Coalition: breaking news

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Coalition: breaking news

Well, here's one:

OTTAWA — Frank Valeriote does not favour a coalition government and instead hopes Prime Minister Stephen Harper can work toward rescuing the Canadian economy.

“I believe in working toward a solution, not working toward a coalition,” Guelph’s Liberal MP said Wednesday.

Valeriote added he does not believe a Liberal-NDP coalition, with support from the Bloc Quebecois, will unseat the Tories.

“I have given no thought to that,” Valeriote said when asked whether he saw himself in a cabinet role under such an arrangement. “I am not, frankly, anticipating moving into government.”

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Mercury.


If you followed the Guelph Campaign, it was apparent and heir Emerson in the making.  Should anyone be surprised. ????


And a Cons MP is publicaly saying that Harper made a serious mistake. Isolated cases of both are guaranteed to happen- cracks or no cracks.

And I think this is exactly the kind of new thread for which there is no excuse. Why didn't you put this in the existing thread? Its not a distinct topic- just another facet of what goes on with and viz the coalition.


A close friend of mine bumped into former Lib MP Dennis Mills (Jack's predecessor) at a restaurant in Toronto... asked him what he thought of the coalition and he said it was a "big mistake."

Bookish Agrarian

Well that proves it - it is a good idea

Wilf Day

Northumberland - Quinte West, a semi-rural riding, is a more likely place than Guelph for Liberal cracks. At our three-party pro-coalition press conference this afternoon in Cobourg (with Greens, no Bloc here), Paul Macklin our former Liberal MP and recent candidate, and his supporters, were there in good numbers; a standing-room only event. And his riding president is helping organize a regional rally for Saturday.


Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Well that proves it - it is a good idea

My thought exactly.


The major crack to appear in the coalition will be triggered by a leak about the payola to Quebec that the Liberals agreed to.

Iggy is already jumping ship. With Jacques Parizeau's hearty agreement to the coalition, many Liberals will be searching for the handgrenade in their underwear.Wink


If the coalition falls apart because the Liberals lose their nerve - at least it will give the NDP a great sledgehammer to beat them with for the next year when people look for who to blame for all the awful stuff Harper is bound to try to do.


Frank Valeriote is a conservative formner chair of the Catholic School Board, prperty lawyer and real estate developer with strong Conservative connections, including his brother who is a mover in the local CPC riding.

He defeated a progressive candidate (Marva Wisdom) in a thoroughly dirty nomination battle thqat was fixed in his favour by the local machine.  He hates the NDP.

If you were listing likely weak links, he would be near the top of the page.


And I agree with KenS about this thread.  i just can't help myself.



Dion's amateur hour

Adam Radwanski,

Jack Layton is speaking now in front of Parliament. He looks like a national party leader.

Stephane Dion, to put it charitably, did not. And that's a significant problem when you're attempting to make the leap to prime minister. [/quote] Valeriote is an Emerson Liberal. Ironically the Guelph Progressive vote went with Frank to prevent the CPC candidate from winning. Heard that one before? Vote Frank to stop Harper :) How'd that get said, Fool me once shame on me, PAUSE LOOK STUPID, can't get fooled again. :)

Tonights Harpers speech was a complete Dud.

We are not a well lead country.


They've past the point of no return.  As Benjamin Franklin said on the onset of the Revolution, "We must all hang together or surely will we hang separately."


In any case, the Liberals' stupidity, i.e., not replacing Dion as leader of the coalition, far outstrips and crowds out their timidity.    So, I guess that's a blessing.

Bookish Agrarian

I was thinking about this last night.

It seems to me that the Liberals have placed themselves in an interesting position.  If this succeeds they may lose their right wing supporters in some areas and gain some back in Quebec at least in the short term. 

However, if they back out, or the Liberals are seen to cause a splintering of the coalition they will be doomed for a generation with progressive voters.  A much, much more damaging outcome for them.  If Harper continues in power BECAUSE the Liberals can't bring themselves to actually replace him then they will lose the support of many of those who voted Liberal to stop the Conservatives who will feel deeply betrayed and disillusioned.  Walking out, or getting cold feet on a coalition at this point will be big trouble for the long term for them.

My sense is that the country breaks down a bit like this

1/3 outraged at the thought of a coalition

1/3 supports getting rid of Harper no matter the mechanism

1/3 don't give a shit

Walking out risks losing a significant portion of voters within the Liberal vote universe.  They would have to be idiots to walk out.  But then I thought they would have to be idiots to elect Dion leader in the first place and they went and did that too.


Taking Left Turn's advice, I decided to make this thread about breaking news about the coalition.  I changed the title to reflect that.

