Week One

This is the week that was.

Stephen Harper went to Rideau Hall and warned the nation about what would happen if he wasn’t reelected. Michael Ignatieff explained the rules of our democracy and stepped out into the sun.

The leaders stumped. Jack Layton rallied in Dartmouth, Mr. Ignatieff rallied in Ottawa and Mr. Harper rallied in Brampton. Mr. Ignatieff bought some bagels and the Liberals got excited. Mr. Layton sold some blenders. Mr. Harper squabbled with reporters inside the bubble and Mr. Ignatieff promised more access. Reporters onboard the Conservative campaign were told to stop asking Mr. Harper about any of the candidates running for his party. Other reporters compared Mr. Harper to his previous self, while Mr. Harper tried and tried and tried to explain himself (only to be raise more questions).

Adsadsadsadsadsads and more ads.

Mr. Harper mused of debating Mr. Ignatieff. Mr. Ignatieff offered to do so and Mr. Harper changed his mind. Mr. Ignatieff put his challenge in writing. After some consternation, the broadcast consortium settled on two debates with four leaders. Rick Mercer (among othersoffered to host a debate between Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Ignatieff accepted.

Mr. Harper said no to tomorrow and Canadians said yes to a coalition. Gilles Duceppe remembered the summer of 2004. The former Liberal candidate in Vaughan defected. The New Democrat candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London defected and the Conservatives pounced. Cheryl Gallant compared Mr. Ignatieff to Ghaddafi.

Mr. Ignatieff promised student aidpension reformchild care and family care.

Mr. Harper promised income splitting for families with children (in five years), help for small businesses and an end to the per vote subsidy.

Mr. Layton promised help for small businesses, a cap on credit card fees, more doctors and nurses, help for veterans and an end to oil subsidies.

I posed two questions for Mr. Harper and dug up what Mr. Layton wrote in 2006. Terry Milewski dug up what Mr. Harper wrote in 1997. Susan Delacourt reflected on campaigns past.

And finally, perhaps most important, an astronaut told us the secret to preventing motion sickness.




Browse

Week One

    • Kind of fits with Harpers right wing vision of women, maids!

      • Well she doesn't seem like a happy camper.

        'Stephen Harper decided to go behind the counter of a Tim Hortons in Dieppe, N.B. on Friday afternoon to serve coffee to customers. The patron who gave him the most trouble? His wife, Laureen.
        After Harper served everyone in line, journalists on the scene reported that Laureen told Harper to get her a coffee — regular, black. (“You should know that.”) Then she told him to pay for it.
        Harper dug around in his pockets. He didn't have any money.
        Laureen made sure someone else paid. ' http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/artic

        • Mr. Harper is totally disconnected from the day-to-day life as a Canadian citizen if he thinks he can get coffee for free at Tim's.

      • They gotta serve somebody…

      • Proud Canadian wrote: "Kind of fits with Harpers right wing vision of women, maids!"

        Disgraceful.

        • Agreed. Harper views are disgraceful!

          • What's disgraceful is making assertions that are 100% baseless about someone else's views and beliefs, regardless of one's political stripes. Going there is a low low level that says more about you than it says about the person who's character you are attempting to smear.

          • What's disgraceful is cutting funding to womens groups, taking equality away from women and using them to sit behind him in parliment for the optics!

          • Despite the more reasonable tone that your posts have taken (for which, I am grateful), your obvious bias remains, well, unfortunate:
            http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/artic

            Please present me with hard facts that show that Harper has only and always cut funding to women's groups. Note that this will require more than one example. You need to at least provide me with a handful of examples. You will also have to assure me that there are no examples of the Harper Government TM increasing funding to a women's group, or, if there is an example of that, you will have to provide some explanation as to why that was allowed to happen.

      • How can you possibly put gloves on…….??

  1. Maybe democracy will win after all? Liberal Majority is possible if people get out and vote!

  2. Maybe democracy will win after all? Liberal Majority is possible if people get out and vote!

    • I think you better stick to calling women maids—your vote prediction is way out in fantasy land.

      • You miss read it again. It's Harper that holds women in contempt (actually holds Canadians in contempt, actually parliment too) It isn't me eroding womens rights and cutting funding to womens groups. It's Harper! But I expect a tory response to be another tory deflection. We have all come to expect that from the party of angry white men, sad!

        • Well, I`m white and I am a man, but I`m not angry—-you on, the other hand seem to have a problem.

          • His name is Stephen Harper…and he seems to be everyone's problem

  3. Iggy's below Layton in "best PM" polls, if given the choice people would rather have Layton lead a coaltion that him, his personal approval numbers are below Dion's dismal numbers,

    and almost every poll shows Harper in Majority territory.

