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‘If I become prime minister, what would you like to see in my program to ensure that you’ll support me and that I have a majority?’


 

Gilles Duceppe spills some of who said what to who when the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc Quebecois were looking to topple Paul Martin’s government in 2004.

“In 2004, Mr. Harper met me and (NDP Leader) Jack Layton at the Delta Hotel in Montreal to discuss a number of things,” said Duceppe in an interview with the French-language LCN television news network. “It was Mr. Harper who did this with those he called the `evil socialists’ and the `evil separatists.’ Today he’s blaming others of supposedly doing this, which isn’t the case…

“He came to my office (as opposition leader) saying, `If I become prime minister, what would you like to see in my program to ensure that you’ll support me and that I have a majority?”‘ Duceppe said.


 

‘If I become prime minister, what would you like to see in my program to ensure that you’ll support me and that I have a majority?’

  1. What!
    No photo op, no MPs signatures on the agreement, no seats in Cabinet or the Senate in the offering……
    just
    'If I become Prime Minister, what would you like to see in MY program….''

    Sounds like a second rate 'arrangement' to me.

    • More like a question than an arrangement, really. But I suppose it has a certain symbolic value, even though Harper's timid 2004 musings aren't quite equivalent to the history-making 2008 agreement signed by every participating MP, photo-op handshakes with a beaming Duceppe, and a full-blown coalition crisis that resulted in national delirium.

    • More like a question than an arrangement, really. But I suppose it has a certain symbolic value, even though Harper's timid 2004 musings aren't quite equivalent to the history-making 2008 agreement signed by every Liberal MP, photo-op handshakes with a beaming Duceppe, and a full-blown coalition crisis that resulted in national delirium.

    • More like a question than an arrangement, really. I suppose it has a certain symbolic value, even though Harper's timid 2004 musings aren't quite equivalent to the history-making 2008 agreement signed by every Liberal MP, photo-op handshakes with a beaming Duceppe, and a full-blown coalition crisis that resulted in national delirium.

      • Sure, sure that bloody press conference was arguably one of the dumbest moves in Canadian political history – it's got Dion's dna all over it. But let's not pretend this doesn't at least cast some light in a murky corner. It at least shows Harper wasn't above accomidating those evil separatists: at least he was a hell of a lot smarter than Dion the way he went about it: I'd say it goes some way to undermining Harper's cases, although i wouldn't hang a dog on this evidence alone.
        Did Harper really say evil Socialist/separatists? A little artistic license here methinks. "But he was thinking it"

      • Presumably, had it gotten to the point where the then-leader of the official opposition was heading off to Rideau Hall to make his case for taking over from the Liberals, they would have had to have some sort of formal agreement in place, although not necessarily one that would involve cabinet seats for one (or both) of the other parties involved. In order to persuade the Governor General that you can command the confidence of the House, you need to be able to give her a reason to believe that beyond just, you know, that you have a really good feeling about it. We'll never know what might have happened, had he been given that chance, but to be honest, I suspect that the negotiations between the parties would have collapsed before that point, not over any sort of principle or ideological difference, but because Stephen Harper can barely stand sharing power with his cabinet, let alone another party leader.

        • "because Stephen Harper can barely stand sharing power with his cabinet, let alone another party leader."

          But that is after he won. You underestimate just how viscerally he hated and continues to hate Liberals. I think he would have done absolutely anything to get rid of them back then and he even signed a letter with the NDP and the Bloc saying it was the GG's obligation to ask them if they could form a government. Why would he join up with the "separatists and socialists" to ask her that if he didn't think it was a possibility.

          I don't think he would have given a cabinet post to the NDP, but don't forget how desperate he was to win seats in Quebec. He would easily have come to some arrangement on policy with the NDP and the Bloc and in fact video was circulating the other day (http://liberalvideodepot.blogspot.com/2009/09/ste… where he says that expressly.

      • I think we are approaching an agreement to the facts (if not there interpretation)
        Jack Layton initiated a coalition agreement with the Dion Liberals with a signed document indicating support from the Bloc and Ignatieff reluctantly signed it in a perhaps foolishly transparent process.

        Stephen Harper initiated secret meetings with Layton and Duceppe to discuss the framework of a coalition government that was not successful.

        Some clear conclusions:
        1) Layton has gotten way too much credit for initiating the coalition. Clear he cribbed the idea from someone else.
        2) Harper is better than Ignatieff because he was a failure at arranging a coalition. His incompetence is his greatest strength.

  2. I note Duceppe said that Harper had met with him at the Delta Hotel in Montreal in August of 2005 – the first throne speech was read to that newly-elected parliament in October of that year, if memory serves. In other words, Harper was plotting to replace Martin not because of actions taken by the Martin government but because Harper on principle thought it appropriate to replace Martin without having an election. The Dion coalition attempt was caused by Harper misleading Canadians on the state of the public finances.

