What would Stephen Harper tell Stephen Harper about working with the NDP?


Five years ago, as opposition leader, Stephen Harper said the onus was on the government to work with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois. It was the official opposition’s duty to oppose the government and present an alternative.

Nine months ago, as prime minister, Stephen Harper had come around to a new perspective.

“Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton want to push the Liberal party into a corner where they either vote against the government no matter what, or they are condemned as sell-outs. But the Liberal Party has broader interests than that. The Liberal Party has a long tradition of governing, a long tradition of appealing to a broad sector of Canadians. Smart people in the Liberal Party realize that we’ve got significant economic problems and in a minority Parliament we’re only going to be able to sit down and work together. We cannot do that if the three opposition parties are committed to working with each other … I’m optimistic that the next leader of the opposition may want to look at different kinds of arrangements in the best interests of the country, and I can assure you that it is in the interests of the government to find a consensus, certainly among the federalist parties and certainly among the two major parties, to find things we can agree on in the short term, to do what we can to keep people working, keep us from sliding deeper into the morass that we’re seeing around the world … For now, I think the big national parties should be willing to work together to fix the national economy, and we are more than willing to do that … I hope the next Liberal leader will be willing to sit down with me to have that kind of discussion.”


What would Stephen Harper tell Stephen Harper about working with the NDP?

  1. my way or the highway

    need to phone a friend?

  2. Since when has Stephen Harper ever thought that his own prior statements had anything at all to do with what he will or will not do now to save his job?

  3. Sometimes I simply have to sit back and admire how the PM has moved the pieces around the board so effectively and stayed in power so long. The PM was and is right of course. This will aggravate those of the leftish persuasion and the thumbs down are expected. I have to give credit to Iggy of course, although he had no choice but show a little backbone coming into the fall session, although I daresay it is too little and too late for the party as the lack of a real leadership convention and a manufactured emergency by the LPT to avoid having their party actually elect a leader, effectively doomed the party to it's present strategy. I am looking forward to how Duceppe and Layton push back but just far enough and as well I look forward to what sort of ' deals ' we Canadians can expect as an outcome.

  4. No election this year folks, I think the Liberals missed that bus back in the spring.

    As more positive economic news emerges over the fall, Harper's numbers will surely increase. Who knows, if the NDP can make it look like they are getting things accomplished with the Conservatives, maybe their fortunes will rise too.

    Wouldn't that just be a fly in Ignatieff's Bordeaux?

    • Hey, after 3 years of the Tories governing like Liberals, if we start getting the Tories governing like Dippers I might just get on board!

      The Tories need to be careful though. I mean, there will be another election eventually, and if they keep moving left then when the election comes they'll have to pivot fast, and will find themselves running against themselves!

    • Sorry Dakota. I think you've got it backwards with regards to the NDP smelling like roses if they get in bed with the Conservative right now. The NDP has been all bluster since the minority situation arose a few years ago. They are like the drunkest girl in the room after the lights come on at the bar – looking for anything that might make them feel something for the night – no matter what he looks like.

      If the NDP do cut a deal to prop up the government, look for the Cons to lose a few points from disgusted members who see the deal as pandering to socialists and for the NDP to lose the same for their pandering to the Right.

      How many of those disenfranchised members drift to the Liberals as Ignatieff moves them to the center remains to be seen, but I think in the end it might be a wash.

      As much as I like Iggy, he has yet to prove that he can be a charismatic leader. With one to the South, I don't think we'll be seeing a majority government in Canada until one emerges here.

      • Only time will tell, predicting polls is like predicting the weather.

        The only thing that seems certain is that there will be no fall election.

        • … and that somewhere a village is missing its idiot.

          • Did you move away from Toronto Old School Liberal?

      • Sorry Tdotlib, I dont think you understand the NDP at all. Maybe you are engaged in that wishful, why won't the NDP just go away and let us beat the Cons thinking the Liberal Party is known for.

        The NDP base consists of voters and activists who see the Liberals and Conservatives as the same thing in slightly different packages, who understand that they aren't about to form a government any time soon, and therefore invested in trying to win concessions. Union members don't see signing an agreement with the management as a sell out if they make gains. Neither will NDP voters punish an NDP deal with the Cons, as long as there is an actual improvement on pensions, or EI, or social policy.

        It's the Liberals that are on the razor's edge here, and the NDP only stands to gain.

        • I agree that it would really depend on the specifics of the vote – if the NDP could point to genuine progressive legislation being enacted, then I don't think too many supporters would be upset by a delay of a few months for the election. On the other hand, were the NDP to repeatedly back up the Conservatives without much of anything to show for it (in the way the Libs have been doing), I think support would melt away pretty quickly.

    • Jobless numbers continue to soar. Canada trailed all G8 countries in the last quarter. And Harper has less than one month for "more positive economic news" to emerge, not "over the fall".

      But it is not just the state of the economy. It has been their incompetent handling of it, of medical isotopes, of healthcare, of EI, of Canadians living abroad, their conduct in the House and in committee, etc. Here is a longer list of what it is about and what it is going to be about.

      • Jobless numbers historically follow GDP which was up as of June.

        I think you're out of luck.

  5. I remember being quite perplexed by Steve's second statement. He had broken his own election law as part of a "Carthage must be destroyed" gambit to displace the Liberal Party of Canada and then came out with his "fu" in he fall as another attempt to suffocate the LPC and then all of a sudden he was interested in the long-term viability of same party?

    Steve is a petty man with petty interests and full of petty games. He has to go.

  6. I think he would say—I don't know what to tell you buddy, but stick with it….

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