Spring Election (or not) Speculation

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

So - Why should Harper call an election before his term comes to an end if he knows it won't result in a majority for him? I posted a link a few days ago that has Mulcair saying no one stands to improve their standing - including the NDP - if an election were held today. And it talks about the NDP getting concessions from the Cons in order to prevent an election.

 

ETA: Here's the link.

 

excerpt: Mr. Mulcair said polling shows no party stands to gain now from an election.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

FrownReality check: Edge to the Tories - DARRELL BRICKER
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

 

excerpt:

 

With numbers like these, the Tories can only flirt with a majority, the Grits will be hard-pressed to top their 2008 performance and, even with the popularity of their leader, Jack Layton, the New Democrats will basically be a nuisance factor only preventing a Liberal recovery. As for Quebec, the only question is whether the Bloc will break 60 seats.

 

excerpt:

 

The story to discount the most is that perennial year-end favourite: When will we have an election? The truth is, we won't have an election until the dynamic changes. And that won't be any time soon. So you might as well just Keep Calm and Carry On.

ottawaobserver

Boom Boom wrote:

So - Why should Harper call an election before his term comes to an end if he knows it won't result in a majority for him? I posted a link a few days ago that has Mulcair saying no one stands to improve their standing - including the NDP - if an election were held today. And it talks about the NDP getting concessions from the Cons in order to prevent an election.

ETA: Here's the link.

excerpt: Mr. Mulcair said polling shows no party stands to gain now from an election.

Boom Boom, the article talked about the NDP getting concessions, but Mulcair himself did not say that. Also, there aren't quotation marks around the passage you've cited above, so the reporter could just be interpreting what Mulcair did say.

If the NDP did want an election now, the last thing they would do is say so this early. The level of political analysis in the Globe and Mail parliamentary bureau is not something I'd get terribly excited about.

In my view, the ones who want it the most are the ones who are saying it the least.

ottawaobserver

Oh, and Boom Boom, I hadn't read the Darrell Bricker piece you linked to when I wrote that, but here's the full quote to read:

Quote:

So who should be most concerned about a spring election? The Tories should fear an election least, and the Grits should fear one most. But they’re acting as though the opposite is the case.

To understand what the two leaders are saying, one has to go through the Ottawa rabbit hole. The Tories don’t want to look like they want an election, at least not yet. If they appear too eager to go to the polls, the opposition won’t defeat them.

...

The story to discount the most is that perennial year-end favourite: When will we have an election? The truth is, we won’t have an election until the dynamic changes. And that won’t be any time soon. So you might as well just Keep Calm and Carry On.

The only thing I disagree with him about is about the NDP being nothing more than a nuisance factor to the Liberals, keeping them from regaining power. But it's the prevailing view amongst the elite opinion makers in the country, and they work very hard to propagate it. If Layton believed it, he would have given up ages ago. Lucky for us, he keeps finding new ways of confounding them.

Life, the unive...

Comments like Bricker's are nonsense.  In my riding - a Conservative held riding - the greatest threat to a Conservative defeat is the Liberals.  The true race is between the Conservatives and the NDP.  So the NDP is not holding back anyone. 

In fact if you look at polling trends, which you would think Bricker might have some sense of- (and this is outside Quebec), most of the Liberal slide can be found within Conservative numbers and to a lesser degree the Greens.  A much truer statement would be that what stands between a Conservative majority, and maybe even government itself, is the NDP.  The stronger the NDP the stronger the chance that the Conservatives can be replaced with some sort of multi-party arrangement after the next election.  In most of the country the NDP is the second place party or the holder of the riding and the Liberals are mostly an afterthought.  The Liberals are essentially a central Canada regional rump with a few seat scattered around for effect in other regions.  For those who want to see the end to Conservative government the positive strength of the NDP is the key.  For example in riding rich southwestern Ontario the Liberal brand has some residual strength, but it is rapidly dwindling.  Liberals are not in a positon to challenge the Conservatives outside of already Liberal ridings, but there are a number of NDP candidates poised to do just that.  Waste a vote on the Liberals in those ridings and you elect a Conservative.

That reality upsets the Liberal strategic voting crowd, but it is all there in the data if you want to look.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@LTU, I think your comments really sum this up well. Everyone else is really on the mark as well, but I think LTU has got this one right.