    Of course, and especially, I note the `which isn`t the case'. This sets Ignatieff as the only leader who has not plotted a coalition.

    By the way, for those who understand French, the Duceppe interview is available on LCN website – and it is very interesting.

    • Do we have a smoking gun? Probably not. But who knows how much more dirt Duceppe has on Harper. This sort of thing should help to firmly nail down the coffin that Harper has clambered into in Quebec.

      • By the way, I meant 2004.

        Smoking gun? I'm not sure what you mean but the August 2004 joint letter to Clarkson signed by Harper, Duceppe and Layton is good enough for me. Duceppe would have never signed such a letter if he had not had a serious talk with Harper. Harper meeting with Duceppe at the Delta in Montreal in August 2004 fits the timeline, and I believe Layton has written that he was approached by Harper. Harper's press conference during which he explains "how the system works" and how he felt at that time the the governor general should consider all options instead of relying solely on the advice of Paul Martin are on video on You Tube! How many bullet holes does one need before you see the smoking gun???

        As for Duceppe claiming he has not been approached by Ignatieff, why should I believe otherwise.

        So the fact is: Michael Ignatieff is the only leader who has not entered into negociations with the socialists and the separatists in order to secure a majority in the house and form a government.

        • Yeah, Terry Milewski's report on the National last night was the VERY FIRST reference to that meeting that I have heard since Harper went all ape-sh*tagainst collaborating with the 'socialists and separatists' last December (and even then he only showed a brief video clip and no audio)…….yet the media continue to FAIL to point out this glaring inconsistency between Harper's rhetoric and record – they are much more happy to read Harper's pre-fabbed news releases and not poke too hard beyond that.
          For the record, could somebody provide the Youtube link tot that?

          • ")…….yet the media continue to FAIL to point out this glaring inconsistency between Harper's rhetoric and record – they are much more happy to read Harper's pre-fabbed news releases and not poke too hard beyond that."

            I was thinking the exact same thing. In fact, I'm a bit perplexed by the fact that the Liberals haven't used that information in their rebuttal to Harper's coalition accusation. How is it that Harper has gotten away to date without having to explain why he's throwing stones at the Libs and the NDP when he himself attempted to do the same thing?

        • And they attended that press conference together right after the letter.

          And Harper talking about nothing being wrong with the GG putting in a new minority government without an election if it had the support and cooperation of the opposition parties: http://liberalvideodepot.blogspot.com/2009/09/ste

  3. Well technically speaking, it's not technically a coalition. I mean, on purely a technical basis it was a meeting where they talked of forming a coalition but technically they never used the word coaltion. Technically.

  4. We now at least no one thing beyond all doubt.

    If you go to Montreal and check into the Delta Hotel… all of the rooms are in the front.

  5. So the shock is that he spoke to them and asked….isnt this what any PM in a minority Parliament seeks….on this point I fail to find the shock, it would be based on agreement of shared policy.

    If there were 3 things that Gilles Duceppe came out with today and said I would support any government that does these things Harper would jump on it.

    However, the manouvering to get governmen without an election, yes yes yes it is legal etc etc, but most Canadians in most circumstances wouldnt see it as legitimate, especially when it includes the Bloc (saying no deal was cut yeah right)

    That Harper explored an option is not surprising, that he didnt ultimately pull a trigger (despite kady's snark) is probably more interesting to explaining his poisition today. Do you think he learned anything out of those meetings…it was all the rage back then to talk about how inexperienced and new he was, let alone scarey…all the kids were doing it.

    So summation, 5 years ago Harper has a meeting where he explores the foundations of a policy based coalition, but doesnt do it.

    • "That Harper explored an option is not surprising, that he didnt ultimately pull a trigger (despite kady's snark) is probably more interesting to explaining his poisition today."

      We are talking about the 2004 election, yes? He didn't pull the trigger because he ended up winning the election.

    • It may be what any PM in a minority Parliament seeks, but in 2004 Stephen Harper wasn't the PM, Einstein.

  6. Wow. Gilles sure likes to stir the pot. For Dennis' sake, I think this constitutes Harper opening negotiations for a coalition with the opposition. The distinction between what Harper did in 2004 and what Dion did in 2008 is coming down to a finer and finer splitting of hairs.

    • Not to worry, Dennis is a hell of a barber.

  7. All of this of course suggests that the Liberals would never use the possibility of Harper collaborating with the Bloc for their own political purposes, right?

  8. All of this of course suggests that the Liberals would never use the possibility of Harper collaborating with the Bloc for their own political purposes, right? Right?

  9. It's all about "intent" isn't it? Harper wanted to then, period. He accuses others as a negative on something he was willing to do himself.

    • Welcome to the magically inconsistent world of StephenHarperLand.

  10. Y'all are making the same mistake all over again. You're paying attention to what TheGreatestestStrategistEver ™ has to say.

