Just in: All 3 opposition parties to vote against Conservative budget

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NorthReport

I think Harper got suckered punched by the NDP. Our PM is getting a little too big for his britches, and it's time he is brought down a notch or two. After all he just has a minority government with less than 38% of the vote.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Looks like Layton got suckered, actually. Harper held out the bait of negotiating for the NDP's support, Layton took it, and got a budget that didn't give him what he asked for. Confirmation of this was Flaherty refusing to talk about amendments. The Cons want this budget as their election platform, and they got it.

Lens Solution

alan smithee wrote:

It's all going as the Tory strategists planned.

A budget that answers NDP issues with peanuts and Bloc issues with some promises that gives the illusion of a fair budget and makes the opposition look like the villains.

And I'm sick and tired of the 'Canadians don't want an election' bullshit.

When will Canadians 'want' an election?..In a year,5 years or maybe never.

Any which way you slice it,the Tories have succeeded in making Canadians believe elections should become a thing of the past,making the electorate more apathetic and making the opposition up as the bogeyman.

I'm not looking forward to this election.

I'm tired of it too.  And some of the commentators and radio show hosts exacerbate the situation by also puffing and sighing about the prospect of an election.  There were several radio hosts on Don Martin's show on CTV earlier tonight doing just that.

It's time that Canadians stop complaining about elections and start becoming grateful that they have the right to vote.  Many people around the world don't have that right.  It is time for Canadians to get off their backsides and start getting involved.  There are mid-term elections every 2 years in the United States.  It's no big deal if we have them every 2 or 3 years either.

Rob8305

ottawaobserver wrote:

Rob8305 wrote:

Now, it should be noted that Harper can start playing the same games that Martin played in 2005 before the Stronach defection. He could take away the liberal opposition day on Friday-backend it to the end of the session-and try to force the opposition to vote on the budget.

No, I don't think he can, because today is the last day of the current supply period. When Martin did that it was in May, and the last day of that supply period would not have come until June or something.

Friday is the last day the Liberal opposition can be called for ... and it must be called ... and after it's voted on, there would still have been the money votes to vote supply for the next period. The Liberals could make their votable opposition day motion confidence or not, but they put a non-confidence motion on the order paper today, and have announced that they plan to move that one on Friday.

Now, I think Harper picked the budget day precisely with this squeeze in mind, thinking they could squeeze the NDP. But then other things go and happen, don't they.

Observer, thank you so much  for this post! It was very informative!!!

The rest of you calm down. Harper is not a 1,000 pound Godzilla. The dude has tried for a majority and lost 3 times.

Lens Solution

Rob8305 wrote:

ottawaobserver wrote:

Rob8305 wrote:

Now, it should be noted that Harper can start playing the same games that Martin played in 2005 before the Stronach defection. He could take away the liberal opposition day on Friday-backend it to the end of the session-and try to force the opposition to vote on the budget.

No, I don't think he can, because today is the last day of the current supply period. When Martin did that it was in May, and the last day of that supply period would not have come until June or something.

Friday is the last day the Liberal opposition can be called for ... and it must be called ... and after it's voted on, there would still have been the money votes to vote supply for the next period. The Liberals could make their votable opposition day motion confidence or not, but they put a non-confidence motion on the order paper today, and have announced that they plan to move that one on Friday.

Now, I think Harper picked the budget day precisely with this squeeze in mind, thinking they could squeeze the NDP. But then other things go and happen, don't they.

Observer, thank you so much  for this post! It was very informative!!!

The rest of you calm down. Harper is not a 1,000 pound Godzilla. The dude has tried for a majority and lost 3 times.

True, but it would be unwise to assume he'll fail a 4th time.

wage zombie

Lens Solution wrote:

It's time that Canadians stop complaining about elections and start becoming grateful that they have the right to vote.  Many people around the world don't have that right.  It is time for Canadians to get off their backsides and start getting involved.  There are mid-term elections every 2 years in the United States.  It's no big deal if we have them every 2 or 3 years either.

Any time I hear that people are sick of elections I'm going to ask whoever's speaking if they'd prefer if we just get rid of elections altogether.  People need to smarten up.

Lens Solution

Another Tory minority would result in coalition challenge, ex-PMO staffer says

 

Guy Giorno, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, says if the Conservatives fail to win a majority in the next election, the party expects to be toppled by an opposition coalition.

“Make no mistake, if they are given the opportunity again I think there is every indication they will do that,” Giorno, the Conservative Party’s national campaign chair, said Wednesday in a freewheeling conversation at the University of Toronto School of Public Policy and Governance.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/959422--another-tory...

NorthReport

Sounds good to me.

Jacob Two-Two

Wasn't there a fair bit of public support for a coalition last time it came up? What makes this a threat exactly? Maybe he's just trying to energise his base.

bekayne

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

What makes this a threat exactly? 

It's a threat to Stephen Harper. Which makes it a threat to Canada

Lens Solution

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Wasn't there a fair bit of public support for a coalition last time it came up?

