vote for a separatist party, the BQ which publically states it is a separatist party,
    or Quebecers can vote for any of the federal parties

    But:

    Canadians have a free choice also: Canadians can either vote for a majority government (accomplished by any of the federal parties)
    or Canadians can vote for a minority government in which Canadians are willing to hand over the balance of power to a separatist party.

    Because Canadians have allowed a separatist/provincial party to run in Canadian federal elections, we now find ourselves in this constitutional mess. And it won't be cleared up untill Canadians make a clear choice.

  224. Quebecers have a free choice: Quebecers can either vote for a separatist party, the BQ which publically states it is a separatist party,
    or Quebecers can vote for any of the federal parties

    But:

    Canadians have a free choice also: Canadians can either vote for a majority government (accomplished by any of the federal parties)
    or Canadians can vote for a minority government in which Canadians are willing to hand over the balance of power to a separatist party.

    Because Canadians have allowed a separatist/provincial party to run in Canadian federal elections, we now find ourselves in this constitutional mess. And it won't be cleared up untill Canadians make a clear choice.

  225. Also this shows a conservative majority as of today.

  226. Take more care in what? Posting headlines? LOL

    I said note the change in tone over the last week and a half….it has changed from Con majority to Liberal minority…..reflecting the changing polls.

    Does it guarantee anything….no.

    But 'Liberal minority' wasn't even being mentioned when the election was called.

  227. *Sigh*

    That was my point. That headline absolutely does NOT reflect the changing polls. Polls still show Con plurality (oh, except for 308.com of course). That headline reflects some other change over the course of the election, or perhaps something else.

  228. Well the post was likely made to discuss the ideas in the links and not just accept that they must be true.

    Many claims are made in an election and they all are not going to be true because some of them are mutally exclusive.

    I doubt we should limit our vision of the future to just two possiblities. Almost guaranteed to be surprised with that option.

  229. You are correct. Please don't presume to speak for them.

  230. Except that's the problem. We *know* what Mr. Harper and his government will do. We have evidence.

    What's your evidence as to what an alternative might do? You have none, because we've never seen any of the alternatives in a governing position. And don't tell me "it's just what Liberals do" after almost a decade of balanced budgets under the Liberals. History has shown that the trite ideas about each parties approach to economics and budgeting holds little water.

    As such, you're making statements completely unsupported by facts.. the only thing speaking there is unfounded fear.

  231. On the day of the election it's determined if he has enough support to form a govt.

    No, it isn't, that's wrong on a number of levels, the most important of which being that we'd have no idea on election day if he has enough support to from a government unless there is OBVIOUSLY a party a head of him, or he has a majority. If he has the most seats he MIGHT have enough support to form a government, and he might not. There has to be a vote in the House to determine that, the election itself is insufficient in that regard.

    And, no, he can't just lose and refuse to call Parliament indefinitely, Parliament has to sit once a year, but until that deadline approaches he's under no constitutional obligation to have Parliament sit. He could constitutionally remain PM for a fair amount of time without Parliament sitting, though I do agree that under certain election result scenarios such a move by the PM might be one of those rare events that makes a GG take advantage of some of his reserve powers. If Harper won the most seats though I don't think even the GG would do anything until it became obvious that the Tories intended to have Parliament fail to sit for more than a year, and perhaps even then the GG might not do anything until the day after the year ended.

  232. On the day of the election it's determined if he has enough support to form a govt.

    No, it isn't, that's wrong on a number of levels, the most important of which being that we'd have no idea on election day if he has enough support to from a government unless there is OBVIOUSLY a party a head of him, or he has a majority. If he has the most seats he MIGHT have enough support to form a government, and he might not. There has to be a vote in the House to determine that, the election itself is insufficient in that regard.

    And, no, he can't just lose and refuse to call Parliament indefinitely, Parliament has to sit once a year, but until that deadline approaches he's under no constitutional obligation to have Parliament sit. He could constitutionally remain PM for a fair amount of time without Parliament sitting, though I do agree that under certain election result scenarios such a move by the PM might be one of those rare events that makes a GG take advantage of some of his reserve powers. If Harper won the most seats though I don't think even the GG would do anything until it became obvious that the Tories intended to have Parliament fail to sit for more than a year, and perhaps even then the GG might not do anything until the day after the year ended.

    • The whole country knows the election results LKO

      If he has a minority…he has two choices….resign, or try and form a govt.

