05.28.2010 09:36 PM

So, um, what do you think about a coalition now, nay-sayers?

Holy smokes.

And just wait until the Reformatories announce that part of their platform will be an elimination of the election subsidy. That’s coming, too.

43 Comments

  1. Sean says:

    …do it… sign me up…

    s.

  2. JDot says:

    Please run on a Coalition, please. I am sure the Tory surge has nothing to do with the coalition talk since the British election..

  3. Doug says:

    It appears to me that it is going to take another electoral debacle to motivate key folks in both “progressive” parties to get serious about some kind of combination. I hope I’m wrong.

    Personally I think the philosophical differences between Liberals and NDPers are significant enough to maintain separate parties – there’s a reason I’m a Liberal – but not so significant that we should let these relatively small differences create the space for the Conservatives to remake Canada in their image.

  4. Joseph says:

    This is what happens when you keep voting for the folks you’re supposed to oppose. When will Iggy discover/re-discover his spine?

    • Bill Templeman says:

      Joesph, I am afraid the Ignatieff must go. The Harper-cons have a 9 point lead in the polls. This is doom in action. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/05/26/ekos-poll-.html

      There must be a way to deep-6 Ignatieff. The Libs are not going to get many votes with a leader who disdains voters. The ultimate reason why Ignatieff must go is that he would fail the Don Cherry Test. What is the DCT? Every other leader, including Gilles Duceppe, could do a guest spot on Coaches Corner and pull it off with style. Layton could yuck it up as a Habs fan. Harper actually is writing a book about hockey and could match tactics with Cherry. Gilles could rant at him for being anti-French. Elizabeth May would have a great time with Cherry; she has a great sense of humour.

      Can any of us even remotely imagine Michael Ignatieff on Coaches Corner? No we can’t, because he couldn’t do it. He is a leadership disaster in slow-mo, and it will take a very long time to get rid of him. He is brilliantly un-confident, arrogantly compassionate, tone-deaf as a communicator, over-coached and as empathetic as a research library on a Saturday night.

      His most recent gaff was his comment about the Auditor General going through MP expenses. He said, on national radio no less, that “there is no point in going thru lunch receipts; we’d spend more money on the accountants than we would find in over-billing”. Reminds me of Kim Campbell’s infamous quip; “You can’t discuss policies in the midst of an election”. Both remarks are correct. Ignatieff is right; the cost of finding that extra charge for a friend’s cocktail or fancy dessert or whatever would be tiny compared to the accounting fees. But that’s not the point. What people hear on national radio is “Iggy said he doesn’t want the AG to look at his lunch receipts” — and the audience goes ballistic.

      Is exile a possibility?

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Bill Templeman,

        The prerequisite to victory is unity. Disunity, by necessity only leads to one thing: a guaranteed continued long stretch in opposition. That’s the real deal Bill. Is Michael perfect? Not by a long shot but he’s a moderate centrist leader — not someone who hugs the center to stay in office while permitting overly right-wing tilts which I personally find unacceptable.

        Most Canadians are in the middle — not the pretend middle à la this Prime Minister. I’m with Michael. We will get our shot and either way, will live with the result. Stéphane Dion got his election, Michael will get his.

        • Michael Watkins says:

          Actually, St

        • Bill Templeman says:

          Thanks Ronald. I fully agree with your call for unity. But unity on what? What have we heard in terms of positions, policies and commitments? How do we know Michael is a moderate, centrist leader? All I know is that he is an exceedingly cautious leader. Admittedly this not Michael’s issue in isolation. The entire party is gun shy after Dion’s Green Shift election. No doubt the Back Room has declared a ban on all clear positions that the Harperites could spin and slag with attack ads.

