Friday, April 13, 2007

May I have this dance?

The big news today is the announcement that the Liberals will not run a candidate in Elizabeth May's riding which is a shocking surprise for anyone who has been living in Bolivia the past three months. Actually, calling it "Elizabeth May's riding" is charitable since it's still going to be Peter MacKay's, even with this deal.

But, regardless, it's an interesting alliance, since the Greens and Grits are giving each other some added legitimacy by doing this. From an economical sense, the Liberals stand to lose 18 grand a year from the $1.75 per vote they'd get in Central Nova (probably less since May would siphon votes off, they save the money it takes to run a campaign and they get the ginormous influx of...dozens of Green voters in Saint-Laurent–Cartierville).

So the real trade-off comes from the legitimacy aspect and I do tend to think the Liberals come out on top here, if only because it gives Dion's environmental platform an implicit vote of confidence and helps out the inevitable "vote Liberal to stop Harper" messaging we'll see the last weekend of the campaign.

The trade-off is obviously that it gives the Greens a bit more credibility. And everyone has a different opinion as to which party that hurts most.


[Coyne's got an interesting take, touching on the optics of beeing seen as moving too far left]

Labels: , , ,

94 Comments:

  • It's Friday the 13th and it reinforces the notion that Dion is running for Leader of the Opposition.

    For the Greens it's like wearing a big kick me with strategic voting sign on their backs.

    The problem for the Liberals is that May is now the 308th Liberal candidate. Manning would have gotten Reform nowhere with that kind of millstone.

    If I were a Liberal I'd have wanted the Greens to harvest the not politics as usual vote until it threatened the NDP. Then a merger with the Greens could have destroyed the NDP.

    Through impatience May has just handed the protest vote back to the NDP. If she can't collect it, she can't bleed it.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 4:05 PM  

  • I don't see how it gives the GP more credibility, like you said she still won't win a seat and now she has explicitly endorsed a party that actually has a chance of being elected.

    This is a win for Dion and the Liberals. May gets great publicity but she has sunk her party.

    By Blogger Demiurge, at 4:09 PM  

  • Demiurge,

    You can't bottle protest vote and put it on the shelf.

    When a protest party screws their base they don't gather enough vote to bleed.

    By screwing her party she's screwed Dion as well.

    Wells is probably right about Harper being too patient to go in 2007.

    Like Belinda, Dion and May didn't have enough patience to get anywhere.

    By the time of an election the NDP will be harvesting the protest vote.

    By Blogger anonymous, at 4:26 PM  

  • What this really means is that the Liberal Party of Canada has embraced Kevin Potvin's message: http://republic-news.org/archive/118-repub/118_potvin_terrorists.htm

    The Liberal Party is no longer soft on terrorism, the Liberal Party Embraces Terrorism and believes that it is the legitimate party in its struggle against the infidel.

    Hope you enjoy wearing your green cloak!

    PS the LPC is going to lose much more money, as Alberta Tories and Ontario Tories are going to beat this "Green" alliance like a drum, costing you many, many votes. Even the few Alberta votes are worth $1.75, and the 905, 519, and 705 have tons of car industry jobs that aren't going to be encouraged by this.

    By Blogger Hey, at 4:46 PM  

  • May's choice of riding was clearly an attempt to highlight the Green Party's foreign policy, among their other policies.

    M. Dion has now implicitly said through this deal that those are policies he fully endorses.

    How many Liberals share his views of the Green Party's foreign policy? Of their fiscal policy? Few, I suspect. And that once again can only undermine the efforts of "everyday Liberals", who have no idea what radical policies their Party will formally endorse next.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 4:50 PM  

  • So Dion is saying the Liberals aren't the best party but only one of many options. Dion is saying Liberals are good enough to work for the party and donate to the party, but not good enough to have their own candidates in their own ridings.
    The message he sends is it's ok to vote Green in strong Liberal ridings. And in ridings where the Liberals come third or fourth,one might as well vote Green.
    No wonder the Halifax papers quote Liberals saying bad things about Dion. No wonder his Montreal appearance led him to dealing with questions about his leadership.
    Dion makes Kim Campbell look like a Mulroney or Chretien. What happended to Howard Dean's advice to fight for every riding?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 4:57 PM  

  • I'd rather Dion win the title "most environmental major party leader" with sound environmental policies and not by bribing someone.

    And I'd rather the price tag to win May's endorsement was to adopt some of her environmental policies, not to stand aside in her riding.

    Finally, I'd rather the Liberals bribe the Green party with one of their own seats, rather than someone else's.

    I'm reminded of when Joe Clark ran against the Alliance in downtown Calgary. The Liberals still ran a candidate against him, but they used their local resources to campaign for Clark instead of their own candidate. But of course, back then they were running for government, not for a big opposition.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 5:05 PM  

  • This may, in the long-run, be a poor choice of strategy for Dion. If the Greens win here, they will gain additional legitimacy - and guess who they will be stealing votes from.

    In exchange Dion gains the dubious benefit of the Green Party seal of approval. This may work in galvanizing the left, but, at the same time, it can cost the Liberals in the centre, if the perception emerges that Dion is proposing radical things.

    A lot of people vote through likeability heuristics, so I do think these alliances, while really ephemeral, can influence public opinion.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 5:14 PM  

  • anonymous

    "If I were a Liberal I'd have wanted the Greens to harvest the not politics as usual vote until it threatened the NDP. Then a merger with the Greens could have destroyed the NDP"

    Fortunately, you're not with the Liberal Party. We've enough problems without your advise.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:24 PM  

  • Others raised the question with me; I'll ask Liberals to clarify: under what section of the Liberal Party Constitution does Dion have the authority to do what he has done?

    On the surface of it, Dion's actions would seem to violate the Liberal Party Constitution, such as S. 13(3) requiring every EDA to hold candidate selection meetings.

    Or does Dion hold powers as Supreme Leader without accountability?

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 5:30 PM  

  • BTW, there's a joint statement by Dion and May on the Green Party site.

    " We recognize that a government in which Stéphane Dion served as Prime Minister could work well with a Green Caucus of MPs, led by Elizabeth May, committed to action on climate. On many issues, we would have policy disagreements; on others cooperation would be possible. No matter what the issue, we recognize that, although opponents in the political sphere, we are committed to doing politics differently. That means open and transparent, fair-minded communication. Another issue where we believe progress could be made is in the potential for electoral reform."

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:30 PM  

  • Calgarygrit, I normally respect your opinion, however, how can you think the Liberals come out on top on this one?

    paul.obeda is right that first of all this is against your constitution, a point Warren Kinsella also made on the Adler show today.

    Secondly, how can abdicating your own party in favour of another's candidate possibly be viewed as a quality one would want in a leader.

    Elizabeth May comes out of this smelling like a rose, Dion, well, you know the romans called garlic the "stink rose".

