Friday, November 28, 2008

If you're just tunning in now...'s what you've missed:

Tories want to destroy the opposition! Bring it on! Another election?Another election! Coalition government! Prime Minister Dion? A Liberal coup? Prime Minister Layton? Prime Minister Goodale? Harper blinks - election averted! Election on? Coalition on? Prime Minister Chretien? And Ed Broadbent? Je ne comprends pas anglais. Liberal non-confidence motion! WHAT THE @#&! IS GOING ON HERE??!!?!?!?

UPDATE: Harper delays the confidence vote until December 8th! What does it all mean? WHO THE HELL KNOWS! Let's just sit back and enjoy the ride!



  • Ummm.. what are the 80% of Canadians who don't watch the news 24 hours a day going to think when they wake up with a new government? I'm thinking Liberals/coalition as well as CPC have really not thought this one though.

    This is chaos.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 p.m.  

  • The Circus is now in town. Lets all wait and see, I mean start betting and taking odds.

    By Blogger Jamie Callingham, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • As we found out with Adscam, what the Liberals can't get honestly, they will get another way. Harper should call an election Friday afternoon.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 3:09 p.m.  

  • What about Prime Minister Duceppe?

    Or Prime Minister Bill Cassey?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:10 p.m.  

  • HAHA. I can just imagine what normal Canadians who arent political nerds must think about all this.

    I don't think anybody looks good. Let's have an election now and watch there be 14% voter turnout.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 p.m.  

  • Make Duceppe Minister of Multiculturalism... That'll sell well in the west.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 p.m.  

  • One article mentioned Harper could stall and push votes back, just like Martin did in 2005.

    Could he do that? Or prorogue?

    And where is Micaelle Jean these days? Maybe we should get her back to Canada, eh?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:16 p.m.  

  • I still say the Liberals best option is a snap election with Chretien as interim leader, which means they have to double cross the NDP on Monday after the government is defeated.

    A coalition really isn't in the best interest of the Liberal Party.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 3:21 p.m.  

  • yeah, that about sums up my take on the situation.

    If you'll excuse the expression, whence the balls? Seriously.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 3:33 p.m.  

  • The Cons are up in arms and are playing the anti-Quebec card to obscure the legitimacy of what the opposition is proposing.

    The Liberals and the NDP should form a governing coalition (based on a fair distribution of cabinet seats) with the working support of the Bloc based on their shared policy interests on the environment, foreign policy, and economic regulation.

    Contra the reactionary posters on CBC website,the Bloc isn't just a party of separation -- it represents the perceived interests of Quebec on the federal stage. At times, the Bloc will be in opposition to all the other parties; at other times it will have points of agreement and convergence.

    Right now, the points of convergence far outweigh the points of divergence.

    So, it makes total sense for some kind of arrangement to be worked out, especially with the failure of the Cons to generate a working majority.

    The Cons don't have legitimacy to rule the county because they don't have the majority in Parliament.

    If another majority can be cobbled together, then so be it.

    Exciting times!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 p.m.  

  • Constitutionally speaking, I think you'd need assurances from the Bloc that they'd support a Liberal/NDP coalition for the next little while. I mean, the Liberals and NDP don't even have as many seats as the Tories.

    My first impression is that a Lib/NDP/Bloc coalition is a bad idea...but I'll need to think it over some more. I don't know what to think at this point.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:47 p.m.  

  • Since 63% of Canadians voted against the conservatives, I'd say that this coalition government is far more representative of the will of the people then the con minority was...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:52 p.m.  

  • "Contra the reactionary posters on CBC website,the Bloc isn't just a party of separation -- it represents the perceived interests of Quebec on the federal stage"

    As defined by who, exactly? The majority of Quebeckers who don't vote Bloc?

    When did the Bloc ever represent my interest as a tax paying Quebecker? (Never!)

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 3:54 p.m.  

  • Do you think there might be 14 people in the Liberal party that are whole heartedly oppossed to a Lib/NDP coalition with Dippers in the Cabinet? Could this send any of them over to sit with the government and give them a majority?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:07 p.m.  

  • Wishful thinking, fellow anon, Harper and his boys just can't count unfortunately. Like it or not, Bloc reps are the reps of their Quebec constituencies and their votes count like everyone elses, the Cons sure weren't whinging when they relied on Bloc votes to pass their budget in the last parliamentary session.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 p.m.  

  • The Independents in the House lean Tory. And maybe Harper could pick off a few disgruntled Libs/Bloc. But enough to make a difference? I doubt it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:13 p.m.  