So, please post any new developments or news stories (not opinion pieces - you can post those in the "debate continues" thread) about the coalition in this thread.


By the way, rabble has consolidated all its coalition government content into one page, which includes news, columns, podcasts, pictures, and babble threads!  :)
George Victor


Iggy is already jumping ship. With Jacques Parizeau's hearty agreement to the coalition, many Liberals will be searching for the handgrenade in their underwear.Wink



The placement a result of a vain search for gonads?


No, keep the faith Bert.  Even Iggy knows that leaving the ship would mean certain death.


Poor quality tape of Stephan Dion's rebuttal is late and poor quality.

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
They would have to be idiots to walk out.  But then I thought they would have to be idiots to elect Dion leader in the first place and they went and did that too.

Pushing this three wheeled jalopy out onto the political racetrack  increasingly appears to be their most idiotic move, but the best is yet to come,  when Rae or Ignatieff makes their debut on a unicycle.


i thought that the coalition had a chance when I saw Harpers speech. I then saw Jack's speech and thought it was good to go.


Then Dion's tape arrived. I can not support that imbecile as PM. Jack is the true leader of the coalition not that idiot Dion.


Because of Dion and only because of Dion Harper will survive.

We put our hopes on an idiot who has terrible staff and used a 3 year old to film a video.


They had all freakin day to produce a video and get it to the networks on time and in good quality.



according to  here is what happened to the tape:



The timeline (all times ET):

  • 6:15-6:30 - The Liberals miss their promised deadline to deliver Dion's statement to the television networks.
  • 6:40 - Liberals arrive with a single tape at the press gallery in Ottawa. They were supposed to deliver two tapes: one in French, one in English. They arrived with a single tape in DVD-minicam format, which is not broadcast quality.
  • Shortly after 6:40 - The Liberals decide to run back to their offices -- a block away -- because the French portion of the tape needs another edit.
  • 7:05 - Liberal staffers are still in their offices as the networks go to air with the Harper address.
  • 7:07 - Harper's statement finishes and network anchors are forced to kill time as they wait for Dion's address.
  • 7:10 to 7:15 - Liberal staffers arrive back at the press gallery on Wellington Street with a DVD-minicam player that they had taken from their own offices, along with the associated cables. There is still only one tape, not two. A press gallery official tells the Liberals that the gallery is not the feed point and an argument ensues. The Liberals ask why they weren't told that earlier. The feed point is next door at the CBC building, which is the long-established feed play point for all network pools. The Liberals are informed that they need to be walked into the building by authorized staff.
  • 7:20 - English network anchors are still live on television, wondering where the tape is. CTV has still had no communications from the Liberals about Dion's address.
  • Approximately 7:15 - CBC receives the tape and begins dubbing into French and English versions. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • 7:28 - CTV decides to go off-air and back to regular scheduled programming at 7:30. CTV has still not seen a feed of the tape.
  • 7:28 - CBC incorrectly punches out the finished feed only to their network.
  • 7:30 - CTV signs off broadcast at scheduled time.

"We missed our deadline," Moreau said. "The shot was not all that professional. It was soft-focused."


If Dion were to be the head of the majority coalition for its duration, it would be a big problem.  But since he has only five months left, it's a manageable problem.


Still, someone else should have been chosen to be the temporary head.  But it appears that Iggy, at least, could not live with that.  Maybe it was his way of undermining the coalition, which he was never wild about to start.


Its funny all this squawking about Parizeau supporting the coalition. I remember back in 1988 when Parizeau came out strongly in favour of free trade with the US on the grounds that it would help weaken Canada and pave the road to independence for Quebec. The Tories were happy to welcome his backing at the time.


josh wrote:

If Dion were to be the head of the majority coalition for its duration, it would be a big problem.  But since he has only five months left, it's a manageable problem.

He isn't going to have five months... I have seen people swear on babble even to other babblers using the above term. I am normally offended by such terms and references.  I could use a few terms for Dion.

There isn't time for a Dion Apologist.





'I think everyone needs to take a step back and calm down. I think the government needs to tone down their rhetoric.'— Nathan Cullen, NDP MP in B.C.




As someone who worked for an NDP MLA during the late '90s when anti-NDP sentiment was high, my experience leads me to worry about the vicious fervour that is being whipped up by our PM. Those who are active in the coalition movement will need to be vigilant in terms of their personal safety.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the Governor General to shut down Parliament until January.

It's a bid to avoid Monday's non-confidence vote that would bring down his minority Conservative government.

Harper - his job on the line - spent more than 45 minutes at Rideau Hall talking with Michaelle Jean.