    I would be utterly embarrassed if I was a federal Liberal today. Frankly, this is way worse than that awful stunt of Day's in a wet suit.

    By Blogger Andy, at 5:48 PM  

  • Manning would have gotten Reform nowhere with that kind of millstone.

    Where exactly DID Manning get the Reform, other than 13 years of Liberals government.

    A divided opposition is never a wise strategy.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:01 PM  

  • Dion is intelligent in an analytical way. He recognizes the new political landscape. It’s going to be difficult to put together a majority government because the electorate has become fragmented.

    Both of the main political parties are jousting for the center, and will need to make alliances on issues. Harper is hoping to link up with the conservatives in the ADQ. Dion is looking at the 5% to 10% core support of the GP.

    The GP has a whole slew of social policies promulgated by activists in the party. Last night, I attended a meeting hosted by Adrianne Carr. There were advocates for social housing, guaranteed income etc. But, what is its core mission?

    Global warming could become its core mission of the next 20 years. The GP needs to get enough traction on its core mission in order to get the strength to discard the crazies. This is the potential lure that Dion is dangling to the genuine greens.

    What do the grand strategists like Paul, hosier, anonymous etc think of this proposition?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:09 PM  

  • I agree with much of the take, although I would still say the Liberals should run a candidate even if a paper thin one. The simple reason is there is no way of knowing for sure who one's second choice is and I think it is unfair to those who are loyal Liberal supporters. I am a Liberal supporter not a Green Party and I don't like the idea of not being able to vote Liberal.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 6:15 PM  

  • Dion should've helped May by refusing to show up for the leadership debates unless the networks made room for the Greens.

    As much as I would love to see DogLover gone... a national party should run in ALL ridings.

    By Blogger MERBOY, at 6:19 PM  

  • Dion should've helped May by refusing to show up for the leadership debates unless the networks made room for the Greens.

    And it's too late now. She has now sunk her chances of being part of the leaders' debates. I don't know about the Bloq, but there is no way the NDP or CPC will agree to pressuring the networks into letting her take part.

    By Blogger Brian in Calgary, at 7:18 PM  

  • anon,
    I don't totally disagree about a chunk of the protest vote going to the NDP but the GP isn't monolithic. The NDP should obviously play up that the Greens under May are more interested in becoming a Liberal lobbying group than getting a seat.

    However, this is also good for the Libs. The Greens were a potential bleed but its hard for me to understand why a rational person would switch from voting Liberal to voting for a lobby group that supports the Liberals but doesn't have a hope of being represented.

    I still think the real loser is the GP, their support was clearly soft and has sank recently according to the last from SES, this can only confirm that the soft Green voter really might as well vote for a Lib or Dipper depending on whether they agree with May or not.

    Who knows though, if Dion is sincere about Proportional Rep reform, a Dion minority government might work out well for the Green party in the long run.

    By Blogger Demiurge, at 7:20 PM  

  • CG,

    I must pile-on. But I do so out of great affection for you ---

    c'mon man! is this Bizzaro Calgary Grit talking?

    Elizabeth May's credibility on her one issue is DEAD. Its a joke.

    The rest I'll keep to myself, because if this has you fooled, then even the brightest of the Grits are fooled.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 8:41 PM  

  • Agreed, Chucker. CG must be hip-dip in exams or something.

    Although I do hope the quit first, fight later attitude is prevalent amoung the Liberals.

    Cheers,
    lance

    By Blogger lance, at 9:08 PM  

  • Now that Elizabeth May has destroyed the protest aspect of the Green Party by becoming a LIberal Party lackey, the "free enterprise" green votes will likely migrate back to the Conservative Party.

    Like the Reform Party, the Green Party was a hodge-podge across the spectrum (a lot of Western NDP'ers voted Reform). A lot of moderate Conservatives were attracted to Jim Harris's reasonably sensisble green economic policies.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 9:38 PM  

  • Bad decision and I'm not afraid to call out the leader of my party on it. A lot of people back home in Central Nova are very upset about this. I mean, they wouldn't have been voting Liberal this time anyway but they still think they should have had the option and I agree with them. Now we've lost any credibility we had in that riding. My parents are hardcore Liberals, now they probably won't even vote. I'll sure vote...but it may not be for the Liberals anymore.

    By Blogger CanadianRyan, at 10:52 PM  

  • lance,

    good point - poor CG is trapped in exams. Thankfully, Jason Cherniak can still supply us with all the inside Liberal thinking we need.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 11:07 PM  

  • I wish the Liberals wouldn't have run a candidate in my riding...

    http://grofr.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger Canadian Gurl, at 12:01 AM  

  • The NdP has cornered the market on non-Quebec protest votes, and I think May has larger aspirations. If we just think of it in the political sphere, as has been all the yackety-yack here, it does seem to be a net loss for May and puzzler for Dion. But it could also be brilliant strategy -- that all polls seem to show a lot of vaciliation by voters, indicating some cynicism and flighty nature. This is a move which undercuts Harpor's prime weapon -- the art of lowest common denominator -- and shows people that two parties, in the best interest of Canada, are willing to compromise. Maybe a brilliant stroke, but let's give the public time to digest it. Certainly the Harporites and Laytonians are doing their utmost to create some kind of Darth 'back-room deal' cloud...

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 12:16 AM  

  • demiurge said

    "Who knows though, if Dion is sincere about Proportional Rep reform, a Dion minority government might work out well for the Green party in the long run."

    There's a possibility of an appointed Senate seat for May. Then, elected Senate seats if the Greens prove themselves.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:25 AM  

  • What if the Liberal party's objective is to neutralize (or destroy) the Green party as a vote-parking institution for at least the next election. Now they only have to see what they can do to keep votes from being "loaned" to Jack.

    Cynical, but probably the true strategy. Back stupid May, and watch the Greens implode.

    By Blogger Erik Sorenson, at 12:40 AM  

  • I'm enjoying reading the thoughts about this on the blogosphere. Earlier today I made my own blog post on this development. It certainly is big news.

    By Blogger Cameron W, at 1:15 AM  

  • "May I have this dance?"

    He he he he he... Liberals are funny... This is like one of those 'just for laughs' skits...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 1:46 AM  

  • I agree with this Red-Green thing, but those who disagree should know this is all Fuddle Duddle's fault: it was his idea!

    Even by Fuddle's standards, this time he's especially full of Duddle. Right after May became leader he proposed that Liberals vote for her so she could get into the House. Quote (and note Fuddle's typically snide dismissal of of sitting Liberal MP Roger Cuzner): "Demiurge a dit...Whatever, I'm sure Antonio wants to see May in so badly that he is sticking to his guns and is calling for progressive Liberals to vote for her in Cape Breton. Antonio a dit...I do. Any woman who says the Liberal Budget in 2005 was the Greenest in Canadian history is someone
    I can work with. I'm sure we can keep Roger Cuzner somewhat occupied. Besides, la rumor mill tells me its Dingwall's old seat. Yay LIBERAL NOSTALGIA!"
    http://fuddle-duddle.blogspot.com/2006/08/may-day-may-day.html

    Gee, I wonder why, when Fuddle proposes a red-green coalition, it's right, but when Dion does it, it's wrong. Why Fuddle uses Con attack lines to attack his own leader? Could it be that Fuddle is:
    a) Not Very Smart?
    b) A Dick?
    c) Against "Tous ensemble"?
    d) A Bad Loser & A Bad Liberal?
    e) All of the Above?

