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kwik
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Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
Did Stephen Harper just lose his damn mind?

Short version- the Conservatives seem to be poised to introduce some plans to try and keep the economy up there in decent shape.

One of em- eliminating the subsidies (cbc.ca) that all national parties receive. Currently, any party that receives at least 2% of the national vote in any federal election, gets $1.95 for every vote they get. In real terms, based on the last election, the move would cost the Tories 10 million, the Liberals 7 million, and on down. However, when you look at the subsidy, as a percentage of the total revenue that a party takes in, a different picture becomes clear:

Conservatives would lose an amount representing 37% of total revenue. The Liberals would lose 63%, the New Democrats 57%, the Greens 65%, and the Bloc Quebecois would get HAMMERED, to the tune of 86% of their revenue lost.

Needless to say, the opposition parties, who actually hold a combined majority of seats in the House of Commons have not reacted well, and come Monday, Canadians could be looking at either, another Federal Election, a little more than a month after the last one, or Stepane Dion (or with more than a little backroom gaming, Michael Ignatieff) as Prime Minister of an amazingly shaky minority that would be lucky to limp to next spring.

So, the question occurs, did Stephen Harper just make the biggest miscalculation of his political life?



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Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
While I'm not sure about the cutting the subsidies, but there are some great ideas in the article.

I'm loving the fact that the political parties are only thinking of themselves. What about the people they're sworn to serve? Ever hear of a thing called sacrifice? The greed that's prevalent in government is staggering.

If anyting, maybe CUTTING it instead of removing it entirely would be a better decision.





Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
kwik
Summer sausage








Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
    Originally posted by Oliver
    While I'm not sure about the cutting the subsidies, but there are some great ideas in the article.

    I'm loving the fact that the political parties are only thinking of themselves. What about the people they're sworn to serve? Ever hear of a thing called sacrifice? The greed that's prevalent in government is staggering.

    If anyting, maybe CUTTING it instead of removing it entirely would be a better decision.




Intrigue!

According to a CBC (cbc.ca) report, a deal is done that would see Stphane Dion become Prime Minister in a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition, and that the Liberals plan to introduce a motion on Monday in the House of Commons:

    Originally posted by Liberal Motion

    In light of the government's failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada's economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy this House has lost confidence in this government and is of the opinion that a viable alternative government can be formed



So, what's clear at this point is that SOMEONE made a major, major mistake here, question is, who?




CRZ
Big Brother
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Since: 9.12.01
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.02
Since it's my job to hype the history page, please enjoy this thread from three years ago today (The W) and marvel at the fact that Canadians never stop being Canadian.



Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
    Originally posted by kwik
      Originally posted by Oliver
      While I'm not sure about the cutting the subsidies, but there are some great ideas in the article.

      I'm loving the fact that the political parties are only thinking of themselves. What about the people they're sworn to serve? Ever hear of a thing called sacrifice? The greed that's prevalent in government is staggering.

      If anyting, maybe CUTTING it instead of removing it entirely would be a better decision.




    Intrigue!

    According to a CBC (cbc.ca) report, a deal is done that would see Stphane Dion become Prime Minister in a Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition, and that the Liberals plan to introduce a motion on Monday in the House of Commons:

      Originally posted by Liberal Motion

      In light of the government's failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada's economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy this House has lost confidence in this government and is of the opinion that a viable alternative government can be formed



    So, what's clear at this point is that SOMEONE made a major, major mistake here, question is, who?

Ummm...I'm confused - Stephane Dion's the PM of a NDP/Liberal/Bloc coalition? What does that mean?

An update: The Tories are stepping away from the subsidy idea (news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca), averting their government to be toppled


(edited by CRZ on 29.11.08 1814)

Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
Chumpstain
Boudin rouge








Since: 21.1.02
From: Canada

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#6 Posted on
What it means is that the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois are, in theory, going to unite and agree to work together in order to 'usurp' the Prime Minister position from Stephen Harper rather than trigger another election. That's what they'd like to do, at least. In practice, it's a little thornier than that. The Canadian constitution allows the government to be taken over by the leader of the Opposition in case the current government is unable to govern, so Stephane Dion would be the Prime Minister in that case. It doesn't specifically allow for "coalitions" though. An unofficial coalition could certainly form, but the biggest problem that it would have is that because the Conservatives still have the most seats (they have more than the NDP and Liberals combined, remember), any attempt by Dion to try to run the country would be dependant on the Bloc Quebecois. This would put Stephane Dion, the staunch federalist and authour of the Clarity Act, he who has opposed the seperatists above all else, in bed with the Bloc and requiring their support to be able to govern at all.

