Here's Stephen Harper's plan to win the 2015 election

340 posts / 0 new
Last post
Debater
Here's Stephen Harper's plan to win the 2015 election

August 8, 2014

MARK KENNEDY

----

Ever so slowly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s strategy for winning the 2015 election is becoming clear.

It will be built on four pillars: Economic management and tax cuts; a hard-nosed approach to crime; a “principled” foreign policy that stands up to international tyrants and terrorists; and a simple mantra to discredit and destroy Harper’s biggest threat — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

In the coming weeks and months, the blueprint will be rolled out in dozens of ways.

So-called “union bosses” will be castigated for trying to influence the next election, and “media elites” will be accused of being cheerleaders for Trudeau.

At every step, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Trudeau will attack Harper for trying to manipulate voters.

----

Rest of article here:

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/heres-stephen-harpers-plan-to-win...

ilha formosa

Surely the Libs and NDP would form a coalition if the Cons get a plurality but fail to get a majority.

I would like that better than the Libs getting the plurality, as the current crunching at 308.com has it.

Quote:
With the aggregate levels of support, the Liberals would likely win 154 seats, with 115 seats going to the Conservatives, 64 seats to the New Democrats, 4 seats to the Bloc Québécois, and 1 seat to the Greens.

Debater

The Liberal seat number probably won't be that high.  Grénier's latest projection includes the new Forum poll which has Liberal support over 40%, and so it's probably too generous a Liberal number unless Harper completely implodes or is hit by another huge scandal.  It's going to be a close race in 2015, and it would be foolish for the Liberals to get overconfident like they did under Ignatieff's leadership.  Professor Barry Kay predicts a close Liberal/Conservative race in 2015, and that sounds right to me.  Harper is ruthless, and won't go down without a fight.

All we know right now is that the Liberals are clearly doing better than the NDP, and as Chantal Hébert says in her new column, the Libs are seen as the main alternative to the Conservatives.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/08/08/unease_growing_in_thomas_m...

 

Sean in Ottawa

A recovery by the NDP is not impossible so I would not say that a 2-way race is exactly how it will be in 2015. If you count the NDP out this far away from an election that would qualify as Liberals being overconfident.

If the Conservatives track lower than the last election even with the two parties closer than they are now the Conservatives are unlikely to get a majority.

And there is always the possibility that the Conservatives could win seats as some NDP supporters make the mistake that the Liberals are ahead in their riding and split the vote when they think they are voting strategically.

For the NDP at this point I see plausible scenarios for anything between government and losing party status. The party needs to understand how either of these can happen and do what it must to improve the chance of the former and reduce the chance of the latter. I lose confidence when the party does not recognize just how wide the range of possible outcomes actually is. Based on what I am not seeing from the NDP there may be a risk of complacency in the NDP as well. In fact that might be the one thing uniting all three parties.

jjuares

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

A recovery by the NDP is not impossible so I would not say that a 2-way race is exactly how it will be in 2015. If you count the NDP out this far away from an election that would qualify as Liberals being overconfident.

If the Conservatives track lower than the last election even with the two parties closer than they are now the Conservatives are unlikely to get a majority.

And there is always the possibility that the Conservatives could win seats as some NDP supporters make the mistake that the Liberals are ahead in their riding and split the vote when they think they are voting strategically.

For the NDP at this point I see plausible scenarios for anything between government and losing party status. The party needs to understand how either of these can happen and do what it must to improve the chance of the former and reduce the chance of the latter. I lose confidence when the party does not recognize just how wide the range of possible outcomes actually is. Based on what I am not seeing from the NDP there may be a risk of complacency in the NDP as well. In fact that might be the one thing uniting all three parties.


I don't understand how the NDP can be complacent and yet I think they are. I believe that they feel Trudeau is going to make a gaffe which will destroy his support and they will pick up the anti-Harper vote. I wouldn't 'be surprised if they believe that they can make an issue of Trudeau's miserable performance in parliament. That worked with Ignatieff but won't work this time. A good example of the old axiom: generals are always planning to fight the last war not the next one.

Hunky_Monkey

Why do you think they're complacent?  Mulcair knows the organizational groundwork has to be there if we have any hope of winning.  So while Trudeau may be all flash and getting the media attention, he's the hare in this race while Mulcair is the tortoise.

Michael Ignatieff was the main alternative too according to the media and Ignatieff himself... "There’s a blue door and a red door in this election.” 

