Coalition: breaking news

152 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tommy_Paine

"We'll see." 

Well, it's also possible that as more economic shit hits the fan, as it has today,  people will wonder where the hell parliament is.  Now, I expect Harper's core supporters will still blame that on Taliban Jack, the FLQ and Dion,  but the swing support that doesn't pay a whole lot of attention might not think more than it was Harper who porogued parliament in time of crisis, and left us all in the lurch.

It also gives the Conservative caucus, and back room boys to drift their minds over the fact that it was Harper who snatched a minority government from the jaws of a majority just a few weeks ago, and that he has also put them at the precipice of opposition.

Yeah, we'll see.  I do tend to think it more likely that the coalition will fall apart first, due to Liberal Perfidiousness-- Occam's razor cuts to that side in my mind. 

But one never knows.... 

 

 

 

Highlander

The Liberals can pick anyone they want to be the lead spokesperson - and it may well be Rae.  I know that the sense is that he is trying to create a boost to his leadership chances with this but he is probably destined to be clearly an also-ran by Feb 2nd when the memberships are all in.  With that in mind, he may be setting the table for Iggy.  This is actually smart for them.  If the whole enterprise collapses now - it's Dion's fault.  If it shows some life but collapses early - it's Rae's fault.  If it works out and the Coalition takes over, its PM Iggy.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

CTV reported that John Manley has  joined the chours urging Dion to step down- as well  CTV reported a pofessional moderator will facilitate the Wednesdy Liberal caucus meeting where they wll discuss replacing Dion, and if so, by whom.

Fidel

Someone should flush Manley and the rest of his fellow reliberals down the Mississippi where they belong

George Victor

Ratbert:

The poll nonetheless shows that the Harper Conservatives chose the most popular course to navigate through the crisis that followed the release of a divisive fiscal update a week ago.

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

 

And why did it become the most popular course?

 

Because of the mind-numbing ignorance of a public that has not been confronted with all the facts. Unbalanced war chests. (And, boy, didn't Harper want to make the advertising bedgets REALLY unbalanced, in his "democratic" fashion?

 

The editorial board of the Globe you quote from don't like what he has done, bert.

But you are on the side of the great unread, eh?  Figures .

Ratbert

George Victor wrote:

Ratbert:

The poll nonetheless shows that the Harper Conservatives chose the most popular course to navigate through the crisis that followed the release of a divisive fiscal update a week ago.

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

 

And why did it become the most popular course?

 

Because of the mind-numbing ignorance of a public that has not been confronted with all the facts. Unbalanced war chests. (And, boy, didn't Harper want to make the advertising bedgets REALLY unbalanced, in his "democratic" fashion?

 

The editorial board of the Globe you quote from don't like what he has done, bert.

But you are on the side of the great unread, eh?  Figures .

 

Yes, George, me Duncan Cameron, Rick Salutin, Jeffrey Simpson, all the "great unread" that advise caution.

 Perhaps an erudite individual such as yourself will have some tolerance for the words of Alexander Pope who cautioned that: "fools rush in where angels fear to tread".

 

Sunday Hat

George Victor wrote:
Because of the mind-numbing ignorance of a public that has not been confronted with all the facts. Unbalanced war chests. (And, boy, didn't Harper want to make the advertising bedgets REALLY unbalanced, in his "democratic" fashion? But you are on the side of the great unread, eh?  Figures .
Wow. You know what's ugly? When nominal "progressives" start shitting on the working class for not backing their ideas.I know everyone resents it but Harper has exploited some legitimate concerns. People don't want Stephane Dion to be Prime Minister. People don't want a governing coalition in which a party that wants to end Canadian federation has a de facto veto. Calling people ignorant isn't going to address those concerns. If anything, a snobbish attitude confirms people's worst fears: that this is a takeover by a bunch of elitist assholes who hold most Canadians in contempt.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture


http://www.thespec.com/News/article/477649
 
[Close]


Ignatieff: Dion could step down by Wednesday
TheSpec.com - News - Ignatieff: Dion could step down by Wednesday

TimeSincePublished("2008-12-05-21:20:43","2008-12-06","Dec. 05, 2008");-->

Les Whittington, Joanna Smith and Richard J. Brennan

OTTAWA
— Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff, a candidate to replace Stéphane Dion,
says the party may decide to select a new leader much sooner than the
scheduled May convention.
"I have been informed that discussions
are ongoing," he told the Toronto Star when asked about expectations
that Dion — the interim leader — might step down imminently.
The
possibility of moving up the leadership contest was raised in
Thursday's closed-door caucus meeting but went unresolved, a source
said. Dion, who became caretaker leader after his party lost the
October election, is under mounting pressure to step down shortly to
strengthen his party in its continuing showdown with Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's Conservatives.
Later, in an interview with
CBC-TV, Ignatieff said Liberals are concerned that the party is in the
middle of a leadership contest at a time of political crisis.
"What
the party is discussing is whether there are ways in which the
leadership race can be accelerated in such a way that we can present
clear alternatives to the country because Mr. Dion, as everybody knows,
has already announced his resignation," Ignatieff said.
But he added that he is not involved in these discussions.
Also running for the leadership are MPs Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc.
Today,
a depressed Dion was reportedly hunkered down with his inner circle
pondering his options, but some Liberals expect him to announce his
departure soon, possibly at a Liberal caucus meeting next Wednesday....

 

 

=0)document.write(unescape('%3C')+'\!-'+'-')
//-->

George Victor

 

Ratbert:

Yes, George, me Duncan Cameron, Rick Salutin, Jeffrey Simpson, all the "great unread" that advise caution.

 Perhaps an erudite individual such as yourself will have some tolerance for the words of Alexander Pope who cautioned that: "fools rush in where angels fear to tread".

