What Is Dion Doing?

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Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Wilf Day:
[b]Translation: "Abstain? No one told me I was going to have to abstain. For this, I gave up my position at U of T?"[/b]

Watched it - hilarious! sad! Thanks, Wilf.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Wilf Day:
[b]Translation: "Abstain? No one told me I was going to have to abstain. For this, I gave up my position at U of T?"[/b]

Watched it - hilarious! sad! Thanks, Wilf.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm:
[b]All members present, 162 - 145

Seven opposition members absent, 145 - 145 and Mr. Speaker Milliken sustains the status quo as he is obligated to do.

There will be at least seven absent opposition MPs - some with credible sounding excuses, some not.[/b]


Seven? Or seventeen?

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm:
[b]All members present, 162 - 145

Seven opposition members absent, 145 - 145 and Mr. Speaker Milliken sustains the status quo as he is obligated to do.

There will be at least seven absent opposition MPs - some with credible sounding excuses, some not.[/b]


Seven? Or seventeen?

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Malcolm:
[b]All members present, 162 - 145

Seven opposition members absent, 145 - 145 and Mr. Speaker Milliken sustains the status quo as he is obligated to do.

There will be at least seven absent opposition MPs - some with credible sounding excuses, some not.[/b]


Seven? Or seventeen?

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]Seven? Or seventeen?[/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]Seven? Or seventeen?[/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]Seven? Or seventeen?[/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?[/b]


I think that the Conservatives are happy enough with his rulings but, more to the point, they'd rather take away a member of the Liberal caucus than a member of their own. We'll know for sure when the vote is held to elect the Speaker.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by Caissa:
[b]Let me re-phrase a statement I thought was clear: The Liberal Party will receive a higher percentage of the vote in the next Federal Election. Anyone who wants to bet on that with me is most welcome.

[/b]


I'm not about to take that bet even up, however there are some potential wild cards.

If there is a soup kitchen level economic collapse and the Libs support the Cons in a Hoover like response then all bets are off.

If Harper plays serious chicken with some nasty stuff for the base and the Libs fold that could cost them.

If they don't generate funds and are forced into a less than the limit campaign that could cost them. In this case both the financial problems and the perception of weakness would interact against them.

None of these (or even one of these) is an even money bet, but there are some mines out there.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?[/b]


I think that the Conservatives are happy enough with his rulings but, more to the point, they'd rather take away a member of the Liberal caucus than a member of their own. We'll know for sure when the vote is held to elect the Speaker.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by Caissa:
[b]Let me re-phrase a statement I thought was clear: The Liberal Party will receive a higher percentage of the vote in the next Federal Election. Anyone who wants to bet on that with me is most welcome.

[/b]


I'm not about to take that bet even up, however there are some potential wild cards.

If there is a soup kitchen level economic collapse and the Libs support the Cons in a Hoover like response then all bets are off.

If Harper plays serious chicken with some nasty stuff for the base and the Libs fold that could cost them.

If they don't generate funds and are forced into a less than the limit campaign that could cost them. In this case both the financial problems and the perception of weakness would interact against them.

None of these (or even one of these) is an even money bet, but there are some mines out there.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?[/b]


I think that the Conservatives are happy enough with his rulings but, more to the point, they'd rather take away a member of the Liberal caucus than a member of their own. We'll know for sure when the vote is held to elect the Speaker.

jrootham

quote:


Originally posted by Caissa:
[b]Let me re-phrase a statement I thought was clear: The Liberal Party will receive a higher percentage of the vote in the next Federal Election. Anyone who wants to bet on that with me is most welcome.

[/b]


I'm not about to take that bet even up, however there are some potential wild cards.

If there is a soup kitchen level economic collapse and the Libs support the Cons in a Hoover like response then all bets are off.

If Harper plays serious chicken with some nasty stuff for the base and the Libs fold that could cost them.

If they don't generate funds and are forced into a less than the limit campaign that could cost them. In this case both the financial problems and the perception of weakness would interact against them.

None of these (or even one of these) is an even money bet, but there are some mines out there.

adma

Interesting about Kirsty Duncan's awkwardness--I *thought* she'd seemed a fish out of water running in Etobicoke North; maybe that's why her Conservative opponent reached an astonishing-for-the-seat 30% and the NDP share grew by half, too. (Both being of South Asian stock, which may say something.)

adma

Interesting about Kirsty Duncan's awkwardness--I *thought* she'd seemed a fish out of water running in Etobicoke North; maybe that's why her Conservative opponent reached an astonishing-for-the-seat 30% and the NDP share grew by half, too. (Both being of South Asian stock, which may say something.)

adma

Interesting about Kirsty Duncan's awkwardness--I *thought* she'd seemed a fish out of water running in Etobicoke North; maybe that's why her Conservative opponent reached an astonishing-for-the-seat 30% and the NDP share grew by half, too. (Both being of South Asian stock, which may say something.)