It's hard to know how much support there is for a coalition because the Conservative spin-doctors try to downplay how many Canadians support it, and there's been mixed polling data.  It appears that the majority of Quebecers are in favour of a coalition.  Outside of Quebec the numbers tend to be more mixed.

John Ivison is at work again in the National Post trying to scare voters about the threat of a coalition:

 

 

Coalition looking likely as Harper fights for a majority

 

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/03/23/john-ivison-coalition-loo...

Rob8305

Just finished watching the election coverage on CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson. At least for right now, Harper is on the ropes folks. Craig and Lloyd were talking about how the opposition has burst out of the starting gates and they were wondering how Stevie found himself in this position. Craig didn't put it quite like this but he basically said Harper also has to worry about how many of his ethically challenged friends will pop up and say hi during the campaign.

Let's not forget, Harper is a poor debater. The former Harvard Professor and the witty and charming Jack Layton will destroy Harper during the debates. Dion is not around for Harper to kick around anymore:)

I looked at 308.com and I think the key for our coalition is to break through in Quebec and Ontario and stay strong in Atlantic Canada. A NDP/Lib breakthrough in Quebec and Harper finishing 2nd in Ontario would be the end of him. All roads lead through Quebec. B.C. is also a fertile hunting ground for our coalition.

My goal would be to get as close to 155 seats as we can without the BQ.

As far as the coalition goes, Ekos did a poll in January and the Lib/NDP coalition polls just 1 point behind a Harper gov so it is not a bogeyman.

Can't wait for the Ekos poll sometime tommorrow. They are definitely in the field.

P.S: I don't mean to sound like I don't expect another Harper con government. It'd be unwise to write that off in the extreme but I am feeling very optimstic tonight. We are already faring much better than during the coalition fiasco in the press.

JKR

Coalition looking likely as Harper fights for a majority

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/03/23/john-ivison-coalition-loo...

Quote:

The budget provided yet another example of the government’s lack of transparency, since it did not detail the cost of its crime and punishment agenda. We know it will cost billions but that spending was not laid out in the budget plan, as it should have been.

The budget also didn't include the $35 billion jet deal and the added cost of health care that will have to be taken on in federal/provincial negotiations over the next couple of years. Adding these costs  into the budget shows that Canada now has a deep long-term structural deficit. Inserting corporate tax cuts into this economic mess is insane.

The opposition should run against this budget that is simultaneously incompetent and corrupt.

 

Lens Solution

I posted that John Ivison column above, and to me most of it looks like an attack piece on the opposition, and a shill piece for Harper.

JKR

Lens Solution wrote:

I posted that John Ivison column above, and to me most of it looks like an attack piece on the opposition, and a shill piece for Harper.

I copied the url from your post. It may be a pro-Harper piece but it had one honest paragraph showing how totally bogus the budget is.

The budget does not leave the government with the needed funds to improve healthcare when negotiations come up within the next couple of years. The only way the Conservatives can hope to get a balanced budget by 2015 is to offer the provinces nothing to improve health care. By omission, this budget is actually announcing the deterioration of Canada's healthcare and social programs, either that or a huge structural deficit.

The opposition now has an opening to show that the Conservatives have no money for needed healthcare. The Conservatives have just inadvertently brought Conservative healthcare cuts into the election.

 

Olive: A budget worth defeating

Quote:

Studying a budget is an exercise in Sherlock Holmes’ adage about “listening for the dog that didn’t bark.” That often is how one determines where a government intends to take the people. To a better place, one obviously hopes. But in the silences – the unanswered pleas – one finds a government’s real agenda.

...

Meanwhile, the Tories will forgo $6 billion in the next fiscal year from a further reduction in corporate taxes, already among the lowest in the OECD.

The stiffer prison sentencing sought by Harper – a dubious policy, as sentencing is not a proven deterrent to crime, the rates of which are in any case is falling – will cost an estimated $9 billion in future spending on new and expanded jails.

Then there’s the whopping $29 billion cost of buying shiny new F-35 fighter jets from U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., as estimated by parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page. The plane is unsuited to many of the tasks required in Canada, and is a form of corporate welfare – this time to a foreign firm – since that aircraft program wouldn’t be possible unless many nations besides the U.S. placed orders.

That’s $45 billion in total dubious spending, eclipsing the $40-billion deficit the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty yesterday projected in his budget for the next fiscal year. This despite Flaherty’s insistence that a return to balanced books is the government’s chief priority.

Continued meaningful stimulus programs are not necessary, Harper feels, since the nation’s all better now, and “restraint” – notwithstanding the above splurges – is the order of the day. As with a U.S. stimulus program that ended prematurely, Canada risks a return to slow growth as Harper turns now from stimulus to austerity.

 

Lens Solution

JKR wrote:

Lens Solution wrote:

I posted that John Ivison column above, and to me most of it looks like an attack piece on the opposition, and a shill piece for Harper.

I copied the url from your post. It may be a pro-Harper piece but it had one honest paragraph showing how totally bogus the budget is.

