I'm not saying the coalition is dead... - Macleans.ca
 

I’m not saying the coalition is dead…


 

I’m just saying it’s not exactly tap-dancing right now.

Incidentally, perhaps we should define our terms. Are people who argue that the coalition isn’t dead saying that a Liberal will serve as Canada’s prime minister before the next general election, with a cabinet that includes New Democrats? Or are they saying that the coalition will continue to exist as a threat, to be delivered solemnly at scrum microphones in an ever-feebler attempt to get the (Conservative) Prime Minister to back off selected initiatives, without having to go through an actual election?

In the latter case, “the coalition” would indeed survive, as a kind of druther, a preference for a future that never actually arrives because its advocates dare not try to hasten its coming. Kind of like Social Credit. Or sovereignty-association. And I’m certainly willing to concede that the idea of a Liberal-led coalition government before the next general election is as hale and hearty as Social Credit.


 
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I’m not saying the coalition is dead…

  1. Paul…. good points…. Walk softly but carry a big stick…. The world knows America has a large capable nuclear arsenal, they also know they can never strike first ( Helen Caldicott The 1984 Jacob Bonowski Memorial Lecture) BUT no President will take that opinion off the table nor should. Having said that, it would seem that our MSM has a obligation to tell all Canadians that no opposition leader should not take “Coalition” off the table either….. this tool was put in place for good reason….. and as it appears gave our sitting Prime Minister and his elected team pause for concern and forced them into action. For any ruling party to say one thing against parliamentary rules and do another is not truthful and the public when informed would quickly see through it.

  2. I think Iggy is faced with a heck of a dilemma right now. If he half-heartedly keeps the coalition sort of alive to keep Harper in check, then he will indeed have to “wear it” in the next election. As much as I think Canadians are being childish in their rejection of the coalition (at least in buying the ‘undemocratic’ and ‘coup’ reasons to do so), the fact is it would be a huge liability for the Liberals (unless they can quickly find a way to sell it).

    On the other hand, if he disowns it, we’re right back to Harper acting as if he has a majority mandate (which apparently strikes many of my fellow deluded citizens as somehow ‘more’ democratic). Also, the Conservatives will still try to make him wear it.

    I’m betting he’ll take a few concessions from Harper, declare that the coalition served its temporary purpose, and put it to bed.

  3. The last Canwest/Ipsos poll referred to the coalition as an “unholy deal with the Bloc separatists” in their questions. So until the questions Ipsos used are revealed this poll is meaningless garbage.

    As for defining the terms, I’d say it’s the former. I doubt the NDP will agree to using the coalition as nothing more than a stick that Iggy can use to wallop Harper with when he gets out of line. There’d be nothing in it for them since Iggy would get all the credit for standing up to Steve.

  4. What’s fascinating about this poll is that questioners were asked whether Ignatieff should cooperate with Harper – the pollster could have asked whether Harper should cooperate with the opposition. I’ll bet that both questions would have gotten roughly the same favourable response.

    And asking whether Canadians would be uncomfortable with a coalition “backed by the Bloc” smacks of push polling. Given that Canwest commissioned the poll and is known to be Conservative-leaning, I am suspicious of these results.

    Unfortunately, I think that the Canadian public is doomed to an endless series of elections until either Harper gets his majority or Harper is tossed out of office.

    (I also think that Harper’s goal is to achieve a majority with no representation at all from either Toronto or Quebec, but that’s another issue entirely.)

  5. I still think the flaw in this argument is the assumption that the NDP will sit passively like the loaded gun in the desk drawer waiting to be used as Iggy’s weapon of convenience.

    I can see that situation maintaining until the budget vote. But assuming the budget is acceptable to the Liberals, I see no reason why the NDP wouldn’t walk away from the coalition claiming that Iggy was a wimp of the first order.

    Of course, even if they did walk away it would not change anything. Just that the putative “Coalition” wouldn’t have a name attached to it.

    But then, I may well be missing about ten things.

  6. I think the coalition is dead in the ‘Lib PM with NDP cabinet before next election’ sense for sure. If Iggy thought Coalition was great, he would be out selling it like Dion/Layton were last week and he wouldn’t be coming out with coy comments like ‘coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition’.

    I think Coalition is useful to Iggy because it’s a sword of Damocles hanging over Harper’s head and the PM has to watch himself a bit now or else he will lose power.

    What I want to know is what did the GG say to Harper in their 2 1/2 meeting the other week. If GG told Harper what she would do if Cons lose confidence vote on budget, that’s a significant advantage for Harper and his love of tactics.

  7. The thing is, however, the coalition as a threat will only work so long as the Liberals have an actual, enactable platform and agenda that both the NDP and the Bloc can endorse.

    Which means that so long as Iggy wants to keep the coalition idea as a threat, any moves he might make towards the political centre (thereby competing with the votes Harper’s aiming for) are going to be checked.

  8. The recently announced bailout of the big three goes a long way to reduce the coalition’s purported raison d’être.

    Personally, I’d be happy to see Harper fill the 18 senate seats denying one potential coalition appointee a much coveted spot.

  9. Boy, when Canada does have a crisis – the country doesn’t fool around.

    Maybe yes, maybe no.

    Should we or shouldn’t we.

    Bailout or not bailout

    It’s stressful being confused isn’t it?

    In the US – Hillary Clinton – abortion if necessary, but not necessarily abortion.
    Colin Powell – we should revisit the don’t ask don’t tell issue.

  10. A couple of new cups of gasoline to throw on the fire in the Globe.

    – article on the way magic mortgages were allowed to move into Canada.

    – the continuing machinations around the ABCP.

    Land mines abound.

  11. “And I’m certainly willing to concede that the idea of a Liberal-led coalition government before the next general election is as hale and hearty as Social Credit.”

    Especially considering most Socred populists are now subsumed into the Conservative Party of Canada?

    In which case, there is a 50% chance Stephen Harper’s head will explode.

  12. Coalition and labour – hmmm. I believe in workers’ rights and all, but please unions, show some sense, fairness and reasoning.

    There’s a world economic crisis and yet postal workers are on slow down and Ottawa’s transit on strike and yet you people want non-union folks to sympathize?

    I shudder to think what would happen if the NDP were the government. Attack corporations and strong union influence – well, that’s a great way to encourage investment in Canada.

    I would bet that most of the for coalition side are NDP and/or union workers.

  13. I don’t think you’ll find many labor leaders agreeing with that point of view

    Yeah, but how many votes do they control or influence in the general pop.? Few. Mostly Dippers.

