Coalition government: Even more debate!

135 posts / 0 new
Last post
Michelle
Coalition government: Even more debate!

Let's continue posting links to opinion pieces and our own opinions on the coalition here.

Bookish Agrarian

M. Spector

rabble-rouser

Member: 9273

Joined: Feb 19 2005

User is online

December 4, 2008 - 4:34pm

#100 (permalink)

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

 

Especially as I have never said anything about the Liberal leader other than that is up to Liberals not me.

 

I was talking about babblers in general, not you in particular. In fact, I don't pay any attention to your opinions. They're not worth discussing.

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

 

 

 

You are a child who is little different than the bully you claim to oppose.  You quote me then pretend it has nothing to do with that.  What next are you going to suggest I am a traitor or that I am willing to talk with seperatists?  What a low-life piece of crap you really are hiding behind your flowery prose just like Mr Harper.

Gnote

Does anyone know which section of the Constitution (or other legal document) speak to the formation of government?

I'd like, specifically, to read the parts that set out how a group of represetnatives come to power, confidence issues, etc.

The Bish

In contrast to what enemy_of_capital was saying in the other thread about the NDP losing votes, I don't think the NDP can do anything but come out of this stronger electorally.  It's looking more and more like the NDP is the strong, united party against Stephen Harper.  The more the Liberals disintegrate, and the more the Conservatives act like autocrats, the better the NDP looks.  On top of that, Jack Layton has consistently appeared to be firm, confident, in control, and just generally statemanlike throughout this ordeal.  If the Liberals back out of this, I'd expect you'll see a big NDP push in the next election when it becomes obvious that the NDP are the only real alternative to Harper.  If the Liberals don't realise how much their survival depends on this coalition, they're incredibly stupid.

Vansterdam Kid

Very astute, Cueball.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I think people should relax.

Obviously Harper asking the GG to prorogue was a dictarorial, and proto-fascist manouver, and it should be portrayed as such. That said, we all understand that the GG's unelected status give her place as a moderator very little real legitimacy, and after all, Harper does have some mandate from the electoral system, and this gives him a kind of authority that the GG does not have. Giving Harper what he wants only strengthens her authority in the future, when and if there is a confidence vote.

It will be clear that because she is assenting to Harper's initial demand, that she is acting in a non-partisan manner, and if Harper can not pull the situation out of the tailspin, she will have far more authority to ask the coalition to form the government later, without it appearing that she is being partisan.

I say this even though, obviously it is a bad precedent, and undemocratic, and quasi-dictatorial manouver. But appealling to the protection of the last vestiges of the monarchal system, over the head of an elected representative, likewise, can be construed as undemocratic, and certainly would be spun this way.

I don't think there is any reason to panic. Certainly, panicking does nothing but make the coalition look as desperate as Harper looks now.

Coalition supporters should be clear in their resolve, and histrionics only make it look as if Harper has a point about the coalition. Indeed, if it can not survive until the 27th, and then win a confidence vote, it would seem that the charge that it is too fragile to govern is well founded.

Coalition supporters need to be firm in their resolve, and confident in their right, and respectful of the power of the GG if they want to reign in wayward Liberals and attract dissident Tories, and win the day in the end.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

" It's looking more and more like the NDP is the strong, united party against Stephen Harper. "

I agree. But I still prefer a Liberal/NDP coalition to a Con majority with an NDP opposition which is the best that could be hoped for in the event of a complete Liberal collapse.  

 

JeffWells

I think most of all, this episode has evaporated my remaining trust in the political literacy of Canadians. (Or maybe I just need to stop reading the  comments on the CTV and Globe and Mail websites.) Nevertheless, today's Ekos poll shows Conservative support spiking to 44%.

Hatemongering and lying boldly works like a charm. 

 

 

madmax

Cueball wrote:

I think people should relax.

Coalition supporters should be clear in their resolve, and histrionics only make it look as if Harper has a point about the coalition. Indeed, if it can not survive until the 27th, and then win a confidence vote, it would seem that the charge that it is too fragile to govern is well founded.