Happy New Year all!

Arthur Cramer, Winnipeg

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I put a frowning emoticon on my Bricker post to show what I think of him. The problem is that people read his stuff and assume it's the gospel truth. And I know a lot of people - virtually everyone here on the Lower North Shore - who agree with his comments on the NDP being a nuisance party.

 

 

bekayne

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

  In most of the country the NDP is the second place party or the holder of the riding

106 out of 308 ridings, to be precise

http://www.punditsguide.ca/parties/?party=4&qry=2

JKR

bekayne wrote:

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

  In most of the country the NDP is the second place party or the holder of the riding

106 out of 308 ridings, to be precise

http://www.punditsguide.ca/parties/?party=4&qry=2

Second place party or the holder of the riding, 2008 election:

Cons: 238
Libs: 200
NDP: 104
BQ: 66

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Quote: Second place party or the holder of the riding, 2008 election:

Cons: 238
Libs: 200
NDP: 104
BQ: 66

From the same graph:

Ridings in which the Green Party came second

2006: 25

2008: 100

Life, the unive...

Oh why bother

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I just got out of bed (no coffee yet) when I posted that. What did I do wrong? Frown

Life, the unive...

not everything is about you Boom Boom - maybe cut back on the coffeeInnocent

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

*whew* - I was afraid I put my foot in my mouth! (again...)

ottawaobserver

Well, when I work off another page there, I get this summary:

NDP | 2000 | 2004 | 2006 | 2008
--------------------------------
%Vot | 8.5% | 15.7% | 17.5% | 18.2%
Wins | 13 | 19 | 29 | 37
2nds | 25 | 51 | 53 | 67
1+2s | 38 | 70 | 82 | 114
Rebt | 57 | 195 | 214 | 243

Lib | 2000 | 2004 | 2006 | 2008
--------------------------------
%Vot | 40.8% | 36.7% | 30.2% | 26.3%
Wins | 174 | 135 | 103 | 77
2nds | 110 | 145 | 116 | 123
1+2s | 284 | 280 | 219 | 200
Rebt | 293 | 307 | 283 | 270

Grn | 2000 | 2004 | 2006 | 2008
--------------------------------
%Vot | 0.8% | 4.3% | 4.5% | 6.8%
Wins | ---- | ---- | ---- | ----
2nds | ---- | ---- | 1 | 5
1+2s | ---- | ---- | ---- | 5
Rebt | ---- | 3 | 7 | 41

Cons | 2000 | 2004 | 2006 | 2008
--------------------------------
%Vot | ---- | 29.6% | 36.3% | 37.7%
Wins | ---- | 99 | 124 | 143
2nds | ---- | 90 | 117 | 95
1+2s | ---- | 99 | 241 | 238
Rebt | ---- | 251 | 303 | 300

BQ | 2000 | 2004 | 2006 | 2008
--------------------------------
%Vot | 10.7% | 12.4% | 10.5% | 10%
Wins | 38 | 54 | 51 | 49
2nds | 34 | 19 | 20 | 17
1+2s | 72 | 73 | 71 | 66
Rebt | 69 | 74 | 73 | 71

Which seems to mean that LTU is right about the trend. Of course they changed the way they calculated rebate eligibility between 2000 and 2004 (it used to be 15% of the vote, then dropped to 10%), but still ... those numbers seem to be leading indicators of 2nd place finishes, and then gains.

Don't forget: the Liberals got a lot of those 2nd place finishes in 2008 the way you don't want to (i.e., by losing seats they held). Will they be able to keep those 2nd place finishes this time, without an incumbent MP on the ballot? That's the question.

bekayne

It's important to remember that sometimes 2nd place finishes mean nothing. Here in Kelowna Lake Country, the Conservatives won with 56% & 2nd place was 15%. I also remember the Canadian Alliance crowing about their 2nd place finishes in Hamilton East & Windsor West

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

On that note, the Rhino Party actually placed 2nd in a few ridings in Quebec 20 or so years ago.

bekayne

N.Beltov wrote:

On that note, the Rhino Party actually placed 2nd in a few ridings in Quebec 20 or so years ago.