  14. I’m a fan of Iggy’s and this is his first test as Liberal leader. I’m disappointed to report that he’s failing his first test. He must put distance between himself and the coalition. If he fails to do so, he’ll ending up having to wear it in the next election. It will be pure poison for him in English Canada. Surely this is something that the Liberals, even in their sorry state, understand?

    I appreciate that Iggy has to do this tactfully because he wants those soft NDP and perhaps Bloc votes but it’s a fine line and the longer he keeps it in his backpocket the more it’ll become part of his wardrobe.

    As far as using the Coalition as a threat goes, we all know that the only party that fears an election right now are the Liberals. The Conservatives would love to go to the polls at the end of January. So the coalition threat will be an emply threat. The Coalition is dead both as a potential alternative government and as a threat of one.

    I suppose we can say that it exists only as empty rhetoric on Iggy’s part. The two other coalition partners will soon help expose it for what it is.

    Harper will have the look of the cat that swallowed the canary. If I beleived in reincarnation, I’d swear William Lyon Mackenzie King was back amongst us.

  15. Their best before date was surpassed recently.

  16. If you want to find out how people feel about the coalition, forget about the polls and the newspapers and for that matter what your friends and family are saying.

    Talk to some complete strangers (restraining your urge to express your own opinion – I know that might be hard for some people here). I have always felt that the coalition was inherently unstable and couldn’t imagine that people would take it seriously, but it wasn’t until I really got out that I realized that the emotional reaction of Canadians is right off the scale.

    The deep offense and sense of betrayal invoked by Stéphane Dion and Jack Layton is real. If the Liberals want to pretend it doesn’t exist, they are free to take that risk. Sure there are a lot of people angry at Harper too — obviously it depends where you go and who you talk to. But the coalition is a minefield for both the Liberals and the NDP.

    I am not a strong believer in polls and the statistical assumptions behind them, but they serve a purpose. Dismiss what you don’t want to hear as spin at your peril.

  17. Jean, without going into details, the potential of something other than an election occuring at the end of January if the government falls is as dead as the idea of a coalition. Firstly, there will be no coalition alternative, secondly, even if there was, Harper would request an election and the Governor General would follow his recommendation. Michael Bliss sets out the reasons why quite well in a recent article in the National Post. It has something to do with political legitimacy. Canada in the year 2009 isn’t the Russian Duma of 1906 even if Iggy would no doubt be very comfortable in the latter.

  18. “The Conservatives would love to go to the polls at the end of January. So the coalition threat will be an emply threat.”

    Jarrid

    You are assuming GG will call for a second election 4 months after the last one. That’s a big assumption. What happens if GG decides to give Coalition a chance to govern and it’s not as big a disaster as some of us expect it will be?

    I wonder if GG takes into account that Iggy is new leader that few people know. Can he really become PM even though few Canadians know him, never ran for PM, presented a platform, been in Cabinet or won leadership contest without the help of his influential friends who organized a coronation. I think people viewing PM as being legitimate is really important and what will they think of Iggy being installed as PM, even though they barely know him. I understand that it would be allowed under our rules as they now stand but a good way to destroy institutions is to make them out of step with what the electorate view as being acceptable.

  19. Steve W.

    We are definitely not talking to the same people. I’ve heard quite a few conversations in support of the coaltion whilst out and about in my town.

  20. Jean, don’t you ever meet new people? I try to meet someone new every day

  21. DianeG obviously it depends where you go and who you talk to YMMV

  22. The last Canwest/Ipsos poll referred to the coalition as an “unholy deal with the Bloc separatists” in their questions. So until the questions Ipsos used are revealed this poll is meaningless garbage

    You really do wonder what motivates “journalists” to use unexamined polls as a basis for an argument. I can accept expediency and I can sometimes accept credulity with regard to population surveys and statistical analysis (blinded by science, as it were), but no so much when it comes from people with advanced degrees in the social sciences.

  23. “but it wasn’t until I really got out that I realized that the emotional reaction of Canadians is right off the scale.”

    I agree with Steve W. I live in Guelph, hardly a bastion of Con/con support, and people were pissed last week about Dion becoming PM, Libs usurping power and the prospect of BQ being near the levers of power. Dion is gone now, so some of the heat will have cooled, but people were having negative visceral reactions to BQ being the power behind the throne and that’s not likely to change because Iggy is around now.

  24. Talk to some complete strangers (restraining your urge to express your own opinion – I know that might be hard for some people here). I have always felt that the coalition was inherently unstable and couldn’t imagine that people would take it seriously, but it wasn’t until I really got out that I realized that the emotional reaction of Canadians is right off the scale.

    Yes, this is much more scientific than an opinion poll.

  25. The coalition threat served it’s purpose.

    It forced Harper to withdraw his poison pills and pay attention to the issues that matter to most Canadians. No doubt he can change his mind and reintroduce them, but only at the risk of the GG denying him another election.

    Hopefully, Harper and Ignatieff will do what is best for the country, slowly put down the coalition / poison pill hammers, and get on with the business of government.

    Its win/win:

    The Libs win time to establish themselves as a functioning opposition and a viable government in waiting.

    The Cons win time to dream up new and improved attack ads, and maybe hold a leadership convention.

    Canadians win a government that actually governs.

  26. On the other hand, jwl, you could read the editorial in your homey newspaper.

  27. Hey Ti-Guy, I never said it was scientific, I’m just saying putting your head in the sand is a bad strategy.

    Maybe someone who’s still convinced of the viability of the coalition could explain why the Liberal caucus decided to replace Dion five months early.

    Could it be

    (a) because even though the caucus signed the letter to the GG as a sign of party unity enough of them were so appalled by this development that they had to do something about it immediately

    (b) Harper’s undemocratic proroguing of parliament was so effective Dion had to step down because he had no other choice

    (c) the Liberals don’t have enough money to have the convention in May, so they decided that appointing an interim leader was the cheapest thing to do

  28. Jarrid,

    “Michael Bliss sets out the reasons why quite well in a recent article in the National Post.”

    With a due respect to Mr. Bliss and the National Pravda, did it ever occur to you he might be wrong? Bliss could be viewed by some as pedagogical. Here’s a hint tending in that direction from one contributor to the National Pravda.

    “The great Canadian historian Ramsay Cook, Bliss’s PhD supervisor in the 1960s, recently told me that ‘Michael wanted to be a United Church minister when he was younger. He gave up on that idea, but he has been preaching to us ever since.'”

    — John Turley-Ewart, National Post

  29. Steve Wart: Do you have any suggestions that don’t confirm the claim that the coalition is dead?

    I have no idea. I’ll just point out what Salutin wrote in the Globe yesterday:

    Unexpected, undesired things happen, so people improvise, they cope, they rig up new arrangements. Sometimes it’s even for the best.