I said early. Dion was likely the only possible choice with the capacity to give the ball back to Harper. You can't put a weak leader in charge of a coalition. You can't come up with something should a greater lack of foresight.

So... I agree with your comments Cueball (thats twice in one year), but here is whats happening.

"Our Communications sucks"

"The coalition -- the way that we're going right now -- it won't survive. I can't see it surviving. We have somebody who can't communicate and someone who can't communicate, its hard, its very hard..."

DUH!!! 

 

Ken Burch

Will it be possible, in the month of down time that proroguing has created, to renegotiate the Coalition agreement, to at least possibly get the Liberals to back down on their insistence that the Coalition back their right wing tax proposals and on staying in Afghanistan until 2011?

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Our Demands Most Moderate are/
We Only Want The World!
-James Connolly

enemy_of_capital

Fat chance on Liberal soul searching. I think the coalition of the careerists is as I said before, stillborn.

Unionist

I agree with Cueball also.

lefdem

First post of a lurker --- on Babble for many  years.

 I decided to post because I have a question that maybe some of you smart people can answer wrt the constitutional details of what's going on.

I was reading in one the recent threads here, I think it was from remind, that Harper didn't actually ever pass a confidence vote in the just-prorogued session, that the vote was some kind of deferral to vote later. Is this actually a fact? If this is so, then the nature of what just happened is truly an assault on Parliament. 

If this is true, then Harper hasn't had the confidence of the House since September when he stated this to the GG and the election was called. If true he still only has the caretaker powers that a PM retains through an election campaign, he can't spend money or do much of the usual decision making that a PM who had confidence could do.

 If this is true then the first confidence vote that Harper pinned his government's legitimacy on was the vote on the FU, which he decided to make a game of chicken with the opposition.

 And if this is true, it makes the idea that the GG had to obey his request, especially given the extraordinary nature of it, pretty weak. This means that the one who has pulled off a coup here is Stephen Harper, not the coalition.

 But I have seen no other reference to the idea that Harper hadn't won confidence after the Throne Speech, not from the pundits or any of the army of constitutional experts that have been weighing in. But if this is true, I'm shocked that it wouldn't be a major story within this affair, because it totally de-legitimizes Harper's position.

 Does anyone here know enough to clarify this for me? 

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:
I agree with Cueball also.

As do I.  Although I still think this is a dark day.

 


I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down'. Bob Newhart

Fidel

Yep, Harper is too big to hide for very long. He has to come out and fight sooner than later.

Cueball Cueball's picture

madmax wrote:
Cueball wrote:

I think people should relax.

Coalition supporters should be clear in their resolve, and histrionics only make it look as if Harper has a point about the coalition. Indeed, if it can not survive until the 27th, and then win a confidence vote, it would seem that the charge that it is too fragile to govern is well founded.

I said early. Dion was likely the only possible choice with the capacity to give the ball back to Harper. You can't put a weak leader in charge of a coalition. You can't come up with something should a greater lack of foresight.

So... I agree with your comments Cueball (thats twice in one year), but here is whats happening.

"Our Communications sucks"

"The coalition -- the way that we're going right now -- it won't survive. I can't see it surviving. We have somebody who can't communicate and someone who can't communicate, its hard, its very hard..."

DUH!!! 

 

Well that is the hand you have been dealt. Asking for new cards now, will just make it look like you have bad cards, overall.

Slumberjack

Cueball wrote:
....we all understand that the GG's unelected status give her place as a moderator very little real legitimacy....

So an unpartisan decision which has somewhat of a moderating effect has no legitimacy?  How about we elect one the next time around from the crop of usual hacks that end up on the ballots and see how that pans out.

pogge

[Earlier today, someone identifying himself as Eric Finley posted this as a comment to a blog post I'd put up saying that he wanted to start a meme. I put it up on my front page as a guest post. At this point, it's been picked up by at least three other bloggers who have done the same. For your consideration (and knowing that when I paste it into this cockamamie edit window the formatting's liable to go silly). -p]

Keep meeting.

To the coalition: Keep meeting.

Parliament has been prorogued. So you're not meeting in an official capacity. But nonetheless meet as if you were not prorogued.