    Answer: e.

    The complete text of Fuddle's post is below. I'm sure M. Dion wouldn't
    mind giving him credit for the idea.

    27 août 2006
    MAY DAY MAY DAY
    The Green Party has elected a charismatic leader with more credibility on the environment than the Liberals and the NDP put together.

    We have to get Elizabeth May elected into the House of Commons. The Green Party has always got the short end of the Canadian political
    stick because it is not recognized by the Mainstream Media as a
    credible alternative to the four other parties.

    In terms of getting results for the environment, the Green Party could
    do much more than the NDP, hell, they are the experts. I don't really like one issue parties all that much, but given the Liberal track record on the environment, I think our party could use a swift kick in the ass on the environment.

    Elizabeth May will get results for everyone if we just give her a
    chance. Her tireless work in the pro-environment lobby has given her
    the expertise. There is only one riding smart enough to accomplish the job, smart enough to understand how important it is for the Canadian
    political discourse to elect Canada's first Green Party member.

    Ottawa Centre, currently held by the NDP, is a riding filled with two extremes, hill staffers, and people who cant stand hill staffers. Their spirit helped elect Ed Broadbent when others thought it was impossible to defeat Richard Mahoney (cough!) Nobody will cry over the loss of Paul Dewar, and the green voters, about 5% of the voting population will finally get their voice into Parliament. I have to ask all NDP voters in the riding to park their vote with the Greens in that riding, just this once.

    par / by Antonio à / at 15:44
    3 Commentaires:

    Christopher Young a dit...

    Hum, Antonio, she just announced she would run in Cape-Breton.

    And before running in Ottawa Centre, I think a Vancouver seat
    would be easier for her to win.

    And, anyway, Canada's Green Party isn't that green : Both Sierra
    Club and Greenpeace gave us better environnmental scores than the
    greens.

    Still, it can only get better with May instead of Harris.
    8/28/2006 8:48 AM

    Demiurge a dit...

    Whatever, I'm sure Antonio wants to see May in so badly that he is
    sticking to his guns and is calling for progressive Liberals to vote
    for her in Cape Breton.
    8/29/2006 1:45 AM

    Antonio a dit...

    I do

    Any woman who says the Liberal Budget in 2005 was the Greenest in
    Canadian history is someone I can work with.

    I'm sure we can keep Roger Cuzner somewhat occupied.

    Besides, la rumor mill tells me its Dingwall's old seat. Yay
    LIBERAL NOSTALGIA!

    8/30/2006 3:17 AM

    By Blogger Eugene Forsey Liberal, at 2:01 AM  

  • Buzz Hargrove is probably happy about this...

    From the Toronto Star

    Although historically linked with the New Democrats, union president Buzz Hargrove used a national meeting of delegates to recommend strategic voting to bolster the Liberals, both federally and provincially, and cautioned against the growing momentum of Harper’s Conservatives in the polls.

    With politicians increasingly absorbing green policies into their platforms, Hargrove also attacked environmentalists who want the auto sector targeted to fight climate change.

    The upcoming elections are fuelling a lot of rhetoric as politicians try to “out green” one another, Hargrove said.

    “Politicians are running with it now because Canadians are saying it’s a key issue in the upcoming election and it just infuriates me,” Hargrove said in a wide-ranging address to delegates.

    “We stand to lose 150,000 jobs in our auto industry if the insanity of this environmental movement is allowed to continue.”

    Canada is only responsible for about two per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas production and shutting down the entire country would barely make an impact, Hargrove said.

    OKAYYYYYYYYY... Like i said - Liberals are funny... This is a sitcom not a political party.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 2:27 AM  

  • fairsailing said,

    "OKAYYYYYYYYY... Like i said - Liberals are funny... This is a sitcom not a political party."

    Actually, I find your posts to be very hilarious. I snigger a lot.

    Anyway, the hysterical reaction of harper's harpies means that Dion is doing something right.

    The Fear! The Fear! The fear of being banished back into the darkness for another millennium.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:16 AM  

  • Calgary Grit wrote:

    >>So the real trade-off comes from the legitimacy aspect and I do tend to think the Liberals come out on top here, if only because it gives Dion's environmental platform an implicit vote of confidence and helps out the inevitable "vote Liberal to stop Harper" messaging we'll see the last weekend of the campaign<<

    Shouldn't the Liberal's environmental platform be of such magnificence that it can stand on it's own without requiring the endorsement of a party leader with no elected members in the House of Commons? The Liberals shouldn't have to seek an endorsement from someone of May's stature (which I believe is in full nosedive, but I digress)heck, aren't there environmental organizations like the Sierra Club or equally credible voices in the environmental movement like David Suzuki who could offer an endorsement? This move comes off sounding like "our green platform is so good, we had to sellout Liberal members in Central Nova to buy it."

    Coyne (and others) are probably right. This has less to do with getting an endorsement and more to do with trying to unite the left. If that's the case, shouldn't Dion be seeking a group hug from the NDP? Or is this an attempt to draw voters away from the NDP in an "anything goes to stop Harper" movement?

    Frankly, I don't know who to feel sorry for: Elizabeth May is starting to look like a political flake who is selling out her green credentials in the name of winning a seat for her party. (huge gamble too, because if she loses, her career as a politician is over and she will have forever destroyed the credibility she made for herself with the Sierra Club and through years of tireless green crusading.)

    Dion, well what can I say. He is a likable guy, I suppose -- but I have to wonder who's giving him strategic advice? This "deal" has turned into a huge public relations fiasco (or disaster - you choose) that further reinforces the perception that Dion is a weak leader at best. Part of me thinks there are people within the Liberal party who are quietly waiting for his leadership to implode. Watching Dion right now is a lot like watching a train wreck. It looks terrible, but you can't take your eyes off it.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 5:16 AM  

  • Sorry CG, no upside to this one,

    it's a freakshow.

    And for the first time, Liberal stalwarts are openly talking about turfing Dion:

    http://www.thestar.com/News/article/203059

    By Blogger biff, at 8:50 AM  

  • From the article:

    'A Liberal strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there is widespread anger at the deal in caucus, which Liberals feel could be used against them in a federal election. The strategist said the decision was another strike against Dion, whose leadership has come into question in recent months.

    "The only reason this was not the final straw is because of the threat of an election," the strategist said.'

    ouch.