    You’d be surprised to find out how often the ruling class makes up things as they go along.

  30. Jean – Bliss isn’t the be all end all but he makes a couple of points in his article that are hard to disagree with and it is in an area that he knows something about. Jwl has added a couple of points above about Iggy not having been ratified as leader of the Liberals which I think is another good point.

    I’m not good on speculation so I’ll decline your invitation to speculate on Harper and the GG’s conversation.

    I do however want to talk about this perverse political configuration called the coalition to my fellow blog central readers since many, including Mr. Wells, seems to think it has some type of other than imaginary existence.

    I recall the political debates last October and I recall Gilles Duceppe’s robotic answers about, Quebec this and Quebec that, as long as it’s good for Quebec, who cares if it sucks for another province. We in Quebec have clean hydro energy, we are morally superior because of it, blah, blah blah. Now, he was being nothing if not consistent. He wants to break up the country so anything to exacerbate regional tensions is just peachy. To succeed in his enterprise, is helps a lot if Canada, as a working federation, fails or is failing. Indeed, that appears the only way the separatists will succeed because Quebeckers are not inclined to leave unless they feel they are being pushed out.

    And we want Duceppe with veto power on how are this country is run, this in a time of economic dislocation? Have people lost their collective senses?

    Three words come to mind: Shame, shame, shame.

  31. Ah, Michael Bliss. Drag him out and dust him off. Haven’t been inflicted with his drone since the constitution wars.

    Speaking of which, I think I saw the ghost of Debra Coyne on one of the TV talkies last week.

    Those were the days.

  32. It really doesn’t matter to me if the “coalition” is dead or alive. I’m assuming Harper wants to cling to power and has enough sense to postpone his vindictive behaviour and seek compromise — long enough to win and maintain the confidence of the house until events are less chaotic. It is, after all, Harper’s responsibility to gain confidence if he wishes to lead.

    If he is Machiavellian enough to game this situation into another election — even assuming he succeeds — he will set off on the road to self-destruction. I steadfastly agree with Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” — even with a truckload of money.

  33. Sisyphus

    Thanks for the pointer, that’s funny. I think the Mercury is out of step with town on this one tho and it’s owned by TorStar, so no surprise they are in favour of coalition. Electorate might accept Coalition of Lib/NDP but there is widespread dislike of BQ. People aren’t stupid, they know BQ is part of the coalition no matter what others claim and their is a visceral hatred for the separatists that isn’t going away.

  34. Take the scenario of the father who has beaten his child.

    What would be more concerning – where the father, after sober reflection repudiates his conduct, apoligizes and shows remorse,

    or where the father ponders his actions and then declares “I may do that again, depending on the circumstances….I’ll let you know”

    Obviously the latter. We can discount the rash, things done in a panick, in recognition of human frailty. We are much less tolerant of calculated malice.

    And so, on sober reflection, Iggy does not repudiate his detent with the Bloc, but instead “keeps his options open.”

    His first act as leader confirms that the Bloc potentially governing was no one off. No rash decision which canadians could forgive in the heat of some bad economic news.

    It was calculated. It was confirmed.

    And now we know, if it suits Iggy’s purposes,

    it will happen again.

  35. I had forgotten who Micheal Bliss was until they reanimated him for an interview on CBC Sunday Edition in September for a discussion on elitism and political campaigning. He made no sense whatsoever. I believe he’s still battling liberal academics from the 60’s and 70’s.

  36. Permit me to continue sharing my opinion…

    Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe do not have a responsibility to grant confidence in Mr. Harper’s government. Harper, is the putative leader by virtue of his party’s seat count, so he bears sole responsibility for earning confidence.

    He ought to grow a spine and do the right thing.

  37. It was calculated. It was confirmed.

    And now we know, if it suits Iggy’s purposes,

    it will happen again.

    Rich. Compelling.

  38. As for you Liberals (and your friends in the media),

    who are placing everyday Quebecers as a shield in front of Seperatists, to thwart attacks on the seperatist ideology for your own political purposes (“they’re attacking Quebecers, if they dissagree with a Bloc detent!!”),

    you are doing more harm to federalism in the last few weeks, than any constitituional failure, any government offence, any ungranted contract to Quebec,

    has ever done.

  39. Kody,

    So you’re saying Harper is a father who has beaten his child (democratically elected MPs) and that now it’s time to sober up, feel some remorse and make amends. Or are you saying that Dad can’t do it because he is hopelessly addicted?

  40. I missed my Seabus because of this blog, so I’m stuck at McDonald’s at Lonsdale Quay (where there’s free wi-fi — Starbucks just doesn’t get it) until the next one comes along. They had Mansbridge interviewing Coyne, Chantal Hébert and some guy from Decima Research on this very topic.

    Unfortunately they mangled the text so badly I couldn’t make out what any of them said.

    Ti-Guy: I agree with the sentiment that they want to keep their options open, but given that the Liberals have replaced their leader, no reasonable person would expect the GG to allow the coalition to govern without an election.

    I have nothing but contempt for anyone who claims the coalition is viable when they know full well that it isn’t.

  41. Mansbridge wasn’t in the McDonalds in case I was unclear. It was on the TV here :)

  42. Today’s progressive left,

    making the seperatist ideology synonomous with Quebec,

    one crass political calculation at a time.

    Historical reminder: the ends (evicting the eeeeeevil Harper from power) justifying the means (raising Seperatist ideology to heights of acceptability never seen before in our country),

    usually produces bad results in the end.

  43. Here’s an excerpt from Bliss in his December 6th article in the Post in answer to the usual ad hominen claptrap emanating from the unhinged left. The whole thing is worth reading except for those who prefer to stew in their ignorance of things constitutional:

    “Just as it was finally realized that the Charlottetown Accord had to be taken to the people, so the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition proposal would have to go to the Canadian people before it could be legitimately implemented. I am certain that if Mr. Harper loses the confidence of the House at the end of January, and chooses to request a dissolution of Parliament and an election to test voters’ will, the Governor-General will grant it. The coalition-without-election idea, I believe, is as dead as the Charlottetown Accord, not least because, now as then, so many Canadians have been deeply angered by the arrogance and egos of parliamentarians whose understanding has failed to evolve beyond the pages of out-of-date constitutional textbooks.”

    – Michael Bliss, Ignoring our constitutinal tradition, National Post, Dec. 06.

  44. Duceppe has veto power regardless of whether it’s the coalition leading or the conservatives leading.
    The only way he doesn’t is if one of the other two parties band together with the conservatives.. in a temporary coalition, you might say.. for the votes in the House of Commons.