Find a site. Pay for it yourselves, and be explicit about that.
You're citizens meeting to speak. But in so doing, keep up the business
of Parliament. Debate. Draft bills. Hold (unofficial) committee
meetings. Vote... on memoranda of understanding.

Show the country, its citizens, and its investors that while you do
not argue with the legality of the delay, you see no need to go on
vacation in this crucial economic time. Assume (without even explicitly
saying it) that in January when Parliament reconvenes, Harper will
fall, the coalition will form government, and the memoranda of
understanding and drafted bills will be dealt with, bang-bang-bang,
because you have already hashed this out.

Invite the Conservatives to join you. If you get some momentum, you
might get no few disgruntled members willing to bet that Harper's fury
will not control their lives.

Let the Conservatives take an extended vactation. Shrink the
proposed vacation period instead, to mark the severity of the economic
need.

Make it plain that you do not dispute Her Excellency's right to
consent to her nominal first minister's request to prorogue, and that
you respect her for making a difficult decision in uncharted waters.
Open each session with a consistent, well-crafted adaptation of
protocol which is sufficiently distinct that it does not trespass upon
Parliament's formal privileges... but that nonetheless shows clearly
that you do this out of the uttermost respect for the Queen, the
Governor General, and the Canadian people.

Repeat frequently that you're just trying to get work done now, so
that things can happen fast when the doors unlock in January. It can't
be trespass upon the privileges of government if its level of formality
is that of a caucus meeting.

Be completely transparent. Defeat the smoke-filled rooms meme. Heck, hold it in a bar, if you can find one big enough.

The media will come to you. I can think of no more efficient way to
stretch your advertising dollars than a bold, newsworthy stroke like
this.

If you do this, I will donate to the limit of my ability. I will
write letters to the editor praising your actions. I will take my four
children and go door to door. In Edmonton. In December.

Pass it on.

KEEP MEETING.

 

 

Ken Burch

Dupe Post.  Didn't realize this post had even appeared.

_______________________________________________________________________________________
Our Demands Most Moderate are/
We Only Want The World!
-James Connolly

remind remind's picture

Thanks pogge, I have written to both the NDP and Liberals asking them to do this.

I have also printed off "I am part of the 62% majority"  signs and have them in my house windows and vehicle back window. Link below

http://www.62percentmajority.ca/action/tools

__________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

LeighT

pogge, thanks for sharing that post of Eric Finley's.

it strikes me that in response to Ken Burch's question, this ah- Government in Exile could perhaps engage a fresh look on Afghanistan

 

Bookish Agrarian

Thank you pogge. 

 

That is the most positive response I have seen.  I would definitely donate money to ensure such a think occurs.  It would be the best free advertising available to counter the onslaught to come from the Conservatives.  You could even move it around the country so that citizens could tell their stories and give their advice.  It would be a much more democratic process then the 'consultations' we taxpayers will be paying for with the Conservative.

Best idea I have read in a long time!

SierraTango

Great post pogge.  Do you think it would be alright if I cut and paste it in an email to my NDP MP?  I think everyone who supports the coalition and has either an NDP or LIB  MP should do the same.

Stockholm

We have all learned that a week in politics is a very long time - and we have seven more weeks just until Parliament comes back - let alone everything after that.

I would not be surprised if the Liberals blink and that Harper makes a lot of concessions and the Tories hold on a bit longer. If I was a Liberal, I'd probably think twice about coming to power at such a bad economic time with a leader who is so weak and who has no respect.

Here is what I predict will happen. The Tories will come out with some sort of a stimulus package and a budget that is heavily larded with spending etc... and the Liberals will crack and go along with it and try to take credit for any changes. The economy will continue to sink like a stone and when the Liberals have their super weekend to elect delegates in March - Ignatieff will be the clear winner and will have clinched the leadership. Ignatieff will have the advantage of NOT being tainted as a result of being one of the major figures in this who episode and by May/June - he may actually look pretty good to people in comparison to Harper.  We could then move into a period where the Tories start being the ones who are afraid of an election and who start avoiding confidence votes etc...

