04.19.2011 11:14 AM

In today’s Sun: where we Lefties went wrong (updated)

Here it is, linked…

This being the kick-off week for Sun TV, the new-look Sun paper, and the revamped Sun web site, it’s a good time to address a question I frequently get asked by family, friends and total strangers.  To wit:

“What’s a charter member of the latte-sipping, Volvo-driving, secular humanist trilateralist cabal like you doing with a bunch of right wing kooks? Don’t you feel uncomfortable being a Liberal surrounded by Conservatives?”

My stock answer, which has the benefit of actually being true:  “You get used to it.  Besides, pretty much every Leftie in the country is going to feel like I do, in a couple weeks – you know, a stranger in an even stranger land.”

They don’t get it, or they don’t agree.  They will, soon enough.

Stephen Harper’s Reformatories, you see, are heading to victory on May 2. And, barring some big upset in the next few days, it may be a big victory, too.

Now, it’s not like that the Conservative leader deserves a majority, let alone re-election. He’s run up a historically-big deficit, he’s run a lousy campaign, and he’s run his promise to clean up government straight into the ditch – with so many ethical lapses taking place, you need a program to keep track.  (My personal favourite? He fires Helena Guergis for cavorting with hookers, when she didn’t – and he then gives a big patronage job to convicted fraud artist Bruce Carson.  Who, er, brought a real hooker to a party at 24 Sussex.)

So if I’m right, and Harper’s done such a crummy job, why is he cruising to victory? Mainly, it’s because those of us on the Left have done a lousier job.

First off, the Liberals and the NDP had a shot at working together, about two years ago, but they blew it.  The forces of the Left allowed themselves to be scared away off of cooperation/coalition/merger by Harper – despite the fact that Harper himself had brought together the forces of the Right, and then won government.

Secondly, Michael Ignatieff feels more comfortable among Rosedalian Liberals. You know, the ones who – over martinis at the Toronto Tennis Club – always felt more kinship with the likes of John Turner or Paul Martin than they did with, say, Pierre Trudeau or Jean Chretien. You know, Liberal lefties who win elections.

Thirdly, Iggy and his Rosedalian senior staff thought they could ignore Jack Layton’s NDP. By becoming a paler shade of blue, they assured themselves, they’d win back government. Thus, the Liberal chief was more hawkish than Harper on Afghanistan, more enthusiastic about the Oil Sands, and more willing to look at Medicare “alternatives” than any Liberal ever should. In so doing, Iggy scared away soft NDP voters, all of whom now consider Iggy to be a paler version of Harper.

What’s the solution for the Left? Same as it was two years ago: listen to smart guys like Chretien, Ed Broadbent, Roy Romanow, and bring together progressives to form a single, formidable political force. That’s how to beat Harper.

The good news, I suppose, is that those of us on the political left will now have four long years to get our act together.

Because, believe me: on May 3, this Leftie ain’t going to be the only stranger in an even stranger right-wing land.

97 Comments

  1. MattMcD says:

    The lefties failed the way they failed in the US. They didn’t stand up to the right and take the low road with attack ads until it was too late.

    • Swervin' Merv says:

      “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Ignatieff gave his strongest interview yet, with Pastor Mansbridge on CBC’s The National today. (And Peter was asking disappointingly dumb questions.)

      I agree with Warren that eventually the progressive left-of-centre types will have to get together. Even preferential balloting would help, but changing the electoral system requires having access to the levers of power–as in an informal coalition. This will make the post-election period more interesting than the April interregnum. Even a Harper majority (unlikely now) would make our streets as interesting as those in the Arab world.

  2. bigcitylib says:

    Officially predicting a CPoC majority, then, are you?

  3. Harith says:

    Sun TV is terrible. I don’t know whether to shake my head or shudder in disgust at the stuff they talk about.

    • Paul R Martin says:

      I agree and I am a Conservative; however, it is still early. It should improve a bit.

    • Honestly… I find it just-plain-weird seeing a real honest to goodness journo like @davidakin along side such caricatures like Caldwell.

    • New Liberal ad on Harper health care track record is *much* stronger.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHDJO2dQ9Sc

      Looks like CPC attempt to shut it down just boomeranged, hard.

