Coalition government: the debate continues!

147 posts / 0 new
Last post
pogge

miles wrote:

Dion and the Libs need to buy a vcr, push play and watch the tape before they send it to the media.

I'll have to take your word for it. I tuned in to CTV. Following Harper's address they were still waiting for Dion's tape so they started filling which meant, in particular, that Craig Oliver and Robert Fife were ad libbing. The longer it went on, the worse it got for the coalition until Fife finally got to question their competence because they were incapable of taping a ten minute address and getting it delivered on time. At the end of the half hour the network had scheduled for the affair, they said good night and went on to their regularly scheduled programming.

More importantly, people who haven't been following this closely saw Harper's address followed by some analysis followed by a coalition that was missing in action which made Harper look good by comparison because at least he showed up.

I still don't know what Dion said. I don't think it matters now.

 

remind remind's picture

Here they had full discourse by Harper, Dion Layton and Duceppe. In fact, Global re-capped Dions statement by saying he called for government actions, regarding the economy and hardships faced by Canadians, as needing to be compassionate, calm and unified. And that he stated this was not a time for discord in the House and the playing of political games that Harper is playing.

They also noted again Nathan Cullen's riding office was fire bombed.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Did anyone else notice that the Dion video was out of focus?

His face was fuzzy, but you could read the titles on the books behind him.

This is going to be a fun Koalition to watch!

Cueball Cueball's picture

A pro-coalition sign was fire-bombed and Dosanjh's office was vandalized.

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:
This is what I was arguing yesterday, more or less. But today ot looks differntly to me. The whole tenor of the Tory attack has been cast in a manner which confronts the legitimacy of the constitution....At this point, it might be nice if the GG, were to send the coalition back to the Tories to negotiate further, or call an election, but the coalition should not back down from their rights, and the rights of the GG to determine the course of action.

And if the fascists are true to form, power is their main goal, the more the better to further their agenda, unhindered preferably.   If they are capable of anything, and most assuredly they are, is it not outside the realm of possibility that they've purposely engineered this entire crisis from the beginning.  Is it imaginable that they’ve stumbled as badly as they have from one issue to the next, from the threat against democratic funding, to the assault on labour, to the attacks on the constitution, to push the opposition to the point of no return, so that there is no other option than to have them take the wheel in a time of economic difficulty?  Yes, I do think that is the best option for the GG, to send the coalition back to negotiate, on their terms.

Tommy_Canuck

Lasker wrote:

Tommy_Canuck wrote:
If I were to be able to exercise my democratic
right to vote between the Conservatives and a coalition government, I
would need a lot more information than I do now.

You just worded the fallacy. Refer back to lesson 1: you don't vote
for the Prime Minister and you don't vote for the party in power. You
vote for your MP. That's the essence of a parliamentary democracy.

Despite argument that we vote for MPs, realistically we vote for the
party and its leader. The leaders know this as well, "Vote for strong
Leadership, vote for Jack Layton", "Vote Green, Vote Red", "Choose
Canada" with the liberal logo behind it, not to mention all the attack
ads. If it is not about the leaders or the government, why the party
ads? why the attack ads?

I vote for the MP who represents the party and leader I want. Over the
past 24 years, I have voted Liberal and I have voted conservatives

First time I ever heard a politician say we vote for parliament not
government was this past Monday. Now it seems like everybody is saying
it. I don't fall for political spin that easily.  Tonight, during Dions
address to the nation there was a book behind him that clearly said
"HOT AIR". A sign perhaps?

All the leaders need to get together and make this work. Canada cannot
afford to be governed by this shaky coalition, made worse as the liberal party heads into a very nasty leadership race.

Stablility is required now.

janfromthebruce

Kara wrote:
Lasker, thank you for the suggestions.  I've tried explaining a lot of that already yet, in general, the response tends to be that I'm a mouthpiece for the NDP or the Liberals or *gasp* socialists or *shudder* separatists.  TBH, I think I'm going to give up on it because I'm going to get a headache if I keep banging my head against the wall!