      • The whole country knows the election results LKO

        Knowing the election results and knowing how all of the elected MPs are going to vote on a specific Speech from the Throne are two entirely different things. What's more, even if we KNOW on election day EXACTLY how the vote on a Tory Speech from the Throne is going to go down, the Tories still have the right to present the Speech, and the vote in the House still has to actually be held.

        If he has a minority…he has two choices….resign, or try and form a govt.

        That last part is pretty true (though I might rephrase it as "he has two choices, resign or try to CONTINUE TO FORM the government"). However, if Harper chooses the "form a government" route he is under no legal obligation to immediately call Parliament to sit and deliver a Speech from the Throne to them the day after the election. Or the week after the election. Or the month after the election. He could, in theory, wait until March 25th 2012 and present a Speech from the Throne to Parliament then. Depending upon the distribution of seats after the election, such a move could be politically suicidal, and delaying the sitting of Parliament (even short of delaying for a full year) could be seen as so patently untenable and such a repudiation of the will of the voters that a GG might theoretically present Harper with an ultimatum of the "demonstrate your ability to command the support of a majority of the House of Commons or I'll dismiss you as PM" variety. However, I think that even under that ultimatum the deadline would be "demonstrate your ability to command the support of a majority of the House of Commons before March 26th 2012", not "hold a vote on a Speech from the Throne right now or you're gone".

        • Well all the Opposition leaders have already said they won't support the same budget….and that's a confidence motion

          They also won't support a govt found in contempt of parliament, and that will be the confidence motion from the throne speech.

          Yes, the vote has to be held….that's what I've said all along…..there is no 'postponing parliament for a year' nonsense.

          If he tried that, the GG would toss his ass.

  233. It appears the minority have an UlteriorMotive by dissolving parliament – why(?) when it appears the polls where not favorable for them. The minorities orchestrate a "contempt" plan ( note if the party in power was a majority there would have been no contempt – this is pretty nebulous stuff – a world 1st(?). There maybe some evidence of coalition;
    – the NDP leader started the election by stating in a speech he was ready to be PM(?) (well history has not shown that would happen with a majority ),
    -the LIb leader has not said no to coalition(?),
    – it appears we have liberals dropping out in strong NDP ridings and Libs dropping out in strong NDP ridings(?) – note there have been 2 to date.
    – Tory leader stated the Libs Red Book just released the NDP election platform.
    – the Bloc plan…leave no Conservative Seat unturned in Quebec.

  234. It appears the minority have an UlteriorMotive by dissolving parliament – why(?) when it appears the polls where not favorable for them. The minorities orchestrate a "contempt" plan ( note if the party in power was a majority there would have been no contempt – this is pretty nebulous stuff – a world 1st(?). There maybe some evidence of coalition;
    – the NDP leader started the election by stating in a speech he was ready to be PM(?) (well history has not shown that would happen with a majority ),
    -the LIb leader has not said no to coalition(?),
    – it appears we have liberals dropping out in strong NDP ridings and Libs dropping out in strong NDP ridings(?) – note there have been 2 to date.
    – Tory leader stated the Libs Red Book just released the NDP election platform.
    – the Bloc plan…leave no Conservative Seat unturned in Quebec.

  235. The whole country knows the election results LKO

    If he has a minority…he has two choices….resign, or try and form a govt.

  236. True, but I only see the GG doing that if either A) Harper comes in second or worse in the election but refuses to resign AND loses a vote on a Throne Speech or B) he wins the most seats but refuses to call Parliament to sit beyond the one year limit (Parliament being required to sit at least once a year).

    I think Andrew's right that the Tories aren't going to come in second or worse, so I do think THAT scenario is not going to happen; and while I suppose I could THEORETICALLY see Harper refusing to allow Parliament to sit beyond March 26th, 2012, I REALLY don't think that's going to happen either.

    That said, if Harper wins another plurality, but refuses to allow Parliament to sit until sometime beyond March 26th, 2012, then I do agree that under that circumstance the GG not only CAN dismiss him, but WOULD dismiss him (and, in fact would be OBLIGATED to dismiss him). In that scenario I would not even describe such a dismissal as "provocative" as Andrew does, I'd say that in that scenario, dismissing Harper would be the only choice the GG could make.

  237. I have no idea why people are parsing all this when it's a) straightforward and b) not likely to happen.

    However if any PM refuses to resign in such circumstances it does indeed fall to the GG to pry his fingernails out of the doorjamb. LOL

  238. The whole country knows the election results LKO

    Knowing the election results and knowing how all of the elected MPs are going to vote on a specific Speech from the Throne are two entirely different things. What's more, even if we KNOW on election day EXACTLY how the vote on a Tory Speech from the Throne is going to go down, the Tories still have the right to present the Speech, and the vote in the House still has to actually be held.