In the 1980 federal election, for instance, the Rhinoceros party nominated a professional clown/comedian named Sonia "chatouille" Côté ("chatouille" means "Tickles" in French) in the Laurier riding in Montréal. Côté came in second place, after the successful Liberal candidate, but ahead of both other major parties: the third place New Democrat, and the fourth-place Progressive Conservative candidate.[30] Chatouille received almost twice as many votes as the PC candidate.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Whatever happens, you can be sure that a bunch of clowns will get in.

ottawaobserver

N.Beltov wrote:

Whatever happens, you can be sure that a bunch of clowns will get in.

Ba-dum-SHHH!

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Somewhere in this thread, I recall seeing (but can't find) a reference to Liberal MPs who are close to pension eligibility, thus tending to put off an election.

By my quick review, there's only one MP coming up on pension eligibility this year - Liberal Todd Russell of Labradow will become pensionable on May 25.  I don't see Russell as having the necessary influence to convince his party to hold off if the backroom grandees thought the Liberal Party stood a snowball's chance. 

After that, there's nothing until January 23, 2012, when an additional 55 MPs become eligible (34 Con, 8 Bloc, 8 NDP, 5 Lib - including Tory heaviweights like Baird, Clemant, Cannon and Flaherty).

Rob8305

KenS wrote:

Rob8305 wrote:

The impression I am getting from this thread from Babblers who are very attuned to the political situation, as well as from the Canadian media, is that the next election will be a cakewalk for Harper

Echoing what OO said: not just dont get depressed, but you have been reading babblers selectively. Because almost no one anywhere thinks Harper is likely to get a majority, and a goodly chunk of us think the odds are fairly strongly against Harper staying in government period- even if they get a LOT more seats than the Liberals.

I've said so, and explained why, in another thread you started where this either was the topic or part of it. Of course there is disgreement on whether or how likely that take is to be true. But I think its safe to say that there is a consensus of some kind of cakewalk for Harper around here. That is what some people think, not some kind of consensus.

I dont even think that is a media consensus. Like OO said, some of them talk as if the Cons are definitely going to "win". Even I  agree that at the moment it would be a pretty big surprise if they get anything but a clear plurality [most seats], but that does not in itself keep them in government. A plurality no longer translates into a semi-automatic minority government.

Thanks for your insight, Ken. I tend to agree with your analysis most of the time but just worry a lot.

ottawaobserver

Hey, this is good news: Randy Garrison just announced he's running for the NDP nomination in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. He ran there in 2004 and 2006 (coming quite close to Keith Martin that time), and was the nominated NDP candidate in Vancouver Centre in 2008, until he had to return to the Island for work (Michael Byers subsequently ran there instead).

Anyways, the other news is that Moe Sihota has ruled himself out of the running there. Layton is set to speak at the January 23 nomination meeting: 

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Garrison+nomination+Esquimalt+Juan+Fuc...

The Liberals will never find anyone to match Keith Martin in that seat, and I suspect it will return to being a two-way race. Very clearly it's just jumped near the top of the NDP's priority list in BC.

art-of-walking

ottawaobserver wrote:

Ignatieff really has no choice about going for a spring election. His party is getting pretty fed up with him, and I think he's getting fed up with the job. I think he just wants the bloody thing over with so he can move on.

 

it's my humble opionion  that Iggy only took the job, when he did, to help facilitate-- by somehow  legitimizing --  NATO's (read 'the neo-con's) unrighteous shenanigans in the Middle East. 

Bob Ray has obviously -- dumbly -- also gone over to the dark side. 

Seeing as how, all things considered, those shenanigans seem to have been fairly concretely facilitated, Iggy'll happily walk, at the first opportunity,

And not look back.

"Don't let the door hit you..."

 

David Young

Well, here comes the cabinet shuffle I mentioned earlier.

Let's see if any of the older members are out, or if it's just another re-shuffling of the deck chairs.

 

KenS

I'm going to summarise the strategic position choices of each party as I see it. In terms of looking at governing possibilities after an election especially.... each parties assessment of that having a substantial influence on when we will have an election.

Thought of a new wrinkle about the BQ, and I will leave them to last.

NDP. I think they are the least complicated, and most easily predicted. They are in good shape, and can expect to make gains in an election. Even if that doesn't turn out, losing much is fairly unlikely. And they cannot directly angle for government, so that kind of thinking is not a complication. Since the NDP has no reason to resist or delay an election, and a lot of reason to bring it on, the Conservatives would have to offer something for support of the Budget that would at least potentialy be difficult for the Conservatives to swallow later.