      I like what the libs did with this — introducing ALL of Harper’s history in a way that can’t be contested. He did work for a lobby group obsessed with shutting down the Canada Health Act. He did give a speech in honour of the NCC founder claiming “unversality” [sic] was essentially dead (it’s not, that’s just a wet dream of Harper and his former playmates).

      Love the siren.

  4. Ted says:

    I think it is deeper than that.

    The Liberals/liberals are victims of their own success after 70 odd years of activist government in Canada. EI, CPP, minimum wage, universal public healthcare, and all the myriad other social safety net that Canada has benefited from. Race relations, modernizing marriage/divorce laws, human rights and anti-discrimination laws, pay equity, equal marriage, creating a multiculturual society, etc. Engaging with Quebec and giving them a seat at the table, beating back the separatists twice, creating a national Canadian identity independent from the US and the UK etc.

    All those things over the years that unified progressives and gave us purpose and focus. Obviously, there is much much much to be done. But fighting over whether $300M or $600M is enough for EI or pensions, fighting over whether $10 or $10.50 is a high enough minimum wage… these are not the fights that put fire in the belly. Much of the fight is still there to be completed, I suppose, but the broad vision of a just society, caring society with a safety net for those less fortunate has, by and large, been accomplished.

    The Conservatives, every single one of them, knows what they are fighting for. It’s why Harper gets away with so much lack of vision, lack of accomplishments, lack of spending restraint, lack of decency, lack of leadership. All he has to do is move a few issues a little tiny bit down the field and he keeps them all happy. He doesn’t even have to advertise it. They know where they are all trying to get to. And by and large, that vision is going to look pretty much the same for pretty much all of them.

    Progressives can’t say the same thing anymore, and haven’t been able to for some time. There are lots of good individual ideas out there, but nothing that brings people together in the centre or on the left. It’s why the green shift failed and never resonated. It’s why Chretien’s legacy will be slaying the deficit and following the UN decision to stay out of Iraq, instead of any landmark social plan or program or vision. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is illustrative.

    Ignatieff’s platform is actually a bit more revolutionary than it seems. His thinkers conference and other policy initiatives have established a framework of new ideas and ways that government can be a partner with its citizens and assist those in need while investing in the future.

    But the problems are deeper than the leader or his current platform or even the Liberal Party.

    • I think the problem facing the left is one of fundamental divisions in this country based on where you happen to reside. Conservatives own the west not as a function of anything that Stephen Harper has to offer but as a result of incredible disenfranchisement with a political system whose power base is firmly entrenched in Ontario and Quebec.

      Canada is a terribly, terribly divided nation. It is the elephant in the room and no party seems to want to talk about it for fear we will become more divided still.

      • Ted says:

        I don’t think Canada is a divided country at all, and certainly not terribly terribly.

        I work with people all across the country, was born in Vancouver, live in Toronto, spend my summers in the Maritimes, and have Quebecois family in Quebec. We all have more in common than we don’t.

        What divides us is politicians. They try to define us into narrow political boxes/target groups and then create wedge issues that divide us but are not really all that important in our day to day lives. And then the pundits and online commenters work everyone up into a frenzy over such issues.

        Take the long gun registry for example. Given a choice, we know where certain demographics will fall on that issue, and we hear a ton about it, but ask anyone if the long gun registry is even close to their top 10 political issues, let alone the top 10 issues of concern or significance in their day-to-day lives.

        The division is between our politicians and our lives. Not between Canadians.

        • Sean Cummings says:

          >>Take the long gun registry for example. Given a choice, we know where certain demographics will fall on that issue, and we hear a ton about it, but ask anyone if the long gun registry is even close to their top 10 political issues, let alone the top 10 issues of concern or significance in their day-to-day lives.<< I've never been angry enough at a deer to want to shoot one, but it is a big issue in Saskatchewan where I live. Having grown up in the west, a common refrain at election time is: why bother voting, the election is decided in Ontario and Quebec. If the problem is indeed the politicians, then it is overshadowed by the political process itself. The supercharged partisan atmosphere. The concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office. The lack of actual vision for the country and instead scraps of this and that to appeal to different constituencies at election time. The science of winning elections has usurped what might well have been at one time, a genuine people's agenda. Yes, Ted. There is deep, deep division in Canada. It's broken down by regional interests and values and I think, a sense that you're a "maritimer" or a "westerner" or a "Quebecker" or a "Newf" first as opposed to a Canadians.

