Two questions for Stephen Harper (II)

by Aaron Wherry

In light of what we saw and heard during the first week of the 41st general election, those two questions for Mr. Harper need to be updated.

1. Last week, you explained that when you referred to “options” in the your letter to the Governor General in September 2004, you hoped only that she would give you the opportunity to assure her that you were not intending to defeat the Liberal government. University of New Brunswick professor Don Desserud has quibbled with this understanding of convention, suggesting the only options would have been to call an election or ask the leader of the opposition, in this case you, if he had the opportunity to form a government. Do you believe the Governor General can compel the Prime Minister to work with the opposition parties or do you believe you were given poor advice in 2004?

2. In an essay penned with Tom Flanagan some years ago you spoke favourably of an “alliance” between regional parties and lamented for the “winner-take-all style of politics” in Canada. In 1997, during an interview with TVO, you said if the Liberal majority government of the day was ever reduced to a minority government, there would be an opportunity for one of the other parties “to form a coalition or working alliance with the others.” In 2004, during your news conference with Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton, you were asked if you were prepared to form government and said such a scenario was “extremely hypothetical.” You and your party now argue that only the party that wins the most seats can form government. Why and when did your views change on the functioning of our parliamentary system?




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Two questions for Stephen Harper (II)

  1. That is so last week, Aaron. Get with the program. Today we are talking about an exciting new Conservative initative; We're going to get rid of the long-gun registry!!!

  2. That is so last week, Aaron. Get with the program. Today we are talking about an exciting new Conservative initative; We're going to get rid of the long-gun registry!!!

    • exciting new? I think you mean tired old! :)

    • It's going to be sad for the conservatives when they win their majority. They'll have no excuse for failing to implement all their old hobby-horses by the next election. Long-gun registry, their raft of hang-'em-high legislation, etc. They'll have to dream up new hobby horses for the next election.

      • They'll need new hobby horses no matter the result (coalition! just visiting!)

        The only thing worse than the conservatives not being able to implement their plans is conservatives not being able to implement their plans.

      • They'll have to dream up new hobby horses for the next election.

        You'd think so, wouldn't you? But I think you underestimate the ability of the Conservatives to torpedo their own legislation. If all else fails, you can always prorogue.

        • In fact, why not pro-rogue for two months, and then try to say it was the only reason the opposition didn't try to form a coaltion?

  3. exciting new? I think you mean tired old! :)

  4. Yeah, right. Like I'm going to spend time answering your tricky questions when I'm totally focused preparing for my 1 on 1 debate with the Iggster.

  5. Yeah, right. Like I'm going to spend time answering your tricky questions when I'm totally focused preparing for my 1 on 1 debate with the Iggster.

  6. "Why and when did your views change on the functioning of our parliamentary system?"

    You are too earnest for your own good, Wherry. Harper is not a constitutional scholar, he is a pol and his views change depending on the circumstances. If Harper is saying one thing on Mon, another on Tues, and something else entirely on Wed it is all to do with electoral prospects and nothing else.

    I am not certain if you have noticed, Wherry, but pols do and say things to get elected and if they have to lie and cheat than so be it. And it has been this way since I started following politics two decades ago.

  7. "Why and when did your views change on the functioning of our parliamentary system?"

    You are too earnest for your own good, Wherry. Harper is not a constitutional scholar, he is a pol and his views change depending on the circumstances. If Harper is saying one thing on Mon, another on Tues, and something else entirely on Wed it is all to do with electoral prospects and nothing else.

    I am not certain if you have noticed, Wherry, but pols do and say things to get elected and if they have to lie and cheat than so be it. And it has been this way since I started following politics two decades ago.

    • Harper lies and cheats more than the others though. In fact, I can't remember a more dishonest PM/party leader, and I've been around for a long time.

      • Confirmation bias.

    • "Harper is not a constitutional scholar, he is a pol and his views change depending on the circumstances."

      This has been the main reason why 2006 was my last vote for Harper. I don't expect a party incapable of adjusting to changing conditions, but I do expect all political parties to have some sort of underlying motivation that makes their actions somewhat predictable. For the NDP, I expect that they'll take a protectionist or precautionary perspective on pretty much everything; for the Liberals, I'd expect–all things considered–that they would develop solutions that increase the power (and size, most likely) of the federal government. For the Conservatives, I would expect they would attempt to reduce the size of the government and focus on fiscal responsibility.

      I don't find increasing the size of the government to be particularly palatable, but since I can't–for the life of me–derive the underlying motivation of the Conservative Party of Canada, I'm left with two particularly unappealing choices. And I'll probably pick the one that's at least somewhat predictable.