    By Blogger biff, at 8:57 AM  

  • I managed to catch Bob Fife on CTV yesterday, and even he was saying that this is a bad move for the Liberals. I agree with that basic assessment; the cons outweigh, by a significant margin, the pros on this one.

    You can start with the optics of Dion making it easier for the leader of a party which fields candidates that openly pronounce they cheered on 9/11 to try to get elected. May has no hope of winning in Central Nova, especially if she wants to turn the vote into a debate over Conservative and Green foreign policies when her potential caucus colleagues lean towards caves in Afghanistan than Canada's democratic allies.

    By Blogger RGM, at 9:38 AM  

  • "Where exactly DID Manning get the Reform, other than 13 years of Liberals government"

    Manning managed to win a number of seats in a short period of time and give the party legitimacy.

    When May delivers the election results of Manning then i think it would be a fair comparison.

    And the Greens have been around since 1983, Reform began in 1987, and by the 1997 election had made its way into the official opposition.
    Not to mention Greens got 4.5% of the vote in the 2006 election.

    By Blogger paulsstuff, at 10:14 AM  

  • JimTan: Dion is looking at the 5% to 10% core support of the GP.

    When a party's highest election result is 4.5%, it's a bit of a stretch to claim their core support is "5% to 10%".

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 10:20 AM  

  • "And for the first time, Liberal stalwarts are openly talking about turfing Dion"

    This has been going on for some time. The Moncton Times-Transcipt reported months ago that the people who really run the Liberal party have approached Frank McKenna and put great pressure on him to be ready to run for leadership.
    As soon as the Senate passes the fixed election date bill, Dion's time is up.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 10:43 AM  

  • Personally, I am not convinced this is an error on Dion’s part, a tactical error perhaps. It will piss off the core liberal supporters in that riding and did anybody ever think that May will unseat Peter M. – not bloody likely. However, it has the makings of a clever strategic move in that Dion will get the support of a credible environmentist and while Harper is out with negative ads ,resurrection Adscam(with that probe into polling and the choice of the commissioner with a PQ background), Dion is gonna take the high ground. He will show that he is capable of working with another party to get the environment issue up front for all to see( at the same time he is taking heavy hits from his own party, not to mention the NDP and CPC). Perhaps other environment groups may support Dion under such circumstances ( David S. to name one) and if this does indeed happen, Mr. Harper will have his hands full big time. PMSH will not loose power but it will be another minority for him…………

    By Blogger NP, at 11:30 AM  

  • Invisible said

    “When a party's highest election result is 4.5%, it's a bit of a stretch to claim their core support is "5% to 10%".

    Thanks for bringing it up. The wikipedia is just a click away. Give it a try.

    “The party's support has ranged between 4.5% and 13% since the 2006 federal election and has not polled below 7% in any opinion poll in 2007.[3] In the 2006 election, the Green Party of Canada received 4.5% of the total vote but did not win any seats”

    Fact:

    2000 General election – 0.8% of electorate. 2006 general election –4.5%. 2012 general election?

    In the London Centre by-election, May polled 26%. CPC got 24%.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:50 AM  

  • sean said

    "Dion, well what can I say. He is a likable guy, I suppose -- but I have to wonder who's giving him strategic advice?"

    Probably the same people/person advising Dion in the leadership race.

    Dion walked into the Montreal Conference Center with just 17% of elected delegates. I thought that he had a realistic chance of winning. He did, and without compromising himself.

    In fact, the party would not be able to prevent a harper majority without Dion’s green platform.

    At this moment, Dion is likely to get his way on green regulations. It is even possible that he could be the next Prime Minister if the opposition unites against harper.

    So far, I hear a lot of complaints that Dion is not behaving as we would like him to. I've said that he is a terrible leader and the worst communicator in Canada. He is.

    Fact of the matter is that this is Stephane Dion. He is going to do things his way. Give him credit for his analytic intelligence. In his life, he’s learned to work around his handicaps. Let’s wait and see his entire strategy.

    P.S. Don’t underestimate the lingering resentment against the party from ex-supporters. I’ve talked to lifetime voters who have said that they will ‘never’ vote LP again. Dion has the platform, but he has to emotionally rehabilitate the party.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:58 AM  

  • I see it as a move to put principle ahead of politics. Dion campaigned on the environment, and May is a passionate and effective advocate for those issues.

    I believe that some Canadians still put principle ahead of blind partisanism, and will respect the decision to stand aside in a single riding to allow a respected opponent to take a good crack.

    Plus, I doubt very much if a Liberal candidate could muster the resources and attention necessary to defeat the incumbent Minister McKay.

    G

    By Blogger Gavin Magrath, at 12:48 PM  

  • I'm watching the cricket world cup and I'm thinking... hahahahahahahahahahh Sorry, no I'm still laughing my ass off about this... Bring back Chretien for the love of God.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 1:39 PM  

  • Andy;

    paul.obeda is right that first of all this is against your constitution, a point Warren Kinsella also made on the Adler show today.

    The constitutional argument doesn't really matter since it isn't unprecedented to do something like this and, for all intents and purposes, the leader can really do whatever the heck he likes. I believe the local riding association is onside too.


    Secondly, how can abdicating your own party in favour of another's candidate possibly be viewed as a quality one would want in a leader.

    People always talk about the need to be less partisan, to make parliament work, to work with other parties rather than the intense blind partisan bile we see every day. And then when two parties do work together, they get criticized for it?

    The fact that a lot of people have criticized this is a bit surprising to me since it seems like a great tactical move. In that sense, if it's perceived to be a flaky or dumb move, then yeah, it obvious hurts Dion. But I suspect that if Harper did something like this, it would play into his "master strategist" reputation and no one would blink twice.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:24 PM  

  • Chucker et al; Maybe I'm wrong on this, we'll see. Unlike Jason, I do have off days every now and then.

    But having the implicit endorsement of your competition sure strikes me as a nice position to be in.

    Ensuring that the Greens are attacking Harper rather than you is a nice position to be in.

    And having the endorsement of a "stop Harper" strategic voting tactic by the individual who such a strategy hurts most (after Layton) sure doesn't sound bad to me either.

    I think it's a boneheaded move by Elizabeth May but I do think her loss is the Liberals gain here.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:34 PM  

  • This is right up there with getting Buzz Hargrove's endorsement

    By Blogger fartcatcher, at 2:49 PM  

  • CG - I'll be a little less flippant this time around because I think it is important to answer this:

    CG wrote:

    People always talk about the need to be less partisan, to make parliament work, to work with other parties rather than the intense blind partisan bile we see every day. And then when two parties do work together, they get criticized for it?

