Friday, April 17, 2009

Game Theory in Canadian Politics

Tom Flanagan has a Globe op-ed where he muses about the Liberals needing to "re-activate" the coalition in order to bring Harper down. Yeah...because Stephen Harper has never voted with the "separatists" and the "socialists" to bring down a Liberal government.

His slightly more valid point is that Ignatieff doesn't enjoy the same benefit Harper does of being able to stroll over to the GG's to ask for an election whenever it strikes his fancy (man, we should really have some sort of fixed election date law or something to prevent that, eh?). So Iggy will need Bloc and NDP votes to force an election. But, really, this shouldn't be too hard. Jack's given the Liberals such a hard time for propping up Harper that he's going to look like a complete moron if he starts singing "backing down and loving it" himself. And Mr. "I will never make a deal with the separatists" would have a bit of 'splaining to do, if he has to rely on Gilles Duceppe to keep his government afloat.

And, realistically, how long could the Tories survive on Bloc or NDP support alone? One month? Three months? Short of a formal coalition deal (hmm...), eventually an issue will come along where the opposition parties decide to take Harper out. Or, failing that, a poll will come along that encourages them to.

Now, that's not to say the Liberals necessarily should pull the plug anytime soon. But I think Dr. Tom may have over-estimated Harper's ability to survive in this parliament without Liberal support.

29 Comments:

  • In terms of Kinsella, where does that leave the hairplugs ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:53 PM  

  • "Yeah...because Stephen Harper has never voted with the "separatists" and the "socialists" to bring down a Liberal government."

    I must say, reading that piece today was almost better news than the polls. A supposed mastermind, reduced to the most silly argument imaginable. It all reeks of NOWHERE TO TURN, the most basic sign of desperation. If this is Flanagan's argument, I love our chances. What next "sponsorship"?

    By Blogger Steve V, at 8:24 PM  

  • Flanagan misses one thing in his analysis -- the pressures on Harper from within the party to quit if his future is being determined by Duceppe/Layton.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:30 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Tiny Perfect Blog, at 8:35 PM  

  • Tiny

    Not sure, but I know we've heard enough of that beyond lame talking point, which seems to forget we had an election SIX MONTHS AGO. Gawd, the tunnel vision boggles the mind.

    Carry on, I'm sure you will. Back in the real world, NARY a peep.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 8:38 PM  

  • Steve, if an election was such a non-starter, why does Iggy keep threatening to pull the plug?

    By Blogger Tiny Perfect Blog, at 12:38 AM  

  • As silly as Flanagan's point about resurrecting the coalition is, I could see it being a Conservative talking point if and when the government is brought down. Most elections start with an argument about why the election was called, and I can just hear Harper saying that the Liberals brought his government down by making a "deal with separatists." It's absurd, as you point out, but it also worked for him in the polls last year.

    By Blogger - K, at 8:09 AM  

  • Great question, Anonymous.

    I, too, am reading that Kinsella had a field of hair strands pulled from his back, neck, and big toes and has had them re-installed atop his head to give him a proximity of that debonnair hair-in-the-wind look the next time he tools around town in his carbon-spewing VW bug soft-top. The one with the Greenpeace, Liberal, and "Hey Hey We're The Monkeys" stickers on the back bumper.

    I've looked through his lame videos and pictures online but he's either wearing cranium-camo or he's cropped the shot to chop off the top of his forehead.

    Can anyone confirm, please ?

    By Anonymous The Ghost of Bart The Fish, at 8:46 AM  

  • "Steve, if an election was such a non-starter, why does Iggy keep threatening to pull the plug?"

    New to politics?

    By Blogger Steve V, at 8:49 AM  

  • Hmmmm....the responses to Flanigan's article were unbelievably against him and what he was saying and then "poof" the comments section suddenly disappeared.


    About this crap of CPC trolls on Kinsella and his hair - childish, pathetic and not important.

    By Blogger RuralSandi, at 10:19 AM  

  • Steve,

    So when the Liberals threaten to bring down the government when they have no intention of doing so it's some kind of savvy political move. But when an NDP blogger points out that it won't ever actually happen, it's a 'beyond lame talking point'?

    And you accuse me of being new to politics?

    By Blogger Tiny Perfect Blog, at 10:33 AM  

  • I don't know what to make of Kinsella's hair. The mystery deepens.

    I also don't know what make of car McCallum drives. That mystery deepens too.

    Together, they drive to the heart of Liberal credibility.

    By Anonymous Burt, at 10:46 AM  

  • Ah, yes, mysteries - like Harper's toupe, is Jason Kenney still a virgin and is Baird in the closet. Life's mysteries just carry on an boggles the mind.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 AM  

  • Another mystery:

    Whatever happened to all that missing Adscam money ? Did everyone who is anyone get their cut ?

    Anyone care to surmise ?

    Eh, anyone ?

    By Anonymous The Liberal Bagman, at 5:00 PM  

  • Harper has another critical power. He gets to pick the budget he falls on. If Ignatieff has no substantive objections to the next Tory budget opportunism can backfire.

