What will the third-place Liberals do?

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Wilf Day

Hill Times:

Quote:
Whether the NDP wins enough seats to form the official opposition, or enough to form a government, the dynamics in Parliament will change dramatically, Conservative commentator Tim Powers said, agreeing it is unlikely Mr. Ignatieff and the Liberals, who would likely hold the balance of power with a Conservative minority, will be willing to help the NDP advance further.

He hopes.

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

I am dreaming wonderful dreams on what Tuesday morning might look like but let's not forget ourselves.

We don't own these votes, they were lent to us (they always are - to every party) but we are the ones who usually remember it after election day and I would hope that doesn't change just because we win.

Even if we win a "majority" we will have done so with a minority of the votes.  It is SO IMPORTANT that we don't lose sight of this fact - most people will have voted for someone else; even if the wave grows from here most Canadians will have voted for someone else.  We need to give voice to that truth in what we do and how we conduct ourselves.

Democratic reform is the structural way to address this but on day one (and on thru changing our system to a form of PR - and even thereafter) we can best capture the mood Jack is benefiting from by continuing to make use of it.

We DON'T KNOW IT ALL.  We ARE OPEN TO OTHER VOICES.  We WILL WORK WITH OTHER PARTIES AND OTHER POSITIONS.

You needn't compromise one's principles to do this - just one's ego.  What a welcome change from Harper's "Do What I Say" government, non?

 

 

NorthReport

U.S. ambassador questioned Ignatieff's leadership, WikiLeaks cables reveal

 

The United States ambassador to Canada privately called into question the abilities of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff during the 2010 prorogation of Parliament, according to unclassified U.S. State Department documents released Thursday by WikiLeaks.

In a diplomatic cable sent to Washington on Jan. 5, 2010, Ambassador David Jacobson pointedly remarks on a "muted response" by the Liberals to then Prime Minister Stephen Harper's controversial shutdown of Parliament in December, 2009.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/us-ambassador-questioned-ig...

takeitslowly

they are going to take up spaces and annoy everyone with their flip flopping.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@takeitslowly:

I know. Don't worry about it. "Keep you eye on the prize". Chin up, press home the advantage.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

"It's by no means certain that the Liberals would support an NDP-led government. They might prefer to carry on shoring up Harper." By Craig McInnes, Vancouver Sun.

If anyone can find more quotes along this line, that there is now no guarantee the elected Liberal MPs won't support the Conservatives, this would be a good place to collect them. 

It makes perfect sense that a writer from B.C. would put that out there.  After all, that's where they INVENTED the right-wing Coalition in the 1940's.

Sean in Ottawa

This thread is morphing in to what the NDP should do after Monday. That is more interesting so let's go there.

1) The first thing the NDP should do -- in fact before Monday is advise all candidates to be silent on what the party will do letting the leader speak for the next step.

Then assuming the NDP ends in the #2 spot

2) The second thing the NDP should do is allow that the incumbent government speaks first and can either resign or try to meet the House. The NDP should refuse to speculate before both the Conservatives and the Liberals have spoken on this beyond saying we want to examine all options and meet with the other parties. As well the NDP can observe that in the last days of the election the Liberals were unclear whether they were more comfortable with Harper's vision of the NDP's they need to come clean now. They can say that as the second party they oppose the first party and it is up to the smaller parties to approach them if they want to offer an alternative government admitting the NDP cannot on its own topple Harper.

3) If the Liberals decide to back the Cons and they have enough seats the NDP should announce that there is a working coalition and the NDP will perform the role of Official Opposition.

4) If the Liberals want to bring down Harper the NDP will have a bigger challenge since the Liberals will be playing an angle. The party should then discuss the arrangements to either govern by an accord or a coalition.

5) If an accord the parties should agree to the entire program with nothing else being added with negotiation. The Liberals should be joined absolutely to the government whether they are in it or not otherwise it is a trap. The two parties should commit to a common program for a given period-- probably two years and not campaign against it in that time.