    I may not be the blinding light of rationale on this but what Dion and May have entered into is the essence of partisanship. While this may be dressed in the green raiment of environmentalism it really is little more than a cynical attempt to attack another political party. I think I would be happy to see the environment relegated from the "I'm more green than you are" vitriol that makes this latest episode so insipid to something that truly is non-partisan. Of course I don't know how to do that, but I'd take a stab and suggest that in a minority parliament it wouldn't be too hard for the relevant political animals to suggest that this issue is bigger than politics and needs a public inquiry. Examine Kyoto properly, review the science and be big enough to admit when you might be wrong (this applies to both sides). I think the Liberal Party has something to answer to for politicizing a subject that should be more than just about votes. Before anyone screams "Harpie", Harper needs to stop taking advantage of this issue as well.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 3:22 PM  

  • One last thing - it isn't so much that Dion is a joke as it is the fact that he is reducing a serious pressing issue to mere comedy.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 3:26 PM  

  • "The constitutional argument doesn't really matter since it isn't unprecedented to do something like this and, for all intents and purposes, the leader can really do whatever the heck he likes. I believe the local riding association is onside too."

    Then why did the LPC bother changing their constitution at last December's convention, if precedent is all that mattered?

    The simple fact is that the Liberal Party Constitution does place certain requirements on each and every EDA, and does limit the powers of the Leader.

    I'll ask again: under what section of the Liberal Party Constitution does M. Dion claim the authority to do what he has done?

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 3:34 PM  

  • There are two reasons that this deal is no good:

    1) Reactions are mixed from all sides. In other words, lots of people of all stripes don't like it, which counters the notion that this is somehow politics new and fresh. It isn't.

    2) Regardless of what you think of the merits of the move, it's a clumsy one. It smells like something Paul Martin would do, so it's not surprising to learn that his people are forming much of the inner circle around him.

    Harper abandoned the notion of electoral co-operation in 2003 in part because it was too clumsy. What platform do you run on? How can candidates from each party run against one another?

    In this instance, how can May endorse another leader to be prime minister? Where is the democratic mandate for this?

    So, you raise all these bizarre questions to do what? To squeeze Layton out?

    As I write on my blog, I think Layton and Harper are prepared to do some squeezing of their own. In fact, I suspect it's one reason Dion and May rushed to get ahead of them.

    Stay tuned.

    By Blogger Dennis (Second Thoughts), at 4:45 PM  

  • This is great. Dion and May gets a lot of free publiciy. The green issue gets a lot of publicity.

    I do find it amusing that grit-haters like paul has to get technical on the LPC constitution. Too bad he doesn't have a clue about the point of the constitutional amendments.

    This friendship between Dion and May must strike into the very gullet of the righties.

    I wonder if harper is steaming or stewing?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:47 PM  

  • dennis

    "As I write on my blog, I think Layton and Harper are prepared to do some squeezing of their own. In fact, I suspect it's one reason Dion and May rushed to get ahead of them."

    Oh Yah! The extremists on the left and right are going to become friends and co-workers. And, they are going to gang up on the guy in the center.

    Right!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:49 PM  

  • "I wonder if harper is steaming or stewing?"

    spewing, is more likely. its so insulting that the Liberals would offer up Gilligan as a possible alternative.

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 8:15 PM  

  • JimTan quoting Wikipedia: The party's support has ranged between 4.5% and 13% since the 2006 federal election and has not polled below 7% in any opinion poll in 2007.

    Leaving aside the fact that non-writ polls are all but worthless in determining what will happen on election day, my beef with your post was that you claimed that 5-10% was their "core" support. A party's "core support" is those voters who practically always vote for that party, even at its lowest ebb. For example, I would estimate that the Conservatives and Liberals have a core support of somewhere around 20-25% each.

    As you pointed out, it's only in the last two elections that the Greens have managed to score above 1% of the vote. This means that if the they can be considered to have any "core support" at all, it's no more than one or two percent.

    Oh Yah! The extremists on the left and right are going to become friends and co-workers. And, they are going to gang up on the guy in the center.

    If you'd been paying attention in this Parliament, you'd have noticed that the "extremists" have already done that (e.g. the Accountability Act).

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 9:13 PM  

  • chucker said

    "its so insulting that the Liberals would offer up Gilligan as a possible alternative."

    You may insult Elizabeth May. But, she is respected as a NGO advocate. She was elected to her current post with 65% of the vote.

    She achieved 26% in a by-election, beating the CPC machine.

    So, what does chucker's resume look like? Should we be impressed?

    It's interesting that the folks at Antonio's (Fuddle Duddle) blog are more positive and non-partisan.

    Some think that Dion is putting nation before party. This Alberta blog has more detractors (and vitriol ones too). Why?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 9:46 PM  

  • Some think that Dion is putting nation before party.

    He isn't; if Dion didn't see some sort of political benefit to this, he wouldn't be doing it - and much of the party doesn't seem too pleased with the move, either.

    By Blogger daniel, at 12:07 AM  

  • Probably because of the fact that there is sufficient diversity of oppinion among the readers here that its not a Dion loyalist echo-chamber.

    By Blogger Chris, at 3:00 AM  

  • Jimtan makes incorrect assertions without even bothering to address the basis of my questions - which were raised by Liberals. I've taken no position (regardless of one reader's possible illiteracy on such a matter) but have only asked other Liberals to clarify under what lawful basis this act has occurred.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 3:52 AM  

  • paul said

    "Then why did the LPC bother changing their constitution at last December's convention, if precedent is all that mattered?"

    As I said, Paul has no idea of why the constitution was amended. Doesn't know how to do a simple google search.

    Obviously, PRECEDENCE is not all that mattered.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:52 AM  

  • JimTan, if you think this Dion/May alliance is one of the centre, then you're beyond reason, dude. LOL

    By Blogger Dennis (Second Thoughts), at 10:30 AM  

  • "He isn't; if Dion didn't see some sort of political benefit to this, he wouldn't be doing it - and much of the party doesn't seem too pleased with the move, either."

    Duh... the fact that some (not "much") of the party is not pleased is precisely WHY this is putting nation above party.

    The traditional party members are upset that they are not fielding candidates in all ridings. The only people who really care about that are party members, and it takes more than party members' votes to win an election.

    Undoubtedly Dion sees a political benefit to this. One benefit is the potential for one less seat for Harper (though I agree that is a longshot).

    My complaint with the view that the party must run a candidate in every riding is the fact that the liberals often run token candidates - particularly in Alberta - which is something I see as being more insulting than not running and asking their electorate to support an alternate candidate.

    If pairing up means the conservatives win fewer seats that is good for Canada. It is also good for the liberals since they are the party most likely to benefit from that reduction.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:47 AM  

  • dennis - why don't you go and read the GP policies and educate us on how it is a left of centre party.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:48 AM  

  • You know, I'm getting a bit sick and tired of people characterizing this move as one of holier-than-thou principle.

    If people think that Dion and May did this out of anything than political motivation, then I've got some enlightened socialists I want you to meet in Havana.

    They are people. They are politicians. They are self-motivated. They are not priests or prophets. Sheesh.

