Election Talk (6)

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gyor

Malcolm wrote:

Actually, the constant coalition meme from the HarperCons legitimizes the prospect of a coalition. 

Harper is framing the ballot question as "It's either the Conservatives or the Coalition."

So, what happens if, on election night, the number of Liberals and New Democrats is greater than the number of Conservatives?  What if the Liberal NDP numbers together (say Liberals 77, NDP 78 just for shits and giggles) would create a working majority?

Clearly the voters will have spoken - preferring the Coalition to the Conservatives.

Jack has said the he will publish the letter involving the harper coalition so there is no pussy footing around. The letter will be better then just saying it, as it is physical evidence that people can see for themselves.

Still even if Jack and Gilles said Harper your a lier, it changes nothing at all.

The right wingers will be uncomforable with the idea of possible making an alliance with socialists, but that it far enough in the past, while the immediate threat of socialist alliance is seen as being with the liberals. Liberals campaigning on the left won't help but reinforce that. It won't get the Tories the majority they want as it wont scare the general public, but any attempts at stealing right winger votes will be undermined.

On the other hand coalition talk will help the NDP take liberal votes, and maybe Bloc, and populist tory votes as now the NDP matter more and may get more attention during the election then usual.

The liberals are losers here.

PS I just read the the libs campaign bus will not have iggys face on it and given the lack of iggy love in the polls this has lead to questions as to why the liberals are playing hide the leader, which reinforces the idea he is an unpopular leader. Another gaff already and the campaign hasn't even started yet.

My prediction is this for the election. Disaster for the liberals as they presue stragegies that are out dated in a post Dion era. Gains for the NDP as they take advantage of Jack's experience and the post Dion era. The cons could take hit on ethics, but that is more likely to lead to losing votes on the populist side to the NDP or on the right to saying home as the libs lack the crediblity to milk this issue.

What liberals should having been doing while parliment was sitting was rebuild crediblity, but they didn't and now it is to late. Anything they do to bring the elections issues to be about ethics helps the ndp and bloc more, even the greens as these parties have cleaner records. The sadly more likely result is voter apathy aka they are all crooks.

Oh and the HST could hurt the cons in BC and Parts of Ontario.

This will be an interesting election.

NorthReport

Canada government set for defeat on sleaze, waste

 

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE72O0U820110325

Lens Solution

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

Harper is a liars liar.  Layton came about as close as you can get- without actually saying on the National tonight.

Duceppe has also called out Harper this week and said that Harper wanted an arrangement with him and Jack back in 2004.

And they showed footage tonight on The National of Harper sitting next to Layton and Duceppe at a table in the Press Room.  Perhaps a shot of that should feature in a campaign ad denouncing Harper's hypocrisy?

NorthReport

Tony Clement urges senators to block generic-drug legislation

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/tony-clemen...

Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
Tony Clement urges senators to block generic-drug legislation

Looks like we will be stuck with this government for a long time to come, even after the Conservatives are defeated in the House of Commons.

JKR

The argument the Conservatives are using to defend the Senate's voting down bills from the elected H of C is that the Senate is defending the government. This argument actually makes some sense. Before Harper I can't think of a time where the House of Commons passed major bills that the government opposed. It's a very strange time we're in now when the government is maintaining the confidence of the Senate but not the House. Has this happened before?

The argument for the Senate's right to back the government against the wishes of the H of C and the argument against 2nd place parties forming coalitions are both short-term self-serving arguments based on viewing our system as being a presidential system not a parliamentary system, as it is. If the Conservatives really believed in moving toward a hybrid presidential/parliamentary system they would be proposing the direct election of the Prime Minister. This actually could be done without changing the constitution. Nothing could stop the House of Commons from setting up an election between the party leaders. Technically the House of Commons would not have to respect the results of such an election, but in practice, they would as the will of the people would clearly be seen from such an election.