Kara, I found it easier to say that I am a "social democrat" as it doesn't carry the baggage of "socialist" (a la Sweden). Most folks than are relieved and we move to a place of conversation of social democratic values which they like and generally embraced. And no, I am not getting into a pissing match in what that means, doesn't.

I'm just trying to help Kara navigate that turbulance.

______________________________________________________________________________________
Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Cueball Cueball's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Cueball wrote:
This is what I was arguing yesterday, more or less. But today ot looks differntly to me. The whole tenor of the Tory attack has been cast in a manner which confronts the legitimacy of the constitution....At this point, it might be nice if the GG, were to send the coalition back to the Tories to negotiate further, or call an election, but the coalition should not back down from their rights, and the rights of the GG to determine the course of action.

And if the fascists are true to form, power is their main goal, the more the better to further their agenda, unhindered preferably.   If they are capable of anything, and most assuredly they are, is it not outside the realm of possibility that they've purposely engineered this entire crisis from the beginning.  Is it imaginable that they’ve stumbled as badly as they have from one issue to the next, from the threat against democratic funding, to the assault on labour, to the attacks on the constitution, to push the opposition to the point of no return, so that there is no other option than to have them take the wheel in a time of economic difficulty?  Yes, I do think that is the best option for the GG, to send the coalition back to negotiate, on their terms.

And I think there is every possibility that you are right about Harper's prescience in this matter, and something of this kind might very have been in the back of his mind. I sumise that he did not care one way or the other, thinking that this is not the best time to be in government. I have argued as much on this board several times.

His view would seem to be that he would govern "as if he has a majority, now or govern later, with a majority," after the coalition collapses or is discredited even further by the economic Tsunami coming down the pike.

I note that in this scenario the only sensible reaction of the NDP and the Liberals will be to formally organize collectively in the next election, and realize the coalition as a political and organizational fact. But that is another story.

But in the immediate frame, it is important to assert the rule of law, in the house, and in the office of the GG, and the coalition must stick to its guns. There really is no turning back now.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Tommy_Canuck wrote:
Lasker wrote:

Tommy_Canuck wrote:
If I were to be able to exercise my democratic right to vote between the Conservatives and a coalition government, I would need a lot more information than I do now.

You just worded the fallacy. Refer back to lesson 1: you don't vote for the Prime Minister and you don't vote for the party in power. You vote for your MP. That's the essence of a parliamentary democracy.

Despite argument that we vote for MPs, realistically we vote for the party and its leader. The leaders know this as well, "Vote for strong Leadership, vote for Jack Layton", "Vote Green, Vote Red", "Choose Canada" with the liberal logo behind it, not to mention all the attack ads. If it is not about the leaders or the government, why the party ads? why the attack ads?

I vote for the MP who represents the party and leader I want. Over the past 24 years, I have voted Liberal and I have voted conservatives

First time I ever heard a politician say we vote for parliament not government was this past Monday. Now it seems like everybody is saying it. I don't fall for political spin that easily.  Tonight, during Dions address to the nation there was a book behind him that clearly said "HOT AIR". A sign perhaps?

All the leaders need to get together and make this work. Canada cannot afford to be governed by this shaky coalition, made worse as the liberal party heads into a very nasty leadership race.

Stablility is required now.

The constitutional right of the house majority to form a government must be upheld, regardless of political considerations. I don't care if Mickey Mouse is PM, and they have farm animals for ministers. The right is attacking the constitutional right of the parliment.

The law is the law -- that is a THE fundamental principle upon which any just and democratic society is based.

janfromthebruce

Well, I saw it so perhaps CTV made a point of not having the tape. 

Anyway, Jack drove one out of the park with this one liner and should be how we talk about this coalition.

"He seems to be more interested in protecting his job than your job" -Jack Layton on Stephen Harper trying to avert democracy

Right on!

Jack Layton's speech just blew up in Harper's face.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________
Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Lasker

Tommy_Canuck wrote:
Despite argument that we vote for MPs, realistically we vote for the
party and its leader. The leaders know this as well, "Vote for strong
Leadership, vote for Jack Layton", "Vote Green, Vote Red", "Choose
Canada" with the liberal logo behind it, not to mention all the attack
ads. If it is not about the leaders or the government, why the party
ads? why the attack ads?

