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Relentlessly creative


 

Michael Ignatieff is due now to speak with reporters tomorrow morning on the Hill. The NDP’s Libby Davies, meanwhile, is vowing that her party will bravely go forward with its caucus retreat, scheduled for later this month in pictureseque Wakefield.

New Democrats will continue to work hard, and this is why our MPs will attend, as planned, the NDP Caucus retreat scheduled the week before the return of Parliament in Wakefield, Quebec.

The meeting will go ahead, because, more than ever, New Democrats are committed to keeping the Conservative government accountable. We may need to be creative. But we will be relentless.


 

Relentlessly creative

  1. Do you decipher from the NDP release that they will NOT show up for work on the 25th?

  2. The NDP and the Libs need to join forces in the next election. I don't care what Iggy has to say tomorrow nor do I care about the Dippers' creativity.

    Come the next election, it will all mean squat if the non-Harper vote continues to be split up among them.

    Dion had it right. They should look to the kind of deal that he and May struck. This is a model to follow without having to enter a formal coalition.

    Anything else is just meaningless hot air.

  3. Did you read Brian Topp's behind-the-scenes pieces about the Coalition negotiations? It's easier to herd cats than it is to get the NDP and Liberals to cooperate in a meaningful way.

  4. The NDP: relentlessly holding meetings with itself since 1961.

    • Except in 2008, when the NDP negotiated CABINET SEATS with a Liberal Party that hit a 100 year low.

  5. Dion had it right. They should look to the kind of deal that he and May struck.

    Remind me how that ended up working out for either Dion or May, again?

    There are Liberal supporters that would never in a million years vote Green (and vice versa) simply because they believe things that the other party doesn't, no matter how much they hate Harper. If you want to consolidate that vote, the long process of official merger – with all the mutual compromise that entails – is the only way to realistically do it.

  6. Relentless?

    Last time there was a confidence vote, the NDP relented.

    I'm no expert in the English Language, nor in basic logic, but I think it's true that if you want to be relentless, you have to stop relenting.

  7. You Tories better pray that it remains that way. Personally, I think Harper is having flashbacks from last year as we speak. You see, Harper's every move here is based on the assumption that he is invincible at the polls so long as the Libs and the NDP remain at each other's throat.

    But what if he assumes wrong?

    Do you actually believe that these conversations aren't taking place within the Liberal Party and/or the NDP? If I can see the writing on the wall, surely there are many within those caucuses who know this to be true.

    How long do you think that Harper can keep pulling stunts like these before the powers that be in the NDP and the Libs hit back with what we all know will be the end of the Harper govt?

  8. Hopefully Iggy read up on Feschuk's piece from the vault to have some answers to any pesky reporters' question. Should be interesting too see what he has to say and what the narrative is tomorrow. He should go completely non-partisan, talk about what he's laying out for discussion amongst the Liberals in the next month.

  9. What's worse (for you Tories that is) is that Harper has just given the LPC and the NDP 2 FULL MONTHS to come with a deal.

    I personally don't hold much hope that the enlightened ones in the LPC can get the enormous egos in their caucus to accept that they need the NDP to win the next election but…. 2 months is a mighty long time in politics.

    Like I said… You Tories better pray that it remains as is.

  10. Personally, I'd be delighted if the LPC and NDP decided to join forces in another Coalition scenario. I just don't think it's very likely. If I was a betting man, I'd give it odds of 10:1 against.

  11. you Tories

    You shouldn't assume anyone's political allegiance.

    It also makes your comment seem like an attack on another commenter, when in reality your attack should be directed at the Tories. In my two-cent opinion, that degrades your entire comment.

  12. That would explain the hairy palms.

  13. That's probably the endpoint here, no?

    Just like the Reformers and the PCites had to swallow their pride, when faced with the Martin juggernaut.

    If Harper gets a majority, expect rumblings to start on the Canadian centre-left. If it still doesn't happen, expect a second Harper majority to seal the deal.

    On the other hand, maybe we're stuck in minority land for the better part of another decade…

  14. Just watched the Obama press conference regarding the failed Christmas bombing. The difference between our leaders could not be more striking – wouldn't it be nice if just once we had a leader who took accountability? Heck, Obama just took responsibility for something that arguably he didn't have to.

    sigh…

  15. Reminds me of Gladstone versus Disraeli —

    "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear."

