Saturday, April 23, 2005


-You know you’re in campaign mode when innocuous comments by a communications director and critique from…Bono, become big news. It’s kind of funny, if you think about it. Paul Wells recently posted a link to the “Making History” speech and I remember the buzz at the leadership convention was of whether or not Paul could crack the 200 seat plateau, whether or not we’d win 9 Alberta seats, whether or not he’d be PM for 10 years. Looking bad, Bono’s comment that "About a year from now he's going to regret tonight" was probably the only prediction that came to fruition.

-For anyone who missed it, Friday’s broooooooaaaaaadcast of Politics featured back to back interviews with Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. I must say that Martin looked a lot better there than on the 2004 Mad as Hell Tour. He didn’t look that desperate and seemed about 5 years younger than on Thursday night (but, I only say that because he seemed about 80 during that broadcast). He gave fairly credible answers when Don Newman sent some really hard hitting questions his way. Harper seemed defensive but he did make the valid point about Paul Martin's offer amounting to a "10 month campaign".

-This talk of an NDP coalition is very interesting. I would have never in a million years thought a government would completely re-write its budget two months after the fact but with the kind of desperation we’ve seen lately, you never know. And why wouldn’t the Liberals want to give the NDP whatever they want? It would push back the election and tell NDP voters who are considering voting Liberal that their own leader approves of Paul Martin. This is a very dangerous game Jack Layton is playing.

It also raises the very fun to speculate about numbers game. Mike Brock points out the obvious fact that commentators everywhere seem to be missing – there are two sick Conservative MPs. That means 151 Bloc/Con votes and 151 Lib/NDP votes. Which means the fate of the house rests with the three independents. Chuck Cadman has said he won’t bring down the government and David Kilgour has said he might. Everyone assumes Carolyn Parrish will vote with the Liberals since her political career and political paycheck both come to an end when this House dies. That means the Liberals would survive…or would they?

What if Cadman is too sick to make a vote? What if the Tories manage to fly in their two MPs? What if Carolyn Parrish is vindictive and sees this as her chance to be the person who ends Paul Martin’s political career? We might very well be heading towards one of the most exciting votes in the history of the Canadian Parliament.

-Courtesy of “Trudeau’s Children” comes this hilarious picture. Gallows humour seems to be spreading across the Liberal land, eh?


  • Hopefully this government will survive. I am not eager to see a Reform government in Ottawa for at least another year.

    By Blogger John Murney, at 4:23 PM  

  • CalGrit:

    I think you're overstating the danger Jack Layton faces; he's just doing what any good politician does when they know they have their opponents by the throat - he's trying to exact concessions for his political agenda. I really dont think wanting to cut out corporate tax breaks is a fatal thing for Layton - I would bet many Canadians would applaud it.

    As for the Independent MP's, I also think if you re-read that piece you're quoting, it shows Parrish and Cadman have said they would support the government in the vote (both know Independent MP's dont have long careers in the House.. and in Parrish's case, she'd rather not see a potential Harper government and will overlook her distaste for Martin).

    Kilgour is the question mark.. and he's now less certain of voting down the government then he was a week ago, by the tone of his interview.

    As for the sick MP's.. very intriguing.. and I did mention this at BlogsCanada... my prediction is the government will survive the non-Confidence Vote(s) by a 153 - 152 margin.

    Any other takers? :)

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 6:33 PM  

  • From the NDP side, I suspect this is a good move. One thing is that it moves them into the political spotlight and makes them seem to be important. That is something that they've not had since the election.

    The point, I think, is that for a party below (say) 20 or 25% in the polls, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Even proposing something crazy is OK as long as it gets you on National TV.

    And if they can extract a significant concession out of this on something that they can sell to the Canadian public as a good thing--like making corporations pay their fair share--they could do quite well for themselves.

    By Blogger buckets, at 2:21 AM  

  • there's also a vacant seat (Labrador), with a by-election set for May 24.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 11:25 PM  

  • Odd...

    BTW - Longtime grit, was a Martin youth delegate at the *cough*leadership convention*cough*.

    I don't (and didn't) see this as a dangerous move from Jack.

    And he's not really angling for a coalition government.

    While the other three leaders were giving crisis (scandal) and process (when will the government fall) speeches, Layton was about 3 weeks ahead of the game. Layton delivered a strong, well-crafted campaign speech.

    As soon as we get into a writ period, if it's prompted by a vote of non-confidence (which it will be - May 9th, I'll bet), Ontario voters are going to be grumpy. They will be pissed at the Liberals for the sponsorhip scandal, and they will be pissed at the Tories for teaming with the Bloc to bring about an early election.

    Jack positioned himself as:

    -Willing to work within the government. (It's not my fault you have to go out and vote again)
    -Offering real policy, not just hammering on scandal

    This was exactly what he had to do. He positioned himself ideally for a June election. Regardless of what Lorne Gunter has to say, though, he won't see the benefits of this in the polls until the writ is dropped.

    My prediction FWIW... Successful vote of non-confidence on Mon. May 9. Election results in a slim Conservative majority or a fractious Conservative minority, with an NDP official opposition, and Libs as 4th party in the house with barely enough to make official party status.

    Ontario - Cons. 60, ND 35, Lib 11
    Quebec - BQ - 59, ND 12, Cons. 4

    Unite-the-left movement gathers steam in '07.

    By Blogger paleking, at 4:20 AM  

  • RE: numbers game

    It'll happen... How many Lib backbenchers are there from rural Ontario do you think there are who are:

    a) upset with Martin over (gay marriage/whatever pet issue)
    b) expecting a Conservative majority government in June
    c) thinking they'll be more electable as Conservatives
    d) thinking they'll enjoy this Parliament thing more as cabinet ministers

    If the Tories don't have the numbers but want to do this, they've got a couple Lib. backbenchers that they can make nice with and convince to cross the floor.

    Dust off your dartboards, there's more pictures coming. (My picture of David is getting a bit worn lately)

    By Blogger paleking, at 4:29 AM  

  • Here, I do not actually consider this will have success.

    By Anonymous zaragoza, at 3:29 AM  

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