Brian Topp's Coalition Memoirs

150 posts / 0 new
Last post
KenS

I suspect they never even raised it because they knew it would be a deal breaker. There wasn't time for anyone in those negotiations to work at forcing or finessing one of their favourite but doomed hobby horses into some recognition.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Chester Drawers wrote:

Wasteful spending by government such as this subsidy, government advertizing, useless gun registry, federal sponsorships of tradeshows and cultural events, oceans and fisheries in landlocked Saskatchewan and the like are the reasons that health charities are needed.  Money that should be spent on the core infrastructure for society is wasted on non essentials.  Government should be run like you or I run our household budget.  Necessities first and luxuries after.  If the money isn't there then we wait until it is there.

How telling that the spending of scant millions for democracy tops Chester's list of irritants, while multiple billions spent to kill brown people for oil and empire goes conspicuously unnoticed.

Chester Drawers

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

Chester Drawers wrote:

Wasteful spending by government such as this subsidy, government advertizing, useless gun registry, federal sponsorships of tradeshows and cultural events, oceans and fisheries in landlocked Saskatchewan and the like are the reasons that health charities are needed.  Money that should be spent on the core infrastructure for society is wasted on non essentials.  Government should be run like you or I run our household budget.  Necessities first and luxuries after.  If the money isn't there then we wait until it is there.

How telling that the spending of scant millions for democracy tops Chester's list of irritants, while multiple billions spent to kill brown people for oil and empire goes conspicuously unnoticed.

I assume you mean Afganistan.  On one hand how do you respond to 911, do nothing, bomb the hell out of the country, or negotiate with a philosophy that would skin you alive for being a Kaffur?  What should we have done?  We (NATO) have been there too long now and that is because of the lack of balls from many NATO countries.  If 911 never occured that money would have been spent at home, I agree.

KenS

Not that its unusual, but we're getting far away from the topic. 

More to the point: the tangents revolve around Ches, and there really isn't any possible meeting ground with him on any of this.

Summer

 

I've been following Topp's articles and find them fascinating.  This part is particularly interesting:

 

Quote:
I turned to thinking about how to crack this Liberal position. At the end of the day, I reasoned, Mr. Dion needed an agreement with us more than we needed one with him. If the accord failed it might damage the NDP to some extent but our base would see it for what it was, a good try to rid the country of the Conservative government and to replace it with a more progressive one. Mr. Dion on the other hand would not be prime minister and would not be leader of the Liberal Party. It was all-or-nothing for him. So there was no reason to play this game with Mr. Dion's team. It seemed to me what we needed to do was try to get Mr. Dion's negotiators to set out whatever their real bottom line was in this discussion, and then report out so that Jack Layton could take the matter up directly with Mr. Dion.

Note, the language: Dion is referenced in the singular; the NDP, in the plural: Dion needed "us more than we needed him"  The NDP was united.  The Libs were divided - as they always are. 

The NDP wanted the coalition (and had wanted it for some time it seems) because this was their best chance to govern and have some meaningful say in what's going on.  The Liberal Party (at the time) still thought they were the natural governing party who would ultimately return to power with or without the NDP.  Dion, on the other hand, knew that this was his last shot to be PM.  He'd already announced his intention not to run for PM.  Dion's interests were not necessarily in line with those of his party.  Iggy did not want the coalition for his own self-interest.  If Dion became leader of the coalition, this would delay his shot at the leadership.  Who knows where the rest of the party stood.  The Libs spend so much time back-stabbing, in-fighting and attempting to make powerplays, it's no wonder they're in such disarray. 

Another thing that is interesting to learn from Topp is that although the negotiations around the coalition happened quickly, the NDP had done its homework and had good plans in place for how to run a coalition.  They had done research from other jurisdictions.  Harper, the GG and Iggy killed the coalition the first go around but I don't think it's dead.  With the Libs doing so badly in the polls, maybe the idea will resurface.  Unfortunately for the NDP, it seems that the Liberals' loss is the Cons gain and not the NDP's ...Query whether the NDP is still interested (I suspect they are) and whether the Libs can put individual self-interest aside ( I suspect they can't) or finally realize that they're not the natural governing party and this is good for the party and the country (this they might be able to do)

remind remind's picture

From today's account....