    Canada set Harper the smallest of goals to achieve. “Show us you can cooperate with just ONE other party. Just one, okay? There’s three of them to choose from for goodness’ sakes.” Harper failed that goal spectacularly.

    The Coalition is alive for as long there’s a credible threat that Her Excellency may choose to hand the reigns over to them rather than go to another election. So six months of actual governance by the Conservatives, tops. After that, it holds no threat for Harper. It remains to be seen if Mr. Ignatieff can boost the popularity enough of the Liberal party in the interim so that they’re a credible threat. He’s got a very short window and a lot of ground to make up. There will of course be the (predictable) bleats that his ascendancy was non-democratic, but most of Canada aren’t members of the Liberal party anyway, so they normally don’t get a say, so I don’t see that as a big deal. Ignatieff has positioned himself well enough that he can use the Coalition as a threat for those few months, and then let it fall away. If brought to an early election, conservative attacks on him as agreeing with the coalition will melt pretty quickly as he’s been making a lot of noises toward “We didn’t want to bring down the government, but Mr. Harper left us no choice” which may well work to defuse the coalition as a group seeking to take power and instead as the normal grouping of parties to end a minority government. (And of course if the Coalition takes power without an election, he’s got a couple years to show that the Bloc has actually signed a deal that gives it *less* influence than it would normally have — as threatening to bring down the government will have been taken from the table)

    As I predicted, this minority government is actually the best thing that could have happened to Mr. Harper. It allows him to not actually enact anything the social conservatives want but to blame it on the opposition, thus energizing the base while not disgusting the rest of Canada who really don’t believe in socially-conservative oppression. To be honest, I’m hoping he gets his majority. Either the conbots are right about how it’ll be a triumph of the individual leading us on to Utopia (fat chance), or I’m right and we’ll see major curtailment of people’s rights and freedoms and a quick bankrupting of the government, leading to people actually understanding the saying that Tory Times are Tough Times.

    I honestly don’t beleive that we’ll see any coalition of the left while Mr. Layton is leading the NDP. To be honest, I see very little difference between Layton and Harper other than the particular ideology they’ve hitched their wagon to. True, Layton hasn’t broken a string of promises yet, but he hasn’t been in a position where he’s able to.

    Is Ignatieff any different from either of them? Dunno yet. We’ll have to see how he performs as opposed to how he speechifies.

  45. So by all means would-be coalitionists, let’s take this to the people of Canada.

    Coalitionists, coalistionists, where are you , where are you…..?

    Another reason why this thing is deader than a doornail.

  46. Bliss is absolutely correct. But there’s also this:

    The polls (the latest has a full 56% of the electorate preferring an election rather than giving the coalition power – stunning given that we just had an election)

    confirm that the GG would be utilizing her authority as an unelected appointee, CONTRARY to the will of the people. She would never let this happen for a variety of reasons, not the least of which it would put in jeopardy the legitimacy (and perhaps even the tolerance for the existance) of her position.

    Expect a poinson pill in the budget, which the opposition will be forced to bitterly swallow, or face overwhelming electoral defeat at the polls.

    The threat of the coalition will go down as perhaps the greates political blunder of our time

  47. I think you could argue that the only reason the coalition was ever a good idea for the Liberals was that it gave them a better bargaining position when Harper started threatening to call an election.

    Though there may be something to be said for being the ones occupying the big office, any longer term benefits would have probably been offset by the accusations of illegitimacy, the actual legitimacy it would give to the NDP, and the headache of having to co-operate in any way with the bloc.

    Dead or not, Ignatieff is the big winner in this crisis – he’s got the leadership of his party without a fight, an issue on which he can juxtapose himself with his opponent (on which his opponent already looks weak), and a deal in his back pocket that has the potential to back Harper off of his election threats. All that translates, at least for the moment, into Ignatieff looking like a better leader than Harper in the minds of at least as many Canadians as see it the other way.

    If tactics are about seizing your opportunities when they present themselves, Ignatieff is looking like a master tactician at the moment.

  48. Leadership isn’t signing a deal with the devil for crass political gain,

    then equivocating as to whether he’ll hold up his end of the bargain, depending on which way the political winds blow.

    In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the opposite of leadership – by any reasonable interpretation of the term.

  49. I have nothing but contempt for anyone who claims the coalition is viable when they know full well that it isn’t.

    Steve Wart: I have more contempt for a government that has avoided governing for three years and when finally confronted, sets off a political and national unity crisis and nearly precipitates a constitutional crisis.

    It’s high time Canadians came to grips with the fact that all of this was predictable and if Conservatives don’t like it, they only have themselves to blame.

  50. “the polls…confirm that the GG would be utilizing her authority as an unelected appointee, CONTRARY to the will of the people”

    Um, the way our parliamentary democracy works is that the will of the people is expressed through electing members of parliament to be our representatives. The actions of government must be accepted by a majority of those members, as expressed through votes in the house. Some recent polls have been obviously slanted in their construction, and can hardly be taken as a valid measure of the people’s will.

    We elect representatives on the understanding that we can’t stop to hold national referendums every hour – even if such a thing were possible. Instead, we accept that our MPs must excercise judgement in the face of unanticipated circumstances.

    If nothing else, I hope folks take a harder look at the individuals they are sending to Ottawa next time, rather than voting as though we have a presidential system of government.

  51. Jarrid,

    “Here’s an excerpt from Bliss in his December 6th article in the Post in answer to the usual ad hominen claptrap emanating from the unhinged left.”

    So Bliss’s piece isn’t claptrap?

    Methinks you have a serious case of academic bulemia.

  52. kody, so you’re saying Peter Mackay should be run out of office?

  53. The CPC “avoided governing”

    I could have sworn that it was the Lib opposition that avoided opposing, and stood back and let Harper govern,

    by abstaining or supporting confidence vote after confidence vote.

    Hmm, it must have just been my imagination…..oh well, I must admit, having strong political views does tend to force people to believe that which that want to, rather than that which actually happened.

  54. I am hopeful that the Liberal leadership,

    shares the views of their partisan supporters here,

    in believing that the GG would let the coalition govern. I would much rather have an election than watch the opposition swallow whatever poison pill was in the budget.

    Looks like we’re in this together. Onward with the coalition!!

  55. >Canada set Harper the smallest of goals to achieve. “Show us you can cooperate with just ONE other party. Just one, okay? There’s three of them to choose from for goodness’ sakes.” Harper failed that goal spectacularly.

