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As House opens, spotlight is on Ignatieff

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Liberal Leader will make Conservatives wait until Wednesday to learn whether their government will survive ...Read the full article

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  1. diane marie from Canada writes: Oh, dear, the Globe is playing games. A pile of posts have been tossed into the ether.
  2. bob adamson from Victoria, Canada writes: The hard part begins Monday for Mr Ignatieff. Since becoming Liberal leader he has been able to talk tough to the Conservative Government (i.e. If the Conservatives don't act more respectfully and also come up with a viable economic program, then the proposed Liberal/NDP coalition government should proceed.) while at the same time reasure the right wing of the Liberal Party and others who don't want the Conservatives to fall at this time (i.e. If the budget is OK, the Liberals will support it.). By the end of the upcoming week, the Liberals will have to choose between these two positions. This is the nasty spot that Dion so often found himself in over the past three years. If the Liberals support the budget, especially if that budget contains measures that Ignatieff has spoken against over the past weeks, he will look weak; especially after the previous tough talk. If the Liberals oppose the budget, the right wing of his party will be very critical participants in the Coalition and the public may be hard to rally. Ignatieff can only hope that the budget tabled on Tuesday is either very good or very bad in the eyes of his Party and the general public. This, at least, would give him cover to clearly support or oppose respectively the continuation of the Conservative Government at this time. A mixed picture sort of budget, on the other hand, places Ignatieff and the Liberals in the same loss-loss position they found themselves in under Dion.
  3. Mr X from Edmonton, Canada writes: 'Mr. Harper's task is to give Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff sufficient reason to vote for the budget instead of following through on a pact with the NDP and Bloc Québécois to defeat the Tories and replace them with a coalition.'

    How can they replace the Tories with less seats unless they have the bloc in government too? Also how can you just switch governments? The only way to do that would be to call an election.
  4. ralph jacobs from Taber, Alberta, Canada writes: The Liberal-Bloc-NDP Coalition (yes they all signed a coalition agreement) has to realize one thing. They can gang up and defeat the Harper Government. However, whether there is an election or the Coalition can form a government IS THE GOVERNOR GENERALS DECISION.

    As a Western Canadian, I hope Harper can work with Ignatieff. I want nothing to do with the Coalition running the Canadian Government. Their power base and interest is in the East and that is where their attention will be focused. Alberta is paying substantial equalization payments to the East, however, that probably won't help them if this Coalition gets in.
  5. siren call from Canada writes: Mr. Ignatieff; word!

    Don't let yourself be photographed with the Parliamentary clothing closet as the backdrop, kay?
  6. siren call from Canada writes: ralph jacobs from Taber -- greetings from Lethbridge.

    What do you see Harper as having done for the 'west'? Specifically Alberta.

    The head cabinet posts in both Harper governments have gone to Ontario and Quebec.

    At least under Chretien we had an Albertan as deputy PM - Anne Mclellan.
  7. ann observer from Edmonton, Canada writes: Mr X - It does not require an election to change governments. The key aspect of the Canadian electoral system is that we do not elect governments or leaders during an election. We only elect our representatives. It is up to the Governor General to endorse a party's right to govern and he/she has the right to recognize and endorse any party with the confidence of the house. I am not personally hoping for a change in government right now, but I do acknowledge that in any minority situation it is a constitutional possibility.
  8. diane marie from Canada writes: Mr. X:-- Wrong. If the government falls because it has lost the confidence of the House, the G-G can ask the opposition to form a government. She could also comply with Mr. Harper's request for yet another election. We don't know what she said to him when he requested a prorogue to avoid being defeated - she may have attached conditions to her granting his prorogue. We don't know. The other parties would obviously have to provide support - just as they've supported Mr. Harper these past three years. Furthermore, the CPC, BQ, and NDP jointly wrote a letter to the G-G in late 2004 reminding her that they were prepared to form a government should Mr. Martin's fall. There is also a 2005 video of Mr. Harper opining that Mr. Martin could not automatically expect an election should his government fall.
  9. Misery No one from Toronto, Canada writes: Usually you can tell if someones lying by the length of their nose, but this time it's by the size of their bellies. The Tories have lied to the people since day one with no transparency.

    Michael Ignatieff has rallied the Liberals and the people he must topple the Government and get in line with the US on the way to the new world order. I predict a spring election.
  10. Mark Grieveson from Toronto, Canada writes: Mr X from Edmonton wrote: 'How can they replace the Tories with less seats unless they have the bloc in government too?'

    In writing, they can have the Bloc commit it's support on confidence votes of the coalition for a period of two years. Other than this guaranteed support, the Bloc has no role in the coalition. This, despite the coalition having fewer seats than the CPC, is how they could replace the CPC with less seats. This means a stable, productive government for two years guaranteed, and likely longer.

    For more details, see the Cooperative Accord at http://tinyurl.com/6bkeme and the Policy Accord at http://tinyurl.com/98mkqr
  11. Jack O'Wight from Canada writes:

    Regardless of who the leader of the government is the fact remains that there is no one person or political party who can resolve the current global financial crisis. If there was a solution it would already be in use and other governments would be using that solution as a template to solve their own financial problems!

    Neither Harper nor Ignatieff has a solid, workable, reliable, and positive solution - they're all full of malarkey!

    Now that Layton has broadcast that regardless of what is in the government budget he will vote AGAINST IT.

    That announcement signals the end of the much touted coalition - finished after 4 months!

    It’s time for an ELECTION to determine who will lead Canada - there are real doubts as to whether it will be the LPC - they have garnered too much ill-will. ADSCAM, etc.
  12. John Brown from Maritimes, Canada writes: This will sound stupid but I need to ask it anyway. Never having studied politics or the British way, is it not possible for the GG to ask the current PM to step aside and delegate somebody else to pull the Conservatives together, allowing the party to carry on. It would seem to me the problem is not the Conservatives, rather the radical Reformers and Alliance members of the current CONservative party; in short the problem is Steve himself. Ralph Jacobs, sorry to say but to all appearances Steve seems to be all about the west, specifically Alberta. His decision to appoint key positions from Ontario and Quebec were personally motivated to try and gather support from central Canada to win his precious majority.
  13. Oppsedaisy dotcom from Canada writes: Layton is, in all likelihood, the leader who will pay the most for the coalition. Ignatieff won't crash this government, the economy will, despite the 64B shot in the arm.
  14. Joe Canadian from Japan, Canada writes: I really don't think the Liberals have garnered much ill will at all. It seems more of a case of the Liberals being in power for a long time, and were getting arrogant. The public made them take a break for a few years and get their sh*t together. Now they have Ignatieff at the helm, who is by far the most capable leader in Canada at the moment. In all likelihood he will be PM sooner than later. The public is comfortable with him because he is attractive to both business and labour.

    Regarding equalization payments, that is what holds Canada together. In the 1930's, it was the East who supported the West by shipping cattle feed by train in order to keep Albertans from starving. Now, it is Alberta's turn to ship oil wealth East to keep Ontario families from starving. It is likely that in another 70 years the East will be helping the West again (since history always seems to repeat itself).
  15. Eric Martin from Canada writes: I would bet the Liberals will vote for the budget, as long as it does not contain some idiotic provocative statements. It is just a question of not loosing face.

    Both parties know that Canadians will be quite mad to suspend the house again while we are in the mist of a catastrophic financial meltdown. They have already played enough irresponsible games.

    May be Ignatieff will propose a popular amendment, just to show Harper who is in control. A bit of a chicken game. Harper would accept it, as long as it is not offensive.

    The political game, started by Harper's provocative Economic statement, will have have ended to the advantage of the Liberals. It gave them the opportunity to change leader quickly without spending a fortune.

    As time passes, the Liberals will let he conservatives take the blame for the economic mess, while they are fixing their lack of fund raising. Time is to the advantage of the Liberals as long as the Conservatives are running scared. The conservative will back pedal on many issues to please Obama.

    The next vote of confidence might be a law and order bill. I doubt the Liberals would bring the government down on law and order. Ignatieff is too much to the right for that. As long as the law does not do something stupid like criminalizing abortion, it will probably pass too.

    So the Conservatives might survive for another 12 or 18 months. As unemployment and discontent grow, the polls will shift and the conservatives will be tossed out.
  16. Wayne Crockett from Toronto, Canada writes: Harper is Prime Minister because he controls the most members of the house; end of story, if a coalition can command a larger number or a majority it has a legitimate claim to hold power. That is the system people. If you want a Presidential/Congressional system (not I) then push for it. We aren't introducing it by stealth just because the population doesn't know how government is structured in this country.
    John Brown - your question isn't stupid it just wouldn't be practical for the GG to take a step like that as it would be considered interference with the political system. If the Conservatives decided to dump Harper (oh happy day) then she could ask their new leader to form a government. This is what happened to Margaret Thatcher in Britain around 1991.
  17. Michael Powers from Canada writes: Ignatieff will never join with Layton to form a government, it would be the kiss of death for the Liberal Party. They have a Great history and are a stand alone group.
    They may join with the other two Parties and defeat the Government but would go-it-alone if an election were called.

    Jack Layton's leadership is clearly on the line and there is open talk in the Quebec French Media about replacing him.
  18. Neil Alexander from Oakville, Canada writes: Ignatieff is between a rock and a hard place, does he support the budget or continue his work of trying to bring terrorists back to Canada, no matter which way the Terrorist supporting Ignatieff goes we Canadians are the one's that pay the price for these children trying to find power.
  19. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: Saw Ignatieff on CBC yesterday. He kept saying, 'We Canadians,' and 'My Country.' Meanwhile, the truth is otherwise. Sad, really.
  20. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: Mark Grieveson from Toronto, Canada writes: 'This means a stable, productive government for two years guaranteed, and likely longer.'
    --------------------------
    As if ... So a coalition gov't made up of 3 separate parties will be more stable than a gov't formed from one party? Dream on!
  21. Robert M from Canada writes: Will the Harper government have put sensible revenue projections together? Even if there are no tax cuts, revenues will fall. Personal income tax revenues will fall slightly during a recession. Corporate income tax revenues will fall as corporate profits fall, and as corporate income tax rates decline to 15% in the next couple of years. GST and excise tax revenues will fall in a recession. If this budget contains any revenues from 'asset sales', what assets are they, and will the Harper government receive the 'fair value' of those assets. The $4 billion windfall from the 2008 wireless spectrum auction will not be repeated. Once we see what spending ideas the Harper government comes up with we need to question if they are sensible, or if they are an expensive attempt to cover up Mr. Harper's mismanagement of the November 27th Economic Update. Would the funds be better spent by the provinces which acutally deliver porgrams which Canadians care about, health care and education? Consider the timeframe and circumstances in which the Harper government put together the budget. Mid-December to mid-January with a holiday break in the middle. Mr. Harper is weak and desperate due to his own mistakes. It is hard to put together something sensible in such circumstances.
  22. Brian B from Canada writes: It is reported elsewhere that the Libs will not support the budget if it contains tax cuts.
    Of course not, when have the liberals favoured tax cuts as opposed to increase taxes and spending?
  23. Don Adams, the Centrist Conservative from Canada writes: Go ahead Iggster, vote it down......with ALL your members in the House! PLEASE... let's go to an election! The $300M it'll cost is a drop in the bucket.....plus, it's a good bit of stimulous for the Country. So, PLEASE Iggy, vote it down..... so we can elect a Conservative majority!
  24. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper is vicious when angry. So, best stay away from him for 24 hours while Ignatieff consults his caucus.

    Hide the children from Harper's rancour.
  25. Large Double Single from Halifax, Canada writes: The CPC is bringing in a Liberal budget just to stay in power. The Liberal will not bring the government down because they are not ready for an election and the coalition is not very palatable to most Canadians. The NDP and Bloc will vote against the government no mater what the government does.

    WHO IS LOOKING AFTER CANADA'S INTEREST?

    To me the CPC should bring in a budget they think is good for Canada. A conservative budget. If it doesn't fly, let the coalition take over and let see if they do better. Eventually we will have an election and Canadians will decide who should lead this country.
  26. Brian B from Canada writes: The only way a gov can be formed with the support of the Bloc is to give big bucks to Quebec. The first confidence vote is contingent on Quebec getting $1 billion. Is this the bloc's cost for each successive vote?
  27. Large Double Single from Halifax, Canada writes: Brian B from Canada writes: The only way a gov can be formed with the support of the Bloc is to give big bucks to Quebec. The first confidence vote is contingent on Quebec getting $1 billion. Is this the bloc's cost for each successive vote?-----------------------------------

    Now you're just making this up. Prove it or STFU.
  28. Don Adams, the Centrist Conservative from Canada writes: Scared Yet Courageous from Saint John, Canada writes: Hey Con hacks, all of you!!! Please do us all a favour and STFU...

    Hehehehe. 'Scared' is getting scared...... :-) ...... he knows his Party is done....... just can't bring himself to accept the fact.

    Poor baby! :-)
  29. Dan Zenderman from TO, Canada writes: I can see Ignatieff bringing down the budget , and then wrapping around Barak Obamas' policies like a dog wrapped a leg , with the hopes that all us starry eyed Canadians might actually get a chance to vote on American Idol . I hope Canadians won't be fooled by this Yankeedoodledandee Trojan Horse.
  30. J Law from Canada writes: A lot of people make the asumption the G-G would just hand the government of Canada over to a Seperatists controlled government. My bet is she would call another election. Guess which leader of the party least prepared to go to the people is most aware of this?
  31. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    Dion in the end tried to sell the team approach to Canadians. Of course in the end it was Dion's stubborn refusal to work with his 'team' that was his demise.

    Ignatieff has come right out of the gate selling the whole team thing again. He is an historian, author and playwright with only 3 years of experience as a politician. For Mike it is a matter of survival. He does not have the credentials or experience to be a political party leader. How could he pass judgment on the budget? It must be a committee decision.
  32. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper should just chill out. Mr. Ignatieff requires time to analyze the budget and assess whether it meets the requirements of what the challenging economic crisis calls for.
  33. Mooney Pilot from Smartville, Canada writes: Let's hope Harper doen't wire tap Iggy's meeting!
  34. North Star from Canada writes: Harper has lost control of the parliamentary agenda ever since he hid behind the skirts of the GG and cannot be trusted.
  35. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    Ignatieff knows that if he ends up heading the government he must face the electorate within 6 months of taking office. Such is the established precedent for an unelected PM.

    Coalition or not, if he does not support the budget he will be going to the polls no later than July.

    The liberals can't afford an election.
  36. The Real PS from Canada writes: It will take until Wednesday though before Mr. Harper officially learns whether his minority government survives.
    .
    Now lets think about this for a minute, do we really think Iggy is going to take the Govt down when:
    .
    A) the LPC is broke
    B) the coalition of idiots would be the death knoll of the LPC
    C) Harper is running ahead of him in the polls
    D) The CPC is running ahead of the LPC in the polls
    E) Iggy hasn't had the time to prove that he, personally is a viable option
    .
    yet there's the grope and fail's best pundits suggesting that its a squeaker.....
  37. North Star from Canada writes: Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    Dion in the end tried to sell the team approach to Canadians.

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

    In contrast, there is no team in the Harper government - just an ideological micromanager.
  38. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper's great big 'do-over.'
    He has lost so much credence and respect.
  39. Roger Cooper from Canada writes: Good move. The budget will require careful scrutiny. There should be no question of trust in dealing with Harper's government.
  40. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Real PS, that the Libs are broke or are behind the Cons in the polls are totally irrelevant. In a Parliamentary democracy, it is the confidence of the House that matters.

    Mr. Harper has had three shots at a majority and failed. Canadians don't trust this man. He has permanentluy lost the4 trust of both the NDP and the Bloc and, whether he falls on this burdget, an amendment thereto or some subsequent mean or stupid act, he will fall.

    No GG in her right miond will allow a 4th election in five years so, voila, it's the coalition's turn.
  41. Paul Byer from Canada writes: This will not be a good photo op for Iggy. Either supporting the budget or telling the Iggettes to take a sick day. I hope he has the guts to stand up for what he believes in however and gives it the support it deserves for Canada's sake and not his personal 'entitlement'. This will be his judgement day. Jumping off the cliff and taking down the government and the Conservatives gaining a majority or jumping off the building and supporting Harper for the 44th time in two years. The third option is not an option unless Harper wants a coalition to go down in a blaze of glory, kamakazi style. His choice but I doubt he will allow their hands into Canada's till as he knows the disaster that it would cause and the recovery time would be massive. The building isn't as high as the cliff so Iggy will choose that one undoubtedly. Besides he feels the parachute ( from when he was parachuted into Canada by who knows whom for who knows what in some secret backroom deal) that he has will save him. Little does he realize that our Steve has substituted it with a cleverly disguised knapsack. Canada will once again have a record minority Conservative government supported by the second highest % of voters. This makes it a majority support of confidence. The other two parties, the Separatist and the other one will play no part other than being given what they deserve. Jack will be gone shortly. If I am missing someone, it is probably because she is irrevelant due to her rush to the failed coup for a senatorship ahead of her spouted convictions of Canada's environment. A steady hand on Canada's tiller and no Liberal (or Separatist or the other party) hand's in the till. A good thing.
  42. The Real PS from Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper's great big 'do-over.'
    He has lost so much credence and respect.
    .
    I assume you mean 'in your opinion he has etc....'
    .
    Lots of people I speak to think he has grown over the last month or so as he skillfully outmaneuvered an immoral power grab by the coalition of the idiots.
  43. Jim Z from Canada writes: If the budget meets the needs of Canadians and addresses the current financial crisis it will be suicide for the opposition parties to bring it down. If the government is defeated one of two things will happen the GG will either call for an election. Or otherwise allow the opposition to form a coalition government. Either way if bringing the government down is unnecessary then I believe PM Harper will get his majority government in the near future. That said I am not necessarily a fan of the Conservatives. The government and the opposition had an opportunity to put politics aside and for once come together and put an intelligent recovery plan in place. The majority of Canadians are sick and fed up with the shenanigans that go on in the federal parliament as a matter of fact they also go on in the provincial arena. The time has come for a change in the way these parliamentary systems work a time for common sense to prevail. Change the system where legislation is hammered out at the committe level and allow free votes in the House of Commons. Whereby MP'S and MPP's can vote the will of the people they represent.
  44. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Byer, you, too miss the point. You assume that there will be an election, at which point the Conservative's superior finances will win the day.

    The coalition alternative will offer a minimum of 1.5 years stability and perhaps as much as three years. This would be way more than Mr. Harper can offer.

    No 'separatist' coalition, either. Simply the Bloc's agreement to vote with the Libs/NDP on money bills. I've heard the Tories (and their media cronies) call this 'sedition and treason' but, on close examination, it's exactly the opposite.
  45. The Real PS from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Real PS, that the Libs are broke or are behind the Cons in the polls are totally irrelevant. In a Parliamentary democracy, it is the confidence of the House that matters.
    .
    Richard, you're kidding me right, you think the libbies (or any party for that matter) put principle ahead of their chances of winning an election!!!
    .
    Harper has grown his seat count each and every time AND from a party that was completely fragmented.
    .
    I question if any party will get a majority for a very long time in Canada. The only reason Chretien won back to back majorities is because the cons were split between the two parties. The BQ will always enjoy some support in PQ, there will always be a group of people who support their party (whatever it is) (the west - cons... big city - libs..) no matter what.

    So the people who are left, the ones that can sway an election are few and far between, so to pull a majority at this moment in time requires a massive dissatisfaction with the other party and frankly despite what you read on these boards I just don't see that in the Country at the moment.
  46. Stan L from Canada writes: Over what I heard on the weekend, I hope Mr. Ignatieff votes down this budget (assuming that the budget is going in the vote-buying cash grab direction it's going now). It's clear that Harper doesn't have a clue and as per ususal, is using our own money to buy our votes in a strategically bankrupt spending bacchanalia.