 

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

Put it in context, bert:

 

"The Conservative Party is significantly up from the election in the party standings, but at a cost of real increased tensions between Quebec and the rest of the country," he said.

Over all, the Conservative Party remains at the top of the standings with 45-per-cent support if an election were held today. The Liberals come far behind in second place at 24 per cent, with the NDP at 14 per cent.

The Conservatives are even stronger outside of Quebec, getting the support of 53 per cent of respondents in the nine primarily English-speaking provinces.

In Quebec, however, the Conservative Party garners only 18-per-cent support, which is four points lower than its disappointing Oct. 14 election result. The Liberals are holding relatively steady at 23 per cent, while the Bloc is up three points at 41 per cent.

The poll nonetheless shows that the Harper Conservatives chose the most popular course to navigate through the crisis that followed the release of a divisive fiscal update a week ago.

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

Theirs was placed to "advise caution".

 

Yours was to gloat,  making you look just like the great unread in the nation's other dailies.  Or are you saying that The Globe and Mail expressed something other than concern at the outcome?

 

Putting yourself in the category of Simpson, Salutin and Cameron, is playing the political chameleon, bert. Of course, as Shelley observed, "Chameleons feed on light and air." 

More air than light in your case, bert. 

josh

And Manley, probably with the support of other Bay Street Liberals, dumps on the coalition:

 

"Mr. Manley dumps cold water on the idea of a coalition with the NDP, arguing the Liberals must instead offer to co-operate with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to cope with the economic crisis, and prepare for an election in case he doesn't.

 

"Confronted by a political crisis that was not of his making, Mr. Dion became an obstacle to his party, and to the opposition, in dealing with it. His weakness probably fuelled the Conservative hubris that led to this fiasco in the first place,” Mr. Manley writes.

Mr. Manley argues it was “delusional at best” to believe that the public would want the recently defeated Mr. Dion as coalition prime minister.

That coalition is now shaky at best, as Liberals differ over whether to stay in, and if they do, whether to defeat Mr. Harper's government on a January budget, or use the coalition as a deterrent to prevent the Conservatives from going too far."

http://tinyurl.com/6g5m42

Maybe this crisis presents an opportunity for the NDP and the Liberal left, such as it is, to form a new party and leave the establishment Liberals to fend for themselves. 

 

 

George Victor

Sunday Hat:

George Victor wrote:

Because of the mind-numbing ignorance of a public that has not been confronted with all the facts. Unbalanced war chests. (And, boy, didn't Harper want to make the advertising bedgets REALLY unbalanced, in his "democratic" fashion? But you are on the side of the great unread, eh?  Figures .

Sunday:

Wow. You know what's ugly? When nominal "progressives" start shitting on the working class for not backing their ideas.I know everyone resents it but Harper has exploited some legitimate concerns. People don't want Stephane Dion to be Prime Minister. People don't want a governing coalition in which a party that wants to end Canadian federation has a de facto veto. Calling people ignorant isn't going to address those concerns. If anything, a snobbish attitude confirms people's worst fears: that this is a takeover by a bunch of elitist assholes who hold most Canadians in contempt.

 

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

Hold on to your  hat, Sunday.  You clearly missed "a public that has not been confronted with all the facts."

That's what the neo-con does.  Makes use of a conservative media in a dumbing-down of the electorate.

Fortunately, we have not reached the condition of the U.S. electorate as described by Susan Jacoby and Al Gore, and a redneck product, seen in Deer Hunting with Jesus.

But it's all explained by Chomsky on political advertising, where he talks about the war chest of Barack Obama, the biggest ever:

Chomsky:

And notice incidentally on the side that the institutions that run the elections, public relations industry, advertisers, they have a role—their major role is commercial advertising. I mean, selling a candidate is kind of a side rule. In commercial advertising as everybody knows, everybody who has ever looked at a television program, the advertising is not intended to provide information about the product, all right? I don’t have to go on about that. It’s obvious. The point of the advertising is to delude people with the imagery and, you know, tales of a football player, sexy actress, who you know, drives to the moon in a car or something like that. But, that’s certainly not to inform people. In fact, it’s to keep people uninformed.

The goal of advertising is to create uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices. Those of you who suffered through an economics course know that markets are supposed to be based on informed consumers making rational choices. But industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to undermine markets and to ensure, you know, to get uninformed consumers making irrational choices.

And when they turn to selling a candidate they do the same thing. They want uninformed consumers, you know, uninformed voters to make irrational choices based on the success of illusion, slander, and effective body language or whatever else is supposed to be significant. So you undermine democracy pretty much the same way you undermine markets. Well, that’s the nature of an election when it’s run by the business world, and you’d expect it to be like that. There should be no surprise there. And it should also turn out the elected candidate didn’t have any debts. So you can follow Brand Obama can be whatever they decide it to be, not what the population decides that it should be, as in the south, let’s say. I’m going to say on the side, this may be an actual instance of a familiar and unusually vacuous slogan about the clash of civilization. Maybe there really is one, but not the kind that’s usually touted.

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

The conservative propagandist, trying to cover his ass. accuses the Chomskys of this world of ELITISM.

And the folks up in the hills, who really aren't into nuanced political language go "yeah, elitist liberals."

Don't you find youself caught up in it, Sunday?

You are doing exactly what the neo-con manuals on mind manipulation aim for. Read Shadia Drury on their thinking.  Try not to get suckered.Cry

The Bish

madmax wrote:

From the Globe

Dion must go in 10 minutes

Quote:
 

Most other politicians seem to get this about him now. I don't think I've ever said a kind word for Jack Layton but, this week, he looked statesmanlike and genuinely furious over abandoning desperate people to take a "timeout." Gilles Duceppe, who knows the legal risks for calling someone a liar outside the House, did it anyway. Only Stéphane Dion, who said the PM might undergo a "monumental change," didn't get it. But he gets nothing. "In that format," said a filmmaker about his Wednesday night video, "the only thing you could really do is take off your clothes." If the Liberal Party doesn't find a way to ditch him in the next 10 minutes, it should lose its public funding.