    Harper scored that goal repeatedly since the 2006 election. The recent event isn’t the trend; it’s the outlier. We’d surely like to know why he provoked the opposition parties; undoubtedly several people are putting together frameworks for bestselling political exposes at this time.

  56. Spot the gaps in his argument folks :)

    Kody never argues anything, so there are no gaps to spot. He just presents opinions as statements of fact which are fundamentally inarguable as presented.

    His blithering would be much improved with the addition of “in my opinion,” or “I think…” but that won’t happen.

  57. I own a small retail store in B.C. I can assure you that the majority of people who come into my store, who have followed all the nuances of the issue, are disgusted with Harper’s tactics, amazed that the media has allowed him to get away with his lies and are in support of the Coalition. I think that many of those in the media have wrongly read the mood of the population or are deliberately distorting the facts. Like many of the questions on the opinion polls, the media has twisted this issue to their own agenda. Their quest for sensationalism and biased reporting has completely overshadowed the presentation of facts. Unfortunately, some of the population believe everything they read in the papers, watch on t.v. or listen to on the radio. I hope that Ignatieff is paying attention because he will lose as many votes as he gains if he throws the Coalition out with the bath water.

  58. JeanP. Agreed. It always struck me as odd that May seemed to so desparately want to unseat Harper, and then swung the Green Party way over to the left, instead of carrying it further to the libertarian-green side of things, where it might actually pose a credible threat to Harper instead of a threat to all the other threats to him.

  59. “Hmm, it must have just been my imagination…..oh well, I must admit, having strong political views does tend to force people to believe that which that want to, rather than that which actually happened.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Kody. Now I know why you’re in denial.

  60. Brad: I’d argue he didn’t. Pointing a gun at another party and saying, “If you come in and vote, we’ll shoot” isn’t cooperating any more than a person handing their money over to a mugger is cooperating.

  61. The half-life of the coalition is about 3 months. If the Parliament makes it to fall, the Governor General is far more likely to call an election than call on the coalition.

    So the effectiveness of the coalition as a threat is really only limited to the budget. If the budget is good enough and passes, Iggy and the Liberals will have no use for the coalition, and they will begin fundraising and preparing for an election in the fall.

  62. Uh. Fall is at least 8 months away yet, I think you meant spring, yes?
    And do you really think it’ll be that fast? I was thinking they have probably until early summer, but I’ll admit that might be a bit optimistic.

  63. “I own a small retail store in B.C. I can assure you that the majority of people who come into my store,…”

    Let me guess, on Davie Street in Vancouver’s West End?

  64. So what happens to your coalition theories when Harper resigns?

  65. You asked about this in an earlier post, I believe, Paul, but let me provide the answer here: Yes, I have had enough of Jean Proulx.

  66. Nice lead-in Colleague Wells – to a discussion on the Coalition and the Aristocratic Perfessor’s tepid position on it.

    David Bakody
    Dec 13, 2008 9:26
    Report Abuse

    Paul…. good points…. Walk softly but carry a big stick…. The world knows America has a large capable nuclear arsenal, they also know they can never strike first ( Helen Caldicott The 1984 Jacob Bonowski Memorial Lecture)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    At least David Bakody quotes a Professor like Bronowski – with some serious credentials to his name – and – I would argue – a little more eminence than Iggy!

    Also one – and I love this – that the World Socialism Movement is proud to quote!

    http://www.worldsocialism.org/articles/oil_wars_to_come.php

  67. Steve W. – I except the program you mentioned was a re-run of this weeks ” At Issue ” panel.

    You know , the carefully balanced one with a Mulroney conservative, a Quebec conservative who only cares about Quebec, and Coyne ( I’ll refrain from characterizing where I think he stands ).

    I really enjoyed the one a few weeks back that Coyne ended with his take on the quality of empathy.

  68. By the Way – I think Jacob Bronowski had better eyebrows too!

  69. Jarrid
    Dec 13, 2008 10:28
    Report Abuse

    I’m a fan of Iggy’s and this is his first test as Liberal leader. I’m disappointed to report that he’s failing his first test. He must put distance between himself and the coalition. If he fails to do so, he’ll ending up having to wear it in the next election. It will be pure poison for him in English Canada. Surely this is something that the Liberals, even in their sorry state, understand?

    I appreciate that Iggy has to do this tactfully because he wants those soft NDP and perhaps Bloc votes but it’s a fine line and the longer he keeps it in his backpocket the more it’ll become part of his wardrobe.

    As far as using the Coalition as a threat goes, we all know that the only party that fears an election right now are the Liberals. The Conservatives would love to go to the polls at the end of January. So the coalition threat will be an emply threat. The Coalition is dead both as a potential alternative government and as a threat of one.

    I suppose we can say that it exists only as empty rhetoric on Iggy’s part. The two other coalition partners will soon help expose it for what it is.

    Harper will have the look of the cat that swallowed the canary. If I beleived in reincarnation, I’d swear William Lyon Mackenzie King was back amongst us.

    Why thank you Jarrid.
    the new Talking Points released early and a hint of what Mr. Harper said face to face with Iggy – all rolled into one!

  70. This Coalition issue just seems to linger…. is it just spin or could it have Merritt? It was not long ago the mighty US of A and the mighty USSR made an agreement to limit their nuclear arsenals for the better of the world…. We all understand the BLOC, no question their…. but if they enter into an honest agreement to work to help out all Canadians what’s the big deal? I think nuclear arsenals are a much bigger deal, how about you? With the G & M’s breaking news exposing how the Canadian public and voters were hosed over sub prime loans now makes this all academic? I for one have sent a note to ask Santa asking him to put some backbone in more journalist stockings this Christmas so we who pay these clowns wages can get the truth via professional news medias.

  71. You asked about this in an earlier post, I believe, Paul, but let me provide the answer here: Yes, I have had enough of Jean Proulx.

    What is it with journalists and petulance these days?

    Are they feeling unappreciated?

  72. I find it hilarious that people talk about their friends, their associates, their customers, and so on, as an indication of support for the coalition.

    People, this is called anecdotal evidence, and it is essentially worthless. It is regional, it is selective, it is not the slightest bit representative, even if you happen to know or meet a lot of people.

    This is why the poll was invented. To get a more accurate statistical indication that is unbiased.

    And it’s even funnier when people blame the pollsters. In reality, pollsters can make mistakes, but when there is a 38% gap, such as 65% for the current government and 27% for a coalition, well, there is no pollster that could possibly register a non-existent 38% gap.

    Now, I’m sure those 27% are rabid coalition supporters. But no matter how rabid they may be, they represent just a quarter of the population, and this is the primary reason why the coalition is dead. The secondary reasons are all those reasons why 65% of the people don’t want it.

