Tuesday’s North Bay nugget was a fellow named Dion


Yet another Inkless videoblog, this time from a Tuesday-night rally in the riding of incumbent Liberal MP Tony Rota. Whatever Dion ate on the plane before this event, the Liberals will want to keep feeding it to him.

[wpvideo 1vQOkhmA]


Tuesday’s North Bay nugget was a fellow named Dion

  1. So, let’s say the Conservatives get a plurality of seats next week, but the Liberals + NDP together form a majority. What happens then? Status quo ante, or Layton gets to be the finance minister in Dion’s government?

  2. I’m wondering the same thing myself. No doubt that Dion would adopt most of the NDP platform (i.e. no carbon tax) to become PM.

    I think it’s still not likely that Libs + NDP > 154, but it’s definitely possible that Libs + NDP > CPC. However, in that scenario the Libs would have to be reasonably close in seat totals to the CPC (like 120 to 110) … otherwise the NDP gains a lot of power in that government. If it’s that scenario (120 to 110), then perhaps the Libs can get the NDP to support them via an agreement, much like Rae-Peterson in Ontario circa ’85. If it’s a bigger gap (say 125-100), then the NDP would likely demand to be a part of any gov’t, with a minister in at least one big portfolio.

    Having said all this, if they do not form a majority between them, then to form a gov’t requires explicit or tacit go-ahead from the Bloc, and that could be a bridge too far to travel for either party. Needing the seperatist party to ensure your gov’ts stability is pretty radioactive stuff. It wouldn’t play well in English Canada, and it would be hard for the Bloc to support the federalist party with the biggest centralizing tendencies, without losing face in their own province.

  3. Did you follow him to MuchMusic too? I only ask because I’m shallow and I want to know if Hannah is just as lovely in person.

  4. You mean like Harper in this past parliament? I don’t see the difference.

  5. Can someone break out the numbers whereby a party that gets 30% of the vote, much of it highly concentrated in a couple of locations, gets the “plurality” of the seats. I don’t have another theory about what will happen. This is starting to look very complicated. I don’t think national polls tell us much.

    Harper suddenly looks confused and tired and Dion has inexplicably picked up momentum. Layton has wind in his sails. Duceppe will win the battle for Quebec. Is it not beginning to look like a disasterous reversal for the Cons?

    Just curious.

  6. Tony Rota really has that Justin Trudeau look going. Or is Trudeau stalking Dion around the country?

  7. I find it very unlikely that the Bloc would play ball with Dion, given the Clarity Act.

    The Peterson-Rae government formed a majority in the Ontario legislature. I don’t think Rae or any NDP member had a cabinet post, so I’m not sure what exactly they got out of it.

    As far as I know, a coalition government, where the entire coalition had only a minority of seats, would be unprecedented in Canada. Also, note that you need not have a plurality of seats in Parliament to be the Prime Minister. Here’s how it could play out: Harper faces parliament after the election and immediately loses a confidence vote. The GG, by tradition, then approaches the leader of the second party, Dion. Dion could continue to govern with the tacit approval of the opposition parties and hope that Harper resigns as Conservative leader, after a disappointing campaign, which would give him about a year to govern.

    One wonders if there is a requirement for parliament to meet within a certain amount of time of the election? I can also imagine Harper putting that off as long as possible.

  8. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Sure, Dion looks pimp-tastic, but that doesn’t mean he’ll win. I still think Harper will take the minority, but maybe weaker, and Dion might get to keep his job.

  9. I am curious- is a con-lib tie physically possible (my question mark won’t work)
    If so, what happens (question mark)

  10. Meanwhile the Globe says in its headline that

    a “Defensive” Harper stands by his economic plan.

    Editorializing against Harper,

    today’s agenda driven media.

  11. Sophie-Marie: Of course it’s physically possible.

    In such a situation, what I’d expect would be that Harper, having formed the previous government, would be given the option of trying to form the new one. I’d also expect to see a showdown over who exactly becomes Speaker of the House, as in that situation neither party would be wanting to lose a vote by having one of their MPs as Speaker.