      • Do the frequent cover ups and instances of undisclosed information which should be available, if not to the public then to other federal parties, not allude to an "underlying motivation"?

        • No, they speak to a certain cognitive dissonance between the guiding principles of the party and their choice of actions.

          However, any particular disdain for the parliamentary process does not, in and of itself, speak to what the actual motivation of the party is. If I knew the answer to that question I feel I'd be able to explain an awful lot more about the past few years of government. From all appearances, the Conservative Party of Canada has become precisely what they fought against so vigorously in 2004 and 2005: a party whose only raison d'être is power for the sake of power. I keep searching for some other underlying motivation, but keep coming up empty.

          • I see your point. However I personally, am unsure as to whether disdain for underlying motives within a party's platform is enough to reject it altogether. I am equally concerned with the party's ethics. When ethics become questionable, vague, and seemingly reversed from what they originally were, I have to question what the agent of this change is.

            Regardless, thank you for answering my question. I don't disagree that our choices for the election aren't exactly outstanding and that the Conservatives may appear to be the lesser evil. I'm a bit of an optimist though, and I worry about parties which pursue power so vigorously, as you mentioned.

          • If I knew which party was the lesser evil, I think my choice for this election would be much easier. I'm not able to make that judgment at this moment.

    • But I seem to recall a lot of words like "principled" thrown about in regard to Harper, that all of his supporters cited as a big reason they supported him (and that it was 'refreshing', saw that word a lot in 2006)

      Another oft-used phrase was "I say what I will do, and I do what I said"

      So which is it?

      • Which is what?

        I am not Harper supporter, all pols are scoundrels. I think it is absurd when people claim to have bs meter and say that one side lies less than another and is therefore more virtuous.

  8. "…or do you believe you were given poor advice in 2004?"

    The sad result of his own internal dialogue.

  9. "…or do you believe you were given poor advice in 2004?"

    The sad result of his own internal dialogue.

  10. Harper lies and cheats more than the others though. In fact, I can't remember a more dishonest PM/party leader, and I've been around for a long time.

  11. Fact: Once pigs have the taste of blood, they will come back for more. And so, perhaps the same could be said for "flying pigs".

    If the Conservatives were to win a minority government, and if the opposition parties were to form a coalition government, they could only do so by drawing up another coalition agreement with the BQ. The numbers make it so – undisputed.

    And if the Liberals and the NDP are prepared to put in place, once again, a Permanent Consultation Mechanism for the BQ in order for the coalition government to survive, then the BQ will have the last say in everything the coalition government proposes or proposes to spend.

    Once the BQ is certain that such powers will be granted to them once, there will be no going back for this country. From then on in, the BQ will have the power over our federation likd no other party has ever had.

    The entire Liberal caucus and the entire NDP caucus and the entire BQ caucus were prepared to go there once. Is Canada prepared to go there?

    That is the only question which needs to be answered in the 2011 election results.

  12. Fact: Once pigs have the taste of blood, they will come back for more. And so, perhaps the same could be said for "flying pigs".

    If the Conservatives were to win a minority government, and if the opposition parties were to form a coalition government, they could only do so by drawing up another coalition agreement with the BQ. The numbers make it so – undisputed.

    And if the Liberals and the NDP are prepared to put in place, once again, a Permanent Consultation Mechanism for the BQ in order for the coalition government to survive, then the BQ will have the last say in everything the coalition government proposes or proposes to spend.

    Once the BQ is certain that such powers will be granted to them once, there will be no going back for this country. From then on in, the BQ will have the power over our federation likd no other party has ever had.

    The entire Liberal caucus and the entire NDP caucus and the entire BQ caucus were prepared to go there once. Is Canada prepared to go there?

    That is the only question which needs to be answered in the 2011 election results.

    • If the Conservatives were to win a minority government, they would attempt to gain the confidence of the house. If they didn't, either there would be another election or the second place party (most likely the Liberals, who have already stated that they would not form a coalition) would be given the option of attempting to gain the confidence of the house. If they didn't, there would most likely be another election.

      The Liberals wouldn't have to form a coalition to form the government, and have repeatedly stated that they would not. They could come to a consensus issue by issue with the other parties in parliament, much like the Conservatives have done in the last two parliaments.

      • You may have some points there, Bill M. It all depends on the numbers and to which party those numbers befall, like I have said many, many times.

        But if Canadians believe that a party with even less seats in the House would bring about a stable government, they are indeed deluding themselves.

        That is what Harper has been saying all along: if you want a stable government for the next term, then vote in a majority government. Harper has never said that only his party could form such majority government. If the Liberals win a majority government, than Harper would accept that; he has said that, too.

        Harper is asking the Canadian voter to give him and his party this chance for forming a majority government. Nothing unclear about that. Actually, it's as honest as it gets.