    Will the Liberals welcome an election? In their state of cash flow, likely not but the truth is that they are only going to get donations from new voters if they do something to inspire confidence and instill the notion that they are the party of 'priciple and solutions' rather than politics.....scary gambit, but I think Canadians are starting to pay attention now and one-trick Harper is being revealed as the fraud he is.
  47. Mad Canuck from Calgary, Canada writes: Harper 'thinks it's all some kind of political game, but the release of this budget information was irresponsible and costly to our economy,' said Ignatieff. Just how was the release of this info prior to the budget costly to our economy?? Everyone knew there would be gobs of spending. More hogwash from Mr. Arrogant.
  48. greg stockton from toronto, Canada writes: Come hell or high water(sorry Paul wrong context) there is not a chance that Iggy will vote against the budget. why?

    He hasn't even been elected by his party to be the leader
    He is not going to vote against middle class tax cuts
    Difficult to explain Gilles as Min of Foreign Affairs and Jack in Finance.

    No, he will wait until the economy has really tanked(if that happens) and after the Liberal get some money from the millions of supporters in the middle class(if that happens).

    Note to Harper: I like my PM mean and tough. Do not change.

  49. Gossipy Busybody from Canada writes: The Real PS from Canada writes: It will take until Wednesday though before Mr. Harper officially learns whether his minority government survives.
    .
    Now lets think about this for a minute, do we really think Iggy is going to take the Govt down when:
    .
    A) the LPC is broke
    B) the coalition of idiots would be the death knoll of the LPC
    C) Harper is running ahead of him in the polls
    D) The CPC is running ahead of the LPC in the polls
    E) Iggy hasn't had the time to prove that he, personally is a viable option
    .
    yet there's the grope and fail's best pundits suggesting that its a squeaker.....
    -------------------

    What you fail to consider is that before the 2006 election, the Liberal party and Paul Martin were way ahead of the CPC.

    Things happen during elections...
  50. NL Patriot from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada writes: I hope this budget is defeated. I do not want to spend all this money on programs and projects that will not have a positive long term impact on the economy.

    Giving billions of dollars to people who are unemployed either through choice or no choice of their own will prove to be nothing more than a big welfare scheme. Most of those people will still be unemployed after the money is gone and what will we have accomplished as a country?

    Increased our debt and deficit that will have to be paid by the middle class who are likely to get a big fat 0 from this budget as Usual!
  51. J Law from Canada writes: Stan L from Canada

    Stan, you really have to find a better group of guys to coffee with on the weekends! Those burger joint coffee groups just don't get out enough.
  52. Pete H from Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper's great big 'do-over.'
    He has lost so much credence and respect.

    How could he possibly lose something you have never given him.
  53. Dr. Glenn Marshall from Canada writes: In the planned budget leaks by the Tories, I don't see much that the Liberals will like. I think either the Coalition or an election is looming.
  54. The Real PS from Canada writes: Gossipy Busybody from Canada writes: What you fail to consider is that before the 2006 election, the Liberal party and Paul Martin were way ahead of the CPC.

    Things happen during elections...
    .
    Sure they do BUT whereas Martin may have been ahead (frankly I can't remember but if you say so) the CPC wasn't already tainted with the coalition, the CPC wasn't broke and the CPC didn't have a new unelected leader. That's some difference there.
  55. al goguen from Victoria, Canada writes: Haper has had his chance. He has shown that he is not the right stuff for the position. Show him the door and let`s have a real leader.
    Let.s wait and see his budget first. But I doubt that it will be better than the last ones..the conservatives don't get it!
  56. Paul Byer from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Byer, you, too miss the point. You assume that there will be an election, at which point the Conservative's superior finances will win the day. The coalition alternative will offer a minimum of 1.5 years stability and perhaps as much as three years. This would be way more than Mr. Harper can offer. No 'separatist' coalition, either. Simply the Bloc's agreement to vote with the Libs/NDP on money bills. I've heard the Tories (and their media cronies) call this 'sedition and treason' but, on close examination, it's exactly the opposite. ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' No Richard, you miss the whole scenario. Can you imagine the Separatist Bloc keeping the coaliton in power? At what price? In case you have missed their principles and theory, they stand for the breakup of Canada and not for the interests of the nation. And Layton grabbing money from the till at every turn with his demands in return for support? Not a chance. Harper will not allow it and it is his choice if Iggy doesn't support him for the 44th time The unelected GG, as always, both here in Canada and in Britain where the Queen, also unelected, will not interfere with the advice of the elected PM as long as it is legal advice. The only incident the GG didn't do as the elected PM was in 1926 and Britain later decreed they wouldn't interfere ever again. And that advice by King was unprecedented. No precedent to dissolve Parliament while the issues were being debated. Not legal. And that coalition that resulted in the King affair lasted all of one week. The best alternative for Canada is the support Iggy will give the Conservatives to sustain the elected government. A win win for Canadians.
  57. John Connor from Canada writes: Mr X from Edmonton, Canada writes: How can they replace the Tories with less seats unless they have the bloc in government too? Also how can you just switch governments? The only way to do that would be to call an election.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    It's referred to as a bloodless coup, staged by gutless wonders who don't want to or can't face the Canadian electorate. Clear now?
  58. Pete H from Canada writes: The coalition has been dead since Iggy's anointment. The only question remaining is how the liberals will let the budget pass. I suspect in this case they will not abstain despite their proclivity to do so. Iggy will vote in favour of the budget and claim it a liberal coup. This is the danger of a minority government during tough economic times, far too much spending is the outcome.
  59. Brian B from Canada writes: Large Double Single from Halifax
    It is my understanding that $1 billion for Quebec was the price the bloc demanded for voting with the libs and ndp back in December.
    Am I wrong?
  60. Brian C from Canada writes:
    'Since the 2006 budget, Liberal leaders have emerged within hours to say whether they would vote against it.

    But Mr. Ignatieff will delay his verdict until after he's slept on it. He will announce his decision on Wednesday, staff said.'

    Hmmmmm....

    The words 'Not a leader' come to mind.......
  61. William J. (Willy) Godfrey from Whitby, Canada writes: HARPER HAS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!
  62. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Byer, Eugene Forsey was perhaps the greatest constitutional expert in Canadian history, spanning pack to the beginning. He is exactly opposite to your way of thinking:

    http://www.policyalternatives.ca/monitorissues/2008/12/monitorissue2042/?pa=DDC3F905

    Mr. Conner, you can call the coalition a 'gutless coup.' Your right. But allow for those of us who would prefer a progressive alternative to Mr. Harper's failed neo-con agenda and his mean and vindictive ways.

  63. Greg Out West from Canada writes: Brian B from Canada writes: Large Double Single from Halifax
    It is my understanding that $1 billion for Quebec was the price the bloc demanded for voting with the libs and ndp back in December.
    Am I wrong?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm suprised Canada's welfare province only asked for one billion. Better to ask for 6 and receive 4.
  64. Scrappy T from Canada writes: Ignatieff is going to vote for the budget, this is just play acting. Jack Layton says he will vote against it 'no matter what is in it'.
    These two leaders are not worth reporting on. We all know what they stand for and what games they are going to play.
    Let's see Iggy align himself with Layton and Duceppe, that will never happen. Iggy wants the job for himself.
  65. John Connor from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Conner, you can call the coalition a 'gutless coup.' Your right. But allow for those of us who would prefer a progressive alternative to Mr. Harper's failed neo-con agenda and his mean and vindictive ways.
    -----------------------------------
    First of all Richard, it's Connor if you please.

    In response to the latter statement you made, that would be referred to as an election sir.
  66. Cyrus Of Persia from Canada writes: The Libs will meet after the budget to determine whether voting for or against it best suits their drive for power. That decision will have nothing to do with principle, just as Guy Giorno in the PMO has nothing to do with principle.
  67. none of your business from bethuneville, Canada writes: Just when Dion grew a spine and was willing to topple the Tories, the Liberals immediately switched their leader to Ignorance (aka Iggy) so that the Liberal's mission of PROPPING UP THE TORIES won't be derailed. But Ignorance's delay of showing his paws is billed by media as 'making tories wait' instead of 'Mr. Dither' or 'weak leadership'.
  68. JP Warwick from Canada writes: leftards are incomprehensible. So, we have the opposition parties screaming bloody murder because Harper provided an update where he wasn't promising to spend uber-billions. Now he's promising to give the left what they so loudly and adamantly demanded. So now the leftards on the board are screeching and squawking that Harper IS going to spend the money. Harper has governed by giving the left almost all of what it could reasonably of expected of the Chretien/Martin liberals but because it was Harper providing it instead of your lot, he's an evil neo-con bushiter... etc. Do you not realize how hysterical, frothing and insane you sound when you are so illogical? It should be conservatives who are unhappy. As for your mealy-mouthed justifications and lies about the coalition, the bloc's signature is on it. They have a veto. The 'coalition' is trying to pretend the Bloc aren't in it by having backroom meetings with them while pretended they aren't part of it. Do the math. Do you expect us to believe that the separatists are supporting the Libs and NDP out of the goodness of their hearts? Come off it. As for it's legitimacy, come off it. Constitutionally legal and democratically legitimate are separate issues. There are a whole host of scenarios which are legal but not all are legitimate. The coalition would be unthinkable if it was the old PC's, Reform and some regional religious party trying to steal power from the liberals. It isn't more legitimate coming from the left. But that's just it. To the leftards, morals, ethics and honour mean nothing. In fact, nothing on earth hates like the leftard. The frothing, drooling hate directed at Harper for acting like Martin is astounding. You lot are insane.
  69. Allen GG from BobcaygeonMazatlan, Canada writes: To all of you 'coalition' supporters:
    The coalition can not legally form a government unless the Bloc is part of it, and has cabinet positions. Support by vote is not enough. No coalition has ever been in power without theses obvious conditions.
    Mr. Duceppes' 'word' in writing means nothing. He can and will use the opportunity to further his aims.
    And those are ?
    Go to the Bloc's website, you decide.
    Ignatief will support the government until the party hierarchy says the time is right.
  70. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: pins and needles
    pins and needles.
    ouch ,
    watch out Harper
    ya might pricked by your own......
  71. Joe Dick from Kingston, Canada writes: North Star from Canada writes: Harper has lost control of the parliamentary agenda ever since he hid behind the skirts of the GG and cannot be trusted.

    =============================================

    What is with liberals making constant derogatory and demeaning comments towards women?

    Yes Iggy, please vote down the budget so we can have an election during this economic crisis. Please. I love watching political suicide.
  72. Stan L from Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: leftards are incomprehensible. So, we have the opposition parties screaming bloody murder because Harper provided an update where he wasn't promising to spend uber-billions. Now he's promising to give the left what they so loudly and adamantly demanded. So now the leftards on the board are screeching and squawking that Harper IS going to spend the money........ JP Warwick, THAT is not why the Opposition didn't like the update. They rejected the update becuase: 1) Rather than deal with the economy, Harper took the time to insert three poltically driven poison pills into the update whcih were more about poltics rather than the economy which showed that poltiics trumped good economic sense for him. 2) The economic update used data that was patently false and misrepresented the scope of the economic problem as evidenced by the parlimentary budget officer....this showed that Harper was willing to lie to Canadians to spin the story to his advantage. 3) The meager ideas they did have in the update were facile and trite and did nothing inreality ie: the paper chase of selling off of government assests Further to that, the oppsosition did NOT tell him to go our and simply spend like a drunken sailor, they called for fiscally responsible, non-politically driven stimulus spending....not handouts.
  73. Lou Durnbeck from Windsor, Canada writes: Canada is no stranger to coalitions. The present 'Conservative' Party is a coalition of Reform/Alliance and Progressive Conservatives that came together to consolidate their numbers to increase their chances of getting into government.
    I don't see a huge difference in what they did compared to what the Liberals and NDP are talking about, other than they won't need name changes or a Peter MacKay to sell one side out.
  74. Dragline 62 from GTA, Canada writes: Go Ahead Iggy. Vote it down if you like. Let's have an election with a Liberal party that's broke. You can use the same cameraman who Dion used awhile back for making your election commercials.
    I don't think any cameraman in the country can ever get Iggy's eyebrows into focus.
  75. North Star from Canada writes: joe Dick: It was a derogatory and demeaning comment about Harper - I am no liberal supporter and hold all politicians in distain. Wasn't aware that it was demeaning for women to wear skirts now.

    Please misrepresent someone else when you high jack posts for your government soapbox. Cheers!
  76. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Stan L

    Oh, yes! I forgot about the opposition's entitlements! Since they keep trying to pretend the public interest had anything to do with it (and not just their own interests) I had forgotten the reason the parties went nuts was it's free money.

    Fine. But what does that make their supporters? Screech about the public but it's really about your party's free money because the leftard supporters want the taxpayer to fund them instead of reaching into your own pockets. Funny about the left. They want their entitlements but want someone else to pay for it.
  77. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: JP Warwick, I agree that conservatives should be unhappy with what Harper has provided but that doesn't mean that those who are not conservatives should be happy. First, on the budget, a middle class tax cut uses billions to provide one of the worst choices for economic stimulus. The time for middle class tax cuts is after the worst is over and jobs begin to recover. Then, there is much of what the government has managed to pass and to spend over the previous three years. This government may have done a good job at throwing money at the 'average Joe' in order to try to leverage another few percentage points of support out of the electorate. That doesn't mean that anything that he announced (e.g., tax rebates for sports equipment and bus passes) constitutes policy that non-conservatives can support. Harper has spent at an unnecessary and irresponsible level on the military (some spending was needed and indeed committed by the Martin government but not to the extent that military hardware is the only thing that the government has the fiscal room to invest in).

    From this, all that we can say is that Harper has governed to the satisfaction of nobody and should be removed accordingly. Your position is that a conservative government is better than any alternative. That's not that much different from my position that any government is better than a conservative government but it's quite different from saying that Harper (or anyone else in a different time period) has governed well.
  78. North Star from Canada writes: Harper, as leader of the opposition:

    Stephen Harper: First of all, I can't forget my first responsibility - which is to be the Leader of the Opposition and that's to provide an alternative government.

    Harper: The government can only be brought down because it alienates several parties in the House.

    Harper: What the government has to do, if it wants to govern for any length of time, is it must appeal primarily to the third parties in the House of Commons to get them to support it.

    Harper: I know for a fact that Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton and the people who work for them want this Parliament to work and I know if is in all of our interests to work. The government has got to face the fact it has a minority, it has to work with other people.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/harper.html
  79. Steve Tiberius from Canada writes: Brian B from Canada writes: It is reported elsewhere that the Libs will not support the budget if it contains tax cuts.
    Of course not, when have the liberals favoured tax cuts as opposed to increase taxes and spending?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Actually, on his way in, Harper canceled a personal income tax cut of Paul Martin's design to pay for the GST reduction. (It was the Liberals that fought the GST in the first place.) The Liberals cut taxes, they just don't do it while the defecit balloons.
  80. Liberal logic is an oxymoron from Canada writes: Ignatieff is going to make the Conservatives wait until Wednesday before they'll learn of the Liberal party's decision. I guess this is Iggy's convenient way of not showing up for the parliamentary vote leaving egg on the faces of Layton and Duceppe as they sputter with their paltry votes to bring down the Tories. The Liberals won't vote FOR OR AGAINST the budget because they simply won't be there for a vote. That way Iggy can't be accused of what Dion was famous for; sitting down on the job.
  81. snaglepussed in ottawa from Canada writes: Iggy is the interim leader but this fact is ignored by the media. The party has not confirmed him as leader yet. If Iggy goes to the GG to form a coalition before he is confirmed as permanent leader in late April, she'll tell him to go fly a kite.

    It would be a joy to see the opposition bring down the government over middle class tax cuts. Imagine campaigning against tax cuts. The Liberals would be toast.
  82. Stan L from Canada writes: North Star from Canada writes: joe Dick: It was a derogatory and demeaning comment about Harper - I am no liberal supporter and hold all politicians in distain. Wasn't aware that it was demeaning for women to wear skirts now.

    Actually it's a pretty funny comment coming from a Conservative supporter given that it's the Conservatives who only a few short months ago were willing to remove women's rights to appeal pay equity issues.....talk about the party that's demeaning women.....sheesh.
  83. Fran Irwin from Medicine Hat, Canada writes: Eric Martin from Canada - great post, my $ is with your projections, although I have a sick feeling that Harper may still blow it (by introducing a middle-class permanent tax cut for example?) If the Liberals could frame such a budget mistake into the reality of systemic defecits, even Harper won't be able to win an election on tax cuts (McCain/Bush Republicans even faltered on that one-note scam). To me, I'm giving this Harper government a 50/50 survival rating over the next four months, after that they may last for 18 months or so??
  84. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Bobby Dy

    'First, on the budget, a middle class tax cut uses billions to provide one of the worst choices for economic stimulus.'

    That must be why Obama is promising to do lots of it then? Or, purhaps he's figured out that families are just as important as government statistics and that making it easier for families to pay their bills is a good thing all by itself.
  85. Stan L from Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: Bobby Dy
    'First, on the budget, a middle class tax cut uses billions to provide one of the worst choices for economic stimulus.'
    That must be why Obama is promising to do lots of it then? Or, purhaps he's figured out that families are just as important as government statistics and that making it easier for families to pay their bills is a good thing all by itself.

    THAT's not what he is proposing, in fact it was been widely reported that the Bush broad based tax cuts were a mistake.....and what does it have to do with the right thing to do for Canada anyway?
  86. diane marie from Canada writes: John Connor:-- In late September, 2004, the NDP, BQ, and CPC sent a letter to the G-G advising her that they were prepared to form a government - this would be called a coalition - should Mr. Martin's government fall. Then, in early 2005, this is what Mr. Harper said:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG-4htheexU
  87. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: The spot light should be on Ignatieff. To know whether he is still in favour of the NDP/Lib/Bloc coalition is of vital interest to many. Not just in BC, either.

    Jack will vote against the budget. Most likely the Bloc, too. The Liberals, who knows? Ignatieff is either for the coalition or against it, depending on what day it is.

    The coalition is toxic. At least next time there's an election we'll know. That is that it's no longer a secret agenda. It IS the agenda of the three oppostion parties. And the Greens, if Elizabeth can exchange her support again for a promise of a Senate or Cabinet seat.

    Who knows what the Bloc's support will cost?
  88. Peter The Not Quite Great from Canada writes: A politician that plans to think BEFORE he opens his mouth. Shocking.
  89. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: snagglepussed in Ottawa, you fail logic class. Mr. Ignatieff is the constitutionally-appointed Leader of the Libs. He is unopposed as Leader, thanks to the honourable actions of Messrs. Rae and Leblanc in stepping down in his favour in the wake of Mr. Harper's unprecedented lies and deception in calling the election, in hiding the economic mess from us during the election, in his foolhardy 'economic statement' (a budget surplus) and, now, 7 weeks later, in his scrambling budget ($64 billion deficit).

    So, don't give us that 'anti-democratic' stuff. That label is more aptly applied inside your own glass house.
  90. born a cynic from Calgary, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: Mr. X:-- Wrong. If the government falls because it has lost the confidence of the House, the G-G can ask the opposition to form a government. She could also comply with Mr. Harper's request for yet another election. We don't know what she said to him when he requested a prorogue to avoid being defeated - she may have attached conditions to her granting his prorogue. We don't know. The other parties would obviously have to provide support - just as they've supported Mr. Harper these past three years. Furthermore, the CPC, BQ, and NDP jointly wrote a letter to the G-G in late 2004 reminding her that they were prepared to form a government should Mr. Martin's fall. There is also a 2005 video of Mr. Harper opining that Mr. Martin could not automatically expect an election should his government fall.

