12.13.2010 07:48 AM

Electionile dysfunction

Here’s something to rouse you from your Yuletide slumber:

“The NDP and Bloc Québécois have lined up with the Liberals in staunch opposition to the government’s controversial new Human Smuggling refugee bill and—should Prime Minister Stephen Harper decide to declare the bill a confidence measure—the standoff could lead to a snap election call soon after Parliament’s six-week Christmas recess.

The Commons is expected to adjourn on Dec. 15, following the day’s routine House votes that day, and will resume on Jan. 31.

Several Liberal MPs told The Hill Times their caucus will vote against the bill even if Mr. Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) declares its defeat means the government has lost confidence of the House and an election is required. The move, if it occurred soon after the Commons resumes sitting and all three opposition parties maintain their positions, would allow Mr. Harper the opportunity to hold an election essentially on the timing he might want, prior to a bad-news budget in March.”

What do you think, dear readers?  I know it’s Monday morning and cold and all that, but this web site is nothing – nothing, I tell you! – if not a safe harbour for fact-free speculation and wild-eyed prognostication!  Step up to comments, and let ‘er rip!


  1. Arghhh! I wish people would stop treating a declaration from Harper that something is a confidence motion as an actual confidence motion that requires the dissolution of Parliament. It’s not. He can ignore his own declaration if he wants to and it’s completely up to him whether or not to go to the GG and ask that Parliament be dissolved.

    • Bryan says:

      Well, well, well, if it isn’t Señor Robert McClelland!

      Yo Señor Bob: go work on rebuilding your own crumbling joke of a blog and stop wasting time posting idiotic comments.

      • Namesake says:

        Lemme guess: you’re one of the ‘right whinger’ SDA / Blogging Bories fans he makes fun of, there. And I see you made a similar caw-caw-ment* & left bird poop there, as well.

        Well guess what, your heckling backfired: now more ARE going to read a blog they never heard of, thanks to you.

        Say, can you help us get out the vote, too: tell us what you and the Conservative Party think of people who want to help people take care of their seriously ill family members; or that guns should be registered and have import markings; or that we shouldn’t spend $20B or more on jets without re-evaluating whether they’re the ones we need; or that we shouldn’t let the US set our foreign & domestic security policies; or….

        * “And the governments of the world respond… Oh wait, no one reads your shitty blog!” http://myblahg.com/?p=5478#IDComment113408074

  2. Andrew says:

    The Liberals will beat their chests in opposition to the bill but many will get a case of the flu on the day of the vote. And the chest beating will only be to bring up political phlem.

  3. JStanton says:

    … everyone wants an election… except the that group the msm invents from time to time – they refer to them as “Canadians” – and the LPC leadership.

    The country needs a re-set. When the prognostications of Don Cherry, wearing his grandmothers drapes, is the most scintillating political story, you know we’ve reached a point of utter stasis in national politics.

    Its like when your computer ceases to function – you can see things on the screen… you can even get the cursor to move about uselessly, but no work is getting done. You have to re-boot for that.

    • Brammer says:

      Good analogy.

      Let’s avoid the “Blue” screen of death.

      • Peter says:

        As a Conservative I share your frustrations and so do a lot of other Conservatives . We’re tired of crime bills that die on the order paper and then are brought back as non “binding” votes in the HOC to get the Liberals to vote aganst them so that we’ll have amo for the next vote .

        I’m sure a lot of Liberals would like an election so that they could dump iggy and then spend 4 yrs. as minority opposition taking the time to rebuild properly .

        Its time for the PM the crack the whip . Either you vote for our stuff or face destruction at the polls . I love our Ont. numbers right now .

        • Kevin says:

          They’d stop dying on the order paper if Harper would stop proroguing and prematurely eleculating.

          The only thing tying up Stephen Harper’s law and order crap agenda is Stephen Harper. No one and nothing else.

  4. thwap says:

    I say bring it on.

    • MJH says:

      If the Liberals are looking for an issue to defeat this is not the one to die on! Canadians have very hard feelings about immigrants jumping the que.

  5. Brammer says:

    Not surprising, considering the number of Lib voters pissed off with the Afghanistan issue. Then again, an election would allow the LPC to finally reveal it’s well guarded platform to voters (or that the cupboard is bare…).

    Interesting nugget from the Conservative Party Policy Declaration:

    C) Democratic Reform
    7. “A Conservative Government will restore democratic accountability in the House of Commons by allowing free votes. A Conservative Government will make all votes free, except for the budget and main estimates.”