The fact is that our elections have become basically presidential elections. Almost all focus in politics in Canada is on the party leaders and the party policies that the leaders personally vouch for. The penultimate moment in our elections are the leaders debates, not debates between contenders to be MP in each riding. Our system has basically evolved into a Presidential system but the rules have not changed to keep up. People in Canada feel like they're voting for a Prime Minister but they're left with only the option of voting for an MP they often don't know much about. Our system should evolve toward what the people want - namely the election of the country's leader, the person who makes the major decisions. The fact is that we've allowed the Prime Minister's role to dwarf our system and some changes will have to be made to change this reality or reflect it.

If a party was smart they would put elections of the Prime Minister at the very top of their platform. I think many Canadians would be willing to vote for that proposal alone.

If Canada did elect its Prime Minister, the House of Commons would be freed from towing the PM's line as confidence measures would no longer have to be maintained between elections. This would be one way to end the tyranny of the PM be it Harper, Chretien, or Mulroney.

The Harper era has proven that our system is broken. That it can't work within a multi-party situation. It could be argued that the corrupt Harper regime was created by our outmoded political system that can only function properly when the first place party has the ongoing support of the majority in the House of Commons. When the first place party does not have the support of the majority in the House of Commons, the whole system self destructs. FPTP is the driver of all this madness because it gives the first place party a huge bonus in seats and legitimacy it does not deserve. FPTP also deprives the other parties of the legitimacy they deserve. And to top it all off, FPTP works against cooperation in the House of Commons as it provides every incentive for the top party to differntiate itself from the other parties in the hope that this will help it win a  fake FPTP majority. If one looks at the structure of Canadian politics, the disaster of the Harper government could have been predicted as the likely outcome of a multi-party political system crashing up against our antiquated FPTP parliamentary system.

If Canadians don't iron out the contradictions inherent within our modern FPTP parliamentary multi-party system, bad government is sure to continue no matter what political stripe the Prime Minister wears.

Since we're about to be in an election, this would be a perfect time for a party, or partys, to run on a solution to this mess. The election of Prime Minister would be one of the possible ways to bring back legitimacy and stability to the system. It seems to be a lot more popular then fair voting/PR. In any case, you could have both. They're not mutually exclusive. And the separation of powers is a good end unto itself.

gyor

NorthReport wrote:

Tony Clement urges senators to block generic-drug legislation

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/tony-clemen...

the contempt of democracy is disgusting. I do believe this will hurt the cons in the long run.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@JKR:

I generally don't agree with your commentary, but this time you are way out there. No way, no elected PM. If we get minority governments, then so be it. Harper is evil, yep. But just because the Tories and their leaders are nuts doesn't mean we start doing things like the Americans. No thanks.

If you want your preferred outcome, then get out and vote. As for first past the post, totally unfair way to elect officials. The only true democratic solution is porortional rep, and I say that as a long time New Dem knowing this could hurt my party.

Again, no adatping American style polical solutions for me. That is a complete non starter in NO uncertain terms.

Arthur Cramer, Winnipeg

Anonymouse

Canadian elections also cost $300M+. I'm not convinced the average Canadian wants a $300M election likely to return the same (or Conservative majority) results.

Stockholm

It sounds like you think Canada should never have another election until polls show it will mean a chance of government. In Sept. 2008, Harper unilaterally called a totally unnecessary $300 million election - even though every indication was that it would mean a similar result to the previous election. I don't recall any Tory bloggers complaining back then. Harper's only rationale for calling an election was that "parliament was too dysfunctional" - what makes it so much more functional now?

Anonymouse

I feel Canada should not have an election unless either 4-5 years have passed or the polls indicate Canadians are ready to vote in a change. Harper's 2008 election call was even more opportunistic than you give him credit for. He broke the law (fixed election dates) and was hoping to hide a deficit amid a global economic slowdown. I still prefer the current concessions in the budget over a $300 million election.

indunamike

True: in their usual sinister way they will be busy kicking Ignatieff in the nether region which they are good  at. If its dirty play, we have to give it to the Cons they excel at it. I  am not looking forward to this or the results. Canadians are just stupid enough to give the Cons another minority.