    Diane you are much to easy on Mr X. In this day and age anybody who doesn't know how parliament functions should not be able to vote. Because of these dumbdumbs we have the cons in power.
  91. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: So, let's see if we have this straight - Just shortly after a 30 year absence from Canada, His Royal Excellency Count Iggy, who just one month ago was appointed - not elected, to be leader of the Liberal Party, claims he is going to decide the future of Canada? Do we the lowly peons of the proletariat have this right?
  92. Wilf Kruggel from Canada writes: Yes, Yes, yes, Iggy, in his words, I'm looking for the fast track out of this recession! Dream on, Iggy, dream on, but in reality, after Canada survived 13 years of liberals, all the while, gutting the military, sending the ill equiped military to Afghanastan, Gutting Healthcare and shove what wasn't gutted, on to the provinces which, in the end left Harper trying to unravel this liberal mess, Now, this clown wants the fast track out of this recession. If the above wasn't sad enough, This clown wants to run the country. I can't imagine a worse case sinario. At first, why isn't Harper spending money, then Harper announces 64 billion dollars over two years to stimulate the economy and help the disadvantaged. Wow, says Iggy, why so much money, we are in a deficeit, wow, we can't have that. Folks, how would one stimulate an economy without drastically spending money to kickstart this economy when every economy in the world is at a standstill. Really folks, Iggy is so power hungry that he is in a fog. He does not have a clue. His speech at the Toronto business centre was a waste and pretty well told everybody there, he's clueless. He's only been in politics for afew months and still is in a fog, Wilf
  93. That Guy from Brampton, Canada writes: Does anyone actually take the NDP or the bloc seriously? The NDP doesn't care what is in the budget, they won't support it. I have no confidence in the NDP (although I always thought that they were goofs) since they are just trying to cause trouble. They don't care if the budget is the best thing in the world for Canadians, they just want to try to prove that they actually have a place in politics. And since this is the only way anyone will listen to them, they have already decided. The bloc......how a party that is only in Quebec and is all about ruining the country got a place in Federal politics is beyond me. They are a bigger joke than the NDP. Hey Duceppe, separation has nothing to do with federal politics, its provincial. Ignatieff - never in an election in Canada - either for the federal election OR to be leader of the party. As soon as he was appointed by a group representing 20% of Canadians what did he do? He went to his cottage to finish writing a book. He spent the last 35 years living outside Canada, but thinks he should be appointed as the ruler of Canada.

    Although Harper may not be the choice of all Canadians, he won the election (which he actually ran in), has changed his stance on unpopular ideas (Something Dion could learn from), lives in Canada, and didn't go finish writing a book instead of working when parliament was prorogued.

    If the Conservatives don't win a confidence vote tomorrow, I hope the GG is smart enough not to give power to a party lead by a guy that left to write his book (because that was more important to him than the country), a party lead by someone that won't even look at the budget before voting against it, and a party trying to break up the country. Lets have an election and see if Harper wins a minority, or majority this time. He will win, its just a matter of how many seats.

    CALL AN ELECTION
  94. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Ms. Vann, Mr. Ignatieff and the Libs may well vote for the budget. If he did something shocking, like allow a free vote, I suspect the budget would pass, but not by much. But after second reading comes the committee stage, where the other three parties hold sway. Amendments will be proposed. This is perhaps the more likely place where the Tories fall.

    Even if Mr. Harper squeaks through, he will fail to deliver enough, in time. Or he will do something else stupid and/or mean-spirited sufficient to once again lose confidence.

    The Bloc and the NDP will never trust this man again. He can't help himself. Isn't that clear by now?
  95. bill williams from Guelph from Canada writes: -

    'John Brown from Maritimes, Canada writes: This will sound stupid but I need to ask it anyway. Never having studied politics or the British way, is it not possible for the GG to ask the current PM to step aside and delegate somebody else to pull the Conservatives together, allowing the party to carry on. It would seem to me the problem is not the Conservatives, rather the radical Reformers and Alliance members of the current CONservative party; in short the problem is Steve himself.'

    John, Not a stupid question. My personal thoughts: Firstly I couldn't agree more with your assessment that the problem is Harper. I thought that he should have resigned instead of asking the GG to prorogue parliament.

    It's actually up to ANY MP ... any of them ... who wants to form a government to find enough other MPs to support them in the House. Parties are agglomerations of MPs that were initially formed to give their chosen guy a realistic shot at taking the reins: If you come to Parliament with a majority of the MPs signed up, you're in. If you come to Parliament short of a majority, but with a plurality you get an automatic 'try', but then you need to keep getting majority support for each of your important pieces of legislation. If you lose an important vote you go to the GG with your problem, AND a petition: You want the GG to dissolve Parliament and call an election, or you resign and ask her to explore her options in getting someone else to form the government. If the Parliament is fairly new the GG is duty-bound (nb!) to try and find someone else to form a government.

    As leader of a party (presumably) and the MP who failed to keep support, the one person who can not ask for another shot to get support in the House is the sitting PM. Nor can the GG reach into party affairs and ask for another leader. The party can put another leader in and that person can ask for a chance. Harper should have resigned.

    -

  96. John Connor from Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: John Connor:-- In late September, 2004, the NDP, BQ, and CPC sent a letter to the G-G advising her that they were prepared to form a government - this would be called a coalition - should Mr. Martin's government fall. Then, in early 2005, this is what Mr. Harper said:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG-4htheexU
    ----------------------------------------
    And I never said I agreed with them then either. What's your point in this DM?
  97. Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: The longer Harper sits in the PM's seat the more and more I have come to admire his ability to outplay, outmanouver and outfox the other foxes in the house. Before you anti-harper haters post the usual flame and rants ... well .. suck it up and deal with it. The Igster is in an impossible position however Stevie has given him a life line after all this mickey mouse coalition is flatlined and all tha't's left are the toe tags however Iggy just might have enough of of a lifeline from Stevie so that he can talk big and puff the ego's of the LPC up enough to start to make them sound credible but just barely. The real loser in all this is Layton who had an opportunity to do battle with the LPC but blew it with the coalition it's too bad becuase he had a brief window there - the strange thing is that Iggy's success is now owed to Harper who helped the LPC turf out Dion prematurely and crown him King for a day. You have to simply love Canadian politics!
  98. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: I wouldn't be surprised if there was movement in Quebec to get rid of Layton. He keeps making huge, huge mistakes: 1) forced the election in 2006, knowing full well this would kill the National Day Care program, Kelowna accord, and other measures the Liberals were going to do. The NDP supports all of these, but Layton's lust for power, as usual, overrides any rational thought. 2) runs 2008 election on a hilarious, goofy, hokey platform that he's 'running for the PM's job' - spends a record amount of money - as much as the real parties, and still gets a paltry 18% support. 3) schemes and connives behind the scenes and takes advantage of a hopeless and desperate Dion, to try to cobble together a coalition to steal power. Even after it becomes evident that Canadians abhor it, are outraged by it, Layton still keeps promoting it. 4) with Harper's proposed end to political party welfare - he rails against it. the NDP fund-raising has been strong, and ending party welfare would have easily reduced the Libs to 3rd party status, and buried the Bloc for good. Another perfect opportunity wasted, for the NDP. Nothing but a series of huge blunders by Layton. No wonder Layton keeps harping about the coalition, his political future likely depends on it. Well, adios Jack; that breathing you feel down your back is Thomas Mulcair, the potential next leader of your party.
  99. a l from Toronto, Canada writes: Then Steve said, 'Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Someone look at me, I'm the economist.'
  100. Bill Harrison from Canada writes: The headline says it all - the 'spotlight' will be on Ignatieff. Well, not really, unless the Liberal-imbedded Ottawa elitist media wants to make it so, and, of course, they will. Having watched how the media has fawned over Ignatieff since he became leader, I can see nothing that will change their servile and slavish commentaries, while they continue to denigrate Harper at every opportunity.
  101. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: Richard Sharp: And many don't trust the NDP nor the Bloc. We shouldn't live in fear of these two parties. Fear is their only card and they play us oh too well.

    The coalition is full of untrustworthiness.
  102. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Harrison, a fail to detect the pro-Ignatieff and anti-Harper bias in the 'Liberal-imbedded Ottawa elitist media.' Perhaps you refer to CTV, which just lost two of its leading opinion-makers, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallen, to Conservative Senate seats. Or Canwest, so rabidly pro-Harper (and Bush and Israel) even a _____ can see it. Ot to the Sun chain or Macleans, two more ultra-right corporations. Or the Globe, which endorsed...... Mr. Harper.

    Aaah. You must be referring to the CBC and the Toronto Star. I invite you to reassess their coverage, and come back with proof even in these two cases.
  103. diane marie from Canada writes: John Connor:-- Well, then you remain ignorant of our system of government, more's the pity. The BQ is a legal party and the citizens of Quebec are entitled to representation. The deny them same while accusing them of not wanting to participate in the governance of Canada will only encourage that which you fear. In fact, that's what Mr. Harper has succeeded in doing with his fear-mongering.

    Bill Harrison:-- If the spotlight is on Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Harper is the person who turned the beam.

    elizabeth vann:-- There's no need to be in the dark about Mr. Ignatieff's views on the coalition. He expressed them over the weekend in an interview with Mr. Mansbridge. No doubt you can find it on the CBC website.
  104. Wilf Kruggel from Canada writes: Harper ran the government for about thirty months, and considering that the 58 liberals, 20 conservative and 6 whatever, Harper could not get any important legislation through the liberal stacked senate. The conservatives wanted an elected senate, which would be fairer so they never appointed any senators, hense the imbalance. This is the sole reason for Harper calling the last election as he refered to that last parliament as disfunctional, which, indeed it was. Nothing more needs to be said, Iggy isn't going to co-operate as he wants power and once he gets it, he wont know what to do with it. In the end, Harper has the experience, and will be the better candidiate to run the country, but only a majority will do, Wilf
  105. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Iggy will support the budget. The Liberals are in no position to risk anything that might bring about an election.

    They will not risk the GG saying that an election is needed. Take that to the bank.

    A silver lining to all this is that Layton is toast. NDP support has fallen by a third. He's viewed as an opportunistic power monger who would do anything to get in power and have a cabinet position. A coalition was the only way he'd ever get this. He's finished.
  106. Stewart Smith from Canada writes: There is a false assumption that Ignatieff's options are either to support the budget or ask the GG to let the coallition lead. I suspect that if the Liberals bring down the Conservatives that Ignatieff will ask to meet with the GG.

    He knows that the contents of that meeting will be kept in trust, and so he may not try very hard to convince her that the coallition should be given a chance.

    In this scenario, we go to the polls again, in what will be a tighter race than the last election. Given their adventures in Quebec, the Conservatives best result would be a reduced minority. The Liberals would be broke (even more broke) but Mr. Harper would no doubt have some very angry small c 'supporters'. This group is already upset at Harper's liberal economic record, but have been held in check through the promise of an eventual majority. The NDP would have to run a pro-Liberal (anti-Harper) campaign which would no doubt result in some pragmatic votes leaking to the Liberals in certain ridings.

    The irony is that such a scenario would be something I would expect Mr. Harper would relish if the situations were reversed. The Liberals will either form the next government, or face a Conservative minority. If the latter, they can dust off the agreement, throw out the Conservatives and have a much stronger case for arguing that their coallition is legitimate both legally and democratically.

    Ultimately I don't think Mr. Ignatieff is the gamesman that Mr. Harper is.... but it would be fun.
  107. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Ms. Vann, the coalition offers 18-30 months of stable government, about 17-29 more months than under the Tories. What makes the NDP and the Bloc (and the Libs) untrustworthy? Their accord is there for all to see. Fully transparent.

    The difference is that the coalition is a progressive force:

    1) targeted stimulus to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number, with the most disadvantaged first in line.

    2) greater environmental protection. I remind you that Mr. Harper killed Kyoto and, now that Messrs. Howard and Bush are history, he is the last climate change denier in the Western world

    3) more likely to engage in peacekeeping, the UN and other institutions resapecting the sovereignty of nations and international law

    4) more likely to protect Canadians caught in American gulags and prisons, the Saudi 'justice' system, etc.

    5) more likely to give Aboriginals their due (who killed Kelowna?)

    6) more in favour of free collective bargaining, women's rights and on and on and on.

    We all know where these parties stand and, as for the Bloc, it appears it is willing to suspend its sovereignst goals, for the good of Quebec and, yes, Canada

  108. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: Dianne Marie: Ignatieff has expressed his view many times in the past weeks. I've heard him on radio in Victoria, Vancouver and on TV across the country.

    He remains vague, non-committed, and not quite sure of his stand.

    I seldom watch CBC, except for Don Newman, and have always found Mansbridge superficial.
  109. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    From the article on the G-G...

    'For her to have turned to the coalition – even if some polls have suggested split sentiment &8211; would have caused a firestorm in the West over a &8220;stolen&8221; election.
    &8220;People are still mad as hell,&8221; McWhinney says.'
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Go for it, Michael.
    I double dog dare you.
  110. J. Kenneth Yurchuk from Toronto, Canada writes: N. Ontarioan, while I think Thomas Mulcair would be an excellent leader for the NDP, and one who would probably imrove the NDP's standing, I think Jack will be around for another election. Whether you like him or hate him, he has brought the NDP from the verge of extinction back to at least their historic levels of support. Only in Broadbent's heyday were they able to surpass their current level of popular support, or representation in the HOC.

    The dippers are not in the habit of stabbing their leaders in the back. That being said, if after the next kick at the can, Layton has been unable to bring the NDP to another level, (50 MP's 20% Pop vote) he'll resign.
  111. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: richard sharp,
    in your dreams. The coalition is dead, done like dinner. The ROC doesn't want the separatist BLOC pulling the strings and pandering to Quebec. Will not happen man.
  112. diane marie from Canada writes: Wilf Kruggel:-- What Mr. Harper failed to realize is that he enjoys minority, not majority power. While the Liberals were weakened, he could act as if he had a majority, but that has changed. As a minority PM, he has an obligation to seek consensus, but the non-statesman in him engaged in non-stop electioneering and stymying the work of committees (recall that obstruction manual?). He lost the trust and confidence of the House and now he must deal with the fallout.

    I would be interested in having your view on what important legislation was blocked by the Senate. If you are referring to Senate reform, you must surely realize that the provinces must be brought on board for that. Mr. Harper claimed that the House was dysfunctional and then touted his government's accomplishments during the election. You seem to have reconciled these conflicting stores with considerable ease.
  113. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Wilf Kruggel, the last Parliament was 'dysfunctional' according to Mr. Harper, which is why he called an election? I think not.

    1) He was getting his legislation passed. That Common's committees and the Senate were doing their job does not equate to dysfunctional.

    2) He stated over the summer there would be no election and then, boom just before the House is to recovene, it's time for another election. The GG bought his nonsense.

    3) The real reasons were:

    a) he knew a lengthy economic meltdown was happening and an election under those circumstances were not in his favour

    b) he was about to get skewered again in committee for his and previous Tories' many 'faux pas,' the 'in-and-out' scheme, Cadman, Schreiber/Mulroney

    c) Obama (a progressive) was a shoo-in, leaving Mr. Harper not only as the last Bush poodle (absent Mssrs. Blair and Howard), but without Dubya himself.

    So he tried to sneak one by us and it didn't work.
  114. diane marie from Canada writes: elizabeth vann:-- Mr. Ignatieff is as sure of his stand as Mr. Harper was of his in 2005 (see that video, elizabeth). Both know that they need the support of the NDP and BQ to govern. Mr. Harper has governed with NDP and BQ support for the past three years. The only difference, Elizabeth, is the the recent coalition agreement was made public; Mr. Harper's 2004 version was a back-room deal. Who knows what quid pro quo was involved in Mr. Harper's getting those signatures on his letter.
  115. K L from Montreal, Canada writes: If an election were called tomorrow there would no chance in heck of a Conservative majority! You fool!
  116. Stan L from Canada writes: Michael Sharp, I would suggest that you put too much into Western discontent and Igantieff. Only last week he was very publically wagging fingers in Quebec reminding them of the value of Alberta's oilsands and that to be too dismissive of the West is of no value.....If Western discontent is your only excuse for Igantieff NOT proceeding and voting his concious, you might be in for a surprise.
  117. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'Ms. Vann, Mr. Ignatieff and the Libs may well vote for the budget. If he did something shocking, like allow a free vote, I suspect the budget would pass, but not by much. But after second reading comes the committee stage, where the other three parties hold sway. Amendments will be proposed. This is perhaps the more likely place where the Tories fall.'

    Not a chance. If the Budget falls in committee stage this would mean an election. The coalition parties know that they don't stand a chance if they have to go to the public. Their only chance is to defeat the budget up front and then convince the GG to let them govern. They know that the public will not support them and will never put the coalition to a vote by Canadians.
  118. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: diane marie

    Any minority government needs the support of another party(s) to get things done. The HUGE difference was that the Liberals/NDP/BLOC signed an agreement and made it official. Never happened before. Anyway, the coalition is dead and will not happen. The Liberals would come out as the losers in a coalition.
  119. alex just a canadian from Canada writes: There is no need yet to talk of elections or coalition government taking over. (like it or not its an option the coalition) Like the article states he (Iggy and the party will moul it over) and will then comment on its itentions. No where does it say the budget can not be adjusted to pass. There are things they want in and sure the CPC has some things it will insist stay.

    Can they come together for the better of the country will be the real pass or fail. I for one hope they can work together and do whats best not only for today but tomorrow. Besides we can't afford another 300 million dollar election.

    Here's for holding out hope that the right thing and programs are given their due, and not just goodies for a cumfie seat on the hill.
  120. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Why? Only an idiot thinks Ignatieff will uphold the empty threat of a coalition. Ignatioeff will want to be PM one day. Not for one day!!!
  121. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: As usual Chantal Hebert in the Toronto Star provides solid analysis. her conclusion is that the coalition is fundamentally flawed on 2 key points:
    1. Lack of significant Western representation.
    2. A failure to have a majority of MP's in the coalition.

    On the first point:

    'The coalition proposed last fall was seriously flawed on two fundamental scores; addressing them should be a precondition for contemplating another partnership in the future.

    At the best of times, Canada's regional diversity enriches its national life. In times of political stresses, though, inter-regional tensions threaten to tear the federation apart.

    Last month's Liberal/NDP coalition could not but hit a wall in Western Canada and, in particular, in Saskatchewan and Alberta, two provinces that are almost uniformly represented by Conservatives in this Parliament.

    If the shoe had been on the other foot, with the coalition looking to replace a Quebec prime minister with one whose regime boasted virtually no representation from the province, the idea would have been dead on arrival in the federalist opposition back rooms of Parliament Hill.'
  122. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: That's Iggy...the flair for the dramatic.....get used it as there will be a lot more.....he will be a master media 'manipulator'...When you are not really the main person on the stage how do you get the spotlight to shine on you longer and brighter.....exactly like this!!!!!
  123. Ned Chiwalski from Oilgary, Canada writes: Hopefully Harper can work with Iggy. THe less the ROC has to hear that yappy little dog Layton the better. As for Duceppe, outside of quebec who cares!
  124. The Angry Left from Canada writes: Ignatieff has to appear to be cool to the coalition because appearing too enthusiastic would hurt his image amongst the electorate. The outrage over the coalition proved that Canadians don't understand how their government works or their constitution. Sad to say, but true. The Conservatives played their post-election hand badly and failed to calculate that Stephane Dion, while weakened as a leader, had nothing to lose and therefore didn't have to put up or shut up with the usual Harpercon games. Harper then played into Ignatieff's hand by proroguing, giving the Liberals a chance to elect him as leader and sell the idea of coalition to Canadians by easing them into it, saying it's not a sure thing and making noises as if he's as uneasy about it as Canadians. The period of prorogation also witnessed the inauguration of US President Barack Obama, a factor difficult to guage, but far from insignifigant. It also allowed time for the scope and scale of the global economic crisis to become clearer. More reasons why I think the coalition could very well go ahead is that Ignatieff doesn't have much to lose either, other than his status as opposition politician for the title of PM. Even if the coalition goes down in flames and he is driven out of office in an election in 2-3 years, he'll still have 'Canadian PM' on his already impressive resume and will do quite well for himself in future. Another reason the coalition could very well go ahead is the fact that the Liberal party is near insolvent and 2-3 years in power would do wonders for fixing up the party balance sheet. For a 'brilliant strategist', it's hard to imagine how Harper could have played his cards more stupidly.
  125. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: p.laily: Thanks for the info in your 12:25 & 12:31 posts. I agree with Chantal. She's one of the best political commentators in the country. I'll read her article. Again, merci.
  126. The Angry Left from Canada writes: John Connor from Canada writes: And the fact is diane, the coalition is trying to steal my vote. Unless they run candidates under a coalition banner, they can pi$$ off.
    Feel free to join 'em if you like it so much.
    >
    Harper's trying to steal my vote. I've already 'join(ed) them' and I like it soooo much! And I won't pi$$ off.
  127. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Lets see what a loyal opposition can do as compared to a greedy self centered accumulation of washed up socialists trying to emulate a third world junta.
  128. Crusty Curmudgeon from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    diane marie -- first let me say that there is hardly a post that you have made that I disagree with. Thank you -- because in these discussion groups there are only a few intelligent posts -- and yours are consistently among them.