  • Harper said all the right things in Peru at APEC and if had followed through could have gone big tent, but then he comes home and goes hyper-partisan with Harris-speak in the economic statement.

    He is going to have to offer the Liberals big concessions over the weekend. And eat some puffin poop.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 4:36 p.m.  

  • The main point here is the economic situation. If people would rather indulge in their anti-separatist memes at the cost of their jobs, so be it, but if they want a real government taking real action in the name of all Canadians in a time of crisis, they would rather have all willing teammates working together, no?

    Good grief, if the message at the end of the day is that Canada works, how is this supposed to help the sovereigntist agenda exactly? You think Duceppe wants to throw Quebeckers in a fourth election within one year?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:38 p.m.  

  • Constitutionally speaking, what Mandate would the combined opposition parties claim to govern? Not Conservative? That's not a platform.

    That the Liberals under the collective leadership of Dion, Ignatieff, and Rae want to shack up with Separatists is untenable. That they think that they can overthrow the current government only to create entirely new policy on the fly without an election is worthy of nothing but ridicule.

    By Blogger Paul, at 4:45 p.m.  

  • Any coalition government with the traitorous block controlling the balance of power is going to end badly.One certainly has to wonder what treasonist deal will be agreed to for their votes and what in the end it will cost the RoC.The Liberals and NDP by being all in hopefully realise that they can lose it all very quickly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 p.m.  

  • Jean would have to say no to a lib/ndp/bloc coalition.

    This isn't the "traditional" Lib/NDP coalition we've seen in the past that has some stability. This is a leadership liberal party, with the separatists, and the ndp. It's not stable. There is no way they'll produce a budget and govern for more than 3 months.

    Get ready for an election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 p.m.  

  • Haha, the not even two years after depending on the Bloc to pass their budget, now Conservative talking points are that such support is "treasonous"! And folks that's why they call them the Harpercrites...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:03 p.m.  

  • Greyburr: let's also not forget who got us into this mess in the first place, by putting their shallow partisan ends ahead of running the country for all Canadians, which is what I hear governments are supposed to do.

    Conservative attempts to lay this mess at the feet of the Liberals or NDP are simply rubbish. Rubbish. If Harper would have simply saved the public financing issue for another time -- perhaps, maybe, when the economic future of the country didn't hang in the balance -- none of this would have came to be. Canadians have nothing to blame for this but Stephen Harper's unrelenting and naked ambition.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:04 p.m.  

  • This is embarassing. What must our neighbours be thinking? we look like yahoos.

    i cringe.

    bring back Chretien. At least the man knew how to run the country. Harper has no clue and the Hill has become a B rate embarassment.

    I used to have been proud to have spent a decade working on the Hill. at this rate we'll get the government we deserve....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 p.m.  

  • The firewall guys are talking about "treason"?

    Wow. They are scared.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 5:31 p.m.  

  • I'm ordering pizza and popcorn as I type, this sounds a LOT more exciting than Quantum of Solace!

    By Blogger Ashley_Wilkes-Booth, at 6:14 p.m.  

  • jk,

    The Liberals ran attack ads on Harper not long ago attacking him for working with the Bloc, so there are shoes on both feet there. Frankly I don't think this blame game debate is all that fruitful.

    The culprit is structural, not partisan, and it is minority government (for that we have nobody to blame but the bloc).

    That said if you want truly bad government, by all means bring on the coalition. The Liberals are the party that brought on the largest spending cuts in Canadian history, while the Bloc and NDP want to create a European-style social democracy. The Liberals are the biggest centralizers (NDP a solid second) of power within the federation, while the Bloc are the biggest decentralizers. The Liberals support the Afghanistan mission, while the NDP and Bloc oppose it.

    Yes, 62% of Canadians voted for parties other than the Conservatives. That said, 74% voted for parties other than the Liberals, 82% for not the NDP and 90% for not the Bloc. If you apply second choice preferences it is far from clear that an NDP-Lib-Bloc coalition reflected the will of the people.

    If there is a VONC, there must be another election. When Arthur Meighen seized power, in the manner being discussed, he didn't last long, and was decidedly ousted by the Canadian people (in spite of a series of scandals by King).

    The Ontario 1985 case doesn't apply because the Liberals and NDP jointly had a majority, while the Conservatives didn't in 1925, and the Liberals and NDP don't right now (if the Bloc joined such a coalition it might be legitimate for Jean to pledge her support, but I think that is unlikely, and will almost certainly be the worst government in Canadian history. Moreover, 1985 didn't have new party leaders coming from the caucus and for that reason would almost certainly mean another election soon anyway).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 6:18 p.m.  