NorthReport
KenS

Candians dont give Harper another minority government.

The voters can give Harper another plurality. But venting about that has all the futility of other windmill tilts- because in the short term that has been virtually guaranteed for a long time, and for some time into the future. Until the Liberals want to act like competitors instead of waiting for the crown to return to them, or voters get tired of waiting on the Liberals to be the alternative, we will be getting Conservative pluralities.

NorthReport
KenS

Andrew Coyne is right- Iggy really does have to come up with as good an answer as possible to neutralize the coalition question.

To be fair- and Coyne acknoweldges this- the Liberals are in an unenviable position on that one.

But Iggy manages to turn even simple issues into a problem, so its no surprise watching him flee from this hot button

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/03/25/iggys-coalition-problem/

Slumberjack

When the liberanos finally acknowledge the mistake of entering an election with Ignatieff at the helm, once the public has brought the reality home to them, we'd have to fully expect them to lurch forward as soon as can be arranged into their next fiasco, by attempting to foist Rae days upon the entire country.

NorthReport

Harper chickened out - he is nowhere near QP today. Probably wise move on his part as his image is going to take enough of a hit later on today as it is I suppose.

duncan cameron

Traditionally one of two themes works to move public opinion enough to defeat a government. Its either "time for a change" or "throw the rascals out." The latter theme has some chance of working. The government concealed its spending intentions from parliament, the people elected to oversee public spending. The corruption theme could be made to stick, but it will take a sympathetic press for it work. Let the message get muddled by the media, and the corrupt rascals becomes all parities, all politicians.Demobilization instead of mobilization is the result. If the three opposition parties all hit the theme, and it is reported over and over, Harper could suffer big losses.

I always though Rae won in Ontario because the Liberals had proven corrupt, and no one expected the NDP to be corrupt. Being clean is a party asset nationally, one of the few benefits of being far from power over time.

KenS

Well, the Liberals over time 'positioned' themselves- if you can call it that- to have no choice but to draw a line in the sand.

And even the Liberals cannot just push the Liberal off the plank. In truth, disposing of him before the election would do them more harm than Iggy can manage.

Not to mention that if we dont get more Harper, Iggy is the most likely to be PM.

Where that fits into the realpolitik eyeing of things, is not immediately clear to me. But it comes to mind that will be stage 2 of the attack ads on Iggy: after they are done with 'just visiting' and 'not here for you' it will be the actually rather reasonable on the face of it question, 'do you want this man to be Prime Minister?'

[After finishing up on the current theme of voting Liberal is really a vote for those irrational and irresponsible guys Duceppe and Layton.]

Life, the unive...

I've always wondered about the reality of that $300 million cost of an election thing.   I assume most of it would be staffing for Returning Offices and poll clerks and so on.   If so that is actually good stimulis money.   Give people so work, a bit of income and it will be spent into the economy.   If our economy is really as fragile as the Conservatives claim maybe what we really need is the spending that happens during an election.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC Newsworld: The PM has stayed away from QP all week (and today) because the PMO does not want Harper to appear in a photo shoot with "contempt" in the byline. What a f*cking coward.

gyor

KenS wrote:

Andrew Coyne is right- Iggy really does have to come up with as good an answer as possible to neutralize the coalition question.

To be fair- and Coyne acknoweldges this- the Liberals are in an unenviable position on that one.

But Iggy manages to turn even simple issues into a problem, so its no surprise watching him flee from this hot button

http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/03/25/iggys-coalition-problem/

I agree with Andrew except that saying no to the coalition is just as toxic because iggy will take the blame for the increased possiblity of another harper government as well as alienating left wing liberals and swing voting ndpers that support the coalitiion idea. The liberals are boxed in no matter what they do. One possible thing they mighy do if desperate enough is attack Jack over his health which would be stunned as their goose would be cooked. Anyone remember the PC adds mocking Jean's facial paraylsis?