  16. I agree, except how does the Conservative example quell the fears of Libs and NDPers who feel that a combined party will not express their political ideas and values? I mean, if you were a conservative looking at the Conservatives, wouldn't you wonder what party you could join?

    • Speaking as a card-carrying Conservative and classical liberal by ideology, I say — you take the lesser evil. Put some water in your wine, as Harper puts it.

      What a merger on the centre-left would give you is a party a bit to the left of the current Liberal Party, and some ways to the right of the current NDP. A few voters would flee to the Tories, but the gamble is that your combined vote is much more efficient than before. (Takes a cycle or two for that to happen.)

      All these other fancy schemes — the riding splitting, etc., etc. — were pitched on the right during Chretien's time, and they all came to naught. Why? Politicians are self-interested beings, just like the rest of us.

      A Liberal-NDP temporary alliance would founder on the rocks of Dipper desires for proportional representation, Grit beliefs that they can go it alone, and… whatever else happened to pop up at the moment.

      Now, I hope you all keep on going for these complicated anti-Harper temporary alliance things, because I _do_ think they'll fail, and I like having Harper in 24 Sussex.

      But speaking as an analyst — there are smart people in the Liberal and NDP leadership circles, and if the parties can't defeat Harper on their own (which isn't a sure thing — who knows, maybe Ignatieff or his successor can pull it together and take Harper down solo), at some point they're going to throw up their hands and say, "We'll either hang together or be hanged separately," and go for a deal.

      ***

      On the other hand —

      Counter-example to what I'm saying above: Peterson and Rae's entente to take down Miller in 1985.

  17. 'Zat so?

    Say Crit, when your Chessmaster-in-Chief presented his budget late last year, what odds did you give the coalition that suddenly came into works then?

    If I were you, or a Harper staffer, I wouldn't be this confident that history wouldn't repeat itself.

  18. As long as Ignatieff continues to lead the Liberal party, I think the odds of another Coalition are very slim. If Rae became leader, the odds would improve significantly.

  19. This isn't about the odds, Crit. Under normal circumstances, this sort of arrangement would be out of the question. The only reason why we are talking about this is because Harper, once again, overreached.

  20. Ther'e's no need to combine the parties.

    They only need to combine forces for the next election. They just need to separate the ridings between them, giving the Libs enough seats to form a minority and enough seats to ensure that the Dippers increase their seat count. That's all. Clearly, concessions would need to be made on both sides but I guarantee you that the Dippers would comply.

    The problem is the delusional Libs who think that they can win enough seat from both the NDP and the Cons to form a government.

    At some point, they will give up on that dream and pick up where Dion and May left off.

    It's either they do this or they remain Opposition for the next decade.

    • 'It's either they do this or they remain Opposition for the next decade.'

      A much better option than not running 308 candidates.
      Then the coalition becomes a national party instead of the LPC.
      That is a road of no return.
      Final chapter of the LPC.

      Which is ok by me, and Dippers and Greens.

  21. Kcm and I discussed this last week, and while I certainly prefer it to a merger, I'm not that sold on it, even though it was my suggestion in that conversation. But I suppose, if it is clear it is a one-election kind of thing and its not going to turn into a regular occurence (the objection being voters in those ridings would have their vote curtailed by the folks in Ottawa, without a say in it), the idea is greatly preferable to another minute of PM Harper. But presumably this would happen only in those ridings where either the Liberal or the NDP (or the Green candidate, come to that) has no realistic chance of winning anyway.

  22. I completely agree that Harper overreached. I just don't think he overreached enough to force the unwilling Ignatieff into any kind of cooperative arrangement with the Layton NDP. Iggy's the one who killed the Coaliton last time, as I'm sure you remember.

    Many senior Liberals viewed Dion's arrangement with Elizabeth May as a serious mistake, and that arrangement only involved two ridings. I don't think it's likely that the Liberals would agree to pull candidates from thirty or forty ridings where the NDP is competitive.

    The Coalition was born out of necessity because Harper's Nov. '08 economic update would have eliminated per-vote subsidies, financially crippling the Opposition parties. The current prorogation doesn't pose the same sort of existential threat to the Liberals or the NDP.