 

Just my two cents worth

lefdem

Does the fact that no one has responded to my question in post #13 above (http://rabble.ca/comment/967718/First-post-lurker) mean that, it's not common to respond to newibes, my question is ignorant or irrelevant, no one can answer it or I've unwittingly violated some convention on this forum? Or am I just being impatient, in which case I apologize.

remind remind's picture

Sure go ahead sierratango that is what I did, in a letter to both the NDP and Liberals.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

klexo

lefdem wrote:

First post of a lurker --- on Babble for many  years.

 I decided to post because I have a question that maybe some of you smart people can answer wrt the constitutional details of what's going on.

I was reading in one the recent threads here, I think it was from remind, that Harper didn't actually ever pass a confidence vote in the just-prorogued session, that the vote was some kind of deferral to vote later. Is this actually a fact? If this is so, then the nature of what just happened is truly an assault on Parliament. 

If this is true, then Harper hasn't had the confidence of the House since September when he stated this to the GG and the election was called. If true he still only has the caretaker powers that a PM retains through an election campaign, he can't spend money or do much of the usual decision making that a PM who had confidence could do.

 If this is true then the first confidence vote that Harper pinned his government's legitimacy on was the vote on the FU, which he decided to make a game of chicken with the opposition.

 And if this is true, it makes the idea that the GG had to obey his request, especially given the extraordinary nature of it, pretty weak. This means that the one who has pulled off a coup here is Stephen Harper, not the coalition.

 But I have seen no other reference to the idea that Harper hadn't won confidence after the Throne Speech, not from the pundits or any of the army of constitutional experts that have been weighing in. But if this is true, I'm shocked that it wouldn't be a major story within this affair, because it totally de-legitimizes Harper's position.

 Does anyone here know enough to clarify this for me? 

 

I could be worng on this, but I understand confidence was expressed in the throne speech by voice vote -- big mistake, but an indiciation that no one saw the absurd attack in the eco statement coming.

What has happened is nonetheless an assault on democracy.

There was talk of prorogue with conditions on appointments etc. but I take it the execrable Mme Jean couldnt summon the courage for any such limitations on Harper the Usurper.

jrootham

lefdem wrote:

I was reading in one the recent threads here, I think it was from remind, that Harper didn't actually ever pass a confidence vote in the just-prorogued session, that the vote was some kind of deferral to vote later. Is this actually a fact? If this is so, then the nature of what just happened is truly an assault on Parliament. 

The Address in Reply to the Throne Speech (to give it the official title) did pass. 

Hansard

Ye gods and little fishes.  I just looked at Hansard.  I had no idea that the timing was as tight as that.  They got to the end of the debate at 4:10  which is the time for "Routine Business".  That was the economic statement with all the hand grenades.  Immediately following that there was a voice vote where the Address passed.

Damn, if someone had managed to figure out how to stall that vote Harper would have been dead.  No way you prorogue without a vote on the speech from the throne.

Doug

Gnote wrote:

Does anyone know which section of the Constitution (or other legal document) speak to the formation of government?

I'd like, specifically, to read the parts that set out how a group of represetnatives come to power, confidence issues, etc.

There isn't any. This is all in the realm of what's called constitutional convention - that is, it's this way because this is how it's been done before.

LeighT

lefdem, i'm sure others will give you better clarity on your question, and i don't know the protocols here, but i'm hearing from this thread that people are appreciating Cueball's calm and sensible and respectful stance, along with pogge's/Finley's sense of dignity and responsibility, and I'm just hinting that there have been historical precedents for such. Of course in the past the decisions made by exile governments were considered real decisions.  Finley is suggesting that the process of hashing through is key, which is certainly most true in our present situation, and of course the only 'legal' option.

lefdem

klexo wrote:
I could be worng on this, but I understand confidence was expressed in the throne speech by voice vote -- big mistake, but an indiciation that no one saw the absurd attack in the eco statement coming.

What has happened is nonetheless an assault on democracy.

There was talk of prorogue with conditions on appointments etc. but I take it the execrable Mme Jean couldnt summon the courage for any such limitations on Harper the Usurper. 

