Saturday, December 13, 2008

On this date in history

December 13, 1979: Joe Clark's minority Conservative government is defeated on a budget vote, in the House of Commons. Clark had decided to govern as if he had a majority, assuming the three opposition parties - including the leaderless Liberals - would not dare defeat him.


  • And who brought down the Clark conservative govt ~ NDPer Bob Rae

    Cause the NDP was paying attention.

    Those were the good old days, where politicians thought on their feet, took the opportunity, and didn't have polls (with phoney questions) to second-guess their political instincts.

    We almost brokeout, except we had the backroom boys, moneyed elite, and power brokers who crapped their pants ~ can't let Canadians "do politics different."

    So what was the point of your post?

    By Blogger susansmith, at 8:24 a.m.  

  • The point of his post was a reminder of a historical event.

    Not a push for NDP or any other party.


    empty wagons rattle the most.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:43 a.m.  

  • It was one of the darkest days in the history of this country. It led to 4 more years of distructive mismanagement by Trudeau. The country still hasn't recovered from his rein of terror

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 a.m.  

  • A memorial to the least competent (before Dion) Prime Minister in history who keeps blabbering out of the past with his usual stupid and irrelevant ideas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 a.m.  

  • Dion was Prime Minister?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 a.m.  

  • Jan

    as much as you love the NDP, you are wrong here.

    Both opposition parties have amendments to the budget.

    The main Liberal one had been debated and failed.

    Then the night of the Liberal Christmas Party, Allen macEachern, the Liberal whip, was seen counting the amount of Tories in the House.

    It was the Liberals paying attention. They dragged everybody in, including a Liberal who was in hospital, who needed help standing up, and the opposition prevailed by 2 votes.

    Which goes to show you, it is the Liberals, not the NDP, that know how to count...


    By Blogger Anthony, at 11:00 p.m.  

  • Clark always was a wimp and an insignificant Prime Minister compared to true conservatives like Stephen Harper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:45 a.m.  

  • "Clark always was a wimp and an insignificant Prime Minister compared to true conservatives like Stephen Harper."

    So conservatism can't fail, only be failed by people who aren't "true" conservatives?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:27 p.m.  

  • I didn't know it was only by two votes. Wow. A province bankrupted by two measly votes.

    I wonder if anyone kept tally of all the people who killed themselves due to two lousy votes.

    I don't even know how any Albertan of any partisan stripe can be proud of what Trudeau did to this region.

    A pox on ALL of you who do!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:34 p.m.  

  • So, uhm, just curious -- but exactly when are we going to stop parading out the cold corpse of Pierre Trudeau and invoking the NEP in (seemingly) every political discussion in this province? And get down to dealing with issues that are actually in front of us?

    How 'bout it?

    I'm a progressive, and have a profound disdain for what the National Energy Program did to Alberta and to Albertans. But, truth be told, it's getting pretty tiring talking about a man who's been, well, dead more than eight years -- and hasn't been in office in about twenty-five.

    Seriously -- It's over; we won, Alberta bounced back, and is now better off and more prosperous than ever. Right? And all that happened, despite Trudeau and most of the governments brought to power in the seven Federal elections held, since.

    Isn't that something to be proud of, and move forward with in mind -- you know, proof of Alberta's can-do attitude -- instead of crying over spilled milk?

    Besides, the NEP happened while most Albertans were still in grade school, myself included - judging by the pegged average age of Albertans, anyway; and that's not counting the hundreds of thousands of folks who have moved here, since. Taken from that, it would seem, those who continue to flog the NEP and Trudeau as a political distraction in Alberta will (soon) find themselves trying to invoke a collective memory of past misdeeds that simply doesn't exist in a growing number of Albertans.

    If that's not the case, already....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 a.m.  

  • RC - Isn't there something about history. Those that don't remember it are doomed to repeat it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 a.m.  

  • Anonymous;

    "RC - Isn't there something about history. Those that don't remember it are doomed to repeat it."

    History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme sometimes.

    But there's a big difference, though, between remembering history while moving forward.... and looking at everything in this country through the prism of that history and letting it exert undue control on our politics, and dominate our political discourse.

    Albertans do the latter when it comes to Pierre Trudeau, and by extension the NEP. I'd rather not tie our fortunes and decision-making to something that happened while I was still learning how to read.

    The world has changed in that time; so has Alberta, very much so. Honestly, it's time to move on. We've got bigger problems in this Province, than a very dead former Prime Minister.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 p.m.  

  • I'm with you RC. Post NEP fear and loathing is so omnipotent in this province it's frankly become a joke. Of course there were negative consequences to it, but what never gets mentioned any more is that when PC Finance Minister John Crosbie brought down his ill-fated budget in December 79. It was grabbing for a bigger federal slice of oil revenues too. It proposed to eliminate the export tax and replace it with an alternative tax on sales of crude oil to both American and Canadian refiners, plus an 18-cents-per-gallon ($6.30 per barrel) tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. None of that came to pass, as the Conservative government fell on the budget vote - but no one in the Alberta oil fields was too excited about it either.
    Also seemingly forgotten is the fact that while Lougheed's first response to the NEP was to cut the province's oil production by 15% and put a freeze on oil sands development (both of which of course hurt Alberta even more than the NEP was going to). But then, just 10 months after the enactment of the NEP, he signed a new agreement with Ottawa - a five year pricing and revenue sharing agreement signed in September 1981. The real problem with it was, it was based on the assumption that oil process would keep going up (sound familiar?), but of course they went well down.
    Alas, it would seem it is just easier these day to trash Trudeau and invoke dreaded NEP as a monolithic bogey man, than trifle with the actual facts and figures from those times.....oh and don't worry, I am already ducking (although, I'm pretty late to the thread, so I don't suppose anyone will see this anyway).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 p.m.  

  • Wow, I had no idea about the PC/Crosbie budget -- very very interesting reading.

    I sort of more or less agree with R.C. here... but I do think it's a shame more Canadians don't know about the NEP and what it meant to so many people. I'm not an Albertan but it makes me unhappy to think about, and most people outside of Alberta have never heard of it. I think it should be talked about in more history classes, is what I'm saying. But R.C. is right to not see the present thru the NEP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:09 p.m.  

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