    If he has a minority…he has two choices….resign, or try and form a govt.

    That last part is pretty true (though I might rephrase it as "he has two choices, resign or try to CONTINUE TO FORM the government"). However, if Harper chooses the "form a government" route he is under no legal obligation to immediately call Parliament to sit and deliver a Speech from the Throne to them the day after the election. Or the week after the election. Or the month after the election. He could, in theory, wait until March 25th 2012 and present a Speech from the Throne to Parliament then. Depending upon the distribution of seats after the election, such a move could be politically suicidal, and delaying the sitting of Parliament (even short of delaying for a full year) could be seen as so patently untenable and such a repudiation of the will of the voters that a GG might theoretically present Harper with an ultimatum of the "demonstrate your ability to command the support of a majority of the House of Commons or I'll dismiss you as PM" variety. However, I think that even under that ultimatum the deadline would be "demonstrate your ability to command the support of a majority of the House of Commons before March 26th 2012", not "hold a vote on a Speech from the Throne right now or you're gone".

  239. Well all the Opposition leaders have already said they won't support the same budget….and that's a confidence motion

    They also won't support a govt found in contempt of parliament, and that will be the confidence motion from the throne speech.

    Yes, the vote has to be held….that's what I've said all along…..there is no 'postponing parliament for a year' nonsense.

    If he tried that, the GG would toss his ass.

  240. Deny a coalition, voters will pass their judgment at advance polls and May 2, 2011. What could go wrong?

  241. However if any PM refuses to resign in such circumstances it does indeed fall to the GG to pry his fingernails out of the doorjamb.

    Which circumstances???

    The last time a PM refused to resign the GG at the time let him stay as PM even though he was outnumbered in the House by the two main opposition parties, who wanted to form a government, and he had LOST HIS OWN SEAT IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. The King-Byng affair revolved around EXACTLY the scenario of a PM with a plurality being outnumbered in the House by his main rivals but refusing to resign and wishing to stay as PM until actually losing a vote in Parliament. The precedent set in that case was that the PM was NOT forced to resign and/or dismissed by the GG, and was in fact permitted to continue as PM even though he was no longer even a Member of Parliament.

  242. Deny a coalition, voters will pass their judgment at advance polls and May 2, 2011. What could go wrong?

  243. fair enough. now, let's not kid ourselves and pretend you would consider voting for Harper if he hadnt offered this 2.2 billion tax harmonization deal. you're a partisan liberal and (crossing fingers) there is nothing wrong with that, per se, sort of.

    but i have a pretty good idea of what the liberals would do. i may be wrong. this idea is based on my impressions of the liberal party over the years and iggy in particular. my impressions may be wrong.

    but, to the extent that my statements are unsupported by facts, and only unfounded fear (i prefer the expression "reasonable paranoia"), so are every single bit of scaremongering surrounding a harper majority we've now endured by the likes of you for over 8 years. nobody has any evidence of how harper would govern with a majority, so all they have is unfounded fear.

  244. You still don't get how minority govt might ideally work. If the libs openly support such a move by the BQ [ by the way it's up to Harper to put this question to them…if it is unpopular enough you'll see the libs back off] then the cons can help raise a hue and cry in the country and compel the govt to change course. If the bloc were unwise enough to force the Lib/NDPs hand there is room for the cons to support the govt. It's messy, sure. But that's allowed for in the house rules.Issue by issue is perfectly legit…it's how Harper has survived this long.

    But i take your point, this should be aired during the election.

  245. Ah, the no coalition of losers arguement re formatted, cute.

    If Harper ran a truly cooperative minoriity the rug the liberals stand on would be whipped from under their feet. They could continue howling at the moon if they liked, but noone woulld be listening. People are listening now for a reason. Right now the public is trying to decide who's less wrong.

  246. You've put your finger on what most of us are endlessly going around on. Who's the one who's being most uncooperative here? And the public are the ones to sort it out – hopefully. Of course it also comes down to who makes his case the most forcefully. Then there is that fly in the oinment…our voting system that skews everything. In fairness it always has and at different times it's screwed everyone more or less equally. Right now it's screwing the opposition parties.

  247. Don't be silly. Harper's views on coalitions back then were correct…now they're, conveniently for him, different.

    And no it was not me.