The Governor General has already been consulting with constitutional experts about her options, but it's unclear when she will announce her decision.


Jacks TV speech was the best. Global/National Pest has the video, ironically full of "technical difficulties"

Text of the address:

My fellow Canadians, tonight we are at a crossroads in our collective history.

An economic storm unlike anything seen in a generation is upon us.

And Canada must have a strong and effective government that holds the confidence of Parliament.

Tonight, we do not.

Tonight, far too many Canadians will lie awake not knowing how they'll put food on the table tomorrow, or pay the bills this month.

Seniors will check their pensions and savings and see the true cost of collapsing markets.

And in Canada, this recession has only just begun.

Tonight, only one party stands in the way of government that works for Canadians.

When people look to their federal government, they want to see a sense of leadership.

Mr. Harper has not shown this leadership.

Families about to receive their last paycheque needed hope.

World leaders have acted rapidly and boldly to stimulate their economies.

Economists and business leaders have asked for strong and targeted measures.

In Canada, New Democrats offered constructive input and good ideas.

On election night, I committed to working collaboratively with Mr. Harper in the new minority Parliament.

In the days and weeks following that election, I laid out our effective ideas to stimulate the economy.

I described them in great detail in speeches across the nation.

In the House of Commons.

And in a face to face meeting - at my invitation - with Mr. Harper on November the 12th.

I focused on the needs of working families, of those being thrown out of work or whose pensions were at risk.

Of those working in our key industrial sectors.

And the need for a new energy economy to create new jobs for the 21st century.

Instead of acting on those ideas, or presenting any plan to stimulate the economy, he delivered a partisan plan to sell off public buildings, kill off opposition parties and roll back workers' and women's rights – none of which would create one job or protect one pension.

Stephen Harper refused to act. Now he is trying to turn an economic crisis into a political one.

But Stephen Harper has broken trust with the Canadian people.

And because of that, he has lost the confidence of Parliament.

He's more interested in his job than you and your families' jobs.

That's wrong.

It was Stephen Harper's job to make Parliament work.

But he has refused.

By putting an end to Parliament, buy putting locks on the doors, he is rejecting the democratic choice of 62 per cent of the people.

And every MP will see their democratic right to vote confidence in the government.

Every member of Parliament will be denied their vote.

Every Canadian will be silenced in the people's House.

We will have a Conservative government without legitimacy.

That doesn't have to happen, because this is a remarkable moment in Canadian history.

The opposition parties have acted together with a common goal: to return hope to people and help them go through these very difficult economic times.

For the first time, the majority of parities chosen by the people have put aside their differences. For the good of the people.

For the first time in memory, the majority of the people's representatives set aside their differences for the good of Canada.

This is a time of hope.

Tonight, only one party stands against the welfare of the Canadian people.

On Monday, the two leaders of the proposed coalition sent Her Excellency the Governor General a letter making it clear that the majority of members of Parliament no longer have confidence in this Conservative government.

Nothing we have heard tonight changes that fact.

And tonight, we are announcing that if it pleases Her Excellency, every New Democrat member of Parliament is prepared to individually express their lack of confidence in this government.

A new kind of government, with a new kind of politics, is ready to serve, one that will put the economy and working families first.

Thank you, and good night.




The link thingy doesn't work, and the url is too long but i'm sure babblers are savvy enough to find the video.Wink 


can we have a link please to the national post please?


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

The Bish

If the discussion that's going to be had about last night's videos is about who looks more professional, we have some serious problems as a country.  And this is pretty much exactly how Harper has done it so far; he has a well-oiled PR machine to make his blathering look like substance.  The truth of the matter is that last night Harper gave a weak and unconvincing speech that had a glossy sheen on it, while Dion gave what I thought was a pretty good speech that didn't look as nice.  But of course, why would we talk about politics when we can talk about fashion?  Thank you, Canadian media.


Harper's speech was completely lame and dleiberately misinformative.
And what was with the Grecian formula ? Trying to make him look like
Kennedy or something? We've seen pictures of him in the paper for the
last 3 days. We're not going to notice that his hair is suddenly dark
instead of grey? I actually felt sorry for him after.

The Dion tape could only have been made by a Conservative infiltrator. For some
reason they couldn't quite get a proper angle on his body. He looked
like a child, looking up in to the camera from his little chair and
pleading his case. Dion is not very convincing speaking in English. I
wish I could have seen the French. And the tape being late was
inexcusable. Were they waiting to hear what Harper said? I think Dion
is an intelligent man, he just doesn't have the kind of public charisma
that you need for this game. Nor does Harper, though. I'm not convinced
any of the other Liberal leaders do either.

Did anyone see Duceppe's speech?