Conservatives. Do not want an election now. Because the odds are too great that they will not be governing. So they will want a deal for support of the Budget. But wont do anything desperate. [Like for example, NDP support in return for CPP enhancements after all.] They dont have to offer the Bloc anything that would be very hard to swallow, but the Bloc may not be interested. [see below]

Liberals. in 2008 the Liberals were more than conflicted about shared governing, let alone full blown coalitions. The pronderent opinion was very much against. But two years later, no one can pretend they are not in long term trouble. Kinsella is just the most vocal at saying its time to get serious and stop acting like you are going to win a majority. None of them beleive it, and most have been forced to come around to accepting that waiting until they can get a majority is more than just 'waiting'. It is likely to be fatal. The exact form of minority government is secondary, and what they negotiate for will be driven by how things have turned out. It was Coalition in 2008 for a number of reasons that were one time uniqe. Not least was that only a Coalition had a chance to satisfy the GG- which will not be an issue after this election. And the NDP might not even want a Coalition over a governing agreement. Dion was both more amenable to the NDP as a PM, and someone they could have expected to have more clout over.

It is highly unlikely the Liberals and NDP would have a majority, so longer term stability of the government requires continuing to get the Bloc's support. That will be the main strategic bottleneck, not the NDPs support. Keeping the NDP from voting no confidence with the Conservatives will be easier than keeping the Bloc from doing it for any of 100 potential reasons. Bottom line: the Liberals have no choice but to vote down the Budget. And the Liberals are very unlikely to just stand back and let Harper govern with another majority. Though they may well secretly hope that Harper cuts a deal with the Bloc.

BQ. I gave above reasons why Duceppe and the Bloc might prefer to not have a Spring election even if Duceppe does plan to jump to the PQ. [Post # 25] But here is a variant on meeting the same goals. The Bloc lets the Spring election happen. Delivers a drubbing to Team Harper, then can still meet the same goals of faciliatating a Duceppe jump, by cutting a deal for supporting the Throne Speech and Budget after the election.  They could extract even more goodies, and there could be an understanding that the one-off support deals go on long enough for both the BQ and Cons to choose new leaders and get them established. [It being likey Harper will want to leave after another failure to get a majority- even if it was not expected and there is little pressure on him.]

KenS

Occurs to me Harper could go for an election even if they are operating on the knwledge that winning a majority is attainable but not likely; and that they are no longer guaranteed opposition parties so at cross purposes.

If Harper can cut a deal with the Bloc to stave off a Spring election, then he can also go ahead with the elction and make a deal over the same substance for Throne Speech and following budget support. And maybe they would rather have an election- even one they dont expect to win or come out dominating as in 2008.

For one thing they are running out of gas. An election would give Harper a way to shuffle things around in a way that just does not work the same even if they can plan on governing to October 2012.

The next election would likely not be until 2013: later, and with more opportunity to grasp the initiative.

An election virtually guaranteed to be followed by another in 2 years or less would put the financial screws to the Liberals. And if the  Liberals came out of this election without major gains, they'd be fighting again and choosing another Leader.

And Harper would have the choice to make a re-charged last run for the majority.... or turn the reigns over to a new leader to do that. Either fitting in with the long term plans expressed by Tom Flannagan, and either being the kind of thing Harper would do.

Anyway, on a more general level..... just goes to show that even if you hold constant assumptions of primary importance- such as that a Consevative majority in the near term is attainable but unlikely- there are still likely scenarios that lead to opposite ends.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

KenS wrote:
If Harper can cut a deal with the Bloc to stave off a Spring election...

Or the NDP. Wink

thorin_bane

Not going to happen boom boom. There isn't enough tea in china at this point.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Let's see, shall we? Kiss

Life, the unive...

thorin- Boom Boom has been floating this theory because he misread something into an article that was attempting to create news that just wasn't there.  He is caught up in the fantasy the article tried to present taking the term 'common ground' to mean a bunch of stuff that has no quotes or verification and than has taken it further to suggest that the NDP and the Conservatives are conspiring to block a spring election that the Liberals desperatly want.  It is ridiculous on the face of it, and even the article in question suggested it was a huge unliklihood.  He seems to be getting some amusement out of it and isn't really interested in rational refutation.  I'd just let him have his fun. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Reuters reported a story with similarities to the G&M article on December 23/10: 

 

Flaherty sees partial support for budget By Louise Egan

 

excerpt:

 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's ruling Conservatives see more hope of winning support for their next budget from the left-leaning NDP than from the main opposition Liberals, which could help avoid an election widely expected in 2011.

