Monday, December 1, 2008

All For One and One For All!

Well, maybe not quite. Still, Stéphane Dion, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe today announced their intent to bring down the Conservative government by entering into a formal coalition. Good for them. Harper's own pathological need to destroy his political opponents has cost him dearly, and he may yet end up paying the ultimate political price.

He still has a few tricks up his sleeve, and he won't hesitate to use them. Most likely he'll ask the GG to prorogue parliament, a shameless move designed only to avoid a non-confidence vote. Alternately, he could face the vote, lose it, then petition the GG to call a general election. Of course the GG is under no obligation to grant him either of his wishes, but King Steve will surely make her job as hard as possible.

Will the coalition last? No. But I wonder if a brief chance for co-governance would soften both the Liberals and the NDP to the idea of a more formal arrangement in the future. Hell, it worked for the Conservatives. How does 'The Liberal Democratic Party of Canada' sound? Weird, I know. But then, these are weird times.

P.S. My blog is undergoing a bit of a facelift. I'm going for a somewhat 'cleaner' look. My apologies for any glitches while I tinker.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a Liberal, but I think it is pathetic how the Conservatives are desperately trying to cling to power. I don't want an election! If the Liberals have majority support in Parliament then why should there be one. And if you guys can guarantee no election for 2 1/2 years then all the more power to you. Harper hasn't been able to come close to promising that, probably because he's the one always wanting the election, including now. Go get em!

Anonymous said...

From the preamble of the Accord:

"a belief in the role of Government to act as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers."

You have already partitioned the country! This is the first government ever to have agreed to such a thing. Woe, Canada!

This is treasonous behaviour. Shame, shame, shame. Liberals will regret the day that they undermined our country for the sake of power.

JC Kelan

Red Canuck said...

Anon @ 7:09:

And if you guys can guarantee no election for 2 1/2 years then all the more power to you.

I'm actually not a member of the LPC (certainly not this iteration of it). But my personal politics happen to align with those of the Liberals more so than with any of the other parties, so generally I support them.

The CPC would have us believe that a coalition gov't is "undemocratic", which is of course laughable. Not only does our constitution allow for it, it is the default method of governance in many other democratic countries.

Red Canuck said...


As I recall, it was Stephen Harper who tabled the motion in 2006 to recognize Quebec as a nation in order to pander to Quebec voters. So please spare us the 'treason' hyperbole.

King Steve was quite prepared to enter into the same arrangement in 2004 when he Duceppe and Layton co-signed a letter to the GG asking her to consider a coalition should Paul Martin's minority gov't fail.

I concede that these are crazy times, but the fault for this lies squarely at the feet of Harper, who played partisan politics to the point of ruin.

MD said...

Its going to be the weakest government in Canadian history, but still likely to govern better than Harper's Conservatives. Thankfully they put Dion in the Prime Minister's office. It will assuage the fears of many Liberal about the bargaining power of the Bloc. Nobody can seriously believe that Chretien's Unity Minister will sell out the national interest.

Red Canuck said...

MD - Good point. Additionally, I think Duceppe understands that the appetite for re-opening the separatism issue is low, even in Quebec. So I don't think he's going to push that part of the agenda too hard. He knows that a quick collapse of the coalition would mean another election, which none of the current opposition parties want.

JCKelan said...


Get your facts straight:

a. Harper only brought in the nation resolution after Iggy and the Liberals created a mess around the whole issue. Harper brought it in to cool the national unity mess that you guys created.

b. Harper never ever signed anything with the separatists. You guys did. Shameful.

You can talk fault and blame all you want but the fact remains, you guys jumped into bed with the separatists. Live with that. Hell, be proud of it if that is what you support.

But, at least own up to what you did.

JC Kelan

Red Canuck said...

JC - Why do Conservatives always insist on confusing opinion with fact?

The fact is that Harper introduced the nation motion. Your assertion that he did it to "cool the national unity mess" is pure partisan spin.

But, at least own up to what you did

What I did? I didn't do anything!

Look, I understand that you're upset, and you have a right to be. But perhaps you should direct your anger at a more appropriate target. Dear Leader played partisan games with his minority only days after talking about a new era of "co-operation". He rolled the dice and the CPC lost. If you want to yell at someone, yell at him.

JCKelan said...


I have no problem with what Harper did and I have no problem with coalitions ... except when they involve the separatists.

That is the one unwritten rule of minority governments in Canada ... don't get in bed with the separatists.

And the Liberals broke that rule. They formally signed an accord with those who would destroy this country. That will forever be your party's legacy. Absolutely shameful.

JCKelan said...

The most important job of a Canadian Prime Minister is national unity.

Stephane Dion has failed on this point already.

By entering into a formal accord with the Bloc, he has:

- given them legitimacy in the eyes of soft nationalist and even federalist voters.
- made it easier for the Bloc to campaign in the next election as being "not really" about separation.
- made the separatists seem a whole lot less scary for voters.