  23. "Iggy's the one who killed the Coaliton last time, as I'm sure you remember. Many senior Liberals viewed Dion's arrangement with Elizabeth May as a serious mistake, and that arrangement only involved two ridings. I don't think it's likely that the Liberals would agree to pull candidates from thirty or forty ridings where the NDP is competitive."

    At the time, the Libs were convinced that Dion was the reason why they couldn't muster a lead over the Tories. They were still very smug and confident that Canadians would come to their senses and vote Harper out of office. Iggy truly believed that he would do better than Dion and therefore didn't need to align himself with Layton to gain power.

    That was then.

    • '…didn't need to align himself with Layton to gain power
      That was then….''

      Sad, isn't it.
      Supporters think Libs can't win an election without the Dippers, against a united right.
      What happened to the mighty Natural Governing Party of Canada?

  24. Jenn, believe me, I'm not sold on it either. I don't much like the either of riding associations being told that they have to sit it out this time around.

    I'm thinking that perhaps, like me, they will come to realize that Harper is too great a threat to this country and that this is necessary.

    There simply isn't any other way to be rid of Harper.

  25. Your problem is still that you're projecting your own values onto the entire electorate without much justification. There are people unlikely to ever vote Conservative that – at the same time – simply don't see Harper as the same mustache-twirling villain you do, and won't necessarily feel it's worth jettisoning their first preference and betraying their real beliefs just to Get Him.

  26. That is true, avr, but I think there are many more, depending on the competitiveness of the particular riding, who would prefer to hold their nose and vote for anything to be rid of that man. And far from a lessening of the ABC emotion, it has now gotten more intense.

    Obviously, this wouldn't hold true if the riding were one in which both the NDP and Liberal candidate had a realistic hope of winning.

  27. The NDP… will bravely go forward with its caucus retreat, scheduled for later this month in pictureseque Wakefield.

    Guess that steam train from Gatineau has an inflexible refund policy…

    • The steam train also prorogues every winter.

  28. I wonder how many Progressive Conservatives feel like they sold their soul to the devil when they swallowed their pride. That's about the way I feel…

    • Oh, that's just because you don't like Harper. Which is a totally legit reason to cast your vote elsewhere, but recognize it for what it is.

      The CPC holds the exact same position on the Canadian political spectrum that the old PCPC did in 1980 — the broad centre-right. Issue-wise, the whole spectrum has moved to the right since then, but relative to the other parties, it's in the same place it was pre-Reform crackup.

      [Alternatively, if the new Tories are too right-wing on the issues for you, you're to the left of, say, maybe 37.7% of the Canadian electorate. Which would put you in the camp of people who should vote Liberal. And that's okay, too. It's not wrong to be a Liberal voter, if that's where your policy preferences lie.]

  29. No, since this appears to have been planned long in advance of prorogation, and I'm sure they would have shown up on the 25th if parliament hadn't been prorogued.

  30. Yes, it's always brave for a politician to take personal responsibility for something that no one in the world would ever think was actually their fault. That way he can look noble, stop any implied criticism, and get credit for being noble all without risk of any actual repercussions.

  31. Makes one wonder why Bush, Harper and their ilk never do then doesn't it?

  32. "Ultimately, the buck stops with me"

    it's like a breath of fresh air, isn't it?

  33. Harper (and bush's) schtick depends on finding wholly unblameable (at least in political adversarial terms) items to throw at his rivals.

  34. …in order to recalibrate.

    • And the choo-choo is keen on watching Vancouver 2010. Big fan.

  35. "A Liberal-NDP temporary alliance would founder on the rocks of Dipper desires for proportional representation, Grit beliefs that they can go it alone, and… whatever else happened to pop up at the moment. "

    Whatever tiger… This sort of arrangement is done all the time in other parliamentary jurisdiction. I do not believe that the Libs and the NDP need to merge to successfully take out Harper.

    They only need to unite for an election so as to put the Tories back in Opposition. The NDP can then agree to support the Libs in exchange for a few key policies. A rather small price to pay for the Liberals when one considers that they would get back in power. The Tories will deal with Harper. I would be very surprised if the egomaniac Chessmaster-in-Chief decided to hold on to his leadership for another election.

    If the Libs aren't able to hold on to power once there, so be it. I only care about one thing and that is to see Harper removed from Sussex drive and removed as leader of the CPC.

    After that, let the chips fall where they may.

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