Quote:
They reported seeing Ignatieff and Kory Teneycke, the Prime Minister’s communications director, huddled together in an intense conversation that went on for some time.

And thus Harper was given time to devise his sabatoge, by the obvious sell out...Iggy....

janfromthebruce

Iggy sells out - no surprise - what I loved about living that observation dangling and not proposing suggestions in what that meant - was that readers were easily able to "connect the dots". Do you really want to elect the liberals with a leader who is as sleazy as that? One who is more than willing to pull the rug from under his own party - sellout - for his own political self-interest? That's the gem that is embedded there and plays into the framed national narrative that Iggy is about Iggy and the country be damned.

Is this person PM material - remember this is the individual who would be the supreme role model of ethics and morals - not!

Good on Brian for revealing that slimeball!

 

NDPP

I'm still waiting for him to get to this part:

http://www.canadaeast.com/news/article/500862

KenS

Why?

We already know the answer: the NDP agreed that the Coalition govt would follow the Liberals stand. Topp isn't going to cover every policy question they covered. If it comes up, it'll be part of the story of overall horse trading. No coalition without that.

Chester Drawers

Brian Topp G & M

 

"At which point Marlene Jennings exploded. "I want to say a few things," she said.

She informed us, emphatically, that the coalition proposal was not selling well with her Liberal colleagues because it implied that NDP Members of Parliament might gain access to cabinet jobs. Liberal MPs had been waiting for many years for those positions, she explained, and they did not accept that people from some other party might take their places in line."

 

This is priceless. Entitled to their entitlements. Brian has provided some very interesting insight to the coalition development and implementation. A lot of work by many.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

And thus we see the first useful post ever written by CD.

Remember this date. It may be the last.

remind remind's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:
Iggy sells out - no surprise - what I loved about living that observation dangling and not proposing suggestions in what that meant - was that readers were easily able to "connect the dots". Do you really want to elect the liberals with a leader who is as sleazy as that? One who is more than willing to pull the rug from under his own party - sellout - for his own political self-interest? That's the gem that is embedded there and plays into the framed national narrative that Iggy is about Iggy and the country be damned.

Is this person PM material - remember this is the individual who would be the supreme role model of ethics and morals - not!

Good on Brian for revealing that slimeball!

At this point one wonders if he is actually a Conservative plant in the Liberal Party?

 

Everything he has done in the last year, well documented here in all the Ignatieff threads, has further diminished the Liberal Party and it would seem the first public indication was the huddled meeting of a year ago...

But then again they are at heart the same evil thing anyway......

 

 

madmax

Chester Drawers wrote:
This is priceless. Entitled to their entitlements. Brian has provided some very interesting insight to the coalition development and implementation. A lot of work by many.

I wanted to comment on a few of your other points and would have but for thread drift. Regardless, good to see you steer back into the thread. The sense of entitlement is troubling.  This is some great background reading. I also agree with some of the other posters who read the article in that the NDP were Coalition seeking and saw the situation as the LPC needing the Public Funding and thus the LPC would become interested working with the NDP. The other obvious point is that Dion is seeking to revive his prospects and it is clear he needed the coalition more then the NDP needed one.  Thus, any strategist would realize to kill LPC support for the coalition, you back off on the public funds and await internal LPC divisions to implode the agreement.  The CPC did their part, but this wasn't enough to stop a coalition, but Ignatieffs desire for power will take over the train when Dion stalls the engine, live and on TV.... I am hoping the Six Parter goes as far as Dions Television appearance.  To know what the NDP insiders were thinking after Dions "performance" would be entertaining. 

Stockholm

THis series is fantastic reading. It ought to be made into a CBC mini-series!

NorthReport

Stock I agree.

This says it all, doesn't it.

The 2 people most threatened by the coalition killed it plain and simple.

All the BS in the press about the coalition not being popular was exactly that: BS

Thanks Canadian msp & journalists for screwing Canadians over once again.

Quote:
Around 1 a.m., Layton and McGrath returned from the press gallery dinner. They reported seeing Ignatieff and Kory Teneycke, the Prime Minister’s communications director, huddled together in an intense conversation that went on for some time.

That didn’t sound encouraging.

It was time to call it a day.