    I’d have to agree with Paul, a Social Credit government is just as likely.

  73. “talking point”

    I cannot counter the point with facts, logic and reason. I am unable to deal with the position with meaningful substance due to its truthfulness and sound basis in reality…….hmmmmm, wait, I’ll call it a “talking point” and that will make it all go away.

  74. It’s still second down. Why are we talking about the kicker?

  75. In reality, pollsters can make mistakes, but when there is a 38% gap, such as 65% for the current government and 27% for a coalition, well, there is no pollster that could possibly register a non-existent 38% gap.

    I’m not concerned about mistakes like that. All of it’s done by computer these days, anyway and statistical methods are mechanical. But the point made earlier about polling is valid: What does it say when a poll asks people to respond to a question that asks:

    if Harper should remain in government “because of the severe economic situation the country faces and the fact the Liberals and NDP have entered into an ‘unholy’ deal with the Bloc separatists?”

    This certainly warrants discussion. But since polling companies have become very litigious, I don’t think anyone in the media will touch it. Besides, it disrupts the narrative.

  76. sf
    ‘This is why the poll was invented. To get a more accurate statistical indication that is unbiased.’
    Surely, you jest?
    Lke globals poll SUGGESTING that i might like to agree with their assertion that an ” unholy alliance” was a bad idea. The disclaimer, brought to you by your disinterested Conservative Party would have been nice. Silly me it’s not about being nice, is it.

  77. Damn, ti-guy scoped me – b*****d.

  78. no polls were invented so that people wouldn’t have to do as much critical thinking on their own and so that journalists wouldn’t have to bother leaving their desks to write a story.

    I’ve found it interesting that when journalists are confronted with the fact that opinion polls are measuring perceptions of reality (and may or may not be saying anything useful about reality itself), they’ll turn around and accuse…well, everyone…of not *selling* their message well enough.

    More and more, I find mainstream journalism just tells us more about journalism and individual journalists than anything else.

  79. The secondary reasons are all those reasons why 65% of the people don’t want it.

    Weird, I didn’t see any results that show 65% of the people don’t want a coalition. I did see a result that showed 65% of the people want Iggy to compromise with Harper, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to mean they are against a coalition.

    The problem with cooked polls and stupid interpretations of the results is that they’re meaningless.

  80. David Akin ,

    You haven’t met Kody? Pity.

  81. No, Jean Proulx. You were told yesterday, by the blog administrator and a half-dozen readers, that you were being a blowhard and that you should stop. You refused. You were told the same thing again today by one of my valued colleagues and you couldn’t contain yourself. So you’re banned. I’ll delete anything you post until Monday so you’re wasting your time. After that, if you squat on any post and spend half the day bloviating, I’ll delete it all again. We enforce rules of behaviour here and you’re being a jerk and since you won’t stop, I’ll stop you. Whining won’t help. Smartening up would have, but it’s too late.

  82. Politics is a dirty game. Iggie should get Jack and Jill before they all come tumbling down the hill. something like: I’m the leader now, therefor what transpired previously doesn’t count , besides thy didn’t invite me to listen into their conference call, only Steve, not fair As fo the little matter of my signature on the document. I signed it as an academic, not a politician.
    It’s not only H who will be gunning fo him when it comes again before the ultimate court of public opinion. He should make sure some one else wears this too. Did i mention politics was a dirty game.

  83. ti-guy
    you may be right. As a disinterested citizen and not a journalist or pollster i would think it would aid their case if they tried at least to cram it in he right orifice.

  84. The coalition will be dead once the Liberals help pass the Conservative budget. There will be no chance to revive the coalition after that. The NDP won’t go for it.

    It’s now or never.

  85. do i detect a chill in the air? I hate it when you guy just f*** off and don’t tell me where you’re going.

  86. If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be tap dancing? Being ready for an election is strength. A suicide pact with the Bloc is more like threatening to rendezvous with the UFO behind the comet.

  87. Paul, I find it hard to understand why Jean Proulx has been banned. So you and some of the others don’t like his posts. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? I may not agree with him but surely he’s allowed to voice his opinions. If you don’t like his take on issues, skip over his post and carry on. I find many other posting much more offensive than his.

  88. Ted,

    Without speaking for Paul, I think it had a lot more to do with quantity than content, per se.

  89. Found this December 11, 2008 comment from Grasping Reality with Both Hands: The Semi-Daily Journal of Economist Brad DeLong fascinating, and the last statement amusing:

    “I must call into question your estimate of what the absorption of the Canadian body politic would do to the median voter in the Super United States of America.

    Let’s remember, this is a country where the ‘conservatives’ — you know, the ones who support socialized medicine, regulated banking, and whose leader refuses to discuss his faith in public — are about to be overthrown by a coalition of ‘liberals’, ‘new democrats’ (whom everyone simply refers to as socialists), and Le Bloc: a group of left-wind and unintelligible Franco-nationalists whom the French seem to believe bear a closer resemblance to ducks than to themselves.

    It appears to me that Canadian politics is less a spectrum, and more an electric kool-aid acid test.

    The following article is highly illuminating, both in substance and style, about their current predicament.
    “Dear neighbor, about what’s going on in Canada”

    [http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/12/03/f-rfa-macdonald.html]

    My guess? Post-Canada Plan median voter looks just a bit more Minnesotan than today: slightly more liberal, slightly more polite, and much more impassioned about hockey than the general population. If any substantive policy preference were to reach critical mass, it would likely be the demand that NHL return to national syndication.

    Of course it’s all a joke; they’ve only got about 10% of our population, after all. But it is on these grounds that I endorse the Canada Plan wholeheartedly. It’s simple national security. They may be 33 million, but 30 million of those are amassed on the US border.

    And if this crisis of parliamentary procedure and prime-ministerial imprudence goes much further, we may have a refugee problem on our hands anyway. Might as well take the lumber with the lumberjacks.

    — David Guarino

  90. Are we going to see more of this sort of thing from iggie? What next? An election, but not necessarily an ekection? Could we all wind up pining for the certitudes of Dion?

  91. I think it had a lot more to do with quantity than content, per se.

    There are other people here who post just as frequently so I think it has more to do with Paul’s attitude. He simply doesn’t like Jean and is therefore less tolerant of him. Most bloggers are the same way.

  92. I concede the point from several people that in any poll, the question matters, although I find it unlikely that there will be a poll asking the question “Is there absolutely no question that regardless of future circumstances you will not support a coalition?”.

