Yes or No: Will a federal election be called before the end of September 2009?

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peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

yes.

myvoice

If there is an election, the likely scenario is that the numbers will be the same as what they are now - with a few minor differences.  Then the Liberals, NDP and Bloc have better have an agreement to let the GG know they wish to form a coalition government

My preferred outcome would be, don't bother with an election, just go for the coalition.  Enough effing around.

 

KenS

It won't actually require a formal agreement of any kind. If a new Cons minority falls at the Throne Sppech, then the GG will invite the Liberals to form a government, with or without any other parties support.

It would be suicidal for the Liberals to go forward without at least some fairly tight legislative agreement with the NDP [if not a formal accord], and some degree of understanding with the Bloc. [Not to mention that without the latter, the Bloc will come to an agreement to support the Throne Speech... not to mention they may be very disinclined to support a Liberal government even very tempoarily.]

So in practice, without some kind of governing agreement[s], Harper will never be deposed... but it makes a substantial difference that the arrangements don't have to meet the standards of the GG... if we're talking about the Throne Speech confidence vote.

Its because clearing that hurdle is VERY iffy for Harper, that an election is very risky for Harper unless he is confident of a majority. A majority is a possibility, but they are miles from conditions that would warrant confidence in a majority.

KenS

myvoice wrote:
My preferred outcome would be, don't bother with an election, just go for the coalition.  Enough effing around.

That option is no longer available. Last chance was Iggy ditching it on the first confidence vote after the prorogue.

Now, we get an election when and if all the parties vote Harper Crew down. There is no going straight to a coalition.

On the other hand, like I said above, pleasing the GG is not required after the election. And that step allowed Iggy to kill the goose last time.

mybabble

When Pigs Fly, Iggy says.  And Harper puts the boots to Canadians today with a 56 Billion dollar deficit, or so he says and expected things to be alot bleeker than antiscipated.  Flatherty is in BC, and says there will be no new taxes but things are not good and expects the deficit to linger a lot longer say 2016 for one.  Says Canadians need to get used to reduced services as schools don't know how they will stay open.

 Flatherty says an election would be bad for the Conservatives, I mean Canada as could hurt economy.  How? 

Iggy has got it right Harper didn't even know when Canada was in a recession until at least for a good year?

So how is he going to know when we are out of one?  We are not.   And no new taxes what the heck is the HST that is breathing down the backs of Canadians as excuse me its Harper dirty deal on average Canadian as he gets half a premier, if that to sign any hope for many low income Canadians, and middle income and small business when making dirty deals with cash crazed premiers. 

MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

Either way, more and more it's looking like Ignatieff will get his hind quarter handed to him sooner or later. Sad really, because, despite his imperialistic and colonialist perspective, Ignatieff is probably the skilled academician he is touted to be.

But haven't the Liberals been in this place before? recently? last year for example? Dion anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Iggy's been pushed up against the wall of an election call that he simply cannot build a case for. And the real politicians in the Liberal camp, who are lining up to succeed poor ailing Ig (see: Rae, Coderre, LeBlanc, and at least one token woman candidate), are rubbing their hands with glee.

mybabble

And here is a better plan remember that 75 BILLION BAIL OUT TO CANADIAN BANKS, well looks like banks have made record profits and they say payback is a bitch.

Why don't the banks pay back Canadians, say with interest wouldn't that tide Canadians over nicely?

Or, what it dosen't work that way?  As course it doesn't as Harpers getting ready to do it again. its on the lips of British Columbinas NO Harper's hated HST.

TIP:  Unemployment continues to rise in the fall.

 Who is picking up the bad debt, Canadians of course as home owners lose hundreds and thousands on their home sells and losing out on other investments and pensions.  While banks get ready to do it again as despite high unemployment Canada continues to bring in hundreds and thousands of workers from outside Canada who have been know to sit on the sidelines looking for work along with Canadians.  And of course all those new Canadians who are usually the first to be out of work and the first to be hurt with the sales tax especially if one of the many small franschise owners.  No opportunities here looks like Harper's Corporations are looking for slaves, Canadian slaves.

Frmrsldr

Boom Boom wrote:

The significance is that Harper never talks about getting a majority in public - because he knows that would scare the bejesus out of Canadians. Here he is in a closed meeting talking about a majority.

With his, "This is a confidence vote issue. Either pass it or face an election" bullying of Parliament, Harper has been acting as if his was a majority government. It's the best known "secret" in Canada.

Frmrsldr

Unionist wrote:

surfdoc wrote:

I can't see an election NOT being called within the next month.

I can't fail to see an election failing not to be called within no less than that time.

In other words, I agree fully with the thread title: yes or no.

Truer words were never spoken by a politician.