 

And regarding the coalition

 

Quote:

Yesterday morning, a nation stared in the face of political chaos for two hours and saw - a double glass door in Ottawa. No terrorists, no anthrax. But would we be saved from the dreaded coalition?

Yes! By a timeout, the Harper government's term for salvation. And what did it need a timeout from? The possibility of a change of government that is negotiated, constitutional and peaceful.

To be fair, Rick Salutin is almost always at odds with the rest of the columnists from the Globe and Mail, and is far left of almost anyone else writing for mainstream Canadian media.  I don't think he's at all indicative of the general feeling amongst the Globe editorial staff.

Captain Obvious

The question of polling accuracy is interesting. I was quite surprised to find that a majority supported the conservatives. I could only chalk it up to monumental ignorance on the part of the polled. It is distressing to still find "coup d'etat" comments a week into this; seems it's too valuable as a propaganda point to abandon.

As for the prorogue, while I think Jean would have been quite justified in refusing to grant it, her decision was probably a good one. The most important reason for this is because the coalition (grandiose letters not withstanding) has not demonstrated it is a stable one. If she had refused the PMs request and a Dion-led coalition taken power only to disintegrate a few weeks or months later, she would have been in a very difficult position. I think it is valid to see if the coalition can hold it together for six weeks. If not, why would they be able to function as a government?

Less importantly, it also provides some opportunity for the Canadian populace to be educated that there is nothing illegitimate about this. Granted, given my first paragraph, this is a tall order. But hope springs eternal I suppose.

Finally, there are unity concerns to think of here. The rhetoric-- both towards the Quebecois and towards "the West" (as if it were a monolithic block) has been appalling. It's unfortunate that after so long, we still haven't got this part of it figured out. It's one thing to read about attacks on Quebec from 90 years ago (i.e. Conscription, to pick one example), but to see a sitting PM indulge is something else again. One would hope the GG saw that a time out on all sides (especially given Conservative rhetoric) might cool tempers, and defuse the attacks by one part of the country on another.

 

chele

Captain Obvious wrote:
If she had refused the PMs request and a Dion-led coalition taken power only to disintegrate a few weeks or months later, she would have been in a very difficult position.

It is not the unelected G-G's right to decide if a given coaltion or party or group can mantain a stable government.  Only our elected representatives can decide that. If a majority of them say that they want to give it a try, it is not for the G-G nor the ex-PM to overrule them.  

That majority should now be creating written law that explicitly gives the power to prorogue or disolve parliament to a simple majority vote in the House of Commons.  Likewise, they should seriously consider having the House directly elect a PM from their own members, rather then falling back on unwritten tradition. 

 

 

Tommy_Canuck

Having a minority government replaced with another even smaller minority government, that has 29 fewer seats, makes no sense what-so-ever. It is a NDP/Liberal minority coalition.  Layton, Dion and Duceppe have said it repeatedly, that the Bloc will not be part of this goverment. So no matter how you want to argue it, without the Bloc in the this coalition government, it is another, but smaller, minority government than we have now. 

Manley and Ignatieff are on track to save and rebuild the party. Hopefully Rae does not succeed in taking the party down the path of self-destruction. Like all rushed and not thought out ideas, they tend to fail. The only losers in this coalition is the Liberals.  

Why Rae and Dion, don't want to rebuild and wait until next summer or fall for an election makes no sense. The party is broke and in disarray. Being married to the NDP for 30 months makes absolutely no sense at all. By embrassing the left, the liberals would only open the centre, traditionally held by them, for the conservatives to fill. 

Nothing about this NDP lead plan makes sense from a Liberal Party stand point. 

 

Unionist

Tommy_Canuck wrote:

Having a minority government replaced with another even smaller minority government, that has 29 fewer seats, makes no sense what-so-ever. It is a NDP/Liberal minority coalition.  Layton, Dion and Duceppe have said it repeatedly, that the Bloc will not be part of this goverment. So no matter how you want to argue it, without the Bloc in the this coalition government, it is another, but smaller, minority government than we have now. 

So, you have replaced your asinine political commentary by insipid arithmetic. Your posts are becoming more comical. I laughed out loud at this paragraph. Thanks - it's a chilly winter evening - I needed that.

Quote:
Manley and Ignatieff are on track to save and rebuild the party.

Would that be the Conservative Party?

Sarann

Why are the media not fixing their beady eyes on the dissention in the Conservative party.  They never criticise them for their bizzare behaviour.  Only the opposition paprties get the treatment. 

Slumberjack

Tommy_Canuck wrote:
Manley and Ignatieff are on track to save and rebuild the party.

Manley, Ignatieff, and Rae for that matter, are on track to run their party into oblivion, and the sooner the better.

Slumberjack

Sarann wrote:
Why are the media not fixing their beady eyes on the dissention in the Conservative party.  They never criticise them for their bizzare behaviour.  Only the opposition paprties get the treatment. 

The mainstream media is owned by listed stock market corporations that donate large of money to the conservative cause.  Editorial policy is directed by the owners, not by the people you see reporting the 'news' on television.

Tommy_Canuck

Slumberjack wrote:

Tommy_Canuck wrote:
Manley and Ignatieff are on track to save and rebuild the party.

Manley, Ignatieff, and Rae for that matter, are on track to run their party into oblivion, and the sooner the better.