    Anyway, there are risks for Iggy to continue holding onto the coalition as a bargaining tool. Harper can call his bluff and reinsert the removal of public funding back into the budget, which has the support of 60% of Canadians according to recent polls. Then Iggy looks weak if he doesn’t vote against it. Then it goes to the GG again, and if she decides to go with an election rather than a coalition, which I think is the most likely option, then… the latest poll for Canwest Global shows that support for the Conservatives remains at 45% after Iggy’s coronation, and Iggy risks 4 years of sitting in the opposition benches.

  93. Archangel
    i like it bette when they ignore us.

  94. “Could we all wind up pining for the certitudes of Dion?”

    I don’t think so. Iggy impresses me as a fast learner, with the right mix of principle and pragmatism. But then I’m often wrong, too…

  95. Are blogs democratic forums?

    It occurs to me most are a kind of privilege, not a right.

    Readers (and commenters) get to extemporize here only because someone else is paying the bill.

  96. ever heard of chat rooms and message boards for private conversations?

  97. sf
    If Iggie is smart the subsidy should be part of his negotiations with Harper.Not all the cards are in Harper’s hands. why can;t the libs be bold, for a change. Suggest discussions around dis mantling all political subsidies. I don’t suppose jack and jill will approve. The public might like it.

  98. Readers (and commenters) get to extemporize here only because someone else is paying the bill.

    As I’ve said before about the economics of mass media…there is no “someone else paying for it. We’re all paying for it.

    Harper can call his bluff and reinsert the removal of public funding back into the budget, which has the support of 60% of Canadians according to recent polls.

    I wonder how Canadians would feel about that particular cut if they knew as much about the 400 million or so more in consulting and polling the Conservatives have spent over a similar period in the last Liberal government?

    If the Conservatives continue along the path of governing by *sticking it to everyone else*, which does appeal to a lot of people, then good luck to them.

  99. KC I agree, Iggy is probably talking about the political subsidies with Harper. Funny enough, I read somewhere that Harper might have thought that Jack L would support the elimination of subsidies, because eliminating them hurts the Libs more than the NDP.
    But I agree that Iggy is much smarter than Dion and he will probably be much, much better at avoiding embarassment to himself and his party.

  100. I don’t know how the Conservatives are to going to function without Dion. They’ve been simply obsessed with him for years now.

  101. It’s very clear that we should be focused on political subsidies while Canada is registering as bottom feeders in international surveys on child care access and climate change activity.

  102. “I don’t know how the Conservatives are to going to function without Dion. They’ve been simply obsessed with him for years now.”

    I miss him already.

  103. Sisyphus
    Couldn’t agree more. harper’s got us all rooting around in the ditch. I suppose it’s where he likes to be. I wouldn’t mind iggie running on that: Harper fiddles whlie rome burns.

  104. I miss him already.

    I’m sure they’re more than enough kids you can give wedgies to during recess.

  105. The coalition is just pining for the fjords. Hey Ti guy, when are the liberals going to stop obsessing about Mike Harris and Brian Mulroney. I have an uncle who only votes liberal because of Dief.

  106. when are the liberals going to stop obsessing about Mike Harris and Brian Mulroney.

    When they’re finally in prison. Why do you ask?

    I don’t obsess about them. The media does.

  107. I believe it is a strategic error for Ignatieff no to repudiate the Coalition.

    One of the principal reasons that Dion failed so badly was that he moved the Liberals too far leftward. Instead of correcting this problem, Iggy has now clearly linked himself to the left wing of the party. This will come back to haunt him in the next election.

    Moreover, he had no business signing off on a letter to the GG that spoke of “Canada and Quebec”. This is irresponsible for a federal leader. Canada includes Quebec and any serious contender to be the Prime Minister must understand this principle.

  108. I’m disappointed that Jean is banned too, but it’s not a freedom of speech issue. As much as Ti-Guy would like to imagine that there’s a collective responsibility for the media, Macleans is paying for the hosting service, their terms of use are available for everyone to read, and if I read Paul’s post correctly, it’s a temporary suspension until Monday.

    Hopefully he will be back. Some of his posts were insightful, but the volume and personal attacks were a bit hard to take at times. I’ve got a thick skin, but sometimes you want to let other people get a word in edgewise. It can be intimidating if one person is continually dominating the conversation.

  109. I don’t think anybody on the left or the centre-left will mistake Ignatieff as being left-leaning, Two Yen. I also doubt that anybody in the centre or on the centre-right would make that mistake.

    Sticking with the coalition…and remember that Stephen Harper, who nobody ever accused of being left-leaning, tried for a similar deal with the NDP and the Bloc…gives Ignatieff some options though. He can credibly threaten to bring down the government. He can, if he provides the evidence, credibly claim to have brought not just the Liberals, but the entire coalition to the right.

    The claim that the coalition is excessively left-leaning is already untrue though, and has been since its inception. The NDP backed off rolling back corporate tax cuts. The Liberals gave up the Green Shift. The Bloc gave up separatist policies. It’s the kind of compromise that mature politicians make in a minority government.

    Ignatieff, a right-leaning Liberal, has said that if asked by the GG he would honour the existing terms of the coalition. I suggest that reading those terms would indicate a pretty centrist document.

    I think Ignatieff’s best bet is to keep on his present track, but make a point of explaining the coalition to the Canadian public. He could even encourage them to read it for themselves. Once one learns the truth, the Conservative spin looks a lot like hysterical McCarthyism, after all.

  110. Blair good point. I fully expect him to announce a press conference with Layton and Duceppe. I’m sure the only reason we haven’t heard much from them is because of their busy holiday schedule.

  111. It’s fascinating how this is being spun in ROC and Quebec. We know how the Conservatives have painted us a picture of the libs/ndp jumping into bed with the separitists [ why always the sexual allusion?] Apparently in Quebec it’s the bloc in bed with the feds. I guess the old saying: politics makes for strange bd fellows also depends , in this case, which of the two solitudes apply.

  112. Re: Iggie, i recommend Salutin’s piece in fridays globe – batman and Robin. it’s an interesting piece re: Iggie and rae, and funny.

  113. I agree with whyshouldIsellyourwheat’s comment, half way up. Constitutionally, the threat of a takeover without an election has a half-life — say, oh, end of February? Or whatever the GG decides. But politically its half-life is even shorter. Not sure it could outlast the budget — how could Liberals, after passing the SFT and getting the Tories to back down on the FUFU and passing the January budget — how could they then turn around and say “We think this Government is fundamentally off the rails”? If it looks, to some, like a putsch now, it would look beyond cynical in late February or March. So — assuming Harper caves in the budget, gets it approved, starts governing meekly — how does Iggy play it then? Keep hammering home the point about “Harper isn’t doing enough” as cataclysm spreads (and spread it will), or wait for Harper to fumble the ball? My guess is, the former. Rightly or wrongly (often wrongly), Canadians are in the habit of blaming government for bad stuff; Iggy would be a fool not to build a case against Harper on that basis. He’s off to a good start.