    All after Iggy's "awsome" week, according to the Ottawa "expert" media analysts.

    Maybe there are better examples of the media being completely out of touch, but it's hard to think of one.

    Iggy's literally one of his party's biggest losers so far and the media is fawning all over him.

    This is so awsome to watch!!!

  4. Iggy's below Layton in "best PM" polls, if given the choice people would rather have Layton lead a coaltion that him, his personal approval numbers are below Dion's dismal numbers,

    and almost every poll shows Harper in Majority territory.

    All after Iggy's "awsome" week, according to the Ottawa "expert" media analysts.

    Maybe there are better examples of the media being completely out of touch, but it's hard to think of one.

    Iggy's literally one of his party's biggest losers so far and the media is fawning all over him.

    This is so awsome to watch!!!

  5. And to watch Iggy's supporters here eat it up as if Iggy can get a MAJORITY!!!

    Gold, pure gold.

    More please.

  6. And to watch Iggy's supporters here eat it up as if Iggy can get a MAJORITY!!!

    Gold, pure gold.

    More please.

    • Or you could be whistling past the graveyard.

    • If the tory scare mongering works the way it is intended (by deliberately discouraging Canadians from voting because the attack ads are not meant to change or sway voters opinion, they are meant to discourage ordinary Canadians from voting, make Canadians disgusted in the system and stay home) then Harper has a chance but if Canadians get out to vote Michael could win a majority. Tories always count on Canadians not voting, it's a big part of their strategy.

      • I suppose the intense negativity towards Harper doesn't count as scare mongering because he really is evil right? I haven't been around a tv much in the past few years but the last thing I remember was stuff like "Soldiers. With Guns. In our cities." And it did get aired in one province even after it was leaked.

        • G20

          • D12

          • G20. Soldiers. With Guns. In Our Cities.

        • That's right! He really is evil and the sad thing, IF he gets a majority all you tory followers will be held in contempt like everybody else. Don't you remember him stabbing you all in the back when you formed your Conservative Reform, Alliance party? He will do it again I promise. If he wins a majority he wont need you guys anymore. You see Harper does not work for his team, does not work for his party, does not work for Canada, Harper works for big business, banks and the republican party. Everyone knows that! geezzzzzzzzzz!

          • hahahahahaha :P

  7. Or you could be whistling past the graveyard.

  8. If the tory scare mongering works the way it is intended (by deliberately discouraging Canadians from voting because the attack ads are not meant to change or sway voters opinion, they are meant to discourage ordinary Canadians from voting, make Canadians disgusted in the system and stay home) then Harper has a chance but if Canadians get out to vote Michael could win a majority. Tories always count on Canadians not voting, it's a big part of their strategy.

  9. Kind of fits with Harpers right wing vision of women, maids!

  10. I’ve been following the Nanos rolling poll, and while Ignatieff had a good week (IMO), his numbers are starting to taper off after a spike a few days ago. Layton’s once again viewed as a better leader than MI, and support for the Liberals has been trending downwards whole Tory support has eked up very slightly.

    I find it a bit baffling. Despite MI’s strong performance, his numbers went down since a few days ago. What’s up with that?

    I guess we’ll have to check out this coming week’s polls to get a better picture of trends.

  11. I think you better stick to calling women maids—your vote prediction is way out in fantasy land.

  12. Well she doesn't seem like a happy camper.

    'Stephen Harper decided to go behind the counter of a Tim Hortons in Dieppe, N.B. on Friday afternoon to serve coffee to customers. The patron who gave him the most trouble? His wife, Laureen.
    After Harper served everyone in line, journalists on the scene reported that Laureen told Harper to get her a coffee — regular, black. (“You should know that.”) Then she told him to pay for it.
    Harper dug around in his pockets. He didn't have any money.
    Laureen made sure someone else paid. ' http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/artic

  13. They gotta serve somebody…

  14. I suppose the intense negativity towards Harper doesn't count as scare mongering because he really is evil right? I haven't been around a tv much in the past few years but the last thing I remember was stuff like "Soldiers. With Guns. In our cities." And it did get aired in one province even after it was leaked.

  15. G20

  16. How can you possibly put gloves on…….??

  17. You miss read it again. It's Harper that holds women in contempt (actually holds Canadians in contempt, actually parliment too) It isn't me eroding womens rights and cutting funding to womens groups. It's Harper! But I expect a tory response to be another tory deflection. We have all come to expect that from the party of angry white men, sad!