6) If it is a coalition that is agreed on, ideally the parties should share cabinet posts proportionately to how many MPs elected, agree to a cabinet and also have a set period during which the parties would be loyal to the coalition.

7) Once these terms are settled a presentation to the GG followed by a joint press conference should proceed.

The NDP should be careful and take its time. Doing anything except assume opposition role if the Liberals do not request a deal.

If the NDP ends in the #1 spot then it should still ask the Harper government if it intends to meet the House with Liberal support or if the Liberals are offering to support or join an NDP or coalition government.

The main thing here is to not have too many people speaking and not get rushed. Other parties will have reasons to lay out their positions first as explained above.

If there is a choice the NDP should choose a strong opposition to a weak government. If the Cons have a majority the NDP may well be able to move to higher support levels in an election down the road.

If the NDP moves in to government then it also has some steps to do:

1) it must calm the markets and lay out a process for how things will proceed.

2) it must prepare an honest credible budget statement outlining the nation's finances truthfully and allow that statement to be produced with the cooperation of the AG and PBO.The Statement should outline what those figures would do not only as they are but going forward if no policies changed.

3) The NDP should then outline the changes it wants to make costing each and involving the PBO and the AG in providing strength to those numbers. This is a complete alternative to the way budgets are now managed. Effectively the NDP should propose de-politicizing the budget process with the exception of policy choices. Forecasting based on given priorities should be done by non partisan professionals.

Then the NDP should lay out a democratic renewal outline including the changes that would make the government more accountable and strengthen our democracy. PR and senate reform would be parts but so to would processes for information management. The NDP needs to provide a framework for openness that is so wildly popular that it becomes a bigger issue than any errors it catches.

The NDP should provide a detailed ethical guideline to Ministers and MPs -- perhaps not public but so stringent that its MPs cannot have scandals.

The NDP must recognize and make sure all MPs understand that the NDP will be more closely watched and more heavily criticized than any other government. It will have to have a communications strategy that is professional, cautious and based on the new openness. This would be a radical departure. We must set the standard by which we will govern and by which we will hold all future governments that are not formed by us.

This is the initial management that would be required.

NorthReport

Harper has stated quite clearly several times during the election campaign that the party which receives the most number of seats gets to govern - hopefully he was not lying and will keep his word.

Sean in Ottawa

why are you confident about this?

JeffWells

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

If there is a choice the NDP should choose a strong opposition to a weak government.

 

Absolutely.

Unless the surge continues (resumes?) the best we can expect the NDP to perform is in the range of 100 seats. That's still more than a third of the way out of majority. Possibly the only way to get there is a strong stint in opposition. Why? The NDP already knows how to do that exceptionally well. As the official opposition, it could showcase those mad skills like never before. And the new MPs are going to need to apprentice. Better to appraise the skills of the newbies on the opposition benches first. Meanwhile, the Liberals would be going through their greatest identity crisis and nervous breakdown ever.

Sure, I'd love a majority, but I'm almost dreading a minority scenario. I'll be quite happy to "settle" for official opposition. This time. Setting up winning conditions for next time should be the priority of the strategists the morning after.

(Always appreciate your thoughtful posts, Sean.)

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I agree with most of what Sean says at post #58 EXCEPT . . .

I think we need to set the narrative about who is choosing what.  We can and should certainly concede that, as the incumbent PM, Harper has the absolute right to present himself to the House - even if he has fewer seats than the NDP.  And we should be clear that we will operate within the rules as they are, unlike a certain party which tried to redefine the rules.

But from there we pivot to the Liberals' choice.  It needs to be crustal clear to Canadian that the continuation of a Harper government can only happen if that is what Ignatieff and the Liberals choose to have happen.  If we don't set that narrative by 9:00 Moonday night, the Liberservative coalition will bury it under a mile of bafflegab about rules they have made up.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Nice post at 54 but that was David, not his son, who led the party.  He was the leader in the first campaign I worked on.  The corporate bums campaign. Still has a nice ring.