  12. If you believe the polls right now, and the trends,


  13. It is physically possible, though with 308 seats it’s pretty unlikely. A tie happens at the provincial level from time to time. The most recent one that I’m aware of is in 1998 in Nova Scotia, where the Liberals and Conservatives tied with 19 seats each, and the NDP trailed with 14. Traditionally, the previous governing party gets first shot at forming a government. So if the Liberals and Conservatives tied, Stephen Harper would still be the Prime Minister.

  14. kody: I finally get it! I finally get your posts! They’re meant to be poetry!

    It explains everything: the over-use of newlines, the sentence fragments, everything!

  15. If you believe the polls right now, and the trends,

    Dion WILL win the election, by a nose.

    The game plan of keeping Harper to a minority, ousting Dion for a stronger leader, and winning a majority after taking Harper down at the first opportunity,

    is being replaced by,

    Dion staying in power, having the fragilist minority in history, with a CPC party flush with cash, and having a new more charismatic leader (perhaps Bernard Lord???), and a trigger on taking Dion down, in the midst of an economic meltdown.

    60% of Liberals right now are desperately worried that Dion ekes out a slight win.

  16. Say I’m a Conservative backbencher, from a safe Conservative seat. I’ve been letting the PMO walk all over me because this was a minority situation — I’ve been staying out of the media, letting the PM make announcements germane to my riding, and so on. Then the leader pulls the plug at a time of his choosing, looking like he can finally score the coveted majority against an opposition leader who makes buttered toast look charismatic, and then not only does he lose the majority, but loses seats. Am I going to toe the line for another couple of years, or am I going to start looking around for someone who can deliver?

  17. Funny, I’ve made this point in previous threads and its met by a very telling silence by the partisan liberals that inhabit this blog.

    The professor with his wacky sociology like experiments on our economy at a time of economic uncertainty,

    with a bare, bare lead, and a conservative party flush with cash and invigorated by a new leader.

    Some would argue this is the best route to a conservative majority in a long, long time.

    Joe Clark anyone????

  18. Sophie, Harper remains the PM until he resigns or is defeated. Theoretically, Paul Martin could’ve reconvened the House after the last election to test whether he still had the confidence of the House. Thankfully, our leaders don’t drag out the inevitable, and so if they’re beaten they resign soon afterwards.

    But the current PM always has first shot at testing the House after an election.

  19. Oh, okay.
    But there’s no precedent at the federal level, correct^

  20. “Dion staying in power, having the fragilist minority in history, with a CPC party flush with cash, and having a new more charismatic leader (perhaps Bernard Lord???), and a trigger on taking Dion down, in the midst of an economic meltdown.”

    In case you haven’t been paying attention, Dion seems to thrive in challenging situations. If he wins a minority government, I would expect he’ll be very successful at compromising to gain the support of the other parties.

    If the Conservatives lose, I agree that Harper could be pushed out. But after the way he’s run that party, I think they’d find themselves in utter chaos at that point.

  21. kody, if we’re playing “what if”, what if it’s a stable minority (NDP + Green? agree to prop up the Libs) and Dion does something completely wacky and respects the fixed-election date legislation? Maybe unlikely, but if so you’ve got 4 years of waiting.

  22. kody: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Bernard Lord? Charismatic? Ha!

    Photogenic? Yes. Charismatic or even more importantly a good leader/campaigner? I laugh.

    I’ve posted it elsewhere, but a brief history of Bernard Lord, Premier of NB:

    To start with, he only managed to get elected the first time because the electorate was ticked at the Liberal Party of New Brunswick over a highway toll. Not charisma, not major plans — he got voted in by opposing what the previous government (in power for over 10 years, so there was a degree of fatigue as well) had done. He then royally screwed the pooch financially on the highway toll issue once in power, but that’s another story.

    A second election came around, and he only barely held on power. “Skin of his teeth” doesn’t begin to describe it. Then, roughly 3 years in, he needed to call a by-election which he almost certainly wouldn’t win — there were fairly large protests against his govt.’s policies on the front lawn of the legislature around this time — so he called a general election instead. (A by-election loss would have meant a minority.)

    As for the results of that election, well… There’s a reason why he’s not leader of the NB PC Party anymore.

