‘There’s so much cuckoo around this’

by Aaron Wherry

The Canadian Press checks Mr. Harper’s understanding of the constitution.

A government must have the confidence of the House of Commons in order to remain legitimate. But if Harper’s Conservatives have the most seats on May 3, they still need the support of the majority of the House of Commons in order to form government.If Harper loses that confidence, there are two choices, explains Russell. He can ask the Governor General to hold another election. Or the Governor General can look for another option among the other parties.




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‘There’s so much cuckoo around this’

  1. But, Harper makes the rules.

  2. "A constitution means what I want it to mean, no more no less" – Harper Dumpty.

  3. But, Harper makes the rules.

  4. "A constitution means what I want it to mean, no more no less" – Harper Dumpty.

  5. Are you sure they weren't checking an unpublished first draft of the constitution?

  6. Are you sure they weren't checking an unpublished first draft of the constitution?

  7. The GG is going to have to pull Harper's fingernails out of the doorjamb at 24 Sussex.

  8. The GG is going to have to pull Harper's fingernails out of the doorjamb at 24 Sussex.

    • I think this GG will be buffing Harper's nails. Blatantly political "thank you" from Steve for covering his butt during the Mulroney-Schreiber debacle.

    • I'm worried he wouldn't be there if he wasn't under Harper's thumb.

      • Yeah, that's a concern. He could think he owes Harper a considerable debt for connections they've had over the years, and he might be willing to act as a rubber stamp. Goodness knows, the last one did.

        A sad day if we can't count on our public officials to uphold their oath and do the right thing.

  9. "A government must have the confidence of the House of Commons in order to remain legitimate."

    Here we go again. On the other hand, a government must have the confidence of the people in order to remain legitimate as well and a coalition of losers is unseemly, at best.

    Are Libs really going to restore dignity to Parliament after a naked power grab and only having half the number of MPs as winning party?

  10. "A government must have the confidence of the House of Commons in order to remain legitimate."

    Here we go again. On the other hand, a government must have the confidence of the people in order to remain legitimate as well and a coalition of losers is unseemly, at best.

    Are Libs really going to restore dignity to Parliament after a naked power grab and only having half the number of MPs as winning party?

    • The people, more then 60% of them, don't want Harper to be PM. I know that the loudest and most obnoxious of the people are in the 40% minority, but that still doesn't make it a government of the people.

    • bergkamp: you may have a bad time back when PC Premier Frank Miller who had the most seats in Ontario following an election in the 80's, didn't regain power after Peterson and Rae signed an accord (not coalition) and the Lieutenant Governor at the time called on Peterson to form a government. I don't recall that Miller was ever actually defeated or met the house?
      Hey experts! Does that stand as a precedent at the federal level?

      • Definitely not an expert, but looking at Wikipedia there was actually a precedence in a federal election in 1925. The resulting government was controversial and short-lived though.

    • Someone phoned me last weekend and asked me if I would consider voting for Stephen Harper and Bob Dechert. I told them that I wouldn't electoral fraud! These Conservative idiots are trying to make me vote in two ridings! Although, I am not fair; they couldn't pronounce the name Harper nor the name Dechert; who knows what country they were calling from.

      • It was Miramichi, which is still in Canada–unless they've moved to a different calling centre. I had that exact same call (except mine was for Braid and Harper). Okay, actually the call was for my boss, but they had to get through me first. My boss just very kindly pointed out that Harper wouldn't be on his ballot.

    • Funny how reasonably well-founded speculation about what's in the AG's report is considered out of bounds, leaving bad faith stories about "naked power grabs" to carry the day.

  11. I think this GG will be buffing Harper's nails. Blatantly political "thank you" from Steve for covering his butt during the Mulroney-Schreiber debacle.

  12. The people, more then 60% of them, don't want Harper to be PM. I know that the loudest and most obnoxious of the people are in the 40% minority, but that still doesn't make it a government of the people.

  13. We could be heading for a very serious constitutional crises. Harper is saying correctly that the GG is obligated to chose the party with the most seats to form a government. But if that government is defeated he is saying the GG must call an election even if it is only a short time since the last election.
    I'm no expert, but this is wrong. The GG does have some power here, the power to ask the leader of the party with the next largest seat count to form a government. This is what he will surely do. Ignatieff would then seek the confidence of the House on a throne speech and budget.
    So will Harper refuse to go? Will he bring supporters into the streets as he did against M. Jean? Will he try to employ the armed forces? Nothing would surprise me.

  14. We could be heading for a very serious constitutional crises. Harper is saying correctly that the GG is obligated to chose the party with the most seats to form a government. But if that government is defeated he is saying the GG must call an election even if it is only a short time since the last election.
    I'm no expert, but this is wrong. The GG does have some power here, the power to ask the leader of the party with the next largest seat count to form a government. This is what he will surely do. Ignatieff would then seek the confidence of the House on a throne speech and budget.
    So will Harper refuse to go? Will he bring supporters into the streets as he did against M. Jean? Will he try to employ the armed forces? Nothing would surprise me.