Wilf Day

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081017.WEmail18/BNS... from Scott Reid, the former communications director for Paul Martin:[/url]

quote:

Parliamentary Votes - we must speak early and clearly about our intention to vote against any confidence matter. Make a firm and immediate statement that the government will not enjoy our support. Enough stalling and stewing in our juices. Let's act now to create some room going forward. We're the Official Opposition. We don't necessarily want an election. But as a matter of policy we will not support this government on a confidence matter. Let the pressure of carrying Harper be borne immediately by Jack and Gilles. Otherwise the future of this Parliament will be mismanaged right back into our laps.

aka Mycroft

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Now why would Liberal Milliken be staying on as Speaker of the House anyway?

Once in the position do you have it for life or what?[/b]


If Milliken can remain speaker for one more year he'll set a record for longest serving occupant of the position.

Anyway, since the Tories are in a minority they probably want to keep Milliken as Speaker in order to deny the Opposition one vote and the Opposition would prefer one of their own as Speaker rather than a government MP whose rulings might reflect a pro-government bias - and the Opposition has most of the votes needed to win the Speaker election.

If it's going to be an Opposition MP the government would prefer Milliken who is known to an unknown who might be more biased and since it's a minority parliament and thus likely to be turbulent most MPs would prefer an experienced Speaker to an inexperienced one.

Milliken hasn't done anything in the last session to really piss off any party so therefore he's likely to be re-elected.

robbie_dee

RE: Who will be speaker, your analysis makes sense, Mycroft. On the other hand, the Conservatives have a much larger minority this time than last, so it is unlikely that one vote will really make a difference on any particular vote. Meanwhile, Speaker is a nice plum the government can give a loyal MP who doesn't make it into cabinet.

Still, there are more opposition members than goverment members, if they can join forces it will be they and not the government that chooses. What I'd really enjoy is if the opposition would stick the Tories with someone they'd really hate as speaker, i.e. Bill Casey.

remind remind's picture

Thanks for the responses to my question, and interesting thoughts aka, and robbie. And considering the whole house votes on speaker, I would have to presume it would stay Milliken. Can't see them rocking the boat on that issue and putting someone like Casey in, who has no experience. I would have thought they would have put Strahl in seeing as how he does it intermittedly anyway. But Millikens probably staying makes much more sense now.

Interesting thoughts by Reid, but I doubt that the NDP and Bloc would go for supporting the Cons, on a motion of confidence, while the Liberals voted "nay".

However, what it does do, is give Harper pause about making every motion a confidence motion and ruling like he has a majority. If he wants to stay, he may have to actually work with the other parties, or risk being brought down. As there are too many scandals against the CPC waiting in the wings to assure a CPC minority/majority in yet another election.

Wilf Day

No mass abstentions; just a sneaky few.

[url=http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5g7wQ2RV8u3toPLLUaY4sgv5MSz... the first meeting of Liberal MPs, house leader Ralph Goodale ruled out a non-confidence vote in the minority government's throne speech:[/url]

quote:

Instead, insiders said, he told caucus Thursday that there are other ways of registering displeasure.

Privately, MPs are adamant that they have no stomach for mass abstentions, no-shows or other creative means of propping up the Conservative government as they did in the 39th Parliament. But they also acknowledge that the stronger Tory numbers mean the vast majority of Liberals can vote as they see fit without forcing Canadians back to the polls.

The Conservatives, with 143 seats, are just a dozen MPs short of a majority. If only a handful of MPs from other parties are absent - as is common - the government should survive without Liberals turning tail en masse.

"We'll work with the other parties of the opposition, we'll work with the government," lame-duck leader Stephane Dion said after the two-hour caucus meeting.

"We are there to be a responsible Opposition, but at the same time to keep the government accountable."


Accountable if necessary, but not necessarily accountable.

[ 23 October 2008: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]

remind remind's picture

Hmm,

quote:

we'll work with the government,"

it appears that the Liberals are going to shoot themselves in the feet some more. And I say "good job Liberals" keep up the self-interest, or rather what you believe is self-interest, as it seems they are going to carry on exactly as they did in the 39th session. [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img] Look forward to their next slapdown as it most surely will come with support of the CPC and sentiments such as this:

quote:

When a reporter asked Senator David Smith what other issues besides leadership the caucus needed to discuss, he gave her a long, quizzical look.

"Get back in government," Smith finally responded.