    You do mention lack of visibility in the quid pro quo regarding any deals. That is absolutely correct -- however, the issue of trusting in the intentions of a party based on one deal to stay in power is one thing -- trusting in the deals made for a period of time equaling a year or more is quite another -- especially considering the turbulent times that we are in.

    On principle alone, I would not object to a Liberal / NDP deal because I find little if any difference (except maybe the NDP has the upper hand now) between them.

    I find it inconceivable however to make a deal with a party whose stated purpose is to dismantle Canada -- what sort of deal must that have been?

    Would you trust them?
  129. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: The Angry Left from Canada writes: The outrage over the coalition proved that Canadians don't understand how their government works or their constitution. Sad to say, but true.
    --------------
    Uh...no. We understand it but don't like it. Doesn't pass a smell test. A coaltion won't happen anyway.
  130. The Angry Left from Canada writes: Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Lets see what a loyal opposition can do as compared to a greedy self centered accumulation of washed up socialists trying to emulate a third world junta.
    >
    Do you mean George Bush with his gulags and nationalizing the banks? That's a different country. They have a new president now. That one seems better.
  131. s c from Canada writes: Why would hearing Ignatieff's intentions on Wednesday be called making the conservatives wait? The budget will be announced in its entirety tomorrow. The libeals will need some time to review and decide if they support it. Having a decision by Wednesday seems like a pretty quick turn around to me.
  132. Wily 905 from Toronto, Canada writes: Wednesday will be the day that defines Iggy's character. Bold visionary or yet another toothless tiger?
  133. The Angry Left from Canada writes: s c from Canada writes: The libeals will need some time to review (the budget) and decide if they support it. Having a decision by Wednesday seems like a pretty quick turn around to me.
    >

    Almost as if they have already made up their minds as to how they will act? Also, don't underestimate the survival instinct on the part of The Liberal Party. Another election in the next few months would be a devastating blow to party finances. Two to three years with the main seat at the power table will do wonders to help with the party's financial woes. If Iggy goes along with Harper's machinations and supports his government, I doubt that Harper will forget his near-death experience any time soon and with the Tory war-chest stuffed to the brim, they have little incentive to avoid an election, so it will be more Harper games and probably mean another trip to the polls within a year.
  134. s c from Canada writes: Wily 905 from Toronto, Canada writes: Wednesday will be the day that defines Iggy's character. Bold visionary or yet another toothless tiger?

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

    If the budget is good for Canada, which one is supporting the budget?
    It would take a bold visionary to put partisan politics aside and vote base on the actual budget announced rather than oppose for the sake of opposing.

    I support Ignatieff and I expect him to vote based on the budget - and not be as partisan as Dion had been.
  135. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: 'Iceland's coalition government collapsed Monday, leaving the island nation in political turmoil amid a financial crisis that has pummelled its economy and required an international bailout to keep the country afloat.

    Prime Minister Geir Haarde said he was unwilling to meet demands from his coalition partners in the Social Democratic Alliance Party, which insisted upon the post of prime minister in order to keep the coalition intact.'
    -------------------
    Cool. Go for it Iggy. Then make Jack PM!
  136. JP Warwick from Canada writes: The libs will not vote down the budget. Iggy is a weasel politician just like Harper. He isn't half as foolish as Dion.

    Iggy will put a much better spin on supporting the budget than Dion would. He'll grandstand and make all kinds of tough statements. Then he will pass the budget.

    He can do this now because of Dion's near-fatal move which would have destroyed the liberal party. Iggy now has the benefit (Harper is listening) without having that grenade blow up in his face. He's smart enough to make use of that opportunity.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure why you 'progressives' like Iggy I'll never know (as an aside, when you want to go back to disastrous 1970's economic misery, can you really say you're progressive? Seems mealy-mouthed to me - not to mention 'regressive.') Iggy's policies were all matched up to Bush and 'we Americans' before he carpet-bagged himself back to Canada after all of those years. His policies while hanging out in the USA were all far to the right of where Harper has been governing (although Harper's pre-government words were also as right as Iggy's pre-government words.)
  137. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Just this, paraphrased from the article on the Governor-General...

    'The coalition – will cause a firestorm in the West over a stolen election.
    People are still mad as hell.'

    Make my day, Mikey.
  138. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes 'On the other hand, I'm not sure why you 'progressives' like Iggy I'll never know (as an aside, when you want to go back to disastrous 1970's economic misery, can you really say you're progressive? Seems mealy-mouthed to me - not to mention 'regressive.') Iggy's policies were all matched up to Bush and 'we Americans' before he carpet-bagged himself back to Canada after all of those years. His policies while hanging out in the USA were all far to the right of where Harper has been governing (although Harper's pre-government words were also as right as Iggy's pre-government words.) ' My only conclusion is that most Liberal supporters have not read anything written by Ignatieff. They are impressed with the fact that he has written a number of books and have not determined what any of his books were actually about. How else do you explain why people who callled Harper 'Bush-Lite' so quickly fall in behind the author of 'Empire Lite'. The UK Guardian has no trouble labelling Ignatieff as a Bush apologist: 'America is an empire. Though the very idea, as Reynolds notes, 'would have seemed ridiculous to most Americans of the early 20th century', who now would bother to disagree? Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman may not have much else in common with (moving from centre right to centre left) Robert Kaplan, Niall Ferguson, Michael Ignatieff and other apologists for American empire, but they all share an imperial frame of reference. '
  139. Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada writes: I agree with Richard Sharp from Gatineau.

    Even as an Albertan I can no longer tolerate the damage Harper is inflicting on Canada in his ambition to retain the PMO at all costs.

    I am tired of everybody just voting Conservative because of a hatred of Pierre Trudeau that the West can't get over, and an overriding belief in a conspiracy theory that the rest of Canada is out the get us.

    It is time we matured politically and called politicians to task to fix our province and our country. In addition to the list of benefits the coalition would bring to Canada that Richard Sharp provides, I can only add that we need a prime minister who is truthful.

    Rick Mercer himself even stated emphatically in one of his recent rants that Harper had told us a deliberate lie when he called the Coalition 'an illegal coup'. Harper also tries to split the country and divide it along lines of hate, knowing that fear gives rise to the type of fundamentalism that keeps Conservatives elected.

    I know most of my fellow Albertans will never accept the Coalition, but this Albertan will gladly do so. My love for Canada has never been diminished, but my pride in it has almost been extinguished during Harper's tenure. I am sure that with the Coalition, it will be rekindled.
  140. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: As usual Chantal Hebert in the Toronto Star provides solid analysis. her conclusion is that the coalition is fundamentally flawed on 2 key points: 1. Lack of significant Western representation. 2. A failure to have a majority of MP's in the coalition. On the first point: 'The coalition proposed last fall was seriously flawed on two fundamental scores; addressing them should be a precondition for contemplating another partnership in the future. At the best of times, Canada's regional diversity enriches its national life. In times of political stresses, though, inter-regional tensions threaten to tear the federation apart. Last month's Liberal/NDP coalition could not but hit a wall in Western Canada and, in particular, in Saskatchewan and Alberta, two provinces that are almost uniformly represented by Conservatives in this Parliament. If the shoe had been on the other foot, with the coalition looking to replace a Quebec prime minister with one whose regime boasted virtually no representation from the province, the idea would have been dead on arrival in the federalist opposition back rooms of Parliament Hill.' 'Almost' is not all and Chantal Hebert is smart enough to know the difference, even if Conservative supporters aren't. The Coalition, which indeed have a majority of MPs sign on in support, also has representation from both Alberta and Saskatchewan. To say otherwise is to lie.
  141. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: Thomas Mulcair would make a hell of a leader for the NDP. The sooner they dump Layton, the sooner the party can get back at least a modicum of respect from the non-NDP voters, who now just consider Layton a joke.
  142. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: We all know that the Liberal Party of Toronto will vote for the budget. If they think they are fooling anyone by trying to act as if they are putting the good of Canada before their own political self interest, they are wrong. We all know thw LPT will vote for the budget because they don't want an election, nor do they want to be tied to the separatist Bloc. It really is too bad that Mr. Ignatieff's (and Mr. McCallum's) disingenuous remarks make the LPT look like a pious fraud.

    C'mon Mr. Ignatieff, do us all a favour and vote against the budget.
  143. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada,
    So you disagree with Chantal Hebert's conclusions? Almost may not be all, but the point still stands.
  144. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Peasinour Thyme

    The majority of CDN's disagree with you.

    And what 'damage' do you refer? Not spending money as fast as the 'coalition' demanded? There is no benefit to Canada with the coalition unless you are a far-left supporter. None.

    If you are a liberal supporter, breath a sigh of relief that this fool's deal (the fool was Dion) is dead. Iggy will use it as a bargaining chip and that is all. It's an empty threat.

    As for division, the liberals have used division as their sole means of power for a couple of decades now. You just don't care about those who were on the other side.

    As for hate, nothing hates like a lefty. Just read the posts above for ample illustrations.
  145. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Apparently the Anger Machine has refreshed it's talking points and set its' sights on the NDP. Nice try, but I highly doubt that Jack Layton will be the victim of a leadership coup staged by its' Quebec wing. You would think the Conservatives would have better things to do, like wire-tapping or designing negative attack ads or something. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Iggy will support the budget. The Liberals are in no position to risk anything that might bring about an election. They will not risk the GG saying that an election is needed. Take that to the bank. A silver lining to all this is that Layton is toast. NDP support has fallen by a third. He's viewed as an opportunistic power monger who would do anything to get in power and have a cabinet position. A coalition was the only way he'd ever get this. He's finished. __________________________ Actually, NDP support, along with Layton's, has remained consistent or risen slightly in every poll I have seen. Perhaps you could show us the poll that shows NDP support has fallen by a third. That would certainly be helpful. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: I wouldn't be surprised if there was movement in Quebec to get rid of Layton. ________________________________ I would be extremely surprised. Then again, the Anger Machine does not appear to care one whit whether the talking points contained one single iota of truth. Why do Conservatives concern themselves so with the workings of other parties? It wouldn't be to try to portray instability to gain partisan political advantage, would it?
  146. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Allen GG from BobcaygeonMazatlan, Canada writes: To all of you 'coalition' supporters:
    The coalition can not legally form a government unless the Bloc is part of it, and has cabinet positions. Support by vote is not enough. No coalition has ever been in power without theses obvious conditions.

    ______________________
    Yes it can. Yes it is. Yes they have.
  147. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: N. Ontarian from Canada writes: Thomas Mulcair would make a hell of a leader for the NDP. The sooner they dump Layton, the sooner the party can get back at least a modicum of respect from the non-NDP voters, who now just consider Layton a joke.

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

    The problem with the NDP is not the leader but their policies. The NDP under Mr. Layton are polling just under 20%, the same as they were when lead by Mr. Broadbent. The NDP speak to a small, but loyal minority of Canadians. Yes, they may pick up a few more seats as Mr. Ingatieff moves his Party to the right, but the seat total will still only give them 3rd Party status. Canada has moved away from our social experiment days and our politicals is now firmly center-right.
  148. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada,
    So you disagree with Chantal Hebert's conclusions? Almost may not be all, but the point still stands.

    ________________________

    I tend to abandon an argument attempting to support a point once the premise upon which the point is founded is proven to be incorrect. It is your prerogative to think in a different way than I.
  149. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada....Too bad you will never see the Coalition in power. The eulogy is being written as we speak. Oh, Mr. Ignatieff will still use the threat of a Coalition to justify his voting for the budget, but it will be another disingenuous statement
  150. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada:
    I suggest you read the article and Chantal Hebert's conclusions. Her conclusion is not based on the coalition having zero members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He conclusion is that a coalition with almost no support in those provinces is not legitimate. She concludes that no one would argue for a coalition if it had almost no support in Quebec and that a similar position should be taken in the case of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The premise on which the point was made was therefore not found to be incorrect. You have simply ignored the point. As you note that is your perogative.
  151. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mike Sharp, how a coalition constitutes a 'stolen election' is beyond me. If the majority of MPs in the House who lose Mr. Harper's confidence happen to be from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, so what? That's Parliamentary democracy.

    Why are Alberta separatists any less dangerous to the Canadian fabric than Quebecers? I would argue that at least the Quebec variety are progressives, more in tune with Mr. Obama, Europe and just about any other 'Western' nation you want to name.

    You're out in the cold, my friend. Come on in.
  152. J Law from Canada writes: The closer Harper is to right the uglier the headlines in the G & M gets and the more comments on here.
  153. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'The coalition alternative will offer a minimum of 1.5 years stability and perhaps as much as three years. This would be way more than Mr. Harper can offer.'
    ----------------------------------
    Coalition supporters can think again if they suppose the coalition would stay in power for 18 months without seeking a mandate from the voting public. They'll have an election or they'll face rioting in the streets.
  154. J. Kenneth Yurchuk from Toronto, Canada writes: Dianne Marie writes: Mr. Harper has governed with NDP and BQ support for the past three years.
    ___________________________________________________________

    I really have to call BS on this one DM. You are well aware that it was with both tacit and (in the case of the Afghanistan extension) overt support from the Liberal Party of Canada, that the Conservative Government was able to survive for the last three years. 43 Confidence motions were passed with Liberal collusion. The Bloc may have voted in favour a couple of times, the NDP not once. You should know better than to try to re-write history, when it's already recorded in Hansard.
  155. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: As the spotlight shines on Mrt. Ignatieff what will we see? I sure hope he rises above his petulant performance of the last month and works with the gov't. Unfortunately, I suspect that he is so use to playing the all-knowing Harvard prof role that he will be unable to put Canada above his own political ambitions.

    In the end, Mr. Ignatieff will turn out to be another caretaker LPT leader and we will be at the polls before the end of the year.
  156. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada:
    I suggest you read the article and Chantal Hebert's conclusions. Her conclusion is not based on the coalition having zero members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He conclusion is that a coalition with almost no support in those provinces is not legitimate. She concludes that no one would argue for a coalition if it had almost no support in Quebec and that a similar position should be taken in the case of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The premise on which the point was made was therefore not found to be incorrect. You have simply ignored the point. As you note that is your perogative.

    _________________

    I maintain the premise upon which the point is made is faulty. The Liberals after the 2004 election under Paul Martin had only one MP in Saskatchewan and 2 in Alberta. I don't recall Hebert suggesting that federal government was illegitimate as a result. If she did, please point me to the article.
  157. JP Warwick from Canada writes: richard sharp

    Harper governs to the far left of Obama. You've fallen for labels.
  158. Anne Peterson from Canada writes: The coalition is not dead. More and more people are liking it because it represents them. The Bloc will not be calling the shots. That's conservative nasty propaganda. How can people keep believing their lies. If the coalition had been on the ballot I would have voted for it and so would 60% of Canadians.
  159. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JP Warwick, I want to give this a rest but, then, people like you post total nonsense. Harper is to the far left of Obama? On what?

    1) the environment? Nope

    2) the rule of law in making and conducting war? Nope

    3) regulation of the financial sector? Nope.

    4) help for the most disadvantaged? Nope.

    5) inclusiveness? Nope.

    So, to what do you refer?
  160. Beata Canada from Canada writes: WE HAD A FAIR ELECTION !!!! it's time to concentrate on Canadas economy & our childrens future !!! Im tired of government disagreements !!!!
  161. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: How abou tthe fact that the Coalition will have less MP's on the gov't side of the House then the Opposition. While an LPT-NDP Coalition will a smaller seat count then their Opposition may be within Constitutional law, there are other issues at stake here. Democracy is as much about appearances as it is about the letter of the law. That is why Mr. Ignatieff is going to vote with the budget. If the LPT defeated the gov't over this budget their brand would sink to lows not seen since 'New Coke'
  162. Anne Peterson from Canada writes: It absolutely blows my mind how ignorant the conservatives are about how our parliamentary democracy functions. Should people be in power if they don't know how their democracy functions. Are they trying to bring about some sort of coup by trying to lie about our constitution and our parliament and how it operates or is it just ignorance?
  163. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: If the coalition isn't dead we must rectify that. Let's put a bounty on it. And rid ourselves of this bit of venom, once and for all.
  164. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Anne Peterson

    The majority of CDN's are against the coalition. You are delusional.

    The idea the slippery weasels put together is that all the policy would be made behind closed doors with the Bloc fully involved then the libs and dippers would present it. The bloc was a full partner in power but the weasels knew it was political suicide so they pretended the Bloc wasn't a part. I guess they don't think we can count. Libs and dippers can't out-vote the conservatives and the Bloc isn't going to support their swarn enemies out of the goodness of their hearts.

    If you think CDN's are so foolish despite all the polls (Quebecers are the only people to have a majority support the coalition for obvious reasons) then I would beg and plead with you to get your parties to run on that platform in an election. That might be the ONLY thing that gives Harper his majority.
  165. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JP Warwick, I want to give this a rest but, then, people like you post total nonsense. Harper is to the far left of Obama? On what?

    1) the environment? Nope

    2) the rule of law in making and conducting war? Nope

    3) regulation of the financial sector? Nope.

    4) help for the most disadvantaged? Nope.

    5) inclusiveness? Nope.

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

    Of course Harper is to the left of POTUS Obama.
  166. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Anne Peterson from Canada,
    Add Chantal Hebert to those ignorant persons who doesn't understand how Parliament works. Or maybe Canadians are smarter than you think.
  167. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: Anne writes.......60% would have voted for a coalition......and you know this how?? frankly i wished they would run under a coalition banner.......it would insure a solid tory majority
  168. Shan Kelley from Canada writes:
    John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes:

    'Canada has moved away from our social experiment days and our politicals is now firmly center-right. '
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then how do you explain the results of the last several federal elections and years of public opinon polls that show about 65% of Canadians suppporting left and centre-left partys (Lib, NDP, BQ) and only about 35% supporting centre-right partys (Cons)?

    Canadian voters are firmly centre-left.

    .
  169. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: If the coalition isn't dead we must rectify that. Let's put a bounty on it. And rid ourselves of this bit of venom, once and for all.

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

    Don't worry elizabeth vann, Mr. Ignatieff will be pulling the plug on the Coalition this week. I think now is a good time for us to start writing the eulogies.
  170. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JP Warwick, I want to give this a rest but, then, people like you post total nonsense. Harper is to the far left of Obama? On what?
  171. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'The coalition alternative will offer a minimum of 1.5 years stability and perhaps as much as three years. This would be way more than Mr. Harper can offer.'
    ----------------------------------
    Coalition supporters can think again if they suppose the coalition would stay in power for 18 months without seeking a mandate from the voting public. They'll have an election or they'll face rioting in the streets.

    ______________________________

    How so, Mr. Shortt? By definition, there would be no election for a minimum of 18 months and, given we are talking about four progressive parties (I include the Greens), there would be no election for 1.5 years and, most likely, for four years. Just like Mr. Harper passed into law!

    Maybe you didn't read the accord, soon to be updated to counter Mr. Harper's latest foibles. Canadians are screaming out for an alternative to Mr. Harper's mean and misguided ways. It's gonna happen, my friend. It's only a question of when.
  172. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada:
    I suggest you read the article and Chantal Hebert's conclusions. Her conclusion is not based on the coalition having zero members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He conclusion is that a coalition with almost no support in those provinces is not legitimate. She concludes that no one would argue for a coalition if it had almost no support in Quebec and that a similar position should be taken in the case of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The premise on which the point was made was therefore not found to be incorrect. You have simply ignored the point. As you note that is your perogative.

    _______________________

    The Conservatives have no seats in Newfoundland. Does that make them illegitimate? Where was Hebert's column in October challenging the results of the 2008 election? Was the illogical leap inconvenient back then or something?
  173. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JP Warwick, I want to give this a rest but, then, people like you post total nonsense. Harper is to the far left of Obama? On what?