    • There is only one question….do you have the confidence of the House?

      If Harper does not, the GG can call on the leader of the Opposition and ask him the same question.

      Whoever does, forms the govt

      Last time this was a question Harper was seriously considering asking the Queen to fire the GG.

  15. Why doesn't anyone call a spade a spade and acknowledge that Harper can spin this because our political culture has been Americanized. Just as many people think there's a huge crime problem due to what they see on TV, they have been raised to believe we vote for our PMs like they believe Americans vote for their presidents (I suspect 1 in 100 Canadians knows about the electoral college system)

  16. Why doesn't anyone call a spade a spade and acknowledge that Harper can spin this because our political culture has been Americanized. Just as many people think there's a huge crime problem due to what they see on TV, they have been raised to believe we vote for our PMs like they believe Americans vote for their presidents (I suspect 1 in 100 Canadians knows about the electoral college system)

    • Why not give Canadians more credit?

      When I vote, I don't have a choice between Harper, Ignatieff or Layton. I have a choice between my local candidates. It's a given that I'm not directly voting for a PM or party leader, but for my local candidate. It's in black and white when I'm in the voting booth.

      The party with a plurality of seats gets to form government. And it's their leader that becomes PM. This is understood. This is why Jack Layton campaigns in my riding even though his name is not actually on the ballot. Otherwise, why is Layton coming by my riding, asking for my support and asking that I help make him PM?

      • No, the person with the confidence of the house gets to form government, and it's him that becomes PM.

        It could even be an independent candidate if that person was beloved enough by all other members of the House. (And wouldn't that be a hoot? They'd be free to select the best and brightest from all the members to form their cabinet… <sigh> idle fantasies…)

        Layton is campaigning in your riding because one of the candidates supports him for the PM.

  17. As has been shown, a majority.. or at very least a plurality, of people feel that a coalition of minor parties *is* legitimate.

  18. bergkamp: you may have a bad time back when PC Premier Frank Miller who had the most seats in Ontario following an election in the 80's, didn't regain power after Peterson and Rae signed an accord (not coalition) and the Lieutenant Governor at the time called on Peterson to form a government. I don't recall that Miller was ever actually defeated or met the house?
    Hey experts! Does that stand as a precedent at the federal level?

  19. Someone phoned me last weekend and asked me if I would consider voting for Stephen Harper and Bob Dechert. I told them that I wouldn't electoral fraud! These Conservative idiots are trying to make me vote in two ridings! Although, I am not fair; they couldn't pronounce the name Harper nor the name Dechert; who knows what country they were calling from.

  20. That's always possible. It's what the last one did.

  21. A number of years ago a poll released showing that an sizeable portion of Canadians believed that Bill Clinton was the President of Canada. Maybe Quebec separatists are right: English Canadians are incapable of a culture independent from the US's.

    I certainly can't understand why if you're not interested in the health of democracy in your own country you'd want to spend billions and the lives of hundreds fellow citizens supporting democracy in Afghanistan.

  22. There is only one question….do you have the confidence of the House?

    If Harper does not, the GG can call on the leader of the Opposition and ask him the same question.

    Whoever does, forms the govt

    Last time this was a question Harper was seriously considering asking the Queen to fire the GG.

  23. " ….. majority.. or at very least a plurality …… "

    I think there is an astonishing amount of boosterism in those answers.

    People think coaltion is legitimate as long as their losing party is part of government – there is no sound reasoning, just thoughts of power and perks.

    If we have similar results after May 2 as we do now, I think Libs or NDP are obliged to vote for budget and let Cons govern because they are clearly the party with most seats, wide support across Canada.

  24. " ….. majority.. or at very least a plurality …… "

    I think there is an astonishing amount of boosterism in those answers.

    People think coaltion is legitimate as long as their losing party is part of government – there is no sound reasoning, just thoughts of power and perks.

    If we have similar results after May 2 as we do now, I think Libs or NDP are obliged to vote for budget and let Cons govern because they are clearly the party with most seats, wide support across Canada.

    • And people think a coalition isn't legitimate when it's their party losing power – there is no sound reasoning, just thoughts of power and perks.

      The difference between the two is that those who think a coalition is legitimate are backed up by the Canadian constitution, while those who don't only have their own petty whining as backing.

      So you can think what you want but most people won't care until it starts to have some relevance to reality.

      • " …. those who think a coalition is legitimate are backed up by the Canadian constitution ….. "

        Yes and no. Canadian constituion does not say much, expects MPs to use some common sense and unfortuneately that's in short supply now.