  248. Of course not, not only is Harper not in my riding, not only do I vote based on candidates over party, but even if neither of those things applied, the evidence is in as to Mr. Harper's conduct. It was in on day one of his time as PM when he put Fortier in the senate and cabinet directly against his own campaign promises, for no reason. My opinion of Mr. Harper was only solidified by his later 180 degree reversals on softwood lumber and income trusts, and he has taken no action to date which reduces that evidence.

    And we do have some evidence of how Harper would govern in a majority. Look at his actions which can be done without consulting parliament. Look at the budget of the PMO. Look at his appointing Fortier. Look at the command & control apparatchik in place in the CPC. The evidence is right there for how he's going to behave. That you refuse to see it is because you choose not to look, because then you might actually have to confront your fear that some other party or candidate might be a better option.

    Your impressions of the Liberal party over the years.. would that include those years of surplus budgets? Of increasing prosperity for Canadians? Oh absolutely there was a time, under PET, when your impressions may have been valid.. but I think times have changed enough, and there is enough evidence to understand it may be time to discard those old impressions.. at least to the extent where you don't allow them to over-ride actual evidence.

  249. Thanks SS. Much as i would love to see Harper shown the door, it is unlikely, unless the libs catch fire…i rest my case.

    Your scenario is both a hopeful and a more realistic one.

  250. Thanks SS. Much as i would love to see Harper shown the door, it is unlikely, unless the libs catch fire…i rest my case.

    Your scenario is both a hopeful and a more realistic one.

  251. He's referring to Iggy changing his stance on the coalition issue post-Dion.

    á la, with the accent, is french for "in the manner of, or in the style of."

  252. Sorry, I wasn't talking about coalitions in general, but specifically coalitions that include the Bloc, whether as part of the government or the propper uppers of the government.

  253. Yeah they do.

    Stiff upper lip and all eh

  254. I know what the French means…but yes, Iggy was a team player under Dion, but not bound by his choices when he became leader.

  255. The Libs/NDP/Bloc have already shown tremendous patience with the Harper Govt. and we can see they do not vote against motions of confidence willy-nilly. It will be Harper's fault if this scenario plays out, I would not expect Harper (of 04' or today) to leave the GG alone nearly as long as the Liberals would if the roles were filpped.

  256. You should read the Book from Brian Topp. This is a done deal. All three opposition leaders have moved their platforms to be insync. Why else was the Democratic reform blocked by them?
    http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2011/04/media-p

    I have ZERO problem with Lib-NDP coalition if they outnumber the CPC. The Bloc is the kingmaker is my only problem.
    If the CPC are one seat short of a majority do you think outside Quebec the Parliament will be seen as legit? Take a look at the LGR vote or the 2008 election. Large swaths of of Canada will be excluded from the levers of power to stop the incumbent from running his minority government.

    The last budget was not a right wing budget. In the last five years the CPC have kept spending in all the big areas of concern (health, education, social services) in spite of the global recession.
    http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2011/04/will-cohttp://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2011/04/volderm

  257. With the winds I smell a touch of Afghanistan, In-n-Out, meddling with RCMP, $B more for planes, and structural deficits.

  258. Sigh…the circumstances we've just spent numerous posts discussing

    I'm pretty sure you've presented at least three different sets of hypothetical circumstances in our postings here, so I wanted to know which of those you were referring to in your last post.

    That said, I realize that this was silly, and I have no idea why I so often do this (even while lightly mocking others who do this with you too) so I'll now back away slowly…

  259. all these things that harper has done until now, may not have occurred in a majority. you're obviously allowed to extrapolate. that's what Im doing as well. im extrapolating what the liberals are doing and saying in opposition, and in my view they are a bunch of opportunistic power hungry buffoons with no moral compass.

    they give lip service to climate change. that alone is enough for me to not vote for them under any circumstances.

    they treat Khadr as a canadian hero. that is more then enough for me.

    many of them marched in a pro-hezbollah march. i dont need to read their platform to know i wont vote for them.

    their brightest star is a former NDP (NPD!!!!) premier who nearly bankrupted my province (which was then saved by a certain mike harris, much to the dismay of the usual supsects). i dont care if today they have a wicked platform (they dont). im not even considering voting for them for a nanosecond.

    you can go on all you want, and if iggy is PM he may yet surprise me. but just as you have the right to fear a harper majority without any actual evidence as to how he would govern, i have the right to despise the thought of iggy as pm based on these tidbits of info.