How'd that work out for the Liberals?

ilha formosa

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

A recovery by the NDP is not impossible so I would not say that a 2-way race is exactly how it will be in 2015...there is always the possibility that the Conservatives could win seats as some NDP supporters make the mistake that the Liberals are ahead in their riding and split the vote when they think they are voting strategically...For the NDP at this point I see plausible scenarios for anything between government and losing party status...I lose confidence when the party does not recognize just how wide the range of possible outcomes actually is. 

There’s still a way to go, and the 3 big parties will be in play to the end, at least in vote-splitting dynamics as Sean mentioned. There would have to be a major shift somewhere from current trends for Harper to get another catastrophic majority. It’s up to the Atlantic, GTA, MB, SK, and BC to combine and prevent that. Trudeau has to play it safe, recruit good candidates and keep learning. Mulcair has to attack Harper as he has been doing. The most likely place for a major shift occurring is Quebec, which will be the main NDP-Lib battleground.

I’m expecting a minority government. I’d be surprised if the electorate gave the Libs a majority in this Trudeau's first run, while realistically an NDP majority is still a pipe-dream right now. With the BQ hopefully remaining a minor force, a Frankenstein coalition would not be needed to govern. The blind and forgetful among Harper’s followers will learn that yes, a second-place party can form government. Here are some combinations (assuming away a Lib-Con coalition):

Con plurality, Libs 2nd, NDP 3rd - Neophyte PM Trudeau would have to include ND cabinet ministers. It would be the NDP’s opportunity to outshine the Libs while keeping the government stable and passing good legislation.

Con plurality, NDP 2nd, Libs 3rd - Long shot for a PM Mulcair; the Libs have to mess up badly before the election; and/or Mulcair has to sweep Quebec.

Lib plurality, Cons 2nd, NDP 3rd - The Libs could govern by getting support from either large opposition party bill by bill. Preventing this scenario might be one reason for the NDP not agreeing to electoral cooperation, for example as proposed by Elizabeth May. A Con plurality suits the NDP’s interests better. Would the NDP even risk allowing a Con majority while trying to prevent a Lib plurality?

Malcontent

With new seats for BC, Ont and AB I would say all of them will go con, then the gerry rigging of ridings for redistribution and vote splitting I would say Harper could and may well win a minority and do not count on Libs/NDP to form a coalition to take power away either. Plus the Cons and Libs there is really not that much difference between the two.

A lot can happen between now and fixed election date in Oct 2015 including Harper calling a snap election this fall or next spring.

If voter turnout continues to decline it will help Harper.

Man how I wish we had fair voting in this country instead of the FPTP

Pondering

Hunky_Monkey wrote:

Why do you think they're complacent?  Mulcair knows the organizational groundwork has to be there if we have any hope of winning.  So while Trudeau may be all flash and getting the media attention, he's the hare in this race while Mulcair is the tortoise.

Michael Ignatieff was the main alternative too according to the media and Ignatieff himself... "There’s a blue door and a red door in this election.” 

How'd that work out for the Liberals?

Ignatieff didn't have the support of the rank and file. The NDP had never, and still has never, won a federal election. The "Orange Crush" was unexpected. I don't believe it is at all possible for the NDP to win. Like last time, more people will flip to the Conservatives if they think there is a chance of the NDP winning.  In my opinion they should focus on second place if they don't want to fall into third. 

Jacob Two-Two

Well, who could possibly fail to heed such well-meaning advice? Gosh, Pondering. Your desire for NDP success is so acute, it's a wonder you're not a party member.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

My main goal in 2015 is making sure that the Harper experiment gets kicked to the curb with the rest of the garbage.

I'm a free agent voter and hope to see the Opposition start getting their act together.

Jacob Two-Two

Personally, I can't see a credible scenario that leads to the Liberal surge some are worried about. I really feel that if Justin was able to do that, it would have happened by now.

Mulcair needs a campaign to introduce himself to Canadians, but JT is already a household name. His media exposure is huge, he was already famous before he became an MP, let alone Liberal leader. And as I say all the time, Canadians love to vote Liberal. It's a safe, traditional, responsible choice in people's minds. At any time in the last ten years, if the Liberals had a sharp populist leader they would have swept the country. That's still true, and yet it isn't happening. Despite Justin being a well-known entity, gushed over in the media for more than a year, Liberal numbers are still stuck in the low thirties. Why would people turn to the Liberals later if they haven't already?