        The constitution is not clear cut – there might not be any rules against coaltion but neither is there precedent for a coalition of losers usurping power from party with double the number of seats of any other party.

        So people squaking about the constituion are whining as much as anyone else.

        • Fair enough. According to what's written down, the GG may select absolutely anybody to be the Prime Minister of Canada. So, that semantic nit put to bed, the reality is that the GG behaves according to convention, taken from the UK, which indicates that the PM is selected by the GG as the person most likely to command the confidence of the House Of Commons.

          Those who favor a coalition are backed by convention. Those who do not, are backed by fantasy.

          • Conventions change over time according to practices, and always, always based on political feasibility If coalitions are now and in the future politically radioactive, then the convention will change. The trend lines are against you on this; twenty years from now, we won't even be having a debate about the propriety of coalitions, because no one will dare to think it'll be popularly supported.

      • The problem for the Liberals is not that most people believe that a coalition is illegitimate. The problem is that to many voters aren't comfortable with a Liberal / NDP Government. This is what the Liberals need to address.

        • A majority are comfortable with a Liberal/NDP government.
          A plurality are comfortable with a Liberal/NDP government supported by the Bloc.

          This is what CPC supporters need to realize

          • Then why is Iggy the one denying he will form a coalition?

          • Comfortable does not mean prefer. People will accept it. That doesn't mean it's their first choice.

            Kind of like how I'll accept an elected conservative government as legitimate. Doesn't mean I'll prefer it.. or even like it.

          • Earlier Aaron Post
            "but a plurality of Canadians feel uneasy about the idea of coalition government”
            49% Negative or somewhat negative
            40% Positive or somewhat Positive

          • Here's the link so that people can see the parts of the article you didn't cherry-pick: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/04/07/vague-notions/

            However, I don't see how that changes what I said. If anything, it strengthens it, especially when you put it in the context of the options Mr. Harper has laid out for us: Conservative Majority or Coalition.

            It would have been most interesting if the poll had asked the question regarding a conservative minority or coalition.

            What woudl have been even more interesting is if they ditched the notion of coalition altogether, and asked the exact question that bergkamp put forward at the beginning. Conservative minority, or smaller Liberal minority supported by other parties?

          • I don't see what I 'cherry-picked'.
            You Said "A plurality are comfortable with a Liberal/NDP government supported by the Bloc" & provided no backup. Aarons post differs.
            I would like the idea of a Liberal / Conservative coilition. Not so much a Liberal / NDP.

    • I hear what you're saying, Bergkamp, but give this hypothetical some thought for a minute. You are Harper. Or, if that's too much of a stretch for you, a Conservative MP. You have been re-elected to Parliament, but the NDP has the most seats. The NDP had the most seats the last time, actually, and the election returned the exact same people. So, the NDP produce their budget, which includes tax increases and an increase to the deficit, simply because of all the social programs they've instituted.

      Do you vote in favour of this budget because you just had an election? How is that representing your constituents? How does that reflect on the promises you made, which got you elected?

  25. And people think a coalition isn't legitimate when it's their party losing power – there is no sound reasoning, just thoughts of power and perks.

    The difference between the two is that those who think a coalition is legitimate are backed up by the Canadian constitution, while those who don't only have their own petty whining as backing.

    So you can think what you want but most people won't care until it starts to have some relevance to reality.

  26. Why not give Canadians more credit?

    When I vote, I don't have a choice between Harper, Ignatieff or Layton. I have a choice between my local candidates. It's a given that I'm not directly voting for a PM or party leader, but for my local candidate. It's in black and white when I'm in the voting booth.

    The party with a plurality of seats gets to form government. And it's their leader that becomes PM. This is understood. This is why Jack Layton campaigns in my riding even though his name is not actually on the ballot. Otherwise, why is Layton coming by my riding, asking for my support and asking that I help make him PM?

  27. Look at it this way — history is full of governments that have lacked the confidence of the people — think of Mulroney throughout most of his second term, for example.
    But a government without the confidence of the House of Commons is an oxymoron.

  28. " …. those who think a coalition is legitimate are backed up by the Canadian constitution ….. "

    Yes and no. Canadian constituion does not say much, expects MPs to use some common sense and unfortuneately that's in short supply now.

    The constitution is not clear cut – there might not be any rules against coaltion but neither is there precedent for a coalition of losers usurping power from party with double the number of seats of any other party.

    So people squaking about the constituion are whining as much as anyone else.

  29. The problem for the Liberals is not that most people believe that a coalition is illegitimate. The problem is that to many voters aren't comfortable with a Liberal / NDP Government. This is what the Liberals need to address.

  30. The problem for the Liberals is not that most people believe that a coalition is illegitimate. The problem is that to many voters aren%E2%80%99t comfortable with a Liberal / NDP Government. This is what the Liberals need to address.