The Liberal Party are creating winning conditions for separatists.


JC Kelan

Red Canuck said...


I have no problem with what Harper did

Really? A week ago he was sitting on a strong minority government with the opposition parties at their weakest with absolutely no momentum. Then Flaherty released his economic update, and Harper tacked on a bunch of extraneous shit about party susbsidies, equal pay, and right to strike legislation. WHY?? What possible purpose could it serve, other than to push the Opposition into a corner? As someone else said, he couldn't resist a "sucker punch". And now he's getting punched back.

That is the one unwritten rule of minority governments in Canada

Nonsense. The "rule" is yours and yours alone. In 2004, Harper co-signed a letter with the separatist leader asking the GG to consider a coalition that would have, by necessity, involved the BQ. He didn't seem to have any moral reservations about it then, did he?

Be honest with yourself. Do you really believe that the BQ are going to push for separatism in the next 18 months? They are not even a formal part of the coalition or the proposed cabinet. They will merely vote in support of the coalition, on primarily economic legislation.

The most important job of a Canadian Prime Minister is national unity.

Right now, the most important job is to steer Canada through a growing economic crisis. If Harper had just done that instead of "sucker punching" his opponents, he wouldn't be in the mess he's in.

wilson said...

''A week ago he was sitting on a strong minority government with the opposition parties at their weakest with absolutely no momentum''

Your 'momentum' is not with the Canadian electorate,
your momentum started Oct 17, 2008 when Gilles Duceppe and Thomas Mulcair gave birth to a new party.

The coalition replaces 49 Federalist MPs from Western Cda
with 49 Separatist Bloc MPs

Red Canuck said...

Wilson - It wasn't that long ago that Conservatives were rolling their eyes at the fear tactics the Liberals and NDP were using against the CPC and its agenda. Now Conservatives are using these same fear tactics about the coalition and "separatism".

I've addressed the Bloc in my earlier responses on this thread.

As I said earlier, if you are upset about the prospect of the coalition defeating Harper, you have a right to be. Just make sure you blame the PM, not the coalition. After all, you can't blame the opposition for taking the bait that Harper threw right in their face.

RuralSandi said...

The BLOC are NOT part of the coalition - it's the Libs/NDP that are the coalition.

The BLOC have signed an agreement to support their agenda.

What's so hard to understand here?

Power Grap??? - Harper has been playing tactical games all along trying to grab power.

Double-standards, it seems.

Bowler said...

I'm still not sure what the public mood is on all this. But who wants another election, particularly yet another campaign over Christmas and New Year's?

Thus, I suspect Canadians will give this coalition a chance. Harper forgot that he had a minority government, took a risk and lost. This is a constitutionally permissible outcome and I believe with recent Canadian precedent - Ontario in 1985 for example.

Even Andrew Coyne on CBC last night was urging Harper to follow Frank Miller's lead and not harm the CPC in the long term by desperately clinging to power by his fingernails.

I'm not sure what to make of this new blog look, however! I'll extend it the same benefit of the doubt as the coalition.

MD said...

There are legitimate reasons to be skeptical about this coalition. I agree with some of them. But the vague notion that this is somehow "undemocratic" is not one of them. And by using such a lie in his propaganda campaign to stay in power, Harper is once again putting Party ahead of Country. It's one thing to disagree with the aims of the coalition. It's quite another to make incendiary claims about a coup, and its harmful to the country. He's the Prime Minister (for now), he should show a little dignity.

Red Canuck said...


I'll extend it the same benefit of the doubt as the coalition.

Very gracious of you, good sir! :)

Red Canuck said...


He's the Prime Minister (for now), he should show a little dignity.

BWAHAHAHA!! Harper & dignity?? This is the same guy who accused the Libs of siding with the Taliban. Maintaining urinary continence in public is about as dignified as Harper gets.

ASD said...

Harper broke the law and imposed an election on Canadian citizens hoping to get a majority. After a disgusting, uncivilised and downright dishonest campaign by the Cons, he ended up with another minority but this whole fiasco cost the tax payers over 300 million dollers. This greedy, power hungry opportunist and his pitiful excuse for a finance minister, Flaherty, are a real danger to Canada's economic future in these crtical times. After ruining Ontario's economy, Flaherty has managed to blow the 12 billion doller surplus left by the previous Liberals. He has made numerous economic policy(?) blunders resulting in the current deficit situation.
Now that the Conservative minority has lost the confidence of the mejority of the House members, Harper does not have the grace to accept the reality and honour the rules of Canada's Parliamentry democrecy. Cons only got 35% of votes. His viscious spin to mislead Canadians and shamelessly trying to hang on to power makes me think that he is the MUGABEE OF CANADA!!

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