  13. Harper has always been consistent. He has never formed a coalition agreement with the BQ. And he never will.

  14. Harper has always been consistent. He has never formed a coalition agreement with the BQ. And he never will.

    • But this is no different than Iggy and Liberals…

      • Why are Mr.Wherry and Mr. Desserud and Mr.Flanagan so eager to deflect the attention away from the 2008 signed agreement?

        You know why? Here's why: if the real thing were to be questioned, namely the 2008 signed coalition agreement. the Canadian support for Ignatieff would fall so low as never before seen for the Liberal party of Canada.

        It is entirely possible that 1. the academia and some members of the msm are not willing to let the Liberal party fall that low, so lies about Harper will be repeated and repeated to make them appear real.
        and 2. the academia will not let a fellow professor sink that low in support – they will do everything they can to save Ignatieff's face, EVEN if that were to mean letting the Country sink into a history changing coalition agreement such as was signed in 2008.

        Don't believe me? Well, then keep believing the lies they are trying to stick onto Harper and see where it will leave this federation for years, and years to come. There will be no going back once the BQ has been given special powers.

    • "Harper has always been consistent."

      LOL! You haven't been paying attention the last five years, have you?

      • Don't worry, Andrew whatever your name is: you may not have paid attention to how this election campaign is being played out, but I have paid close enough attention.

        Ever since the day that Ignatieff could not make up his mind on the coalition question, and ever since he was forced to make a somewhat 'clear' statement as what he would do next, some prominent members in the media and some so-called experts in this country, have been very hard at work to draw our attention away from the 2008 signed coalition agreement. Then, by misrepresenting the 2004 agreement, they hope the attention of the 2008 signed agreement will be kept to a minimum, if that. They hope the 2008 agreement will not be talked about.

        Harper may not be a constitutional lawyer and neither am I but this is the dilemna facing our federation:

        if Harper were to win another minority government, but the opposition parties were to form government instead, such coalition agreement can ONLY come about with the inclusion of the BQ (there is no other possibility). But it would be unconstitutional for any federal party to form a coalition agreement with the BQ since the BQ is NOT a federal party. The BQ states so openly and for anyone to hear.

        That is why Harper had never signed a coalition agreement with the BQ because he knew that the GG could never, ever agree to such coalition forming government overseeing the Canadian federation. The GG could NOT, and never can, give in to treason. The GG could not, and cannot, do so under any circumstance. Harper has always understood that, and therefore another letter of cooperation was handed to the GG for consideration, namely to make changes to the workings of Parliament rather than resort to outright treason by handing the balance of power to the BQ as had been proposed AND signed onto in 2008.

    • Harper has always been consistent.
      - He thought the regional parties should form a coalition in 1997, he wanted to form a coalition with the NDP and BQ in 2004, and thinks that a coalition is the devil's work in 2011.
      - He would never tax income trusts in 2006, and after the elections he taxes income trusts.
      - He will run the most open government in history before the 2006 election, and he runs the least open government in history after the election.
      - He thinks that there should be fixed election dates and passes a law requiring this, and calls an election after 2 1/2 years.
      - He says the Conservatives will never run a deficit and if Canada were to enter a recession they would have done so before the 2008 election, and now he says that Canada came through the recession so well because of the fore site of the Conservative party.
      …….

      • Harper has never, ever, signed a coalition agreement with the BQ. That's all that matters.

        • But no one else has either, never, ever.

          • You are lying!

          • *Sigh*, no she's not. BQ was not a Coalition partner in 2008.

            In related news, my son's kindergarten class also got nowhere in their discussion of whether or not bugs are really icky!

          • I have taught in kindergarten classes, and I can guarantee you that kids attending kindergarten are not expected to anwer adult questions. Kids are kids and adults are adults. Why would we know the difference between the two? By behaviour. I will no longer try and ask you any adult questions, because you are clealy not capable of answering anything in adult form.

            Not once, not once, have you even tried to answer the problem facing Canadian voters, namely to explain what the Permament Consulting Mechanism would amount to, as agreed to and signed onto by Ignatieff and Layton when signing the 2008 coalition agreement.

          • I hope for the sake of children you had a better sense of honesty in your teaching days!

          • Look, it does not help conversation when people refuse to understand one another. When they say the BQ was not part of the coalition, they mean that in a technical sense, and they are right. When you say they were part of the coalition, you are talking pragmatically, and probably you are right too. So, can we please stop just talking past each other day after day after day after day…

            You shouting at the top of your lungs that the BQ was a coalition partner does nothing to convince those who understand that they weren't, and in fact simply makes them think of you as a narrow minded fear monger-er.