    Even though Joe Clark's budget was massively unpopular, the Tories gained at least 10 points (polls had them as much as 23 points behind the Liberals) in the election by exploiting that issue. They ultimately lost, but were only 3.5% lower than their winning 1979 results.

    Secondly, a big question is what Ignatieff wants. To be Prime Minister period? Or to be a PM with a majority? Recent polls have him barely ahead of the Tories, with a somewhat inefficient distribution of the vote. How long would a weak Ignatieff minority last?

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 5:07 PM  

  • "How long would a weak Ignatieff minority last?"

    As long as their NDP and Bloc coalition partners want it to obviously. It's an Ignatieff majority or years of NDP budgets. Is that what you want, Ontario? Another five years of NDP government?

    (Cue ominous sounding music)

    By Anonymous The Tory Campaign Theme, at 6:13 PM  

  • With that drunken nut McCallum now pretty much out of the running for Finance Minister, heaven help us if Bob Rae has his grubby mitts on the purse strings of the nation.

    I shudder at the thought.

    Ugghhh !!!

    By Anonymous Last guy in the room who is about to shut the lights, at 7:35 PM  

  • Call me stupid, but why on earth does Martha Hall Findlay get so much media attention ?

    She's been an MP, what, a whole 2 years or less ?

    Her bland platitudes and ad hominems bore me to tears.

    She's kind of cute in a MILF kind of way. But what the hell is her background ?

    Calgrit, come clean, does she have something over Ignatieff or is she the best he can do when it comes to the estrogen set ?

    God, I wish Sheila Copps would take Jane Taber's bait and come back to active politics.

    The party desperately needs someone with her kind of balls.

    Pass the tequila, Sheila, and come love us again.

    By Anonymous Unctuous Rube, at 7:49 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 10:48 PM  

  • With that drunken nut McCallum now pretty much out of the running for Finance Minister, heaven help us if Bob Rae has his grubby mitts on the purse strings of the nation.Ralph G. will be Finance Minister in any upcoming Liberal government; count on that.

    Call me stupid, but why on earth does Martha Hall Findlay get so much media attention ?She's good-looking and, thanks to her endearing leadership bid and various other people exiting the stage (McLellan, Stronach), the most prominent woman in the party.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 10:50 PM  

  • She's good-looking and, thanks to her endearing leadership bid and various other people exiting the stage (McLellan, Stronach), the most prominent woman in the party.Good-looking:

    MILF (I conceded that point already). You're saying that ugly women need not apply for elected office under the Liberal banner. Let them eat cake over at the NDP where beefy ugly women reign supreme and lord it over their p*ssy-whipped leader (who clearly likes it that way).

    Endearing leadership bid:

    She garnered a few dozen delegates at most, half of whom were members of her extended family. Dion endeared himself a hell of a lot more and look where that got him and our party. So don't yank our chains about endearing leadership bids.

    The most prominent woman in the party:

    That ain't saying much. At all.

    Conclusion:That is one sad state of affairs.

    Very sad.

    By Anonymous Unctuous Rube, at 6:08 AM  

  • You can tell the Conbots are getting worried when they flood blogs, media bloggers, and newspaper articles with completely stupid comments like those above.

    (they're giving themselves away)

    Yes, they are worried.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

  • You can tell the Libbots are getting worried when they flood blogs, media bloggers, and newspaper articles with false bravado about how the Conbots must be worried because they're flooding blogs, media bloggers, and newspaper articles with comments...

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 6:24 PM  

  • Tiny Perfect Blog - Well, it remains to be see if Ignatieff will actually bring down the government, but I think most people are speculating about the fall as the timeline for it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:29 PM  

  • K - Valid point. I'm fairly sure the coalition talk will resurface...you can bet Harper will bring it up during the debates, if not elsewhere during the campaign.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:30 PM  

  • I am partial to the original November fixed election date that Harper put into law and immediatelyignored. But I love irony more than almost anything else.

    By Blogger Ken Chapman, at 8:27 PM  

  • "With that drunken nut McCallum now pretty much out of the running for Finance Minister, heaven help us if Bob Rae has his grubby mitts on the purse strings of the nation."

    So because he flubbed some statement about the national origin of his car (which may still have been BUILT at least partly in North America) you think Iggy would avoid putting the former Royal Bank chief economist (with a phd in econ) in as finance minister? This is not to mention that McCallum is too old and uncharismatic to be a leadership threat.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 10:41 PM  

  • Hoser, the guy with his hand on the light switch is correct.

    Chretien rightly ignored that economics genius McCallum for Finance.

    Martin rightly ignored that economics genius McCallum for Finance.

    Ignatieff will rightly ignore that economics genius McCallum for Finance.

    I see McCallum as some kind of Parliamentary Secretary or something like that.

    Or maybe the Chair of the House Finance Committee.

    Even there I am probably stretching in the interest of being reasonable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 AM  

  • So because he flubbed some statement about the national origin of his carIf he had said he drove a car built in North America and left it at that, then he deserves some sympathy. But he didn't leave it at that. He said he owned a Chevy, and later admitted that he lied. That's more than a simple flub about the "national origin" of his car.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 9:50 PM  

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