I vote for the MP who represents the party and leader I want. Over the
past 24 years, I have voted Liberal and I have voted conservatives

First time I ever heard a politician say we vote for parliament not
government was this past Monday. Now it seems like everybody is saying
it. I don't fall for political spin that easily.  Tonight, during Dions
address to the nation there was a book behind him that clearly said
"HOT AIR". A sign perhaps?

All the leaders need to get together and make this work. Canada cannot
afford to be governed by this shaky coalition, made worse as the liberal party heads into a very nasty leadership race.

Stablility is required now.

 

Unfortunately, it's not a matter of what you believe in. It's our Constitution. It's parliamentary democracy, by opposition to republicanism we see in France or the U.S.

 

When you went to to voting both, there was no box saying "Stephen Harper". There was no box saying "Stephane Dion". There were boxes with the names of your local candidates. As I said, I'm not necessarily fond of parliamentary democracy, but this is how our Constitution states our system works.

As for stability, I'd like you to get back to Lesson 5 and tell me how a Conservative minority party that insists on acting like a majority, gambling on the fact it's politically unpalatable for the electorate to go to the polls again, can provide stability and an effective opposition.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Tommy_Canuck wrote:

Despite argument that we vote for MPs, realistically we vote for theparty and its leader. The leaders know this as well, "Vote for strongLeadership, vote for Jack Layton", "Vote Green, Vote Red", "ChooseCanada" with the liberal logo behind it, not to mention all the attackads. If it is not about the leaders or the government, why the partyads? why the attack ads?

I vote for the MP who represents the party and leader I want. Over thepast 24 years, I have voted Liberal and I have voted conservatives

First time I ever heard a politician say we vote for parliament notgovernment was this past Monday. Now it seems like everybody is sayingit. I don't fall for political spin that easily.  

Clearly you do fall for spin, because you've stated that you fell for political advertising that touted the leaders - for whom you can't vote, unless you happen to live in their riding.

Sad to see that civics courses no longer teach the basic workings and history of our parliamentary democracy anymore. 

djelimon

"I still don't know what Dion said. I don't think it matters now."

 

Disagree. I suggest you find as better new channel.

Bookish Agrarian

Having watched Harper tonight deliberatly misleading the Canadian people I can say without a hint of irony that if the GG allows prorogation tomorrow it is time for a democratic revolution in this country.  I have rarely been so offended by a politician, even at the height of some discussion on social issue, as I was by this creepy, petty little man.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I can't believe the media isn't calling him on it.  Imagine if a different party tried this?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:

Despite argument that we vote for MPs, realistically we vote for the
party and its leader.

Really, and literally, you vote for an MP. MPs belong to parties because we have a brokerage system whereby parties, represented by candidates, vying for the position of MP, sell a set of policies and hope to be elected as part of a franchise. But, and this is very important, you do not elect a party and you do not elect a Prime Minister. You elect an MP and the party leader who can claim the confidence of the house, rules.

The Conservative hypocrisy is resounding. In neither of the last two elections was Stephgen  Harper elected PM. He claimed he the position by claiming he had the confidence of the House and made every bill a confidence motion to prove it and he took great pleasure out of cowing the Liberals.

Well, here we are, and the Bully's bluff was called and suddenly the entire parliamentary system which Harper was so pleased to manipulate is now "undemocratic".

Fuck off! What a joke.

the regina mom the regina mom's picture

miles wrote:
KenS wrote:

If Harper gets his way on prorogueing- that is 2 months without a government

Ken you have it wrong. I hate Harper with all my being but it will not be 2 months without a government.

It will be 2 mos without the house sitting. no different than normal when the house rises in December and comes back in March. Like it has every year

Uh, no, that's not entirely true.

Quote:

Governments retain many powers, including the power to make appointments to the courts,
boards of Crown corporations, make regulatory changes and sign
contracts...

But the government gives up one big power - the ability to spend the
people's money not previously approved, says procedural expert Ned
Franks of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

That means the
government could promise an economic stimulus package, but could not
start spending the money until Parliament approves a spending bill such
as would occur after a budget.