Of course, you could say the same about the NDP. A lot will depend on the campaign and who comes off more impressively, but given that the NDP are not a default option for most Canadians, and the Liberals are, I think that the fact that so many voters are still reserving judgement is a positive sign for the NDP. Add to that the fact that the NDP have run better campaigns than the Liberals in the last three elections, and I think it's in pretty good shape here.

That's not to say that I don't share many of the concerns that others have expressed. It's true that the NDP desperately needs to find a few good policies that will clearly distinguish them from the Liberals while also crafting a strong narrative of where they want to lead Canada. I am as worried as anyone that they will fail to do this, but it's still a long time until the election and nobody in any party seems willing to let much go in terms of policy. I am still trusting that they are more lying in wait than dropping the ball.

Sean in Ottawa

I can see such a scenario easily.

I wonder why you can't -- pretty obvious that this is the direction we are on.

If you think people will only vote for people of obvious top quality just take a look at Toronto and Ford.

If you think that Trudeau will fall to Conservative or NDP attacks consider that the attack ads in the next election may not work at all as people take them as the partisan garbage they often are. Many voters may even just disbelieve anything negative they hear of Trudeau.

The Liberals are running Obama level social media campaigns if you have not noticed while the NDP are lagging behind the Greens online.

The Conservatives are vulnerable as an old government but are holding on to much of their support. It is possible that there will be a catharsis as often happens during an election with an old government. Trudeau is best positioned to pick up support leaving the Conservatives if they fall at the last moment. I think there will be a very, very strong anti-Harper moment in the next election.

The NDP looks complacent and could well watch the trends sweep them by. There seems a strong NDP idea that the party can come from a crappy third to do well just becuase Layton did that last time forgetting that the Orange crush was special, almost magical, and very, very rare. I think the biggest enemy of the NDP is the idea that they can repeat the kind of opularity increase that happened during the last election.

Like it or not, more people think that could happen to Trudeau than to Mulcair. And your personal opinions of Trudeau won't matter at all.

If the NDP wants to be in the next campaign with any hope they need to be making some moves now.

ilha formosa

Malcontent wrote:

and do not count on Libs/NDP to form a coalition to take power away either.

Why not, if they have the numbers? And if it meant Trudeau or Mulcair instead of Harper as PM, with maybe even cabinet posts for both parties?

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Watching the NDP trend further and further to the centre,why not have a coalition?

A centrist,corporate-friendly government socially to the left on issues of choice but on little else.

Still sounds better than what we got.

It would also make for an interesting cabinet.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Neither the Liberals nor Conservatives, if they win a minority government, will form a coalition with the NDP.  If the NDP wins then the Liberals might consider some kind of deal.  If the Liberals win then they will try to govern just like Harper did when he had a minority. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Neither the Liberals nor Conservatives, if they win a minority government, will form a coalition with the NDP.  If the NDP wins then the Liberals might consider some kind of deal.  If the Liberals win then they will try to govern just like Harper did when he had a minority. 

I agree with all of these, but I think the most interesting case would be something like this:

Con: 150 seats

Lib: 93 seats

NDP: 89 seats

BQ: 4 seats

Grn: 2 seats

In this case, there would be great pressure on Trudeau not to allow Harper to continue in government, given that the other 3 non-separatist parties would have 184 seats to the Cons 150. And given the fact that the NDP would have only slightly fewer seats than the Libs, he would probably have to offer them major policy concessions, and cabinet positions. But would the oligarchs allow this to happen? I don't know, and that's why it's interesting to me.

Sean in Ottawa

Or like Martin...

Debater

jjuares wrote:
I don't understand how the NDP can be complacent and yet I think they are. I believe that they feel Trudeau is going to make a gaffe which will destroy his support and they will pick up the anti-Harper vote.

Perhaps NDP HQ (& Mulcair himself?) underestimates Justin's intelligence & abilities the way some of the NDP partisans on this board do.  Look at te threads here - I've seen Trudeau referred to as all flash, a dunce, his mother's son, etc.  All very insulting & ignorant comments, but also very inaccurate.  Justin Trudeau is very smart in many ways.  Many of the NDP partisans have obviously not read Dr. Daniel Goleman's groundbreaking book "Emotional Intelligence" and the associated research from the past several decades.  It is not just your academic IQ which determines your intelligence & success, but your other abilities in people skills, leadership, emotional understanding, social connections & relationships.