      • brucewayne says:

        The only people who are divided are the partisans. The rest of us get along just fine.

    • pomo says:

      Interesting points. I liked reading this. It’s not too long if it’s not boring, Ted.

  5. Ottlib says:

    Take a look at the circumstances that preceded all of the changes of government, federally and provincially, for the last three decades. Leading up to all of them there was a great sentiment amongst the electorate to “kick the bums out”.

    That was not there this time. I travel a fair amount in my job and in my travels I have not found many people who like or trust Stephen Harper, which is one reason why I believe he will fall short of his lusted after majority once again. However, I have also found that there was not alot of desire to see a change either, which is probably why we will wind up with a similar situation on May 3 as we had on March 27.

    At some point in the not too distant future enough Canadians are going to decide they have had enough of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives and they will move towards the one political party that they have trusted to govern for over a century, which is not the NDP.

    That has been the pattern in Canadian federal politics for over 5 decades and nothing in the past 5 years has shown that the pattern has changed. The calls for mergers or agreements between the Liberals and NDP is short sighted and motivated by unreasonable fear.

    Incidentally, Mr. McGuinty should be a little worried because the same pattern happens in Ontario and there are rumblings of the “kick the bums out” sentiment in that province despite Mr. Hudak’s difficulties with the Tea Party wannabes in his midst. Mr. McGuinty better hope that such a sentiment does not really take off as we get closer to the fall election or he is in serious trouble.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree with your post, except that the LPC is going to continue to have serious problems getting a majority government when the right is united, the Bloc owns at least half the seats in Quebec and the LPC is chronically weak west of Ontario (and particularly in Alberta). When you do the electoral math on that, the only realistic shot at power is a LPC government propped up by the NDP.

      • Ottlib says:

        I did not say anything about a majority government in my comment.

        One of my points is the Liberals will win government in the not too distant future because enough Canadians will grow tired of Stephen Harper and his Conservatives and they will turn to the Liberals to replace them. That his been the pattern for over 5 decades and there is no evidence that it has changed.

        Whether that government is a majority or a minority is really an unknown right now.

        However, I would point out that all politics is temporary. What seems like a permanent situation now can and will change, often radically.

  6. Ted says:

    Ouch. Sorry for the long comment. Bad comment etiquette, Ted.

  7. Paul R Martin says:

    It is not like you to concede this early. While I will be voting for a Conservative on Friday; I am not yet convinced that it will be a majority.

  8. MontrealElite says:

    Reduced Harper Minority.

    Believe it.

  9. Lloyd says:

    Probably just another Liberal ploy to try to influence the vote. If close to election time, most polls did show a likely Conservative majority, then the Libs and Dips will pull out all the stops, and manufacture and fling everything they can, no matter how ridiculous or far removed from the truth. On a tv near you, watch for crap like…Harper eats baby kittens; Harper never hugs his kids; Harper hates seniors and wants to take away their pensions; the Conservatives will gut healthcare…….all complete and utter bogus of course, all lies of course, but the msm will jump right on board with the crap and try to make Canadians think if they vote Conservative they might not wake up the next day.

  10. The other George says:

    I think Ottlib is on the right track

    Every year that Harper is P.M. is one more year that Canadians will in ever increasing numbers tire of him. Those that are not hard-core in one party or another will gravitate to being weary of his name and face. It seems to me that these are the folks that decide who is the governing party.

    I don’t think the Reform-Party-Dressed-As-Conservatives will get their majority and two years from now, when the writ is dropped again, a lot of people will be sick and tired of Harper.

    And, ironically, the same holds true for Layton and May. If the Dippers and Greens don’t get new leaders, they will lose attraction. On the other hand, I think Iggy is just coming into his own. This campaign has allowed him to come out, and, if he takes Warren’s advise and gets out of Rosedale, as it were, then it will be a Liberal government in 2013.

  11. Dr.J says:

    Thank you for the posting Warren….I believe you have done the left proud here with the daily scare and dare tactics like today. I am more than a little troubled with the Libs “outing” a NDP member today, this is just another example of how bad the Liberal flame out is….I do agree 100% with the left merger idea but will each party agree to it is the larger question.

