Friday, September 11, 2009

Well, that's that, right?

Ignatieff vows never to form coalition

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff vowed Friday that his party would never enter into a governing coalition and said he could make Parliament work without such a deal.

"In January, we did not support a coalition, and we do not support a coalition today or tomorrow," Ignatieff told reporters in Ottawa.

So I guess we can put this whole thing to bed, right? Right?

You know, I'm starting to think Harper may have played his cards a little early in this one. There's only so many ways to write "Harper raises coalition ghost, Ignatieff denies it" before the story starts to get a bit stale.



  • Yeah, it must suck for the conservatives to have this whole "isn't it frightful!" charade so out there in the light of day . . . and several weeks before the election is even called.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:24 p.m.  

  • Does this mean the election might actually be on issues instead of boogeymen? One can hope.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:25 p.m.  

  • I'd wondered about that myself.

    If you work for Macleans and are unable to get away from the "Harper plays chess..." meme no matter how many gaffes there are, you might charitably argue that he's using this to tilt the polls early and scare off an election that the Conservatives really don't want.

    Option B: he played his hand too early, and is slowly finding that nobody cares.

    I wish Ignatieff had at least left the door open to working with the NDP. But oh well, we'll see...

    By Anonymous Cow, at 6:34 p.m.  

  • Yeah, because when Dion said he didn't want a coalition during the 2008 election campaign, he never supported one after. Er, wait, then he did.

    Ignatieff didn't sign a letter to the GG indicating his support for a coalition. Er, wait, yes he did. He changed his mind. I guess that means there is no possibility that he would ever change his mind again when convenient, especially if election results grant him the opportunity to form a coalition and finally get rid of Harper.

    You see CC, also considering how often Michael Ignatieff has changed his mind on many positions he's held before on various issues, he just can't be trusted when he's already changed his mind on the coaltion issue already.

    As for that card being played too early, its always been there long since the last coalition attempt back in '08. So there is no reason that it can't be given new life again once the offical election campaign kicks off.

    What is telling is that Ignatieff is on the constant defensive on this issue. It will dog him the whole way, right up until election day. No, this is far from going anywhere.

    By Anonymous Lycan Stark, at 6:39 p.m.  

  • Oh, so you wish wish wish since you have nothing else to run on.

    That's what's telling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:51 p.m.  

  • The Conservatives are entirely misreading the coalition issue. It become unpopular because we'd had an election that had left the Liberals decisively routed with a leader who was planning to resign. But it was a few weeks after the vote and - notably - after the Throne Speech. It was also completely unexpected and haphazardly put together. And though the Bloc was not technically part of the Liberal-NDP coalition, the Tory (and, I should say, media) spin contended that it was. People didn't like that. The last problem was the seat count: Liberals + Dippers < Tories.

    Change the circumstances - Harper falls immediately on a Throne Speech and Liberals + Dippers > Tories - and things change. It may be called an "alliance" instead of a coalition, and the Bloc may simply let it pass without a formal agreement, but I don't see people minding too much.

    Anyway. I think Iggy should outline the types of inter-party cooperation that would be reasonable after an election. Something formal with the NDP? Sure. Not with the Bloc. It's not any different from the German SPD ruling out a coalition with Die Linke, while being open to other arrangements.

    By Blogger JG, at 9:12 p.m.  

  • I figured out what Harper is up to.

    I thought this whole coalition thing was just a ruse to distract us from discussing his fiscal record, his job loss record, etc.

    But I was wrong.

    It is genuine and bigger even than that.

    Stephen Harper thinks he's fighting for justice against S.P.E.C.T.R.E. - the horrible Socialist Progressive Egalitarian Coalition of Traitors, Revolutionaries and Evolutionists - and that he is James Bond!

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 10:07 p.m.  

  • Josh says:
    'and the Bloc may simply let it pass without a formal agreement, but I don't see people minding too much'

    Riiiight, but the GG won't let it pass because the 2 parties are forming a minority coalition.
    Minority government trumps minority coalition.....

    Unless the LibDippers or the LibDipperBLOC form a majority,
    it is not a STABLE government that can hold the confidence of the House any more than another Harper minority can.
    Without a written guarantee that the shiny new coalition will not be defeated for a determined amount of time, ball back to Harper.

    BTW Harper has led the longest running minority government in Canadian history. He HAS made minority parliaments work, even if you don't want to give him credit.

    And MI? What's his claim to political fame, tossing Dion under the bus?

    By Blogger wilson, at 12:02 a.m.  

  • You've never heard of Mackenzie King, Wilson? Heck, Pearson led a minority for five years for that matter. Harper might beat that... we shall see.

    By Blogger JG, at 12:10 a.m.  

  • The Hill Times, September 8, 2008

    ''The 39th Parliament—in which Stephen Harper has attained a new record for the longest-running minority government in Canadian history—...
    "Harper has done a better job with a minority Conservative government ... than any other Conservative minority, better than Diefenbaker, better than [Joe] Clark, except for Diefenbaker from '57 to '58, which was phenomenal.

    By Blogger wilson, at 12:33 a.m.  

  • Reread that sentence. And hey, at least Dief won a huge majority on his second try.

    "Stephen Harper, much like Meighen and Clark, only ever in the minority."

    By Blogger JG, at 12:40 a.m.  

  • PMSH won a majority in the ROC in 2008, 54%.
    Dief didn't have the BLOC to work around.
    And Chretien had a divided right.

    By Blogger wilson, at 12:52 a.m.  

  • If people are talking about whether or not Ignatieff is going to support a coalition, instead of the deficit, Harper has succeeded.

    Incidentally, I think getting this issue out there was more about placating the Tory base precisely so Harper can do things like make a deal with the NDP.

    Thinking personally about my reaction to coalition last December (I probably qualify as a member of the Tory base) it was probably the first time in my life I would be willing to march in the streets to protest something. If I was not convinced by Ignatieff (and most Tories are not predisposed to be) I could see the threat of coalition factoring highly in my decision to vote (I have missed some elections because it is harder to vote as an ex-pat).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 1:52 a.m.  

  • wilson is redefining apologist in this thread. But but but!!!

    By Blogger Jon Pertwee, at 8:51 a.m.  

  • H2H: "If people are talking about whether or not Ignatieff is going to support a coalition, instead of the deficit, Harper has succeeded."

    Excellent point.

    Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of the hat ... nothing up my sleeve ...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 a.m.  

  • Actually, I'm wondering if Iggy has ever heard of John Tory. If not, he should give him a call. He might be surprised what he finds out.

    By Anonymous herringchoker, at 1:26 p.m.  

  • When will the questions start within the LPC about whether Bob Rae will merge the Liberal and NDP parties into one socialist powerhouse?

    By Blogger Paul, at 11:54 a.m.  

  • I just think it will be challenging for Harper to sustain this coalition threat for 2 months if Ignatieff is so categorical about it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:19 a.m.  

  • Particularly if Harper forms a Conservative-NDP "coalition" to pass this ways & means motion...

    By Anonymous garth, at 12:35 p.m.  

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