I'm sure it's a great story for the Toronto media to play up, but it's just not really too realistic. Either the "coalition" would fall apart quickly, or the Liberal Party is going to suffer a lot of damage to its image from all the kowtowing they'll need to do to the Bloc to get anything they want. And all this just because they can't learn how to mimic the grassroots donations that the Conservatives are able to get? Can't they just call up Barack Obama and ask him how to fire up liberals and get their money, rather than either trigger a second election in two months or the damaging image of being in bed with the Bloc?

(edited by Chumpstain on 29.11.08 2052)
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.40
The coalition has been waiting to find the first opportunity they could to unsurp the power from Harper, and have found it with the Economic Statement. They can claim this came about on account of the Tories plan, but this has been planned by the opposition for ages.

The first order of business for the Coalition is to throw a $30 billion bailout to the CAR INDUSTRY. You know, as opposed to maybe banks who could actually use the money, rather than continue to sink it aimlessly down the pipeline of their auto factories by companies who haven't a clue how to run their businesses. The kicker? The auto union happen to be the BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS to the NDP party. Jobs are protected at union wages on MY dollar because they'd never survive on their own - and the money is then funnelled back to the NDP.

I look forward to being led by an incompetant who assisted steering the ship of his own party in the ground. 75% of the house is going to be controlled by someone who didn't even amass 25% of the votes. God bless Canada.
haz
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Since last post: 38 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.68
It really is a tough one to me...

I don't like the Conservative government, didn't want them in the first place, but I also just don't agree with what this coalition is doing. As much as it is possible constitutionally, it just seems like a "sour grapes" and "power-grab" by those that lost the election. I just can't see how this is a good idea.

After listening to everything on the news last night, I don't see this actually happening. The PM has the ability to shut-down parliament for the rest of the year, called proroguing, and only re-starting on the day the Conservatives deliver a full budget in January. At that time, they will actually spell out their plan for the economy, which they did not do in enough detail with the "economic update". Constitutionally, if the PM suggests that the Governor-General has to allow it, she can not overrule him.

The other option, which Canadians would just hate is to dissolve the government and call an election. While this would be bad for the other parties, it would really piss-off the electorate, which wouldn't be good for any politician.

Certainly this is interesting for the political scientist in us all....



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The Goon
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 45 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.98
Canadian commentator Rex Murphy puts it best when he takes everyone to task with his viewpoint on last night's National:


All Politics, No Government

tarnish
Frankfurter








Since: 13.2.02
From: Back in the Heart of Hali

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.60
    Originally posted by cfbg
    You know, as opposed to maybe banks who could actually use the money


To be fair, our banks are not in the same dire straights as banks in other parts of the world, mostly thanks to the regulatory measures in place on our banks. I won't argue that the automotive industry is certainly tied to the NDP in some uncomfortable ways, though.

Overall I'm in general agreement with haz: I don't much like the Conservative Party and certainly didn't vote for them, but this whole coalition thing is not what I want either. Its the kind of thing I'd expect the Conservatives to pull and I expect I'd be all up in arms about it if they did. I just don't see why you go through all this backroom wrangling, the dancing with the devil that is the Bloc, and pissing off the Canadian people to put up a lame-duck Prime Minister who's already announced his resignation as leader of his party.

And thanks for the Rex Murphy link, Goon. I must remember to watch the actual clip sometime because seeing and hearing Rex delivering his own screeds is impossibly even more entertaining than reading them, but with an opening like, "Political scientists will stagger gibbering witless to their graves..." you really can't go wrong.
kwik
Summer sausage








Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
(deleted by kwik on 2.12.08 2116)
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
What really bothers me about this situation is that if this "coalition" goes through...they're not the government I voted for. What's better is that, the same leader that brought the Liberals their worst defeat in YEARS is the same man to lead the country? Oh hell no.

Just because Harper may not have the confidence of the House doesn't mean he's not supported by the public. Its not up the House to determine who's the PM - it's the voters.

If Dion and company want to defeat the Harper government, so be it, but this coalition idea is terribly undemocratic. I may not have voted for Harper in the last election, but Dion wasn't even near being second place...and I'm not supporting a leader who wasn't democratically put into place. To me, that's by ballot, not by a coup.