 I agree Rae is, I only hope that more like Manley and Ignatieff can save it, for the sake of the country.

George Victor

jack:

The mainstream media is owned by listed stock market corporations that donate large of money to the conservative cause.  Editorial policy is directed by the owners, not by the people you see reporting the 'news' on television.

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

They donate a vast amount of lineage to the conservative cause, but the law now says they can't donate money.

But that is the CPC secret. Like the conservatives in the U.S., these people have been able to bring the IT world to bear on membership and fundraising and have beaten all others (lib and NDP) in raising millions at an average of $97 per head. This is why Harper tried to eliminate public financing ($1.75 per head of votes cast) because he knew he could kick ass. (The Green Party is no slouch in this dept. either).

WE have to become as committed and as good at incorporating information technology.

Tommy_Paine

Can the party of Joe Volpe and Alphonse Gagliano rebrand itself?  If hopes are pinned on the technically Canadian Iggy Thumbscrews, Benedict Rae or a rabid Tory like John Manley,  I do not think so. 

One of the few silver linings in all of this.

I fear the future of the Liberal party is out of focus.

Brian White

"Editorial policy is directed by the owners"  I have noticed this in the local times colonist.  columinists write about the jackboot in the crotch for the ladys (equal pay) while the editor argues from the pulpit for harper suspending parliament.  I see editoral comment across the country as the big corperations giving back to harper. (It is like money under the table in other places). Instead of money, they give harper free advertizing on their editorial pages as their thankyou to him for their tax breaks.  

George Victor wrote:

jack:

The mainstream media is owned by listed stock market corporations that donate large of money to the conservative cause.  Editorial policy is directed by the owners, not by the people you see reporting the 'news' on television.

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

They donate a vast amount of lineage to the conservative cause, but the law now says they can't donate money.

But that is the CPC secret. Like the conservatives in the U.S., these people have been able to bring the IT world to bear on membership and fundraising and have beaten all others (lib and NDP) in raising millions at an average of $97 per head. This is why Harper tried to eliminate public financing ($1.75 per head of votes cast) because he knew he could kick ass. (The Green Party is no slouch in this dept. either).

WE have to become as committed and as good at incorporating information technology.

Tommy_Paine

I think one has to make some connections here.   We've seen how one ultra right wing paper out west shut down, the National Vanity Press Post is shrinking, CTV is laying off, and Quebecor, owners of the Sun and other quasi newspapers are constantly "restructuring".  

Never before have these sphincters been so vulnerable to boycotts of those that advertise in them.

 

Policywonk

chele wrote:

Captain Obvious wrote:
If she had refused the PMs request and a Dion-led coalition taken power only to disintegrate a few weeks or months later, she would have been in a very difficult position.

It is not the unelected G-G's right to decide if a given coaltion or party or group can mantain a stable government.  Only our elected representatives can decide that. If a majority of them say that they want to give it a try, it is not for the G-G nor the ex-PM to overrule them.  

That majority should now be creating written law that explicitly gives the power to prorogue or disolve parliament to a simple majority vote in the House of Commons.  Likewise, they should seriously consider having the House directly elect a PM from their own members, rather then falling back on unwritten tradition. 

Actually it is her right, but except in rare circumstances (and we can argue over whether or not this qualifies), she is unlikely to exercise that right by not following the advice of the Prime Minister. Electing a Prime Minister the same way the Speaker is elected would be interesting, but I'm not sure how many laws and constitutional amendments would have to be passed to get there. Incidentally that's how they elect the Government Leader in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, but they don't have party politics.

Captain Obvious

chele wrote:
That majority should now be creating written law that explicitly gives the power to prorogue or disolve parliament to a simple majority vote in the House of Commons.  Likewise, they should seriously consider having the House directly elect a PM from their own members, rather then falling back on unwritten tradition. 

As you said elsewhere though, this is a loophole. I agree, 100% it should be closed though.

Captain Obvious wrote:
If she had refused the PMs request and a Dion-led coalition taken power only to disintegrate a few weeks or months later, she would have been in a very difficult position.

chele wrote:
It is not the unelected G-G's right to decide if a given coaltion or party or group can mantain a stable government. 

Actually, I think it is.

 

Policywonk

Tommy_Canuck wrote:

Having a minority government replaced with another even smaller minority government, that has 29 fewer seats, makes no sense what-so-ever. 

 

It has happened before provincially, and a federal government has also retained power with fewer seats than the largest opposition party. It makes sense if the smaller party or coalition has the confidence of the House and the larger party doesn't.

 

Tommy_Paine

 "The Liberals only had to wait until next summer/fall for an election and they could have had a real opportunity to be elected as the new government. "

Thing is, you are ignoring the fact that a convention costs money, and so does an election.   Even without the elimination of the subsidy to political parties, the Liberal party is close to financial oblivion.   

And, fundraising for the Liberals is no longer as easy as taking money from a baby, as Joe Volpe might say.

I think the Liberals know they have a tiger by the tail, now.  If they crumple and let Harper have his way, he'll be back with a vengence-- meaning goodbye Liberal Party. 

Which is why I was against the coalition in the first place.  Every cloud has a silver lining. 

Tommy_Canuck

@ Unionist,

Conservatives have 143 seats
Liberals 77 and NDP 37 for a total of  114. That is 29 fewer seats. The Bloc has agreed  not vote against the NDP/Liberal coalition for 18 months. The "Bloc will not be part of the coalition government" as quoted by Chris Charlton, NDP and all the coalition leaders. Without the Bloc we have a NDP/Liberal government with 29 fewer seats, seems
simple to me.