The intellectual snobbery displayed by some NDP partisans reminds me of the way Ignatieff & other failed intellectual candidates came across.  They don't realize that elections (like life in general) are not determined by who is the most intellectual or who has the most degrees after their name.  It is determined by the people who are best able to connect with the public and who do the best job of resonating with voters.  Personality, charisma, people skills & relationships are of vital importance to leaders, and have been throughout the centuries if you read history & politics from earlier ages.

Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush & Rob Ford and many others were underestimated by their opponents because they weren't intellectuals.  Their ability to campaign and connect with average voters was underestimated by their opponents.  Voters don't usually like intellectual leaders (Pierre Trudeau was an exception to the rule).  Most of the time people are turned off by snobs & elitists or people who think they are superior because they have a PHd from Harvard.  Dion & Ignatieff found that out.  The question is, will the NDP continue to underestimate Justin Trudeau's emotional intelligence?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Debater wrote:

Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush & Rob Ford and many others were underestimated by their opponents because they weren't intellectuals.

I am mildly amused that you feel driven to use these three as role models for JT. If I saw my leader on that list, I'd be having second thoughts. Liberals, however, seem to care only about winning, and not at all about what they will do to improve the country after they win.

Jacob Two-Two

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I can see such a scenario easily.

I wonder why you can't -- pretty obvious that this is the direction we are on.

I thought I was clear about my line of thought. Though I have said in the past that Justin will fall on his face I'm not saying that right now. I'm just wondering, given how well known he is already and how little it takes to convince Canadians to vote Liberal, why would he not already have all this support that people think might flock to him? What's holding them back?

It makes sense that potential NDP voters would be waiting until the last minute to make their decision. That's what people do when they are considering something out of the norm. But the opposite is true for the Liberals. If there's a lot of support that the Liberals are going to scoop up in the future, what are they waiting for? And what is going to happen to convince them?

Sean in Ottawa

I am not suggesting the growth will come so much from NDP supporters unless that is a response to momentum. As the next campaign unfolds I think there will be a very strong rejection of Harper that may drive CPC support down to the low 20s. Public opinion can bandwagon and I think if that happens Trudeau will benefit and it won't even be about him. We could see large numbers of Conservatives stay home if they realize they are going down badly and we could see the people that supported Harper who are not particularly strong Conservatives vote Liberal. A shift of 5% like this would have a massive effect. The NDP could get caught badly. The NDP usually don't get outright majorities and tend to lose when either the Conservatives or Liberals tank.If corruption by the CPC or more scandals break and there is no hope of winning Conservatives may stay home and wait for the house to get cleaned. Or some could vote Liberal.

Anything could happen the next election could be very unpredictable.

Jacob Two-Two

Well, I can't agree. If the Cons went down to 20% then yes, a lot of wacky shit might happen, but their core voters largely despise the other parties. I can't buy a scenario in which the Cons sink this low. Why wouldn't this have happened already at some point? If only for a little while. Like when they "lost" 3 billion dollars from the budget, or when they were caught throwing cash around in the Senate and trying to cover it up. There's been plenty of opportunity for disgruntled Conservatives to express their displeasure but through it all their floor seems to be about 28%. I would be shocked to see them go below this, no matter how badly the campaign goes.

Sean in Ottawa

Because it has not happened.

When the dam breaks the water will flow. Momentum.

It likely will be fashionable to be against the Conservatives in that election.

This is the reason most leaders in Harper's position resign. They don't allow that to happen because they jump before things tilt that far. Harper does not seem to be doing that. Very seldom does a leader well past his sell by date come back anyway. Going for over a decade in power is risky because it can wreck your party.

Jacob Two-Two

See I feel like you're describing Liberal voters, but not Conservative ones. Some people break wherever the wind is going, but Con supporters tend to be crankier and more obstinate.

I mean, it's not impossible, but it would be unprecedented. Then again, the last election was unprecedented too.