And there ya have it, the Liberals absolutely have no concerns about anything else other than...why...themselves.

janfromthebruce

I was reading far and wide earlier, which is a hotbed of young liberal minds. Anyway, their attitude is that the lib caucus just needs to declare that they will be voting against the Harper cons based on "liberal principles" (cough), and thus the other 2 opposition parties will have to prop up Harper.
It was as if, they belief and think that they are in charge and thus the Bloc and the NDP must help them be the official opposition. Stepping outside of their liberal bubble sure would help, but maybe they would be better staying in, works better for the NDP.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by janfromthebruce:
[b] Anyway, their attitude is that the lib caucus just needs to declare that they will be voting against the Harper cons based on "liberal principles" (cough), and thus the other 2 opposition parties will have to prop up Harper. [/b]

Well won't they be in for a surprise when the NDP and Bloc, vote against what they can't support. Of course this is posturing as we can see from Goodale's remarks, the Libs are planning to keep on propping the Cons up.

quote:

[b] Stepping outside of their liberal bubble sure would help, but maybe they would be better staying in, works better for the NDP.[/b]

LOL, they apparently inhabit the same dreamscape that Alice Klein does..

JeffWells

quote:


Originally posted by janfromthebruce:
[b]I was reading far and wide earlier, which is a hotbed of young liberal minds. Anyway, their attitude is that the lib caucus just needs to declare that they will be voting against the Harper cons based on "liberal principles" (cough), and thus the other 2 opposition parties will have to prop up Harper. [/b]

The Liberals are counting on the BQ and NDP to vote with the government, and so prop [i]them[/i] up as a credible opposition! Pretty pathetic bravado, especially since there's really no doubt who would have to blink first.

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by JeffWells:
[b]

The Liberals are counting on the BQ and NDP to vote with the government, and so prop [i]them[/i] up as a credible opposition! Pretty pathetic bravado, especially since there's really no doubt who would have to blink first.[/b]


Ditto - and Goodale set them straight. I guess the Big U will be away on govt business alot.

KenS

I think its funny that the Libs think just a few abstentions per vote is different.

They've been allowed to spin it that way for one day.

But they will still pay for the accumulation of them.

Wilf Day

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081023.wcaucus24/BN...йphane Dion was told by his caucus Thursday that propping up the Harper government is no longer an option.[/url]

quote:

“Yeah, it was very clear from everybody at the microphone that abstaining is no longer an option and so, therefore, we will let the third parties, who hold the balance of power, decide. It's not viable [for the Liberals],” one MP said.

Really?
[url=http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/395988]Wiiliam Christian:[/url]

quote:

Stephen Harper . . will govern as if he has a majority, and effectively he has.

Although he failed to win a majority of the seats, he achieved his main objective: to destroy the Liberal party as an effective opposition for the foreseeable future.

The Liberal party was once Canada's great dominant political machine. The Jean Chrйtien-Paul Martin struggles weakened it internally and the Gomery commission into the sponsorship scandal -- a strategic blunder of the first order by Martin -- severely tarnished the party's once powerful reputation.

In response to the corruption exposed by Sponsorgate, Chrйtien took the bold step of reforming the election financing laws.

When Harper came to power he spotted the opportunity to go for the jugular. The Liberals had just finished their leadership convention. Many of the contenders had borrowed heavily -- Stйphane Dion still has not paid off all his debts. Harper drastically lowered the amount citizens could contribute.

The Liberal leadership candidates spent most of the next year raising money to pay off their debts.

The party went into the past election with less money to spend than the New Democrats. Now it faces another leadership convention with the expense that entails.

When will it be able to mount an effective challenge to the government? Not for a very long time.

Financially, the NDP is in better shape, but it can blow all the hot air it wants in Harper's way and he can simply ignore it. They can't bring down the government. Neither can the Bloc Quйbйcois.

For as long as he wants, the prime minister now has virtually total control of the legislative and fiscal policy of this country.

He may not have a majority of the seats. He doesn't need it.


One of these two stories is wrong.

Will we not find out until the week Parliament resumes which one?

If the NDP and Bloc say "we're ready to see the GG call on Dion" will enough of his own caucus say "we aren't?"

This game of chicken may end in farce -- or with Dion as the accidental prime minister.

This should be fun.

jrootham

This is starting to remind me of "The Party Game" episode of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes,_Minister]Yes, Minister[/url] where Sir James Hacker becomes Prime Minister (also by accident).

Michelle

quote:


I was on a treadmill as I watched Stйphane Dion resign. (Block that metaphor!) Nothing so ill became his era as its ending. Let me count the ways:

It was unpolitical. As former colleague Liza Frulla said: "He has no instinct." He doesn't play the game, or seem to know one is on, or that it's in a category that includes: win, lose, ends, means, strategy, tactics. The Tories were better equipped, he said, meaning they had more money that they spent even before the election, misrepresenting him and his green plan. As if he'd stood by on the sidelines, not even trying to get in and play.