Wilf Day

More from Craig McInnes:

Quote:
Here is why I think that won't happen.

It's possible for the NDP, as the party of perpetual opposition, to support a Liberal or a Conservative government in return for concessions without offending its base.

Bedrock Liberal supporters will already be unhappy with Ignatieff if the result of his first campaign as leader is to drive away voters and lose seats. There will be immediate pressure on him to make way for someone else.

Among those supporters are the corporate leaders who for generations kept the party afloat. It's hard to imagine they will countenance their party propping up a government that they have long warned would be ruinous for the economy and rattle the stock markets.

Lifelong Liberals will also want to focus on rebuilding what they like to call the Big Red Tent. Stuffing that tent into a Liberal-NDP coalition only really works if your goal is to merge the two parties.

That may be fine with some Liberals, but on many issues the Liberals are closer to the Conservatives than they are to the NDP. At the same time, disaffected Liberals have moved to the NDP, not the Conservatives. It will be easier for the Liberal MPs to find reasons to support the budget when Harper brings it back after the election than to explain to their own supporters why they are cooperating with the party that eroded their base.

 

KenS

@ Sean and NR, about whether Harper will follow his own dictum about who gets the most seats:

Its not so clear cut- either way.

Harper saying unequivocally that the most seats should govern, does make anything else unlikely... but not impossible.

Realistically, the Cons cannot govern if they have to fight the current in 16 different ways. None of those 16 factors is compelling by themselves- including having vowed to not try to govern if they have fewer seats. But the aggregate of each of those non-compelling in themselves factors is to make the overall less likely.

I expect that Harper has no intention to try to hang on with fewere seats. But that is looking at it as a hypothetical. If he and they are actually faced with making that choice, the street fighter mentality comes into play.

Sean in Ottawa

Malcolm wrote:

I agree with most of what Sean says at post #58 EXCEPT . . .

I think we need to set the narrative about who is choosing what.  We can and should certainly concede that, as the incumbent PM, Harper has the absolute right to present himself to the House - even if he has fewer seats than the NDP.  And we should be clear that we will operate within the rules as they are, unlike a certain party which tried to redefine the rules.

But from there we pivot to the Liberals' choice.  It needs to be crustal clear to Canadian that the continuation of a Harper government can only happen if that is what Ignatieff and the Liberals choose to have happen.  If we don't set that narrative by 9:00 Moonday night, the Liberservative coalition will bury it under a mile of bafflegab about rules they have made up.

I don't think this is a point of disagreement.

My main point is the NDP should speak as one voice and make it clear Harper speaks first and it is up to the Liberals as third party to choose what happens next-- the NDP should not be in a rush to make pronouncements on what will happen. Clarifying the terms like the above is a fine idea however.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I am glad that everyone is feeling so optimistic. But I never liked the title of this thread, and wish it had never been started. One of the things I have always liked over my life time as a New Dem is our genuine humility, and ability to treat others with respect, regardless of how we were being treated.

It is a fact that one of the things Canadians have admired, is how the NDP, through its leader, has always shown itself first and foremost focused on meeting the needs of Canadians. The NDP through its leaders has had a long and proud traditon from Tommy Douglas, David, Lewis, Audrey McClauchlin, Ed Broadbent and now Jack, of working with the government. It is a proud heritage that I hold on to. No gloating, no postering,  no blustering, just lets do the work Canadians expect of us, and lets make sure we treat this with whom we disagree with respect.

So please folks, please keep this in mind. The only thing we know for sure is the eletion is almost upon us all. Work hard, stay optimistic, be proud, but most importantly, treat others with respect and courtesy. Thanks for hearing me out.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

@Northern Shoveller:

Opps, I can't believe I did that! Thanks for picking that up. I resorted to revisionism just now and corrected it, lol.