    Well, Richard, John Ibbitson wrote in the Globe November 8, 2006:
    'But, really, any time any Canadian politician is compared with any American politician, no matter how right-wing the Canadian and how left-wing the American, the Canadian is revealed to be more liberal, and that is true of Mr. Harper as well. '

    Even Jeffrey Simpson has written in the Globe that Harper's policies are to the left of the US Democrats.



    I'm just trying to help here...
  174. Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: The latest polls indicate that canadians would rather have an election than a coalition and that canadians don't want an election - do the math folks!
  175. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: will you folks please get off the OBAMA crap?? the man is NOT the second coming of christ.He has been in office for 7 or 8 days......and so far has given Israel the nod to continue with their genocide if they wish and has ordered the continued bombing of Pakistan.Please see him for what his is.........just another american president promoting bankrupt American values. Can we get back to Canadian problems 1st?
  176. The Angry Left from Canada writes: Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes:...The NDP under Mr. Layton are polling just under 20%...The NDP speak to a small, but loyal minority of Canadians. Yes, they may pick up a few more seats as Mr. Ingatieff moves his Party to the right, but the seat total will still only give them 3rd Party status. Canada has moved away from our social experiment days and our politicals is now firmly center-right. > Just under 20% isn't 'a small but loyal minority', that's a large constituency. Our warped political voting system almost disenfranchizes this sector of the electorate. It's a miracle that the NDP elects as many members as they do and I commend them for it and I marvel at their acheivement. Third-party status representing just under 20% of the electorate is not insignifigant. I agree that Ignatieff is to the right of Dion, but I wouldn't consider him especially right-wing. >If we're well past our 'social experiment days and our politicals is now firmly center-right', then what is all of this bailout talk of bailouts I keep reading about? If Harper's going to announce a bunch of stimulus spending in his upcoming budget, I'd like to have a government in place that may actually have a chance in heck of implementing it. I have no confidence that the Harpercons will do anything they say they will.
  177. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: Anne Peterson Being a leftard, I wouldn't expect you to understand integrity or the difference between what is legal and what is legitimate. The coalition is legal but illegitimate. If you liken it to the justice system, consider the guilty man who gets off on a technicality. He's legally off the hook, but that doesn't make him innocent. When the top two parties are very close and where a third party is willing to support one of them for power to make a majority, that's legit. But when the number two and three parties aren't even close to the number one, stealing power with the number four party (especially but not only when it's a regional separatist party) is not. Consider what you would say if the PC's and Reform got together with the Alberta Separatist party and took power from a liberal government. Legal but not legit would be far kinder than you'd put it and the already frothing hatred would go into head-exploding mode for all the hatemongering lefties. ____________________ Your name calling belies your intellect. What would I say if the PC's and Reform got together with the Alberta Separatist party and took power from a liberal government? That's exactly what happened, based on a lie and broken promise by Peter McKay, isn't it?
  178. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: Shan Kelley from Canada writes: Then how do you explain the results of the last several federal elections and years of public opinon polls that show about 65% of Canadians suppporting left and centre-left partys (Lib, NDP, BQ) and only about 35% supporting centre-right partys (Cons)?

    Canadian voters are firmly centre-left.

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

    Firstly, lets take the Bloc out of the equation because are a regional, not national party. The only centre-left Party is the LPT, with the Greens and the NDP far-left. I think the fact that we continue to elect the CPC into power speaks for itself. Also, the LPT just coronated Mr. Ignatieff as leader. If you ever read anything by Mr. Ignatieff you would know his world views are on the far-right along the same lines as GWB and Karl Rove.
  179. J. Kenneth Yurchuk from Toronto, Canada writes: Angry Left; indeed, you only have to look at the budgetted Infrastructure funding from previous budgets. Promised: 33 billion, Delivered: less than 5% of that amount. If that money had been put to work when it was promised, we'd be reaping the benifits in jobs and enhanced infrastructure now and for the next few years. That money was budgetted when we were still in Surplus. Put it to work NOW!
  180. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: Shan Kelly.........canadians support left of centre? the libs are left of centre and had their worst showing in their history........the ndp is so far left that it would make the most hardcore soviet blush.......and the bloc is simply a group of extortionists. you actually believe what you wrote ?
  181. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JT, yeah, Mr. Harper is a left-wing-nut:

    1) As in ignoring a Canadian child soldier caught in an American gulag for 6 years

    2) Like attacking the collective bargaining rights of public servants, the employment equity rights of women and the democratic rights of political parties

    3) In ignoring the rights of Palestinians (vs. Israel) and, yes, Mr. Ignatieff is equally to blame

    4) In fighting anything that protects the environment, regulates the private sector on matters of safety, consumer rights, etc.

    Sorry. I'm having a lapse here. I can't seem to grasp the Harper left-wing policies to which you refer.
  182. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton,
    I know that I am unlikely to convince you but here goes:
    The point of Chantal Hebert's argument, which I suspect that you have not read, is that a coalition is subject to certain tests that od not apply to a party that assumes government as a result of having elected the most MP's. There is no question that the elected party may govern without support from all of the regions. In fact, the Liberals often ruled in this manner. Her argument is that a coalition must meet more stringent tests. Your arguments about the CPC representation in Newfoundl and Labrador are really irrlevant.
  183. Charles Wirrell from Vancouver, B.C., Canada writes: So Iggy want's to govern by popular opinion? I'd prefer a leader who calls it the way he sees it and not necessarily the way the polls do.

    Iggy is sounding awfully weak and wimpy.
  184. John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes: The Angry Left from Canada writes: I have no confidence that the Harpercons will do anything they say they will.

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

    Nice rant. What can I say. The NDP's percentage of the vote under Mr. Layton is roughly the same as under Mr. Broadbent. The NDP speaks to a specific group of people and they are a minority. really, it does not matter if you trust PM Harper or not. Mr. Layton, being the good politician, is playing the same games as all the other politicians. Mr. Layton has the luxury of saying he doesn't trust PM Harper and will vote against the budget because he knows the LPT will be voting in favour of the budget. Really, if the GG doesn't install the LPT-NDP Coalition the last thing Mr. Layton would want is to go to the polls.
  185. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: Lapse away Richard. Smarter writers than you - Ibbitson and Simpson -made those claims, and they can actually back them up without selective memory. I know who I believe, and whose opinions I respect, and sorry, it isn't you. BTW, Ibbitson also said anyone who compares Harper to right wing American politicians is a 'scaremonger'. So there goes your credibility. Keep up the scary work, at least it's fun to read here. Besides, haven't the Libranos just installed an older version of Harper as their leader?
  186. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes: John Smith from Support Ontario Bill 93-Ottawa,ON, Canada writes:

    Firstly, lets take the Bloc out of the equation because are a regional, not national party. The only centre-left Party is the LPT, with the Greens and the NDP far-left. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why would you take the BQ, NDP and Green party and their voters out of the equation?

    They're Canadians, they vote.

    Explain to me how they don't count.

    I'm sure you'd like them to be marginalized from the political process but the mathematics of the vote-counts and the public opinion polls say that Candians are 65% left or centre-left.

    The only centre-right party is the Conservatives and on their best days they're drawing about 35%.

    And as we're about to see in Mr. Flaherty's budget, the Conservatives are scrambling to the left as fast as they can.

    Centre-right, indeed.
    .
  187. Counterspinner tells the truth from Canada writes: I'm sure it will be another left wing love affair where the media will swoon over him like they swoon over obama.
  188. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: The article relates to the spotlight being on Mr. Ignatieff. The majority of posters are talking about the coalition. The new- found 'expertise' of the pro-coalitoners is mind bending. I wonder if many of these neo-constitution 'experts' even voted in the last election.

    Where were they then. Only Elizabeth May and Stephan Dion seemed to have an arrangment.

    The spot light is on the coalition forces because Mr. Ignatieff cannot seem to validate, or explain his (party's) position.
  189. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, I know that I am unlikely to convince you but here goes: The point of Chantal Hebert's argument, which I suspect that you have not read, is that a coalition is subject to certain tests that od not apply to a party that assumes government as a result of having elected the most MP's. There is no question that the elected party may govern without support from all of the regions. In fact, the Liberals often ruled in this manner. Her argument is that a coalition must meet more stringent tests. Your arguments about the CPC representation in Newfoundl and Labrador are really irrlevant. _____________________________ I have read the article. I disagree with her conclusions. I disagree with you. There is nothing in constitutional law to support your argument. There is no more stringent test for a coalition to governn than there is a for a minority government to govern. You might want it to be so, but it is not. BTW, explain to me why Newfoundland and Labrador are irrelevant. It can't be simply because it doesn't fit with your argument. If 'few' seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan means that the coalition is illegitimate, explain to me why 'no' seats in Newfoundland and Labrador doesn't mean the Conservatives are illegitimate. Please.
  190. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'How so, Mr. Shortt? By definition, there would be no election for a minimum of 18 months'
    -------------------------
    By definition ... indeed! Well, yes, the coalitionists did sign a document proposing to rule parliament for a period of 30 months, with no mention of an election during the interim, following the appointment of one of their members to the Prime Minister's role ...

    Conveniently overlooking the fact that no appointed P.M. in Canadian history has successfully ruled for longer than 8 months without seeking a mandate from the electorate.

    This is another one of those unwritten conventions of the Westminister Parliamentary system .... that when a Prime Minister is appointed to the role, he calls an election to obtain a mandate from the voting public.
  191. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Hey JT, you failed to mention a single specific example supporting your claim that Mr. Harper is to the left of Mr. Obama. Not one. Try again.
  192. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: Oppsedaisy dotcom from Canada writes: Layton is, in all likelihood, the leader who will pay the most for the coalition. Ignatieff won't crash this government, the economy will, despite the 64B shot in the arm.

    --

    Layton is Jiminy Cricket.

    In many ways he represents the conscience of Canada. Even before Christmas the Agus Reid poll told us Layton was seen as the leader who by far was seen as being the most trustworthy and honest, and as caring the most about the things people believe in.

    Now the Ekos Poll tells us more Canadian given the choice would support the Ignatieff led coalition rather than the Conservatives if given the choice.

    It is true than more NDP voters now say they would vote liberal in an election, but not because they have stopped trusting Layton. It is because they believe him, and don't trust Harper.. Many NDP/Liberal swing voters have been watching closely and agree with Ed Broadbent when he says 'this is the first Conservative prime minster to lack integrity.' They simply believe Ignatieff has the best chance to defeat him.

    Most people will be looking to see how the environment has been respected in this budget. 'Green make cents!' (Did anyone catch Layton's green tie yesterday?) I hope everything our greatest Canadian David Suzuki has been saying for years, and everything Obama is trying to achieve is not lost on this or any government.

    If the threat of the coalition achieves anything (beyond protecting the top goal of the women's right movement which also means fighting poverty, and preserving the public campaign funding vital to the health of democracy) encouraging green infrastructure can be part of its most important and lasting legacy.
  193. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: Again Richard, it wasn't my claim. If you would bother to read instead of rant, it was Ibittson's and Simpson's claim. Obviously it's hard for you to accept. Perhaps if you have a Globe subscription you should cancel it right now.
  194. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton,
    Ok one more time. In my view, a coalition is subject to stricter tests. Apparently you disagree. An elected government has rarely had support from all of the regions. The Liberal governments had virtually no support in Alberta. That does not mean that they were not legitimate. Similarly with the CPC and Newfoundland. I hope that is clear.
  195. JP Warwick from Canada writes: richard sharp You delude yourself. 1) Obama is against kyoto and is for their own plan. Harper is even sprinting on over to join it. 2) Rule of law and conducting war. Obama is closing gitmo but looking for an alternative. In other words, he's changing the window dressing. Harper on the other hand, runs no gitmo. 3) regulation of the fin. Sector. Are you kidding? Canada's is far more regulated than anywhere else on earth. That's why Harper doesn't have to take any action. He doesn't need to. As for Obama, he hasn't said diddly on the subject. 4) What's Obama's plan? Tax cuts to the middle class. 5) define. What's Obama done (other than be a minority?) What do I refer to? For starters, how about the fact that Karl Rove is so gleefully happy with the appointments Obama has made (including Reagan's Fed Chair Paul Volker.) He's anti-SSM along with his pastor friend Rick Warren. Lawrence Summers who said tax cuts have a faster stimulus effect than spending (Obama has promised $275 billion of the stimulus to be tax cuts.) He has been silent on financial regulations (as per the Nation story which also says 'Barack Obama's proposal is tepid by comparison, short on aggressive government involvement and infused with conservative rhetoric about fiscal responsibility.') He's also been just as vocal on his support of Israel.
  196. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'Hey JT, you failed to mention a single specific example supporting your claim that Mr. Harper is to the left of Mr. Obama. Not one. Try again. '

    Try looking up Obama's positions on same sex marriage, the death penalty, options to deal with Iran ( hint 'all options are on the table'), criminal peanlties, US military in Afghanistan....
  197. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes:

    I hope everything our greatest Canadian David Suzuki has been saying for years, and everything Obama is trying to achieve is not lost on this or any government.

    -------------------------------------
    David Suzuki our greatest Canadian? Wow Jenn. Can't even speak to that .... except, what are you smoking?
  198. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Jt, I don't wish to belabour the point, but another's opinion does not a fact make. In what particular policy area is Mr. Harper (far to the) left of Mr. Obama?
  199. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: At the end of the day, p lailey from vancouver, you are quite unlikely to convince me. On that and that alone are you correct. I will take the word of the late Eugene Forsey and 35 constitutional experts over you and Hebert. I am not sure why the mainstream media did not pick up this story: Constitutional experts across Canada advise Governor General to call on the opposition OTTAWA, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Academic constitutional experts are publicly advising the Governor General to call on the leader of the opposition to attempt to form a government if the Conservatives are defeated on a non-confidence vote. The advice appears in an open letter signed by thirty-five law professors and political scientists from universities across Canada following a December poll that revealed widespread confusion among Canadians about the basic rules of Canada's constitutional system. The expert letter points out that democratic legitimacy in our system is based on the principle of responsible government, which requires that a Cabinet have the support of the House of Commons to govern. If that support is lost, the Governor General is no longer bound by the advice of the Prime Minister and may either call on another leader to form a government or dissolve Parliament for an election. As the majority of members of the House of Commons have provided assurances of their support for a government led by the leader of the opposition, the constitutional scholars advise that: 'It is our opinion that in the event of a non-confidence vote or a request for dissolution of Parliament after only 13 sitting days of the House of Commons, the Governor General would be well-advised to call the leader of the opposition to attempt to form a government'. The letter with the full list of signatories is available at: www.constitutionacts.blogspot.com Forsey is also cited in an article written in December: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/monitorissues/2008/12/monitorissue2042/
  200. Wily 905 from Toronto, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JT, yeah, Mr. Harper is a left-wing-nut:

    1) As in ignoring a Canadian child soldier caught in an American gulag for 6 years
    (Canadian child soldier??? Give your head a shake)

    2) Like attacking the collective bargaining rights of public servants, the employment equity rights of women and the democratic rights of political parties
    (CUPE should be illegal, and if you want taxpayers money... earn it)

    3) In ignoring the rights of Palestinians (vs. Israel) and, yes, Mr. Ignatieff is equally to blame
    (Stop blowing people up with rockets and hiding behind women and children)

    4) In fighting anything that protects the environment, regulates the private sector on matters of safety, consumer rights, etc.
    (Global warming .... special interest revenue tool)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If this is what it takes to qualify as being a left wing nut... I'm in!
  201. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The coalition contains separatists.

    Those who support separatists in the coalition say, 'Well, they won't be separatizing for 18 months. They promised they would abstain from any separatizing. They said they'll try and break up the country later, but while they're part of this noble coalition, they promise not to do any separatizing.'

    Just so long as we pay them.
  202. Wilf Kruggel from Canada writes: I listened to the throne speech and after, to the various comentaries. It didn't sound like Iggy is going to be too conciliatory. I expected a hint of cooperation and understanding but not the ridcule of the highest degree. At a time like we are going through, politics has to be set aside and that isn't about to happen. I do not think that this clown is the least concerned about Canadians and the problems that we face. Only himself. My feeling, what happens from now on will decide the future of Canada, all to take place in 'poisonous Ottawa', sooner rather than later. Think about it as the stage is set, we are going down soon, unless attitudes change radically. Wilf
  203. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: At the end of the day, p lailey from vancouver, you are quite unlikely to convince me. On that and that alone are you correct. I will take the word of the late Eugene Forsey and 35 constitutional experts over you and Hebert
    -------------------
    Good for Mimi. It was also probably only about 35 people with MBAs that thought subprime mortagages were a good idea at the time. The coalition may be legal but it stinks.
  204. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: Richard, I refer you to recent posts by Wily 905 from Toronto, p lailey from vancouver, and JP Warwick, who have kindly saved me the effort of making you look like the scaremonger you pretend not to be. Thanks to everyone. Stirring up Richard has been very satisfying and fun.
  205. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Mimi Williams

    1) academics are what? 90% left? when a prof sputters on in the media, they are no less likely to have their own agenda than anyone else. Here in London, my old poli-sci prof from Huron used to go door to door on behalf of the NDP at election time. He would also be used by the local media for anti-conservative quotes. And no, they NEVER mentioned his political affiliation. Not once. He was used as a 'western prof' which is to say, a political hit-man dishonestly hiding behind his university position.

    2) see my analogy on legal vs legitimate. A guilty man who gets off on a technicality is legally off the hook but that don't make him innocent. Get the difference there? The coalition is the guilty man with a technicality.
  206. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: 'At the end of the day, p lailey from vancouver, you are quite unlikely to convince me. On that and that alone are you correct. I will take the word of the late Eugene Forsey and 35 constitutional experts over you and Hebert.'

    You are confusing constitutionally legal (which the coalition definitely is) with the coalition being legitimate.
  207. Nevernever Land from Canada writes: I am appealing to the opposition parties to vote against the budget and bring down the government. Many Canadians, like myself want the opportunity to vote again for the government we voted for last time- not some half-baked concoction dreamed up in the back room by the opposition parties. This is our country and our government that we through an election, give the privilege to individuals of political parties to run during their term in office. Not the other way around. Do the opposition parties not understand or respect 'the will of the people'?
  208. ralph jacobs from taber, alberta, Canada writes: After watching Michael Ignatieff after the throne speech, and seeing the way he seems to emphasis his importance to Canada and talking down to Harper like he walked in a mud puddle with his shoes off. Here is a little story.

    There was a manager in charge of a plant that. while the employees talked nice to him, was really wondering what the employees REALLY thought of him.

    So he hired a mole, called him into the office and said 'I want you to mix with the employees, talk to them and after three weeks, come back and report to me.'

    After three weeks the mole came into the managers office and sat down. The manager said 'We'll what did you find out?' The mole reported, 'Well the people I talked to think you are a pompous gas bag'.
    The manager asked 'What about the others?' The mole answered, 'they don't know you yet'.
  209. H C from la seule ville du pays, Canada writes: Khadr was 15 when delivered to Guantanomo - their Canadian child-soldier prisoner. He was tortured under Rumfeld's secret orders & Harper has steadfastly refused to return him to ROC. So I ask: what good is Canadian citizenship? EU nationals have been returned to country of origin from Guantanamo, not Khadr. He is now 21. He has been left to rot in a US torture camp. This is Harper protecting CDN citizenship - as I said, what good is CDN citizenship? You know the answer already: it is subservient to US interests. CDN citizenship is like Swiss cheese: full of large air holes....
  210. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: Thanks for jumping into my argument with p leily, warwick. He is using Chantal's argument to suggest that the coalition would have no legitimacy because of few representatives from Saskatchewan and Alberta. I challenged the position and asked how the government can claim legitimacy with no representatives from Newfoundland and Labrador. I await his reply.

    P.S. You are lucky to have a prof that felt safe to campaign for the NDP. At one point here in Alberta, Ralph Klein attempted to have the funding for the Parkland Institute, a left wing think tank at the U of A, cut because they dared publish a book by a man named Kevin Taft. Taft dared criticize the Klein government. I know the kind of world that Klein and Harper and others would like to live in. I am glad I don`t live in it. I`m glad I live in a world where people like yourselves are free to disagree with me. On the flip side, I get to disagree with you, too.
  211. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: I saw Ignatieff, leader of the Toronto Liberal Party speak today. He came accross as smug, arrogant, rude and seems to tout a Liberal Party fist, Canada second attitude. H is not a leader.
  212. ralph jacobs from taber, alberta, Canada writes: If the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Coalition bring Harper down after a good budget is presented, then I hope Canadian voters will make them pay in the next election.
  213. JP Warwick from Canada writes: H C

    1) you have no right to have the Canadian PM or government beg a nation who caught you killing their citizens to send you home.