...

Franks
says Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean has the prerogative to refuse to approve
anything other than routine matters as would be the case during an
election campaign.

"She might say she will treat it as an
election because she might say she is not satisfied that Harper enjoys
the confidence of the House of Commons," said Franks.

"There is
no precedence for doing that but there is also no precedence for a
prime minister facing a likely to succeed vote of non-confidence asking
for prorogation."

 

Slumberjack

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Having watched Harper tonight deliberatly misleading the Canadian people I can say without a hint of irony that if the GG allows prorogation tomorrow it is time for a democratic revolution in this country....

I would say that if she does authorize prorogation, the act of doing so would fall within the constitutional boundaries as they are structured.  Just as the coalition is entitled to represent themselves as an alternative government and seek a transfer of power, the GG is entitled to permit Harper's request for prorogation, based on her own determination after considering the overall circumstances.

BTW, for anyone who hasn't received it yet, this just arrived in my inbox:

----- Original Message -----

From: "Layton, Jack - M.P." <Layton.J@parl.gc.ca>

Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 10:21 PM

Subject: Coalition for Change / Coalition pour le changement

Coalition for Change

In tough economic times likes these, Canadian families expect real action on the economy. And they expect a government that will work for them.

New Democrat and Liberal Members of Parliament, with the support of the Bloc Quebecois, have a plan to stimulate the economy in a stable and responsible government.

Our priority is a stimulus package to kick-start the economy, create jobs and grow consumer confidence. We've put aside our differences and agreed to a strong plan. We will govern for all Canadians.

To read the entire policy accord, visit:
http://www.ndp.ca/press/coalition-for-change-statement-by-jack-layton.

We know there is an alternative to Stephen Harper's negative Conservative politics.

Progressive Canadians are uniting behind the Coalition for Change.

If you're not already involved, the Coalition invites you to be part of the change. We want your voice to be heard. All across Canada, we'll be holding town hall meetings and rallies. Join us and tell us what you think. This coalition will be your Coalition.

There has never been a moment in our shared history as Canadians where more has been possible.

You are the majority. Be part of the change.

A majority of Canadians voted against the Conservatives. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians voted for the opposition parties. Only 38% voted for Stephen Harper.
   
On Thursday evening, our voices will get louder.

Please, join thousands of progressive Canadians Thursday night and demand better. I want to make sure your voice is heard. Be part of the coalition for change. Be part of organizing the Conversation for Change this Thursday night.

To find out where and when you can attend a Conversation for Change rally, visit: http://www.62percentmajority.ca/events.

If you're ready for change, then you're a part of the 62% majority. Get involved.

http://www.62percentmajority.ca/events
http://www.62percentmajority.ca/action/yourvoice
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=37994407715

Thank you for your support, encouragement and actions. Together, we are the progressive Canadians who say I'm part of the 62% majority.

Jack Layton
Leader, Canada's New Democrats

remind remind's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
Having watched Harper tonight deliberatly misleading the Canadian people I can say without a hint of irony that if the GG allows prorogation tomorrow it is time for a democratic revolution in this country.  I have rarely been so offended by a politician, even at the height of some discussion on social issue, as I was by this creepy, petty little man.

Boy do I hear you, he was barely controlled in his fury, and spoke condescendly to every Canadian, and I believe his barely controlled fury was because he heard/listened to Schryer's words today, and knows what's coming down the pipes tomorrow at 930 am.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

Paul Gross

M. Spector wrote:

Did anyone else notice that the Dion video was out of focus?

His face was fuzzy, but you could read the titles on the books behind him.

"Do you think it's easy to auto-focus?"

A CBC talking head said it looked like it had been shot with a webcam.

Jack's response (which the networks did not interrupt their schedules to show) looked and sounded great.

Peter3

The video is largely irrelevant. The only issues that remain are:

1) What will the GG do?

2) Will the Liberals hold their nerve or panic?

If the GG refuses to prorogue or dissolve, and if Mr. Harper doesn't go to Buckingham Palace and demand a new GG, time is short enough that this seems like a done deal.  The Liberals won't have enough time to panic.