Thanks, I guess I misunderstood what I thought I had read on the other thread. I thought I had read that whatever vote that occurred after the Throne Speech didn't actually count as a confidence vote.

 OK, I looked through some other threads and found the reference I was referring to:

remind wrote:
Having said that, he is going to try and get around this breach of immediate testing convention, by saying he did have the confidence of the House because the Liberals initially stated they would support the Throne speech. However, there has NOT yet been a confidence vote. So it would appear, legally by Convention, that he does not yet have full powers of office. Hence he is trying to bully his way out of democracy, as we have it, by lying to the public. It is he who does not have constitutional authority to govern. And it is he who istrying to circumvent democracy. he should have resigned immediately after the elction brought in another minority government for him

I've been looking around various blogs and web sites to find confirmation of this idea but have not. If what remind is saying is true, than the nature of Harper's usurpation is far greater than what's being reported everywhere. This would be something Robert Mugabe territory.

 The other thing that I've been looking for is for this to be commented on by the truckloads of constitutional experts that are making themselves heard. 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

on Don Newman's Politics today the same/similar ideas as those expressed by Cue were represented by a prof from the U of Ottawa Law Faculty...

Edward Ratushny U of Ottawa Law Faculty

"I don't think it's really a precedent. I think if she (the GG) had gone the other way it would be a precedent because the normal process is for the GG is to listen to the PM and follow the PM's advice. Now the circumstances here were rather unique, but the GG doesn't get into the circumstances. The GG looks at the bigger picture."

"I think that it was a good decision, that it was the right decision and the vote will come. It can't be put off indefinitely. Tactically,as well, it was good because she kept up her position of being a non-elected official - the Head of Government - but she listened to the PM, followed his advice, and the next time, when she doesn't, it will make her all the more credible." 

 

Key phrase .... the next time, when she doesn't, ...

 

interestingly, Ratushny felt that the Coalition played their cards too soon and could have waited to reveal themselves, say, after the GG rules against Harper. Now the jackass has a target. The visiting prof also mentioned that he was puzzled by Harper's insistence on acting like he had a majority, ... leading to Newman to quip that the professor was asserting that the political leaders in Parliament were all dummies! ha ha

 

 

 

 

 

lefdem

jrootham wrote:
The Address in Reply to the Throne Speech (to give it the official title) did pass. 

Hansard

Ye gods and little fishes.  I just looked at Hansard.  I had no idea that the timing was as tight as that.  They got to the end of the debate at 4:10  which is the time for "Routine Business".  That was the economic statement with all the hand grenades.  Immediately following that there was a voice vote where the Address passed.

Damn, if someone had managed to figure out how to stall that vote Harper would have been dead.  No way you prorogue without a vote on the speech from the throne.

So you're saying that the Harper's minority DID pass a confidence vote by this Address in Reply to the Throne Speech and therefore he has full and legitimate powers of PM, short of facing the now-moot non-confidence motion. 

 Unless I'm misunderstanding what I quoted from remind above he/she is saying that Harper's minority hasn't yet faced that vote. Sorry if I happen to be muddying the waters through being dense. 

pogge

SierraTango wrote:
Do you think it would be alright if I cut and paste it in an email to my NDP MP?

Absolutely. I've had other comments at the blog to the effect that it's being sent out to MPs, listservs, etc. That's what Eric said he wanted.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Ratushny's remarks ought to be challenged or accepted. If accepted, then there is no point in second guessing the actions of the GG.

Cueball Cueball's picture

They should be accepted.

remind remind's picture

lefdem wrote:
First post of a lurker --- on Babble for many  years.

 I decided to post because I have a question that maybe some of you smart people can answer wrt the constitutional details of what's going on.