    2) many of those other people released from gitmo have been killed or re-taken as they ran back to the fighting as soon as they could.

    3)Kadr is a traitor by any reading of the word and should be tried upon return to Canada. We stripped a non-violent hatemonger of his citizenship and deported him (as we should have.) Why should we do less for a murdering, terrorist traitor?

    Mimi Williams

    Not surprisingly, you missed the point. Twice.
  214. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: ' I challenged the position and asked how the government can claim legitimacy with no representatives from Newfoundland and Labrador. I await his reply. '

    You've had my reply. See post at 2:29.
  215. Paul Byer from Canada writes: H C from la seule ville du pays, Canada writes: Khadr was 15 when delivered to Guantanomo - their Canadian child-soldier prisoner. He was tortured under Rumfeld's secret orders & Harper has steadfastly refused to return him to ROC. So I ask: what good is Canadian citizenship? EU nationals have been returned to country of origin from Guantanamo, not Khadr. He is now 21. He has been left to rot in a US torture camp. This is Harper protecting CDN citizenship - as I said, what good is CDN citizenship? You know the answer already: it is subservient to US interests. CDN citizenship is like Swiss cheese: full of large air holes.... ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? But it is Iggy who professed to support Bush and torture and not Harper. What did the Liberals do to bring him back? xxxxxxxxxxxxx And for those who feel sorry for this child who no doubt can hardly wait to get back to Afghanistan to fight on in his family's tradition against the evil Canadian and U.S. Troops and other allies, do a little research on his daddy, mommy and other siblings. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/khadr/ xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Chretien went to bat for daddy and got him a free get out of jail pass after he was incarcerated for the bombing of an embassy and deaths. He was the financier for the El Qeda and confident of Bin Laden. Way to go Jean! And he went on as well to die in violence. xxxxxxxxxxx I don't want him or the family in a neighbourhood near me. Thank you. It may be one of your neighbours kids that won't come home from Afghanistan because of these terrorists. What were they doing there? They don't even come from there. xxxxxxxxxxx Poor kid. Give him free passage right back to Afghanistan and save him time, right?
  216. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Still no answer from JT. Zip. Nil. I guess I will rest my case.
  217. Tom Moffatt from CO2burg, AB, Canada writes: There is really nothing to worry about for the Conservatives here. It would be political suicide for a party to vote against billions of dollars in giveaways.

    Of course, it was political suicide for Dion to run on a platform of raising taxes....
  218. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes:

    I hope everything our greatest Canadian David Suzuki has been saying for years, and everything Obama is trying to achieve is not lost on this or any government.

    -------------------------------------
    David Suzuki our greatest Canadian? Wow Jenn. Can't even speak to that .... except, what are you smoking?
    --

    I never smoke.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Suzuki

    Anyone who also doubts that most Canadians do indeed support the coalition can also see the recent poll for themselves at Ekos.com. The coalition is not only legal, but it's very threat is a safeguard in our constitution that has protected women's rights and the officially recognized top goal of the women's rights movement, and preserved democracy from becoming a one party system. (If you do not control money within the system money will control the system.)

    Mr. Harper was just as quick to demonize the bloc to deflect attention from his own actions as he was perfectly ready form a coalition with them in 2004.

    I'd like to see an enlightened government that listens to our greatest minds and show respect all it's people:

    http://www.rickmercer.com/blog/index.cfm/2008/2/20/Circle-the-wagons--science-is-coming
  219. Kan Tankerous from Tronna, Canada writes:

    Supporters of the government will say that the Liberals backed down.

    Supporters of the Liberals will say that their conditions were met in the budget.

    Both will be correct.
  220. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Allen GG from BobcaygeonMazatlan, Canada writes: 'To all of you 'coalition' supporters:

    The coalition can not legally form a government unless the Bloc is part of it, and has cabinet positions. Support by vote is not enough. No coalition has ever been in power without theses obvious conditions....'

    Patently FALSE! I mean, really now, are you actually this ignorant of our parliamentary democracy, or are you just blindly supporting the CPC talking points?

    We have had only 1 coalition gov't in Canadian history.

    Do us all a favour and educate yourself before posting such iognorant comments. Here I'll help you, you can start here: http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/coalition-governments-canada
  221. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes
    'I know the kind of world that Klein and Harper and others would like to live in. I am glad I don`t live in it. I`m glad I live in a world where people like yourselves are free to disagree with me. '

    Tell that to Bob Rae when he had the temerity to run for the leadership of the Liberal party. I wonder how intense the pressure was to drop out of the race. Harper's no different than Chretien and Ignatieff on the issue of permitting dissent in the party.
  222. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: You (Jennifer Pohl, from Canada) wrote: alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes:

    I hope everything our greatest Canadian David Suzuki has been saying for years, and everything Obama is trying to achieve is not lost on this or any government.

    -------------------------------------
    David Suzuki our greatest Canadian? Wow Jenn. Can't even speak to that .... except, what are you smoking?
    --

    I never smoke.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Suzuki

    Anyone who also doubts that most Canadians do indeed support the coalition can also see the recent poll for themselves at Ekos.com. The coalition is not only legal, but it's very threat is a safeguard in our constitution that has protected women's rights and the officially recognized top goal of the women's rights movement, and preserved democracy from becoming a one party system. (If you do not control money within the system money will control the system.)

    Mr. Harper was just as quick to demonize the bloc to deflect attention from his own actions as he was perfectly ready form a coalition with them in 2004.

    I'd like to see an enlightened government that listens to our greatest minds and show respect all it's people:

    http://www.rickmercer.com/blog/index.cfm/2008/2/20/Circle-the-wagons--science-is-coming

    --

    Correction: I should have said he was voted greatest living Canadian.
  223. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JP, an objective analysis of the number of those released from Gitmo, etc. that went back to fighting against the West was about a dozen (among hundreds).... about 1%. And that included those who spoke out against their mistreatment (torture, etc.) and nothing else.

    Omar Khadr is a traitor to or killed Canadians? I don't think we were even fighting in Afghanistan then. He was being attacked by American occupiers and may have thrown a grenade in defence.

    He was 15, for St. Peter's sake. He's served 6 years already. What do you want? His head?
  224. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: '...At one point here in Alberta, Ralph Klein attempted to have the funding for the Parkland Institute, a left wing think tank at the U of A, cut because they dared publish a book by a man named Kevin Taft. Taft dared criticize the Klein government. I know the kind of world that Klein and Harper and others would like to live in...'

    Welcome to Alberta politics:

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/RCMP probe searches truth behind withheld Alberta Tory flight logs/1217706/story.html#Comments
  225. Paul Byer from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// I see you still refer to Eugene Forsey, your idol for your support that the unelected GG would go against the elected PM's advice. Give it up. Forsey cites no precedent other than the King Byng affair and you know full well what King was asking for was not legal under the constitution and Lord Byng could not give him dissolution of parliament. Even that led to Britain promising not to interfere ever again in Canadian politics. And then King took down the resulting coalition within a week. Doesn't apply. ..................... Forsey was a very confused man much like Iggy. Really didn't know what his beliefs were. Switched parties and beliefs at a whim. He was a conservative and then he wasn't. He was an NDP and then he wasn't. He was a Liberal Senator and then left the party over a disagreement. ......................... His daughter was of similar confusion. She was an arrested tree hugger NDP and then she wasn't. She was a Conservative and then she wasn't. Then she was NDP again and then she went down in flames running for a seat. Appears this family went where ever the gravy was the thickest. ...................... And you rely on him. Confusion runs abundent on this thread.
  226. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Byer, belittle the messenger if you wish. He happens to be the greatest expert on Canadian Parliamentary democracy and minority governments of all time. Your weak attacks on his credibility and that of his daughter discredit you alone.

    The Prime Minister of Canada governs with the will of Parliament. If (s)he loses its confidence, it's outta there.

    There is no need for a 4th election in 5 years. There is a clear alternative and the GG (twice bitten thrice shy) will give it a chance.

    Like it or not, that is what is going to happen.
  227. D. MacKay from Atlantic, Canada writes:

    Big Day tomorrow for Iggy ...

    Put up or shut up ?

    My guess .... Jack Layton's sobs breaking the silence in the HOC.
  228. alberta guy from calgary, Canada writes: Jen, he was # 5 on the leftwing CBC poll. That's he still alive is not the point.

    By the way the poll means nothing. Montreal hockey fans stuffed the nominations with Montreal players and many of the league's 'real stars' didn't make the cut.

    By the way, what crap you say the coalition safeguards our democracy. Really?! Having a separatist party calling the shots...whose stated goal is the destruction of Canada.... is safeguarding our democracy? Outside of Quebec no-one can vote for the BLOC nor against the BLOC. This is your idea of democracy? Wow.

    Name
    1 Tommy Douglas
    2 Terry Fox
    3 Pierre Elliott Trudeau
    4 Sir Frederick Banting
    5 David Suzuki
    6 Lester B. Pearson
    7 Don Cherry
    8 Sir John A. Macdonald
    9 Alexander Graham Bell
    10 Wayne Gretzky
  229. JP Warwick from Canada writes: richard sharp Khadr isn't a traitor because he killed Canadians. The zone he was fighting in was against the US. No, he's a traitor because Canada was fighting in the war and he was on the other side. If he was fighting for Germany in WWI but fought in an area where the Brits were fighting, he wouldn't have been any less a traitor. In WWI though, he'd have been shot for it. Ditto for being caught fighting out of uniform. As per his actions, if the testimony is to be believed (and there is some doubt) Khadr was the guy who threw a grenade AFTER their guys surrendered. That is a war crime. You are not allowed to feign surrender then attack. The reason for this rule in war should be obvious. If you don't know if someone is surrendering for real, you have reason to shot first and ask questions later. This rule saves lives. Leftards seem to take a rather inconsistent view of 'international law' and the GC's. As for his age, I knew right from wrong at 15. Pretending he was a 15 months old instead of 15 years makes you look nave. What would I do with him? Leave him in jail. He's permanently damaged goods. It's more than just the terrorist who has rights. It's high time leftards considered the victims. Not just here but in Afghanistan where Khadr was terrorising and killing people as part of the Taliban.
  230. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: Richard sharp writes:

    'Forsey was a very confused man much like Iggy. Really didn't know what his beliefs were. Switched parties and beliefs at a whim.'

    Ignatieff has written sixteen books to date translated into a dozen languages. If you a do a search on amazon.com over a three thousand entries show up (I assume most are his, but there were too many pages to browse.) The reviews dating back many years are quite insightful. He has won many awards include the Governor General award for non fiction. This is not a confused mind. I am looking forward to listening to this podcast on his literary career while I decide which book to read:

    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/podcast.html

    I apologize to the NDP. While it is true Suzuki was voted the greatest living Canadian, Tommy Douglas was voted the greatest of all time. My mistake.
  231. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Still no answer from JT. Zip. Nil. I guess I will rest my case.


    Check back to 2:41; 2:36; 2:32 and 2:31 Says it all richard. ;)
  232. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Jennifer Pohl

    'Ignatieff has written sixteen books to date...'

    I recomend you start with 'Empire Lite' Although only a NYT's article, it tells you what you need to know. For instance:
    'Yet what word but 'empire' describes the awesome thing that America is becoming?'

    'Being an imperial power, however, is more than being the most powerful nation or just the most hated one. It means enforcing such order as there is in the world and doing so in the American interest. It means laying down the rules America wants... while exempting itself from other rules... that go against its interest.'

    'The United Nations lay dozing like a dog before the fire, happy to ignore Saddam, until an American president seized it by the scruff of the neck and made it bark. Multilateral solutions to the world's problems are all very well, but they have no teeth unless America bares its fangs.'
    http://empirelite.ca/
  233. John Connor from Canada writes: The Angry Left from Canada writes: John Connor from Canada writes: And the fact is diane, the coalition is trying to steal my vote. Unless they run candidates under a coalition banner, they can pi$$ off.
    Feel free to join 'em if you like it so much.
    >
    Harper's trying to steal my vote. I've already 'join(ed) them' and I like it soooo much!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Good for you.
    After the coalition of the useless have spent us into the third world, you can pay my share of the national debt.
    Since you like it soooo much and all.
    Barnum was right, you must have been born 60 seconds ago.
  234. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Ms. Pohl, I would never write that kind of tripe! Please.
  235. MyCanada MyLove from Canada writes: (00)

    Is Canada ALSO drifting on a shifting floe about to capsize?

    Thousands Order Resignation of Iceland's Right-Wing Government

    Sunday 25 January 2009

    Prime Minister Geir Haarde said on Friday that he would quit and called for a May 9 ballot.

    TEN thousand protesters called on Iceland's right-wing government to STEP DOWN IMMEDIATELY on Saturday, dismissing the prime minister's promise to resign and call an early election.

    Banging frying pans, biscuit tin lids and drums, demonstrators called on the governing coalition to quit immediately and demanded changes in the leadership of the central bank and financial regulators.

    (oo)
  236. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: JT, I was looking for YOUR response. not those of others, but if you wish to rely on 2nd hand info:

    1) JP (2:31) argues that Obama and Harper see eye to eye on the environment, Gitmo and the rule of law, (re)regulation of the private sector.... hmmm.... not a very cedible witness.

    2) p lailey (2:32) cites a few false cases where Messrs. Obama and Harper may be the same

    3) wiley 905 (2.36) is so far out he doesn't warrant consideration

    4) JT (2:41), simply cites nos. 1-3.

    Hardly a rebuttal to your claim that Mr. Harper is to the (extreme) left of Mr. Obama. How typically outlandish and self-discrediting can one get?
  237. J T from Victoria, Canada writes: Thanks JP. 'Lame' was the word I would have used. But this has been fun.
  238. Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada writes: Hey Dan Shortt, what do you mean, 'rioting in the streets'.

    If you can't have your way in a democratic system do you think running down Yonge St breaking windows, throwing molotov cocktails and swearing at pedestrians is going to accomplish much.

    Give your head a shake. You are advocating Conservatism or Anarchy. You will be glad that the justice system has not adopted Mr. Harper's harsh prescription after your incarceration.

    Good luck with your rehab. The rest of us will be enjoying the reemergence of all that is good about the Country we love.
  239. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: k. anybody else notice that my response was just posted and, seconds later, it got censored? Because I talked again about a complicit mainstream media in this Tory morass we suffer? Fourth time today.
  240. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: Again as usually all the leftie coalition supporters fail to grasp the simply fact that 'IF' the government falls all the new government ministers must be brought in and made up to speed, when the Tories took over it took a month and a half the fastest ever done. Then they must catch up to their new positions and work into their new jobs so we will say the break neck speed of 2 weeks, then they must assess what money and programs they want to fund and what can be cut so we will say again 2 weeks. They then must cut the cheques so we will say the first cash in anyone's pockets will be what 2-3 months more down the road can some left-wing loud mouth please explain how that will help Canada's poorest or anything that you all seem to whiny about when given a chance.
  241. Pete H from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: k. anybody else notice that my response was just posted and, seconds later, it got censored?

    I'm sure you are the only one that would have noticed that.
  242. Brent Hodges from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada writes: Mimi Williams wrote:

    'and 35 constitutional experts '

    Well, I looked up a few of their CVs and was less than impressed by the 'constitutional experts' claim. Some, in the law field have areas of speciality like administrative law and labour law.

    Some are well-known for left-wing politics, like Duncan Cameron, and so have a vested interest in giving advice that would prop-up the coalition.

    Also, one should be immediately be suspicious when they refer, in their missive, to the GG's 'personal prerogative'. This is a highly problematic manner to recast the royal prerogative.
  243. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: I just listened to the cbc podcast on Ignatieff's writing and was disappointed. It wasn't long enough to do more than cloud the issues and scratch the surface of such a large body of work.

    Critics talk about his position on Iraq and the use of torture. Igantieff has since recanted his initial position on Iraq (as did Harper whose war mongering in the House of Parliament while the first shock and awe bombs fell had left me cold) in a New York Times article. To be fair, even when I've disagreed with Ignatieff as in this case his reasoning has been sound. I can not say the same for Mr. Harper.

    Nor is it accurate to say that he supported torture. In the Lesser Evil he says that torture is bad for democracy and calls it a 'moral hazard.'
  244. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Bohemian Grove, this false issue has been addressed many times over. First, the coalition was ready to hit the ground running seven weeks ago, before Mr. Harper's 'run for cover' prorogation delayed matters until now. Second, the coalition could adopt the Tories' good budgetary proposals on the spot, and get them going now. Third, the coalition would add that extra boost in the areas the Tories neglected.

    Meaning more help for the disadvantaged. such as the unemployed, seniors, Aboriginals.... More environmentally-friendly investments..... Green technologies.... Reregulation of the private sector.... food safety, financial institutions, labour and consumer protections....

    That sort of progressive stuff most Canadians want.
  245. Steve Hennessey from Whitby, Canada writes: Spotlight is on Ignatieff, as well it should be. I for one am fascinated how this dude ascended to leader of the Official opposition without ever having to win any serious political battles. He never even ran for the seat in his own riding but was appointed in an un-democratic fashion. That he won in a few elections is no big deal, as the Liberals could have planted an axe murderer to represent then in most ridings in Toronto and would likely would win. When things were shaping up to a duel with the Reccession candidate Bob Rae for Liberal Leader he called up the bigwigs of the Libs and negotiated another backroom deal where he would be appointed Leader. Sooner or later this guy who says he loves Canada so much but spent 97% of his adult life outside of the country must win something. If he ever negotiates with the Governor General to assume the top job in the country through a shadey backroom deal with The Bloc and the NDP , then Canadians should be outraged. The Spotlight should be on Iggy, but mainly because he's unproven, and the spotlight should be on the Liberal Party in general for their un-democratic policies in electing canidates and leaders.
  246. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Steve Hennessey, you turn your guns on Mr. Ignatieff for being unappointed, undemocratic, planted, a backroom deal leader (with the Bloc, oh horrors), an outsider, blah blah. We've heard it all before from you attack dogs.

    Fact is, he represents most of us. Most of us detest Mr. Harper. Because he is an ideological, neo-con slave to failed economic policies regarding capitalism, regulation, privatization, 'free' trade (for corporations), war and peace, freedom and privacy and on and on.

    The measure of any society is how it looks out for those most in need. By this measure, I'll take Mr. Ignatieff and the Lib/NDP coalition over the Tories, any day. Even with ten to one odds.
  247. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Ms. Pohl, I would never write that kind of tripe! Please.

    --
    I'm sorry if i was mislead by someone else quote of your post.

    I don't think Ignatieff was naive about the Bush agenda, but many people living instead the American media bubble were mislead at the time and only now admitting their mistakes. Ignatieff offers us a very human and real reasons for a mistake he made based on his personal experiences in Iraq. It is very good that the liberals were in power at the time, and hindsight is 20/20.

    If nothing else Ignatieff appears to be honest, if not infalliable. I can not say the same for Harper. I hope Ignatieff is wise enough to listen to Jack Layton. Even before Christmas Layton was the leader whom the Angus Reid Poll told us that people by far saw as being by far the most trustworthy and honest, and as caring about the things they believe in. This is why I see him as Jiminy Cricket on Ignatieff's shoulder.