OK, maybe that's optimistic, but it would be fatal to their organization if they backed out of something they just signed between now and Monday.  There's just no way to spin it positively.

If the House falls on Monday and the GG gives the coalition a chance to govern, everything resets and Mr. Dion will have his chance to hire a real videographer. If Mr. Dion's performance matters, it is in terms of its impact on some of the more weak-kneed Liberals.

Wish I could say that I were dead certain their nerve is going to hold.

KenS

miles wrote:
KenS wrote:

If Harper gets his way on prorogueing- that is 2 months without a government

Ken you have it wrong. I hate Harper with all my being but it will not be 2 months without a government.

 It will be 2 mos without the house sitting. no different than normal when the house rises in December and comes back in March. Like it has every year

And you are being a formalist, so for what is relevant here, you are incorrect.

It is the promise ASAP of an economic stimulus package from whoever is deemed to be the government that matters.

As in the US where Obama is not President yet, but the outlines of specific economic initiatives his administration will take have a material effect now.

The House does not need to be sitting for our government or government in waiting to take action that will have a similar effect in Cananda. But that cannot happen until Harper or the coalition establishes to general satisfaction that come the sitting of the House they will be in power.

democritus

It's already in the bag.  Ms. Jean will cave to whatever Harper asks; if she does not, she will be fired on the spot and Harper will appoint Preston Manning as the new GG.

 

The indignant reaction of Harper to the 'Great Unwashed' rising up in revolt will play well with his base ... the religious fanatics and the Western separtists.  All they see is their boy being dumped by nervy leftists.  The Cons have all the money, all the grassroot support, every evalgelistic pulpit, the RCMP, CSIS and the armed forces on their side.

 

This 'constitutional crisis' is a fun, theoretical exercise that will end on Friday when Parliament is prorogued.  (Is the person most affected by proroguation called a proroguee?)

Slumberjack

democritus wrote:
 (Is the person most affected by proroguation called a proroguee?)

In that sense, wouldn't they all be? 

janfromthebruce

remind wrote:

Here they had full discourse by Harper, Dion Layton and Duceppe. In fact, Global re-capped Dions statement by saying he called for government actions, regarding the economy and hardships faced by Canadians, as needing to be compassionate, calm and unified. And that he stated this was not a time for discord in the House and the playing of political games that Harper is playing.

They also noted again Nathan Cullen's riding office was fire bombed.

I can't find out anything about Nathan's office being fired bomb. Is there a link to this story? that's scary.

 

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"


______________________________________________________________________________________
Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

democritus

Do you mean us ... proroguees?

democritus

If the coalition were formed, do you think they'll appeal to Obama to repatriate Omar Khadr or maybe they'd give a little aid to Cuba ... 3 hurricanes and not a cent from the Harperites.

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

democritus wrote:

It's already in the bag.  Ms. Jean will cave to whatever Harper asks; if she does not, she will be fired on the spot and Harper will appoint Preston Manning as the new GG.

 

The indignant reaction of Harper to the 'Great Unwashed' rising up in revolt will play well with his base ... the religious fanatics and the Western separtists.  All they see is their boy being dumped by nervy leftists.  The Cons have all the money, all the grassroot support, every evalgelistic pulpit, the RCMP, CSIS and the armed forces on their side.

 

This 'constitutional crisis' is a fun, theoretical exercise that will end on Friday when Parliament is prorogued.  (Is the person most affected by proroguation called a proroguee?)

Under normal circumstances, with the clear confidence of the House he could do such a thing, but not given the situation.

Brian Topp: Our friends on the blue team seem to mostly focus on sticks, and not so much on carrots. ;)

democritus

"Under normal circumstances, with the clear confidence of the House he could do such a thing, but not given the situation"

 

If he had the clear confidence of the house, he wouldn't be in the position he is.

the regina mom the regina mom's picture

democritus wrote:

It's already in the bag.  Ms. Jean will cave to whatever Harper asks; if she does not, she will be fired on the spot and Harper will appoint Preston Manning as the new GG.