  12. eattv says:

    Aren’t you more of a religious humanist? 😉

  13. Transplanted Doerite says:

    Long time lurker here Warren. Although I’m no Liberal, I agree with much of your analysis and almost all of your music choices.

    I would just add Ambassador Doer to your list of those on the centre-left who “win elections.” In fact, if Mr Doer wanted to (I don’t think he does, but only he knows for sure), he could unite the centre-left in this country. Until someone of that stature, drive and brilliance does, our once-proud country will be run off the right wing cliff by Harper et al (unless Jim Prentice can return the Tory party to it’s red Tory roots).

    Prediction: a slightly larger Harper minority.

  14. John Lennard says:

    I agree with you on everything except health care. Private clinics are worthwhile to complement the public system.

    • smelter rat says:

      No they are not. They weaken the public system and undermine the Canada Health Act. it’s all about greed and $$ for the Dr.s who go private.

  15. C.W. says:

    Curious column; is it meant to discourage the ordinary people who volunteer their time and energy knocking on doors for their local non-Conservative candidate? It has a whiff of old scores.

    It’s always safer and cooler to be the doom sayer proved wrong than the other way around – looks better on you, less risky, etc. But might one be forgiven for seeing that as just a tad cynical – an indication that it’s all about oneself, rather than something larger? (One is left with the feeling one always gets from the Latte/Volvo crowd – that for them at least, an election outcome doesn’t really matter- they won’t lose anything – they’ll just look a little cooler being “outré” for a few years).

    Is the column’s focus on identifying important issues that will affect real people, or picking winners and losers, and being identified with one rather than the other?

    Of course, predicting a Harper majority may be a ploy to scare people into voting Liberal. But given the readership of the Sun, isn’t that unlikely? Perhaps there’ll be an uptake in Conservative canvassers and volunteers in Toronto – that just might make the difference for the Conservatives – then we can all feel good about being right.

  16. Bruce from Etobicoke says:

    Both the Star and Globe picked up Harper dodging the question of what happens to him if he fails to deliver a majority yet again. I know Conservatives who are hoping for a minority thinking that at least then they have a shot at a real live financial conservative who’s a little more acquainted with the truth for the new leader. With a lot less social conservative to boot. They dislike Iggy enough to still vote Conservative, but they want a change at the top and see a minority as the only way that happens.

    Personally I’ve been back and forth between the Liberals and Conservatives over the last 30 years and there ain’t no way I’m going back to the Conservatives without a real financial conservative back in charge either.

  17. allegra fortissima says:

    I personally don’t agree with Michael Ignatieff on every single issue and I don’t have to. That doesn’t prevent me from appreciating his past achievements as a reporter, broadcaster, historian, university professor and author. Michael Ignatieff is a “world-class” politician and will be a “world-class” PM who thinks aloud – could Canadians wish for more?

    • Michael Reintjes says:

      Rise up, Rise up……..uh, sorry..

      • allegra fortissima says:

        “Rijzen” in Dutch, Mijnheer

      • Gel says:

        He’s an arrogant, ignorant, pseudo intillectual, fabian socialist, power hungry, a$$… he would be a horrible prime minister but a great Chairman Mao!

        • allegra fortissima says:

          “Gel On” as the Romani say in England

        • Patrick Hamilton says:

          @Gel….Funny, I thought Mr. Harper had more in common with Chairman Mao…..certainly not in ideology, but in the love of central planning by the PMO, and micromanagement of all Govt Ministries, the fostering of a cult of personality, a rubber stamp central committee,(aka known as Con MP’s) the ruthless quashing of all opposition to his rule…..scientists, petty bureaucrats, former allies, etc, Blue Guards zealously rooting out reactionaries….not to mention the purge of Helena Guergis….Bet he wished he had a re-education camp handy right about now….and if the Canadian electorate gives him a majority, we can all look forward to the “Great Leap Backwards”

          • pomo says:

            pseudo “intillectual”…that’s pretty funny Gel. Do you know this because you are a real “intillectual”?

  18. Michael Behiels says:

    Warren’s swan song for the long and painful death march of a once proud and effective national party as he sees it.
    As I see it this election has turned out to be just another phase in the ongoing logical realignment underway in Canada since the late 1980s. The total collapse of PC party in 1993 did two things. It accelerated the drive of the New Right to take over the remnants of PC. It took Harper, largely unknown to the public, to pull this off with the help of corporate Canada and the old PC bosses like Mulroney.