Frmrsldr

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

What is it you don't seem to get about it being LIBERAL governments that are implementing the HST provincially.  Expecting the federal LIBERALS to fight the HST under those conditions is like forgetting your towel on an inter-stellar journey.

Speaking as one who lives in B.C., the B.C. "Liberal" is Liberal in name only. It is actually the reincarnation of the now defunct B.C. Social Credit Party with some B.C. Conservatives who joined. The Conservative Party of Canada quietly sends money to the B.C. Liberals - as when they did in just prior to the recent provincial election.

West Coast Lefty

I say "yes" that there will be a fall election, but the government won't be defeated until the Liberal Opposition Day motion, likely on October 7th.

To touch on a couple of points raised in the thread:

- The election call as a defined issue will last for about a week as usual, but it will not entirely fade away. Harper will use it to attack Iggy's credibility, motivations and judgement. It will become a part of Conservative campaign to define Iggy as "just visiting", opportunistic enough to form a coalition with the NDP and BQ, bring down the government for no reason, blow up the EI committee that Iggy himself demanded a few months ago, etc.

- Harper and the media will be relentless in demanding a) that Iggy state whether he will form a coalition or not b) that Layton or Duceppe state whether they would support a Lib government if there is no coalition. Duceppe will give his usual "issue by issue, we'll vote on what is good for Quebec" line, but Iggy and Jack will be in a box.

There is already tremendous internal and external pressure on Iggy to categorically rule out a coalition, which I predict Iggy will do before the TV debates. It is actually good for the NDP electorally if he does that, since it shows that if you want the NDP agenda represented in the House, you need to vote NDP and not some other party to do it. Jack will be in a very powerful position here and his response will need to be carefully nuanced and flexible.

- Assuming Iggy rules out the coalition during the campaign, it is very unlikely that the Libs will take power if they are more than 5 seats behind the Conservatives on election night. It would take a David Peterson 1985 result - ahead in popular vote, barely behind in the seat count - for the Libs and the other parties to even consider bringing down the government who won the most seats in the election.

Maxx

The NDP is willing to do anything to avoid an election, but Harper will not accept their support as it would jeopardize his election strategy of demonizing a potential liberal-socialist-separatist coalition.

YES, WE'LL HAVE AN ELECTION VERY SOON.

KenS

Leaving aside your baseless attribution of what the NDP wants, there is a basic logical fallacy in your statement about what Harper won't do.

To wit, that if he makes a deal with either the NDP or the BQ [and thats too costly for the NDP even if they prefer not to have an election], then Harper doesn't need the election strategy he is busy priming right now.

Maxx

Everybody needs at election strategy... and Harper THINKS he has a good one.

KenS

Maybe you should read my comment again. Yes, its his election strategy. But you said he can't won't make a deal with the NDP or Bloc because it would ruin his election strategy.

If he makes a deal so there won't be an election, then he doesn't need that election strategy. Yes, it might spoil it for later. But the Cons have lots of election staratgey options open all the time. If they don't want an election now, they won't worry about closing off just one of those numerous options.

KenS

West Coast Lefty wrote:
There is already tremendous internal and external pressure on Iggy to categorically rule out a coalition, which I predict Iggy will do before the TV debates. 

Iggys inclination to vacilate and panic, and even worse, to ad lib under pressure, makes it very unpredicatble. But my guess is that given what they all know is at stake, that he probably will not be buffaloed into a categorical statement. Though he probably will eventually at least mumble and equivocate enough to make more trouble for himself.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bloomberg says Canada's Harper Revises Budget in Bid to Avoid Election Attacks

 

excerpt:

 

Without Liberal support, Harper must seek support from either the pro-labor New Democratic Party or a Quebec regional party, the Bloc Quebecois, to stay in power. Leaders from the two smaller parties said this week Harper hasn't done enough to win their backing.

janfromthebruce

BB, another quote from it:

The federal government’s ratio of debt to GDP will reach a peak of 35.5 percent in 2010-11 and decline to 32.1 percent by 2014-15, according to the document.

“We are still in excellent shape,” said John Clinkard, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Canada in Toronto. “Our debt to GDP ratio is among the lowest in the G-7.”

That is what Jackson said here:

Quite unlike the late 1980s and early 1990s, the stage is set for interest rates to be lower than rates of economic growth for some time.  Long-term government bond rates are now in the range of 3-4%, or 1-2% in real terms.  Even if we get back to only modest nominal GDP growth rates of 4-5% and interest rates rise a little,  the gap between growth rates and interest rates means that we can run modest deficits without increasing the debt to GDP ratio at all.  Increasing that ratio for a few years is not a big deal, certainly so long as the investments funded by borrowing are intelligently invested so as to improve longer term productivity growth and sustainability. It should ot be a huge challenge to think of investments - from child care and early learning, to renewable energy development and infrastructure - which yield a return far in excess of the low costs of borrowing.