 

The indignant reaction of Harper to the 'Great Unwashed' rising up in revolt will play well with his base ... the religious fanatics and the Western separtists.  All they see is their boy being dumped by nervy leftists.  The Cons have all the money, all the grassroot support, every evalgelistic pulpit, the RCMP, CSIS and the armed forces on their side.

 

This 'constitutional crisis' is a fun, theoretical exercise that will end on Friday when Parliament is prorogued.  (Is the person most affected by proroguation called a proroguee?)

 

Oh.  My.  A happy person, you are not.  Someone did something to your oatmeal this morning?  Or a diehard cynic?

 

Cueball Cueball's picture

I don't think he can fire the GG if he is not Prime Minister, can he? And he is not the PM yet, since he has not faced the House in a confidence motion, or at least that is what I am to understand. He resigned. He has yet to form a government approved by the house.

madmax

LONG THREAD!!!

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

democritus wrote:

It's already in the bag.  Ms. Jean will cave to whatever Harper asks; if she does not, she will be fired on the spot and Harper will appoint Preston Manning as the new GG.

I guess this is where I say that while I don't think much of the monarchy as an institution, I must say I think better of Queen Liz - and that I'm rather certain she'd never let Harper get away with such shite.

bekayne

"I can't find out anything about Nathan's office being fired bomb. Is there a link to this story? that's scary."

It was a billboard

http://davidakin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/12/3/4005920.html

bekayne

Here's what that hack Pierre Bourque has just posted on his website:

Ndp icon Bill Blaikie says the Ndp may abandon coalition if Harper relents on some economic issues

Does anyone know anything about this?

Ze

Cullen's office wasn't firebombed, someone torched a sign. 

 http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5if0E3NDTiZS... 

the regina mom the regina mom's picture

So, why does anyone take anything that Bourque reports seriously?  Last night, he floated the rumour that 7 Libs were jumping ship.  Didn't happen.  Tonight this.  It's all part of the plan to destabilize things, don't you see?

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
There is also a real danger that many people could end up tolerating government policies that hurt working people because they come from a Liberal-NDP government rather than from the more blatantly pro-business Tories. We see this in the US, where many people swallow reactionary measures brought in by Democrats that they would reject if implemented by Republicans.

What should we do?

Relying on a Liberal-NDP government to deliver what people need is a recipe for disappointment. If a coalition government is formed (or if it isn't), everyone who believes that people shouldn't suffer because of a crisis we didn't create needs to mobilize. Now is the time to get organizing in unions, community groups and on campuses. Now is the time to start planning forums where people can come together and discuss campaigns that put demands on the federal government.

We should build campaigns to demand genuine reforms such as a full-scale pro-worker overhaul of EI, the construction of non-profit housing and better public transit systems, the strengthening of public pensions, tough regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions, status for all, and the nationalization of the banks. Vigorous efforts are needed to oppose every effort to scapegoat unions or immigrants for the crisis, and to call for the immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

[url=http://rabble.ca/news/liberal-ndp-coalition-no-solution]Rabble.ca[/url]

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

Rob8305

From watching At Issue tonight on CBC and passing by CTV Newsnet, I have to say that after tonight's disastrous performance by Dion, the coalition is all but dead.  Allan Gregg put it best: "Harper outmanuevered the opposition yet again."  Parliament will be prorogued and that gives Harper the ammunition and the time that he needs to launch a PR effort and to introducce a budget that the opposition can't refuse in January.

So darn depressing. So darn depressing. 

Policywonk

democritus wrote:

It's already in the bag.  Ms. Jean will cave to whatever Harper asks; if she does not, she will be fired on the spot and Harper will appoint Preston Manning as the new GG.

This 'constitutional crisis' is a fun, theoretical exercise that will end on Friday when Parliament is prorogued.  (Is the person most affected by proroguation called a proroguee?)

What we have is a political crisis. If Harper did try to fire the GG under these circumstances, there would be a constitutional crisis.