    It is true all the parties need to work together, but I think the coalition now supported by most Canadians (please see most recent Ekos poll) shows us the conservatives would be wise to consider a new leader. Canadians deserve a prime minister they can trust and in whom they can have confidence.
  248. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Steve Hennessey from Whitby, Canada writes: '...He never even ran for the seat in his own riding but was appointed in an un-democratic fashion....' Curious you do not hold the same outrage against the CPC? They too have appointed candidates, even against the wishes of the local riding association executive. '... That he won in a few elections is no big deal, as the Liberals could have planted an axe murderer to represent then in most ridings in Toronto and would likely would win...' Steve, you've never been to Alberta, have you? I'll refer you to my riding - Wild Rose, where Myron Thompson was voted in 4 or 5 times. 'nuff said. '... When things were shaping up to a duel with the Reccession candidate Bob Rae for Liberal Leader he called up the bigwigs of the Libs and negotiated another backroom deal where he would be appointed Leader...' And you know this for a fact...how exactly? '...If he ever negotiates with the Governor General to assume the top job in the country through a shadey backroom deal with The Bloc and the NDP , then Canadians should be outraged....' WTF are you going on about? Clearly you have ZERO concept of how our parliament works, so why keep on embarrasing yourself with these deluded fantasies of yours?
  249. diane marie from Canada writes: J Kenneth:-- Are you suggesting that not a single NDP MP voted for any government bill?
  250. diane marie from Canada writes: Chantal Herbert, constitutional expert. Sure.
  251. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Where have all the (Conservative) flowers gone? Wilted away by the forces of truth.

    Come on, you guys (and you are mostly guys). Bring it on!
  252. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: diane marie, I find Ms. Hebert to be so provincial it's painful. She maintained some kind of a stranglehold on English Canada because of her unrelenting attacks on Mr. Dion. So unfair, but that's politics.

    The Star could do so much better than her.
  253. John Brown from Maritimes, Canada writes: bill williams from Guelph; thank you for your help! Now if only Steve and all his die-hard supporters would only see the obvious and step aside. He is killing if not already killed any chance the Conservatives have of making any real headway in this country. He is nothing more than self-consummed pure poison to the Conservative party along with many of his old school Reform and Alliance members.
  254. The Wight from Canada writes: There is absolutely no fundamental difference between:

    a) The CPC cutting a side deal with the BQ to form their majority on all confidence level votes and motions in the 39th parliament.

    b) A coalition of the LPC/NDP cutting a side deal with the BQ to form their majority on all confidence level votes and motions in the 40th parliament.

    Other than the fact the latter is on paper instead of hidden behind closed doors like the former, with a set term and conditions where the Canadian public can see them.

    Yes, the coalition will have to buy/earn that support ... but so did the CPC. Think Harper has his press conference indicating his support for Quebec's 'nation within a nation' status, a move that had his base riled out west, simply because he was being nice? Think the enhanced transfer payments weren't part of the deal? Keep on dreaming.

    The Coalition will be no more sold to or under pressure from the BQ than the CPC government before them. All this malarky about how the BQ 'must' have cabinet positions or 'must' have input into policy for the coalition to even get formed is just a giant pile of horsesh!t.
  255. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Hey Wight, I am waiting for a contrary view. They appear to have jumped ship. Do you think there is a rule among Tory trolls to give up when they've lost?
  256. diane marie from Canada writes: richard sharp:-- She's articulate, I'll give her that, but her partisan apparel is flagrant!
  257. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I wonder if the opposition would have been as hasty to propose a coalition had Mr. Harper brought in the budget in November that he is bringing in now. This goes to the question of 'what does the opposition really want'. The question of funding was a major irritant to the opposition. the threat to topple the government that is still alive as they continue to play games. We now have a major deficit stimulus package before the house and still we see the drama of defeat or coalition.

    Mr. Ignatieff has been vague and non-committal as gets thrown off the headlines by all these announcents. In the end it will be public opinion that decides as he will be forced to vote for or against depending on the polls. He has very little time to react so he will have to gamble. I say he will vote in favour and wait for a better day to take the CPC down and force and election.
  258. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: If I may be so bold in light of Conservative antipathy, let's stir the pot. Mr. Harper is:

    1) the most mean-spirited, manipulative and muzzling PM of all time

    2) wrong in terms of the environment (Kyoto), Aboriginals (Kelowna), child care and so many other pro-ordinary Canadian measures

    3) an ideologue, who would deregulate the private sector, no matter its environmental destruction, occupational health and safety disasters, food and consumer protections, etc.

    4) a total loser.

    This man should be under 24-hour surveillance for being anti-Canadian.

    Wait, he already is!
  259. diane marie from Canada writes: Robert Peregrinations:-- What we might have hoped for in November would have been an honest picture of where the economy is rather than the fiction that was in the Economic Update. Mr. Harper demonstrated contempt for the House when he refused to be honest about the nation's books. The drama is entirely of Mr. Harper's making, Robert. Mr. Ignatieff is rightly vague and non-committal. He'd be wise to process the budget with a nit comb.

    richard sharp:-- Hmmm. By that I meant that she does little to hide her partisan viewpoint.
  260. diane marie from Canada writes: richard sharp:-- Do I gather that Ted Menzies was given a bit of a rough ride?
  261. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: diane marie, Messrs. Menzies, Harper, et al deserve their rough ride and then some. I delight in adding to their shame. No economic problems before and during the election. Still a budget surplus seven weeks ago. Whoops, a $64 billion deficit, after all.

    What total economic incompetents! Canadians may now view the Tories as the best managers of the economy but that's only because of the way the questions have been phrased.

    By, guess who? Those who want the answers slanted their way.
  262. diane marie from Canada writes: richard sharp:-- The thing that gets me is the utter contempt shown the House and citizens - on matters of the nation's finances, committees, etc., lies about our electoral system, denigrating BQ voters - the list is endless.
  263. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada writes: 'Hey Dan Shortt ...
    Give your head a shake. You are advocating Conservatism or Anarchy.'
    --------------------
    Conservatism or Anarchy? Not at all.

    What I AM advocating, is ... that if the Liberals, with their 77 parliamentary seats, wish to depose the Conservatives, with their 143 parliamentary seats, and take over the gov't, installing their own man as P.M., then they damn well best be prepared to get a mandate from the voting public by holding an election.
  264. The Wight from Canada writes: Robert: _'We now have a major deficit stimulus package before the house and still we see the drama of defeat or coalition.'_ Everything revolves around those confidence level votes, Robert. You only live as a government as long as you can guarantee the numbers on those days - that's it. The fact of the matter is that the LPC/NDP coalition got a master stroke in, regardless of what happens tomorrow with the budget. With the BQ in place, the CPC had guaranteed majorities for their confidence bills and budgets. All the LPC/NDP had to do in order to break that little mini-alliance up was to threaten a coalition and entice Duceppe into playing ball. That scare tactic (and my guess is that it was a scare tactic all along) made Harper blow up on the floor of the HoC and had his base out west erupt in an orgy of anti-Quebec and anti-BQ sentiment. Ooooops. The blood is in the water. Harper's been knifing the NDP and LPC for two years running and just knifed the only other party in the HoC. He can't form a majority for those confidence votes even if he wanted to, now. So ... the choices are: a) the LPC votes for this budget and milks the CPC for LPC friendly legislation for as long as it really wants to and then pulls the plug for an election. See how much the budget changed in two months? That's leverage in action. b) the coalition takes over and governs for 18 months.
  265. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau: Please we all know how Canadian government works Rich your living in a pipe dream the Tories hit the ground running as well yoju still need to drop all the Tory replacement workers in ALL government positions and replace them with Liberal ones and it takes time other wise you get Tory support workers working for the opposition, OK! Wake up it will be months before anyone get cash don't tell otherwise.
  266. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: DM once again:Perigrinations. Agreed DM. Mr. Harper did not see it coming. Leemans, Merril Lynch, Sub-Prime meltdown, $35 Oil etc. Just as past PMS didn't see it coming like NEP, Softwood Lumber, Fisheries Crumble, and so on. Do we expect a global economic meltdown to be seen by all. In most of our history the government is always months behind the actual event. Mr. Ignatieff has stated he is ready to lead the country. And it would seem he is ready to grab power anyway he can, even if it means flouting the democratic process of election by the people. He is by no means a stupid man or politician. Indeed he has the gift of the gab and a silver tongue to boot. However it was his party and the NDP and Bloc that have forced the CPC to abandon thier core principle of deficits and and we now see the government plunging into a 64B deficit. As well he still plays the threat card to embarass and control the government into a fiscally irresponsible spending spree so he can play Benedict Arnold and attempt to claim the higher ground. Governments don't need to fix the ailing economy as it is based on bad business acumen and judgement on the part of rich and powerful corporations. I would have preferred to see the previous update go ahead and then to modify it for the needs as they present themselves. At this point panic seems to be the order of day in the nations economy while we figure out what to do. I would prefer to see sound leadership not the dog and pony show of coalitions, conservative backflips and retractions. Strangly enough I havent seen Iggy and Jack together as of late.
  267. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Shortt, we've been through this many times before. Please listen more attentively:

    1) Canadians do not want another election, which would be the fourth in five years, would cost $300 million and set the country back yet another 3-4 months of Parliamentary inaction

    2) Canadians want Parliament to work together to resolve our economic problems

    3) If the Tories can't get it done (and they appear incapable), the opposition should be given a shot.....

    BEFORE ANOTHER ELECTION>

    Get it?
  268. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: The Wight from Canada writes: Robert: 'We now have a major deficit stimulus package before the house and still we see the drama of defeat or coalition.'

    It does seem to be the way for the opposition to garner the pressure neede to make thier demands made. It was Mr. Harper who played coy and tough in dealings with them. I belive had it been Chretien that we would still see the former update followed. But alas it is the symptom of minority government and we are still writing the manula about process, procedure and above all flexibilty. Mr. Harper take the pill and swallow. If the country tanks as uncle jack suggests then it will be the leader who takes the bullet not the motly crew of coalition cretin. Rats always run from a sinking ship.
  269. The Wight from Canada writes: Dan Shortt:

    'if the Liberals, with their 77 parliamentary seats, wish to depose the Conservatives'

    It's the LPC/NDP coalition, with 113 seats. The gives them 36.7% of the seats in the house. The PCs governed in the 39th parliament with 40% of the seats in the house (124). Are you honestly saying that 3.3% makes the difference between one minority having the clear mandate to rule vs. the other minority needing to go back to the will of the people for an election?
  270. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Mr. Shortt, we've been through this many times before. Please listen more attentively:........................

    Indeed the opposition wants no election. They want to be appointed instead of face the wrath of voters who reject the coalition outright. I want an election so we can choose between massive debt or modest stimulus. We the public want the parliament to work, not to play games over party funding, Airbus, In and Out, EI extensions, Middleclass tax breaks and so on. The biggest stimulus would be to have a roundtable of party leaders hash it out on CBC for a week or 2.
  271. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: They're gone. The rabid Tories are gone. Why is that? Because they haven't the slightest leg on which to stand?
  272. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: diane marie from Canada writes: 'richard sharp:-- The thing that gets me is the utter contempt shown the House and citizens - on matters of the nation's finances, committees, etc., lies about our electoral system, denigrating BQ voters - the list is endless'

    Agreed. However, fortunately the Liberals are no longer in power.
  273. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I can see clearly that Mr. Harper is on very thin ice and his fate is soon to be decided. As there is no one on the CPC benches who can fill his shoes I fear doom and gloom as the left may once again come in and run the nation. Let the transfer of power from west to east begin as they gut the oil patch, shift the wealth and tax and spend thier way out of this mini recession.
    gtg :-)
  274. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Whoops, I missed Robert (Calgary). Who votes for an election over the coalition alternative. His opinion is fine with me.

    Except we don't want or need an election. We've just voted. Our representatives now have the job to do what is right for us. That would be something you might not like, Robert. Tough.

    In a year or two, you can vote them out. Until then, try to stay calm.
  275. The Wight from Canada writes: Robert: _'It does seem to be the way for the opposition to garner the pressure neede to make thier demands made.'_ Precisely. A sitting government is only ever as good as it's opposition parties, a fact that comes out in stark relief when you have a minority situation. Pulling the strings here or there to get concessions is part of the art of opposition. Harper had his one shot ... in the week leading up to Opposition Day, he could have worked day and night on a back-room deal with the BQ to win them back from the coalition. It would have cost him dearly, but it was doable. He does that and he doesn't have to prorogue parliament, Opposition Day goes without a hitch, and he has a working majority in place for another few years. A very different budget shows up tomorrow, too. Instead of that, he chose a PR war which he won in the short term (getting him past Opposition Day) but which has cost him significantly in the medium term and long term because he's alienated the rest of the parties and has literally zero options for a majority besides winning it outright. From now until the next election, he'll be humping from crisis to crisis, always trying to keep the LPC from pulling the plug.
  276. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: To Wight, 'humping' is too positive a term describing Mr. Harper's antics.
  277. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Perhaps this next sitting will be different as Harper has sent out his ministers to make the deals. It will be diversified front bench in the spring coming session as the opposition will have to contend with the multitude of ministers handling the files. Ignatieff will support it or we go to the polls. The GG doesn't have the same powers as Byng and will do what Harper wants. Kicking and screaming the public will vote. Only this time it will be for the CPC or the coalition. As I will not park my vote with the NDP or Bloc it cancels out the Libs in the end. In 2 years we will see even more conservative senators stacking up and the balance we all long for may finally come. As well in 2 years they might get it paid down and back into the black as the economy rebounds pulling the wind out from the LPC attempt to ride in on the wave of increase growth and prosperity.
  278. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Robert, you and yours still don't get it. There will be no election. When Harper loses it (and he will), the Lib/NDP coalition takes over.

    Try to think along these lines.

    Mr. Harper as Leader of the Opposition.

    Mr. Harper losing confidence among his members.

    Mr. Harper being replaced by just about anybody who has a heart and is willing to work with others.

    Mr. Harper is the Tories' Achilles Heal. Plain and simple.
  279. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I don't believe Mr Harper is rolling over yet. He has scooped the opposition and media. The public mood is still soothed by his slow and steady announcements. He has put the onus on Mr. Ignatieff to pass or fail and has won another day to continue the fight. A leader doesn't stay down. They get back up and keep going. He will negotiate with Obama. Sell to the rest of the world and maybe even repatriate Kadr. Anything is possible. His Machiavellian arrogance is miles above Dions whimpering exasperations and Iggy's smarmy sauce.
  280. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Lets see.
    1) Mr. Harper loses the confidence of the house. (No revelation there)
    2) He disolves parliament and the opposition looks fragmented and the GG calls the election under the advice of Mr. Harper the PM as she is bound to do.
    3) The public is in no mood for separtists and NDP socialism
    4)The left screams for blood and the CPC gets its majority

    Great I like it already. (Sorry for the formatting)
  281. marlene stobbart from High River, Canada writes: Liberal Leader Ignatieff, a Tauras. is a consummate tactician and probably an extremely good chess player. Prime Minister Harper, a Virgo, is a General, alike to Cromwell and/or Patton. Therefore, while the politicians play - Harper works. Who best to lead our country? Interesting to note both these men's astrological signs are earth, with Virgo the more stubborn.
    On that note - thank you.
  282. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: If indeed Iggy supports the coalition then he will have to vote down the budget. The other 2 (Majority of the coalition) have stated thier position. I hope Iggy gets it right and works with and not against the government. Other wise the GG will see there is no working together and will call an election. For the past weeks Iggy has been quiet on the coalition front as it shows signs cracking at the seams. This will show the GG that there is not enough support to allow it to run the nation.
  283. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'Robert, you and yours still don't get it. There will be no election. When Harper loses it (and he will), the Lib/NDP coalition takes over.'

    Yes but it is a Lib/NDP/Bloc coalition. This is a hard sell to the ROC. The LPC and NDP cannot go it alone. These 3 parties have drawn a thin line in the sand and when the tide comes in it will vanish. Does the GG think that the public will go for this. I doubt it. Iggy knows this and so he will have to follow the rules and win as they always have, as the Liberal Party of Canada.
  284. p lailey from vancouver, Canada writes: richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: 'Robert, you and yours still don't get it. There will be no election. When Harper loses it (and he will), the Lib/NDP coalition takes over.'

    We shall see. One thing that I do agree with you on though is that the only chance for any of the other parties is to take power as a coalition without going to an election. There is simply not enough support for the Liberals to win an election. Coalition is there only chance and its prospects are dimming.
  285. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: '...Yes but it is a Lib/NDP/Bloc coalition. This is a hard sell to the ROC. The LPC and NDP cannot go it alone. These 3 parties have drawn a thin line in the sand and when the tide comes in it will vanish. Does the GG think that the public will go for this. I doubt it. ...'

    There is an alternative to a coalition that people are forgetting.

    The GG could go directly to Mr. Ignatieff and ask him if he has the confidence of parliament.

    If Mr. Ignatieff can show that both the Bloc and NDP will support him, then she could ask him to form the government, instead of calling another election.

    He doesn't need to have more MPs than the CPC, only that he has the confidence of a majority of MPs in parliament.
  286. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Indeed she can. However she will first have to listen to Harper (the PM) before she can go to Ignatieff. Of late he has been silent on the coalition front except to beat Harper with. Does the GG not also have to be accountable to public opinion ? If she were to go with your scenario then she could face a huge backlash from public opinion and be forced to resign. Does she have the leadership mettle to go this route. Her powers (not like in the time of Byng) are limited to the will of the elected PM. The Minority in terms of seats is slim. Does Iggy need to use the Whip on his MP's.
  287. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: The spolight is still on Ignatieff, and it doesn't look good. Let's wait until the microscope is on him.

    His thinking is old time stuff. He's too old and fusty. So are his 'policies'. What an old out of country boot.

    Is he in favour of the coalition of losers or not?
  288. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: We are also talking about a budget defeat not a world war or Great Depression here. The nation is not falling around us and the dire need is more on the LPC's need for power than being able to present a better, sound fiscal program to solve this global crisis. Iggy has a shrewd, plan than is short on facts, numbers and represents a small shift from where Harper is going. Allowing a shift of separtists and far left socialists power seems a far greater degree of change than the LPC supporting the budget and getting back to work.

    The GG would also weigh these factors out before handing power to a loose coalition of ideology and fiscal difference. As well the Bloc is singular in its regional desires, needs and influence and do not have unfailing support from the ROC. This one factor is what is different from the precedent set before in the past coalition affair. As well it was short lived and a general election preceeded the inevitable breakdown that occurs from such diverse political operatives.
  289. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: '...Does the GG not also have to be accountable to public opinion ? If she were to go with your scenario then she could face a huge backlash from public opinion and be forced to resign....'

    Doubtful.

    '...Does Iggy need to use the Whip on his MP's.'

    Robert, all political parties have an official position called the party whip. Whose sole purpose is to ensure the MPs do not miss crucial votes, and vote along party lines.

    So much for 'our' representatives actually representing us (vs their party).
  290. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: If Mr. Ignatieff can show that both the Bloc and NDP will support him, then she could ask him to form the government, instead of calling another election.

    All Mr. Ignatieff has shown, and the LPC for that matter is that the NDP and Bloc support gaining power at any cost. The Bloc never has or will be a national party for the interest of the nation. They are divisive and thus are counted out of the need to build a better nation through coalitions.