Sean in Ottawa

Voter participation dropped 5% between 1988 and 1993. 1988 was the same as 1984 so it was not just a Free Trade bump. When governments change hands usually voter participation goes up like it did in 2006 and in 1979 and even 1963. But it seems as excited as some people were to dump the Conservatives which would have encouraged many to get out and vote, there were many Conservatives staying home so the vote rate went down.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I am not a conservative fan by any means, but if the conservatives get the highest number of seats, they have the right to try and govern. In the scenario above where the Tories would get 150, Lib 93, NDP 89, it would almost certainly be a Tory government which would only need 30 or 40 Liberal abstentions. If the Libs and the NDP (and possibly others) try to create a coalition, Harper will do the Histrionic Constitutional Crisis deal which everyone will buy into, and the GG (who he appointed) will sign off on his pleas.

If the Liberals moved back into second position with Trudeau as the opposition leader, they might not be willing to dump Harper on a non-confidence motion so fast. They would at least want to wait it out for 15-18 months as is customary.

It would be nice for many reasons, but I think a coalition is a non-starter. It's also not a good political position to take before an election. You have to assume you are going to win it all, until election day when you psychologically prepare to lose it all. Once the cards have fallen, then you might be able to talk coalitions as they did in Ontario to keep out Frank Miller.

ilha formosa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

If the NDP wins then the Liberals might consider some kind of deal.  If the Liberals win then they will try to govern just like Harper did when he had a minority. 

If the NDP won a plurality, what would prevent them from behaving like a Harper minority? 

jjuares

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater wrote:

Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush & Rob Ford and many others were underestimated by their opponents because they weren't intellectuals.

I am mildly amused that you feel driven to use these three as role models for JT. If I saw my leader on that list, I'd be having second thoughts. Liberals, however, seem to care only about winning, and not at all about what they will do to improve the country after they win.


We'll I guess we can at least be reassured that he didn't make a favourable comparison between JT and Vlad the Impaler.

jjuares

jjuares wrote:
Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater wrote:

Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush & Rob Ford and many others were underestimated by their opponents because they weren't intellectuals.

I am mildly amused that you feel driven to use these three as role models for JT. If I saw my leader on that list, I'd be having second thoughts. Liberals, however, seem to care only about winning, and not at all about what they will do to improve the country after they win.


We'll I guess we can at least take some comfort in the fact that he didn't make a favourable comparison between JT and Vlad the Impaler.

Sean in Ottawa

@Montrealer58

There is no right to govern just by having the most seats. That is a fiction popularized by Harper. In fact there is no particular right to anything coming from having the most seats at all.

The previous government has a right to meet the House and test for confidence through a Throne Speech. They can do this even if they do not have the most seats. Convention has it that they would resign if the chance of getting confidence is zero. Conceivably it might not be

If they meet the House and succeed they can govern until there is a vote of nonconfidence even if there is a party with more seats that never got an opportunity to meet the House as government.

If the outgoing party cannot obtain confidence the Governor General meets with all the leaders and allows one to meet the House and try to obtain Confidence. This might not be the party with the second most seats either. If the House had several parties in it, it is possible that a third place party with enough support from smaller parties might be able to obtain confidence.

So to recap:

1) There are no specific rights to govern-- except by way of winning confidence in a House vote. (That win does not have to be a majority -- plurality is fine so abstentions can play a role.)

2) there are no rights based on number of seats -- the previous government has the right to meet the House first if it wants to.

3) If the outgoing party declines the right to meet the House first (usually happens if there is no way to win a confidence vote) the GG will call on another party to meet the House. Normally this would be the party with the most seats other than the outgoing party so it could be the party with the second most seats or the most seats but it does not have to be. Whichever party can convince the GG that they could win a confidence vote would get the nod. Practically speaking this would be most likely if the party with the most seats had an unpopular leader and another party with a more acceptable leader could convince the House that they could get confidence. With multiple parties and no clear majority, you could have negotiations for days as happens in some countries. All of this shows you why concession speeches on election night are not just a formality. A government that has lost an election normally conceeds defeat the night of the election and so the winning party gets to meet the House. However, as I said if they think they have the numbers through allies they do not need to conceed.

These issues could become important to Canada if we had 5 or more parties with significant numbers of seats and no majority even between two parties that want to work together. Unlikely but possible.

Canadians should know these rules but often even the media get them wrong.

 

Pondering

Jacob Two-Two wrote:
Well, who could possibly fail to heed such well-meaning advice? Gosh, Pondering. Your desire for NDP success is so acute, it's a wonder you're not a party member.

