Summer election or not: Part 2

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remind remind's picture
Summer election or not: Part 2

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remind remind's picture

Couple of things to consider:

1. AB is having serious problems, lay offs have gone up something like 141%, and those laid off are having a hard time getting EI, because of the tiered system and waits, and there is a movement a foot over EI changes. Apparently massive amounts of people are loosing their vehicles and their homes are now in danger. Will this force Harper to make concessions on EI, as I am sure he will not want to fight an election over it right now in AB.

2. The reformatory portion of the CPC of greatly displeased with Harper, and he is bleeding support from them, will he want to have an election before it is lost to him completely?

 

ghoris

remind wrote:

Couple of things to consider:

2. The reformatory portion of the CPC of greatly displeased with Harper, and he is bleeding support from them, will he want to have an election before it is lost to him completely?

Bleeding support to where?

remind remind's picture

CHP, western separatists and Independants, the religious vote is definitely on the move, how big the ground swell will be is up for debate

Debater

remind wrote:

The reformatory portion of the CPC of greatly displeased with Harper, and he is bleeding support from them

There may be some truth to that - I decided to venture over to FD and poke around through the threads, and I noticed that there are several threads where people complain that Harper is not Conservative enough and has betrayed the values of Reform.

adma

But that's FD, which contains its own built-in marginality.  Remember how FD's Mark Fournier got 137 votes and 0.28% as a Freedom Party candidate in Kingston + TI in the 2007 Ontario election....

remind remind's picture

LOL, "some truth to that",  I live in the middle of the religious "reform" territory in BC, my neighbour from AB was just at his house here this week end, and have relatives in AB who are as well, and the theme from them all is the same, they are not happy and are getting less so all the time, many are talking of abstaining even, if there is no one from their ranks going to run for CHP, Western Reform, or as a Independant.

I am starting to think that the Calgary sampling by Ekos and the CBC was done to see whether it has reached south to Calgary yet.  And if the elvated Liberal numbers in Calgary are legit, then perhaps it is.

 

ghoris

I dunno - we keep hearing about these various "to the right of the Tories" splinter groups that are supposedly a big threat to split the right-wing vote and then they fizzle out on election day. Remember how the Alberta Alliance was going to make life miserable for Ed Stelmach?

remind remind's picture

true enough, but the "corporate welfare", the gun registry being still around,  choice still being around, inability to access unemployment, the new carbon credit scheme, plus a whack of other things, have all been tabled as a no go to vote for him again by the religious right.

RedRover

The more I watch the Liberal pundits and hears Denis Coderre talk, the more I think that Iggy will offer some sort of compromise instead of a flat out 'yes or no' committment tommorrow.   So, while I think it is clearly in the Liberals' interest to go (polling, economics, momentum, etc), I think they will try to pin Harper down to some sort of committment to fix EI, or the forestry sector, or on isotopes, or....

On the Conservative base...while their donor base appears to be resilient, I would be inclined to think that the base as a whole must at the moment, be demobilized.  Down in the polls and three years of government later and what the hardcore righties have to show for it?  Massive spending increases, and now massive deficits.  Gun registry still in place.  Same-sex marriage is off the table once and for all it seems.  Plus, Harper's reputation as a god-like political tactician have been proven false since the last campaign.  If an election is the outcome of this week's events, then the Con base would have to ask themselves what the hell has Mr. Harper done for them over the last three years, and is putting up signs and canvassing really worth it when the cottage or that road trip is waiting.

I still think the timing is perfect for the Liberals, but they appear to be really hedging - at least since Friday.  If they don't go, then I think they are unlikely to have a shot at even a minority when the economy starts to turn a corner in late 2009, and early 2010.

Never a dull moment eh....?

 

ottawaobserver

How are Liberal supporters going to feel about it if Iggy does hedge, do you think, Debater?

RedRover

Oh...and I think they could likely wriggle out of this by presenting the Conservatives with a stark choice using their Opposition Day Motion.

The Liberal motion could state that the House calls on the gov't to reform EI (to some sort of middle ground) this summer, to fix the isotope crisis once and for all, fix all future budgets to the numbers arrived at by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, etc....