    • bugzy says:

      They have been in power now for five years and have not been able to restore democratic accountability in the house and never if ever allowing a free vote. You spew nothing but BS and I am sure that its showing up on your chin. Wipe it off delusional parrot and grow a brain. One that can function all by itself. Where after five years is that accountability that Harper promised if he were elected. sorry man, no body believes this liar anymore if they ever did. If you do, it really doesn’t say much about your character so why should we take you serious.

      I say, bring on an election and let sensibile Canadians the chance to chase these inept people right out of Ottawa and right out of the country preferably.

  6. Paul R Martin says:

    Do the Liberals have a death wish?

    • George says:

      Ha Paul – that was my thought exactly. I predict that Harper will continue to play the opposition as he has since Iggy’s coronation.

      • Peter says:

        It is in the Conservatives favour to prop up IGGY for two more years . Right now nobody is donating money and there are not a lot of star candidates lining up to follow this guy into battle .

        But as I said in a earlier post Harper risks losing the interest of his activist base if he doesn’t start to push some of our reforms through . I mean I don’t know of anybody on the street who thinks that child sex offenders deserve a pardon .

  7. John W. says:

    We know the GG isn’t going to be much more than a Harper/Flaherty water boy after that little trip down to Toronto City Hall to lay his blessing on Rob Ford.

  8. Cow says:

    This would be a total gift-wrapped writ drop. It won’t happen. A few Liberals will suddenly be needed elsewhere, yet again, once the vote comes up, and nobody will notice because they’ll have moved onto three other election speculations..

  9. Peter says:

    If this bill is so bad then why not vote yes and send it to comitee ? Its 2nd reading , you could have experts come in and talk how bad it is .

    With most Canadians in favour of this bill , including new Canadians who came here through the normal process , this sure would be a strange hill for ignatieff and the Liberals to die on .

    My guess is they were in a rush to oppose this bill because of the backlash in the ranks over the Afghanistan decision.

    My guess is the Liberals will have some people not show up for the vote . They are in no way the Liberals are ready for an election . The Conservatives are at 38-39% and as Nik Nanos said yesterday on question period its a more “efficient” 38% with the potential for a majority .

    As a Conservative this is what I want to see though . I want the government to govern the country and to bring in our agenda or go down trying .

    A good plan would be to start early in the new yr with a convidence vote on bill c 49 and then have a couple of non confidence votes on our crime bills . They should also eliminate the long gun registry by working it into the budget .

    Minority governments are not meant to last forever , Harper will lose the support of his base soon if he doesn’t start to crack the whip .

    • Peter says:

      Sorry for all the typo’s and other mistakes but I get really wound up when there is talk of election in the air . Both Dr Ruby and Mark Holland have a date with destiny and as far as I’m concerned it can’t happen soon enough .

      • Michael says:

        Not sure if you live anywhere near Ajax, but Holland is under much less of a threat than many people think he is.

      • Jan says:

        Is that buddy of Jason Kenney still running against Ruby?

        • Peter says:

          Its still Parm Gill going up against Dr Ruby . Remember this is the 1 st vote since the nanny thing with the passports . Christopher Alexander is running in Ajax Pickering .

          We lost that riding by a lot less than Vaughn with a candidate who wasn’t as good . I’ve seen Chris speak twice , he’s great to listen to . I’ve heard Liberals say that this is the one guy they are really afraid of .

          I think 905 is really ready to turn on the Liberals Federally and provincally .Turning another chunk of New Canadians will be the key .

          • Jan says:

            Who can forget Nannygate? Very strange things goings on there. I’m not sure you want to open that can of worms. Chris always sounds like he’s been programmed by the US State Department.

      • MJH says:

        Holland is a very unlikeable character. What are the voters thinking??

    • hugger says:

      I expect you are right about Ignatieff being in a rush to oppose something after his dismal performance on the Afghanistan extension. As to including the long gun registry in a budget bill, I don’t think your boy is about to do that. Frankly I don’t think he supports doing away with it at all. I would love to see him prove me wrong though.

      • Peter says:

        I think if we get past a bill c 49 non-confidence motion embeding a measure to kill the long gun registry in and amoungest other cuts would be a great way to get people on side .

        If you want see him get rid the LGR then email the PMO’s office and suggest this . Many people have . His popularity amoung people who didn’t vote for the CPC last time might be increasing but a lot of us activists are getting a little frustrated . We’ve been there 2006 and a 2% gst cut and a $1200 baby bonus are like the two main acomplishments .

        Don’t get me wrong I’m happy with our government , we’ve done well for a minorty govt’ . But its time to push our agenda forward . Canadians are ready for it .

    • bugzy says:

      Peter, quit trying to speak for all Canadians. Spin all you like if it makes you feel good but it really only shows the fools that you parrots really are.