  18. That's right! He really is evil and the sad thing, IF he gets a majority all you tory followers will be held in contempt like everybody else. Don't you remember him stabbing you all in the back when you formed your Conservative Reform, Alliance party? He will do it again I promise. If he wins a majority he wont need you guys anymore. You see Harper does not work for his team, does not work for his party, does not work for Canada, Harper works for big business, banks and the republican party. Everyone knows that! geezzzzzzzzzz!

  19. G20. Soldiers. With Guns. In Our Cities.

  20. hahahahahaha :P

  21. Mr. Harper is totally disconnected from the day-to-day life as a Canadian citizen if he thinks he can get coffee for free at Tim's.

  22. Well, I`m white and I am a man, but I`m not angry—-you on, the other hand seem to have a problem.

  23. What exactly was great about this week for Mr. Ignatieff? Aside from the media just concluding that?

    He went and campaigned. And for that many in the media were just titilated.

    I’ve never seen anything like it. Perhaps it is because they were part of the annointing process – they cheered rather than scrutinized his becoming leader by decree of the party brass. This election would have been much different had we had a legitimate leadership convention.

    • "Hey Look Fred, this guy only ever uses a teleprompter, but that guy over there, he DOESN'T use a teleprompter!!!!! Isn't he amazing!!!!!!!"

    • the annointing is a bit of a black mark. not that it makes an ounce of difference, sadly.

  24. What exactly was great about this week for Mr. Ignatieff? Aside from the media just concluding that?

    He went and campaigned. And for that many in the media were just titilated.

    I’ve never seen anything like it. Perhaps it is because they were part of the annointing process – they cheered rather than scrutinized his becoming leader by decree of the party brass. This election would have been much different had we had a legitimate leadership convention.

  25. Perhaps many of the young Liberals here (who understandably want “their” party to win) can’t appreciate the feelings of a longtime Liberal denied a voice in determining who the leader is, and then to have that annointed leader run on a platform of “respect for democracy”.

    It’s galling, and even more galling to watch the media crown Mr. Ignatieff defender of democratic principles.

    • Why not give Ignatieff a chance — nobody could fail as badly as Stephen Harper — NOBODY!

  26. Perhaps many of the young Liberals here (who understandably want “their” party to win) can’t appreciate the feelings of a longtime Liberal denied a voice in determining who the leader is, and then to have that annointed leader run on a platform of “respect for democracy”.

    It’s galling, and even more galling to watch the media crown Mr. Ignatieff defender of democratic principles.

  27. You want democracy to win. But you envision only one outcome in which that would be the case? Ummm, hate to point out the obvious, but that would kind of be the opposite of democracy. But hey, who's counting, right?

  28. Well, that campaign to pay for Con trolls is certainly working.
    So many trolls, so little brain power!

    • So somebody accuses Harper of thinking that all women should be maids, and you feel compelled to call out the couple of trolls who make a comment about Ignatieff being appointed rather than elected leader of his party? I agree with you that the trolls are out, but it seems to me they have come out from underneath both sides of the bridge.

      • Are you suggesting Harper is a feminist?

        • Is saying that someone does not believe that all women should be maids the same as saying that someone is a feminist?

      • I admit the 'maid' comment was a cheap shot but this man does not support women and his actions prove it.

  29. Well, that campaign to pay for Con trolls is certainly working.
    So many trolls, so little brain power!

  30. "Hey Look Fred, this guy only ever uses a teleprompter, but that guy over there, he DOESN'T use a teleprompter!!!!! Isn't he amazing!!!!!!!"

  31. Proud Canadian wrote: "Kind of fits with Harpers right wing vision of women, maids!"

    Disgraceful.

  32. the annointing is a bit of a black mark. not that it makes an ounce of difference, sadly.

    • Hahaha…just re-watched. Random news guy near the beginning says: "Canada's COALITION minority government fell today."

      • Random News guy from FOX NEWS . .. Harper's preferred outlet for granting interviews in the United States. He's even had lunch with the owner.

        • Lunch with the owner!

      • Hahaha, it's priceles, it brings me to tears, we re so much darn fun!!!

      • "Canada's COALITION minority government fell today." just tells you how the world views Canada. Harpers head must have exploded at that commentary. funny stuff though for sure!

  33. Hahaha…just re-watched. Random news guy near the beginning says: "Canada's COALITION minority government fell today."

  34. Why not give Ignatieff a chance — nobody could fail as badly as Stephen Harper — NOBODY!

  35. So somebody accuses Harper of thinking that all women should be maids, and you feel compelled to call out the couple of trolls who make a comment about Ignatieff being appointed rather than elected leader of his party? I agree with you that the trolls are out, but it seems to me they have come out from underneath both sides of the bridge.