So we a progressive economist saying the same thing.

One thing I been thinking of here but haven't thought out well is the huge corporate taxcuts that come into play soon - I think 56 billion (Fidel, I need that info) and how it appears those corporations really don't need that "promised" reduction.

The backlash against "corporate welfare" at the expense of Mary and Joe Canadian received outrage from both (for want of better term), the left and the right.

So the NDP should run on not giving that corporate giveaway - being responsible corporate entities who need to see we are not in any financial shape to do so - and anyway, reducing their tax rate sure has not prevented another deep global recession. This would free up money for EI, and those other services mentioned by Jackson.

I also think we need to offer a national income program, but not thought of that too much.

Stockholm

I think its almost certain that we will have an election this fall, but I still think it would be better to defeat the Tories on their budget in the Spring when they start having to bring in unpopular controversial measures in order to meet their budget balancing targets.

Sean in Ottawa

If the Liberals were smart they would use the cover of a possible flu pandemic to postpone an election-- lets them be on record as wanting to bring down the government without doing it right away-- they need the Cons to wear the next budget

Sean in Ottawa

-- but don't put it past them-- that might be the plan already...

janfromthebruce

Interesting you say that stock, but who would it be better for? I read the comment by Weir on Jackson's post in prog eco forum, and this is what Erin said with my own highlights:

I have really enjoyed CBC News Tonight (8pm on Newsworld) the few times that I have seen it. It consists of in-depth interviews on three or four top stories, rather than the usual TV news collage of ten-second clips on many stories.

On last night’s National, the Liberal response to the fiscal update was ten seconds of bluster from John McCallum about how Jim Flaherty has no credibility left. But CBC News Tonight featured several minutes of Harry Forestell asking what the Liberals would do differently than the Conservatives to balance the budget and McCallum repeatedly being unable to answer.

McCallum’s line was that the Liberals had balanced the budget before and should simply be trusted to do so again. He chastised the Conservatives for budgeting much higher EI premiums after 2010, and committed that Liberals would neither raise taxes nor cut transfer payments to provincial governments.

But how did the Liberals balance the budget last time? They kept EI premiums far above EI benefits and slashed transfers to provincial governments. So, Forestell’s question stands: how would they balance the budget this time?

So both of the red conservatives and the blue conservatives are making identical promises and we know how that worked out last time. Both the libs and cons stole workers money to balance their budgets and prevent higher deficits now.

The NDP needs to run on a revamped EI program that restores ei to an insurance program. There is some food for thought in a torstar article today. I don't necessarily advocate for some of those suggestions but it made me think more deeply about them.

Here's the link and next post I will suggest what I think a revamped NDP EI platform should look like.

Dashwood

As much as i dislike Steven Harper, I think we should wait for the Supreme Court ruling on the last Election call. if we win that one base the election around that. Besides lets face are our choices are limited.

Unionist

I'm tired of the MSM saying, "Canadians are tired of elections - whoever forces one will be punished".

To avert that, I'm proposing legislation requiring fixed annual elections. I'll let you know how I make out.

By the way, get a load of Tom Axworthy:

[url=Report">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/report-calls-for-overhaul-o... calls for overhaul of debates[/url]

Quote:
If Tom Axworthy and his think-tank have their way, Gilles Duceppe and his Bloc Québécois will be blocked from the televised English-language leaders' debate in future elections. [...]

Here's more: The debates would be mandatory and a leader who did not participate would see the public subsidy provided his or her political party cut.

This two-bit moron, once PET's aide, seems to have forgotten (besides the elements of democracy) that there are French-speakers outside Québec and English-speakers inside.

 

 

remind remind's picture

This is the 2nd person advocating shut outs of the leader's debates occur.

See this link:

http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/msm-trying-shut-out-ndp-and-bl...

I guess shenanigans must be in the works between the Libs and Cons and their media friends.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Screw Axworthy and his ilk. DuCeppe has as much right in the debates as the other leaders. If DuCeppe is blocked, I'll be the first to call for a blockade of constituency offices of any federal party in Quebec that supports the blocking of DuCeppe. God, what assholes we have in this country! Yell

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Screw Axworthy and his ilk. DuCeppe has as much right in the debates as the other leaders. If DuCeppe is blocked, I'll be the first to call for a blockade of constituency offices of any federal party in Quebec that supports the blocking of DuCeppe. God, what assholes we have in this country! Yell

SCB4

Stockholm wrote:

I think its almost certain that we will have an election this fall, but I still think it would be better to defeat the Tories on their budget in the Spring when they start having to bring in unpopular controversial measures in order to meet their budget balancing targets.