If there's an election, let it happen, but please, let there be a moratorium on elections for a year.





Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
kwik
Summer sausage








Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

Since last post: 40 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
    Originally posted by Oliver
    What really bothers me about this situation is that if this "coalition" goes through...they're not the government I voted for. What's better is that, the same leader that brought the Liberals their worst defeat in YEARS is the same man to lead the country? Oh hell no.

    Just because Harper may not have the confidence of the House doesn't mean he's not supported by the public. Its not up the House to determine who's the PM - it's the voters.






If I'm horribly off-base on this, feel free to shout "dumbass American!", but...no, you didn't vote for a PM, just as, technically, remember, Americans didn't vote for a President. WE voted for electors who had pleged to vote for Candidate X or Y at the electoral college meeting for our state, YOU voted for a Member of Parliament.

And if the voters truly wanted a Conservative government, why do you not have a Conservative majority? Right now, you have a Prime Minister who, going by the last election was supported by 37.6% of voters, who is now being threatened with removal in favor of a coalition that, in that same election, won the support of 54.4% of the voters. (Until 2010, at least, you have to include the Bloc vote in that figure, if you're looking at the deal that the 3 parties signed). Or, in different terms, the Tories held 46% of seats in the House, and now a coalition representing 52% of House seats is making moves to take over. That's how the system works. Harper saw an opportunity to make a move, he thought the Liberals were going to just cruise along until their next leadership election (which, to be fair, wasn't a terribly bad assumption to make, based on the goings-on of the last term), and it's looking like it just jumped up and bit him, big time.



hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.37
I wish we had a real Constitution, rather than 400 years of British tradition and routine.



It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.

If you wanna reach the Co-op, boy, you gotta get by me.
haz
Landjager








Since: 2.1.02
From: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Since last post: 38 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.68
Well, Harper got his delay. Now the Conservatives do their best to drive a wedge into the coalition.

MPs will go home to their constituencies and hear from the people, who all seem to believe all parties are acting like complete idiots. Yes, this all may be legal and constitutional, but people would much rather see all the parties work together to deal with the economic issues that are on the table.

January 26th will come sooner than most think...

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081204/national/parliament_crisis



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Is this who you wanted me to be?
Well it's not me
KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.28
    Originally posted by haz
    MPs will go home to their constituencies and hear from the people, who all seem to believe all parties are acting like complete idiots.
Agreed that they're all acting like idiots.

I consider myself fairly liberal but I really don't know if there's anyone I can side with here. Harper brought it all on himself by putting forth a self-serving agenda (disingenuously presented as being in the public interest). The opposition parties reacted in defense of their own interests, while disingenuously claiming that they're acting on behalf of the public interest. Attempting to form a centre/left coalition government may only succeed in mobilizing the centre/right movement, ultimately resulting in the Conservatives earning a majority in the next election. But apart from rolling over and accepting Harper's bullshit agenda, I don't know if they had any other options.

Don't blame me, I threw my vote away on the Greens.



JK: LJ, S&H, KMA, FB
TheOldMan
Landjager








Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.91
Is there any chance of the Liberals naming a successor to Dion during the hiatus? And would that make the coalition government any more attractive to the public??

I do envy Canada being able to suspend government until the end of January.



Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
    Originally posted by TheOldMan
    Is there any chance of the Liberals naming a successor to Dion during the hiatus? And would that make the coalition government any more attractive to the public??

    I do envy Canada being able to suspend government until the end of January.
Well, the news networks are suggesting that Dion will resign as leader by Christmas. That's pretty bizarre, since just this week, he was painting himself as Canada's next Prime Minister.

Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff are both in the running for leader of the Liberals. Bob Rae is pretty much hated in Ontario, due to his tenure as Premier here...so I don't know how that's going to go.

A recent news report suggested if an election happened YESTERDAY, 48% of those polled would vote Conservative, simply due to the confusion surrounding the PMO. If the budget in January is defeated, I'm guessing there'll be another election in March or April.



Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
The Goon
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.98
By Christmas, indeed:

Dion steps down

Looks like it will be Iggy taking the reigns of the LPC.
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
Here's a crazy thought....would the Conservatives give any thought to replacing Harper as the party leader? It's certainly a longshot and he has the support of his party, but it's quite possible that this deadlock in Ottawa could be broken with someone like Peter McKay in charge.
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