  36. Random News guy from FOX NEWS . .. Harper's preferred outlet for granting interviews in the United States. He's even had lunch with the owner.

  37. His name is Stephen Harper…and he seems to be everyone's problem

  38. Duh! Harper's Government found in CONTEMPT!!!!!! First time ever in the Commonwealth!!!!! He has shown Canadians he does not care about democracy. You tories shrugging this off as if it was nothing is what scares Canadians. Let me repeat this "The first time ever in the commonwealth, that's hundreds of years and thousands of elected representatives"! Does that not register with you just a little bit? So when I say I want democracy to win, I want the Party that accepts democracy as our system and does not hold it in Contempt. Harper, and the whole bunch of you, need to appoligize to Canadians and the wold for your total disregard to the democratic system we CANADIANS hold near and dear to our hearts. So you see, there is only one outcome when I say I want democracy to win and by your leaders, ministers, MPs and followers very actions, your team, sir, is disqualified!

  39. Duh! Harper's Government found in CONTEMPT!!!!!! First time ever in the Commonwealth!!!!! He has shown Canadians he does not care about democracy. You tories shrugging this off as if it was nothing is what scares Canadians. Let me repeat this "The first time ever in the commonwealth, that's hundreds of years and thousands of elected representatives"! Does that not register with you just a little bit? So when I say I want democracy to win, I want the Party that accepts democracy as our system and does not hold it in Contempt. Harper, and the whole bunch of you, need to appoligize to Canadians and the wold for your total disregard to the democratic system we CANADIANS hold near and dear to our hearts. So you see, there is only one outcome when I say I want democracy to win and by your leaders, ministers, MPs and followers very actions, your team, sir, is disqualified!

  40. No one … other than sad, twisted, emotionally damaged people .. is paying attention yet.

  41. No one … other than sad, twisted, emotionally damaged people .. is paying attention yet.

  42. Are you suggesting Harper is a feminist?

  43. Agreed. Harper views are disgraceful!

  44. say what! someone that cares about the future of their country, cares for the future of their children are, in your words… sad, twisted, emotionally damaged people.

  45. say what! someone that cares about the future of their country, cares for the future of their children are, in your words… sad, twisted, emotionally damaged people.

  46. What's disgraceful is making assertions that are 100% baseless about someone else's views and beliefs, regardless of one's political stripes. Going there is a low low level that says more about you than it says about the person who's character you are attempting to smear.

  47. I've written my thoughts about this else where. Still gotten very little discussion on it. Perhaps you are interested (though I note that you seem very angry, but I will hold out hope anyway). Oh but first, I am not a card carrying Con, just so you know.

    Well, here you go…

    Was the Harper Government (TM) found to be in contempt of parliament? Yeah, sure. Is it this amazing unprecedented thing? Well, it's not really fair to compare to majority governments, because they simply will never be found in contempt of parliament, period. So, we compare it to all the minority governments. By my count, there have been 12 (though someone certainly can correct me on that number). So, still fairly late in the game for a first, but not as dramatic as its made out to be. I would also ask for further analysis on the length of time in office for those minorities, my thinking being that the longer a government is in a minority situation, the more likely they are to do something that the opposition would respond to by finding them in contempt. So, Martin, Clark, Trudeau, and Meighen each only won one minority, the latter lasting only 88 days. Pearson, Diefenbaker, and King had two each, though Diefenbaker's two lasted a combined total of less than two years.

    Anyway, there's a little nuance to the contempt charge, at least from my perspective. I am very interested to see if Harper wins an UNPRECEDENTED third plurality, and what all the fallout will be. Personally, I hope the opposition does do the coalition thing, and we'll see how they do, and they will be judged accordingly in the election after this one. If they do well, great, coalitions are seen as legitimate and useful in Canada. If it's a gong show, well, what do you think? 10 years of Conservative majority rule? Though, probably without Harper out the helm.
    ———————————–
    Also, on the matter of whether or not Harper "has gone much further than any of his predecessors in undermining our political institutions", here is a quote from a Coyne article a little while back:

    "It may be debated whether we have reached this moment because of this government's singular excesses, or simply because it is in a minority. Other governments, after all, might have been just as unwilling to produce documents, but were never called to account because they controlled a majority of the House. (Recall that Jean Chrétien shut down a judicial inquiry, into the Somalia affair, when he didn't like where it was headed. Would the current government have been allowed to get away with that?) Art Eggleton only escaped the same fate in 2002 as may now befall Oda because a Liberal-controlled committee ruled he did not knowingly mislead Parliament when he said we had taken no prisoners in Afghanistan—though Defence officials had twice briefed him that we had."