I vote either Liberal or Conservative, because country comes before party. Like most voters, I have a few questions.
-First, why the need for this coalition prior to the budget being released?
-Why would Dion suddenly become PM? Did he not lose the last election? Did polls not show him as being the least likely person able to lead the country by about 80% of those polled?  
-Why should the NDP/Liberal coalition with fewer elected seats than the current elected government, now govern?
-Also, because I live in Windsor, this economic slow down and crisis with the auto manufacturers, my neighbours, co-workers and schools in this area are being directly effected. We need help as soon as possible. So I have to question;
-Why does Jack Layton want to take down the government on the Speech from the Throne, Jan 26th, prior to the budget? Why does he want to deny Canadians a chance to hear the budget, only to further delay the help we need here in Windsor for at least another 3-4 months after January 26th?
-How can we have a stable coalition government that is held together on the whim of the sovereigntist? It seems too fragile and unstable for a time when we desperately need stability.
-How can we have stability, if the leading party in this coalition will be going through a leadership race?
-Now that it appears that Dion will no longer lead the party as of Wednesday, who will be the interim leader? Again a question of stability.
-The Liberals and NDP have an agreement for 30 months, what does this mean for the Liberals? What do they stand for now? Moving to the left they are leaving the centre open for the Conservatives to take. What is the Liberal direction now? Can they break from the 30 month commitment? The Liberals only had to wait until next summer/fall for an election and they could have had a real opportunity to be elected as the new government. It does not matter who the government is, what will happen will. Rae proved this in Ontario. They can only soften the blow, but no matter what they do, it will always never have been enough, again Rae proved this as well. There has always been a new government elected after an economic downturn, so why the rush?

For this undecided voter to decide, it will take more than just ridicule to help me decide. Lots of questions, few answers. I am not one to jump on any bandwagon without seeing where it is headed and why and it looks like the majority of voters feel the same way and are willing to let this wagon roll on by.

Tommy_Canuck

Ok that was strange, the site was going through an update, and my latest post ended up above #124.

@Policywonk, I would feel better if

1. the voters asked for a coalition

2. the confidence was not as fragile and fickle as it is with the Bloc. 

@ Tommy_Pane, I don't think the liberals have the tiger by the tail. They have lost a lot more ground. It will be very hard for them to do any fund raising now, as we no longer know what they stand for. If anybody has anybody by the tail, it is the NDP who has the Liberals by the tail. In my opinion, the greatest threat to the Liberal Party is the NDP, not the conservatives. 

Again thanks for your input. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Paul Kellogg, radical blogger, wrote:
But make no mistake – if the NDP is central to the formation of the coalition, this will be a Liberal government. The prime minister will be Liberal. The finance minister will be Liberal. Most of the cabinet seats will be Liberal. And these Liberals are a known quantity, a party little different from the Tories in both their fiscal and foreign policies.

Harper is hated because of his neoliberal policies. But the bitter truth is, there is nothing to choose between the Liberals and the Tories in terms of neoliberalism. One way of measuring this is in the support given by the federal government to the provinces. In the Canadian system, it is the provinces that deliver the bulk of Health, Education and Welfare. But given the much greater taxation powers of the central state, they are very dependent on transfer payments from the central state to finance these “social wage” activities. One of the key aspects of neoliberalism is launching an assault on this social wage. The chart on this page shows the record here for both the Liberals and the Tories [chart omitted from this excerpt] ....

This division of labour between the Tories and the Liberals has long defined Canadian politics. Their policies are virtually indistinguishable – Liberals playing the soft cop as a counterpoint to the Tories’ hard cop....

Under Liberal Paul Martin’s watch between 2003 and 2006, military spending increased more than $1 billion, in real terms, every year. Under Harper, those increases actually slowed for two years, before returning to Martin era levels in 2007-08. There is nothing to choose between the Tories and the Liberals in terms of Canadian militarism.

The “Canada First” increase in Canada’s militarism, builds upon a generation of moves by both Tories and Liberals to move away from the peacekeeping moment. In 1991 under the Tories, Canada was a full participant in the first Gulf War. Canada’s 1993 intervention in Somalia looked to the Somalis more like occupation than peacekeeping.[7] In 1999, under the Liberals, Canada was one of the principal contributors to NATO’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. And from 2001 to the present, it has been a central component of the war in Afghanistan. It was not the Tories who sent Canada into this overseas adventure – it was Jean Chrétien, and John Manley, and Paul Martin, and John McCallum, and Stéphane Dion – the very Liberals we are now told are an alternative to the Tories.

The Harper Tories are a threat to peace, a threat to social programs, a threat to the interests of working people in Canada. But the record of the Liberal Party over a generation should make us soberly assess the chances of a coalition – a coalition they dominate – being any better.

[url=http://www.poleconanalysis.org/2008/12/are-liberals-alternative.html]Sou...

If you are reading this, you have just proved once again how annoying signatures/tag lines are. Support their abolition.

Fidel

Quote:
The Harper Tories are a threat to peace, a threat to social programs, a threat to the interests of working people in Canada. But the record of the Liberal Party over a generation should make us soberly assess the chances of a coalition – a coalition they dominate – being any better.

Paul Martin is nowhere near this coalition as far as I can tell. And yes the Liberals are just as much the fiscal Frankensteins that Tories are. And if I can be fair to either of the old line Bay Street parties, they were both taken in by the second-hand neoliberal ideology emanating from the U.S. The Russians were taken in by it, and so were the Slavs and Mexicans and Nicaraguans and South Africans etc. General Pinochet was the first to be handed  neoliberal poison. And he turned his back on neoliberal ideology in 1985 and actually used New Deal socialist methods to jumpstart a near death Chilean economy.

TINA advocates: Maggie and Major and Reagan and Mulroney-Chretien to Harper are out of the picture today. And it is a new day. The future is not written in stone by Bay Street bond salesman. Or at least, not if the 62% majority has anything to say about it. 