Yes, I've noticed that Ivison often will insert one negative paragraph about the Conservatives after writing 10 pro-Conservative paragraphs, just to maintain the small illusion that he is being objective.

Sean in Ottawa

On the Health and other transfers-- nothing other than a freeze promised and only for this year.

From the budget document:

"The cost of decisions taken since the October Update amount to $200 million in 2010–11, $1.0 billion in 2011–12, and $200 million in 2012–13 and 2013–14. These costs include the Government’s commitment to provide transfer protection payments to provinces in 2011–12 to ensure that no province experiences a decline in its combined entitlements under the Canada Health Transfer, Canada Social Transfer and Equalization. Adjustments will be made to existing legislation to ensure the proper interaction of this measure with the Fiscal Stabilization Program. In addition, these costs reflect the fiscal impact of the provision of training to the Afghan National Security Forces as part of Canada’s post-2011 Afghanistan strategy, additional funding for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to support its ongoing operations, and the three-year extension of federal support to interprovincial ferry services in Eastern Canada."

I think this was a little trap for any opposition party that voted for the budget-- thegovernment would have been able to say they supported this.

thanks
  • "equalization payments are expected to fall in future years as a result of a hard cap the Harper Conservatives imposed, tying them to a three-year average in economic growth. CUPE and some provinces called for the federal government to protect the value of these transfers until 2013/14. This will reduce the transfers some provinces receive.
  • It is widely expected that a majority Conservative government would cut the rate of increase of these transfers, particularly for health care."

http://cupe.ca/budget/budget-2011-overview-summary

w.r.t " Adjustments will be made to existing legislation to ensure the proper interaction of this measure with the Fiscal Stabilization Program."

 

thanks

Health and Social Transfers should not be tied to economic growth, nor 'fiscal stabilization programs'.

The Canada Health Act, our ethics and rights, state that universality- access to healthcare and social supports is a Right, the Charter states our human rights include social rights.  Health and Social Transfers are a right.  These transfers by law of right cannot be placed in competition for funds with military or any other fiscal adventures.

Harper and his Conservatives are acting unethically and illegally with respect to our rights to healthcare and social supports.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

CTV Montreal ran the story 'As rhetoric rises,parties inch closer to a May election' referring to the Opposition.

With friends like that,why do the Cons feel they need to spend a red penny on attack ads?

I hope for a couple of things.

(A) the opposition parties take off the gloves and attack the Cons (which would be so easy to do)

(B) the opposition forms a coalition government

(C) the opposition,including the Liberals,vow to overturn the Afghan issue,the current offensive in Libya,the fighter jet contract and the unneeded prisons and invest in health care,education and other issues of importance for Canadians.

I can see A and B but I can't see C...But it's time to take a different direction and clearly distinguish themselves from the Tories.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The Ontario finance minister (Dwight Duncan?)  was on P&P talking about the fed's budget last night, and said Ontario suffers under the present system - it gives four billion dollars to the feds, only gets one billion dollars back in transfers - meaning Ontario can not afford the same standard of services that smaller provinces can afford. (that's a bit of an over-simplification on my part, but I can't recall his exact words; however this type of argument has been made by Ontario for years)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Saw Harper give a press conference late yesterday inside the HofC - he said it's not too late for the Opposition parties to change their minds and support the Budget. This is Harper's grand play - sell the Budget as the best possible deal for Canadians, then portray the Opposition Coalition as villains who do not have the best interests of Canadians at heart, just their own selfish partisan interests. Expect more of this. The first act of this play was fooling the Opposition (especially Layton) that he was open to making changes to the Budget in return for their support. Harper is the master tactician.

Life, the unive...

Oh so now that we are going to have an election it is Layton's fault.  Just a few days before when the prevailing wisdom was a deal was possible it was Layton's fault we wouldn't have an election.   I wish you people would make up your mind.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

That was quick..The Tory attack ads have started.

Will the opposition finally let their balls drop and respond?

On verra.

Lens Solution

Boom Boom wrote:

Saw Harper give a press conference late yesterday inside the HofC - he said it's not too late for the Opposition parties to change their minds and support the Budget. This is Harper's grand play - sell the Budget as the best possible deal for Canadians, then portray the Opposition Coalition as villains who do not have the best interests of Canadians at heart, just their own selfish partisan interests. Expect more of this. The first act of this play was fooling the Opposition (especially Layton) that he was open to making changes to the Budget in return for their support. Harper is the master tactician.

Perhaps we need to prepare an attack ad or commercial with clips of Jim Flaherty on t.v. after the budget was presented saying "no deal", "no compromise", "there will be no changes to the budget", and all the other things he said.  How can the Cons claim they want to prevent an election when they refused to allow amendments or compromise on the budget?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Exactly, LS. Good idea, too - attack ads targetting the government's stubborness. I'm sure this is underway as we speak.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

John Baird: "This is the most functional dysfunctional Parliament..."  (he then burst out laughing at how absurd that sounded, even to him) Laughing

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