    But the collapse also fueled the civil war inside the LPC and lulled the LPC into thinking that it did not have to renew liberalism for the 21st century. Martin’s dumb handling of the Sponsorship Scandal, unlike Harper’s mastery of his scandals, can now be looked back upon as the nail in the coffin of the Liberal government and now the Party.bMartin will be the last Liberal Prime Minister if Harper gets his way with the help of Wacko Jacko who facilitated his rise to power.

    There is a much larger ideological and socio-economic context at play in this wholesale political realignment that very few journalists or academic have bothered to figure out. Jim Travers was one but sadly he is no longer with us. Once the dust settles after May 2nd the post-mortems will begin in earnest.

    • The Doctor says:

      Re LPC civil wars, when Chretienites and Martinites were fighting each other, they were fighting over a real prize: power. Now, any LPC infighting has a more stark, desperate cast to it. Michael is right to mention some big fundamental shifts that have happened over the last 20 years or so, and the rise of the BQ is one of the most important in affecting the fortunes of the LPC. The whole Trudeau era of success was built on taking 60-70+ seats from Quebec, the whole Chretien era of success was made possible by Tories and Reformers splitting the right-of-centre vote. Neither of those factors is present today, and the LPC hasn’t, IMO, sufficiently acknowledged or adapted to those changes. It speaks to the considerable remaining power of the Liberal brand in Canada (and Harper’s considerable shortcomings) that the Liberals are doing as well in this election as they are.

      I agree with Michael, though — there is still a renewal, revision and rebuilding process that the LPC needs to go through. Just take a look at that electoral map of Canada and see those hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miles that go by without a single blotch of red.

      • Namesake says:

        “Michael”? That’s “Dr.” Behiels, to you, “Doctor.”

        and I really don’t think he or the rest of us need a political history lesson from you, when that’s what he actually does for a living.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_D._Behiels

        • Ron says:

          namesake
          testy today
          have a chamomile tea and relax
          serenity now, serenity now

        • The Doctor says:

          I wasn’t giving him a history lesson. I was talking politics. You know, that’s sort of what people do, on the comment section of a political blog or website.

          And who are you, Dr. Michael Behiels’ official enforcer of protocol? Get a life.

  19. billg says:

    Cripes I hate it when people give away the ending!
    Now, when and if it does happen would you good folks on the Left trust your fellow Canadians not to allow Mr Nasty to do anything real stupid with our country? I know he has steely cold blue eyes and eats sharded glass but, most of us swing blue voters right now were big Chretien voters too, so, we’re pretty good people and, as Mr Mulroney can attest to, we give out big time spankings.

    • Philip says:

      Fair point Billg. I guess my concern is that I’m not sure where the line is for the blue swing voter. What line do you chose which would represent Harper doing something “real stupid” to Canada? I realize you can only point to yourself on this issue but perhaps you could point to an example. As a person who did vote for Mulroney, the first time and who was very comfortable with a Paul Martin as a Finance Minister, my line was the G8/G20 summits. To be honest I had Harper pegged as a dick, but at least a competent dick, the G8/G20 fiasco changed everything for me. I saw unholy amounts of money dumped into a black hole, personal freedoms violated and changed a city that I have grown to love. But that was my line that was crossed, It turned me into someone who just voted regularly to a person who has joined a political party for the first time in his life.
      In a way that is my point. I don’t think there is a single line or issue that would move a bloc of blue swing voters give out the spanking to Harper. It’s not like the Conservative Party has been a model of fiscal restraint.

  20. R says:

    On May 2

    If Harper stay as minority
    harper has two choice

    leave or let some one else replace him to united people

    or stay as PM but listen to majority of people plat form which is left wing

    harper act like ceo of Canada that majority are left
    conservative stay as opposition to left to challenge with them by law
    harper is only spokesperson not leader of conservative party any more
    it means harper need to work independt of his party which is imposible

    as three times could not get majority he need to replace with new person.

    most like left power of country and right stay in opposition most likely no need ndp and liberal both may merge
    and most likly harper will leave or may stay another year to do transaction in there
    this is my prediction of hearing all story so far

  21. MontrealElite says:

    Harper never got to play 20 questions in high school…he would always quit after 5.