          • This is interesting. For months, we have heard the opposition parties complain that Minister Bev Oda should be found in contempt of Parliament because she had not been forthcoming enough about her 'telling of the events as they had unfolded"

            Yet, here we have the very same opposition parties, during an election campaign, trying to convince the Canadian voter that a 2008 signed coalition agreement with the BQ never has existed.

            Better yet, the same people writing on these boards who would most likely hold Minister Oda to have been in contempt of Parliament, are now doing their utmost in trying to defend the politicians who now try and deny the existence of a 2008 signed coalition agreement.

            I am not inventing an agreement. There was a real hard copy agreement, signed and all, and addressed to the GG of Canada. Here it is in case anyone wants to accuse me of making things up http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

            The BQ was never to be sitting in the coalition government, for it could not possibly do so (it would have been the end of the BQ party), but the BQ were signatories to a Lib/NDP/BQ coalition agreement. And had the Canadian public not been outraged, and had the acting PM of this federation not prorogued the House, we would have had a coalition goverment in place as set out under the agreement of 2008, inclusive of the BQ. But I wonder if the GG could have approved such an agreement, constitutionally speaking.

          • "but the BQ were signatories to a Lib/NDP/BQ coalition agreement."

            Duceppe never signed the coalition agreement. Look at page three of that letter, point 6 where the leaders were to sign their names. There's one spot for Dion and one spot for Layton. Notice how there is not a spot for Duceppe to sign the letter because he never signed that letter. What he signed is the "A Policy Accord to Address the Economic Crisis". Read the article where you have found the coalition accord document, it explains it all. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/r

          • Amen.

        • So you don't care about any of the other volte-faces of a government?

  15. But this is no different than Iggy and Liberals…

  16. I understand motive. I understand motive from different angles:

    It is quite obvious that were the Canadian voter really to understand the 2008 signed coalition agreement in earnest, then Mr.Ignatieff's election campaign would be in serious trouble. And so the real questions don't get asked, because, and this is my guess, professor Don Desserud is not going to lend his support to letting Ignatieff fail.

    Mr.Desserud will avoid asking AND answering the real questions because he knows that if the real questions were to be asked and answered, Ignatieff's campaign would be in serious trouble.

    Mr.Desserud, could you explain to us what exactly it means to have a Permanent Consultation with the BQ in place? One such agreement had been signed in 2008. So, please, for Canada's sake, tell us what was signed onto in 2008.

    Nothing else matters.

  17. I understand motive. I understand motive from different angles:

    It is quite obvious that were the Canadian voter really to understand the 2008 signed coalition agreement in earnest, then Mr.Ignatieff's election campaign would be in serious trouble. And so the real questions don't get asked, because, and this is my guess, professor Don Desserud is not going to lend his support to letting Ignatieff fail.

    Mr.Desserud will avoid asking AND answering the real questions because he knows that if the real questions were to be asked and answered, Ignatieff's campaign would be in serious trouble.

    Mr.Desserud, could you explain to us what exactly it means to have a Permanent Consultation with the BQ in place? One such agreement had been signed in 2008. So, please, for Canada's sake, tell us what was signed onto in 2008.

    Nothing else matters.

    • So, Mr. Desserud's questions are not "the real questions" or are they just questions that you would not liked answered?

  18. And there you go folks. This article is half a day's work for Mr. Harper.

  19. And there you go folks. This article is half a day's work for Mr. Harper.

  20. Stephen Harper is a pragmatic. His opinion will be based on a calculation of what works best now with minimal impact later.

    Another party forming a coalition AGAINST a government he formed probably didn't figure prominently into the calculalation. He knows the arrangement is perfectly legitimate; it's just distasteful to Conservatives (and therefore unholy, illegitimate and treasonous) because they are not the ones last to suggest such an arrangement.

  21. Stephen Harper is a pragmatic. His opinion will be based on a calculation of what works best now with minimal impact later.

    Another party forming a coalition AGAINST a government he formed probably didn't figure prominently into the calculalation. He knows the arrangement is perfectly legitimate; it's just distasteful to Conservatives (and therefore unholy, illegitimate and treasonous) because they are not the ones last to suggest such an arrangement.

    • You are spreading lies, and I cannot understand why you chose to do that.

      • So it's only Harper lies you understand? How strange…

      • You're incredibly tiresome. You have the most ridiculous partisan blinders on. Harper can do no wrong. I asked you yesterday what the last thing was Harper did you disapproved of. I'm still waiting.

        • I have asked you a long time ago to acknowledge the existence of a 2008 signed coalition agreement. And I am waiting still.

        • I did state in one of my post that I did disapprove of Harper's motion to declare the Province of Quebec a Nation.