House prorogued until January 26. What a disaster.


Stephen Harper went to Rideau Hall and saw his shadow.  That means six more weeks of Conservative government.  Wink


Prorogue THIS Harper!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

That is so much bullshit.

V. Jara

Dictator Harper



This is a long time bfore parliament convenes again. Is it likely, or desirable, for the coalition to create a 3 party vetted website for getting Information out during that time?

duncan cameron

This is a six week window for social movements to address the issues of economic and political democracy in Canada, to push the coalition idea, and to fight Harper with a campaign of public education, and mobilization.

One of the great tasks will be to reveal the deceits, lies, and betrayals of the Conservative propaganda machine and babble will be one of the most important places for this to happen. 

George Victor

Tom Flanagan of U of Calgary fame has just said that the GG will have another kick at the can at end of January when the house reconvenes.


Sounds like we have our work cut out for us in overcoming the media's spin on the budget that Flaherty will have to present then. 


How many variations are possible on the word "liar"?


I'm going to start with the CBC and work out from there.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'm not convinced that the Liberal and NDP leaders should just wimp out and not impress upon the GG the violation of democratic tradition and the sinister precedent that this decision of hers leads to. A government afraid of the House and of being defeated by a vote in the House is a govenment alien to democracy. Any future government can pull the same shit. Stephen Harper, with the complicity of the GG, has just done permanent harm to Canadian democracy.


Of course, we don't just depend on the GG to defend democracy. Good thing. 


unfortunately for you very few people other than those on the radical left will ever read your "revelations".


I can't believe she did that. She doesn't even like him, and she broke
precedent for him. Which in turn will give an easy out for any future
weakling governments. Now she's got coalitionists against her. 
What would have compelled her to make that decision??

Bookish Agrarian

I agree.  This was a complete violation of Canadian parliamentary democracy now and into the future.  The precedent set here will cause untold headaches in years and decades to come.  Shame on Madame Jean.


Oh, look, one of the cowards is here.


Bookish Agrarian

laughingatu wrote:
unfortunately for you very few people other than those on the radical left will ever read your "revelations".


Fuck off.   Crawl back into your jackboot lined hole.

George Victor



Perhaps if we pretend he does not exist?  Or failing that, ask for a 7-week cooling off (banning) period for the bastard?Laughing

duncan cameron

The G.G. gave Harper the rope he wanted. Let us see how long Harper can keep up the pretence he was elected pm, that the House of Common does not need to meet, and that the Bloc is an illegitimate political presence.

The Bish

Bob Rae is giving a fantastic off-the-cuff speech to Don Newman on the CBC right now.  He's completely unequivocal about the fact that Harper is making an attack on democracy, that he wants to divide the country, and that he can not be trusted no matter what he says during the budget speech.  Really good job, especially since it seems like it's not a prepared speech.

remind remind's picture

Keith V, said on CBC this this morning, that both Duceppe and Layton were seriously pissed at Dion over the tape. Apparently Duceppe was heard to have torn a strip off of Dion in the elevator.

If one sets aside the quality, and the ability of the speaker to speak, what was said, was good. However, I am not sure non-political wonks, would be able to listen, considering Dion's tongue darting about outside of his mouth and the poor optics.Though he did get that under control later in the speech.

Out here in BC, there was no lag between Harper's words and Dion's, on the main network news, so I do not think people would know it was late  here and in AB. Having said that, Dion needs to not be the front face of the coalition for the next six weeks.

There is no way the Liberals can back off on the coalition, without a backlash, unless a whack of them walk across the floor to the Cons. And even that would produce a backlash amongst the swing voters wanting Harper out at all costs.

Apparently Canadians are going to have to get as sick of Harper as the Americans were of the Rethugs. Well, actually we are in the majority, but we still can't seem to get rid of him.

Interesting to note here Heather Reisman was on Canada AM, doing her Christmas book review and one of the books she chose to review was a book about the hate filled left in Canada.

"watching the tide roll away"


Krago: :D  I read that out to the editorial team on our conference call today and they thought it was funny. :)


robbie_dee wrote:
House prorogued until January 26. What a disaster.


With an election to follow in March, given this GG's apparent disdain for parliamentary democracy.  Which will create quite a dilemma for the Liberals.


The freeloader-general should step down immediately for being completely useless.

With apologies to GNR, but are we seeing a real "Chinese Democracy" -- when the opposition doesn't cower and  kowtow to the Imperial Leader, dissolve Parliament and run roughshod over Parliamentary Democracy. 

Anyone else find is hilarious that the opposition didn't grow a backbone until the Imperial Leader threatened to take away their public money. 


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