Bookish Agrarian

Personlly I am getting sick and tired of the 'but people didn't vote for the coalition' bullshit.  It is utter nonsense. 

We do not elect governments in Canada.  We elect representatives.  They decide who our governments are.  If the majority of them decide, for whatever reason, that they do not have confidence in the current governent, they can decide to place that confidence in another government.  There is absolutely nothing undemocratic about kicking out a government that has shown itself to be fiscally irresponsible, deaf to the market signals of trouble, unconcerned about the massive job losses in Canada's manufacturing and resource sectors and just plain divisive and nasty.  There is no need to wait for more lies from them.  Their record speaks for itself. 

There are lots of good reasons to support and oppose a coalition.  But it would be nice if some of the arguments but forward were actually fact-based rather than the clap trap of posters like Tommy Canuck and his ilk. 

Bubbles

Bookish Agrarian, I agree, all this talk about coalition this and that is nonsense. The problem is Harper, not the coalition. 

He suspended parliament to avoid a non convidence vote, that is about as low as one can get as an elected official. He is toast as far as leading the government is concerned in my opinion. If he wants to come back he has to either form a better coalition or wait and win the next election, which in my opinion is for the majority of our elected officials to decide as to when that will be. How else can one be democratic about this.

Highlander

As noted by others above - the Liberals are broke.  The were able to fill their coffers because of their connection to power - without it they have no "draw" to the $.  The funding thing in the economic statement spooked them but only because they know that their say in the wilderness could be for a very long time.  The last time they were defeated, 1984, it took them a decade to get back into power and they were only able to do it because the Conservative coalition under Mulroney exploded into three parts.  That isn't happening this time.

If you think Iggy is truly and fundamentally opposed to the coalition, Tommy, you are on glue.  He's not going to lead the push because any Liberal leader has too much going against him already to start off with a failed gambit hanging around his neck but make no mistake he has the most to gain from the coalition succeeding so he will not sabotage it - and will keep his supporters in line.

Think about it for a second from his perspective.  On Feb 2nd the Liberals have thier cut-off on membership sales.  Effectively the game is over at that point.  He's the presumptive front-runner so on Feb 2nd he could be the defacto leader of the party.  Would he rather be the Leader of the Opposition, heading a broke party with a flush Tory Government ready to do the full-throated swift-boat treatment on him.  The job they did on Dion has convinced them that the strategy can work (even in civil Canada) and while Iggy's English is better than Dion's, he is just as professorial.  They will have him carved up into little pieces before you can say Dukakis.  They will call an election at a time of their choosing - say the week after the Liberals select him as leader.  They will claim that the chaos of this Parliament and the economic crisis demands that Canadians choose who to give a full majority mandate to.  Don't think they'll do it that fast - watch them.  Chretien did it to Day and Harper is far more ruthless than Chretien.

Conversely, Rae does his sales pitch over the next few weeks under the cover of being the "coalition" Liberal.  The team holds together if for no other reason than the alternative - being Harper's dog's chew toy until he can justify pulling the ripcord on this Parliament and getting what he clearly wants - an clear majority.  If the coalition holds together on January 26th and votes down the budget then the other shoe drops in the Liberal caucus.  Rae and Leblanc rally around their champion Ignatieff and state that they and the Liberal caucus are convinced that Canadians were more opposed to Dion as PM than the idea of working with the NDP, providing a solid stimulus package and Parliamentary peace until 2011.  Claim that Canadians want their Parliament to get to work not to waste $300 million on the third election in as many years when that money should be going to protect devestated seniors pensions not polling stations.  Rae will have served up the PMO for his former friend and will have the pick of any job he wants.  Leblanc will be the govenment's Atlantic rep - more than he would have gotten had the full race run its course and come May PM Iggy will be at a Vancouver Liberal love-in instead of getting to the wake before the patient has died.

Manley is the one most afraid of the coalition because his plan for power involved Iggy getting creamed in a summer election with such a pasting that would have the Liberals longing for Dion's "successful" results from October.  Iggy resigns in due course or is pushed and then Manley gets the actual time as leader, facing a Harper majority (thus no need to call another election for years) to truly rebuild a party that hasn't really rebuilt since Chretien (or perhaps Trudeau).  Politics in the Liberal Party is simple - win or you are out.  Liberal leaders don't get a second chance unless nobody is convinced that there is a hope of regaining power.  The reason that nobody is stepping up for the job now other than Rae, Leblanc and Iggy is that it is seen as a poisoned chalice.

The money may be the least of their problems but its big enough.  Tories are funded by the rich and true believers - in power or out, they have cash but in power they get a bonus.  NDPers are also funded by true believers - union networks help but mostly its you, me and what's her name who's always knitting something for the silent auction.  Liberals don't have true believers like the Tories and the NDP.  Liberals truly believe they should be in government and when they aren't they are like vampires out in the sun - no, Twilight fans they do not glisten like diamonds - they burn to a crisp because there is nothing to protect or sustain them (gratuitous Twilight reference for my wife's benefit who must throw up her hands at the amount of time I am spending on rabble right now).

 

Stockholm

Here is what I predict is going to happen.

In a funny way, I think that the fact that the instant polls show people rallying to the Conservatives will actually be the source of their own undoing. We know that Harper and his crowd are intensely partisan and never like to apologize or give up even a milimeter. If they think they can get away with playing hardball - they will.

I predict that now the Tories are going to start to think that between the polls and the reports of Liberal dissension - they have put the genie back in the bottle. Instead of giving the Liberals a face saving way to break up the coalition by making significant concessions in the budget - I think they will go back to trying to humiliate them. The Tories will make no real concessions at all and dare the Liberals to vote them down.