          And I have also stated in one of my posts, that, at the time, I did write Harper directly by telling him that I did disapporve of such declaration of Nation. I am not a hypocrite. I do not stand blindly behind Harper. I am willing to vote for any leader who has the courage to stand up for a properly working FEDERAL Canada.

          • So, that was the last thing Harper did that you disapproved of? Everything he's done in the past 3 or 4 years you've been 100% behind?

          • But, you see, nothing else matters.

      • You perform a task on these comment boards equivalent to that of 'negative advertising'. People get turned off, don't want to participate and, thus, one domineering voice gets more heft. You have no use for facts, you're adept at alternative reality creation and, furthermore, either deluded or so partisan as to be blind. You enjoy your own voice too much. You do not listen. There's no discourse, civil or otherwise to be had with a lunatic. Tiresome.

        • frobisher, don't blame me when you keep walking through blue doors and don't like it.

          There's plenty of red doors around – behind which the one-liners live.

          Happy doorknocking!

  22. "Harper is not a constitutional scholar, he is a pol and his views change depending on the circumstances."

    This has been the main reason why 2006 was my last vote for Harper. I don't expect a party incapable of adjusting to changing conditions, but I do expect all political parties to have some sort of underlying motivation that makes their actions somewhat predictable. For the NDP, I expect that they'll take a protectionist or precautionary perspective on pretty much everything; for the Liberals, I'd expect–all things considered–that they would develop solutions that increase the power (and size, most likely) of the federal government. For the Conservatives, I would expect they would attempt to reduce the size of the government and focus on fiscal responsibility.

    I don't find increasing the size of the government to be particularly palatable, but since I can't–for the life of me–derive the underlying motivation of the Conservative Party of Canada, I'm left with two particularly unappealing choices. And I'll probably pick the one that's at least somewhat predictable.

  23. It's going to be sad for the conservatives when they win their majority. They'll have no excuse for failing to implement all their old hobby-horses by the next election. Long-gun registry, their raft of hang-'em-high legislation, etc. They'll have to dream up new hobby horses for the next election.

  24. Why are Mr.Wherry and Mr. Desserud and Mr.Flanagan so eager to deflect the attention away from the 2008 signed agreement?

    You know why? Here's why: if the real thing were to be questioned, namely the 2008 signed coalition agreement. the Canadian support for Ignatieff would fall so low as never before seen for the Liberal party of Canada.

    It is entirely possible that 1. the academia and some members of the msm are not willing to let the Liberal party fall that low, so lies about Harper will be repeated and repeated to make them appear real.
    and 2. the academia will not let a fellow professor sink that low in support – they will do everything they can to save Ignatieff's face, EVEN if that were to mean letting the Country sink into a history changing coalition agreement such as was signed in 2008.

    Don't believe me? Well, then keep believing the lies they are trying to stick onto Harper and see where it will leave this federation for years, and years to come. There will be no going back once the BQ has been given special powers.

  25. "Harper has always been consistent."

    LOL! You haven't been paying attention the last five years, have you?

  26. They'll need new hobby horses no matter the result (coalition! just visiting!)

    The only thing worse than the conservatives not being able to implement their plans is conservatives not being able to implement their plans.

  27. They'll have to dream up new hobby horses for the next election.

    You'd think so, wouldn't you? But I think you underestimate the ability of the Conservatives to torpedo their own legislation. If all else fails, you can always prorogue.

  28. If the Conservatives were to win a minority government, they would attempt to gain the confidence of the house. If they didn't, either there would be another election or the second place party (most likely the Liberals, who have already stated that they would not form a coalition) would be given the option of attempting to gain the confidence of the house. If they didn't, there would most likely be another election.

    The Liberals wouldn't have to form a coalition to form the government, and have repeatedly stated that they would not. They could come to a consensus issue by issue with the other parties in parliament, much like the Conservatives have done in the last two parliaments.

  29. Don't worry, Andrew whatever your name is: you may not have paid attention to how this election campaign is being played out, but I have paid close enough attention.

    Ever since the day that Ignatieff could not make up his mind on the coalition question, and ever since he was forced to make a somewhat 'clear' statement as what he would do next, some prominent members in the media and some so-called experts in this country, have been very hard at work to draw our attention away from the 2008 signed coalition agreement. Then, by misrepresenting the 2004 agreement, they hope the attention of the 2008 signed agreement will be kept to a minimum, if that. They hope the 2008 agreement will not be talked about.

    Harper may not be a constitutional lawyer and neither am I but this is the dilemna facing our federation:

    if Harper were to win another minority government, but the opposition parties were to form government instead, such coalition agreement can ONLY come about with the inclusion of the BQ (there is no other possibility). But it would be unconstitutional for any federal party to form a coalition agreement with the BQ since the BQ is NOT a federal party. The BQ states so openly and for anyone to hear.