I was reading in one the recent threads here, I think it was from remind, that Harper didn't actually ever pass a confidence vote in the just-prorogued session, that the vote was some kind of deferral to vote later. Is this actually a fact? If this is so, then the nature of what just happened is truly an assault on Parliament

The voice vote yay to respond to the GG's Throne Speech presentation, 20 mins before the bombshell overview was enough to give Harper full powers of confidence, or he could not have asked for a prorogue, they had been hoping it could be over-looked with their letter, it couldn't.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

KenS

Stockholm wrote:

I would not be surprised if the Liberals blink and that Harper makes a lot of concessions and the Tories hold on a bit longer. If I was a Liberal, I'd probably think twice about coming to power at such a bad economic time with a leader who is so weak and who has no respect.

Here is what I predict will happen. The Tories will come out with some sort of a stimulus package and a budget that is heavily larded with spending etc... and the Liberals will crack and go along with it and try to take credit for any changes. The economy will continue to sink like a stone and when the Liberals have their super weekend to elect delegates in March - Ignatieff will be the clear winner and will have clinched the leadership. Ignatieff will have the advantage of NOT being tainted as a result of being one of the major figures in this who episode and by May/June - he may actually look pretty good to people in comparison to Harper.  We could then move into a period where the Tories start being the ones who are afraid of an election and who start avoiding confidence votes etc...

I think this is very plausible. Both as a specific scenario, and an illustration of multiple possible outcomes.

But I would not yet write off the Liberals sticking with this. But it is going to require Layton, Rae and Dion pushing things along. It can work with Dion being just along for the ride. The poor quality of the tape was an indication of continued dissaray around Dion. Not good. But still correctable. If he was himself flubbing the communication, that probably would be fatal. And the dissary around him is correctable since it is apparent he has finally started listening to advice.

Like Stock, I expect the Conservative package is going to be quite attractive, and entirely stripped of even remnants of the gratuitous pokes that got Harper fighting for survival. So it makes sense that the Liberals are likely to crumble in the end. [When Bob Rae starts saying "maybe we can work with Harper" we'll know the Coalition is finished. Because the Coalition is his only ticket to the Leadership.]

If they do crumble I'm not so sure that it will come out as pretty for them in the end as the picture Stock outlines. But it sure looks like the days of Harper bullying them are over. and once Harper has to act like a normal minority PM, things do open up for the Liberals.

tostig

KenS wrote:
...

And the 'political literacy' it takes to really know what is going on right now is possessed only by junkies. Even a high standard of civic duty should not require people to be political junkies. Most people are normal you know.

A lot of the comments from street interviews and call-in shows have people commenting in one way or another that the"politicians should just work together."

What they fail to understand is that three of the four parties were planning to work together. It's the fourth party that caused this fiasco.

KenS

JeffWells wrote:

I think most of all, this episode has evaporated my remaining trust in the political literacy of Canadians. (Or maybe I just need to stop reading the  comments on the CTV and Globe and Mail websites.) Nevertheless, today's Ekos poll shows Conservative support spiking to 44%.

Hatemongering and lying boldly works like a charm. 

 

Cueball's advice to relax is spot on.

And the poll does not show that hatemongering and lying works.

It makes perfect sense that so many people think a cooling off period is called for. And that until given a compelling case otherwise, they will prefer the devil they know in these difficult times.

I've been saying all along that these quasi-natural tendencies give Harper the advantage. So its no surprise early polling comes out like this.

People can dislike the hate mongering and think that there is probably lying going on, and still mostly let it roll over them.

And the 'political literacy' it takes to really know what is going on right now is possessed only by junkies. Even a high standard of civic duty should not require people to be political junkies. Most people are normal you know.

KenS

But think about it. "Politicians should just work together." is a perfectly sensible thing for people to think about it.

Not only is it the hand we've been dealt- which is reason enough to accept, adapt and get on with it.... but it really does make sense.

It is a normal skeptical view for people to suspect it is just too convenient for all the blame to be put on Harper and his actions.

tostig

KenS wrote:
...

It is a normal skeptical view for people to suspect it is just too convenient for all the blame to be put on Harper and his actions.

I don't think the person on the street is aiming specifically at Harper any more than the other three.

 That's the disturbing thing.  They also think the coalition isn't cooperating.

lefdem

remind wrote:
The voice vote yay to respond to the GG's Throne Speech presentation, 20 mins before the bombshell overview was enough to give Harper full powers of confidence, or he could not have asked for a prorogue, they had been hoping it could be over-looked with their letter, it couldn't. 