 

excerpt:

 

NDP leader Jack Layton hinted this month his party might back the budget if Harper embraced demands like more aid for the elderly, a cut in taxes on home heating fuel, and targeted investments in domestic manufacturing.

 

NO TURNING BACK ON TAX CUTS

 

But Layton's call for a cancellation of corporate tax cuts and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's plea to postpone those cuts to sunnier economic times fell on deaf ears.

 

 

It does sound ambiguous as to whether the NDP will back the next budget or not. I'll be watching the news carefully.

 

 

Life, the unive...

It is not at all ambigous.  It is called positioning.  The NDP, and the Conservatives are laying out their platform priorities for an election.  The Conservatives are also targeting the narrative they want to have if an election gets called that they' tried hard to work with the other parties - even the NDP for goodness sake.'  the NDP is continuing with its theme of being the honest broker in Ottawa.  The Conservatives will never, ever stop corporate tax cuts and the NDP will never, ever sign on to a deal without them stopped.  It is that simple and something both articles allude to, but you keep ignorning. Have a blast with yourR teasing, but as far as actual analysis goes you are falling down.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Actually, I hope you're right. But listen to what Malcom said yesterday here in post #45:

 

 

Boom Boom, are you saying that there is no amount of Conservative concession that would justify voting for (or abstaining on) the Conservative budget?

 

If they fixed fixed pensions according to the CLC plan, doubled social transfers to the provinces, dropped all the corporate tax cuts entirely, cancelled (or at least opened for tender) the fighter contract, and eliminated all salaries and allowances for members of the Senate (in other words, if they gave us more than we've ever gotten from the Liberals) we should still tell them to pound sand?  There isn't even a hypothetical scenario where we should consider supporting this right wing party who are really not significantly different from the other right wing party we've often made deals with in the past?

 

If that's the case, let's just shut'er down, rip out our hearts and our brains and become Liberals.

 

(bolding emphasis mine)

 

So - let me ask you the same question: are you saying that there is no amount of Conservative concession that would justify voting for (or abstaining on) the Conservative budget?

KenS

We're talking likelihood BB, not possibility. Anything is possible, and in general negotiating should never be ruled out... even when you are thinking very unlikely.

The premise of the article you were going on, is that there is something in the cards. Anything might happen. Its plausible. But likely is another story. And that a deal is being actively and realistically worked on is unlikely.

KenS

That appeare to be it for the "cabinet shuffle". Pretty light.

Not that I draw any meaning out of it being light. Think it would be futile, probably self-defeating even, for Harper and company to try to pretend there is some 'sizzle'. They are selling 'steady' [instead of 'them'].

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

KenS wrote:

That appeare to be it for the "cabinet shuffle". Pretty light.

Not that I draw any meaning out of it being light. Think it would be futile, probably self-defeating even, for Harper and company to try to pretend there is some 'sizzle'. They are selling 'steady' [instead of 'them'].

At the risk of being Fantino-centric, while he did not get the Homeland Security post just yet, the top cop has been put in play for the law and order agenda, and, along with Peter Kent, an all-out assault on the Liberals, particularly in Toronto, and a spring election. My story and I am sticking to it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle leaves no doubt: the next election, whenever it comes, will be decided in suburban Greater Toronto.

By elevating Peter Kent and Julian Fantino, key MPs in the GTA, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declared he is willing to stake his political capital on winning that battle, and possibly forming a majority government.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/harper-lays...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Fantino’s new job will give him many more opportunities to step into the spotlight in advance of an anticipated election this year.

Harper said he was “pleased to welcome” Fantino, saying seniors will be in “good hands” given Fantino’s experience and judgment.

The changes signal a renewed determination by Harper to target more voter support in the Greater Toronto Area, now dominated by Liberals in the Commons.