I think that it will be like a replay of what happened last week and the Tories will once again force the opposition to unite against them and the coalition will take power.

Highlander

Stockholm wrote:

Here is what I predict is going to happen.

In a funny way, I think that the fact that the instant polls show people rallying to the Conservatives will actually be the source of their own undoing. We know that Harper and his crowd are intensely partisan and never like to apologize or give up even a milimeter. If they think they can get away with playing hardball - they will.

I predict that now the Tories are going to start to think that between the polls and the reports of Liberal dissension - they have put the genie back in the bottle. Instead of giving the Liberals a face saving way to break up the coalition by making significant concessions in the budget - I think they will go back to trying to humiliate them. The Tories will make no real concessions at all and dare the Liberals to vote them down.

I think that it will be like a replay of what happened last week and the Tories will once again force the opposition to unite against them and the coalition will take power.

If so, they may be in for a rude awakening on two fronts.  They may still face a vote of non-confidence and, as I suggest on the GG thread, they may not get the election they think should be theirs.

The play for time by Harper has two aspects - see if you can get the coalition to crack and, barring that, take them to the polls and get the majority you want anyway.  The problem is that I am increasingly convinced that the GG only gave him exactly what he wanted for exactly the reason he said he wanted it.  He said he wanted a time-out, a cooling-off period to let passions to settle and reasonable minds think the consequences of this through.  I disagree with the decision but I have (in my legal carear) learned to respect that there may be more to a decision that I dislike than first meets the eye.

A time-out is just that, we have moved "out" of the flow of time.  The clock is stopped and when we last left our heroes (que Batman TV music) the House was poised to vote non-confidence against the Tories only 16 days into the 40th Parliament.  On Jan 27th, we will still be only 16 days into the 40th Parliament.  Why should the GG treat a vote of non-confidence in this government on Jan 27th any differently that she would have on Dec 8th?  Let's say that she does agree that while the Parliamentary calendar was frozen the real world has moved on.  We went from a potential non-confidence vote 2 months after an election to one 3 & 1/2 months after one.  This changes things how?  If the coalition continues to exist and says that it is still prepared to make this Parliament work and is confident that it can meet the House - how can she refuse?  She has Parliamentary precident, the King-Byng example, to guide her (something that, save for Charles I's example) was lacking when Harper came to her asking to prorogue to avoid a confidence vote.  We look at the King-Byng affair as a "bad" precident because the politics of it resulting in King getting more than he would have gotten had his original request been granted but had the Meghan Government held, it might have given Harper pause to play the bully he has over these last few years and Martin before him.

Highlander

oops multiple post.

Highlander

a double post from the department of repetition department.

The Bish

Fidel wrote:

And if I can be fair to either of the old line Bay Street parties, they were both taken in by the second-hand neoliberal ideology emanating from the U.S. The Russians were taken in by it, and so were the Slavs and Mexicans and Nicaraguans and South Africans etc.

I wouldn't say that Nicaraguans were "taken in" by neoliberal ideology so much as it was forced on them by the World Bank.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

CTV reported that LeBlanc has droped out of the Liberal Leaership rce and the Liberals will pick have a new leader  by the end of Janaury.

Tommy_Paine

"Liberals don't have true believers like the Tories and the NDP. "

I more or less subscribe to this view point, although it could be said that Liberal "true believers"  were those that expected the Liberal party to advance the cause of their personal bank accounts, courtesy of the taxpayer.  

All that hinges on the Liberals having access to the treasury, which they haven't had for a while now.   Which is why I expect most of the Liberal "true believers" if you will, to migrate to the Conservatives over time.

 

Istolethisname

Hi I am Stephen Harper you might remember me from such papers I wrote for the N.C.C. such as " Our Benign Dictatorship"

Where I advocated for a coalition government between the Reform party and Progressive Conservative and the Bloc Quebecois back in 1997 . In that same paper I pointed out that Canada was ruled by coalition governments up until the first world war. I also pointed out that coalition governments are a healthy part of any democracy, heck Israel has a had many coalition governmnets and I would never say that their government was illegitimate would I ?

So I Stephen Harper say coalition government are completely legal they are legitamate and have a long tradition in Parlimentery traditions around the world and the are good for Canada in that it saves the country from a single party state. 

Policywonk

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Personlly I am getting sick and tired of the 'but people didn't vote for the coalition' bullshit.  It is utter nonsense. 

We do not elect governments in Canada.  We elect representatives.  They decide who our governments are.  If the majority of them decide, for whatever reason, that they do not have confidence in the current governent, they can decide to place that confidence in another government.  There is absolutely nothing undemocratic about kicking out a government that has shown itself to be fiscally irresponsible, deaf to the market signals of trouble, unconcerned about the massive job losses in Canada's manufacturing and resource sectors and just plain divisive and nasty.  There is no need to wait for more lies from them.  Their record speaks for itself. 

There are lots of good reasons to support and oppose a coalition.  But it would be nice if some of the arguments but forward were actually fact-based rather than the clap trap of posters like Tommy Canuck and his ilk. 

We did not vote for a coalition, but there is no way we can vote for a coalition, even in a PR system necessarily. To the extent that people vote for parties rather than for individual candidates, we do vote for governments. But the parliament we select, and the GG, have a constitutional role in determining who forms a government.

I believe that Dion did say during the election campaign that he would not form a coalition with the NDP. As events seem to be playing out, that will not have been a lie, and he will just have tried. Of course at one point in the campaign, a Liberal minority was almost within the realm of possibility. What Dion's replacement will do is anyone's guess.

Stockholm

Canadians may not have specifically voted for the coalition - but the vast majority of us also did not vote to have a Stephen Harper absolute dictatorship for four years!!!