Anonymouse

I think the Liberals will prop up the NDP, before the Conservatives. This is because if they prop up the Conservatives, they completely concede the left-of-centre to the NDP and will be squeezed further. If they give up right-of-centre ground to the Tories, it will hurt them in fewer ridings, plus they have been in a coalition with the NDP before so this will be a familiar scenario for their supporters. The precedent for propping up the Tories is the Union governments of WWII (partly designed to keep the left out of power) and the blocking/end of the Progressive Party, which fell apart through its own contradictions.

NorthReport

The Liberals will never prop up the NDP, and that is why Jack has to go for majority government now.

KenS

Its not just about giving up ground with particular groups of votere- noot to mention that is anyway more fluid than junkies think.

Its about the Liberals having any defining nice at all.

If they place themselves as second fiddle to or in an NDP government, how do they make their pitch for their renewal, framed within a leadership race? Think about it. Thats daunting to say the least. The country needs a renewed Liberal Party for what now?

If they are still an opposition party, they can still recast the pitch around the same old wine in the bottles: what this country [still] needs is a renewed Liberal Party to take on Harper. And if the NDP is the official opposition, and even if they are not- they can sit back and capitalize when the much expanded NDP makes mistakes. "See what happens when they have a mandate?" "We werent just saying it- you really do need us. And we've been humbled, we're blah blah blah...."

Wilf Day

KenS wrote:
If they place themselves as second fiddle to or in an NDP government, how do they make their pitch for their renewal, framed within a leadership race? Think about it. Thats daunting to say the least. The country needs a renewed Liberal Party for what now?

You may well be right, if they were merely supporting partners in an Accord. That's why I think that's not an option. I still think they will be interested in a Coalition if the NDP and Liberals have a clear majority between them, as seems likely. First, why turn down a share in power? Second, propping up Harper is even more horrible to contemplate. Third, I don't think their members are ready for a UK-style Conservative-Liberal Coalition, expecially given how Lib Dem support has crumbled in the UK. 

KenS wrote:
If they are still an opposition party, they can still recast the pitch around the same old wine in the bottles: what this country [still] needs is a renewed Liberal Party to take on Harper. And if the NDP is the official opposition, and even if they are not- they can sit back and capitalize when the much expanded NDP makes mistakes. "See what happens when they have a mandate?" "We werent just saying it- you really do need us. And we've been humbled, we're blah blah blah...."

But how does that get around the fatal optics of propping up Harper?

Policywonk

Wilf Day wrote:

KenS wrote:
If they place themselves as second fiddle to or in an NDP government, how do they make their pitch for their renewal, framed within a leadership race? Think about it. Thats daunting to say the least. The country needs a renewed Liberal Party for what now?

You may well be right, if they were merely supporting partners in an Accord. That's why I think that's not an option. I still think they will be interested in a Coalition if the NDP and Liberals have a clear majority between them, as seems likely. First, why turn down a share in power? Second, propping up Harper is even more horrible to contemplate. Third, I don't think their members are ready for a UK-style Conservative-Liberal Coalition, expecially given how Lib Dem support has crumbled in the UK. 

KenS wrote:
If they are still an opposition party, they can still recast the pitch around the same old wine in the bottles: what this country [still] needs is a renewed Liberal Party to take on Harper. And if the NDP is the official opposition, and even if they are not- they can sit back and capitalize when the much expanded NDP makes mistakes. "See what happens when they have a mandate?" "We werent just saying it- you really do need us. And we've been humbled, we're blah blah blah...."

But how does that get around the fatal optics of propping up Harper?

I think we're going to have to see what the House of Commons looks like on Tuesday. This may be an academic question as the Liberals may not have enough seats to prop up either the Conservatives or the NDP, assuming either needs proping up, and may not be third in seats depending on how many the Bloc get. The Liberals seem to be plumetting in BC too. Wouldn't it be wild if Lizzie May and Adriane Carr had the balance of power?

I don't think we've yet seen the floor of Liberal support, and the scandals seem to be sticking to the Conservatives, so I don't think we've seen the ceiling for us yet either.