He seemed somehow undemocratic. He "accepted" the voters' choice, though he "disagreed" with it. But he spoke as if the burden was all on them, and he'd had no duty to engage and win them over. Even in his best moment, the debate, his answer to Stephen Harper's attack on the Green Shift was: Don't let this man get away with lying. But how were voters to know it was a lie and which lie it was? By doing independent research? It's as if he came, brought his Green Shift along, and left it to them to opt in or lose out. He blamed the voters and the Tories, not his own failure to argue and persuade.


[url=http://www.rabble.ca/columnists_full.shtml?x=76855]Dion and the cult of the leader[/url]

Unionist

Good article, although if I were Salutin, I would have spent some time debunking the myth of Dion's "vision" and "principles" as well. Dion lacked not only style, leadership, and commitment to the democratic ideal - he lacked ideas. An extraordinarily lethal combination. And the man is still so self-important that he hasn't resigned yet.

Wilf Day

[url=http://www.thehilltimes.ca/members/login.php?fail=2&destination=/html/in... Times (google cache): Did we really elect a Conservative government again?[/url]

quote:

If you listen to the media and the politicians you'd think we did. But that's not exactly true.

We did not elect or even re-elect a government on Oct. 14. Under our Constitution, governments are not directly elected by the people. The government is determined by the House when it is convened by the Governor General on the advice of the current Prime Minister. When the House meets after an election, it determines whether the person serving as Prime Minister should remain in office when the House votes on the Speech from the Throne, which is the government's legislative program for the coming session. If the House rejects the Throne Speech, the sitting Prime Minister must offer his or her resignation to the Governor General, who must then see whether there is anyone else who is willing to try to obtain the support of the House. The resigning Prime Minister cannot advise the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call new elections at that stage.

We are so accustomed to "first-past-the-post" elections that we expect the leader of the party with the most seats in the new House will automatically become or remain Prime Minister. Thus in 2006 when fewer Liberal Party MPs than Conservative Party MPs were elected, prime minister Paul Martin immediately announced that he would resign, and the Governor General appointed Stephen Harper to serve as Prime Minister before the new House had even met. But Martin did not have to resign until the House had met and defeated his government on the Throne Speech.

The Governor General is not just a pretty face. She has two important constitutional duties: the first is to ensure that at all times there is a government to advise him or her; the second is to ensure that the government has the support of the House (except during electoral periods, of course). Now that we have elected our representatives in a new House, will that House continue to support the government led by Harper?

The Conservatives never really had the whole-hearted support of a majority in the former House of Commons. And yet here we are again. Prime Minister Harper says his government has a new mandate from the people, but that is nonsense. Whether or not his government can continue in office is not determined by the number of MPs elected from his party alone. It will only be determined when the new House assembles for the first time and votes on the Throne Speech. The three parties that so vehemently opposed Harper during the elections for MPs will have to decide which option they hate more: cooperating with each other or acquiescing in a continuation of Conservative government. If they defeated the government on the Throne Speech, could they work together to support the leader of another party on the economy and the environment?

Advocates of PR say that it will lead to the formation of coalition governments. But we have always had the possibility of forming coalition governments whenever no party has a majority of MPs in the House. Yet, we continue to get minority governments that try to get the support of one or more of the opposition parties on a one-off basis. Support of this party for this bill, support of another party for a budget, and so on.

The problem with minority government is the disconnect between control of the House and control of the machinery of government. The Conservatives have everything they need to run the government departments and agencies by virtue of the Governor General's appointment of Harper as Prime Minister. Even inside the House, the government controls the largest chunk of debating time and has the initiative in presenting bills and motions.

The principal difficulty in the old House of Commons was that the Conservative government kept putting forth bills and budgets that could not naturally win the support of any of the opposition parties. The Conservatives had to bully and threaten a premature election over and over again to get the impecunious Liberal MPs to sit on their hands or vote for measures they didnнt really like. The Conservatives had no natural allies in the NDP or the Bloc Quйbйcois.

But as we saw over and over in the last House, a minority government doesn't control committees or private members' business and can't outvote a united opposition. How long it will take before committees start doing the same things they did before the election? The few extra seats won by the Conservatives will not make a real difference in the working of the House. Assuming Harper isn't defeated on the Throne Speech, if he wants to avoid another "dysfunctional" House, he will have to heed the words of NDP Leader Jack Layton and work with some of the opposition parties even if that means putting some water in his wine.

[i]B. Thomas Hall is a retired House of Commons procedural clerk and committee clerk.[/i]


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