I am trying to ponder Iggy's end game (assuming he has one). Having fallen into just about every trap Harper has set for him his motives for an election may come down to pure survival. I don't see a plausible strategy for a Liberal majority (not when they are starting from 77 seats), barring some unforeseen event that breaks their way. I do, however, see that it would be no big trick for the Liberals to take 10-12 seats from the Conservatives in a fall, or spring election (vote your choice). That would be enough (just) to ensure Iggy's survival as Leader and maybe that's the extent of his ambitions at this point.

janfromthebruce

So the link to the EI is here again:

"The first is that Canada's EI system needs a major overhaul. Adjustments in the regional benefit structure or the maximum entitlement for qualified claimants won't help the 60 per cent of jobless Canadians now excluded from the system. One stand-alone change – such as lowering the number of hours required to qualify for benefits – would still leave millions of workers unprotected."

"Restore the EI program to its core function: protecting workers from hardship in the event of accidental job loss."

yes

"Pay for all of the other benefits EI provides – to expectant mothers, new parents, people providing end-of-life care, individuals who need training – out of general revenues. Not only would this clarify the purpose of EI, it would open up these benefits to Canadians who aren't covered by employment insurance."

I disagree with this because in all these situations those Canadians pay into the EI system, no matter what kind of employment they have.

"Establish a single national eligibility standard and provide equal benefits across the country, rather than shielding workers in low-employment regions from market forces."

I agree with the national standard on equality; however, if one pays into EI one should be able to collect no matter whether they live in a low-employment area. Does the economy mostly work for people or for profit?

"This would remove the incentive for laid-off workers in slow-growth regions to stay put and wait for job opportunities to come to them. It would also allow employers to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers, who are mobile and easy to recruit."

I think the writer misses the boat in this area. We have an aging population who aren't as mobile as young workers - homes, families. If we want to provide incentives than tangle carrots rather than whips. During the oil boom, many east coast workers maintained their homes and worked out of province. Make hiring local (which is Canadians) an incentive over foreign labour.

"Either extend EI coverage to self-employed, part-time and contract workers, or set up a separate – possibly voluntary – job insurance program for them."

Part-time and contract workers already pay into EI, and when they lose their jobs they should be able to collect in proportion to what they paid. It's a false ceiling imposed by the libs to take this money and not let them collect. If I worked part-time for years, I should be able to collect - period.

"Either extend EI coverage to self-employed, part-time and contract workers, or set up a separate – possibly voluntary – job insurance program for them."

Self-employed should pay into the same program and not separate out. Less administration. How much they pay would have to be devised - does not have to be mandatory.

Anyway, that's my policy proposal.

malcolm1

no, these 2 guys are getting most of what they want this way,

maybe they want someone with a majority to be in charge when the next

stage of this depression hits

 

Sean in Ottawa

On EI proposals there needs to be two to four programs all working properly together-- both are disfunctional.

The first is EI which needs to be employment insurance for no fault  job loss.

The second needs to be a properly functioning social assistance program for people in need- presently the amounts are punative and do not provide enough to help people off.

The third needs to be an income supplement program to manage people who are employed but not making enough to make ends meet. This has become more urgent as more and more employment is part time. This is the program that should address seasonal work.

The fourth is an employment strategy aimed at making sure that people have the means to get work-- this would include employment counseling, transportation assistance and other direct measures to help job seekers, and targetted vocational education upgrading.

Where the above programs exist they are in conflict (frequently trying to offload rather than resolve cases), incoherent, overlapping or leaving gaps and inefficient. All 4 programs need to be part of a central poverty strategy that also includes general education, affordable housing measures and child poverty initiatives. It is hard to break down a single one of these program needs and decide what it must do without knowing what the others do. A start would be removing the punative nature of most support programs-- that does not work.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think Iggy is being led to the brink by people in his own party that are not to happy with his coronation. I of course am not trying to imply that there are Machiavellian types in the Liberal backrooms Cool  If he does not win a substantial number of new seats in the next election he will be history and the race will be on without him having a chance. 

I am betting that there will be no election this fall and I am sure that the people on the ground in all the parties are dreading having to find the funds to run the local campaigns. Its all well and good to say the parties have money but that takes care of the national campaign no the local riding expenses. In BC we have had a municipal, provincial and federal election already in the last year.  The troops are tired and the donors are harder to find.

MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

Based on this, unless the Ig-heads cop out, we will be watching Prime Minister Angry vistit to our lovely GG sometime after Friday, September 18.

Krago

Yes or No: Will a federal election be called before the end of September 2009?

 

YES

Stockholm

I expect we will have an elecyion about two months from now in early to mid-November.

 

surfdoc

I can't see an election NOT being called within the next month.

 

madmax

YES!  The train has left the station. Its a fall election. There could be delays that drag things into October.