They would tell the Conservatives that if they don't vote for and/or agree to implement the Liberal motion then their caucus would vote against the government's Estimates that will follow.

Outcomes...

Election  - the Liberal benefit would be that they could legitimately say they tried to make parliament work until the end, that they stood up for the right issues when it mattered, and that the Conservatives actually caused the election by refusing to compromise in the context of a minority parliament.

No Election - then the Liberals can brag how they made the Conservatives cave, that they acheieved something for those who have lost or may lose their job and others who have or know someone that has cancer, etc., and above all they avoided a summer election that no one wanted.

I think the Conservatives would have to cave in such a scenario and the Liberals could argue that they didn't support Harper, but made him follow their lead and that they got something done.

Stockholm

Government don't fall on "motions", they fall on explicit NON-CONFIDENCE motions. What if a Liberal motion on EI passes the house? so what? the Tories can say "that's very nice and now we adjourn for the summer"

ottawaobserver

Anyways, that's a total hypothetical, as the vote on the Main Estimates will take place on Thursday, while the Liberal Opposition Day is not scheduled until Friday.

Back to the drawing board, Red Rover....

ottawaobserver

Two posts passing like ships in the night ...

RedRover

No...they can't. 

There is another vote to come after the Opposition Day Motion...the Estimates.  In the scenario I outlined...Harper would have to accept the Liberal motion and publicly commit to implementing what it calls for (ie: EI Reform) by the next "probation" report.  If they agree, take the summer off, and do nothing - then Iggy could again pull the plug at the next progress report.

If Harper rejects the motion and all its components, then the Liberals can then vote against the estimates to kill this government before the summer break.

RedRover

I could be wrong, but I thought the supply votes had to be last votes in a session and would come after other votes - ie: Opposition Day Motions. 

 

If I am wrong, then Iggy could simply insist the government accept the motion before the vote and state so publicly. If they refuse to do so and the supply votes come first, then the Liberals could vote them out for refusing to cooperate.

ottawaobserver

I heard Robert Fife say it was Thursday on CTV the other day.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

How are Liberal supporters going to feel about it if Iggy does hedge, do you think, Debater?

I'm not sure how Liberal supporters will feel about Ignatieff's decision - I don't speak for them, and they are a broad group of people.  Perhaps there will be some polls that come out after the decision that reveal where voters stand on this subject that will be of help to your question.

All I can speculate on is that I think some Liberals would like to bring down the Conservatives and get Harper out of office as he is a loathsome individual, but there are others who probably don't think now is the time to have an election.

KenS

RedRover wrote:

The more I watch the Liberal pundits and hears Denis Coderre talk, the more I think that Iggy will offer some sort of compromise instead of a flat out 'yes or no' committment tommorrow.   So, while I think it is clearly in the Liberals' interest to go (polling, economics, momentum, etc), I think they will try to pin Harper down to some sort of committment to fix EI, or the forestry sector, or on isotopes, or....

"Pinning Harper down" as in having things like making him give more report cards in the future?

RedRover

Whew...it appears we've dodged the bullet.

 

Le Devoir is reporting that Iggy is ignoring his Ontario advisers and Jean Chretien and will force his caucus to support the Estimates.

 

Wow.

 

I think Iggy just handed Harper another electoral win.

 

It will be interesting to hear why thinks this is good for the country.

 

Jack and Thomas were just handed a gift beyond all gifts among soft lefty Liberals. Let's hope they can open it.

ottawaobserver

RedRover wrote:

Jack and Thomas were just handed a gift beyond all gifts among soft lefty Liberals. Let's hope they can open it.

Could you elaborate on what you meant by this a bit more, RedRover.  I have a good guess, but I'm not sure.

Meantime, of course NO-ONE is going to call out that airhead Jane Taber who didn't even listen to what was being said to her two weeks ago on QP, and reported that Jack Layton had let the government off the hook about an election.  That story lasted days before people realized he had said no such thing.

madmax

People believed it.... Thats the reality, thats the purpose. And no one thinks any different.

johnpauljones

IT is official their is a coalition government in Ottawa. It is the officially teh Liberal - Tory coalition government of PM Harper and Deputy PM Ignatieff.