    That is why Harper had never signed a coalition agreement with the BQ because he knew that the GG could never, ever agree to such coalition forming government overseeing the Canadian federation. The GG could NOT, and never can, give in to treason. The GG could not, and cannot, do so under any circumstance. Harper has always understood that, and therefore another letter of cooperation was handed to the GG for consideration, namely to make changes to the workings of Parliament rather than resort to outright treason by handing the balance of power to the BQ as had been proposed AND signed onto in 2008.

  30. You are spreading lies, and I cannot understand why you chose to do that.

  31. Harper has always been consistent.
    - He thought the regional parties should form a coalition in 1997, he wanted to form a coalition with the NDP and BQ in 2004, and thinks that a coalition is the devil's work in 2011.
    - He would never tax income trusts in 2006, and after the elections he taxes income trusts.
    - He will run the most open government in history before the 2006 election, and he runs the least open government in history after the election.
    - He thinks that there should be fixed election dates and passes a law requiring this, and calls an election after 2 1/2 years.
    - He says the Conservatives will never run a deficit and if Canada were to enter a recession they would have done so before the 2008 election, and now he says that Canada came through the recession so well because of the fore site of the Conservative party.
    …….

  32. So, Mr. Desserud's questions are not "the real questions" or are they just questions that you would not liked answered?

  33. You may have some points there, Bill M. It all depends on the numbers and to which party those numbers befall, like I have said many, many times.

    But if Canadians believe that a party with even less seats in the House would bring about a stable government, they are indeed deluding themselves.

    That is what Harper has been saying all along: if you want a stable government for the next term, then vote in a majority government. Harper has never said that only his party could form such majority government. If the Liberals win a majority government, than Harper would accept that; he has said that, too.

    Harper is asking the Canadian voter to give him and his party this chance for forming a majority government. Nothing unclear about that. Actually, it's as honest as it gets.

  34. Harper has never, ever, signed a coalition agreement with the BQ. That's all that matters.

  35. But no one else has either, never, ever.

  36. So it's only Harper lies you understand? How strange…

  37. So you don't care about any of the other volte-faces of a government?

  38. You're incredibly tiresome. You have the most ridiculous partisan blinders on. Harper can do no wrong. I asked you yesterday what the last thing was Harper did you disapproved of. I'm still waiting.

  39. I have asked you a long time ago to acknowledge the existence of a 2008 signed coalition agreement. And I am waiting still.

  40. But I seem to recall a lot of words like "principled" thrown about in regard to Harper, that all of his supporters cited as a big reason they supported him (and that it was 'refreshing', saw that word a lot in 2006)

    Another oft-used phrase was "I say what I will do, and I do what I said"

    So which is it?

  41. You are lying!

  42. In comparison to selling out our Canadian federation to the BQ?

    Never!

  43. Confirmation bias.

  44. I did state in one of my post that I did disapprove of Harper's motion to declare the Province of Quebec a Nation.

    And I have also stated in one of my posts, that, at the time, I did write Harper directly by telling him that I did disapporve of such declaration of Nation. I am not a hypocrite. I do not stand blindly behind Harper. I am willing to vote for any leader who has the courage to stand up for a properly working FEDERAL Canada.

  45. Which is what?

    I am not Harper supporter, all pols are scoundrels. I think it is absurd when people claim to have bs meter and say that one side lies less than another and is therefore more virtuous.

  46. *Sigh*, no she's not. BQ was not a Coalition partner in 2008.

    In related news, my son's kindergarten class also got nowhere in their discussion of whether or not bugs are really icky!

  47. I have taught in kindergarten classes, and I can guarantee you that kids attending kindergarten are not expected to anwer adult questions. Kids are kids and adults are adults. Why would we know the difference between the two? By behaviour. I will no longer try and ask you any adult questions, because you are clealy not capable of answering anything in adult form.

    Not once, not once, have you even tried to answer the problem facing Canadian voters, namely to explain what the Permament Consulting Mechanism would amount to, as agreed to and signed onto by Ignatieff and Layton when signing the 2008 coalition agreement.

  48. In fact, why not pro-rogue for two months, and then try to say it was the only reason the opposition didn't try to form a coaltion?

  49. Ah, the old "But praying mantis's are just cool!" gambit foils consensus once again!

  50. I hope for the sake of children you had a better sense of honesty in your teaching days!

  51. Look, it does not help conversation when people refuse to understand one another. When they say the BQ was not part of the coalition, they mean that in a technical sense, and they are right. When you say they were part of the coalition, you are talking pragmatically, and probably you are right too. So, can we please stop just talking past each other day after day after day after day…

    You shouting at the top of your lungs that the BQ was a coalition partner does nothing to convince those who understand that they weren't, and in fact simply makes them think of you as a narrow minded fear monger-er.