    • CQ says:

      Harper as a student reached for the top. Myself, on the other hand, couldn’t earn a modest B+ in Gym – while being on a school team.

  22. CQ says:

    PM John Turner (and former Finance Minister) is my all-time favourite Liberal – being too young to remember PM Lester B. Pearson. Otherwise I can agree with much of today’s newspaper column. Does the federal Liberal Party still honor its alternating English/French Leadership selection; I never knew whether Paul Martin was a Quebecor or not. Bob Rae in a year and a half won’t be the Liberal/NDP answer. There won’t be any answer until the real spending is acknowledged and controlled. Canada is gonna have to become a bailer outer and not a bailee needer within 5 to 15 years’ time.

  23. Paul says:

    Warren – your column has merit, but it may be a little simpler. Had Iggy listened to you and let the issues fester in Ottawa, he would be doing much better. If you are going to be the paler shade, you need to wait until the electorate is really pissed. The global economy is still wobbly and I think if he would have waited another year or 2 – he would have won.

    Harper winning in Ottawa will help your Ontario Campaign since Ottawa and Toronto never have concurrent liberal or conservative governments…

  24. Michael Reintjes says:

    I,m interested to hear why you think the majority of Canadians are Left wing?I would say most Canadians are centrists…why would you say this?

  25. kyliep says:

    Seems to be a question of numbers. Conservatives have a pretty solid 35% base. even the 2000 election, the combined Alliance/PC vote was 38%. Liberals got 38% in the 2000 election, 36% in 2004, 30% in 2006, just over 26% in 2008. They have continued to lose small percentages of support with each election to the Conservatives, NDP, and Greens.
    Warren, I think the most important point you make in today’s column is the way forward after this election. Those on the Centre-Left have to embrace basic math and deal with the fact that the current electoral system ensures when when you vote your ‘heart’–which typically means the most left-wing non-fringe party–you actually shoot yourself in the foot. How many lefties in Ajax Pickering, for example, are going to vote NDP (for a candidate who apparently spent last week on vacation) and hand a Liberal seat to the Conservatives? More than several times the difference of what could very well, according to many polls (and here I’m going with the threehundredeight.com predixns) a very tight race. A combined Liberal-New Democrat vote easily wins.
    Perhaps 4 years looking across the aisle at a Harper majority will lead some to put aside differences for a common goal. Kudos to Warren and others for laying the groundwork on this.

    • Wayne says:

      “and hand a Liberal seat to the Conservatives?”

      It’s that arrogant attitude that is the Libbies biggest problem to overcome.

    • paul b says:

      The problem with your thinking is not everyone voting Liberal would embrace a combination of NDP-Lib. Some would either go Conservative or Green.

      As for Ajax-Pickering, it’s close because of the Conservative candidate, Chris Alexander. Holland has the advantage of being the incumbent, but his margin of win dropped quite a bit in the 2008 eletion, despite the Conservative candidate not even having a campaign office or signs for the first week+ of that campaign.

      I live in Ajax, and many residents here don’t like Ignatieff. Hopefully for Liberal supporters they don’t swing at strike three and name Bob Rae leader when Ignatieff leaves. If Liberals really want to rejuvenate the party in a way Canadians accept, they need to stop looking for the next “one”, and put someone out there more palatable, say a Domenic Leblanc.

      • kyliep says:

        @Wayne By which I didn’t mean, “Hand a God-given Liberal seat” but a “currently held Liberal seat” to the Conservatives. Hardly arrogant, merely stating a fact. And also a big deal when current projections show the Conservatives.

        @paul I agree it’s not that simple. And probably there are some more conservative Liberal voters who wouldn’t embrace a partnership with the NDP. But some may still prefer it to the Conservatives. I guess I just don’t see how the Liberals re-grow their previous support of 37-38% in the 90s and 2000 when they need to take back votes from the NDP, Cons, and Greens.

        re: Ajax, I used this as an example because I too have family in that riding and went to school there. Alexander seems like a decent enough guy. Just don’t like his current party. 🙂

  26. Craig Chamberlain says:

    Warren, in what we are seeing from the NDP is Quebec, do you think perhaps a wisdom in keeping the NDP and Liberals separate? (Or, do you think the advantages that you see to a merger in ROC may not necessarily apply in Quebec? Or more so?)

