What's The Worst That Can Happen?

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Aristotleded24
What's The Worst That Can Happen?

When you're trying to be effective, one of the key things it so ask yourself what is the worst possible outcome, and respond accordingly. If you're prepared for how badly things can go, nothing will catch you off guard. With that in mind, I turn to the current political situation:

Let's take it as a given that the Conservatives are going to win a large number of seats from the Liberals next election, and that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Our goal here is to prevent a Harper majority. With so many Liberal seats about to turn blue, how do we do it?

First thought for me is to make sure the NDP is strong enough to win large numbers of seats in British Colombia, Edmonton, and Saskatchewan.

What else should we do? How do we make this happen?

Issues Pages: 
Aristotleded24

*bump*

Sean in Ottawa

Worst thing that can happen?

Big rock hitting earth? Mile high water?

(I agree wityh the post-- just having fun -- past my bedtime so stopped making sense an hour ago)

ottawaobserver

It's late at night here, so I am going to think about this question, and come back to it. Thanks for asking it.

Sean in Ottawa

Worse thing that can happen is that the population is ambivalent or supportive of what he does next.

The best we can do may be about awareness rather than immediate electoral victory

absentia

The worst thing that could happen is an alliance (I refuse to call them conservatives, just as i would refuse to call the wolf Grandma) majority, and they carry out their entire agenda. After that, there is literally nothing we can do, becaue the police state is nearly complete now; in two years, it will be complete. Wire-tapping, all unions illegal, no protest, no legal recourse, no help for the poor, no social services..... The worst thing that can happen has already happened in a lot of places, is on the way to happenning in the US and Canadians are electing one fathead after another. I'm not sure how it's possible to warn Canadians of the outcome, and they may not listen anyway, just as they sdidn't the last eight times.

KenS

As briefly as possible....

The worst that can happen is a Harper majority. But that is not nearly as bad as what it cracked up to be. In fact, the prospect would be just a shade of gray different from what we have now. The reason there is too little difference to get bothered over is not relativist arguments like the Liberals are too little better.

That said, the point is the worst that can happen, versus what we are going to get even if it isnt that bad. Not versus some abstraction.

1.] Harper Minority. The next worse option is another Harper minority. At the risk of making people feel about the election like 'why try'.... I have argued that a continued minority is the most likely outcome of the election. That will give this government a lease on at least a couple more years, with the opening that an election in 2012 instead of now does not offer: the chance for Harper Crew to turn things more in their favour. Meanwhile, they advance their agenda all aong the way, with a minority, as long as the end of that is not imminent. And they do keep the end from being imminent... even when current trends are not in their favour.

2.] Harper Majority. The idea that "this is what we get from a Harper minority, wait for the majority'... makes intuitive sense. But it's basis in fact and reasonable expectations is weak at best. In the first place we get the Conservative agenda with a minority. And that keeps going on, la plus ca change.... and likely/probably keep going on after this election no matter how much people jump up and down about stopping a Harper majority, and succeed in getting it. "Hey, who left that other door open?" Secondly, majorities do not unchain governments of either the right or left. Ever. Because throwing caution to the wind will give the short term illusion of getting more of your agenda, followed by crushing election defeat and a reversal of said agenda. They still have to be re-elected. The all important optics of what they are doing does not change one bit, let alone go away. What is the defining or categorical difference between Harper facing an election in 4 years instead of another two and a half?

The idea of priorizing "at least not having a Harper majority" is stupid because:

** that isnt the only way we get the Conservative agenda. They do fine with a minority, and as time goes by they learn new ways to keep that going

** that hysterical mantra does play into the hands of the Liberals. And it does not matter how different they are or are not from Harper as a collection of individuals- they are the enablers of Harper. Sometimes they are the willing enablers. If not, they do it from gross incompetence because their heads are firmly stuck up their asses with the notion that they just need to return to their entitlement. They just do not get it. And its no surprise why, even if it is sad to watch.

 

KenS

Message to Babble:

The furthering of the Conservative agenda has nothing to do with majority versus minority.

It is all about years in the government. Five years now and counting.

So while you get yourself all agitated over the prospect of a majority, you are missing the boat: that would be nice for them, but they don't need it.

More to the point, stopping them from getting that majority won't even slow them down.

Caissa

If the Harperite's receive a plurality of seats, I think the time has come for the other parties to suck it up and form a government.

The worst that can happen is that they don't take the opportunity to do so.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Coalition now!

KenS

The media are stupid in their "reporting" of whover gets the most seats gets to govern. And too many people around here even think that is true.

But that expecation has changed forever. There is now nothing to stop a coalition or other form of governing agreement. There will be no fears of whether Canadians will accept it. There will be plenty of time for them to get used to it.