    Not only that, but they're pretty clumsy and ham-fisted politicians to boot. Next.

    By Blogger Dennis (Second Thoughts), at 11:15 AM  

  • Gayle, the Greens are obsessed with the environment. They want to impose carbon taxes on business and gas taxes on people.

    They even have candidates cheering the burning of people in the twin towers.

    Please tell us how the Greens aren't leftist. LOL

    By Blogger Dennis (Second Thoughts), at 11:24 AM  

  • Yes Dennis, it is about politics, and politics is about appearances, and it appears that Dion and May are putting principle above party - and that gamble may pay off at the polls.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 11:25 AM  

  • Dennis

    The GP is actually quite conservative in many ways - too bad you think actually educating yourself is above you. Why bother when you can spout off such intelligent remarks as:

    "They even have candidates cheering the burning of people in the twin towers."

    The conservatives have an MP who believes Nelson Mandella is a terrorist - should we then draw the conclusion that the conservatives are a bunch of white supremecists?

    By Blogger Gayle, at 11:31 AM  

  • it is about politics, and politics is about appearances, and it appears that Dion and May are putting principle above party

    To whom exactly does it "appear" like that? Not even the whole Liberal party sees it that way; how do you think non-Liberals are going to view it?

    "Politics is about appearances," you say? Does that mean it doesn't really matter if this deal is about putting the country first or not, so long as it "appears" that it does? I think you just about summed up this whole spectacle more concisely than I ever could have.

    By Blogger daniel, at 11:42 AM  

  • The conservatives have an MP who believes Nelson Mandella is a terrorist - should we then draw the conclusion that the conservatives are a bunch of white supremecists?

    Though I see your point, a number of people DO actually believe that the Conservatives are a bunch of white supremacists. The Green Party just hasn't been in the spotlight enough for people to develop many wild, off-the-cuff assumptions about them.

    The problem for Dion is that the Red-Green deal and the controversy over this particular MP are making news at the same time - not great for optics.

    Aside from that, I'm not totally surprised that there are "fringe" voices in the Green Party - indeed, the two Green candidates I've seen in live debates were the most ludicrous would-be politicians I've ever witnessed in their respective ridings.

    By Blogger daniel, at 11:51 AM  

  • I am not a liberal, and I see it is putting country before party - but then I live in one of the many ridings where we only have a conservative MP because both the NDP and the liberals insists on running token candidates.

    I take issue with liberal party members who advocate for token candidates, even if it means that will give the conservatives a seat. Therefore, when Dion agrees not to run a candidate against May, I see that as putting his country before his party.

    I cannot suggest that there is no political motivation, like Dennis claims, but the end goal is for a result that benefits Canada by trying not to split the vote. This is what people like me want - because we constantly vote AGAINST the conservatives, but end up represented by them anyway. I know in my riding people are constantly trying to figure out which party is more likely to oust the conservatives - the liberals and NDP campaign on that basis.

    If the gamble pays off, the benefit to Canada will also benefit the liberals.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 11:57 AM  

  • "The problem for Dion is that the Red-Green deal and the controversy over this particular MP are making news at the same time - not great for optics."

    First, the only place I have read this "news" has been on the internet, so I doubt it is the big story the conservatives would like it to be.

    Second, the conservatives would be silly to try and push the story, for the obvious reason that the Mandella thing can be thrown back at them, and as you point out, since a number of people already believe they are racist, that is not the kind of story the conservatives would want getting attention.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 12:01 PM  

  • Gayle, dear Gayle. Putting the country before party is a lovely idea. Ummmm, what is it about electing May that accomplishes such a noble goal? Do you perhaps mean that exploiting the environmental issue to regain power for the LPC is good for Liberals and therefore what is good for Liberals is good for Canada. I mean the LPC doesn't exactly have a stellar record when it comes to environmentalism. The LPC say the right things but they never really carry through, do they? I like it that you are not jaded and cynical. Unfortunately, after eons of Liberal rule, the rest of us are... The optics on this one are bad.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 1:11 PM  

  • calgarygrit said...

    The constitutional argument doesn't really matter since it isn't unprecedented to do something like this and, for all intents and purposes, the leader can really do whatever the heck he likes.

    CG, I can't believe you seriously believe this. The constitution doesn't matter???

    The foundation document of any organization, be it a government, an NGO or a political organization very much matters! It prescribes how the organization is be by governed, and in any case I am aware of is always difficult to amend, to insure that there is careful thought put into amendments.

    I would suspect that regardless of your comments about "the leader can do anything he wants" that there are reasons for a legal challenge to this. And yes, I know that Dion has to sign the final nomination papers, but is would he actually disregard a court injunction? How undemocratic does he want to represent the Liberal Party as? I don't think even he is that strategically challenged.


    People always talk about the need to be less partisan, to make parliament work, to work with other parties rather than the intense blind partisan bile we see every day. And then when two parties do work together, they get criticized for it?


    I have long been a supporter of the bi-partisanship that makes the US congress work (yes, they do have faults also, I know). One of the benefits of the past two minority governments is that the government in power can not just ram rod issues through. I don't necessarily agree with the end result, but I do like the idea of the process of parties working together. Many issues are not right left or center, but non-political. That being said, what does working together in parliament have to do with elections?

    Nothing. An election is there so the Canadian population gives direction of the make up of parliament. THEN co-operation hopefully will take place. But to not allow an EDA to have that choice willfully is a abdication of democratic principles.

    As much as I disagree with the majority of Liberal policies, and Dion in particular, I though at least he had the intellectual and moral fortitude and honesty to uphold basic Liberal constitutional and democratic principles.

    If I was a Liberal, I would be on the front lines and any backroom I could find to get such an incompetent leader out of there... and in a hurry. This won't happen before the next election, and as a conservative I am glad to see that, as I would hate to have to face the likes of a McKenna or Manely.

    That will only happen after Dion falls flat on his face, and I think a lot of Liberal have resigned themselves to getting trounced next election.

    By Blogger Andy, at 1:22 PM  

  • fair salling said:

    While this may be dressed in the green raiment of environmentalism it really is little more than a cynical attempt to attack another political party.

    Well, welcome to politics. Layton attacked Martin more than Harper last campaign because he rightly realized he had to, in order to get squeezed. He's vote with the Libs and Cons to keep them afloat at various times. All parties target certain other parties at times and cut deals with others at certain other times.


    In the States, the Dems didn't run a candidate against the socialist Vermont senator candidate to avoid vote splitting, despite Dean's 50 state strategy. Stuff like that happens all the time in politics.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:42 PM  

  • andy; The constitutional argument only matters if someone challenges this constitutionally which no one will. There are lots of times parties might not run a candidate and the constitution probably even covers them (since I haven't read it or anything, I'm not sure)...I'm sure there's some sort of residual right to break this rule at the leader's discretion.

