Call-and-response -



Stephen Harper, this morning. “I think Canadians have been pretty clear — they want Parliament to focus on the economy. Going through more political games, more political instability, does not serve the country’s interests right now.”

Bob Rae, this afternoon. “An election is not a political game. An election is about fundamental choices. It’s about our values. It’s about our interests, where we think the country needs to go and there is a sense that this government is just not up to the job.”



  1. Good quote by Rae. Exactly the type of response the Liberals should be giving IMO.

  2. Agreed. I wonder how far Harper can push that line without having last year's election come back to haunt him?

    • David Akin tried to hit Baird with that … and CP has been using it in their stories. The simple fact, though, is that the last minority Parliament was the longest continual minority Parliament in Canadian history … all that without a natural junior parliamentary ally. That says it all.

  3. Bob Rae, leader of the official opposition Liberal party, January 2009!

    I bet no Liberal is more eager for an election then old roommate Bob.

    • It's win-win for Bob. Either the Liberals do well in the next election, in which case Bob will be happy, or they'll be shopping around for a new leader, in which case Bob will be available.

      • Agreed on Bob.

        He'll be right behind Iggy with his knife out.

    • Liberal Election 2009 Slogan: "Elect Me to stop Bob Rae from Succeeding Me and Potentially Becoming PM!!!"

  4. John Baird just said that bringing Canadians into a fourth election in five years is irresponsible.
    He's right. The party that forced the first three ought to be punished.

    • Technically, the first two were forced by all the Opposition parties

      • Wasn't 2004 actually forced by the Liberals who were the governing party at the time?

        • You're absolutely right – my mistake. Paul Martin forced the 2004 election. He visited GG Clarkson on May 23, 2004 to ask that Parliament be dissolved for a June 28 election.

    • 2004? That was the Martin Liberals short-circuiting the 37th Parliament. 2006 was precipitated by the NDP finally joining the other opposition parties to move non-confidence. 2008 was called by Harper – after Dion had spouted off many times in the summer that they would take down the government in the fall of 2008 – after 937 days of continuous minority government, the longest-ever stint in Canadian history.

      Please check section 1 of the fixed-date election law, which preserves all the powers of the Governor General, and states explicitly that the law infringes in no way upon those powers. That clause preserved the centuries-old parliamentary tradition that both the Government and Parliament have an ability to conclude the other.

      • In fairness to Dion, it was Harper who kept making everything a confidence motion. The Cons can claim all they want that they forced the 2008 election due to political instability, however that instability was caused by them.

  5. The ironic thing is that I think Harper's comment is bang-on, too. Except when "Canadians" mean they don't want political games, it means they want policy instead of backhanded rhetoric and attack ads. When "Canadians" say they don't want political instability, they mean they want a government to govern the whole population, not just target markets, some of the time.

    • not to be a moral relativist, but can you tell me any PM ever who has "govern[ed] the whole population"?

      I seem to remember hearing Albertans screaming about losing their jobs and livelihood based on the NEP. Politics is about acquiring power, not benevolence.

  6. "Political games"? "Political instability"? Reminds me of Stephen Harper's boneheaded Dec./2008 economic update. Our current PM is simply a hypocrite.

  7. How Bob Rae of all people could maintain a straight face and actually speak those words is quite beyond me ROFL