  31. A majority are comfortable with a Liberal/NDP government.
    A plurality are comfortable with a Liberal/NDP government supported by the Bloc.

    This is what CPC supporters need to realize

  32. Funny how reasonably well-founded speculation about what's in the AG's report is considered out of bounds, leaving bad faith stories about "naked power grabs" to carry the day.

  33. No, Canadians do, and they clearly have reservations about losing parties forming governing coalitions, which is why Iggy will "try" not to form one.

  34. Fair enough. According to what's written down, the GG may select absolutely anybody to be the Prime Minister of Canada. So, that semantic nit put to bed, the reality is that the GG behaves according to convention, taken from the UK, which indicates that the PM is selected by the GG as the person most likely to command the confidence of the House Of Commons.

    Those who favor a coalition are backed by convention. Those who do not are backed by fantasy.

  35. Then why is Iggy the one denying he will form a coalition?

  36. To be technical about it, the GG can call on anybody and ask them that question.

    But starting with the leader of the Opposition makes the most sense.

  37. No, Johnston's the real deal. He won't play partisan political games as GG. Bank on it.

  38. No, the person with the confidence of the house gets to form government, and it's him that becomes PM.

    It could even be an independent candidate if that person was beloved enough by all other members of the House. (And wouldn't that be a hoot? They'd be free to select the best and brightest from all the members to form their cabinet… <sigh> idle fantasies…)

    Layton is campaigning in your riding because one of the candidates supports him for the PM.

  39. Comfortable does not mean prefer. People will accept it. That doesn't mean it's their first choice.

    Kind of like how I'll accept an elected conservative government as legitimate. Doesn't mean I'll prefer it.. or even like it.

  40. Earlier Aaron Post
    "but a plurality of Canadians feel uneasy about the idea of coalition government”
    49% Negative or somewhat negative
    40% Positive or somewhat Positive

  41. I don't believe there is anything stopping His Excellency from asking a Conservative member other than Mr. Harper to test the house in the event Mr. Harper's agenda fails to pass.

  42. Wow – I'm reminded each day anew about the blinding power of Harper hate.

    Let's review, shall we. Harper very early in this campaign adopts the tack that, if the CPC wins the most seats, but doesn't achieve a majority, the opposition parties will conspire to prevent them from forming the government, ergo the real choice is between a (a) CPC majority and (b) a opposition coalition or coalition-like arrangement. Andrew Coyne considers this, decides Harper is being somewhat disingenuous when he describes (b) as illegitimate, but essentially agrees with Harper's proposition. We now have two CP experts in constitutional law also calling Harper disingenuous for characterizing (b) as illegitimate.

    But, see, here's the thing – no one – not Iggy, not Layton,not Duceppe, none of the the sycophants in the MSM, nor any of the "constitutional experts" – is denying exactly what Harper has been saying – that the choice is between a CPC majority and some ungodly Iggy/Jacko/Gilles three headed beast. Nobody disagrees with Harper that that is what this election will come down to – they prefer to bleat away about Harper's understanding of the constitution and the "legitimacy" of the unholy trinity that will arise to seize power away from the CPC for a few months until it implodes, as it inevitably will, as the three heads fight among themselves how best to bankrupt and/or rip apart the country.

    Actually, now that I think about it – perhaps that's part of the diabolical Harper plan all along – pull his punches and let Iggy/Jacko/Gilles have at 'er for a few months to remove any doubt about which of (a) or (b) will better serve this country.

  43. Here's the link so that people can see the parts of the article you didn't cherry-pick: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/04/07/vague-notions/

    However, I don't see how that changes what I said. If anything, it strengthens it, especially when you put it in the context of the options Mr. Harper has laid out for us: Conservative Majority or Coalition.

    It would have been most interesting if the poll had asked the question regarding a conservative minority or coalition.

    What woudl have been even more interesting is if they ditched the notion of coalition altogether, and asked the exact question that bergkamp put forward at the beginning. Conservative minority, or smaller Liberal minority supported by other parties?

  44. BS – Harper has a choice of seeking a coalition partner. He's always had that choice. But he refuses to " put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest".

  45. BS – Harper has a choice of seeking a coalition partner. He's always had that choice. But he refuses to " put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest".

  46. One question has been trotting in my mind since the end of the debate: What made Harper change his mind about Canada, which he once qualified as a second-rate failed experiment and now calls it great, the greatest in the world?

    • He's been reduced to grovelling is what changed. Otherwise, unfortunately, and worrisome for me, I don't believe a thing has.

      • Also, despite repeated putdowns of Canada,he never left the country even though he found the US under Bush enticing. Remember he promised to be their best friends forever and loved Faux News..