  27. Patrick Hamilton says:

    If Mr Harper is held to another minority, methinks it will be a moral victory for all Canadians who want to see integrity, honesty, and transparency in Govt, and to those who value a womens right to choose, gay rights, and those who understand climate change is a clear and present danger.
    The Libs will need a few more years to rebuild(theyve come a long way since the Dion days, imho), and I believe the years in the woodshed will have been of value. I suspect the socons within the Con party will soon chafe at seeing little, if any, of their agenda implemented, and once again internecine warfare will break out in their party. Im looking forward to it.

  28. SeanSean says:

    two weeks to go before a Liberal led coalition…

  29. R says:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/video/video-harper-ignatieff-spar-over-quebec/article1990167/?from=1991134

    give me a break…..

    I agree conservative party of sheppard liar and always like to scared people
    harrasing for something may happen some thing may happen happend

    the trick about it ONE day may some thing happend worst because harpe government always
    talk so negative and pasemestic then one day may he come and tell the truth and nobody listen to him

    really
    I am not joking

    see Mr. Ducep and his racist french boko kind of game seriously

  30. dave says:

    I caught some Sun TV with my lunch.
    I have not seen much of Fox TV. I saw Hannity and OReilly (just one show each)and I figured that those guys are very good at what they do.
    But watching the bit today on Sun TV reminded me of something:
    SunTV political content will not be new in Canadian tv.
    A person who has seen some of what is presented as religious programming on religion channels will have seen political attitudes and explanations similar to what I saw today on Sun TV.
    Of course, the religious programmes connect the news and political interpretations that they present to the Bible…especially to prophecy of one kind or another. Sun TV looks like it will present what it calls ‘facts’ or ‘reality’ (and then spin off into the usual sappy sentiments that conservatives base their points of view on), rather than on prophecy.

    (Of course, the religious programmes usually ask me to send them some love in an envelope – I don’t think Sun TV will do that. )

  31. Gel says:

    First let me say I appreciate that you admit that you are a leftist…most do not 2nd I am sick of you leftists saying the conservatives ran up a huge Deficit… spreading misinformation regarding the current government.
    The 56 billion Dollar Deficit was Jump started by demands from the Liberals and ndp for 40 BILLION dollars instimulus spending … thats a fact that cannot be denied, they held a gun loaded with a block supported coalition to the governments head and forced the spending, and by the way…Iggy signed THAT budget.
    Now most lefties have no real idea how business and finance works and don’t comprehend that the country is in effect a huge corporation, we borrow 40 billion at the start of a recession… we need to pay interest… gross domeestic product drops and we aren’t generating enough income to cover our debt plus the newly borrowed 40 billion so we sink further into deficit spending until the total is 56 billion.
    now what you dips fail to mention is as we have come out of the recesssion better than many of our counterparts the deficit that was 56 billion is now half paid down! ALREADY and that has everything to do with the govt in power not BLOWING IT! on handouts to lefties.
    Now I shall Adress the Lefties you mentioned, Trudeau, Chretien, Broadbent, all very smart political minds but lets actually tell the truth… they were all COMMUNISTS! who together put a push behind the Fabain socialist approach to BRINGING DOWN DEMOCRACY and IMPOSING A SOCIALIST STATE by using the democratic process as a shield to destroy it from within.
    The reason harper is still leading is that MANY MANY MORE Canadians are waking up to the realities of the failed experiment called socialism… its ultimately unsustainable, never leads to the ” socialist utopia” as it is usually hijacked by a power hungry leader who turns it into: Communist state, Fascist state, or dictatorship… or something along those lines.
    The canadian public is waking up to the prospects of living by the rule of the elitist pseudo intillectual oligarchy that University’s churn out …people who have no idea what its actually like to have to work to pay the rediculous taxes and keep food in thier mouths and roofs over thier childrens beds and cloths on thier backs because thier whole existance has been paid for by someone else from birth to university graduation ( usually parents who have lived a similar life and also get paid by the government )
    CANADA WANTS CHANGE … not moving back into the arms of the socialist leftist arrogant ignorant elitist swine that run Todays Liberal party…. thats why Laytons crew are picking up the loose change! Sad thing is thier even more communistic minded than the Libs ( if thats possible )

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      Because “Dear Leader” Harper earned his bread by the sweat of his brow?…..give me a break……I think the only manual job the man ever had in his life was in the mailroom of the oil company where his executive daddy worked…..Mr. Harper wouldnt know about the plight of the average wage earner if it walked up to him and bit him on the ass…Kind of explains the big tax breaks hes got planned for profitable corporations though……

    • GPAlta says:

      Gel,
      None of this is true, of course.
      The conservatives started running a deficit as soon as they began cutting taxes, and in 2008 they called an election in order to cover up that fact.
      They did not see the recession coming, even though many real economists did.