 

Polunatic2

Interesting series.

Chester Drawers

"All the BS in the press about the coalition not being popular was exactly that: BS"

 

The coalition was unpopular with many westerners and rural ridings. The rallies, letters to the editors and talkshows were proof of this. I believe if the coalition was to have succeeded the political landscape and unity of this country would have been damaged beyond repair.

The four western premiers even held an emergency meeting over this, Wall, Campbell, Stelmach met personally and Doer by conference call. I would like to hear what happened at that meeting in Dec. 2008. That too would ba an interesting read.

 

NorthReport

You meant to say a campaign organized by the Cons.

 

Don't worry Canada is a lot more resilient than that - look we are even surviving, barely though, having Harper as PM. Laughing

NorthReport

Huh?

The new government's shape

Coalition redux: In the third of three parts, the NDP strategist reveals the Liberal negotiating team's reticence to cough up cabinet positions

NorthReport

 

Are you reading Brian Topp’s series about the coalition thingie yet?
by Paul Wells on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 12:07pm - 56 Comments

You should be. Laughing

 

 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/12/02/are-you-reading-brian-topps-series-about-the-coalition-thingie-yet/

NorthReport

What was Bob Rae up to when all this was going on?

KenS

Trying to ride the coalition to being Leader- definitely promoting it.

NorthReport

- from one of the globe readers

12/3/2009 12:17:56 AM
Mr. Sharp, I see you are back on the job with your diatribes trying to prop up the leaky Con job done on the coalition last year. Do you feel like you have your finger in the dike? Anyway, you failed to reply to my post last time, and it is still relevant as I see you are spouting the same tired Con arguments. So I am giving you another chance to reply. If you can't reply, then please stop repeating yourself. Here is what I said:

Come on Mr. Sharp, coalitions are legal and legitimate. They are a product of elected representatives working together. Mr. Harper said during the election that he would work with parliament but then, as has been well-documented, he went back on his word. Coalescing before an election is pointless because everyone is hoping for a majority and no one is sure how well they are going to do.

Admit it, you appear to be an intelligent guy. The coalition as illegitimate argument was cynically used by the Cons to manipulate those in the electorate who were naive as to how a parliamentary democracy works. How do we know this for sure? Because the Cons had proposed a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc some years before to unseat Mr. Martin.

By the way, your references to the separatists in this coalition are false. As Mr. Topp had demonstrated in his column, this was a Lib-NDP coalition. The Bloc was not included but was expected to support it in the same way they had previously supported the Cons.

'nuff said. Con lies have been exposed. The electorate is increasing savvy to what really went on. The Cons will never get a majority.

NorthReport

Coalition redux: Things come together

 

Dawn Black (8:26 a.m.): “Ujjal. We just spoke. He said we must be hard line – not give an inch to the Conservatives no matter what they bring forward. His view was that Peter J[ulian] and Paul Dewar left an impression on TV we would consider a new package if one is brought forward from the Conservatives.”

This, of course, is exactly what Dosanjh and his Liberal colleagues themselves would agree to do only a few days later.

 

-------------------------------

 

Tomorrow: Things Fall Apart

 

://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/brian-topp/coalition-redux-things-come-together/article1386199/

 

 

Stockholm

"The coalition was unpopular with many westerners and rural ridings."

so?? The Tories are currently unpopular with many easterners and urban ridings (and quite a few people out west and in rural ridings vote something other than Tory as well!)

NorthReport

This really wants to make you go out there and beat the drum for the Liberals doesn't it.

Wait until Canadians have had a chance to digest this stuff.

 

Quote:
It was time for another Dawn Black moment.

Black picked up the cudgel, demanding to know what the Liberals had against families and children, especially given all the complaining they had done about the fate of their last-days-of-Martin press releases about childcare.

The Liberal front-line seemed extremely embarrassed to defend the position they were taking, and as the discussion proceeded more and more of the Liberal talking was being done by their leader’s office research staffer.

He argued, relentlessly and repetitively, that no spending commitments must be made that would be “structural spending.” Helping families and children, to his mind, was “structural spending,” and so nothing could be done about child poverty or the real-world consequences of unemployment to average Canadian families.