    The local riding association seems to be onside, so I doubt we'll see the constitutional argument anywhere outside of comments sections on blogs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:43 PM  

  • fs - your condescending tone aside, you are partly correct. I happen to believe that Canada is better off with a liberal government - not because I am a liberal but because they have the best chance of defeating Harper.

    What you fail to grasp is that when I say "country before party" I am referring to one riding, in one election. Some liberals believe they should run a token candidate there - I think that is selfish and stupid.

    Whatever the liberal record on the environment is, it is certainly better than anything Harper would have given us - he only caught on to the whole environment as an issue thing because of Dion in the first place - and I do not think he has convinced a lot of people that he is serious about it. In fact, I would guess that a lot of his supporters do not expect him to be serious about it.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 1:47 PM  

  • What you fail to grasp is that when I say "country before party" I am referring to one riding, in one election. Some liberals believe they should run a token candidate there - I think that is selfish and stupid.

    If the real goal is taking out MacKay for the "good of the country" or some such nonsense justification, then why are the Liberals not throwing support to the NDP in Central Nova? And why does the Green Party exist at all? If forming some sort of anti-Conservative coalition is the goal, it makes little sense to throw support to a candidate whose party won less than 700 votes in 2006.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 1:59 PM  

  • The support is FOR May, who already chose that riding. I think it was a stupid choice, but it was hers to make.

    The choice of country before party is that Dion is not caving in to some party members' demands that he run someone in every riding, because he has determined that it is better for the country that May be elected.

    The fact that this might also mean the demise of McKay is just icing on the cake.

    I do not think this approach can be applied to all ridings, but there are a few where such an approach would make a big difference. In Edmonton, the riding of Stathcona would likely go NDP if the liberals backed off, and Edmonton Centre would likely go liberal. That is one seat each, and two less for Harper. This works well for everyone but the conservatives and as such it makes sense to me.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 2:22 PM  

  • The choice of country before party is that Dion is not caving in to some party members' demands that he run someone in every riding, because he has determined that it is better for the country that May be elected.

    So Dion is just feeding May's enormous ego trip. Canada will endure regardless of whether she gets elected - she's not that bloody important. I think the Greens are wrong on NAFTA, nuclear energy, and a bunch of other issues, and I sure as hell don't like this:

    With the sponsorship scandal, the Liberals have shown us that their plan to keep the country together reduced itself to a vulgar and corrupt marketing strategy. Rather than actively working together with Québec, the Liberals have refused to recognize the legitimate constitutional demands of Québec and other provinces.

    The Green Party proposes to make Canada a true functioning confederation in which the provinces are more empowered and financed to meet the needs of their communities. Québec and the rest of Canada must work together as partners, in the true spirit of confederation, and work to solve their fiscal and cultural imbalances.

    Green Party MPs will work to:

    Recognize and correct the growing fiscal imbalance between provincial and federal jurisdictions.
    Recognize a clear result to a clear question in the event of a future Québec referendum.


    This might as well be from the ADQ platform.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 4:08 PM  

  • dennis said

    "JimTan, if you think this Dion/May alliance is one of the centre, then you're beyond reason, dude. LOL"

    Parliament returns tomoorow. We're see if you're right?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:46 PM  

  • andy said

    "The foundation document of any organization, be it a government, an NGO or a political organization very much matters! It prescribes how the organization is be by governed, and in any case I am aware of is always difficult to amend, to insure that there is careful thought put into amendments."

    Pretty obvious stuff. It's also pretty obvious that the LPC members want to kick harper's butt. Dion would be a god if he defeated harper, which is possible if an election were held on the global warming issue.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:53 PM  

  • Josh said

    "This might as well be from the ADQ platform."

    Now they’re accused of being from the right? What about the social housing and guaranteed income activists?

    This doesn’t mean anything. Like the ADQ, the GP has its loose cannons. It’s a collection of rootless idealists and malcontents.

    The GP has espoused a variety of views because it is a weak political instrument. This is a party that prides itself on its ‘democracy’. Though the fringe issues actually retard the green cause.

    That’s why Don is supportive of May, and not the GP. The joint statement on the GP site gives an indication of the possibilities ahead if May does well. It’s up to May to get elected despite the handicap of her party.

    Once in a position of power, May could rally the genuine greens and purge the rest. I suggest that the rest of us wait and see.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 7:26 PM  

  • Now they’re accused of being from the right? What about the social housing and guaranteed income activists?

    I'm accusing them of being crypto-provincialists happy to endorse Dumont's notion of the "partnership" between the ROC and Quebec, whilst signing away large sums of money without accountability to the provinces (re: "open" federalism).

    This doesn’t mean anything. Like the ADQ, the GP has its loose cannons. It’s a collection of rootless idealists and malcontents.

    That sounds like a good description of May.

    The GP has espoused a variety of views because it is a weak political instrument. This is a party that prides itself on its ‘democracy’. Though the fringe issues actually retard the green cause.

    Indeed. In contrast, the Liberal Party is evidently not interested in democracy at all, as it affords its leader the right to do "anything he wants", running roughshod over the rights of local party members and associations. And despite some bizarre comments I've been seeing, the Liberals do not favour electoral reform of any sort.

    That’s why Don is supportive of May, and not the GP. The joint statement on the GP site gives an indication of the possibilities ahead if May does well. It’s up to May to get elected despite the handicap of her party.

    So how quickly would she decide to sit as a Liberal rather than a Green?

    Once in a position of power, May could rally the genuine greens and purge the rest. I suggest that the rest of us wait and see.

    Ah, purges! That sounds like just the recipe for success for tiny party whose "core vote" consists of no more than about 2% of the electorate.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 7:35 PM  

  • calgarygrit, at 11:42 AM said:

    In the States, the Dems didn't run a candidate against the socialist Vermont senator candidate to avoid vote splitting, despite Dean's 50 state strategy.

    Yeah, but there is something really interesting that happened in that example. The Democrats had Bernie Sanders [aka the socialist Vermont senator candidate] as a candidate at their primary, which he won with 94%. However, Sanders did not accept the Democratic nomination.

    So it sounds like grassroots Democrats had a chance to have their say.

    Compare that to the top-down Dion-May deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders

    http://election.nationaljournal.com/2006/profiles/vtsen_sanders.htm

    By Blogger Northern BC Dipper, at 7:53 PM  

  • JimTan said...

    Pretty obvious stuff. It's also pretty obvious that the LPC members want to kick harper's butt. Dion would be a god if he defeated harper, which is possible if an election were held on the global warming issue.


    JImTan:

    Although I agree that global warming is important, and has risen to the top of all political parties agenda's, I just don't see it as "the ballot box" question. It is one of those issues that I believe most Canadians actually do care about, but in the end what they care about more is good government.

    The polls seem to indicate quiet clearly that Canadians do believe that Harper would be the better PM, and it should be no surprise that I agree with the majority of Canadians on this one.