Fidel

Stockholm wrote:
Canadians may not have specifically voted for the coalition - but the vast majority of us also did not vote to have a Stephen Harper absolute dictatorship for four years!!!

62% worth. And 78 percent of registered voters did not vote for the Harpers.

If the coalition of Reform Party retreads, rightleaning Liberals and Mike Harris castaways can't find a coalition to a coalesce with, then it's high noon time in Dodge for those guys

josh

"The Liberal party has come up with a proposal to speed up its leadership contest and find a replacement for Stephane Dion next month - in time for a crucial budget vote that could plunge the country into an election or see the Harper Conservatives replaced by a coalition government.

The proposal, which the Liberal party executive was poised to consider by conference call late Sunday, would give every party member a vote by a combination of phone and online ballots. The idea was being vigorously promoted by leadership contender Bob Rae.

However, frontrunner Michael Ignatieff's camp was arguing that the proposal would violate the party's constitution and that the May 2 vote to choose Dion's successor should go ahead as planned.

Liberals close to Dion expect him to resign at a Liberal caucus meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

If he does so, Steven MacKinnon, Ignatieff's national campaign director, said the party constitution provides only one method for choosing an interim leader - a decision by the national executive, in consultation with the Liberal parliamentary caucus.

"The party's process for selecting a leader is prescribed by the constitution and, while we are interested in any suggestions the party may have for how to shorten that process, it is clear the constitution must be respected," MacKinnon said in an interview.

. . . .

Insiders in rival camps said Ignatieff and his supporters were lobbying hard to have Ignatieff chosen as interim leader by a vote of Liberal MPs and senators at the caucus meeting Wednesday - with the decision to be ratified formally at the May convention.

MacKinnon denied that but other sources said Ignatieff was personally calling MPs to urge that caucus settle the matter."

 http://tinyurl.com/652lab

 

 

 

josh

"New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc is expected to announce Monday that he will drop out of the Liberal leadership race to replace Stéphane Dion, leaving only two contenders, CBC News has learned.

LeBlanc is expected to throw his support behind front-runner Michael Ignatieff, the CBC's Susan Bonner reported, citing sources."

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/12/07/liberals-leblanc.html

 

If Iggy gets his way, and takes over now, the coalition is probably dead.

 

Brian White

I think that much better than the economist article is the comment on their story by canuck86 below.  As far as I am concerned this guy really knows his stuff. Brian 

Papal Bull wrote:

The Economist wrote a short, and very balanced, article on this:

 

http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12...

canuck86 wrote:

December 07, 2008 03:49
Let me explain how the Canadian political system works. The coalition is not a political 'coup' and the Canadian public did NOT elect PM Stephen Harper and the Conservative Federal Government. In Canada WE ELECT MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT. Each MP represents a constituency in Canada, in total there are 308, and the MPs (all 308) then decide whoforms the Government. We certainly do NOT elect Prime Ministers and Governments.
The PM has traditionally been the leader of the party with the most MPs in Parliament after an election, usually they receive the majority of seats. The Governor General (Michaelle Jean) then asks that the leader of this majority forms the Government.
In cases where no majority is won, traditionally the GG will askthe leader of the party with the most seats to form the Government (termed 'minority governments').
Legally and constitutionally, the leader that SHOULD form government is one who has the the confidence of the MAJORITY of thehouse, REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATIONS. What we saw in October 2008 was the election of aminority government. This government has now lost the confidence of the majority of the House of Commons. Therefore the current government no longer hasthe mandate to govern.
In Canada, certain legislation passed through the House of Commons are measures of confidence. Confidence in the House of Commons means that the majority the MPs (over 154, that is more than 50%) believe that the current government (Stephen Harper and the Conservatives) can form a functional executive branch of the Canadian political system. The Budget is one such piece of legislation, and the Opposition and their allies (more than 50% of the House of Commons) have decided that they will vote it down. The Government of Canada therefore does NOT have the confidence of the House of Commons.
This is a very democratic principle. If the government in questioncannot convince the majority of the House of Commons that it can function as Government of Canada, it therefore has to ask the GG todissolve parliament and either 1) call an election, or 2) ask the leaderwhich commands the confidence of the majority (regardless of party affiliations) to form the government.
There is no 'political crisis', there is no 'constitutional back-doorpolitics'. This is simply an exercise of a very basic democratic principleas outlined in the Constitution of Canada. HE/SHE WHO DOES NOT COMMAND THE CONFIDENCE OF THE MAJORITY OF MPs IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, AND THEREFORE THE MAJORITY OF CANADIANS, SHALL NOT FORM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA.
Stephen Harper's contention that the coalition does not have the right to form the Government is not only wrong, but shows a deep misunderstanding of his own political system. MPs affiliated with ANY party elected to the House have equal voting power. These MPs have been duly elected by the Canadian public as Harper himself has. His rhetoric against the views of the these MPs shows a totally lack of respect for those who have been DEMOCRATICALLY mandated by the public, just as Harper himself and every other Member of Parliament, to represent them in the House of Commons. His campaign of misinformation about the very democratic process that exists in Canada is alarming to me. And on this alone he should be condemned from being the leader of the Canadian government. He either does not understand how the political system works or simply does not care he perpuates a common misconception. I do not know which is worse.

ANY VIEWS OTHERWISE SHOWS A DEEP LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE CANADIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM.

 

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

CTV.ca News Staff

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is expected to resign this week and
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc has dropped out of the leadership race and
will support rival Michael Ignatieff, CTV News has learned.

"Michael Ignatieff pretty much has this leadership race wrapped up,"
CTV's Chief Parliamentary Correspondent Craig Oliver told CTV Newsnet
Sunday evening.

Pages

Topic locked