However Harper told reporters he was not interested in provoking an election, saying “ultimately” that decision was up to the Opposition parties who he described as “threatening” an election. “We take it seriously.” ( emphasis added- I hear Tory staffers have been called back to Ottawa to prepare for an anticipated  "Liberal led" defeat of the budget)

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/915567--pm-boosts-toronto-mps...

art-of-walking

PJCassidy wrote: (quoting S. Harper) "We take it seriously." ( emphasis added- I hear Tory staffers have been called back to Ottawa to prepare for an anticipated  "Liberal led" defeat of the budget)''

 

The language is fascinating, even if I think it's a bunch of baloney -- Harper saying they 'take it seriously' only lends 'seriousness' to the Cons larder -- "a Liberal led defeat of the budget" lends an air of "leadership" and "strength" to the Lib's

They're scratching eachother's backs, here, people

Here's hoping that Cdns finally awake to this unholy Lib/Con pas de deux -- perhaps it would then end, and real democracy might actually ensue.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sorry for the drift but... I wish there was some way to remove the Environment Ministry out of government into a taxpayer-funded independent agency. I'm tired of watching governments mess this up.

bekayne

So Fantino's portfolio is Minister Of State Responsible For Scaring Seniors Into Voting Conservative?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Pierre Polievre is on P&P saying Peter Kent's appointment to Environment is "fine tuning" the portfolio.

 

Excuse me.

 

 

 

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! LaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing

 

 

 

 

Sorry, I was having a moment.Innocent

 

no1important

Centrist wrote:

Pogo wrote:

It will also play into the provincial politics.  If HST is so bad why is everyone jumping at the chance to get on board?  I wouldn't be surprised if the HST passes the referendum (if we make it that far) with the anger being saved for the Liberals in the following election.

For a prolonged period of time opinion polls showed that roughly 85% were opposed to the HST in BC. The ARS poll from last week shows that HST opposition has dropped to 54%. Go figure. And, strangely enough, you may actually be right if that trend continues over the next 6 months.

 

Amazing isn't it really? The other goofy thing is Harper never felt the wrath like Campbell and McGuinty..  I also expect the Libs to win next election in BC (partly due to no third party to split the vote as that is the only way NDP have ever won in BC and so far never won a two party race) it just boggles the mind how BC and Canada are just full of sheeple baa baa

Life, the unive...

Here is about the clearest indication I have seen that we won't have a spring election. 

 

Quote:

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe says his party will vote against the next federal budget if it doesn't include $2 billion in compensation for Quebec for harmonizing the GST and the provincial sales tax.

From here

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/duceppe-says-bloc-might-reject-next-federal-budget-if-quebec-not-compensated--113306809.html

Here's my thinking. Duceppe is probably making this announcement because he has heard from provincial sources a deal will soon be announced. He can therefore claim credit for pressuring the Conservatives into making the $2 billion bride. Thus bolstering the Bloc works for Quebec theme. My further guess is that there would be no way that the BQ would vote against Quebec getting 2 billion dollars in 'free' money, much like the Liberals had to vote for the ways and means motion that brought in the HST in BC and Ontario. So this announcement by Duceppe is probably the beginning of the Seperatist-Conservative coalition on the budget.
Lots of ifs and buts, however, it seems likely that a non-spring of 2011 election is a better possiblity than it was before the announcement. Which means no fall of 2011 election either.

ottawaobserver

LTU, what do you make of this quote?

Quote:

Duceppe says negotiations with Quebec have stalled but sources have been saying for several weeks that federal and provincial negotiators are on the verge of a deal.

Duceppe tells The Canadian Press he is not guaranteeing Bloc support of the budget even if the compensation is included.

He will evaluate the budget as a whole and see if it benefits Quebecers. Duceppe starts a tour on Thursday to consult Quebecers on their interests and concerns.

If the feds and Quebec do come to an agreement, I tend to believe that what Scott Reid said on Power & Politics tonight is probably right: you don't spend $2 billion dollars now, if you're the government, and ask people to remember it at the polls 18 months down the road.

If they're shelling out that much money, the Conservatives *want* an election.

 

Life, the unive...

Well that makes some sense too.  I tend to think the two parties are positioning for a little get-together for a spring budget.  But the reverse is also equally possible if I am being honest.  This might be a nudge-nudge, wink-wink sort of deal where the Bloc and Conservatives hope to use this to put the squeeze in Quebec on the Liberals and NDP by playing each other's cards going into an election. 