    That's part of his strategy, to send you on wild goose chases while he laughs it up with his pals over a case of donuts and beer.

  11. Thank you for correcting (and insulting) me, Wells. Always a pleasure.

    • My comment was in reply and admonition to Vince Clortho, which is why it quotes the phrase "what any PM in a minority Parliament seeks" from his post verbatim. So, without having read your comment, which hadn't appeared yet when I wrote mine, I was agreeing with you. Thanks for misreading me and having pre-emptively thin skin, Boudica.

      • To have you accuse anyone of having a thin skin brings a smile to my face, Paul. Since your "admonition" was directed at Vince, I take back my comment and I'll let him/her respond to your polite remark.

        A word of advice to Vince, leave that one alone.

  12. It wouldn't take much skill for the Liberals to create a devastating counterattack ad with this. Materials: Harper's letter to the GG; Harper accusing the Coalition of being evil; Duceppe reporting on Harper's "name your price" spiel. Closing line (female voice): "If there's one thing Canada doesn't need in a Prime Minister . . . it's hypocrisy."

    Just run that sucker once for every time the Tories run an anti-Coalition attack ad and that particular campaign strategem would be done like dinner.

    Hopefully we can then get back to somebody coming up with an . . . idea. I know, I know.

    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfHnzYEHAow%5D

  13. It wouldn't take much skill for the Liberals to create a devastating counterattack ad with this. Materials: Harper's letter to the GG; Harper accusing the Coalition of being evil; Duceppe reporting on Harper's "name your price" spiel. Closing line (female voice): "If there's one thing Canada doesn't need in a Prime Minister . . . it's hypocrisy."

    Just run that sucker once for every time the Tories run an anti-Coalition attack ad and that particular campaign strategem would be done like dinner.

    Hopefully we can then get back to somebody coming up with an . . . idea. I know, I know.

    [youtube RfHnzYEHAow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfHnzYEHAow youtube]

    • I'm not so sure that Harper wouldn't benefit from a mutual roll in the mud like that.

    • Don't forget to include grainy black and white photos of a sinister-looking Harper in the foreground, the faded 2004 letter in the background (don't show the actual text – someone might read it and think: "what's the big deal?"). Ominous music is a must, preferably with a martial drumbeat .

      Also, after the female voice says "If there's one thing Canada doesn't need in a Prime Minister . . . it's hypocrisy", it might be good to have her add: "We're not making this up. We're not allowed to make stuff up." You know, just in case some viewers are skeptical.

      Finally, when the full-screen Liberal logo is displayed at the end, I would suggest text beneath the logo that reads: "This message is brought to you by Liberal Party of Canada. We're not hypocrites."

      • It wouldn't be a big deal if Harper wasn't criticizing the very idea of getting support from "separatists and socialists"

        You want it not to be a big deal, tell Harper to stop trying to undermine our parliament.

      • ". . . I would suggest text beneath the logo that reads . . . "

        Frankly I think you're going over the top a bit there.

        • Yup. ;-)

  14. i would like you to do something about immigration, all illegal immigrants should be deported as they are clogging up the system, and taking our jobs, i would come out of Europe, to ensure nobody is controlling my decisions, i would change how we deal with suspected terrorists, i would want to keep them for longer, and put them on a terrorist list, like the pedo list but if your a terrorist you must sign it and have a security tag on your foot,
    i would change how the NHS works, anyone for Europe on holiday, or here illegally must pay some sort of fee to be treated and would have to be placed behind nationals, you wouldn't go to a Spanish hospital and expect to be treated first, and you would also need insurance.
    i would stop huge bonuses, their should be a certain percentage of their yearly salary they get as a bonus like 20% rather than 10000%,
    invest in cheaper energy, and environmentally friendly, like wind in Scotland, and wave and tide at the coast, and in land nuclear?
    i would also change the way our country deal with freedom of speech, it seems that Islam extremists are allowed on TV to publicly insult and abuse how our country act and stuff, i would make it so you are free to speak, as long as its not extremely offensive, i wouldn't bring back the death penalty ever, i would make it so nobody ever could, but i would change how we do our rulings, i would make it so murder is murder, rather than people saying its manslaughter for diminished responsibility, life would also mean life, and the only way out would be on appeal, but you must have served at least 30years before being considered.
    i would change the drinking age to 21, and the voting age to 16.
    i would also change clubs and bars opening hours, depending on the bar would depend on their opening hours, the latest i would allow would be 1am, and pubs would be 11-12.
    i would send all but a minority of all trained soldiers to Afghanistan to help combat the war on terrorism, i would also spend millions-billions on upgrading weaponry and vehicles, our soldiers need the best if they are going to survive this conflict.
    this is only a short piece of what i would do to change my country if i was PM and im from the UK, i realized its Canadian, but i thought i may as well post it, and you may relate to these ideas :D

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