If it is going to happen.

And the two biggest / likeliest obstacles are one, that notwithstanding what they say, and pressure on them after the election, the Bloc decides that all things considered they'll take more Harper. Second obstacle is the too likely possibility that the Liberals come out of the election internally paralyzed and unable to governemnt [or the lesser possibility of something similar happening to the NDP].

Coalition possibility is not on the ballot, and it cannot be a ballot question at all. Too toxic for the Liberals.

You simply cannot campaign on the basis of what is going to happen after the election.

And jumping up and down about notions of the 'worst that could happen' is an absolute loser and a distraction.

You campaign against what you have- not against a bogeyman that impresses only the storytellers. That is always true. But having notions otherwise is all the more foolish when what you are campaigning against 'in the flesh' is fully bad enough as it is, let alone what you try to say it might be.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
gadar

Boom Boom wrote:

Coalition now!

Sean in Ottawa

Exactly Ken -- which is why I think the worst that can happen is the population moving in line with them and not caring as the agenda gets implemented.

The more public support for a radical agenda he gets the more we will get and that is apat from whether there is a majority or not.

Best result of course at this point (realistically) would be a coalition of sorts.

Given internatiuonal news I want to think Canadians are more open to it.

KenS

I dont think openess to coalition is an issue any more.

Whether the parties will do it is the question. And that is not an esoteric question about partisanship, blah, blah. It is an empirical and first of all realpolitik question of each party's interests at the time. And they have to all think the coalition is the best option.

One quiblle Sean. Not so major, but relevant:

It isnt necessarily a question of people- enough people- buying the Conservative agenda per se. And I dont think it is.

Although the only certain way to beat them is to get enough people to explicitly see and not like said agenda. Not the only way to beat the Conservatives, but the only certain way. And obviously the preferred way.

The paradox, and hence the delicate dance required, is that you do not get enough of those fence sitters to see the Conservative agenda for what is by us acting as what looks to them like alarmists.

George Victor

quote: "The paradox, and hence the delicate dance required, is that you do not get enough of those fence sitters to see the Conservative agenda for what is by us acting as what looks to them like alarmists."

 

uh huh

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

On this we won't agree-- I think the public support for or against the Harper agenda is critical in the end-- as a package more than individual elements. We have major parts of this right wing agenda being bought in to by a majority of Canadians including economic issues, attitudes to immigration, attitudes to unions etc. That is disturbing.

I agree that alarmist responses are not helpful if you mean alarm about what they will do-- better to focus on what they have actually done or tried to do. But I don't think we need to minimize anything their either.

ottawaobserver

I think to the extent folks have "bought into" the government's agenda it's because it's been widely portrayed in the media as the only responsible option. An election is an opportunity to present other options that get fairly equal coverage, the presentation of which can also be direct rather than filtered through the media.

But I think I agree with Ken to the extent that the presentation of those alternatives has to be equally sober and responsible to work. This is because of the extent to which the Conservatives have pre-seeded the idea that the more hysterical the opposition, the more it proves the common sense of their approach (a la Rob Ford). For an example of how to do everything wrong, see the Toronto Star's coverage of the last municipal election.

JKR

I'm not sure anything productive can come from contemplating the worst that can happen but the Stoic's did support the idea that for people to be happy, they should contemplate worst case scenerios. So here goes.

In my estimation the worst thing that could happen in the election is that the NDP runs a bad election campaign that sees the other parties advance and the NDP fall back. As I see it, the worst thing that could happen is that the election becomes very polarized between left and right and the NDP gets squeezed out because it responds to the situation with a weak unfocussed election campaign that doesn't impress left of centre voters who want to get rid of Harper. The worst scenerio is that the NDP will be squeezed out of a polarized election where many progressives move to the Liberals as people see them as being the only party able to get rid of Harper.

This is my doomsday scenerio:

The NDP allows Ignatieff, Duceppe, and May to become the Conservatives primary antagonists in a polarized election campaign.

The election results in the following results:

Con: 40%
Lib: 31
BQ: 11
Grn: 9
NDP: 7
Other: 2

Seats:
Con: 164
Lib: 84
BQ: 56
Grn: 1
NDP: 1

And we end up spending the next 4 years watching Libby Davies and Elizabeth May sitting next together in the House of Commons as the sole surviviors of their respective parties.

Aristotleded24

I think the purpose of this thread has been misunderstood. There has been so much discussion about how bad it would be if the Conservatives won a majority, what would happen if the Liberals lost seats, on and on. My hope was that we could use a thread to just assume that the Conservatives were going to gain seats, and to focus discussion around how to counteract that more effectively. In other words, not:

"Oh no, the Conservatives might win more seats," but rather

"We know more seats will fall into the Conservative column, here is the NDP strategy to counteract that."