  47. One question has been trotting in my mind since the end of the debate: What made Harper change his mind about Canada, which he once qualified as a second-rate failed experiment and now calls it great, the greatest in the world?

  48. I don't see what I 'cherry-picked'.
    You Said "A plurality are comfortable with a Liberal/NDP government supported by the Bloc" & provided no backup. Aarons post differs.
    I would like the idea of a Liberal / Conservative coilition. Not so much a Liberal / NDP.

  49. I was very disappointed that the other leaders didn't make this clear. Ignatieff particularly seemed to be almost agreeing with Harper's appalling characterization of our constitution. I'd quite like to see a transcript of the debate to see exactly what they said (and to check that my memory is correct).

  50. He's been reduced to grovelling is what changed. Otherwise, unfortunately, and worrisome for me, I don't believe a thing has.

  51. Harper is only ruling out a CPC minority; saying he is no longer willing/able to compromise with any of the other parties. So either he gets to be PM with a majority or he doesn't want to be PM. This does not mean that the only other option is "some ungodly Iggy/Jacko/Gilles three headed beast".

    A Liberal majority would not need the support of the NDP, Bloc or CPC to stay in power. If the Green party wins a majority then none of Ignatieff, Layton or DuCeppe would be part of the government.

    The election is still 3 weeks away; trying to count the votes now is a pointless task. The point of having an election campaign is to allow the politicians to persuade the population how to vote.

  52. Harper is only ruling out a CPC minority; saying he is no longer willing/able to compromise with any of the other parties. So either he gets to be PM with a majority or he doesn't want to be PM. This does not mean that the only other option is "some ungodly Iggy/Jacko/Gilles three headed beast".

    A Liberal majority would not need the support of the NDP, Bloc or CPC to stay in power. If the Green party wins a majority then none of Ignatieff, Layton or DuCeppe would be part of the government.

    The election is still 3 weeks away; trying to count the votes now is a pointless task. The point of having an election campaign is to allow the politicians to persuade the population how to vote.

  53. From the debate:

    Harper: <incorrect (or at least very incomplete) description about who forms government>
    Ignatieff: If you get more seats you get to try and meet the house of commons
    Harper: … If you don't get the most seats you don't get to form the government, that's how our system works
    Ignatieff: I just said that, I ??? accept that principle.

    The ??? was because Harper was talking at the same time and I couldn't hear the word. But (in my opinion) this is where Ignatieff should have said. "No that isn't how our system works" but didn't. As I said, very disappointing.

  54. From the debate:

    Harper: <incorrect (or at least very incomplete) description about who forms government>
    Ignatieff: If you get more seats you get to try and meet the house of commons
    Harper: … If you don't get the most seats you don't get to form the government, that's how our system works
    Ignatieff: I just said that, I ??? accept that principle.

    The ??? was because Harper was talking at the same time and I couldn't hear the word. But (in my opinion) this is where Ignatieff should have said. "No that isn't how our system works" but didn't. As I said, very disappointing.

  55. It's the BQ.

    The participation of the BQ within federal elections is the problem but no one is allowed to speak about that.

    Quebecers have the right to speak for themselves, but Canadians have the right also to speak up for a federally working Canada.

    The BQ is the problem within our Parliamentary system. The BQ has to get out of federal elections.

  56. I think you are forgetting the third choice: prorogue. Again.

    Third time lucky!

  57. I think you are forgetting the third choice: prorogue. Again.

    Third time lucky!

  58. "But he refuses to " put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest"."

    Yeah, you're right about that, which is why he's being punted as PM after mere weeks on the job.

    "This does not mean that the only other option is "some ungodly Iggy/Jacko/Gilles three headed beast". A Liberal majority would not need the support of the NDP, Bloc or CPC to stay in power. If the Green party wins a majority then none of Ignatieff, Layton or DuCeppe would be part of the government."

    I suppose the Pirate party winning a majority is another possibility. I wouldn't, however, wager much on that or any of the other possibilities you reference. Nothing has changed since the day one of the election and nothing is likely to change between now and election day – either the CPC will win a majority or the Libs/Dippers/Blocs will conspire to prevent a CPC minority from forming a government.

  59. "Ignatieff particularly seemed to be almost agreeing with Harper's appalling characterization of our constitution."

    Must have dozed off while you were being appalled – what exactly was the characterization of the constitution that caused your consternation? And before you answer, confirm your understanding that "constitution" is generally regarded to include not just the text of our constating documents, but unwritten conventions, protocols and traditions (for example, that the leader of the political party winning the most seats becomes prime minister).

  60. Also, despite repeated putdowns of Canada,he never left the country even though he found the US under Bush enticing. Remember he promised to be their best friends forever and loved Faux News..

  61. Canadians have the right to speak up for a federally working – or not. Take Stephen Harper who cares not if Canada has one, two or ten national governments. That doesn't stop him from having a seat in parliament. Heck, he's prime minister!