  114. Liberal led coalition as cargo cult. I like what you have done here, sir, and heartily agree.

    I see the Star – and every other post coalition poll – show the Tories winning not just a majority, but a big majority. Three cheers for the middle class!

  115. Jack Mitchell,

    Excerpt from a girl scout song (adapted):

    Then down came the Good Fairy, and she said:
    Little Bunny FUFU,
    I don’t wanna see you
    Scooping up the field mice,
    and bopping them on the head.

    POOF! You’re a goon!

    And the moral of the story is:
    Hare today, goon tomorrow!

  116. That’s pretty easy, Jack Mitchell. Both Harper and Flaherty have been, shall we say, less than honest about the economy already. There’s a real danger that Harper will book money, then not spend it; announce old money as if it’s new; funnel spending to his corporate buddies; or just generally start acting like a twit again. That keeps the coalition relevant.

    The prorogation arguably extends the period when the opposition could take over, since Harper never really governed after the election and it was clear that House had litle or no confidence in him. There’s also the number of elections we’ve had recently and the matter of the signed agreement between the coalition partners and the Bloc offering at least 18 months of stable government…something Harper cannot offer.

    I’m not at all convinced that Harper and his party can keep their baser instincts in check until the budget passes either. The attacks on Ignatieff have already begun and continue even though he warned that it would be a bad idea to attack the coalition leader while claiming to want cooperation. Not many who pay attention have missed the campaigns on the call-in shows and the internet, and then there’s that fundraising letter. It doesn’t appear like Harper is bargaining in good faith at all, and I think Ignatieff knows that.

  117. Cargo cults only ever occur in primitive tribal societies, like, oh, say Alberta for example. snark

  118. Actually you see cargo cult behaviour a lot in large corporations. If anyone things we are much more advanced than primitive societies, read Lord of the Flies or Hansard

  119. Looks like Paul has prorouged Jean Proulx. I wonder who’s next?

  120. Pinin’ for the fjords, Greg?

    ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!!

    THIS IS AN EX-COALITION!!

  121. Harper’s plan is to cut every socail program none to canadians and govern with a capitalist point of view. If we as a country do not support the lower woking class and cater to the rich, we will make our economy go south. Mr. Haper has literaly made a check mate move, with his “bail out the corporations” idiotic budget. Now he has taken a two month time out to stop governing in this rough econmic time, right when we need a government most. He has also said that the forming of a coalition between the Bloc, Liberal and NDP is against Canadian Democracy….well Mr. Harper, CANADA VOTED AGAINST your nuthead, ignorant CONSERVATIVES, when you brake it down between the left wing. One more thing Mr. Harper and all nut heads who support your party: THE BLOC is a SOUGHVERNIST PARTY NOT a seperatist party. We need a government which gives the voice to english and french Canada, because english and french are who made Canada

  122. The majority of the people in Toronto and Vancouver are not English or French

  123. “THE BLOC is a SOUGHVERNIST PARTY NOT a seperatist party. ”

    Simon, it’s late, it’s Saturday night, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’ve been drinking. If I’m wrong, all I can say is that your soft-headedness has made you easy prey for the BQ/PQ propaganda machine.

  124. Steve:

    I am no saying anyowhere is a majority of english or french. I believe very much in multiculturalism. What I am arguing against the fact that our tories don’t want a government shared with a quebec souvernist party. I will however reinstate my point: This Coalition will well represent Canada.

  125. jarrid:

    Not drunk…despite it is a Saturday…..Just because I have made some typos here and there. Are you saying that you think i’m against quebec soughvernism because I clearly stood up for the Bloc in my 1st statement

  126. french and english helped make Canada* (correction on my 1st post)

  127. Simon I look forward to the coalition making their arguments about how they will represent Canada in their election campaign.

    In the meantime, I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas.

  128. I think the defenders of the Bloc’s role in the coalition miss the point that the interests of Quebeckers are not indentical to the interests of the Bloc.

    The Bloc portrays itself as the sole defender of Quebec interests in Parliament. While this may be a good political strategy for them, it certainly is not accurate to say that the other three political parties, all of whom have MPs in Quebec, do not represnet the interests of Quebeckers.

    When federalist parties start accepting the concept of “Canada and Quebec” the separatists are halfway to winning their key argument.

  129. “but people were having negative visceral reactions to BQ being the power behind the throne and that’s not likely to change because Iggy is around now”

    —————————

    And especially not when Ignatieff has been appointed as Liberal leader by a select view (the Liberal party executive). Ignatieff stands unelected by the Liberal party membership.

    Who would want see this country governed by an un-elected Liberal leader in co-operation with the Duceppe (who openly admits that he is a separatist).

    Solid democratic principles won’t allow for it to happen.

  130. @archangel — LOL!

    Am doing my best to popularise the “FUFU” label for the crisis, since none other seems to have emerged. This little jingle goes a long way to making it history. Hear us, historians! FUFU!

  131. francien
    if you ar’nt a member of the LiberalParty why are you complaining?
    ‘ solid democratic principles wont allow…’
    Apparently they will allow for a demogogic pM to throw charges like: traitor, undemocratic, and illegal around when he knew perfectly well it wasn;t. But then democratic is a term which is practically meaningless nowadays. i wonder why.?

  132. There’s definitely a lot of electricity in the air, which is spawning enormous debate. It’s like a big game of chess, and no one really knows what Harpig’s / Pignatieff”s next move will be. We can only speculate. One thing is certain however, that the Reformer is on his way out… It’s just a question of time. History has revealed that despots, out of desperation, will always put up a major fight before going down.

  133. There is no mention from any commentator that our parliamentary system is based on the British model. In the event of a non confidence vote on the budget, the Governor General would adhere to standard protocol, namely to ask the leader of the Opposition if he believes he could govern under a coalition with the confidence of the House. (The coalition is official, as it was signed by all 3 opposition leaders with the signed support of all opposition MP’s.) I do not believe her decision will be dictated by public opinion. Besides why would she call an election seeing as we just had one, plus it’s time the Government got to work on dealing with the economic crisis. If we add another potential election campaign to the 2-month suspension of Parliament, that would signal government inertia for well over six months, i.e. from early September, 2008 until March 2009 approximately, which I am sure she would view as unnacceptable.