Wilf Day

Malcolm wrote:
I think we need to set the narrative about who is choosing what.  We can and should certainly concede that, as the incumbent PM, Harper has the absolute right to present himself to the House - even if he has fewer seats than the NDP.  And we should be clear that we will operate within the rules as they are, unlike a certain party which tried to redefine the rules.

But from there we pivot to the Liberals' choice.  It needs to be crystal clear to Canadians that the continuation of a Harper government can only happen if that is what Ignatieff and the Liberals choose to have happen.  If we don't set that narrative by 9:00 Monday night, the Liberservative coalition will bury it under a mile of bafflegab about rules they have made up.

I entirely agree. This needs to be crystal clear on election night as soon as we know whether the NDP and Liberals have a majority between us.

asterix

Even if an NDP-Liberal coalition were mathematically possible, I find it hard to believe that the Liberals would actually go that route. There would be an obvious split between those who'd be more inclined to back up the NDP and those who'd be more inclined to back up the Conservatives -- but while the Liberals would certainly welcome NDP support if it put them back in power over the Tories, it's far from certain that the party as a whole will feel naturally more inclined to line up behind the NDP if they're the ones in the balance of power position. They'd have to swallow some pride and compromise on some ideological misgivings and eat some campaign words either way, so you can't argue that one choice is more inherently obvious than the other.

Besides, if they backed the NDP their financial backers on Bay Street would flay them alive. Rather, I think it almost infinitely more likely that they'll circle the wagons with the Tories to protect elite interests from the surging orange hordes.

Doug

The Liberals are advertising on FailBlog. Quite appropriate.

KenS

I agree with Policywonk- that most of these questions about the Liberals are too contingent and hypothetical until we see where the seat counts fall. Except when it comes to the basic general power and incentive dynamics.

To wit:

Wilf Day wrote:

You may well be right, if they were merely supporting partners in an Accord. That's why I think that's not an option. I still think they will be interested in a Coalition if the NDP and Liberals have a clear majority between them, as seems likely. First, why turn down a share in power? Second, propping up Harper is even more horrible to contemplate. Third, I don't think their members are ready for a UK-style Conservative-Liberal Coalition, expecially given how Lib Dem support has crumbled in the UK. 

Damn good reason for the Liberals to turn down a share in power: because the medium and long term health of the party is first and foremost. Now more than ever. And that is the 100% dominant question even if their position on Tuesday is less daunting because they still have more seats than the NDP. Governing with the NDP- even with them as the definite junior partner- was never desirable, and potentially dangerous to their health. Now- with the sea change- any kind of governing arrangement becomes very dangerous for the LPC. [briefly outlined why in post#70: think framing of the party renewal and leadership campaign]

It makes zero difference in mollifying that if the governing arrangement is an Accord or Coalition. And it is only somewhat less dangerous for the Libs if they luck out and still have more seats than the NDP. It will still be a crisis, that governing with the NDP makes even more dangerous.

KenS wrote:
If they are still an opposition party, they can still recast the pitch around the same old wine in the bottles: what this country [still] needs is a renewed Liberal Party to take on Harper. And if the NDP is the official opposition, and even if they are not- they can sit back and capitalize when the much expanded NDP makes mistakes. "See what happens when they have a mandate?" "We werent just saying it- you really do need us. And we've been humbled, we're blah blah blah...."

But how does that get around the fatal optics of propping up Harper?

Those optics would be very bad, but not fatal or potentially fatal. Fatal would not handling well the last chance do or die renewal and leadership race.

And it is because that is the dominant question that differing opinions on the direction to take will NOT cut primarily along ideological affinity lines. The left leaners will only be MORE likely to be want to work with the NDP. Most of those will also choose accoring to health and survival needs, not ideological preferences.

KenS

Postscript to that, here is another option I see for the Liberals- bearing in mind they have no good ones.

If they are in 3rd place they could vote against the Throne Speech, but stand back and let the NDP deal with the situation alone.

Downside: running against an NDP government while focused on a renewal process is more of a challenge than doing it while the big bad Harper is ruling.