    By Blogger Andy, at 8:33 PM  

  • You got that right! As usual! Greens vote strategically on principle. Ergo, many, many will vote for Dion in the election. A deft move by Dion.

    By Blogger Darryl Raymaker, at 11:33 PM  

  • If I'm reading this correctly, there are plenty of Liberals who do not feel that their own laws are important. The laws over which they themselves have complete control. The laws which are set in place only by their own friends and those of like minds to themselves.

    And these are people asking to be put in charge of those with whom they disagree.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 12:29 AM  

  • Josh said

    “Ah, purges! That sounds like just the recipe for success for tiny party whose "core vote" consists of no more than about 2% of the electorate.”

    I think that you may lack political experience. Here’s a riddle. Think about it.

    A political party may (emphasis on ‘may’) poll more than its core support.
    A party may also poll less than its core support.
    When does this occur? When is this reversed?

    “I'm accusing them of being crypto-provincialists happy to endorse Dumont's notion of the "partnership" between the ROC and Quebec, whilst signing away large sums of money without accountability to the provinces (re: "open" federalism).”

    I suggest that you drop in on the GP and see how they operate. THEY’re not monolithic. They pride themselves on their democratic creation of policy. In a NGO type organization, there’s a proliferation of policies. I have been saying that they need to focus on a core mission.

    “That sounds like a good description of May”

    Is your assessment based on knowledge? If not, you should get a closer look at May.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:10 AM  

  • 'First, the only place I have read this "news" has been on the internet, so I doubt it is the big story the conservatives would like it to be.'

    I've seen the Potvin story on the CBC National and CTV NewsNet; it's also apparently in the national post. Hardly "niche" markets, I would think.

    By Blogger daniel, at 10:14 AM  

  • Andy said

    “The polls seem to indicate quiet clearly that Canadians do believe that Harper would be the better PM, and it should be no surprise that I agree with the majority of Canadians on this one.”

    Actually, less than 50% approve of harper as PM. That’s not a majority. Indeed, I remember a poll saying that the same percentage would never vote for harper.

    Indeed, an examination of the facts show that harper is a poor PM. He appointed McKay as Foreign Minister and Fortier to the Senate. He’s broken his promises. He’s been giving away the money that Liberal governments accumulated.

    What are his positive achievements besides arming the border guards and betraying the lumber industry?

    Dion has been consistently underestimated. Harper thinks that he is smart, but he is only cunning. The LPC are very experienced operators, and the caucus gave Dion a standing ovation after Bill C-30 was amended. Dion showed that he was able to outthink the LPC establishment.

    I’m interested in facts, not hopes. Please don’t come to a liberal blog and spin.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:50 PM  

  • JimTan said...

    " Dion has been consistently underestimated. Harper thinks that he is smart, but he is only cunning. The LPC are very experienced operators, and the caucus gave Dion a standing ovation after Bill C-30 was amended. Dion showed that he was able to outthink the LPC establishment.

    I’m interested in facts, not hopes. Please don’t come to a liberal blog and spin"


    I don't spin. I leave that to people who are much more capable than I am.

    I know we could get into a flame war about the Liberal Party being experience operators. Do you really want to use that term when memories of the HRDC scandal, gun registry cost overruns and not to mention the word sponsorship?

    Are you not in the least bit concerned that what Dion did with the May deal contravenes not only your own constitution (these are the rules that are written by Liberals for Liberals, not to mention a long standing policy to be a truly national party? Paul.obeda pointed out a similar observation.

    Does it not bother you that so many severely normal Canadians who are not political junkies are starting to question the antics of Dion? I remember having to suffer through similar problems when Day led the Alliance... he was an embarrassment to that organization and Dion is an embarrassment to the Liberals.

    But that being said, I repeat, I am certainly glad the next election is not one that involves a Manely or a McKenna.

    If it did, I am not sure that the Conservative party would win.

    By Blogger Andy, at 3:37 PM  

  • Andy said

    “ I know we could get into a flame war about the Liberal Party being experience operators. Do you really want to use that term when memories of the HRDC scandal, gun registry cost overruns and not to mention the word sponsorship?”

    I don’t see the point of bringing up old issues. They’ve been thoroughly analyzed and debated. Some people still feel the need for retribution. But, the pressing need is to address the issues of the future. Dion has the future because he is logical. Harper represents the past because he is reactionary (and vindictive).

    The scandals are management and organizational issues. I’m talking about political operators. The knowledge of how to use the rules/processes of politics, elections and parliament procedures. Do you understand the difference? Do you have any management or command experience?

    Consider this proposition. The LPC’s political skill/cunning was a strength that turned into a liability. They attempted to solve problems by improvised political tactics instead of a thorough management approach.

    Eventually, all that politicking and deal making turned against them. The corruption prevented effective action from being taken, and accountability could not be enforced.

    By contrast, Dion won the leadership race without compromising himself. That makes him very unpopular with the party insiders.

    “Are you not in the least bit concerned that what Dion did with the May deal contravenes not only your own constitution (these are the rules that are written by Liberals for Liberals, not to mention a long standing policy to be a truly national party? Paul.obeda pointed out a similar observation.”

    Paul speaks from ignorance and bias. As a new LPC member, I am not the least concerned about that clause. I can’t believe that the intention of the writers was literal. The party leader’s job is to win.

    The LPC members complaining are the old guard who lost out in the election and are fading away. The all-riding tradition is sacred to them. They won’t create alliances with the NDP and GP. But, that’s needed in a series of minority governments.

    Harper won’t create alliances (one-off deals aside) because he wants a majority to work his evil. That’s why CPC loyalists are raising the all-ridings issue. Harper can be defeated by alliances among the opposition.

    On the offensive, Dion has the global warming issue that can unite Canadians of all stripes. On the defense, Dion is covering his rear with an understanding with May. This is logic.

    “But that being said, I repeat, I am certainly glad the next election is not one that involves a Manely or a McKenna.”

    Fortunately, you’re wrong. Manley and McKenna have experience and connections. They may be all right if they inherit a government. But, they have no ideas or vision that differential them from harper.

    Similarly, good old Rob and sophisticated Michael would be on the defensive. It is Dion and his green issue that is the main obstacle to harper’s majority. That’s why all three opposition parties are united on Bill C-30.

    Like I said! You shouldn’t come here with your ignorance, misrepresentations and half-truths. Pedal them in a conservative blog where they are accepted as gospel.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:39 PM  

  • Last time I looked this was CG's Blog and what makes it refreshing is the variety of debate. Jimtam, chill out and have a beer, no one likes bullyboys...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 4:41 AM  

  • fair sailing said

    "chill out and have a beer, no one likes bullyboys... "

    Hah! You've got a nerve. People like you come to beat up on the liberals in a liberal blog.

    I'm merely disputing your misrepresentations, half truths and outright lies.

    Why don't you guys tell the truth and nothing but the truth? Better still, why don't you trolls get a life?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:42 AM  

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