  52. There was a signed coalition accord between the Liberals and the NDP. These two and the BQ signed a supply and confidence agreement later. I don't think anyone is evading this point.

  53. So, that was the last thing Harper did that you disapproved of? Everything he's done in the past 3 or 4 years you've been 100% behind?

  54. This is interesting. For months, we have heard the opposition parties complain that Minister Bev Oda should be found in contempt of Parliament because she had not been forthcoming enough about her 'telling of the events as they had unfolded"

    Yet, here we have the very same opposition parties, during an election campaign, trying to convince the Canadian voter that a 2008 signed coalition agreement with the BQ never has existed.

    Better yet, the same people writing on these boards who would most likely hold Minister Oda to have been in contempt of Parliament, are now doing their utmost in trying to defend the politicians who now try and deny the existence of a 2008 signed coalition agreement.

    I am not inventing an agreement. There was a real hard copy agreement, signed and all, and addressed to the GG of Canada. Here it is in case anyone wants to accuse me of making things up http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

    The BQ was never to be sitting in the coalition government, for it could not possibly do so (it would have been the end of the BQ party), but the BQ were signatories to a Lib/NDP/BQ coalition agreement. And had the Canadian public not been outraged, and had the acting PM of this federation not prorogued the House, we would have had a coalition goverment in place as set out under the agreement of 2008, inclusive of the BQ. But I wonder if the GG could have approved such an agreement, constitutionally speaking.

  55. You are saying that there were two signing ceremonies in 2008? You are saying that there is another 2008 coalition document released?

  56. Amen.

  57. That signing ceremony was for the confidence and supply agreement. The coalition accord came earlier.

    • So, according to you, there are two 2008 coalition related agreements signed an talked about (or not talked about) today?

      Could you confirm if that's what you are saying. I like to be clear on things. It would greatly help this conversation. And if it's not to much to ask, could you point me in directions of finding a link to both agreements signed. I have only this one: http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

      Thanks.

  58. That signing ceremony was for the confidence and supply agreement. The coalition accord came earlier.

  59. So, according to you, there are two 2008 coalition related agreements signed an talked about (or not talked about) today?

    Could you confirm if that's what you are saying. I like to be clear on things. It would greatly help this conversation. And if it's not to much to ask, could you point me in directions of finding a link to both agreements signed. I have only this one: http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf

    Thanks.

  60. That wasn't signed by Gilles Duceppe (check the bottom). This document is the agreement to create a coalition government.

    The following document is the policy accord that all three parties agreed to. In exchange the BQ promised to provide confidence and supply until June 30, 2010.
    http://mikewatkins.ca/2008/12/01/breaking-coaliti

  61. <a href="http://mikewatkins.ca/2008/12/01/breaking-coaliti…” target=”_blank”>http://mikewatkins.ca/2008/12/01/breaking-coaliti…. signed by all three parties, which says:

    "Preamble
    The new Government is supported by parties that share a commitment to fiscal
    responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act
    as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers. Where appropriate, these goals
    should be pursued in full partnership and consultation with the provincial and
    territorial governments."

    Question to you, Andrew (not PorC): Are Quebecers not Canadians? Why are Quebecers mentioned first separately in relation to the Government and then lumped in once more as being a province, because it says: when appropriate "the provincial governments"…. – and Quebec is not being excluded out of that second line-up. So Quebec gets to be included twice. Why would that be?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf signed by Ignatieff and Layton, which says:

    "3. A “no surprises” approach
    Within the limits of common sense and the needs of cabinet government, the two parties agree they will work together on a “no surprises” basis.
    Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois."

    What does this permanent consultation mechanism with the BQ mean if they already have another signed agreement in place? What 'furtermore' needs to be consulted upon?

    Could you explain the involvement of a separatist/provincial party, namely the BQ, in both agreements signed by a federally acting government to be ? And how has Ignatieff explained it so far, you think? I cannot find anything Ignatieff has answered in regards to these questions.

    • I think you're inventing controversy. Harper, and Martin before him have consulted with the BQ on an on-going basis on opportunities for legislative cooperation.

      As far as whether Quebecers are Canadians, every federal party is guilty of stroking Quebec's ego and pandering to Quebec nationalists. See the Quebec as a nation resolution, and every speech delivered in french.

      I can't speak to MI's opinion on any of this.