 Thanks for your clarification. I guess the idea that he was illegitimately acting as PM was too good to be true.

 If I was the coalition leaders right now I would:

• work on some really good talking points and find a way to spend money on counter advertising. The Con ads look and sound like the McCain attack ads we saw in September and October. I would love to see the coalition take the Obama approach of being straight-forward and above board to counter the lies and fear-mongering. I wonder if Harper has Rove on retainer.

• get ready for an election and don't shy away from it if that's how this plays out when the House is back in session. 

• urge the Liberal party to move their leadership contest to right away, before the House comes back.

• prepare to go to an election as a multi-party coalition and run campaigns where the NDP and Libs selectively don't compete with each other. It may be worth it to include the Greens, and promise them a riding or two to themselves in return, because their 5% in some ridings might be the difference between winning and losing. Probably the Bloc wouldn't want to compete in something like that and the optics would look bad for the coalition, but I figure that Harper is now pretty much wiped out in Quebec anyway.

The Cons would now have to get a minimum of 51% of the vote to win any of the ridings. I predict that this and their loss of Quebec seats would reduce their seat totals to significantly below what they have now.

 I know many on this forum don't like the sound of this sort of idea, because of the issues around getting too cozy with Libs to only be stabbed in the back, but I propose it as a one-time measure to create a coalition majority or strong minority government and destroy the threat of Harper or any of his Harris neocon successors. The goal for the NDP (and Greens) would have to be national proportional representation. With that in place, the parties could then stand back on their own and be willing to enter into coalitions as election results dictate.

 I think there's never been a more opportune moment for this to come about then now. If the parties to the left of Harper's cons don't carry forward with this temporary coalition now, I really fear where things might go in future elections.

 I live in Saanich Gulf Islands and I'm tired so tired of watching Gary Lunn keep winning with a minority and splitting the vote, to the point of even causing the strange and upsetting events of the last election. Were doomed to Conservative or Blue Lib domination until we can achieve PR.

 

 

KenS

tostig wrote:
I don't think the person on the street is aiming specifically at Harper any more than the other three.

 That's the disturbing thing.  They also think the coalition isn't cooperating.

  

Its perfectly sensible for people to look at politicians collectively.

And the coalition isn't cooperating in the overarching sense. That trumps whether they are cooperating among themselves.

Are people being realistic? No.

Do they have a point? Yes.

Like I said- this is the hand we've been dealt. And a pretty predictable one. And IMO, not one to despair about.

lefdem

tostig wrote:
What they fail to understand is that three of the four parties were planning to work together. It's the fourth party that caused this fiasco.

Excellent and succinct talking point, it should be repeated a lot. 

KenS

lefdem wrote:
I live in Saanich Gulf Islands and I'm tired so tired of watching Gary Lunn keep winning with a minority and splitting the vote, to the point of even causing the strange and upsetting events of the last election. Were doomed to Conservative or Blue Lib domination until we can achieve PR.

Good points above that, and I feel for your case.

But you've probably been reading babble long enough to know that for most of us- and not just the NDP partisans- that kind of electoral cooperation is a non-starter.

People can give the proposals all the details and hedges they want, the end result is a Liberal part with a slightly bigger tent, but no difference in what comes out the pipe. A two party system is not the answering. And the slippery slope is bad enough in its own right.

There is absolutely no appetite [with traction] in any party for that kind of cooperation.

lefdem

KenS wrote:
People can give the proposals all the details and hedges they want, the end result is a Liberal part with a slightly bigger tent, but no difference in what comes out the pipe. A two party system is not the answering. And the slippery slope is bad enough in its own right.

There is absolutely no appetite [with traction] in any party for that kind of cooperation.

If what you say is a fact, and that even a temporary coalition can't happen, then I fear that the Harpers, Bairds, Martins and Chretiens will continue to shut out those on the left from getting near power.