It was fascinating to look at the Liberal team during this exchange. They looked ashamed of themselves. They also looked defeated and powerless. How many times during their recent decade in office, I wondered, had elected Liberals had expressions like that on their faces, while staff and bureaucrats chanted neo-con blather? Permanent tax cuts for wealthy individuals and business were “investments.” Help for poor families was “structural spending.”

Black was on a bottom line. She spelled it out for the arrogant young Liberal staffer. If there was nothing about child poverty and childcare in the agreement, Black said, then there would be no agreement and no coalition government.

Ed Broadbent, author of a landmark motion in the House of Commons calling for concrete steps to end child poverty in Canada, unanimously adopted, backed her up strongly.

 

janfromthebruce

wow - I'm lovin it. The liberals - we are progressive mask just got ripped off - the liberal ship is run by their corporate masters and each one of those liberal MPs are sellouts. What's running through my head is the tune, befitting for this scene, "if I only had a brain".... I could.... that for those liberals sitting there not doing squat!

Thank goodness there were some caring ADULTS in the room!

bekayne

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

I'm still waiting for him to get to this part:

http://www.canadaeast.com/news/article/500862

Looks like he won't

nicky

I read on some forgotten blog that after Parliament was prorogued there was a meeting of several important bankers and top Liberals. The message was sent that if you ally with the NDP you will never again receive any support from us. Don't know where I read this or if it is true but it sounds like it might be, particularly considering the opposition to the coalition from various right-wing Liberals like Manley and Ignatieff.

Can anyone elaborate on this? I am also very interested in what went on behind the scenes with the Liberals leading to Ignatieff's retreat from the coalition.I know there was an obvious split with people like Bob Rae openly in favour of the coalition.

Can anyone shed light on this? There are only two more intalments in Brian Topp's series and I don't know how much he will be able to tell us about internal Liberal politics.

KenS

Personally, I think it was an urbam myth. It didn't even have any reference to unamed sources. More of an apocrophyl story of what was said at some meeting.

Bankers may well have expressed being unhappy- and that matters- but they don't have substantial direct purse strings. The solidarity of the like minded people has plently of effect on what goes on in the Liberal Party of Canada, without attributing more to it.

Brian Topp isn't going to delve that much into Liberal internal politics. Certainly not its murky depths. Their internal politics is just a part of the story.

And Iggy didn't "retreat" from the coalition. He made it clear he never liked it, and that his signing on the dotted line while Dion was still leader was just because he had to.

That said, I still don't think it was ruled out that once he was leader he might have decided it was the right way to go.

But we're getting ahead of the story, and should first let Brian tell it.

janfromthebruce

That idea that bankers told the Liberals to toe the line - I believe - came from Lisa Riatte's (sp) assistant when she left her tape recorder in a public washroom and a press person found it (Halifax press) and released all the juicy tidbits. It sounds like that came from the run back in the winter and played out in MSM, where thea AID was fired.

KenS

Exactly. A story told in private by a not very credible source with an axe to grind.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

But remember, when the story broke, the Liberals didn't do much to deny it. John McCallum said, "You don't think they'd actually say that in public , do you?" (implying that these kind of marching orders are expected, but usually made in a much more subtle manner).

BTW, the Afghanistan story is pure spin, disguised (not very well) as journalism. The NDP never abandoned its position on withdrawal; it just recongnized that, as the minority partner in the coalition, it wasn't going to get its way on the matter

remind remind's picture

So much for Liberal whining here about no national child care when Martin went down to defeat.....

NorthReport

I think this is the first time  I have ever seen constructive articles about the federal NDP in the msp for more than one day in a row.

How did they let it slip through. Laughing

janfromthebruce

I believe that Topps blog is very popular! He's a great writer and the Globe is not going to tamper with something that is bringing a wider readership to their virtual door step!

NorthReport

Tomorrow's blog should be fascinating.

What really happened with the Cons getting a transcript?

Did the NDP actually screw up with their distribution list, or was there a covert taping process going on?

 

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that. 

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he s

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have phoned

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have phoned in

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have phoned in to

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have phoned in to the

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have phoned in to the Caucus

ottawaobserver

I'm told it was a slip of the finger ... DuncaJ instead of DuncaL, or something like that.  Of course he should not have phoned in to the Caucus meeting,

Pages