  10. Art Williams says:

    Not only a possible election but on a wedge issue that rural and suburban voters agree with the Conservatives! After all this time, if the Liberals are going to force an election then do it on something like social spending cut-backs which we know will be coming in the next budget. (Which is why we will have an election for the next budget.)

    It suddenly occurred to me that in terms of tactics and strategy, the Liberals have become the fourth party in the House. They are always playing catch up to the defacto opposition, the NDP / Bloq.

  11. Sean says:

    The OLO is about to spin the wheel of Ignatieff: Do we run? Cave? Hide? Hold a conference? Have a bus tour? Report Cards?

  12. hugger says:

    Speculating on oil futures is more profitable.

  13. Namesake says:

    I’m getting pretty tired of the bored & journalistically lazy punditocracy reading the tea leaves & playing Lady Macbeth, or is it Don Cherry, goading Harper into calling an election all the time, to slay this weak Parliament and seize his Holy Majority, simply cuz they’re tired of watching what amounts to a long, tied, zone-defense game.

    It’s the democratic counterpart to chicken hawkery: unproductive & irresponsible. It’ll cost millions; stall tons of legislation again; put countless gov’t programs & reforms on hold; all to yield pretty much exactly the same result.

  14. MJH says:

    Wonderful news for Conservatives. What a great issue to bring to an election.!!

    “Liberals want to go easy on illegal immigrants who jump the immigration que”!!

    WOW–that will go over very well.

    • Namesake says:

      yeah — ’bout as well as, “Conservatives want to process refugess within a week if they arrive by plane, but put them in jail for a year if they arrive by boat.”

      • Mr. Chamberlain says:

        You are debating details that Canadians do not have the time or energy to understand. If you’re going to the polls with that, prepare for blank stares at the doorsteps.

      • MJH says:

        Wow! If Cons are processing refugees, arriving by plane, within a week that is terrific; Libs took several months.

        • Namesake says:

          um, no, I didn’t say they _are_ processing them that fast, but that they WANT to…. by drawing up a short list of countries they’d deem as genuinely worth fleeing.


          But, yes, in the meantime, there’s been a huge backlog of claims & 19 month delays, because they deliberately sabotaged the system by failing to appoint new citizenship judges.

  15. orval says:

    The Liberal declaration that they will vote against the human-smuggling bill at second reading is PM Harper’s get out of jail free card. Should he wish to have an election, and have it blamed on the coalition, then he merely has to bring the bill for a vote as a confidence measure.

    If the Liberals are smart they are having back-channel discussions with Kenney, to ensure that vote at second reading goes forward to allow committee hearings. Blocking the bill at second reading is a mistake. Far better to have the Conservatives refuse reasonable amendments at the committee stage, then vote against government at third reading. Then the Liberals would have ammunition to go to the electorate with.

    I hope this will happen (an agreement to let the bill go forward at second reading). It would make (political) sense for the Liberals, but judging from what happened to MP Belivacqua when he brought back the agreement with Kenney on refugee determination back to the Liberal caucus, making sense doesn’t necessarily mean that is what the Liberals will do.

    I predict no election call until spring of 2012 at earliest. Ontario, BC and Manitoba provincial elections will be done and we will have an interesting new federal-provincial dynamic, including with Danny Williams’ replacement. Liberals will support Government in all cases except where they are certain Bloc or NDP will support.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree with you that I don’t see the political upside in this for the Liberals. I swear that part of their thinking is rooted in the reality of a decade or two ago, long before the PCs/Reform/CPC quit being “knee-jerk anti-immigrant”. Anyone who’s been following the extremely hard and smart work that Jason Kenney has been doing on this file (outreach to immigrant and visible minority communities) would realize that the Liberals simply don’t have that easy target that they used to have on immigration issues. They can no longer assume that by just adopting the opposite of the Conservative position on an immigration file, they will have a position that is supported by both key immigrant demographics and the centre of the Canadian electorate. I can see how this bill could be improved here and there via amendments, but as an election issue this would be a net loser for the Liberals.

  16. Mr. Chamberlain says:

    Unless and until something shifts in the political leadership of the CPC, LPC or NDP you can expect another minority Harper government and the Liberals as the Official Opposition. Which would not be a desirable outcome for any of the party leaders. So, tell me again, who’s gonna the force it?

  17. bugzy says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure on that one. Harper is know by most Canadians and they do not like him nor do they trust him. He has broken almost every promise he has made to get elected and has run a continuous campaign since taking office. Most people in general are not that naive to see his bulling and lying spreading propaganda and something tells me that the parrot supporters as well as the Reformatories are really worried that their days are numbered in the PMO. Now that’s why his parrots are sent the talking points direct from the PMO on a daily basis.

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