There was no advice in my comment. That is my perception of the political situation in Canada. I suspect that if it were not for polls Jack Layton would have been Prime Minister in 2011. In my opinion fiscally conservative Liberals switched their votes to Conservative to prevent the NDP win, which is why the Liberals had such a horrible showing. If people had been voting "blind" I think we would have had an NDP minority government.

Fiscal conservatives are voting strategically and that will keep the NDP out of power. It's just my opinion but I do think it is valid. They will unite behind the most fiscally right leaning party that has a chance of winning. The MSM didn't even punish Harper for his attitude towards the press. They will happily support Trudeau this time around, they are already prepping.

I am not at all suggesting that NDP voters should switch although I think it would be wise in ridings in which the NDP have no chance and the Liberals do. It's the Conservative party I want to see in steep decline, not the NDP. Nothing could make me happier than seeing the Conservatives in third place.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I said they have a right to 'try and govern'. If Harper gets the most seats he certainly will not concede on election night. Maybe someone else would, but not Harper.

Stockholm

Pondering wrote:

I suspect that if it were not for polls Jack Layton would have been Prime Minister in 2011. In my opinion fiscally conservative Liberals switched their votes to Conservative to prevent the NDP win, which is why the Liberals had such a horrible showing. If people had been voting "blind" I think we would have had an NDP minority government.

You are dead wrong about that. If there had been no polls in the 2011 election campaign the NDP would have won a bunch of seats in Quebec and done very badly everywhere else. Keep in mind that when the 2011 election was called the NDP was polling at about 15% nationwide and two weeks into the campaign polls had NDP support in Ontario in low teens and in some cases even into single digits and things did not look good in Atlantic Canada or BC either...then when polls started showing a surge in NDP support in Quebec it created momentum across the rest of the country. You can't have it both ways - had there been no polls at all in the 2011 election campaign a. much fewer Quebecers would have voted NDP because they would have still thought it was a wasted vote and b. until national polls started propelling NDP support upwards on the strength of Quebec to surpass the Liberals, people in Englihs Canada were not showing any particular interest in voting NDP and the campaign was not going well at all.

Its possible that the polls made some "blue grits" switch to the CPC at the last minute - but those same polls also gave vast numbers of "red grits" who hated Ignatieff and liked Layton permission to vote NDP. 

PS: If you are a "fiscally conservative" voter - what's not to like about the NDP under Mulcair - in some ways they seem less into "tax and spend" than the Liberals.

ilha formosa

montrealer58 wrote:

I said they have a right to 'try and govern'. If Harper gets the most seats he certainly will not concede on election night. Maybe someone else would, but not Harper.

If the Cons win a plurality, I would hope for an election night non-concession speech from the second place leader, and maybe even the third, and a little post-election intrigue as a possible coalition is worked out. Why wouldn't the Libs and NDP work together in such a situation? Are they running to be in opposition?

Malcontent wrote:

Plus the Cons and Libs there is really not that much difference between the two.

Both of them want the reins of power.

 

Sean in Ottawa

montrealer58 wrote:

I said they have a right to 'try and govern'. If Harper gets the most seats he certainly will not concede on election night. Maybe someone else would, but not Harper.

The point is that they have no right to try and govern by virtue of having the most seats. They only get first chance to meet the House and that comes from being the outgoing government. This is important as the Conservatives were peddling this fiction when the coalition came up. There is no right to try and govern at all. Legitimacy comes only from having enough votes to secure confidence in the House. Please make sure you get this right. Many are misled on the issue so we all have to be clear.

nicky

In the event of a Conservative plurality of seats it is important that neither of the opposition leaders "concede" on election night. Harper will no doubt claiim that he has "won" the election and that any other government would be illegitimate. This claim would of course be constitutionally incorrect, but that didnt stop him from saying something similar in 208.

Remember that Gore prematurely conceded to Bush in 2000 and Bush used that to bolster his position notwithstanding that Gore retracted the concession.

Sean in Ottawa

nicky wrote:

In the event of a Conservative plurality of seats it is important that neither of the opposition leaders "concede" on election night. Harper will no doubt claiim that he has "won" the election and that any other government would be illegitimate. This claim would of course be constitutionally incorrect, but that didnt stop him from saying something similar in 208.

Remember that Gore prematurely conceded to Bush in 2000 and Bush used that to bolster his position notwithstanding that Gore retracted the concession.