Lens Solution

All parties face the risk of losing seats - it's hard to know which party will lose the most before the election has even started.

The BQ seems to be in the best shape so far.

NorthReport

 

 

It's proably not the worst thing that could but it sure sets a terrible example to constantly be awarding all these rich folks for bad behaviour:

 

Ex-integrity office staffers bristle at Ouimet's 'Cadillac package'

 

 http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/ex-integrity-office...

absentia

You've all been watching what happened next door in the last two years, right? The Dems were disunited [left wing, blue dog, Kennedy...] spineless [reasonable; prepared to compromise], morally adrift [practical]: unable to form a single coherent policy or carry through a single intact legislation. Now they're running for the hills, and the USian people are utterly betrayed, angry, disinformed, completely at the mercy of teapots, crackpots and despots - - - it's going to end very, very badly.

Okay, we're at, or very near, that point of no return. What do have to lose?

Stop being reasonable, responsible, practical, middling-dishonest. Stop compromising.

Be alarmist - there is plenty to be alarmed about, and it's past time Canadians realized it. Publish all the things this government has done to hurt the country, its people and its future. Publish the figures: how much money they've collected, by what methods, and where they spent it, and the social, as well as monetary cost of each of those decisions. Reveal the foreign alliances and domestic deals, the illegal arrests and dententions, the investment in spying and crowd-control technology.

Get in the news, by whatever means possible. Blow whistles; name shovels. 

Of course we won't win, but at least the waking up might begin.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

~ APPLAUSE ~

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

...and we while we won't win the war with one election battle, we can have an impact, and knock the bastards back on their heels for a bit.

George Victor

Right on!

Sean in Ottawa

Agreed--

How can the politicians expect the population to care when they don't show appropriate concern.

Lens Solution

I think as long as Harper leads in the polls he will continue to be emboldened and feel that he can do whatever he wants.

KenS

You can bet your booties that he isnt 'emboldened' now.

Hint: having a different ideology does not make people a different animal than you are.

Lens Solution

He's not emboldened?

NDPP

NDP Getting Cold Feet On Bringing Down Harper Government Right Now

http://www.thehilltimes.ca/dailyupdate/view/98

"The NDP is getting cold feet about bringing down the Harper government anytime soon, with their leading MP on several scandals now saying it would be better to 'give it a few more weeks'..

KenS

That bullshit headline and story lead was already disposed of last night: 

KenS wrote:

NDP getting cold feet on bringing down Harper government right now

As I was just saying about the self appointed pudits over here... [especially post#52]

"Give it a few more weeks" - as in wait until after the post Budget conficence motion. That is "cold feet" ??

Sheesh.

and 

ottawaobserver wrote:

I think Tim Naumetz REALLY stretched what Pat Martin said in order to juice the story (they are competing heavily for eyeballs at the Hill Times these days), but I wouldn't read anything more into it than that.

absentia

Lens Solution wrote:

I think as long as Harper leads in the polls he will continue to be emboldened and feel that he can do whatever he wants.

Maybe. But emboldenment sometimes leads to carelessness. There has been quite a lot of carelessness, sloppy coverups, bad arithmetic. Let's do something with those opportunities.

I was too late to get into the where are the non-voters thread, but here is one take: It's not just the young, the cynical and the disenfranchised. Some of us veteran idealists - ex-various-ists - have stopped voting. Because there was really nobody to vote for. (Outside of Quebec, where i am) Nobody with vision or integrity or guts. And, let's face it, most of our progeny grew up to be suburban corporate slugs who don't give a flying fig about their next-door neighbour, never mind the hungry kids in no-longer-subsidized housing. We would be re-energized - we'd come out of the mouldy woodwork in numbers that'd make your head spin! - by a leader who told the truth, pulled no punches, and had a real plan.

 

 

Buddy Kat

There are lots of bad things that can happen under a conservative majority..just have to look at the history of the the last 5 years...

We can expect nuclear power and all the environmental problems ...look at oil sand problems as an example or pipeline problems etc.
Scraping of environmental agencies, or weakening them to tooth less organizations like they did to the CSA under Lib leadership.

Privatization of health care.
Pensions in the hands of private companies that can go tits up declare bankruptcy and leave you dry, probably getting rid of the Canada pension plan.

UI insurance schemes run by private company's who are driven by profit

Union busting -a conservative fav
Missile defence shield for sure
More kowtowing to the US ..Probably as foot soldiers in a kiss ass war of some kind.

Removal of poor people agencies ..where the burden is placed on public and religious organizations..likethe food bank and salvation army.