 

 

ottawaobserver

Just wondering what Debater, Liberaler and RedRover think of Chantal Hébert tonight?

ottawaobserver

Well, I've just watched the At Issue panel again, and between them and all the other nationally-recognized pundits, scribes and lowly reporters, I'd have to declare that Michael Ignatieff's honeymoon with the national media is Officially Over.

And not a moment too soon.

Let the Liberal in-fighting begin ....

RedRover

ottawaobserver wrote:

Just wondering what Debater, Liberaler and RedRover think of Chantal Hébert tonight?

Chantal Hebert was absolutely spot on.  I didn't expect it from her given her seeming adoration for everything Ignatieff over the last couple of months, but she called his performance like it was.  Confusing.  Embarassing.  Weak.

She even had nice things, or somthing to close, to say about the NDP having a clear and principled position on EI.

I thought it was great.

ottawaobserver

She sure didn't mince any words, that's for sure.

Bookish Agrarian

I didn't catch the panel, but the inteview with Mansbridge was embarrassing- especailly around the meeting questions.  And someone needs to tell Ingnatieff to stop blinking so damn much.  It borders on scary creepy.  I know the lights are bright - but bejeezuz.

Politics101

I have been watching the debate over an election call with interest then I started a little number crunching - for the Liberals to have a chance to form a minority they probably would need somewhere between 125 and 130 seats or a gain of  50 to 55 seats from there total now - so from which party will these seats come from - from the NDP - it is possible that a couple could go to the Liberals and there is also a good chance that the NDP could gain some seats from the Cons - so next up is the BLOC - perhaps a shift of 10 - 15 to the Liberals.

That would leave the Liberals somewhere around 85 - 90 seats to the Cons perhaps 140 - so the Cons lose 10 in Quebec and 20 in Ontario you are starting to look at a scenario where either Libs or Cons  would have the most seats around 120 each with perhaps the BLOC holding the balance of power. Yes it is possible that the NDP could come third and we could have a repeat of 2004 with a virtual stalemate and no guarantee that Harper will be gone unless the Party throws him out

In other words unless there is a larger shift in Ontario I don't see the Libs getting enough seats in other areas of the country to give them a decisive edge over the Cons.

The people in BC and NS have just been to the polls and aren't likely to want to go again so there could be a backlash against any party that brings on the election.

I am sure those more political astute than me will nail it down much better.

The only advantage that I see from a summer election is that I will get a few more days of work from Elections Canada

 

Stockholm

I think an election this summer is very unlikely, but if we were to have one - the likeliest result IMHO is another minority government with the Conservatives losing a lot of seats but still having slightly more seats than the Liberals.

So, this takes us back to the old scenario from last December. Let's say that hypothetically, the Tories get 124 seats, the Liberals 118, the NDP 38 and the BQ 38 - what then? The first thing that has to happen after the election is parliament meeting for a Throne speech. If Igantieff caves and votes for the tories again like he did in early Nov. '08 - then it means several years of Tory minority government again and Iggy probably loses his only chance to ever become PM. But what if all three opposition parties vote down the Throne Speech right away? We are back to the scenario of December where the GG then has no choice but to invite the opposition to form a government and we are back to some facsimile of the coalition of last December.

janfromthebruce

And now let's tally the cost of two elections in less than one year to make a lib/NDP coalition govt - because make no mistake the libs would sign their death certificate if they triggered a summer election and ended up with Harper in a weakened minority and them with more seats and Canadians poorer.

janfromthebruce

And further to my last post - Iggy looked absolutely stupid with asking for the lamest "reports", "clarification" and "more information." Mr puffer fish is deflating fast and anybody can see through that he meant nothing except some cheap press.

Fidel

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

I didn't catch the panel, but the inteview with Mansbridge was embarrassing- especailly around the meeting questions.  And someone needs to tell Ingnatieff to stop blinking so damn much.  It borders on scary creepy.  I know the lights are bright - but bejeezuz.

Iggy has a nervous blink for sure. Mansbridge asked him whether he has a bottom line or ultimatum for Harper. He began blinking and rambling even moreso after that. It must be difficult for Iggy to act tough when he knows deep down he's really just an alternate bag man for the rich. Liberal, Tory, it's the same old story.