          Back to unity: Unity around who? The real deal is that if Michael gets his election, we Libs will lose and the Cons may get their dreaded majority. Unity around the wrong leader is a recipe for a Harper victory. Do you want to live with those results? I’m not with Michael. It is time for Liberals who feel similarly to speak up. Michael has worked exceedingly hard so far and is a very admirable & talented individual. But he is weak on several key skill sets a modern political leader must possess, namely mass appeal, use of media and communication skills. Sorry, but he exudes disdain for those of us who are much lower on the intellectual food chain. People sense that and won’t vote for him.

          We have other options…

  5. bc says:

    Listen to yourself, Warren.

    “More people appear to be putting their support behind the Conservatives, and we don’t like the Conservatives, so let’s try to usurp power with a coalition”.

    Further proof, that the natural governing party has still not come to terms with being in opposition.

    If a coalition is to happen it has to be pitched BEFORE an election, and the general terms should be shared. Who will lead, ect. Canadian’s MUST know who they are voting for.

    • Scott Tribe says:

      Not true. The Conservativea and Liberal Democrats didnt pitch a coalition before their election. They entered into it after.

      By the way Warren.. Leger is an online poll, so you might want to take it with a grain of salt. The recent UK election showed the top 5 of 6 accurate pollsters to be phone based, while the bottom 5 out of 6 were “online-based”. Online polling panels in the US have also shown some quetionable results.. so I’m not sold on those #’s, or any other ones delivered by an online internet panel.

    • Scott Tribe says:

      By the way Bc, as the UK election has shown, coalitions are a perfectly legitimate way of forming power.. there is no usurping involved in forming one.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Is that a law – that a coalition has to be pitched before an election? I don’t think that was the case in England, but I could be wrong.

      I guess the Tories are nervous.

      • bc says:

        “The Conservativea and Liberal Democrats didnt pitch a coalition before their election. They entered into it after.” – but at least one of them held the right to a minority parliament.

        In the Canadian coalition we’re talking about, the 2nd, and 3rd place parties are forming a government. In other words, not enough Canadian’s made them their primary choice.

        In the UK example the 1st and 3rd parties are forming a government. At least one party was chosen to lead.

        I don’t see how that can be ignored.

    • Michael Watkins says:

      Usurp is such an ugly, and inaccurate, word, and besides: to date “more people” have voted for Anything But Conservative. Who is usurping who?

      Clearly Canadians already know who they are voting for. That’s why Harper never got a majority.

  6. VH says:

    Coalition maybe, but the Liberal braintrust should shut up about it in public. It’s a weak sell.

    I believe most voters expect parties to give them a reason to vote for them and expect a party to come up with winning lines and arguments instead of talking about going into a partnership with its competitors.

    So talks of coalition just tells voters that party leaders can’t come up reasons why they should vote Liberal.
    It’s a dog whistle under-the-radar type signal but a signal nonetheless; people are generally good on sniffing out weakness.

    So I would expect the polls to keep going south the more this coalition talk gets out to the public at large.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      VH,

      To my mind, the onus is on Jack and the New Democrats. Let them say they are open to a coalition in the event that we get our own version of the UK election results. Should that happen, he can begin negotiations with this Prime Minister first — as the outgoing government (love the sound of that, but as usual I digress) and that should last about a New York Minute.

      Then the focus will turn to Michael as the next largest party (if we haven’t won outright) with the horse trading hot and heavy. Put another way. as Liberals, we can win it on our own (if we actually do it right) or we can win it as part of a two-party post-electoral structure. Either way, Harper is history and boy does he know it.

  7. John says:

    Go ahead and run on a coalition platform. Especially one that joins with the Bloc. Hope you enjoy having seats in Toront, Hamilton and Quebec only. The Conservatives will gladly take the rest.

  8. MississaugaPeter says:

    No charismatic leader with an inspiring vision would require a coalition.

    And

    UK coalition is a work in progress and may dissolve sooner than later.

  9. wilson says:

    If Liberals win the most votes (even if not the most ridings) they have legitimate claim to forming a government.
    But that is for the Canadian electorate to decide, not Jack Layton.