Upside: it eliminates the serious consequences should they support the Throne Speech or abstain. AND: the NDP will be in a VERY challenging situation. Serious misteps are just about guaranteed. And they get to pull the plug whenever they want. They will not lokely want to for as long as any governing agreement would last. But it isnt so simple for a governing partner to pull the plug, even after the agreemnt perod is over, and/or the agreement can be portrayed as having been breached by the other party.

Governing with no guaranteed support would sure put us in a serious pickle, and with so little experience to draw on. I can just see the Cons and Liberals grinning and rubbing their hands as they contemplate that one.

Sean in Ottawa

The Liberals with the balance of power have three choices-- all dangerous for them:

1) Back the Cons-- please Bay St. Likely is backing the party with the most seats (I don't think the ND is going to get more seats than the Cons). Down side is to expose flank to NDP and let NDP grow as opposition and clear alternative. Survival would be a long shot

2) Back NDP and take heat but they can come out blaming the NDP for any failures and themselves for successes. Can be swallowed by NDP, casue splits, they could end up blamed for failures anyway. Survival would be a long shot.

3) The could simply refuse to take sides at all and vote individually-- not helping depose or create a government but passively accept one. This is an attempt to define a middle ground. It is risky as it may be determined to be irresponsible and could be considered either strong or weak and they won't have much control over that judgment. It might give the Liberals the best hope at survival -- being just slightly better than the other two options. 

If the Liberals choose the third option then it will come down to if Harper has the most seats and wants to hang on he could but if he does not have the most seats and/or decided he did not want to hang on then the NDP get a shot at a very unstable government. Of course for the NDP that is the riskiest-- either take power knowing it is a trap or refuse it admitting you are not ready or strong enough. That is a bad circumstance.

However, The NDP might find in that case taking power, hoping for a honeymoon and being very careful would be the best option in as much as it is far from ideal. In that case you have to hope you can get popularity in less than a year before they try to bring you down.

KenS

That is all framed Sean in terms of what people will think about the different options. Of course that matters, and probably matters the most.

But the options also have to be weighed in light of making the organization work- especially in light of need for renewal. That isnt just a matter of what people think- then aggregate that.

And where does the option fit of the Libs voting to defeat the government in the Throne Speech- but completely standing back from governing, and leaving that to the NDP. 

Uncle John

Come to think of it, it is looking a lot more like the British situation with the parties of the Left and the Right taking the Lion's share in a horse race and the Liberals being squeezed between them and various minority and nationalist parties...

The Liberals will be able to make a case for supporting whichever party gets the most seats if there is no majority. The people have spoken.... If the Tories get more, there will be no coalition but an accord, or just more nudge nudge wink wink while the Liberals deconstruct and restructure... With a Tory minority situation we can be pretty sure of an election within 2 years.

Still it is looking good for the Liberals in Atlantic Canada, and not so bad for them in Ontario. What happens if both the Libs and the NDP go over 30% in Ontario? Some of the seats the Liberals lose in Ontario to the NDP could very well be replaced by those they pick up from the Tories.

As far as predicting seats in these kinds of scenarios all bets are off.

It could be the biggest loser will be the Conservatives. The Liberals may very well live to see another day...

Wilf Day

KenS wrote:
here is another option I see for the Liberals- bearing in mind they have no good ones.

If they are in 3rd place they could vote against the Throne Speech, but stand back and let the NDP deal with the situation alone.

. . . the NDP will be in a VERY challenging situation. Serious misteps are just about guaranteed. And they get to pull the plug whenever they want.

Reminds me of the last election in Scotland in 2007. After the governing Labour-Lib Dem Coalition lost their majority, everyone let the Scots Nats form a minority government with only 47 seats out of 129; all three opposition parties abstained. I suppose they thought they would bring it down when it dropped in the polls. It never did, and lasted four years. 