    Why don't you honestly say that the problem is that the Frenchies exist? When they're not separatists, well, they're from Quebec. They don't speak English well enough, like Dion, and you enjoy making fun of that.

    • Loraine, when will you grow up? When will you be able to have a debate about the Canadian federation without labelling me to be anti-French?

      Never have I written anything anti-French, or anything anti-Quebec. I am talking about the proper workings of our Canadian federation.

      The BQ cannot run a candidate outside of Quebec because it would be the end of the BQ. You may not understand that but it is true nonetheless. The BQ CANNOT run a candidate outside of Quebec. It is impossible for the BQ to run a candidate outside of Quebec.

      Loraine, it is not my opinion which labels the BQ a separatist party; it is Duceppe, the leader of the BQ, who will say over and over again that his party is a separatist party. That you do not take Duceppe at his own word, is your shortcoming, not his or mine.

      • The Reform never ran a single candidate in Quebec! Did they do that for the proper working of the federation? Give me a break! We are governed by a prime minister who was a Reformer, who has a bunch of Reformers in his caucus, some of them former members of the separatist Western Canada Concept, I think one of them is a minister. Has anyone ever asked her if she is a strong federalist?

        Yes, the Bloc is a separatist party, but a party whose leader thinks it's A-OK that Canada ends up with two or ten national capital, who invites separatists in his cabinets, who names separatists to the Senate is not a federalist party or leader to me. Maybe to you, but not to me.

        • Loraine says:" The Reform never ran a single candidate in Quebec!" Rubbish, I say!

          Well, Loraine, you better check your facts. Actually, why not read this for a reminder of the facts:
          http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&amp;…

          "The following are the final results for all candidates in the riding of Bellechasse–Etchemins–Montmagny–L'Islet:"

          Reform Party slogan: The west wants in.

          BQ Party slogan: Quebec wants out.

          Notice the difference, anyone??

          "There's indeed so much cuckoo around this'

          • The only effort the Reform Party ever made in Quebec towards a federally working Canada was to once run a candidate in Bellechasse-Etcheminds-Montmagny-L'Islet.

  62. Canadians have the right to speak up for a federally working – or not. Take Stephen Harper who cares not if Canada has one, two or ten national governments. That doesn't stop him from having a seat in parliament. Heck, he's prime minister!

    Why don't you honestly say that the problem is that the Frenchies exist? When they're not separatists, well, they're from Quebec. They don't speak English well enough, like Dion, and you enjoy making fun of that.

  63. I think the so-called constitutional experts better start talking about the inclusion of a separatist party being able to hold the balance of power in our federal House.

    Duceppe is the one laughing. He doesn't even have to debate adequately enough and he still comes out the winner, because the more the Canadian voter is whipped up into an anti-Harper frenzy, the higher the chances for Duceppe to be able to hold the balance of power over our federation. Duceppe understands this very well, as does Harper.

    The Liberals have hauled Ignatieff home in order to save the Liberal party, but really what the Liberals are doing is to hand over the balance of power to the BQ. Why? Why do the Liberals insist on fooling the Canadian public? And why are the constitutional experts so gung-ho on aiding the Liberals in this?

    And why would the NDP supporters dump Layton in favour of Ignatieff? What an insult to Layton. Layton has worked for years within municipal and federal governments to stand up for his cause, only now to be dumped by his supporters because Iggy can stop Harper? What an insult to the NDP and what an insult to the Canadian voters.

    • You're sounding a little desperate. Don't panic.

    • "What an insult to Layton. Layton has worked for years within municipal and federal governments to stand up for his cause, only now to be dumped by his supporters because Iggy can stop Harper?"

      I agree completely. I am a Tory and although I may disagree with the NDP on many issues I am proud to say as a Canadian that they stand up for their principles and their constituents.

      Ignatieff is an opportunist who would do or say anything to become Prime Minister a position which he believes he is entitled to although he has done absolutely nothing for Canada expect show it utter disdain.

      NDP to Grits: Stop playing politics with shipbuilding – http://thechronicleherald.ca/Wires/1238078.html

  64. I think the so-called constitutional experts better start talking about the inclusion of a separatist party being able to hold the balance of power in our federal House.

    Duceppe is the one laughing. He doesn't even have to debate adequately enough and he still comes out the winner, because the more the Canadian voter is whipped up into an anti-Harper frenzy, the higher the chances for Duceppe to be able to hold the balance of power over our federation. Duceppe understands this very well, as does Harper.

    The Liberals have hauled Ignatieff home in order to save the Liberal party, but really what the Liberals are doing is to hand over the balance of power to the BQ. Why? Why do the Liberals insist on fooling the Canadian public? And why are the constitutional experts so gung-ho on aiding the Liberals in this?