This is why I am insisting on correcting Montrealer58 firmly. A common misconception but it must be stopped in its tracks. The CPC is trying to rewrite this so if people don't know they could get away with it. In fact it appeared that a majority were confused the last time by the outright lies coming from Harper's people.

The only party with a right to "try and govern" is a party with the confidence of the House. The GG has a duty to find a party that can obtain that confidence. The standing of the party in seats does not matter at all -- only the ability to win a confidence vote.

Tirumithir

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

This is important as the Conservatives were peddling this fiction when the coalition came up. There is no right to try and govern at all. Legitimacy comes only from having enough votes to secure confidence in the House.

Well said.  In 2008, it was particularly amusing to hear Harper make this disingenuous claim, because by this measure Harper's BFF Bibi Netanyahu was not the legitimate prime minister of Israel (Kadima having won more seats than Likud).

ilha formosa

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I think there will be a very, very strong anti-Harper moment in the next election.

I get that sense as well, reading online MSM, including Andrew Coyne. Even better if you meant 'movement.' If not a thousand, then a hundred cuts are starting to slow down their machine. The negatives are adding up and sticking to this old government, I hope retroactively as well, eg. robocalls, contempt of parliament, torture in Afghanistan, Omar Khadr, muzzling of scientists, omnibus bills, gutting of environmental laws, quiet trashing of libraries, UN security council seat, persecution of NGOs, mud-slinging at the Chief Justice, etc, etc, — all adding up to form a bigger picture. Don’t know if this long list would get traction in the campaign, but at the grassroots level a lot of people have been irked, and I would think that comes with a multiplier effect. Like many different rhizomes spreading out a little, then connecting to each other.

montrealer58 wrote:

It would be nice for many reasons, but I think a coalition is a non-starter. It's also not a good political position to take before an election. You have to assume you are going to win it all, until election day when you psychologically prepare to lose it all. Once the cards have fallen, then you might be able to talk coalitions as they did in Ontario to keep out Frank Miller.

No, they wouldn’t campaign on forming a coalition. But nor should they say anything to rule it out during the campaign, leaving options open. Actually, Trudeau and Mulcair should make a few statements to educate the public on how a government is formed. Leaving this to Harper is a dereliction of democratic duty.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Sean in Ottawa, I am sure you are right technically, however people are not going to see it that way. If Harper has the most seats, and he had the previous government, he has a shot at going for a confidence vote. Judging by previous Liberal behaviour in Conservative minority situations, it will mean he will easily win the confidence vote.

jjuares

montrealer58 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa, I am sure you are right technically, however people are not going to see it that way. If Harper has the most seats, and he had the previous government, he has a shot at going for a confidence vote. Judging by previous Liberal behaviour in Conservative minority situations, it will mean he will easily win the confidence vote.


There is a precedence. King governed for a few months even though he came second in seats. Numbers would matter. An even three way split would be very interesting but a strong Harper minority would probably keep him in power.

ilha formosa

montrealer58 wrote:

Judging by previous Liberal behaviour in Conservative minority situations, it will mean he will easily win the confidence vote.

The Diefenbaker minorities did not last more than one year. So I assume you are referring to the period of the weak leaderships of Dion and Ignatieff at a time when Adscam and infighting was fresh, the BQ was strong, and the Liberals were not ready to wage a campaign. I’m not cheering for them, but I think the situation has improved for the Liberals since then.

Debater

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater wrote:

Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush & Rob Ford and many others were underestimated by their opponents because they weren't intellectuals.

I am mildly amused that you feel driven to use these three as role models for JT. If I saw my leader on that list, I'd be having second thoughts. Liberals, however, seem to care only about winning, and not at all about what they will do to improve the country after they win.

Where the heck did I say those three were 'role models' for Justin Trudeau, Mr. Michael Moriarity?  You are putting words in my mouth that I never stated.  When you try to claim I said those guys were role models for Trudeau you make yourself out to be as unethical as Professor Moriarity from Sherlock Holmes.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Debater wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Debater wrote:

Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush & Rob Ford and many others were underestimated by their opponents because they weren't intellectuals.

I am mildly amused that you feel driven to use these three as role models for JT. If I saw my leader on that list, I'd be having second thoughts. Liberals, however, seem to care only about winning, and not at all about what they will do to improve the country after they win.

Where the heck did I say those three were 'role models' for Justin Trudeau, Mr. Michael Moriarity?  You are putting words in my mouth that I never stated.  When you try to claim I said those guys were role models for Trudeau you make yourself out to be as unethical as Professor Moriarity from Sherlock Holmes.