      I'm thoroughly unshocked, because every party plays this game. Before the coalition, it used to be the Liberals shouting in mock horror about the Conservatives/Alliance playing nice with separatists/Quebec nationalists. The BQ already plays a substantial role in policy creation in Ottawa, and some of the best MPs are BQ. I think the BQ has done more than anything else to pour water on the smouldering fire of Quebec separatism. They're all getting very cosy in Ottawa, after 20 years.

  62. <a href="http://mikewatkins.ca/2008/12/01/breaking-coaliti…” target=”_blank”>http://mikewatkins.ca/2008/12/01/breaking-coaliti…. signed by all three parties, which says:

    "Preamble
    The new Government is supported by parties that share a commitment to fiscal
    responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act
    as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers. Where appropriate, these goals
    should be pursued in full partnership and consultation with the provincial and
    territorial governments."

    Question to you, Andrew (not PorC): Are Quebecers not Canadians? Why are Quebecers mentioned first separately in relation to the Government and then lumped in once more as being a province, because it says: when appropriate "the provincial governments"…. – and Quebec is not being excluded out of that second line-up. So Quebec gets to be included twice. Why would that be?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/081201_Accord_en.pdf signed by Ignatieff and Layton, which says:

    "3. A “no surprises” approach
    Within the limits of common sense and the needs of cabinet government, the two parties agree they will work together on a “no surprises” basis.
    Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois."

    What does this permanent consultation mechanism with the BQ mean if they already have another signed agreement in place? What 'furtermore' needs to be consulted upon?

    Could you explain the involvement of a separatist/provincial party, namely the BQ, in both agreements signed by a federally acting government to be ? And how has Ignatieff explained it so far, you think? I cannot find anything Ignatieff has answered in regards to these questions.

  63. I think you're inventing controversy. Harper, and Martin before him have consulted with the BQ on an on-going basis on opportunities for legislative cooperation.

    As far as whether Quebecers are Canadians, every federal party is guilty of stroking Quebec's ego and pandering to Quebec nationalists. See the Quebec as a nation resolution, and every speech delivered in french.

    I can't speak to MI's opinion on any of this.

    I'm thoroughly unshocked, because every party plays this game. Before the coalition, it used to be the Liberals shouting in mock horror about the Conservatives/Alliance playing nice with separatists/Quebec nationalists. The BQ already plays a substantial role in policy creation in Ottawa, and some of the best MPs are BQ. I think the BQ has done more than anything else to pour water on the smouldering fire of Quebec separatism. They're all getting very cosy in Ottawa, after 20 years.

  64. "but the BQ were signatories to a Lib/NDP/BQ coalition agreement."

    Duceppe never signed the coalition agreement. Look at page three of that letter, point 6 where the leaders were to sign their names. There's one spot for Dion and one spot for Layton. Notice how there is not a spot for Duceppe to sign the letter because he never signed that letter. What he signed is the "A Policy Accord to Address the Economic Crisis". Read the article where you have found the coalition accord document, it explains it all. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/r

  65. But, you see, nothing else matters.

  66. Do the frequent cover ups and instances of undisclosed information which should be available, if not to the public then to other federal parties, not allude to an "underlying motivation"?

  67. No, they speak to a certain cognitive dissonance between the guiding principles of the party and their choice of actions.

    However, any particular disdain for the parliamentary process does not, in and of itself, speak to what the actual motivation of the party is. If I knew the answer to that question I feel I'd be able to explain an awful lot more about the past few years of government. From all appearances, the Conservative Party of Canada has become precisely what they fought against so vigorously in 2004 and 2005: a party whose only raison d'être is power for the sake of power. I keep searching for some other underlying motivation, but keep coming up empty.

  68. I see your point. However I personally, am unsure as to whether disdain for underlying motives within a party's platform is enough to reject it altogether. I am equally concerned with the party's ethics. When ethics become questionable, vague, and seemingly reversed from what they originally were, I have to question what the agent of this change is.

    Regardless, thank you for answering my question. I don't disagree that our choices for the election aren't exactly outstanding and that the Conservatives may appear to be the lesser evil. I'm a bit of an optimist though, and I worry about parties which pursue power so vigorously, as you mentioned.

  69. You perform a task on these comment boards equivalent to that of 'negative advertising'. People get turned off, don't want to participate and, thus, one domineering voice gets more heft. You have no use for facts, you're adept at alternative reality creation and, furthermore, either deluded or so partisan as to be blind. You enjoy your own voice too much. You do not listen. There's no discourse, civil or otherwise to be had with a lunatic. Tiresome.

  70. frobisher, don't blame me when you keep walking through blue doors and don't like it.

    There's plenty of red doors around – behind which the one-liners live.

    Happy doorknocking!

  71. If I knew which party was the lesser evil, I think my choice for this election would be much easier. I'm not able to make that judgment at this moment.

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