 

Sean in Ottawa

This is a dangerous election-- it is coming when people do not want one

 

Ya_dont_say

Yup, it'll happen.

 

mybabble

Yes.

 

peterjcassidy

yes.

 

West Coast Lefty

I say "yes" that there will be a fall election, but the government won't be defeated until the Liberal Opposition Day motion, likely on October 7th.

 

Maxx

YES, WE'LL HAVE AN ELECTION VERY SOON.

 

I DON'T KNOW

KenS

I waver between thinking its 50/50, and substantially more than 50% that Harper will cut a deal with the Bloc and no election.

 

Unionist

I can't fail to see an election failing not to be called within no less than that time.  In other words, I agree fully with the thread title: yes or no.

 

NO

Krago

My vote: No

 

Caissa

No.

 

SCB4

No, and I'm willing to raise the stakes by betting that there will not be an election in 2009.

 

remind

No election.

 

KeyStone

So now, of course, Ignatieff, will not call an election. One loss and he's finished.

 

David Young

I say No!

 

HeywoodFloyd

No. There will be no election this fall.

 

kropotkin1951

I am betting that there will be no election this fall

Sean in Ottawa

I am not in the Yes camp--Here is what I said on that:

"I am not going to even make a friendly bet as to whether this party will do what is in its self interest."

I would fit more in the IDK camp although unless the Liberals can find cover they are painted into a corner-- as I said elsewhere-- they have the option of saying they will bring down the government and then announcing they will wait until the flue season is either over or at least defined as not a threat. That could buy them some time if they want to rethink this. They could not be criticized for this as people are being asked to make contingency plans as most schools and many employers already have done.

West Coast Lefty

KenS wrote:

West Coast Lefty wrote:
There is already tremendous internal and external pressure on Iggy to categorically rule out a coalition, which I predict Iggy will do before the TV debates. 

Iggys inclination to vacilate and panic, and even worse, to ad lib under pressure, makes it very unpredicatble. But my guess is that given what they all know is at stake, that he probably will not be buffaloed into a categorical statement. Though he probably will eventually at least mumble and equivocate enough to make more trouble for himself.

Tongue out I win! I think Iggy made his "no coalition ever" statement as you were typing your post, KenS, though he did equivocate as you predicted in one of the Q+As from the French media.  As usual, Iggy hurts himself most of all with his statements, since he signed a letter to the GG supporting a coalition less than a year ago, and his whole "unite the anti-Harper vote" message is trashed by his anti-coalition statements, which validates the Harper/right wing media anti-coalition frame. 

It also means that Jack will be in a good position to demand more policy concessions in the unlikely event that Iggy can form a government after the next election, since Iggy will be under pressure from the left to show he can work with other parties on a progressive agenda in Parliament.

KenS

West Coast Lefty wrote:

Tongue out I win! I think Iggy made his "no coalition ever" statement as you were typing your post, KenS,

I thought the timing was funny too. I even said I can see him NOT doing that all the way through the campaign... just as it turns out he's already doing it.

Some other thread [I think the one with Iggy in the thread title] I said that it tlloks to me- not having really puzzled it yet mind you- a canny move on his part. [Because he can take power under the terms he laid out...doesn't need a formal agreement. It isn't simple, but nothing else is. Bottom line- Doable, and for him, probably more than any other possibility.]

I've said all along that an election is very risky for Harper, because its too likely he'll lose governing as a result. If Iggy's move is as canny as I think [right now at least], then this illustrates how risky it is for Harper. At the same time Iggy has both insulated himself as much as is possible from the 'hidden Coalition agenda' frame, and laid out the means for unseating Harper. The latter doesn't have to be spelled out. Showing a credible case for doing it to the watchers, if he has done that, has a material effect in the overall campaign dynamics.

Wilf Day

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Assuming Iggy rules out the coalition during the campaign, it is very unlikely that the Libs will take power if they are more than 5 seats behind the Conservatives on election night. It would take a David Peterson 1985 result - ahead in popular vote, barely behind in the seat count - for the Libs and the other parties to even consider bringing down the government who won the most seats in the election.

That's not what happened in 1985. The fact that the Liberals had the edge in the popular vote was irrelevant and seldom mentioned at the time. The NDP had the balance of power, both parties bid for NDP support during a couple of weeks of classic negotiations, and the Liberals made the best bid.

The minority Liberals would take power if they move a non-confidence motion when the new House convenes and the majority of MPs vote for it. Which would normally require some kind of agreement, ranging from a coalition agreement down to an Accord ("confidence-and-supply agreement") down to a verbal understanding. 

Debater

KenS wrote:

West Coast Lefty wrote:

Tongue out I win! I think Iggy made his "no coalition ever" statement as you were typing your post, KenS,

I thought the timing was funny too. I even said I can see him NOT doing that all the way through the campaign... just as it turns out he's already doing it.