    Here's the link to that article: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/03/21/is-parliament-….

  48. Lunch with the owner!

  49. Is saying that someone does not believe that all women should be maids the same as saying that someone is a feminist?

  50. Hahaha, it's priceles, it brings me to tears, we re so much darn fun!!!

  51. Thank you and I get that argument. I really do. I am having trouble with the hundreds of years, hundreds of politicians, many, many countries and I'm sure many, many minority governments across our commonwealth. With that said, Harpers Government was the only one ever found in contempt. That does not sit well with me. I am not angry, I am really concerned, scared actually, that the right wing will erode our country to the point the republicans did and are doing in the US. Canada is the best country in the world. I'm just waiting for them to start with the 'religeous right' that we will see if Harper gets a majority. God help us, no pun intended!

  52. Thank you and I get that argument. I really do. I am having trouble with the hundreds of years, hundreds of politicians, many, many countries and I'm sure many, many minority governments across our commonwealth. With that said, Harpers Government was the only one ever found in contempt. That does not sit well with me. I am not angry, I am really concerned, scared actually, that the right wing will erode our country to the point the republicans did and are doing in the US. Canada is the best country in the world. I'm just waiting for them to start with the 'religeous right' that we will see if Harper gets a majority. God help us, no pun intended!

  53. I admit the 'maid' comment was a cheap shot but this man does not support women and his actions prove it.

  54. "Canada's COALITION minority government fell today." just tells you how the world views Canada. Harpers head must have exploded at that commentary. funny stuff though for sure!

  55. What's disgraceful is cutting funding to womens groups, taking equality away from women and using them to sit behind him in parliment for the optics!

  56. Despite the more reasonable tone that your posts have taken (for which, I am grateful), your obvious bias remains, well, unfortunate:
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/artic

    Please present me with hard facts that show that Harper has only and always cut funding to women's groups. Note that this will require more than one example. You need to at least provide me with a handful of examples. You will also have to assure me that there are no examples of the Harper Government TM increasing funding to a women's group, or, if there is an example of that, you will have to provide some explanation as to why that was allowed to happen.

  57. Okay. I'm glad you get the argument; I really do think it's reasonable, and I think it explains why Canadians have not risen up in outrage over this contempt charge much better than the alternative, which usually comes in the form of an accusation that Canadians just don't care and are willing to be taken advantage of.

    I don't pretend to speak for all the countries in the commonwealth, but I think I did a good job of demonstrating that here in Canada, it's not as shocking as it is often portrayed.

    I am sorry that you are so scared for our country. I would make a couple of points:
    First, you subscribe to the idea that Harper has some hidden fundamental religious agenda. Reasonable people disagree. Here is Harper on the two hot-button issues in question:

    Abortion: “I have been clear throughout my entire political career I don't intend to open the abortion issue,” he said. “I haven't in the past; I'm not going to in the future.”: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/arti….

    Same Sex Marriage: "We made a promise to have a free vote on this issue, we kept that promise, and obviously the vote was decisive and obviously we'll accept the democratic result of the people's representatives," said Harper. "I don't see reopening this question in the future.": http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20061207/sam….

    Obviously, you consider the man nothing more than a lying scumbag. That's fine, I'm not going to convince you otherwise. And I know that there are many instances where Harper has gone back on his word, so there is no need to point that out. But still, he has shown no signs of going back on his word on these, and you can count me in the camp of those who will absolutely call for the end of his political career if he does.

    Second, building on the first, Canada simply is not as religious a country as America is. Canada on the whole is much more agnostic and atheist than America is. Canadians will not accept a government that acts the way the Republicans do in the states. If Harper gets a majority, and he goes all rogue and tries to make Canada just like the US, he would face such public outcry and outrage that the pressure would be unbearable on him. It would be the end of the Conservative party, as they would be booted as soon as possible, if not sooner! And that absolutely goes against everything Harper wants, which is to build a party that replaces the Liberals as Canada's "natural governing choice", or whatever it is people say of the Liberals.

    Which brings us back to Harper's statements above on those two issues. That is the reason why I think he is bring truthful, and will not in fact open up either of those debates, even if he gets a majority.

  58. It seems that both those links fail. But, if you simply google "Harper on [hot-button issue]", you will find it.

  59. It seems that both those links fail. But, if you simply google "Harper on [hot-button issue]", you will find it.

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