  • Hoosiertohoosier:

    I didn't say anything about a Liberal-Bloc-NDP coalition being a good government, or better representing the will of Canadians, or even being preferable to an election. I don't think it's a stretch to say that a coalition of that composition would be shaky at best (and untenable at worst)

    My point was to challenge the notion that this fiasco is anyone but Harper's fault. The argument that the problem is "structural and not partisan" is absolutely absurd. Exactly what, in a structural sense, necessitated the attachment of a provision that would level all of the governing party's opposition to a bill that was ostensibly designed to deal with the financial crisis? There was no reason for this aside from partisan gain. Were the government to present a reasonable bill that actually focused on the economic crisis (like they promised they would do), of course the opposition -- at least the Liberals -- would have voted with them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:31 p.m.  

  • Anon - Since 63% of Canadians voted against the conservatives, I'd say that this coalition government is far more representative of the will of the people then the con minority was...

    Wrong, because 100% of Canadians didn't vote on a coalition government, plain and simple. Hey, if they want to give it a try, they can go ahead, but not without the approval of the people.

    There is no soft Liberal that would vote for an NDP Bloc coalition.

    Fade back to just before the 2006 election. The Liberals promised the NDP 5 Billion for certain projects if they voted FOR the Liberals budget. After the vote, the Liberals said "what 5 B are you talking about?"

    Nice coalition.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 p.m.  

  • "Tunning in"? Really? Yes, English is a very difficult language, isn't it?

    No wonder Liberals can't tell the difference between democracy and $1.95 per vote.

    By Blogger George, at 6:38 p.m.  

  • Patels:

    Grow up. A spelling mistake is several of orders of magnitude less stupid than, say, asserting that anyone who thinks global warming is a problem is an anarchist communist fascist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:58 p.m.  

  • Much as I'm in love with the drama, I agree with JK - Harper put partisan benefit over national good and if he's going to wear the victory if it works out for him, he's going to also wear the blame if it doesn't, I guess. But I am in love with the drama, I hope Paul Martin and Barack Obama and Karl Rove and a secret Trudeau lovechild get involved!

    By Blogger Ashley_Wilkes-Booth, at 6:59 p.m.  

  • I think it's time for a good floor crossing or two. Maybe Bernier can cross over and lead this coalition?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:14 p.m.  

  • If there is a VONC, there must be another election. When Arthur Meighen seized power, in the manner being discussed, he didn't last long, and was decidedly ousted by the Canadian people (in spite of a series of scandals by King).

    I suggest you refresh your memory regarding King-Byng because King never lost of a vote of confidence. Instead, he requested dissolution to avoid a motion of censure - Byng refused, King resigned, and Meighen was asked to form a government. He certainly didn't "seize" power, and ended up losing the subsequent confidence motion by a single vote.

    There's no way the GG will call another election after less than two months - what is it with Net commentators that they think no one else has thought these things through?

    By Blogger JG, at 7:18 p.m.  

  • What's a VONC again?

    By Blogger Ashley_Wilkes-Booth, at 7:29 p.m.  

  • jk,

    Minority governments reduce the time horizons by which successful politicians must govern. Contrary to the "Harper plays chess" meme, Harper has primarily made short/medium-term tactical moves in office (like the fundraising thing - the Liberals will surely eventually find out how to get money).

    Secondly, there is this notion that Westminster minority governments can operate like European ones, where party alliances are longstanding (and usually anticipated by voters). Westminster minorities are a lot more like games of chicken. "Gee the parties should just get together and come up with a plan!" is the media refrain.

    The problem is that nobody will negotiate with others, if they are likely to gain seats when the plug is pulled on the government. Pearson worked with Douglas because he likely wouldn't win a majority government should an election be called. Clark (according to Jeffrey Simpson's book) governed like he had a majority because he didn't believe the polls that had him 20+ points behind the Liberals.

    More to the point, the parties have incoherent objectives collectively, and so it is hard to see a unified plan that could work. Only the Tories and Liberals are ideologically close enough to construct one, and each has a strong antipathy to the other because they are each other's main competitor (though I have no doubt that a grand coalition government would be a good one, though I suspect that well was pissed in a few times last election).