    And why would the NDP supporters dump Layton in favour of Ignatieff? What an insult to Layton. Layton has worked for years within municipal and federal governments to stand up for his cause, only now to be dumped by his supporters because Iggy can stop Harper? What an insult to the NDP and what an insult to the Canadian voters.

  65. Loraine, when will you grow up? When will you be able to have a debate about the Canadian federation without labelling me to be anti-French?

    Never have I written anything anti-French, or anything anti-Quebec. I am talking about the proper workings of our Canadian federation.

    The BQ cannot run a candidate outside of Quebec because it would be the end of the BQ. You may not understand that but it is true nonetheless. The BQ CANNOT run a candidate outside of Quebec. It is impossible for the BQ to run a candidate outside of Quebec.

    Loraine, it is not my opinion which labels the BQ a separatist party; it is Duceppe, the leader of the BQ, who will say over and over again that his party is a separatist party. That you do not take Duceppe at his own word, is your shortcoming, not his or mine.

  66. The convention is that the leader of the political party winning the most seats attempts to gain the confidence of the house and (if he / she succeeds) becomes prime minister.

    If the attempt to gain the confidence of the house fails then we either have another election, or some other party leader (presumably the leader of the opposition) attempts to gain the confidence of the house and if he / she succeeds then he/she becomes prime minister. Harper apparently refuses to accept this latter point.

    However, I suspect you know all this …

  67. The convention is that the leader of the political party winning the most seats attempts to gain the confidence of the house and (if he / she succeeds) becomes prime minister.

    If the attempt to gain the confidence of the house fails then we either have another election, or some other party leader (presumably the leader of the opposition) attempts to gain the confidence of the house and if he / she succeeds then he/she becomes prime minister. Harper apparently refuses to accept this latter point.

    However, I suspect you know all this …

  68. Definitely not an expert, but looking at Wikipedia there was actually a precedence in a federal election in 1925. The resulting government was controversial and short-lived though.

  69. The Reform never ran a single candidate in Quebec! Did they do that for the proper working of the federation? Give me a break! We are governed by a prime minister who was a Reformer, who has a bunch of Reformers in his caucus, some of them former members of the separatist Western Canada Concept, I think one of them is a minister. Has anyone ever asked her if she is a strong federalist?

    Yes, the Bloc is a separatist party, but a party whose leader thinks it's A-OK that Canada ends up with two or ten national capital, who invites separatists in his cabinets, who names separatists to the Senate is not a federalist party or leader to me. Maybe to you, but not to me.

  70. Conventions change over time according to practices, and always, always based on political feasibility If coalitions are now and in the future politically radioactive, then the convention will change. The trend lines are against you on this; twenty years from now, we won't even be having a debate about the propriety of coalitions, because no one will dare to think it'll be popularly supported.

  71. LOL.. "ungodly three headed beast", "unholy"

    Until then, it was a decent attempt at a reasonable post.. that bit threw it firmly into the realm of the paranoiac. I expect you believe hail and brimstone will also rain down should Mr. Harper not get his vaunted majority.

    Perhaps you should consider getting back on your meds.

    • I eagerly await your less paranoiac description of what to call Ignatieff/Layton/Duceppe all squashed up and trying to fit in the PM seat. And what's your prediction as to how long the three of them will hang together once the annoying and distracting realities of governing a nation start to reveal, shall we say, their inherent philosophical differences? Do they draw lots and rotate superior court appointments (let's hope it's not Gilles turn when the vacancy is in Alberta)? Does Jack acquiesce to Iggy on post-military Afghanistan involvement in exchange for nationalization of the oil sands? Please Thwin – encourage Iggy, Jack and Gilles to let us know how it's all going to work BEFORE we draw our own conclusions as to its legitmacy.

  72. LOL.. "ungodly three headed beast", "unholy"

    Until then, it was a decent attempt at a reasonable post.. that bit threw it firmly into the realm of the paranoiac. I expect you believe hail and brimstone will also rain down should Mr. Harper not get his vaunted majority.

    Perhaps you should consider getting back on your meds.

  73. Au contraire, the "trend lines" in a multi-party parliament point to minority governments as far as the eye can see into the future, making coalitions one of the more mature responses to such a probability (barring an unlikely move to proportional representation).

    The trend will more likely be to the Canadian electorate becoming increasing comfortable with coalitions. Just like other parliamentary democracies the world over.

  74. Loraine says:" The Reform never ran a single candidate in Quebec!" Rubbish, I say!

    Well, Loraine, you better check your facts. Actually, why not read this for a reminder of the facts:
    http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&amp;…

    "The following are the final results for all candidates in the riding of Bellechasse–Etchemins–Montmagny–L'Islet:"

    Reform Party slogan: The west wants in.