The one thing it does tell us for sure is that the Conservatives posturing over 'the seperatist' card is complete poppycock.  Not that such a thing comes as a surprise.

thorin_bane

YEah but Fooligan and Reid along with the other right windbag Hall(who works for the CBC) also think the NDP can be bought easier than any other party. The only thing I can see is bringing forth PR, And even then I don't think the budget will be easy to swallow given cons and in particular this governments penchant for putting its thumb in the oppositions eye. The cons want this elections, even if they say they don't.

ottawaobserver

Yes, thorin, isn't it amazing what kinds of completely BS speculation people can get away with, when there's no actual NDPer on a pundit panel to present the other point of view.

KenS

Before this statement by Duceppe came up, Ivison ran an article on this little dance. The headline implied some news, but it was just the existing speculation. EXCEPT, that Ivison noted that the negotiations with Quebec may not be complete in time for the Budget.

Interesting wrinkle. On the one hand, I'm skeptical whether that could be true: if both Quebec and Harper want it, and the latter has timing issues, they can't push the negotiations to completions? On the other: if this is going to be a big feather in Duceppe's cap, and be his segway into the PQ leadership... lots of reason for Quebec to fiddle around.

But fiddling around means Quebec could end up with a change of federal government, or Harper not needing them after an election... so I dont know how likely them stalling is.

How is this for a scenario:

No deal with Quebec before the Budget. And no deal with NDP or the Bloc [and I dont think there will be one without the HST deal]. So we have an election.

Negotiations with Quebec continue, and are completed before Eday. New government has to bring in a Throne Speech and Budget. Harper gets the Bloc support, and announces that they will be meeting the House with a Throne Speech [with or without explicit reference to what makes this possible].

This would have a number of advantages for both parties.

1.] Perhaps counterintuitively, I dont think a deal with Quebec before the Spring Budget [and no election] is a problem for Harper in the ROC. But it does strengthen the Bloc as much as it strengthens Harper in Quebec, so there's no clear political benefit, and may be problems.

2.] The Bloc, and Duceppe, would also like the after an election deal better. Makes their election strategy less complicated. Gives them a chance to thump the Conservatives. Perfect time for Duceppe to make the jump. Plenty of time for a BQ transition, and they can expect to be in good shape going into it.

3.] Harper gets to take another longshot crack at a majority, without it costing anything. Even better, it reloads the 2007-2008 situation, where the Conservatives benefit even if they dont win the majority gambit. Heads I win, tails you lose. At a minimum, elections are costly to the Liberals, and being ready for the next one sets the Liberals back... even if they happened to do decently in the election. But the strategic benefits of the election could very likely be even better for the Conservaties. The Conservatives could easily drop a few seats, and the Liberals still do the same. And if the Liberals lose even a couple or a few seats, that will probably be enough to put them back into deep tail-spin again.

NDPP

Layton Names the NDP Price for Supporting the 2011 Tory Budget

http://davidakin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2011/1/13/4725915.html

"I believe Layton and the NDP could be convinced to vote for the budget, despite the presence of corporate tax cuts, if the NDP can, in Layton's words, 'get things done for Canadians.' Here's a couple of excerpts from Layton's Sudbury speech. 'I'm ready for an election. But I'd rather get things done...'"

Not again I hope...

Life, the unive...

What do you mean not again?  The only thing Layton has supported was major help for the unemployed in Canada, while Liberals are batting a big, fat zero in terms of getting anything for their support.  I personally know three families, one of them my daughter's, who that EI extension made a huge difference in their lives when they were getting to the end of their rope when their employer shut down and moved to South America. 

It is also quite possible that Layton saved us from a sure-fired Conservative majority as the Liberals were clearly not ready to go to the elctorate and dropped like a stone after the infamous 'you're time is up' remark from Igantieff.

This is nothing but positioning.  Layton has built up a reputation of being an honest broker in Parliament.  The only one really.  He is outlining priorities and differences.  It is the author who is making up complete speculation out of really nothing.  That is the same rhetoric Layton has been using for at least 2 elections now.  Nothing new.  And the comment that the NDP would forgoe stopping corporate tax cuts in favour of some other improvements when that is a major line of distinction is just nonsense.

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