 

Policywonk

If the House is prorogued, that gives time for the Liberals to dump Dion and substitute an interim Leader that will be more palatable than Dion, as well as time for both sides to try to influence public opinion.

the regina mom the regina mom's picture

M. Spector wrote:

We should build campaigns to demand genuine reforms such as a
full-scale pro-worker overhaul of EI, the construction of non-profit
housing and better public transit systems, the strengthening of public
pensions, tough regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions, status
for all, and the nationalization of the banks. Vigorous efforts are
needed to oppose every effort to scapegoat unions or immigrants for the
crisis, and to call for the immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops
from Afghanistan.

*ahem*

No disagreement here, but how about a national childcare plan now, instead of "when there's money"?  Or putting "equality" back into Status of Women Canada's mandate and funding SWC properly?  Or moving forward instead of backward on pay equity?

My kid was an infant when I started working on the childcare issue.  She's gonna be eligible to vote -- an adult -- in spring. I think women have had to bear way too much of the burden in this wealthy society.  Way.  Too.  Much.  And the coalition needs to hear that first and foremost, loudly and clearly.  We women are the f*cking majority.  It's about time our issues were addressed!Yell

Highlander

I truly hope that the GG will take to the air herself tomorrow.  Seize the self-created crisis that Harper has gracelessly tossed into her lap and make it a teaching moment.

I hope she stares into the camera and explains that however unusual the circumstances before her that we have a Constitution, both written and born of centuries of precident to guide us, peacefully, through our political disputes.  A fact that makes us a far more blessed country and people than is the case in so many places in the world.

She could explain simply and plainly that her role, her oath and her first duty is to the Constitution and the principle of Responsible Government.  Give a little history lesson about how this tradition runs from the Parliament in Westminster through to the days of Upper and Lower Canada.  Predating Confederation and alive in Commonwealth countries around the globe.  All guided by the truth that no one.  No King, no Queen, no Governor General, no Prime Minister tells the People's House - the House of Commons - who they have confidence in.  The People's own representatives do that.  Your elected Members of Parliament.  This was a right won at great cost over many years and one that is not to be discarded or ignored.  Ever. 

Talk about how her decision can not simply be one for today, December 5th 2008, but how her role must speak both to the traditions of the past but also, most importantly, to the situations that may be faced by her successors in the future.  How acceding to the request to prorogue Parliament, however commonplace that request is in normal circumstances, can never be abused to avoid the most fundamental test of any government, today or in the future; does it hold the confidence of the House of Commons?  She can say that she does not honestly know the answer to that question but before she can agree to the Prime Minister's request to prorogue she needs to be assured that he holds the confidence of the House.  Until that is confirmed, her duty demands that she take the request under advisement until after the vote, currently scheduled for the evening of Monday December 8th, is concluded.

She can even go so far as to say that she has invited the Prime Minister to return on the morning of December 9th to advise her of the House's decision and whether, if appropriate, he would still wish to prorogue Parliament or whether he has any other proposals he might wish to present to her.

I, sadly, fear I will not hear a speech like this.  I fear I will hear nothing of the sort.  That the PM will walk into Rideau Hall at around 9:30 am Eastern and walk out before 9:45.  He will head to a microphone and state that Parliament will return in the new year and that the Government continues to function.  It should give people chills but most people will just let it pass without comment.  The editorial pages will talk about the coalition that will crumble, and it will under the weight of expectaion and Liberal leadership struggles and our democracy, imperfect as it is, will be weaker for it.  And years from now a PM, who may not even be born yet will cite this precident as his authority to demand the closing of Parliament in a much darker, much more sinister situation than is currently before us.  And people will wonder how we let this happen.

Pleasant dreams.

CanadianAlien

Highlander, lets hope that the GG does appreciate the historic significance of her role, resulting from premonitions of dark posssible futures on her flight back home, but that she at this moment sleeping well, confident that her answer in a few hours time can forestall your dark forebodings ...

KenS

Threat of defections shifts sands beneath Dion's feet

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081204.wparlliberals04/BNStory/Front

I don't think there is anything going on that isn't totally expected. There was guaranteed to be at least some grumbling, and maybe even a defection. Nothing so far to indicate there will be too much for the Coalition to stand. But Dion's address didn't help... unerving his most sensitive audience: his colleagues.

Michelle

Long thread!  I'll start the continuation thread.

Pages

Topic locked