    The part of this coalition I resent the most is the NDP serving themselves up cabinet seats.
    Canadians have/do support Liberal governments,
    but never ever have Canadians put Dippers in cabinet.

    The BLOC with a veto? never.

  10. bc says:

    If the Liberals and NDP run on a coalition platform I’m all for it – it would be 100% legitimate, afterall.

    But if the two losing parties simply put votes together and think it gives them the moral authority to govern, then I bet most Canadian’s would take issue.

    Thoughts?

  11. Greg C says:

    I would like to take it a bit further than a coalition. I would like a non-aggression pact/alliance btw the Libs, Dips, and Greens, whereby the party with the most votes per riding in the previous election is the only party allowed to run a candidate in that riding. The LNG Alliance would agree that each party would have representation in cabinet and run on a similar platform. If they do not do this the vote splitting might still allow the Cons to retain power, and Canadians will not stand for a coalition including the Bloc as we have found out. The results based simply on the numbers from the previous election would be give or take:

    145 Libs – representation across the country, including Alberta!
    66 Cons – reduced to Alberta and rural Canada
    51 Dips – gain seats, represented across Canada!
    44 Bloc – status quo
    2 Greens – need I say more

    The LNG total would be 198 seats, a clear majority. Even if there is some bleeding to the Cons, there is still enough of a cushion to get a slim majority.

    (New ridings not taken into account)

    The argument that Lib voters would bleed to the Cons is false as a result of a coalition. They already have bled votes to the Cons and to the Dips over the past two elections. How much more can they bleed? The Libs have been reduced from approximately 5 million votes to 3.6 million, the Dips have gained approx 300K votes and the Cons approx 1.2M.

    This is a win/win not only for the LNG, but for those progressive voters across Canada. Moreover, there would be more money in the pool if the votes per riding are not divided. If they do not put down their swords they are doing a disservice to the country and putting their egos first…sadly I think this will happen.

  12. Someone suggested the NDP and Bloc Members of Parliament cross over to the Liberal Party and whoever runs these ridings continue to do so for a period of years until the Ridings have Elections. The same will hold true for the Liberal Menbers. The Leaders of the Opposition Parties can come to a Pecking Order agreement regarding Ministerial positions.

  13. Chris says:

    Talk of coalition hides the real issue: The Liberal party in opposition under the ‘leadership’ of Ignatieff and current party brass has been an embarassement and a failure. A non existent and impotenet critic of Finance, a reactionary communicatoins strategy and petty partisan attacks that excite anyone. Could you imagine the response by the Tories if it had been a Liberal or NDP government that ran these deficts? There would be anti-socialist marches in the streets, convservate elite (i.e preston manning et al) would be on the radio, tv, writing editorials, giving speeches and whipping people into a frenzy – The Liberal party however would like to bring to everyone’s attention that the Olympic Logo looks like the Conservative Party Logo! Now that’s how you don’t get votes! It’s been one of the mose unenergetic, charisma lacking, shurg your shoulder opposotion and it’s why the party keeps sinking in the polls.

  14. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    W,

    Our job is to gel the platform and then get out there and sell it to Canadians. Time for a change of government. That’s a given. Secondly, we know how to do it as pros. All we need is common resolve to unite behind the leader in a campaign and just get the thing done.

    As for the polls, I’ll be shaking when nature’s earthquake hits. Not before.

    • Michael Watkins says:

      Ronald: “we know how to do it as pros.”

      Ronald, with all respect, how is that “professional” approach working out for you and the LPC?

      How has being “pros” worked out over the last several elections?

      (Poorly: Liberal popular vote has dropped in each election since Chretien stepped off the stage. Clearly whatever the party has been doing since Martin / interim leader / Dion / Ignatieff — isn’t working. Not. At. All.)