  23. Forget Bernard Lord. Myron Thompson is tanned, rested, and ready.

  24. Incidentally, am I imagining things or has Dion’s Worst Nightmare talking point been changed from “crushing defeat in 2008” to “pathetic win, followed by crushing defeat in 2009 after the CPC dumps Harper for someone better”.

  25. Kody, short of an outright majority for the Liberals which still seems impossible. I just don’t see the Conservatives ousting Harper unless he ousts himself. If Harper doesn’t win a majority, his core support will remain what it’s always been…..Alberta…..Reform. And that core isn’t going to drop an “Albertan” for Bernard Lord or anyone else from any parts east of Medicine Hat!

  26. Green Party members are fi$cal con$ervative$, while the NDP puts people before money. Not gonna happen!

  27. To Andrew E: Rae got to be premier for 5 years.

    To Someone KGB: I can’t see Dion dumping the Carbon Tax. I can see Layton accepting a Carbon Tax provides he gets something like a commitment for mass transit, railroads, child care, etc – stuff the Liberals were going to do anyway.

    To whomever else might be interested: The Greens will be so delirious if they win a seat and can enact a Carbon Tax they’ll easily sign on. I hope it happens, but I don’t think it will. If it does happen I hope May beats Mackae. If it looks to be a Liberal Minority the citizens of her riding would be smart to swing it that way. Hell, they’d be smart to swing it that way anyway but I’m beginning to believe the Cons are right in that no one ever lost an election underestimating the Canadian Public. Then again is Liz’s riding upwind or downwind from the Sidney Tar Ponds?

  28. The Liberal Party should be paying you for these things.

  29. No need, Erin. I still have the money that commenters said the Conservatives should pay me when I was doing video blogs on the Harper campaign.

  30. I think that Harper is going to be pushed out if he wins a minority. Most people go into politics for reasons other than ‘do what Steve says.’ Albertans have had their turn.

  31. Paul Wells, political mercenary extraordinaire. When all sides are accusing you of bias, you’re probably doing something right. Although, in fairness, that doesn’t make you any less of a communist. A dirty, dangerous communist.

  32. When the right says you’re on the left and the left says you’re on thr right- you’re either correct or hopelessly cynical.
    Also commonly refferred to as ‘sane’

  33. If I’m not mistaken, Erin would represent a third side to any debate between Liberals and Conservatives. I’d like to have some NDP video too, and if we still had 57-day campaigns I would.

  34. “I think that Harper is going to be pushed out if he wins a minority.”

    But in favour of whom? Flaherty, that starking guy? Prentice? In my subjective estimate, only MacKay and Flaherty have the national profile needed. But does Flaherty speak French, and wouldn’t his “anti-Ontario” comments make him a hard sell there these days?

    If Palin winds down south, maybe they could go with Polièvre.

  35. It would also help if instead of paying with hug coupons, they paid in cash.

  36. You are correct Paul. And I understand that you must play the hand that you are dealt. Not every reporter gets to be on the NDP tour. But if you need any pro-NDP homemade videos, I have a few you could borrow.

    And since you are fond of telling bloggers what you would like to see from us, I’m going to make a request of you. I’d like to see more of what we got from your debate video, which was sort of a behind the scenes kind of thing, and less of the staged stuff, which we can get from other sources.

    Otherwise, I’m a fan of your work.

  37. Featured comment at SDA, I thought I’d share:

    “The fact that the decline in Harper’s fortunes seems to go lock step with a decline in the stock market indicates that the entitlement psychology has spread far beyond starving artists and cranky university students: apparently middle class Canadians now feel “entitled” to a rising stock portfolio and soaring real estate values, and feel that it is the job of the state to guarantee those things.”

    On top of that, we have a left leaning media who will happily add to that notion by:

    – parroting opposition talking points essentially holding Harper “responsible” for a market downturn – which originated in the US no less

    – adding chiding editorials suggesting that Harper is insensitive or being overly “cheerful” while he points to very real statistics which show Candians are far better positioned than other countries, with superior GDP, unemployment, lack of bank failures ect,

    – consciously omitting from any serious reportage, just how much better Canada’s fundamentals are than virtually all other G8 countries, on virtually all other economic indicators, (which omission of very crucial real facts that are central to the issue of the day, is required to facilitate the dishonest attack on Harper).