    Thirdly, people are ignoring the other variable. Does anybody think Bill Graham would have been pushing for a VONC? When you have an outgoing party leader as interim leader, who faces a legacy of being the worst ever Liberal leader, you have a guy with nothing to lose by countering Harper's brinkmanship with his own.


    1. A government trying to dissolve itself (particularly when the aim is to avoid a censure motion - ie. an indication of a lack of confidence in the government) it is effectively the same as a vote of no confidence. We are not obsessed with technicality like the Americans.

    2. Meighen had the option of saying he didn't want to govern - asking for a new election. When he didn't take that route, King ensured the 1926 election centered on that issue (and in particular Meighen declaring all of his ministers acting ministers, so they wouldn't have to face by-elections - cabinet ministers had to win by-elections in those days).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 8:32 p.m.  

  • Finally a Liberal party with some balls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 p.m.  

  • "Finally a Liberal party with some balls."

    Wicked, I have balls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 p.m.  

  • I, like you, feel overwhelmed about the whole thing as well. Your above paragraph was very succinct.

    By Blogger Raphael Alexander, at 10:05 p.m.  

  • That was addressed to Dan, not the comments.

    By Blogger Raphael Alexander, at 10:07 p.m.  

  • Sorry, jk, but global warming is indeed a scam being pushed on society by extreme leftwing radicals.

    I just need to look at all you morons to know I am right (as are most other people in the world who are smart enough not to fall for the tricks of radicals).

    By Blogger George, at 10:11 p.m.  

  • Werner,

    I tend to believe that the ratio of the converted to the more hardened views on global warming are usually proportional to the usage of the word "moron" in describing their opinions.

    In other words, go easy, man.

    By Blogger Raphael Alexander, at 10:19 p.m.  

  • In not unrelated news, Alcoa has voted Mr. Patels as their man of the year. I can only imagine how much tinfoil he has stuffed in that hat to protect him from the grand, scary, left-wing conspiracy of most of the scientists of the planet.

    On topic: Mr. Harper has encouraged us all to write our MPs to tell them what we think. I've already done so to my conservative MP, and essentially told him, "You made this bed when you didn't have to, so Finance Minister Layton is entirely on you, and so is my vote for ABC come the next election."

    Hopefully these "conservatives" will reconsider their tactics (and their leader) during their upcoming (probably brief) time-out, and perhaps come back actually ready to govern rather than trying to show themselves as the "masters of the game".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:03 a.m.  

  • It would appear some of the commenters above are failing to differentiate between the Bloc voting with the Government, and the Bloc being part of the Government.

    In order to form a coalition under the current circumstances, the Bloc would need to be active participants, not passive supporters, in that coalition.

    I suspect even some Liberal MPs would find that repugnant, and will be heard saying so.

    By Blogger Paul, at 1:50 p.m.  

  • Hosertohoosier:

    Irrespective of any time horizon, there was no legitimate reason to include the public-financing-of-political-parties cut in a bill that was supposed to deal with fiscal issues. That is not a fiscal issue, it is a democratic one. So, I reiterate: Canadians have Harper and Harper alone -- not any of the opposition parties, not the situation, not our Westminster parliament -- to thank for this mess.

    As for the rest, you again seem to have digressed from my argument. I'm under no illusions as to the efficacy or legitimacy of the coalition being proposed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:47 p.m.  

  • jk, are you seriously suggesting that measures to reduce government spending do not belong in a fiscal update intended to minimize the damage from the current financial crisis and to provide the greatest future flexibility for further fiscal stimulus?

    By Blogger Paul, at 5:11 p.m.  

  • paul obeda, are you seriously suggesting that Harper wants to end the public financing of political parties to save money -- not for partisan ends? Get real.

    This is a democratic reform/electoral system issue, not an economic issue. The money involved -- $30 million -- is utterly insignificant. It's a legitimate debate to be having, but not in the context of an economic bill ostensibly designed to assuage the negative effects of a global crisis.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:51 p.m.  

  • jk, thanks for acknowledging that it is indeed a fiscal issue worth debating in Parliament.

    Some would point out that the Opposition Parties appear intent in igniting a constitutional crisis to prevent that democratic debate from taking place.

    By Blogger Paul, at 7:19 p.m.  

  • Demo: The firewall guys are talking about "treason"?

    Please explain how the firewall plan was in any way "treason."

    (FWIW, I think the Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition is unethical and undemocratic, but not "treason.")

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 p.m.  

  • I saw really much worthwhile data above!

    By Anonymous, at 8:44 a.m.  

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