      How has that “professional” approach worked out for the LPC over the past four by-elections?
      (Poorly: Cons 2, Bloc 1, NDP 1)

      Meanwhile the Conservative popular support while subject to the oh-so-smart limits still put on it by the Canadian electorate has met and now exceeded that of the two former founding parties, the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

      Harper might be hamstrung by being Harper, but given the horrible campaigns now delivered by the LPC in two three elections, and more recently horrible results in the last four by-elections, a year of on-going horrible polling results and horrible public “feel” for the LPC leader of the day, what in the world gives you the audacious, no — arrogant — optimism that magically the LPC will campaign its way to success?

      Hopefully your definition of “success” is not merely avoiding the oblivion that the PC Party saw post Mulroney-Campbell? You know, when the PC’s were utterly decimated, returning only *2* members to Parliament, and one of them was Elsie Wayne who barely counts as sentient. (Thank you John Tory and Allan Gregg, et al)

      Don’t live in the past. Adapt.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Michael Watkins,

        With respect, you seem to think we can’t get our groove back! Michael, ours up until now has not exactly been a shining trail of political success. That’s a given. I’m not suggesting otherwise. Michael, I would be interesting in your analysis of the following: the Conservatives took power in 2006 with 36%. Today, almost five years later, the sitting government remains range bound. There is absolutely no appetite in the country to give this Prime Minister a majority mandate.

        What does that say about Harper’s PMO and the Conservative Party of Canada? The lesson as the Borg can remind us is that resistance is futile! Conservatives can move heaven and earth but a majority is not in the cards as long as this Prime Minister is the leader.

        Stephen Harper needs to cling to an apprehended coalition ghost for his hopes to go from none to slim! That is the reality.

        I don’t plan on living in the past. Yes, like yourself, I believe in adaptation. MY job along with that of every other Liberal is to do it right and win. You don’t think we can rise above past results. Let’s have an election and see whether you turn out to be right.

        • Michael Watkins says:

          I’m not at all saying you can’t get your groove back, what I’m saying is I’ve seen absolutely no evidence of it, despite privately cheering you folks on from the sidelines.

          Some Conservatives believe that Stephen Harper is the best thing since the combustion engine, but this “conservative” (I stopped carrying a card in 2006) believes he is the worst possible leader for Canada and have plenty of reasons to fear him as a majority leader of our country.

          Despite my opinion of Harper I’ve never underestimated him. When Martin went to the GG in 2006 to launch what would turn out to be a disastrous campaign, I told anyone who would listen (and have plenty of evidence of this on-line) that Harper was almost certainly going to pull off a win, long before the view became commonplace later in 2006 pre voting day.

          Yes, despite his talents Harper himself has held his party back but more so, his inability to hold Quebec is really what is keeping the CPC “range bound”.

          It would be a mistake to assume this will always be the case. If he can’t gain in Quebec, he can gain in Ontario and a smattering of seats elsewhere. I suspect B.C. has a few seats that could swing to CPC.

          A poor showing by Ignatieff could help Harper to his majority. The country, like it or, not, has gotten used to Harper. If he doesn’t start slashing spending (which he must) soon, an election is in the winds. The CPC is and will be far more ready than anyone else.

          At this point, I believe Harper is close enough to majority territory, and believe he believes it, that he’s going to jam his machine into overdrive to get the right conditions set and then pull the trigger.

          Maybe eagerness will cause them to make some mistakes. I surely hope so.

          Let me ask you a different question Ronald — if Harper *only* gets minority again, probably somewhat strengthened, what next for Mr. Ignatieff and the LPC?

          And what next for the country? A weak showing by the Liberals will hand Harper the keys again to run his government like he has a majority, albeit on money items he’ll have to tread far more carefully than he’d like I’m sure.

          • Michael Watkins says:

            oops, meant Martin went to the GG in fall 2005. Typo.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:

            Michael,

            FULL DISCLOSURE: Yours truly is also ex-Progressive Conservative and Conservative. Left the party as soon as this Prime Minister tried to cut the federal party subsidy. And yes, I was hand-in-hand with Jamieson in 2005 when we tried to replace Harper as opposition leader. I would call that learning valuable lessons by extremely rough experience…

            Now to your question: my answer is a cop out. Win or lose, I will look to the Liberal Party constitution — which will show all of us the way, including the leader.