    BQ Party slogan: Quebec wants out.

    Notice the difference, anyone??

    "There's indeed so much cuckoo around this'

  75. Loraine says:" The Reform never ran a single candidate in Quebec!" Rubbish, I say!

    Well, Loraine, you better check your facts. Actually, why not read this for a reminder of the facts:
    http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=med&amp;…

    "The following are the final results for all candidates in the riding of Bellechasse–Etchemins–Montmagny–L'Islet:"

    Reform Party slogan: The west wants in.

    BQ Party slogan: Quebec wants out.

    Notice the difference, anyone??

    "There%E2%80%99s indeed so much cuckoo around this%E2%80%99

  76. "I think Libs or NDP are obliged to vote for budget and let Cons govern because they are clearly the party with most seats, wide support across Canada…"

    That's quite an incredible statement.
    You want MPs to vote against what they campaigned and were elected on? You want them, not to represent their constituents, but the constituents in ridings that elect Conservatives?
    If the Cons support is truly "wide" enough, the budget will be able to withstand the votes of opposition MPs.
    There may be many words for what you are describing, but none of them are "democracy".

  77. Where has it been shown?

  78. The only effort the Reform Party ever made in Quebec towards a federally working Canada was to once run a candidate in Bellechasse-Etcheminds-Montmagny-L'Islet.

  79. You're sounding a little desperate. Don't panic.

  80. I eagerly await your less paranoiac description of what to call Ignatieff/Layton/Duceppe all squashed up and trying to fit in the PM seat. And what's your prediction as to how long the three of them will hang together once the annoying and distracting realities of governing a nation start to reveal, shall we say, their inherent philosophical differences? Do they draw lots and rotate superior court appointments (let's hope it's not Gilles turn when the vacancy is in Alberta)? Does Jack acquiesce to Iggy on post-military Afghanistan involvement in exchange for nationalization of the oil sands? Please Thwin – encourage Iggy, Jack and Gilles to let us know how it's all going to work BEFORE we draw our own conclusions as to its legitmacy.

  81. Might make interesting hypothesis if Jim Prentice were still around and if Ignatieff failed to hold support aftyer a short stint as PM, and say Prentice and Iggy could agree to form a third option with ALL PARTY support..

    • Michael Chong, come on down!

  82. Might make interesting hypothesis if Jim Prentice were still around and if Ignatieff failed to hold support aftyer a short stint as PM, and say Prentice and Iggy could agree to form a third option with ALL PARTY support..

  83. I'm worried he wouldn't be there if he wasn't under Harper's thumb.

  84. Yeah, that's a concern. He could think he owes Harper a considerable debt for connections they've had over the years, and he might be willing to act as a rubber stamp. Goodness knows, the last one did.

    A sad day if we can't count on our public officials to uphold their oath and do the right thing.

  85. Sinn Fein refuses to sit in Parliament out of protest; their empty seats represent their contempt for an institution that they do not accept. If the Bloc has any integrity they should do the same but alas they do not and are content extorting federal funds.

  86. Sinn Fein refuses to sit in Parliament out of protest; their empty seats represent their contempt for an institution that they do not accept. If the Bloc has any integrity they should do the same but alas they do not and are content extorting federal funds.

  87. "What an insult to Layton. Layton has worked for years within municipal and federal governments to stand up for his cause, only now to be dumped by his supporters because Iggy can stop Harper?"

    I agree completely. I am a Tory and although I may disagree with the NDP on many issues I am proud to say as a Canadian that they stand up for their principles and their constituents.

    Ignatieff is an opportunist who would do or say anything to become Prime Minister a position which he believes he is entitled to although he has done absolutely nothing for Canada expect show it utter disdain.

    NDP to Grits: Stop playing politics with shipbuilding – http://thechronicleherald.ca/Wires/1238078.html

  88. I hear what you're saying, Bergkamp, but give this hypothetical some thought for a minute. You are Harper. Or, if that's too much of a stretch for you, a Conservative MP. You have been re-elected to Parliament, but the NDP has the most seats. The NDP had the most seats the last time, actually, and the election returned the exact same people. So, the NDP produce their budget, which includes tax increases and an increase to the deficit, simply because of all the social programs they've instituted.

    Do you vote in favour of this budget because you just had an election? How is that representing your constituents? How does that reflect on the promises you made, which got you elected?

  89. It was Miramichi, which is still in Canada–unless they've moved to a different calling centre. I had that exact same call (except mine was for Braid and Harper). Okay, actually the call was for my boss, but they had to get through me first. My boss just very kindly pointed out that Harper wouldn't be on his ballot.

  90. Michael Chong, come on down!

  91. What would you expect from Aaron Wherry … and Peter Russel … but a selective misrepresentation of the facts … to suit their Party preferences …

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