Anonymouse

I don't think they Liberals will think very strategically, as an organisation, I think they will be focused a great deal on individual self interest and what the MPs think they need to do to sort themselves out of their own predicament. Ignatieff will be turfed as leader. The question is when, not if, and also, who will want the job after him.

KenS

Barring a miraculous recovery, Iggy will fall on his sword at the very earliest moment he can.

The question is what he will say on behalf of the LPC. For example: if they already have a concensus they will not support the NDP, he will take the heat for that on his way out.

mike 1791

It was a major mistake appointing Michael ignatieff without a proper leadership convention. It merely convinced Canadians that the Grits are nothing more than a traditional old boys party (which is in fact true). I think they are paying the price for their cynicism and total lack of vision for the country. "Our vision is us running everything the way it spozed to be" is not really enough is it. Unite the left now!!!

Sean in Ottawa

One question will be how will the NDP address floor crossings from the Liberals-- they could be likely.

There would have to be a mechanism for that to work-- petition of voters? byelection?

asterix

I want to stress that I don't think this is overly likely, but if there's any truth to the latest Ipsos numbers I don't think anything is entirely outside the realm of possibility anymore. But my question is, with even many of the senior Liberals in Quebec now imperilled, what happens if the orange wave that's now coming ashore in Toronto also decides to swallow Michael Ignatieff himself -- or, even more saliently, both Ignatieff and Bob Rae? Who would even lead the Liberals into a decision about which party to prop up if that happened?

Pirrip

First, given that the Liberals never adjusted to the new party financing scheme, money has been a problem. I think they will have their former bagmen go around quietly to determine what corporate Canada was prepared to do. If it is substantial enough, even understanding the the Con Government will getting more -  then they'll vote with the Cons to eliminate the current scheme, and prop them up until the party's war chest was build up.

Pirrip

KenS wrote:

Barring a miraculous recovery, Iggy will fall on his sword at the very earliest moment he can.

The question is what he will say on behalf of the LPC. For example: if they already have a concensus they will not support the NDP, he will take the heat for that on his way out.

Unless the elite tell him to take one for the team, and stick around 18 months or so. This gives the Cons less time to "attack" his succssor. I am not sure that liberal power brokers have the juice to ensure he would stick around given his US options, but they might be able to make it worth his while. I think the Liberal changing leaders early would be a mistake for them. Although i'd say they have to before the next election.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

1. I doubt the Liberals would risk the possibility of defeating Harper but leaving the NDP unsupported.  They cannot afford (financially or politically) to have an election within a matter of months - which is entirely possible in the scenario described.

2. WRT floor crossing.  Our policy precludes us accepting floor crossers as NDP MPs.  However, as per Saskatchewan 1999-2003, nothing would preclude ex-Liberal or ex-Bloc (or even, I suppose, ex-Con) MPs from sitting as Independents but participating in a coalition.  And nothing would preclude those MPs from joining the NDP and seeking NDP nominations.  This was essentially what happened here after the Liberal Party formally withdrew from the coalition.  Ex-Leader Jim Melenchuk and ex-Interim-Leader Osika stayed in the coalition as Independents and both ran as (unsuccessfully) New Democrats in 2007.

Pirrip

KenS wrote:

That is all framed Sean in terms of what people will think about the different options. Of course that matters, and probably matters the most.

But the options also have to be weighed in light of making the organization work- especially in light of need for renewal. That isnt just a matter of what people think- then aggregate that.

And where does the option fit of the Libs voting to defeat the government in the Throne Speech- but completely standing back from governing, and leaving that to the NDP. 

It would be in their best interests to follow strategy, or something close I think. before commiting anyway, especially if they are really wiped out - say below 30 seats - to figure out their strategy to reinvent themselves before making any choices.

Tommy_Paine

I think the Liberals are so infected with hubris that they'll never properly appraise their situation.  I believe that they are-- at this very moment-- thinking that people will come to their senses, eventually, and return them as the Natural Governing Party.

I've said it before and I will say it again.  If the Liberals were down to three seats, and were invited to form a coalition, they'd want two Cabinet positions, and and their leader as P.M.