My favourite part was coyne pointing out the NDP being taken more seriously as something other then a protest party. Governmental is the word he used and it has a sweet ring to it.

That letter the Jack was talking about will at least weaken the benifit the cons get from it. It'll help the NDP though.

This is the best position the NDP has been in since ADSCAM first hit the scene.

thanks

re Harper liar- it's very tempting to say that.  it's more important to point out exactly the content of his contradictions and twisted statements.

i remember clearly the interview when party leaders were sitting around a table, and the host required each to first say something nice about the party leader sitting next. Harper was sitting next to Layton.  Notably, Harper commended Layton for his honesty. 

Harper said of Jack Layton, "You're honest."

That character trait impressed Harper.  Perhaps it impressed Harper because it was not a characteristic he was familiar with. 

Some people become in the habit of telling twisted versions of reality because they perceive it helps their personal survival in difficult situations.  I have no idea what demons Harper is struggling with, however it will not help if others facilitate his dishonesty.  The specific contradictions in Harper's statements need to be pointed out and clarified.

thanks

-"Jack has said the he will publish the letter involving the harper coalition" - excellent idea

-re: 'alliance with socialists'; again i don't think name-calling is really the issue for people now.  If opposition parties come out with strong specifics on support for policies like universal healthcare in contrast to Harper's statements and budget lines cutting health and social transfers and rights by tying them to his own poor fiscal decisions to buy warplanes, nukes, fossil fuels, and jails (while better alternatives are available for jobs, services, and infrastructure), then name-calling and fear-mongering will be irrelevant.  Harper's sticks and stones will break our bones...(sorry couldn't resist that)

Doug
NorthReport

Harper has just been nailed for the hypocrite he is - Duceppe just read aloud in the House the coalition letter Harper signed with the Bloc and the NDP. This will not be a good day for our PM.

Captain Janeway

I am so afraid this fool is going to give Harper a majority. God help us all

JKR

One way for the parties to defuse the problem over post-election party negotiating in the event there is no majority is to simply show the people what conditions their party would require from all the other parties in such negotiations.

That was done in the UK.

So in the case of the NDP, they could tell Canadians that they will support any party, including the Conservatives, that best supports the following criteria:

- Rescinding the corporate tax cuts.

- Improving health care.

- Putting the F-35 deal to open bidding

- Rescinding the billion dollar prison plan.

etc...

 

The Liberals and BQ could also come up with their criteria of items they require from other parties, including the Conservatives, that they will use to determine who they will support after the election.

This would defuse the Conservatives attacks against post-election cooperation and would allow the opposition parties to highlight their strongest election planks. It would also put the Conservatives on the defensive.

Adding criteria like:

- free votes in parliament

- no prorogation without Parliament's consent

- no early dissolution of the House of Commons

- Royal Commission or parliamentary committee on improving ethics within politics and democratic renewal

would also put the Conservatives on the defensive and turn the Conservatives argument against post-election cooperation against them as they would have to say that they are unwilling to support these popular measures.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

So, Winnipeg Nortth. Anyone have a crystal ball on this one? Malcom, or KenS, or LTU or Boom,Boom?

Anyone?

Thanks. I am going to work my butt off and not be negative, but I would like to hear what you guys think.

Arthur Cramer, Winnipeg

indunamike

why did Michael Ignatiieff dodge the Coalition question. What is wrong with a coalition with the NDP and leave the Bloc out. You can't include them.

JKR

With higher voter turnout in a general election as opposed to a bi-election, Winnipeg North will go back firmly into the NDP's column.

thanks

- re: 'they [politicians]are all crooks'; more people are experiencing worsening economy and ecology to the point where they are more motivated to get out and vote to create needed changes. my sense of it anyway, listening to people in our area.