    • MJH says:

      You have little chance of winning with MI at the helm. You should start the aearch for a new lewder ASAP. The brutal grind of a federal election will not suit Michael at all.

  15. William M says:

    Unite the LPC/NDP/Greens

    • MJH says:

      A very sad day when Liberals admit defeat and need a coalition option. What happened to the once proud Party?

  16. Robbie says:

    Warren: It’s a very sad day for Canada’s political landscape to see the once proud Liberal Party come to the conclusion that they need to unite with other left leaning parties to have a shot at getting back into power. How the mighty have fallen. Have Liberals nothing else to offer voters than this coalition/vote split proposal? Nothing in the way of new policies or new ideas? Nothing to rebuild the hopes of your nationla grassroots outside MTV? Your party may gain office by this but where will Liberal party members self respect be once they gather around a cabinet table?
    As a Conservative voter, it gives me no pleasure to see this happen. The country needs the Liberal brand as a viable national alternative. Do the heavy lifting and develop the long term strategy necessary. Quick fix will cost in the long run.

  17. Paul R. Martin says:

    I remember a Conservative leader once saying that dogs know what to do with polls. I agre that if the Conservatives win the next election, that the political parties will have to finance themselves. Of course the Bloc would be hurt the most should this come to pass. The Liberals and the NDP have had some time to try to get their financial house in order. The Bloc primarily relies on the public purse. As your Conservative friend reminded you, in a coalition there is always some leakage. With regards to coalitions, 1 plus 1 is less than 2. Liberal and NDP supporters would look around and consider their options. Interesting shifts will occur. Social Conservative union members might even vote Conservative.
    On the other hand Warren, you will be on the sidelines in the next federal election and can watch and learn.

  18. smelter rat says:

    Apparently the Libs are going to support the budget motion even though it’s an omnibus bill containing god know what. Screw them. I’m done with Iggy.

  19. H Holmes says:

    HaHa,
    Maybe we should be running on getting rid of subsidies and increase the room for donations at the local level.

    Our candidates on average have been outraising the Conservative Candidates.

    How about our own accountablity act. How about being first to move a motion about audits.

    We have become the party of no think.
    I will say this again. Money is what wins you elections. That is telling people they can keep their money.

    Lets focus on winning. Instead of special interests and the hard left who preceive that they finally have a chance at power and willl do anything to have a coalition, including losing the next election.

  20. Catherine says:

    Slightly off topic but it would appear that Jean Chretien put the boots to the billion dollar boondoggle babies re: cost of “G” events in Hunstville and Toronto here
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/les_coulisses_du_pouvoir/2009-2010/

    Got to love Chretien’s straight talk – Shhh…don’t tell Michael I.

  21. David M. McClory says:

    In the last election Harper went for the centre and tried to boot Dion out therefrom. Harper’s foot could not hit Dion because Dion was running so mad-dashedly quickly to the left. The election went to Conservatives’ way.

    Harper is now smiling as he camps the breadth of the centre in Canadian politics.

    If you are progressives, that’s fine, but it is not centrist. The Liberals used to have large groups of centrists, but these are leaving, and are kept out of influence. You could recapture the Centre and expel Harper.

    Some conservative purists are unhappy, but you can’t get anything done without winning elections, and you can’t win an election in Canada without appealing to the centre.

  22. Eric says:

    Personally, I’m torn with regards to a merger/coalition because I’m unsure what the motivation behind a hypothetical agreement might be. Is it altruism or is it merely a convenient way to get back into power?

    I think that if we rush into some kind of agreement we might end up regretting it. The reason I support the Liberal Party is because it’s neither left nor right, but it can be either of those if the situation warrants it. Marriage with the NDP would mean sacrificing some potential solutions to future problems.

    Is political expediency really worth selling our party’s soul?

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