Stockholm

The one bit of good news in all of this is how Iggy is getting such bad press. it really appears that the love-in for him is over and that the pundits are now starting to wake up to the fact that the emperor has no clothes!

KenS

Stockholm wrote:
So, this takes us back to the old scenario from last December. Let's say that hypothetically, the Tories get 124 seats, the Liberals 118, the NDP 38 and the BQ 38 - what then? The first thing that has to happen after the election is parliament meeting for a Throne speech. If Igantieff caves and votes for the tories again like he did in early Nov. '08 - then it means several years of Tory minority government again and Iggy probably loses his only chance to ever become PM. But what if all three opposition parties vote down the Throne Speech right away? We are back to the scenario of December where the GG then has no choice but to invite the opposition to form a government and we are back to some facsimile of the coalition of last December.

Back to the beginning of your scenario. With that few seats for the Bloc, and that many for the Liberals, there is no chance the BQ is going to let the Liberals into government. The Throne Speech would pass.

I think that even if the BQ was in a somewhat stronger position they would still greatly not want the Liberals in power.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Well, I've just watched the At Issue panel again, and between them and all the other nationally-recognized pundits, scribes and lowly reporters, I'd have to declare that Michael Ignatieff's honeymoon with the national media is Officially Over.

And not a moment too soon.

Let the Liberal in-fighting begin ....

Well on this particular issue Ignatieff is getting a lot of criticism.  That doesn't mean it will persist into the future as a permanent thing by the media.  We will have to see.

And why do you always view it as a good thing if there is trouble for the Liberals?  Afterall, that simply increases the likelihood of Stephen Harper being in power for longer.

In any event, I'm not really a big fan of Ignatieff - I just view him as the best tool with which to get rid of Stephen Harper.  But I agree that he risks ending this session looking weak and indecisive compared to Harper after his performance this week.

Bookish Agrarian

Debater we agree - Ignatieff is a tool!

KenS

Reading through Liberal blogs is an alternate universe. Still today: you'd think Iggy has Harper cornered.

Iggnatieff's failure is not that the Liberals are once again going to dodge the non-confidence vote. That was virtually inevitable.

Their failure is a consequence of having nothing but huff and puff to go on.

"Things are going to be different now."

"There's a new sheriff in town."

And all that crap.

Which is itself a consequence of the hubris of the Natural Governing Party.

"Now that we've got a real Leader, we just have to position ourselves [posture], and things will come our way."

When all you do is huff and puff, what are you going to do when the house doesn't fall over?

"Well then. I'll sound reasonable. Thats right, I'll talk prime ministerial."

So Harper thanks Micheal for his polite suggestions. Make some gestures towards sounding reasonable, which fits smoothly into the reassuring meme that the Cons are taking care of business for Canadians.

 

Michael who?

Did someone say something about more then marinal tinkering with EI qualification?

 

Six months later and Iggy is still talking about making demands on the government- later.

Pathetic.

 

And it does not inevitable follow from an election not being strategically feasible. 

Iggy was stuck with noting more than blustering because he framed the right now question as "him or me". You expect the opposition leader to be always doing framing of that narrative. But that being it, period, is another matter.

KenS

Michael Ignatieff at a Drive-Thru Window:

"My stomach is sending a very direct signal to my brain. While I have serious doubts about the nutritional value of quote-unquote fast food, I am craving a Double Original Cheeseburger. What's that? Lettuce? Tomatoes? Pickles? Onions? You have presented me with an urgent platform of garnish options. I shall return Friday with my final decision."

 

Michael Ignatieff Changes his Outgoing Voicemail Message:

"I'm sorry I missed your call. Unless you don't want me to be sorry, in which case, I'm glad I missed your call. As a pragmatist, your call was probably a waste of my time. This is not to say that I don't have time for you or, for that matter, any other Canadian who wants to waste my time. Have a nice day."

http://www.thestar.com/news/columnist/article/651332

J.P. Phanuef

All Ignatieff did is show that he is in this only for himself. Not for the unemployed. Not for the needy. Not for Canada. He just wants to have an election so he can become Prime Minister and will do whatever it takes to get it.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Rex Murphy absolutely eviscerated Iggy last night - even more so than the At Issue panel. He had Iggy in his university days in a photo playing Hamlet, and described Iggy as a modern day "To be or not to be" type. Hilarious!  And one of Don Newman's pundits (or maybe it was someone on the At Issue panel) said he heard a Liberal insider say "we dumped Stephane Dion for this guy???" Laughing

KenS

Just to be clear, the problem isn't really Iggy.