Expect an even bigger gap between rich and poor

Prisons galore and many more criminals...as there is a percentage factor regarding inmates and re offending when exposed to the penal system..pretty well spelling more prisoners equal more future crime, means more money for private prison investors....which if you haven't figured out yet is what the white collar criminal sucks on ..re conservative. Ever wonder why penalty's for conmen and white collar criminals are so low ..well now you know ..conservatives serve these criminal's only.

Immigration where the immigrants are placed in low strength ridings to up the support

Just some of the things that cross my mind, thinking of a conservative majority...hell the last conservative majority attempted to destroy our constitution...maybe the next will be successful....food for thought and that one thing alone is reason to be concerned. Krush the Kon people before they Krush you!

Add this all up and what do you get? And What country do you have ?
Answer ..A conservative country and while they are somewhat weakened by being a minority and only propped up by libs...you can bet they would have no problemo implementing a very nasty and cruel agenda if given the opportunity.

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Actually, when I consider the question that leads this thread, I have to wonder whether we are too far gone to turn things around. The worst that could happen, to my mind, is the punishment we could be subject to.

If we were democratically successful, and as a nation halted and began to extricate ourselves from deep integration with the increasingly insane empire to our south, would it be tolerated?

To what extent would they deliberately inflict economic damage?

Would they even find an excuse to invade? They've already declared many Canadian energy resources as critical for defense purposes - would a Canada exercising her sovereignty be an existential threat?

And now that Harper has privatized our public water under NAFTA, will we ever be allowed our independence again?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The WORST thing that could happen, in addition to Harper getting a majority, would be that the NDP, out of sheer desperation, would then lower itself to Blairism, and then get ELECTED with a majority as a Blairite party with a Blairite foreign policy.  Then, you'd not only see continued austerity and continued assaults on the labour movement, but also an even more aggressive military approach to the world.

I suspect that's what you might have had if Stephen Lewis had ever become leader on his terms(terms which, as I understand it, would basically have meant a purge of all remaining leftists and socialist from the party and the near-abolition of internal democracy within the party), but now it's what you might end up with if someone like Pat Martin were to become leader.

 

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

The worst possible outcome is a Harper majority.

The next worst is a Liberal majority - only better because Count Ignatieff is not as competent as Harper and would be less effective at moving the shared corporate agenda forward.

VectoV

absentia wrote:

The worst thing that could happen is an alliance (I refuse to call them conservatives, just as i would refuse to call the wolf Grandma) majority, and they carry out their entire agenda. After that, there is literally nothing we can do, becaue the police state is nearly complete now; in two years, it will be complete. Wire-tapping, all unions illegal, no protest, no legal recourse, no help for the poor, no social services..... The worst thing that can happen has already happened in a lot of places, is on the way to happenning in the US and Canadians are electing one fathead after another. I'm not sure how it's possible to warn Canadians of the outcome, and they may not listen anyway, just as they sdidn't the last eight times.

Where did you buy your crystal ball from?

VectoV

We can expect nuclear power and all the environmental problems ...look at oil sand problems as an example or pipeline problems etc.
Add this all up and what do you get? And What country do you have ?
Answer ..A conservative country and while they are somewhat weakened by being a minority and only propped up by libs...you can bet they would have no problemo implementing a very nasty and cruel agenda if given the opportunity.

 

The oilsands isn't a perfect situation by any stretch of the imagination. I know because I've worked up there. But to simplify, how do you stay warm at night? Do you pedal everywhere you go? What do you think the solution is? Just curious. What is this cruel agenda?

 

Buddy Kat

From vectov join date ..he/she could be one of those harper plants...

You have just witnessed what happens when harper has some power and the poisoning of water and the environment and you think things will be better when he has absolute power?

 

This has nothing to do with keeping warm..If all the oil sands were doing , was providing Canadians with heat there wouldn't be a problem..The big problem is they are providing heat,oil etc for another country....that has ten times the population of Canada. Furthur if they had to invest in all environmentally friendly and safe projects there profit that comes from selling there product would disappear. Compound that with the fact that Harper has ruined environmetal assessment agencys...it isn't quantum mechanics!

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

Edited cause I tore Alberta to pieces and Lord Thundrin Jezus thought it was worse than any right winger could do..and therfore sets a bad example....but just goes to show that even leftys can get involved in "blood sports "too.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Edited to say

Thanks for dialing it back a few notches.

absentia

My chrystal ball is called CBC.

Keeping warm belongs in other - gods know how many other! - threads, but bicycling is certainly one way that's never going to be explored by a 'conservative' government. All the fathead mayors are probably sending their robocops out right now to mine the bike paths.