Some other thread [I think the one with Iggy in the thread title] I said that it tlloks to me- not having really puzzled it yet mind you- a canny move on his part. [Because he can take power under the terms he laid out...doesn't need a formal agreement. It isn't simple, but nothing else is. Bottom line- Doable, and for him, probably more than any other possibility.]

I've said all along that an election is very risky for Harper, because its too likely he'll lose governing as a result. If Iggy's move is as canny as I think [right now at least], then this illustrates how risky it is for Harper. At the same time Iggy has both insulated himself as much as is possible from the 'hidden Coalition agenda' frame, and laid out the means for unseating Harper. The latter doesn't have to be spelled out. Showing a credible case for doing it to the watchers, if he has done that, has a material effect in the overall campaign dynamics.

We'll have to see whether or not Ignatieff is a good strategist and whether or not his gamble pays off.

But one present that Harper may have given him this week is the "separatists and socialists" tirade.  As Chantal Hebert pointed out on the newly-returned At Issue panel on Thursday night, it has given Ignatieff some justification for bringing Harper down.  

Ignatieff was struggling to justify explaining why he could no longer support the Conservatives, and as Chantal pointed out, now Ignatieff can point to that tape as an example of how Harper is uncooperative in working with the other parties and it gives Ignatieff an opportunity to reach out to NDP and BQ voters by showing himself as more respectful of their beliefs.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

With great respect Wilf, the 1985 transfer of power was unusual. More conventional  scenarios can be found in the article you quoted:

 

If no party gets a clear majority, the Cabinet that was in office before and during the election has two choices. It can resign, in which case the Governor General or Lieutenant-Governor will call on the leader of the largest opposition party to form a Cabinet. Or the Cabinet already in office can choose to stay in office and meet the newly elected House — which, however, it must do promptly. In either case, it is the people’s representatives in the newly elected House who will decide whether the “minority” government (one whose own party has fewer than half the seats) shall stay in office or be thrown out.

If a Cabinet is defeated in the House of Commons on a motion of censure or want of confidence, the Cabinet must either resign (the Governor General will then ask the Leader of the Opposition to form a new Cabinet) or ask for a dissolution of Parliament and a fresh election.

-----

 In the very likely event the Cons do not win a majority of seats,  and in the very possibile scenario they do not win a plurality of seats, Harper will be under great pressure to resign. He could leave the question of a succesopr to the GG or  turn power over to another leader. This is what Paul Martin did one election night , turn power over to Harper. and then PM Harper faced the House when it reconvened.   Tongue out  Harper could ask for another electionTongue out but ....Yell

 

If Harper wins a plurality of seats he could make a good try to cling on to power. but he would need the support of others.  This is basically what happened when PM Harper came back from an election he called in violation of his fixed date law without a majority and  had to face the House, He got backing from the Dion Liberals and then, when it was clear he did not have the backing of the House, got perogies and the backing of Ignatieff

Keep in mind that even if Harper or Iggy or Jack or Elizabethy  wins a plurality of seats, but not a majority, he or she  will still need to win support from the majority of MPs to get to be PM.

The paradigm has shifted, the game is on.

 NDP in government is on the agenda , whether it be majority, minority, coalition, balance of power, or power play.

GO JACK GO!!!

 

T

 

 

Wilf Day wrote:

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Assuming Iggy rules out the coalition during the campaign, it is very unlikely that the Libs will take power if they are more than 5 seats behind the Conservatives on election night. It would take a David Peterson 1985 result - ahead in popular vote, barely behind in the seat count - for the Libs and the other parties to even consider bringing down the government who won the most seats in the election.

That's not what happened in 1985. The fact that the Liberals had the edge in the popular vote was irrelevant and seldom mentioned at the time. The NDP had the balance of power, both parties bid for NDP support during a couple of weeks of classic negotiations, and the Liberals made the best bid.

The minority Liberals would take power if they move a non-confidence motion when the new House convenes and the majority of MPs vote for it. Which would normally require some kind of agreement, ranging from a coalition agreement down to an Accord ("confidence-and-supply agreement") down to a verbal understanding. 

 

 

 

 

West Coast Lefty

Thanks Peter and Wilf - Wilf, you are correct on constitutional grounds, but politically, I submit that if Harper has a clear lead in the seat count and the popular vote on election night, it will be very difficult for the Libs to justify overturning the government right after the election. Again, this is not a legal argument but a political and moral one - the onus would be on Harper to show he can gain the support of other parties and to be given a chance to do so. Harper did govern for nearly 3 years after Jan 2006 in a minority situation and for another year (at least) after Oct 2008 - a total of just about 4 years of minority government, getting budgets and other bills passed, etc. For all the storm and fury in QP and the media, it's actually been one of the most stable minority governments in Canadian history in terms of duration and legislative accomplishments.