-re:Clement urging vote against generic drug legislation; Clements arguments in the globe article contradict themselves (eg. 'the drugs won't help/ you're stopping the drugs), (drugs are 'not certified by Health Canada' but are 'Canadian generics')...it seems he's just punching air, anything to promote the profits of pharmaceutical firms- whose shares his partner owns.  The chair  of the HIV/Aids network showed how Clement's statements were wrong.

- Harper is in contempt of Parliament, and his budget destroys healthcare, jobs, and the environment while the rest of Parliament is able to provide accountability, public services and clean energy alternatives, along with all the jobs created in supporting people and the environment for the long term.  Parliamentarians working together in coalition with proportional representation hold the key to a clean positive vision while Harper and his budget are all about contempt, corruption, distortions, cuts, wars, jails, and old dirty fuels.

MegB

JKR wrote:

One way for the parties to defuse the problem over post-election party negotiating in the event there is no majority is to simply show the people what conditions their party would require from all the other parties in such negotiations.

That was done in the UK.

So in the case of the NDP, they could tell Canadians that they will support any party, including the Conservatives, that best supports the following criteria:

- Rescinding the corporate tax cuts.

- Improving health care.

- Putting the F-35 deal to open bidding

- Rescinding the billion dollar prison plan.

etc...

That's the message that Layton has been putting out - that the NDP is willing to work with the Conservative gov't, but cannot because Harper is demonstrably uninterested in playing well with others.

Quote:

The Liberals and BQ could also come up with their lists of items they require from other parties, including the Conservatives, that they will use to determine who they will support after the election.

This would defuse the Conservatives attacks against post-election cooperation and would allow the opposition parties to highlight their strongest election planks. It would also put the Conservatives on the defensive.

Adding criteria like:

- free votes in parliament

- no prorogation without Parliament's consent

- no early dissolution of the House of Commons

- Royal Commission or parliamentary committee on improving ethics within politics and democratic renewal

would also put the Conservatives on the defensive and turn the Conservatives argument against post-election cooperation against them as they would have to say that they are unwilling to support these popular measures.

Free votes in parliament would certainly serve the interests of truly representative democrasy, but it could prove to be a double-edged sword. There are some votes that, perhaps, should be whipped, but if we start cherry-picking (which kinda happens now), the motions open to free votes will invariably be labelled "not as important" as the whipped votes.

Prorogation only with parliament's consent - excellent idea.  Something with the capability of circumventing the parliamentary process should not be up to the Queen's representative in Canada (and no, I'm not begging to open the anti-monarchy debate).

No early dissolution of parliament - Mmmm, no.  There are reasons that this needs to remain within the confines of our parliamentary democrasy.  Perhaps more restrictions on what circumstances allow for early dissolution would be better.

Royal Commission - definitely no.  We've had enough of these to recognize that they cost money and don't advance ethics in politics. Parliamentary Committee - maybe, but the current gov't isn't interested in non-partisan parliamentary committees - those are too democratic.  Liberals like parliamentary committees, depending upon whether they have a majority gov't or not...given the inherent corruption of the Liberals, any committe recommendations they could ignore or out-vote would be meaningless.  An NDP gov't would be most likely to have a successful parliamentary non-partisan process for dealing with ethics, but they would actually have to be in gov't.

Doug

Oh how lovely - Chopin for the 15 minutes before the government dies. Laughing

KenS

gyor wrote:

I agree with Andrew except that saying no to the coalition is just as toxic because iggy will take the blame for the increased possiblity of another harper government as well as alienating left wing liberals and swing voting ndpers that support the coalitiion idea.

Its not a question of either Iggy says yes or he says no. Realistically- he cannot do either. He has to find a comfortable place for sufficient hedging of bets. Thats not easy. And there is no perfect place. But he has to find the best available.

I think the lack of perfect place is the problem. Any position Iggy takes is going to require sacrificing appeal to some part of the Liberal universe [all the people who consider voting Liberal]. And the Liberals in general, and Iggy even more so, are so used tto trying to be all things to all people, that they just cannot bring the discipline of the cut your losses and pick a position.