We will speculate because we are fascinated by politics-- and one can hold more than one fancy in one's mind at a time.   And this is FUN. LIKE. WE. HAVE. RARELY. HAD. FUN.

But more important, of course is the question about what will we do.  We, meaning us here and people like us here.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

One question will be how will the NDP address floor crossings from the Liberals-- they could be likely.

There would have to be a mechanism for that to work-- petition of voters? byelection?

They could have them sit as a new party...say, "The Democratic Liberals" or just as "pro-government independents"-with the understanding that they could seek NDP nominations at the next election.

Mind you, some of them might need to find different ridings to contest in that scenario, since a lot of their old supporters would regard them as traitors.

Wilf Day

mike 1791 wrote:
It was a major mistake appointing Michael Ignatieff without a proper leadership convention.

It's very strange how everyone in the media seems to have forgotten how that happened.

Once Harper got his prorogation, Dion resigned Dec. 8 in order to let a new leader lead the Coalition, effective as soon as the party had chosen a new leader. Rae continued to insist that the party must find some expedited way to allow all members to choose the next leader before end of January. On Dec. 9 he gave up and withdrew, saying it's essential that the party have a permanent leader in place before Parliament reconvenes in late January, when Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government was to fall. On Dec. 10 Ignatieff became uncontested leader in order to lead the Coalition government, and promptly announced "coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition."

Rae must have instantly realized he had been finessed out of the race, but bit his tongue.

However, I bet no one in the Liberal caucus has forgotten how that came down. On May 3, if it's a hung parliament, they will keep all this in mind as they figure out how to handle it.

JeffWells

Tommy_Paine wrote:

I think the Liberals are so infected with hubris that they'll never properly appraise their situation.  I believe that they are-- at this very moment-- thinking that people will come to their senses, eventually, and return them as the Natural Governing Party.

I've said it before and I will say it again.  If the Liberals were down to three seats, and were invited to form a coalition, they'd want two Cabinet positions, and and their leader as P.M.

 

Quite so. And I think they're still in a bubble about this, or about its aftermath at least. Have you noticed the Liberals talking up the inevitability of merger now? (Merger meaning Liberals reborn with the blood of New Democrats.) Funny, I haven't heard a single New Democrat talk about it. What world is this they live in? One I want no part of.

knownothing knownothing's picture

If the Liberals keep falling they might end up at 15% and they will be lucky to get any seats.

knownothing knownothing's picture
Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Folks, I am as happy as everyone else is; believe me, I am happy for the many socialists and CCFers who haven't lived to see potentially such a great day. I think of my parents, people like Davie Orlikow, g-d bless his soul, and so many others. I wish they could be with us.

But, really some of the commentary on this thread is getting silly; the Libs get 0 seats? Come on, that is just nonsensical.

I have said it before and will make the point again, we are known as a party of humility, respect of others, and acceptance. Please think about that.

Again, let's focus on the mission at hand. Keep your eye on the ball, your chin up and work hard. Nothing is in the bag, untill the votes are counted. Lets do the work, and get this done.

Sean in Ottawa

Are we forgetting that the BQ could still do better than the Liberals? Who says they will be third?

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Arthur - the Liberals are now floating around the same level as the Conservatives got in 1993.  While I doubt they'ss be reduced to two seats . . .

 

On some further thinking - I believe that ALL the parties (except us) will desperately need a period of stability with no election because all three (Lib. Con, Bloc) will be lecting new leaders in the next 12 - 20 months.

Therefore, if (as theorized above), the Harperites were defeated but neither the Libs nor the Bloc wanted to establish a formal relationship, it is possible that an NDP ministry governing from second place in the House might be able to find a year or so worth of confidence.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Iggy is toast.

The party is going to have to re-invent itsself.

But it's clear,they have a leadership problem and I don't see a star candidate anywhere in the Liberal caucus.

And if this eventually gives us an NDP government,then the Liberal party's death will be the best thing to ever happen to Canada.

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