That's why, with respect, 1985 was unique for the reasons I cited in my post. Can you point to another example where the 2nd-plac party combined with the other parties to defeat the governing party right after the election? Dexter could have done that after the 2006 NS election, he had the seats combined with the Libs and it was very tight between the NDP and Conservatives for 1st place, but he didn't. Harper could have tried to overtun Martin soon after June 2004 with the NDP and BQ, but he didn't. Martin himself could have tried to hang on in Jan 2006 as Harper had only a very small lead in the seat count, but he immediately conceded victory to Harper on election night. I know of no other Canadian example of the 1985 Ontario scenario, but I'd love to hear one if you have another example.

SCB4

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Can you point to another example where the 2nd-plac party combined with the other parties to defeat the governing party right after the election? Dexter could have done that after the 2006 NS election, he had the seats combined with the Libs and it was very tight between the NDP and Conservatives for 1st place, but he didn't. Harper could have tried to overtun Martin soon after June 2004 with the NDP and BQ, but he didn't. Martin himself could have tried to hang on in Jan 2006 as Harper had only a very small lead in the seat count, but he immediately conceded victory to Harper on election night. I know of no other Canadian example of the 1985 Ontario scenario, but I'd love to hear one if you have another example.

 

I don't think that's ever happened in a federal election. The Conservative party won a plurality of seats in the 1925 election, but Mackenzie King's Liberals were able to retain power through an alliance with the Progressives (a rural forerunner of the CCF). However, the Conservatives were not the governing party going into that election. The 1985 Ontario scenario may have played out in another province at some point.

KenS

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Wilf, you are correct on constitutional grounds, but politically, I submit that if Harper has a clear lead in the seat count and the popular vote on election night, it will be very difficult for the Libs to justify overturning the government right after the election. Again, this is not a legal argument but a political and moral one - the onus would be on Harper to show he can gain the support of other parties and to be given a chance to do so. Harper did govern for nearly 3 years after Jan 2006 in a minority situation and for another year (at least) after Oct 2008 - a total of just about 4 years of minority government, getting budgets and other bills passed, etc. For all the storm and fury in QP and the media, it's actually been one of the most stable minority governments in Canadian history in terms of duration and legislative accomplishments. That's why, with respect, 1985 was unique for the reasons I cited in my post. Can you point to another example where the 2nd-plac party combined with the other parties to defeat the governing party right after the election? Dexter could have done that after the 2006 NS election, he had the seats combined with the Libs and it was very tight between the NDP and Conservatives for 1st place, but he didn't. Harper could have tried to overtun Martin soon after June 2004 with the NDP and BQ, but he didn't. Martin himself could have tried to hang on in Jan 2006 as Harper had only a very small lead in the seat count, but he immediately conceded victory to Harper on election night. I know of no other Canadian example of the 1985 Ontario scenario, but I'd love to hear one if you have another example.

I disagree about the poltical and 'moral' dynamics of Iggy potentially taking power after an election where the Cons are still substantially enough ahead in the seat counts.

The fact it hasn't happened before is not at all determining. We've been on new ground for a few years now. Point to another minority government that has governed as if it has a majority for such a sustained period. And none of the counter-examples you pointed to are comparable. Cooperation between the NS NDP and Liberals was just plain impossible. And Martin in 2006 was exactly the kind of clear loser that has no credibility for hanging on. That won't be true for the Liberals after the next election, presuming they can at least gain a few seats.

Here is how it would basically shake out. The 3 opposition parties would have to agree that they are going to unseat Harper at the Throne Speech. The big obstacle with that is that the Liberals [and the NDP implicitly, and explicitly behind the scenes], would be comprting for Bloc support with the government. How that would turn out is a very open question, but irrelevant to the question of whether it is feasible for the Liberals to come to power by all three parties voting down the Throne Speech.

When [if] it becomes clear they are, or probably are, going to do this... there will indeed be lots of howling. And not only from the usual suspects. But Harpers past conduct at governing means he doesn't have the high ground to himself.

Iggy will not have an easy time governing without formal agreements. The irony is that he will be more at the mercy of demands from both the NDP and the BQ than if he had formal agreements with them. Because if the Liberals lose the confidence of the House in a year or less they are in deep trouble.

The howling about the illegitimacy of their 'coup' will be the smallest of their probelms, and will be toothless if they can manage to govern as effectively as Harper did. That isn't a very high bar. Perhaps difficult for someone in what really amounts to a coalition, but at bottom as doable as what Harper has been doing.

KenS

Here is the way I think the somewhat longer view/choices works out for the Libs and Cons.