It begins to look like too many Liberal insiders for too long imbibing the bath water is having profound long term effects.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Rex Murphy last night: Hamlet or Hotspur? (you have to view the video to see the photo of Iggy as Hamlet)

 

excerpt:

Michael Ignatieff is definitely Hamlet.

Hamlet was a very elegant Count - sorry, Prince - who mainly had a lot of trouble making up his mind. He was very educated, had a tendency to think out loud a lot, more or less drifted into making decisions, rather than actually making them. Hamlet was an eloquent vacillator. "To be or not to be" was his theme song.

 

excerpt:

 

We might put this manoeuvring down to end-of-Session jitters - but I think it's more than that. Mr. Ignatieff's shifting ultimata - the report cards, probation tactics, the expanding list of what he "demands" - are really tokens of indecision, trying to wear the face mask of its opposite. It's Hamlet pretending to be Hotspur.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

KenS wrote:

Just to be clear, the problem isn't really Iggy.

It begins to look like too many Liberal insiders for too long imbibing the bath water is having profound long term effects.

Regardless, it is a good thing for the Liberals to be unsheathing their knives - if that is what is happening - and aiming for Iggy Thumbscrews. Kiss

remind remind's picture

Still going to negotiate with harper on EI reforms, as if reforming EI is a Liberal strategy. Trying to steal NDP actions, while being Indigcisive, is quite the fete. No wonder he is failing to sell himself. And this brings me back to my statements regarding EI, they, Harper and Iggy, are going to raise the cut off levels and then sell it to people as EI reform. One need only listen to Haprer's comments on EI to see where this going, when you add Iggy's no other possibility is possible, or neither would be carrying on about it.

Raising the bottom rate and lowering the top rate will appeal to AB voters, as they will need 140 less hours of work in order to qualify. It will be sold to people as an "equality" measure in hard times.

ottawaobserver

Seen this morning on Twitter:

Quote:

liberalrocco is thinking that if you don't stand for something then you will fall for anything.

Has the man no sense of irony?

 

KenS

Straight from the mouth of one of the brightest lights Liberals have assumed are saving and restoring them.

Full speed ahead!

ottawaobserver

RedRover wrote:

I could be wrong, but I thought the supply votes had to be last votes in a session and would come after other votes - ie: Opposition Day Motions. 

No, you were right all along.  I was mistaken.

ottawaobserver

Debater wrote:

And why do you always view it as a good thing if there is trouble for the Liberals?  Afterall, that simply increases the likelihood of Stephen Harper being in power for longer.

In any event, I'm not really a big fan of Ignatieff - I just view him as the best tool with which to get rid of Stephen Harper.  But I agree that he risks ending this session looking weak and indecisive compared to Harper after his performance this week.

Why, Debater?  Because I do not see Ignatieff as being ANY different from Harper, nor the Liberals (particularly in their current incarnation) as any different from the Conservatives ... with the one notable exception that at least Harper is more decisive.  Getting rid of him and replacing him with Ignatieff would be NO better, a position that has now been fully vindicated by the Liberal voting record over the last few weeks (on C-15, the NDP's other EI bill, etc., etc.).

If I believed otherwise, I'd be a Liberal.  Thankfully I gave up that delusion 30 years ago.

ETA: I guess, on the bright side, at least we did not wind up in a coaltion with "Michael Indecisieff" as Prime Minister (term courtesy of a commenter on the hilarious story Ken S linked to above from the Toronto Star).  We can at least thank M.I. for that.

remind remind's picture

Well, it was pretty funny to see the difference 2 days makes. Media in BC were interviewing Dosanjh on Friday or Saturday, and he was yapping the hard line about the Conse have to be brought down, and now,  then on last evening's news, it was the complete opposite, "have to make goverment work" and other backtrackings were uttered, and you know the reporter did not even say to him; "just 2 days ago you were stridently demanding that the government fall, why the change?"

 

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