    Jack has stated that we don't spend enough and is looking to re-work the national fiscal fabric through redirection of the tax system, treasury, military and the global environmental movement. Iggy supports the war, Jack doesn't. Iggy supports free trade and open borders. Jack wants more protectionism and border tariffs. Iggy wants more tax breaks and incentives to corporate canada. Jack wants to eliminate tax breaks for corporations. Iggy wants tax reductions and balanced budgets. Jack wants increased taxes and more social programs. Iggy likes the tar sands and jack derides it as the greatest ecolgical disaster of the century. So much for the support between these 2 party's....
  291. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: If history has any thing to say about this then recall that the Liberals won handily in 1926 on the slogan 'King or Byng'. The CPC could use fillibuster in the HOC to stall the business of the nation and then run on the platform of 'Harper or Jean'. This is a lesson the GG will need to learn very fast. Be careful what you wish for my leftist friends. Talk about short lived ideas that win the day but in the long run, falter at the alter of national elections and public mood swings. As well the King/Byng thing is not a reliable precedence to go by. (Wiki) ' In the election the Conservative Party won 115 seats to 100 for King's Liberals. Counting on the support of the Progressive Party (which had 22 seats) to overcome the Conservative plurality, King (who had lost his seat in the election) did not resign and remained in office with the support of Progressive Party, as a minority government. Strictly speaking, this was not a coalition government, as the Progressives were not given any cabinet seats and were thus not a part of the government.' The LPC has 77 and NDP 37 (or what) Only with the separtists do they have enough confidence. Iggy will have to go it alon if he has a chance in hades of running this country through this tactic.
  292. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: Read and weep richard sharp from Gatineau:
    Here is why the Liberals are expected to keep the government from falling this month:
    - Ignatieff has already signalled support by saying Canadians want another election 'like a hole in the head' and by suggesting he is cool to forming a coalition government.
    - Ignatieff was the last opposition MP to sign onto a coalition petition to the Governor General last month, before she prorogued Parliament at Prime Minister Stephen Harper's request. On the eve of the budget, he hinted that he is uncomfortable about a coalition where the Bloc Quebecois would have a big say, though no members of cabinet. That discomfort will factor into the decision, he said.
    - NDP Leader Jack Layton says most constitutional experts are sure Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean would give the Liberal-NDP coalition, supported by the Bloc Quebecois, a chance to govern rather than call an election if the government is defeated soon. But some Liberals are not so confident she would choose a coalition and they don't want to risk a backlash against triggering an election.
    - If a coalition was allowed to govern, Parliament would have to take yet another break while a cabinet is assembled, ministers get briefed, and political staff are fired and hired. That usually takes weeks when a new government is elected and would mean more delays in government measures aimed at buffering Canadians from the recession.
    - Liberals are regrouping under Ignatieff after a difficult couple of years when the party was in the doldrums and his predecessor Stephane Dion was under constant attack along with his signature carbon tax policy. They need more time to get on a more solid organizational and financial footing.
    - Ignatieff has three years under his belt as a member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore but he has only been leader since Dec. 10. He, too, needs more time to get accustomed to his job.
  293. Steve Hennessey from Whitby, Canada writes: To :Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West FYI Alberta is far more of a mix politically than Toronto is, since 1993 TO has only elected few MPs that weren't Liberals, and when they do they are NDPers. In Comparison to Alberta which has had a mix of PC, reform, conservative, liberals and yes even NDP members of parliament since 1993. Not to mention the most diverse religous Cabinent at the provincial level than any other province in Canada. I have been to Alberta, thank-you very much. In fact I lived there for well over a decade. Parliament will only work when the Opposition acts responsibly, they are a handful of votes away from being a true minority. Dion, Duceppe and Layton tried to form a Coalition where they held perhaps a dozen seats west of Ontario combined. Do you really understand from a REAL WORLD perspective how many upset westerners would have resulted if those three clowns were allowed to seize power? Just because something is written that it could happen is it not a valid argument that it should happen, Thank God the Governor General had the sense that what was signed in pen in 1867 has no place in how to determines who governs in 2009. We can set new precedents of what should happen if the situation calls for it. Things have changed, I suggest you try and think for yourself and not memorize the rules of how to form a coalition when using a separtist party to prop it up.
  294. Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: Read and weep richard sharp from Gatineau:

    I couldn't agree more. A point well taken as the idea is always easier to dream about than the actual process of making it reality
  295. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: Jack is for Jack. Gilles is for Gilles. At least Michael is willing to look before voting down the budget. Elizabeth wants to be a senator.

    The coalition is a sham. The coalition has a secret agenda. C'est tout.

    Down with the coalition-alliance.
  296. The Wight from Canada writes: Elizabeth Vann:

    'Jack is for Jack. Gilles is for Gilles. At least Michael is willing to look before voting down the budget. Elizabeth wants to be a senator.'

    Yes, Elizabeth, we get it.

    Self interest is a virtue in Harper, but a vice in everyone else.
  297. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: The Wight: I know nothing of vice. Making observations though, I do tend to do.

    The coaltion may be a vice, though.
  298. Robert M from Canada writes: Waiting at least a day is a good idea. It will give Canadians a chance to look at the budget document.

    Will it contain fudged figures like the November 27th Economic Update did? Will it contain irrational partisan items as well?

    Waiting a day also gives Harper cabinet ministers some time to speak about the budget measures. Can we expect the Harper cabinet ministers to persuade Canadians of the merits of the budget measures? Will any of the cabinet ministers be able to speak credibly about economic issues? Will Mr. Harper be able to avoid insulting all Canadians like he did on December 3rd? Let's see.
  299. Brent Hodges from Canada writes: richard sharp wrote:

    'Canadians do not want another election'

    Canadians don't seem excited about the coalition taking power without an election either. Neither option seems to have widespread support. But we may have to take one of them. Some would argue that consulting the people is the most democratic thing to do.

    'which would be the fourth in five years'

    Only the time since the most recent election will have any bearing on the GG's decision. The other information in constitutionally irrelevant.

    'would cost $300 million'

    Yeah, but that would be spending by government. Isn't everybody calling out for stimulus? Think of all the election workers to be paid!

    'and set the country back yet another 3-4 months of Parliamentary inaction'

    Nonsense. If the government is defeated this Wednesday, the PM would visit the GG within a day. Voting day could be as soon as March 9 and the government sworn in later that week. There's no need for the hiatus to be more than a month-and-a-half if Parliament's recall is deemed to be urgent.
  300. Brent Hodges from Canada writes: Robert M wrote:

    'Will it contain fudged figures like the November 27th Economic Update did?'

    You and some others seem to forget how quickly economic events and expectations changed over recent months.

    The Department of Finance uses an average of 16 private-sector forecasts for its expectations of economic performance.

    As recently as September, the average forecast for 2009 GDP, was positive growth of 2.0 per cent.

    By October the average had dropped to 1.2 per cent.

    In November (the month of the economic statement), the estimate for 2009 was down to 0.5% (low but still positive).

    By December, the number had become negative, at -0.1%.

    The January average will probably be around -0.8%.

    These are dramatic changes in expectations in a short period of time and are the single biggest factor in the changed fiscal circumstances.
  301. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: Brent Hodges from Canada writes:

    'would cost $300 million'

    Yeah, but that would be spending by government. Isn't everybody calling out for stimulus? Think of all the election workers to be paid!

    LMAO, right on best post of the day..........
  302. Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada writes: All Harper wants to do is stagger from crisis to crisis with his 'leadership' intact. While that in itself is a pathetic show, what is worse is that we let him get away with it.

    He promises everything to everyone every time he is in crisis. The Reform, the Alliance, the Progressive Conservatives...and when he gets what he wants he just changes his mind and moves back to the agenda he has always maintained.

    His primary agenda has been the destruction of the Liberal Party at all costs. He reminds me of Bush and his agenda of destroying Saddam at all costs. Idiocy at work while nations crumble and economies are devastated.

    Ignatieff cannot pass up this opportunity. It is a certainty that few if any of Harper's promises will be kept - the man is a walking exception, he has an excuse for avoiding every policy he finds distasteful.

    We know he finds funding the Arts distasteful, as well as bailing out forestry and the auto sector. None of them will see a nickle.

    I urge Mr Ignatieff not to waste this opportunity by trusting Harper one more time. Harper and his government, as well as the budget, are not worthy of confidence.
  303. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada: Nice post too bad we all know better. Like the simple fact that you oppose Harper yet, or at the same time cheer on Obama knowing full well Obama is more right-wing then ANY Tory leader in Canadian history. You beat the dead horse one more time in some kind of lame attempt at painting Harper in some bad light forget the Liberal leader also supported Bush and the war in Iraq as well LIVED in the US until 3-4 years ago, please try to update your propaganda once in a while.
  304. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: OH, and in case any of you Obama buddies are out there like Peasinour here. It seems Iraqi are still dying and the war goes on as well it was nice to see a few bombs in Pakistan, such a Bush move hey Peasinour
  305. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:
    With the US going after Tamil Tiger supporters, there may be some Liberal MPs from Toronto who would be well advised not to travel to the US.
  306. Bohemian Grove Club Member from Canada writes: that's iraqis soorrry...lol
  307. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:
    JShephard Globe Censor: I see you buried my comment that Liberals MPs would be well advised not to go to the US as they are charging Tamil Tigre supporters.
  308. Peasinour Thyme from Edmonton, Canada writes: Hey, Bohemian dude,

    Admittedly in the case of Bush or Harper, my choice would be for anybody else short of Hitler, Stalin or Vlad the Impaler. But I think by bias is obvious. As far as Obama is concerned, I think the US got a good deal there, and history will shine a far kinder light on Obama's tenure than it will on Bush's.

    I am sorry for the Iraqis that the war is still going on. But that's what happens when a powerful leader has a one-track mind, and that's one of the problems with Harper.

    But you can't say you really believe that the Arts are going to see any funding despite what Harper puts in the budget, do you? Or investment in flagging industries like Forestry or Auto? I am pretty sure I'm right about that. Harper hates that stuff; he just will not do it despite any pledges otherwise.

    Also, if one wanted to get rid of Harper, now is the time. Anything else is appeasement, and it has been shown not to work on Harper. Nothing short of relegating him to the opposition benches and waiting for the Conservative sharks to devour him will stop him.

    If Ignatieff fails to act, and there is a chance he might, Harper will dedicate himself to neutering and destroying the opposition.

    If the Coalition takes over that will be best. Another election will only result in another minority, perhaps even for the Liberals. But Harper has lost too much credibility to ever win a majority.

    Anyway, we will see. I'll keep my fingers crossed that things turn out the way I would like to see them, which I believe will be the best for all Canadians even if a third disagree.
  309. Dave Little from southern Ontario, no place to invest, Canada writes: Well, IGGY has only one chance to get it right and defeat the Tory scourge, but as a LIEberal he does not have the moral fiber to do it. So the Stevie Harpo gov't will live on. As LIEberals you need to write your parties epitaph. Here's a suggestion, "44 times we rolled over, so what is number 45, nothing."

    LIEberals, you are a sad lot.
  310. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Mr X from Edmonton, Canada writes: 'Mr. Harper's task is to give Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff sufficient reason to vote for the budget instead of following through on a pact with the NDP and Bloc Québécois to defeat the Tories and replace them with a coalition.'

    How can they replace the Tories with less seats unless they have the bloc in government too? Also how can you just switch governments? The only way to do that would be to call an election.

    ----------------------------------
    Mr X = Mr WRONG

    You best educate yourself on the Canadian Parliamentary system....there is nothing illegial about a formed coalition. The coalition represents over 62% of the people of Canada from the last illegial election Harper called, ignoring his own election law.

    That "coalition is illegal" conReform talking point was shot down a long time ago.

    Go back to sleep.........it'll be over soon.
  311. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Dave Little from southern Ontario, no place to invest, Canada writes: Well, IGGY has only one chance to get it right and defeat the Tory scourge, but as a LIEberal he does not have the moral fiber to do it. So the Stevie Harpo gov't will live on. As LIEberals you need to write your parties epitaph. Here's a suggestion, "44 times we rolled over, so what is number 45, nothing."

    LIEberals, you are a sad lot.

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

    What a sad lot you are......"Dave Little from southern Ontario, no place to invest" With a poster/commenter name like that, Im sure you dont live in Ontario, but perhaps in Alberta ? Perhaps in a conReformbot hack war room in an old warehouse somewhere in the fringe outskirts of Calgary ?

    Just call it a hunch . . .

    If you do live in Ontario, why are you still here ? Why not move to your "better land"

    Ignatieff, take these demons down now, they have been given chance after chance to redeem themselves to Canadians, have lied and deceived. It is clear there is no hope with conReformers !!
  312. Brett Williams from Canada writes: "Robert in and around Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Does the GG not also have to be accountable to public opinion ? If she were to go with your scenario then she could face a huge backlash from public opinion and be forced to resign. "

    ABSOLUTELY WRONG. She is not the least bit accountable to public opinion, and public opinion, must, BY DEFINITION, NOT play into her decisions. She cannot take the platforms, people, etc. of any political party into account with her decision. She can only use the constitution and precedence to decide.

    It doesn't matter what she thinks. It doesn't matter what polls say. It doesn't matter who is part of the coalition. None of it matters. Only if it's legal and requested.

    Basically she has no choice but to hand the government to the coalition if Harper is defeated. It's a no brainer. So stop trying to stir up a storm.
  313. Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: My understanding of what votes are confidence votes in the house is a little weak. I understand that the vote on the budget is always a "confidence measure", and that the government can declare legislation as such. What I am unsure of is, and doing a quick search did not help (so far) me with is "what are the rules for votes of confidence in the government". I am wondering because if the budget passes is there a given next opportunity or can the CPC avoid votes of confidence and if so for how long?
  314. Dan Zenderman from TO, Canada writes: My Fellow Canadians ...

    When the yankee flag is raised on parliament hill , you will see Micheal Ignatieff wrapped around the flag pole like a dog would wrap itself around Barak Obamas leg...

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=rDNY5sX9CL4

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=61YPUdO1i5M
  315. 2sides 2story from Saskatoon, Canada writes: There is no illegitamacy to the coalition being given opportunity to govern. Although the Voters of Canada, (At least the ones that bothered to show up) gave more seats to the CPC than any other party, they also gave more seats to other parties than they gave to the CPC. Therfore in a democratic society, when the majority of our elected representatives voice an opinion that they would support a Liberal led coalition over a Harper led government, then the voice of the voters in the last election is being heard. The party that has the confidence of most of those MP's get's the opportunity to govern. When that party shows ineptness, and incompetence, they may lose the confidence of the house. This is what is happening now. So those who think that having more seats than any other party gives them the absolute right to govern are wrong. We just had an election any less than 3 out of 5 voted. This says a lot about the choices that we were given. The responsibility of the GG is to make the HofC work. If the CPC can't do it, the GG has only one other option and that is to give the opportunity to the opposition. Canadians voters have just voted and the haven't had a government since then. Calling another election would be irresponsible at this time. Until we get a political party leader who can captivate the imagination of Canadians with their presence, Canadians may continue to avoid going to polls and choosing 'none of the above'. 40% of Canadians voted this way in the last election. That's is a more than double the voice that is represented by the current governing party. I still would prefer to see the CPC be given an opportunity to govern to be followed by an election, but all this CPC talk of treason, and coup d'etats, and illegitimate coalition government is doing a disservice to the education of the Canadian people on how their government works. It's all lies from MP's trying to maintain power by trying to infect voters with stupidity.
  316. Rebel Prince from Berlin, Germany writes: Dan Zenderman from TO, Canada writes: My Fellow Canadians ...

    When the yankee flag is raised on parliament hill , you will see Micheal Ignatieff wrapped around the flag pole like a dog would wrap itself around Barak Obamas leg...

    ____

    Zzzzzzz
  317. Right Winger from Canada writes: I find it ironic that the left wingers and lib supporters accuse Harper of being a dictator and a liar. Lets step back for a moment and think about this. Iggy said he needs to see tax breaks...then no tax breaks...then yes, tax breaks. Then, if he doesn't like what's in the budget, he'll vote it down. Not once did I hear him say the lib MP's are free thinkers, free to vote as they wish. Nope, it's his way or nothing. Kinda like a dictator, don't you think?
    Oh yeah, this displaced American sure is a lot different than Harper is. LOL. Reminds me of Chretien, you'd be out the door fast if you went against his wishes.
    Iggy will vote yes then go back to his little mansion on the hill and yell at his maid and kick the dog thinking he's a big man in Ottawa. What a joke this guy is.
    And to the guy that told all of us that think differently than him to "STFU", nice try doofus. We'll keep on getting our message out there, you not liking it as no bearing whatsoever. Good luck with that.
  318. Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: While I am not a Harper supporter, nor an economist, I am aware of the issues and the complexity of the problem. Given his stepping back from his previous approach (he has eaten some crow over this I am sure) we must give Harper the chance to present the updated version. Lets save the Iggy, Jack clap trap for after the PM has brought the budget forward. We do not have a partisan economic crisis, we have one that hurts everyone. Let's see what they present first, then debate after. I am sure we all realize there are valid points on both sides, and no one has "the answer".
  319. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: "...I am wondering because if the budget passes is there a given next opportunity or can the CPC avoid votes of confidence and if so for how long?"

    When the government introduces a Bill (legislation) in parliament, it alone decides whether or not the Bill will be a confidence motion. The only exception are "money" Bills (i.e. those that affect the Treasury) - these have to be confidence motions.
  320. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Right Winger from Canada writes: "I find it ironic that the left wingers and lib supporters accuse Harper of being a dictator and a liar..."

    No irony involved - he is!

    According to your opinion, Ignatieff is as well. No argument from me on that.

    But what Party Leader isn't a dictator of some sort or another? There is a reason they all have a position called the "party whip" (and it ain't because they're all into some S&M fetish, either).

    But Harper has confirmed those accusations over and over again through his past actions. Ignatieff is still too new to have accumulated enough baggage to support your opinion.
  321. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: Mr X from Edmonton - The GG could give a coalition a chance to form a government, there is no need for an election.
  322. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Right Winger from Canada writes: "I find it ironic that the left wingers and lib supporters accuse Harper of being a dictator and a liar..." No irony involved - he is! According to your opinion, Ignatieff is as well. No argument from me on that. But what Party Leader isn't a dictator of some sort or another? There is a reason they all have a position called the "party whip" (and it ain't because they're all into some S&M fetish, either). But Harper has confirmed those accusations over and over again through his past actions. Ignatieff is still too new to have accumulated enough baggage to support your opinion. ==================== I agree, Harper now has an awful legacy of conniving for his own political gain with little interest in the actual process of geoverning. Maybe Ignatieff is autocratic but he hasn't had much of an opportunity yet to establish a pattern of actions. It is encouraging to hear his policy of reading the whole budget and discussing it with his caucus before deciding how to react to it. That is, if nothing else, more logical than Jack Layton's approach. (I have some sympathy with the lack of trust with Harper but he has to at least see what the budget says before deciding to vote against it.)
  323. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: There will be some class shown, high or low, will see if entitled arrogance or service to Canada is important.
  324. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: 62% of the voters did not vote for a coalition. Where do the embittered partisans get the idea that anyone knew there was a "coaliton" party to vote for? The bells in parliament go ding a ling, calling the coaliton perhaps?
  325. richard sharp from Gatineau, writes: Hee Hoo Sai:

    1. 100% of Canadians were promised (in law) there would be no election for four years, but Mr. Harper lied, broke his own law and called one anyway

    2. 100% of Canadians were misinformed about the state of our economy when the election was called and during the election. The Tories only threw some stimulus announcements becauswe they were forced to by the opposition parties.

    3. 100% of Canadians were misinformed yet again by the Conservatives "economic statement," which forecast a surplus and can generally be described as so irrelevant and vindictive as to defy logic

    4. 100% of Canadians suffered while Parliament was silent, during the unnecessary election, until Parliament convened, and then for yet another 7 weeks until today

    So, that the Libs and NDP did not foresee a coalition during the election is perhaps understandable? The circumstances have changed and, I ask you, who has been the most deceptive?
  326. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: "62% of the voters did not vote for a coalition...."

    Hee Hoo, actually 100% of the voters did not vote for a coalition. The reason is because that is not something they can vote on.

    Learn a little about our parliamentary democracy before critizing it, will you?

    "... Where do the embittered partisans get the idea that anyone knew there was a "coaliton" party to vote for? ..."

    Anyone who actually understands our parliamentary democracy would have understood that a coalition is a legitimate option within a minority parliament. It does not need to go to a vote from the general public to be considered.

    Hee Hoo, educate yourself rather than simply regurgitating CPC talking points. Education is much tastier!
  327. Allan Beveridge from Edmonton, Canada writes: Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, I appreciate someone getting back to me on this. I knew the government decide to make any vote on legislation a confidence vote, and I had thought it manditory for budget/money legislation. Are there any besides budgetary that are by default confidence motions say a declaration of war, changes to the charter, changes to....


    Again, thanks for responding.
  328. Doug Edwards from rural, Canada writes: Iggy will wait till Wednesday to read the polls before makeing a decision. 5/3 that they don't dump the Cons. Not enough money in the Liberl kitty for and election and the GG will likely disolve if the government is defeated.
  329. Rt. Revd. Malachy Egan from Halifax, Canada writes: Doug Edwards: want to know what is really pathertic? Apart from the mess we are in and Harper's counterproductive effort at a budget.

    You [and so many others] use of the diminuitive 'Iggy' like the guy was your pal or long lost brother. If you and 99% of the others died tonight your stupid Iggy wouldn't miss a bowel movement.

    Grow up!

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