If Harper takes the chance of letting an election go forward, a majority is not very likely. It certainly is not in the realm of what can be expected, so he has to be planning for what happens if he gets the status quo or somewhat less even. They are still the government, but will only survive the Throne Speech with support from the Bloc. The coin of that support will be much more dear than what it would take now to avoid an election by getting the BQ to not vote non-confidence. If he decides against an election he gets another shot in six months, and may even want an election by then. If his government falls again the blame will be elsewhere, and the Cons are in by far the most advatantageoud position for fighting election after election if that is what it is.

Iggy made his choice to withdraw support for the government regardless of whether he wants an election. That was a prerequisite for political survival.

But in some ways- keeping in mind that the alternatives are not pretty- Iggy now has little to lose from an election. If he can't make at least modest gains on the staus quo, then hes toast. But thats not a very high bar, and if he can't clear it now then he was toast-in-process anyway.

His 'no Coalition' statement makes the Liberals more electable. And if they can clear that not very high bar of modest seat gains [from a low point], then they can position themselves to unseat Harper. If Harper manages to pull the Bloc into blocking that, the Libs have lost nothing... and there is a large probability that Harpers ability to govern will be more unstable [if he sticks around even].

As noted above, Iggy will have no easy time governing: without the formal agreement he will be more and continuously at the mercy of the NDP and BQ- who will be able to both hold out for big demands and beat on the Liberal government.

Not easy. But an improvement where they are now, let alone where they have been.

Wilf Day

West Coast Lefty wrote:
Can you point to another example where the 2nd-place party combined with the other parties to defeat the governing party right after the election?

Unfortunately I have no copy of Eugene Forsey's "The royal power of dissolution in the British Commonwealth." I think the comprehensive answer is in that book.

There are also numerous examples in Europe in countries with parliamentary systems.

madmax

SCB4 wrote:

madmax wrote:

YES!  The train has left the station. Its a fall election. There could be delays that drag things into October.

We could see the government fall in as little as 9 days.

How? Iggy's over-hyped Liberal opposition day doesn't happen till early October. There is a supply motion on the home reno tax credit, but the BQ has already expressed their intent to support  that measure (as noted in another thread).

I just don't see how the gov't falls in 9 days unless there are MAJOR changes in the polling numbers.

 

 

The polling numbers support Liberal Gains. The question is, will the Liberals get blamed for the election, and fall like a stone. It will be too late by then.

 

 

Government could fall as early as FRIDAY

Quote:

Fri Sep 11, 7:47 PM

By Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press

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OTTAWA - A critical vote that could bring down the minority Conservative government has been tentatively scheduled for next Friday, sources tell The Canadian Press.

 

The so-called ways and means motion is usually a routine matter that signals an impending vote on a budget bill, but this time might very well act as the trigger that launches an election.

 

Conservative sources say the motion is likely to be introduced on Sept. 18, and as per parliamentary rules must be voted on immediately. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have just returned from a trip to the United States, and would be ready to visit the Governor General and kick off an election.

 

A spokesman for Government House Leader Jay Hill said meanwhile that "the final timing decision has not yet been definitely made."

 

All parties have braced themselves for an election that seems increasingly inevitab

 

Wilf Day

L. IAN MACDONALD:

Quote:
The refrain of his Sudbury speech, and the slogan of his new TV spots is: "We can do better." That's it? It's the thinnest Liberal message since "the land is strong," guaranteed not to move any numbers.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Why Stephen Harper is going to lose the next election

 

excerpt:

 

Ontario is no mood to vote for a government that has never understood the basics of the province's economy, a government that has repeatedly turned up its nose at the very idea of doing anything to help out. As soon as the writs are dropped, the sentiments of Ontarians will become clear even to those covering the campaign for the networks and the newspapers.

 

In Quebec, the prospects for the Conservatives are equally bleak. Last fall, faced with the prospect of a Liberal-NDP coalition government that would be supported on confidence votes by the Bloc, Stephen Harper mounted a hysterical attack on the very idea of a government being propped up by separatists, something he has done many times himself since taking office in 2006. Harper's vitriol called into question the very legitimacy of the MPs Quebeckers have elected, treating these representatives as second-class beings who should have no say in the governing of the country.

Harper's assault on Quebeckers re-opened the deepest wounds in Confederation. What he did has not been lost on the voters of Quebec who now see him as a political leader who has nothing but contempt for them. His party is doomed in Quebec this time.

 

In the 2008 election, the Conservatives won 51 seats in Ontario and 10 in Quebec. This time, Conservative seats will fall like bowling pins in Central Canada. Expect Conservative losses as well in British Columbia and New Brunswick.

MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

I say no election this month.

remind remind's picture

Good article by Laxer, I agree Boom boom, and calling Flaherty a bonehead was great.

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