Well, OK, I apologize for using the term "role model". You didn't put them up as role models, but rather as examples of intellectually untalented individuals who nonetheless were able to succeed brilliantly in electoral politics. The apparent purpose being to show that JT, although a dullard with no accomplishments, could very well be successful in elections as well. And thank you for comparing me to my hero, Dr. James Moriarty, renegade mathematician, and Napoleon of crime.

Debater

Nowhere did I say that Justin Trudeau was a dullard, either, or that he had no accomplishments.  The point was to show that intellectual ability and academic prowess are not the only way intelligence or capability is achieved in politics or in life.  As I said, you & other NDPers who put down Justin Trudeau might want to read Dr. Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence" and the associated research and books on the subject.

Most intellectual leaders fail in politics, whereas those who are smart in people skills, leadership, team building and empathy with voters are the ones that are usually successful.

jjuares

Debater wrote:

Nowhere did I say that Justin Trudeau was a dullard, either, or that he had no accomplishments.  The point was to show that intellectual ability and academic prowess are not the only way intelligence or capability is achieved in politics or in life.  As I said, you & other NDPers who put down Justin Trudeau might want to read Dr. Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence" and the associated research and books on the subject.

Most intellectual leaders fail in politics, whereas those who are smart in people skills, leadership, team building and empathy with voters are the ones that are usually successful.


You brought up the comparisons. I for one thought your comparisons were very appropriate and on target. The George W one was especially apt and I am sure if Justin were to achieve his goal he would be every bit as successful in governing our country as George W was in governing his.

Sean in Ottawa

montrealer58 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa, I am sure you are right technically, however people are not going to see it that way. If Harper has the most seats, and he had the previous government, he has a shot at going for a confidence vote. Judging by previous Liberal behaviour in Conservative minority situations, it will mean he will easily win the confidence vote.

Sorry-- I have to press. This is a legal matter when you are talking about rights. Please don't confuse what might get public support and what is legally a right. Please do not confuse the right to take a shot at a confidence vote with "tryi to govern."

Not an excuse to say effectively that since enough people are mistaken it is okay to repeat something that is false. This is a critical part of the parliamentary system we have. If you take this out you won't understand the rest.

And I did say Harper has the opportunity to meet the House first as he led the previous government. But he has no right to try to govern if he does not have a majority. There is no obligation for any party to give him that confidence.

I completely disagree with you if you are suggesting that the Trudeau Liberals would support Harper in a minority even if he has the most seats. Trudeau is not that experienced, may not be the most brilliant and he is certainly not the most articulate but he is not stupid. Trudeau and the Liberals understand that to support Harper after the next election if he has less than 50% of the seats would be absolute suicide. Most likely the Liberal party would lose MPs and never, ever recover. This is not the same situation Ignatieff was in.

Debater

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I completely disagree with you if you are suggesting that the Trudeau Liberals would support Harper in a minority even if he has the most seats. Trudeau is not that experienced, may not be the most brilliant and he is certainly not the most articulate but he is not stupid. Trudeau and the Liberals understand that to support Harper after the next election if he has less than 50% of the seats would be absolute suicide. Most likely the Liberal party would lose MPs and never, ever recover. This is not the same situation Ignatieff was in.

You're right, Sean.  It's one of the many smears made here against Trudeau by the NDP partisans, and it's why Liberal supporters find reading stuff like this so galling.  Not only do they insult Trudeau's intelligence, his character, his mother, his physical appearance, etc. but they also claim without any evidence to support it that Justin is a Harper supporter even though he gets trashed by CPC attack ads every day.  Just last week the CPC accused Justin of basically being an Al-Qaeda agent working with terrorists.  Justin is not going to support Harper.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Considering the privatization of Canadian water resources is the biggest neo-liberal prize on the planet, I can see the Liberals and Cons slithering all over each other like two snakes to get it done. A thirsty American market awaits.

Jacob Two-Two

Justin will do what he's told by his handlers. And his handlers are the same bunch that supported Harper all through the last minority government. Your contention that he will be some kind of major deviation from the scummy traitorous Liberal norm is the one that has no evidence to support it. Our contention that he'll be just like every other rotten, thieving, lying Liberal government before him has plenty of evidence to support it.

Pages