  38. Kody, that comment is interesting, because it smacks of the Tory outrage we’ll doubtless hear much of in the coming weeks when Canadians fail to obediently give Harper their vote of confidence.

    How dare they? He’s made all the right noises.

  39. So, kody, you’re saying the Tories should do a media blitz, unleashing all their candidates on local and national media to explain the real nature of the economic situation, patiently walking reporters through the fundamentals, and answering every question the media cares to ask?

  40. Think about that for a moment:

    Canada’s performance/readiness relative to all other equivalent/G8 countries in this economic downturn, is perhaps the most relevant piece of information, in this election,

    but the media has decided not to report it.

    It has decided the public needs not see this when they make their decision as to who is best to lead the country in an economic downturn.

    Instead the media is content to parrot opposition attacks, and editorialize that Harper is being “defensive”, while at the same time knowingly withholding information from the public that would have a material impact on their decision and that would put a lie to the allegations the media are tacitly supporting.

    Paul Wells,

    you must be so proud of your industry.

  41. Jack,

    Harper can’t do that.

    He’d be labeled too “cheery”.

    True factual context is spun by the opposition and the media (the two at this point have exactly similar narratives) as ‘pie in the sky’ and ‘detached’.

    There’s a problem in our democracy when basic, true, highly relevant facts are banished from the debate lest one be labeled a heretic.

    And the source of the problem lies with today’s gatekeepers (for the moment that is) of information.

  42. Ti-Guy,

    I haven’t responded to you with all of your childish base, comments, against me

    but I will this time, for the sole reason that I’m in a bad mood and I think it will make me feel better (even though it will give you a response – which you oh so crave).

    You lurk around here seemingly for the sole purpose of attacking other commenters’ comments. What is particularly creepy is your apparent firm belief that opposing veiwpoints should be silenced (through ridicule, invective or on occasion an explicit request to the blog administrator that they be banned/silenced).

    Others disagree here, to varying degrees and in varying emotional states.

    But you represent the worst political discourse can offer (I use ‘discourse’ very generously). Your motivation is partisan, but not just traditional partisanship, but the deep hateful kind that justifies (to yourself that is) authoritarian like attempts to control others’ beliefs, by utilizing cheap thuggish insults as your sole blunt instrument.

    I feel better.

    Now, I will carry on ignoring your constant insults like I ignore the gnats that occasionally fly about my face while I enjoy the great outdoors.

  43. Well Kody.. I have to admit.. once I saw you were quoting SDA, I discounted almost everything else you put down.

  44. Of course you did Scott.

    I’m well aware of the politics of the personal partisan,

    it goes something like this:

    If you are labeled as an “other” it matters not what you say is the truth. In fact, there is a reflexive tendency to deny virtually everything said by this “other”, such that it will often place the labellor of the “other” in an awkward position of taking an absurd or irrational position simply because it is the opposite of the “other”.

    It’s also another tool to silence those with opposing views,

    and a tool I’ve often seen applied to Kate.

    Have a good night.

  45. what’s all the talk of Dion winning?

    in BC, Manitoba, still looks like the Libs will lose a few, Tories pickup; will offset Tory losses in Maritimes.
    Quebec, probably much the same outcome as 2006.
    so, comes down to Ontario, probably only a few seats changing hands as well?
    oth electionprediction.org and democraticspace.com show the Tories with about 130, Libs with 90, give or take.

    more of the same for the next two years.

    lucky us.

  46. Just watched Stephen Harper on TV. He seems tired. Stressed. Worried. Without makeup even. Twice in one paragraph his voice rose to his signature whine. Once a man starts to let himself go…
    the rest follows soon after. By “the rest” I mean his blind followers, not those “others” who have hounded him since he first set out on his failed course to subdue Canadians.

  47. To all speculating about the workings of the Canadian parliament, this reminder : Canada’s head of state is the GG. She has the last word on who forms the government.

    This heavy responsibility will fall on Michaelle Jean. Good lord.

  48. Kody Kody Kody – what HAVE you been drinking today?
    Bernard Lord and charismatic – in the same sentence?
    Nope – I think the CPC have a dark horse (and tractor) hiding in the wings…Randy Hillier!
    Now – there’s charisma for you…

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