 I've come to realize that I'm generally too far left/libertarian/anarchist on most things to ever have the policies that I would agree with dominatethe  overall agenda. I'm just happy if they can get a fair hearing and if representatives that share similar views can get a chance to influence power in proportion to our share of the general population. Then I think the utility and rightness of those views will come to be accepted more widely.

 Without PR, that isn't going to happen. If there are people who think that somehow the NDP is going to win an FPTP majority or even strong minority in Canada, they'd be dreaming, even if the hated Libs were to crash and burn like the PCs and the Green Party was to shrivel up and die.

 Oops, I probably won't have much fun posting here after that last paragraph. Maybe I should have stayed in lurk mode. :-)

BTW Ken, I've particularly enjoyed reading your posts over the years, as your opinions seem to always be tempered with reason and good judgement, so I don't doubt your assessment in this case. 

KenS

Thanks for the compliment.

If by temporary coalition you mean something like an aggreement of parties negotiating standing down in certain ridings for just one election- I think you are right: even that is a non-starter.

You will find people in the NDP who support that idea. But a very small to non-existant group among party activists. Many woud simply flat ot oppose it on principle. And the rest for a mix of that and the familiarity of what that means in real terms to the grassroots organization. Anyone who has been active enough in the NDP to have an idea of what goes on at Councils, could picture the riot if anyone were to try to tell riding associations they are not going to run candidates. Folks would be hugely offended it would be done to any riding, let alone try that with mine.

And there are even fewer people in the Liberal party who would countenance such an idea. Its just more likely to get traction on the margins in the NDP because there schemes that sound good in the abstract but with zero means of being put into effect can achieve some kind of circulation.

KenS

This is certainly interesting.

Rae steps in as Coalition's chief spokesman.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081205.wparlliberals05/BNStory/politics/home

 

Rae's aggressiveness yesterday was certainly notable. But there appears to be even more to it. And I had already guessed that Brison's similar aggressiveness for the Coalition last week was not a coincidence.

Rae and Brison both have roles within the Liberal party, and the Liberal party in turn is behind the Coalition. That the Libs are clearly not unified in their resolve does not stop Rae and Brison and whoever else wants to jump in from having a mandate and a bully pulpit to go full tilt.

The Liberals will pay a price, internally as well as with the public, to cave in. And the more Rae and others are out on the hustings, the bigger that price gets.

The naysayers are left whispering in the hallways. That doesn't make them toothless. But they are disadvantaged.

On the other hand, theres plenty of time for the Iggy camp to do all the quiet talking in preparation for a showdown vote on whether the Libs are going to vote no confidence when the House sits.

So its risky for the Coalition to have Rae turning support for it within the Liberal party into a de fact leadership contest. But standing pat is not an option, and Raes push is what there is.

The other hard thing to know is whether the not really unified Liberals can put the resources into working on an alternative Throne Speech to offer to Canadians, and other background work that has to be done to have any chance of not being left in the dust by the Conservatives. But even if he remains somewhat stunned, Dion does control those resources and the Coalition is his only chance for redemption.

KenS

I just thought as a curiousity item I'd post a summary from the US- the LATimes.

I think its actually a pretty good thumbnail.

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads off defeat. The Conservative leader gets permission for a rare suspension of Parliament, allowing him to avoid a vote that would have toppled his government.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-canada5-2008dec05,0,3038908.story

The NYTimes story talked more about the troubling precedent constitutional scholars saw in this.

josh

It's a smart move for Rae, as the underdog in the race against Iggy.  While Iggy is making faces about the Coalition, Rae is rallying the pro-Coalition forces within the party.

 

And apparently they had to drag Iggy kicking and screaming to sign the letter to the GG:

 

"Thursday, there was a hint of Mr. Ignatieff's hesitancy after it became known he was the very last Liberal to sign a letter endorsing the coalition, which was sent to the Governor-General before her meeting with Mr. Harper.

The Liberal whip had asked caucus members to come to his office at 11 p.m. Wednesday or 7:30 a.m. Thursday to sign the letter; Mr. Ignatieff finally put pen to paper around 10 a.m."

 http://tinyurl.com/5z2tfz

 

Pages

Topic locked