Iggy has to hedge his position. And a lot. But trying to completely duck is just asking for big trouble.

JKR

Rebecca West wrote:

That's the message that Layton has been putting out - that the NDP is willing to work with the Conservative gov't, but cannot because Harper is demonstrably uninterested in playing well with others.

I think it is very important that Canadians know exactly which policies are the NDP's (and Liberal's and BQ's) make or break issues. These are the issues that the NDP will use to decide which party(s) they will support after the election.  A short list of 7 or less priorities that will determine who the NDP supports should be understood by as many Canadians as possible. The NDP's goal in the election should be to make sure that by the end of the election, most Canadians know these 7 or less points by heart.

thanks

- Coyne seems very biased.  The article reads as if Coyne doesn't want a coalition.  He is also wrong that Dion was not a 'credible leader'- it was the media networks who messed up Dion's key TV statement.  The useful information I got out of that article is that a coalition can be created- not necessarily with all opposition parties.  and i gather from comments above that coalitions can form after an election, based on areas of agreement.  Coyne contradicts himself in saying Liberals should say 'no coalition-no way' then turn around and form issue-by-issue coalitions on specific votes.  Coyne appears just as deceptive as he paints Iggy.

KenS

The other problem for the Liberals in coming up with a strategy that will work is that they are so stuck on trying to stampede people into the choice being Harper or themselves. They just do not face that this is an attempt to turn back the clock or put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Understandably, they want to get as much of that stampeding effect as they can. But depending on a trend whose time seems to have passed is more than a bit on the self destructive side.

thanks

list of priorities

have to think about wording of this more

MegB

thanks wrote:

- Coyne seems very biased.  The article reads as if Coyne doesn't want a coalition.  He is also wrong that Dion was not a 'credible leader'- it was the media networks who messed up Dion's key TV statement.  The useful information I got out of that article is that a coalition can be created- not necessarily with all opposition parties.  and i gather from comments above that coalitions can form after an election, based on areas of agreement.  Coyne contradicts himself in saying Liberals should say 'no coalition-no way' then turn around and form issue-by-issue coalitions on specific votes.  Coyne appears just as deceptive as he paints Iggy.

Well, it is Andrew Coyne after all.  His conservatism is cloaked in reasonable language.  Ask Judy Rebick what it was like debating him (anyone remember Face Off?)

Aristotleded24

It's official, the Harper government has been defeated on a motion of non-confidence.

MegB

The only government in the history of Canada to be voted down for contempt of parliament.

N.R.KISSED

I think opposition parties need to emphasize that the conservatives are a coalition of reformers and Harris nonsense de-evolutionaries.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Ignatieff got ripped apart by reporters on the coalition question after the vote.

Aristotleded24

Did anyone else catch Layton's offer to strip for the cameras?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yeah, I did. It got a big laugh from the reporters. Laughing I wish he did, actually. Laughing

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Oh, and Layton said twice he's running to be Prime Minister of Canada. I'm not going to comment.Innocent

Lens Solution

I wouldn't say Ignatieff got ripped apart, but he was asked about the coalition about 5 or 6 times and they agreed he hasn't given a satisfactory answer yet and will continue to face questions about it.

They said Layton did a good job handling the health question with humour.

gyor

That the liberals are boxed in is thier biggest problem, but it is far from thier only problem.

There is iggy's lack of popularity, the dependence on yesterdays stradgegies, the lack of crediblity, the lack of policy territory to make thier own, iggy's gaffs, past, present, and future, possible dividens within his own party, his inexperience vs skill veteran leaders, the fact that his party sat on their hands during the last parliment. Plus any good news for another party is usually bad news for the liberals.

Iggy prepare for a rough ride!

With Stevens scandals it wont be a gentle ride for him either.

If the ndp really is seen as taking off expect really nasty attacks on Jack.

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