      You can’t pay down a deficit, you can only pay down debt, and it is impossible to pay down debt while you are running a deficit.

      Conservatives believe in a government with no revenues, which works about as well as a business with no sales. That is what is unsustainable.

      Chretien did successfully create what you call a socialist utopia, one where living in Canada was of some benefit to most, while the debt (from fighting world war two) was being paid down at record rates. Harper destroyed all of that with reckless tax cuts that have had no benefit whatsoever.

      Sadly, very sadly, you are probably right that about 35% of Canadians believe what you do, and that small group will drag us all down into a failed libertarian experiment that will keep all of our children from being the best they could be, while the other 65% of us are helpless to stop you.

    • Gel: What did Frank Zappa say about the average American teenager and rock n’ roll? The same applies to you and Communism.

      Solidarity Forever….

  32. Al in Cranbrook says:

    My take, FWIW…

    a) Because Conservatives first blew their party to hell (it was inevitable), and thus split the center/right, Liberals got to thinking more and more that a string of resulting victories was entirely due to their wonderfulness, and eventually became convinced that the whole world correctly spun around them. Or, IOW, a tad bit blinded by the light, so to speak.

    b) Harper is winning because he learned, as do virtually all successful leaders, that pragmatism trumps ideology every time…and it always will, and it always should. The average voter doesn’t know left/right ideological stuff from a hole in the ground, and doesn’t give a damn that he/she doesn’t know, either.

    c) Which is why, while Liberals were turning themselves inside out over relatively arcane stuff to do with ideology, Harper was scoring points on stuff that matters Joe Lunchbucket, such as the deductions on his pay-stub, crime in the streets, the security of the nation, and employment opportunities…all of these things brought into ever sharper focus by the reality of the world crashing and burning in the world global economic meltdown since the ’30s.

    d) As someone once observed not too long ago, today’s rebel is a conservative.

    And so the pendulum inevitably and relentlessly swings.

  33. GPeter says:

    Hey Gel, are the clouds made of cotton candy where you live? I’m just asking becayse tiy;re clearly not on the same plane of reality as the rest of us.

  34. GPeter says:

    Hey Gel, are the clouds made of cotton candy where you live? I’m just asking because they’re clearly not on the same plane of reality as the rest of us.

  35. Nuna D. Above says:

    Warren, when you mention the next four years for the liberal-left, you don’t mention the effect of adding the new seats to Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia on the Liberal party. Thoughts?

  36. Helen says:

    So Warren…it doesn’t matter if the Conservatives win with a minority.
    Ignatieff has finally admitted that he WILL be the next PM…he’s yanking the election results and crowning himself….OMG

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      Ill take a working agreement amongst those parties that have the majority of votes over another minute of Harper rule, anyday…….

      Wont have to worry long though, thrice denied, the fundies in the Reform party will have the shivs out for Mr. Harper soon enough…..

    • Travis Fast says:

      It is not “yanking” the election results it is the fraking parliamentary system. Go read an intro to Canadian political science textbook if you have to but please can we stop this silliness. Iggy should have said from the get go that “if Mr. Harper does not like the parliamentary system he can always move to the US .” But noo Iggy decided to pander to ignorance rather than state the facts. It showed weakness…the very thing he did not need to project.

      Anyway what Warren’s analysis misses is that with the strong showing of the NDP in Quebec it is going to be even harder to convince dippers of the need for a merger and match that with the continued arrogance of the cocktail liberal crowd and a merger is wild fantasy.

  37. MontrealElite: Sadly, and I write as a LPC voter, the Cons don’t have to show up at all candidates meetings from a tactical standpoint, because in many ridings they are comfortably ahead. They are up 3 games to none, have scored 3 shut-outs in a row, are looking at a Game 4 sweep on May 2nd and you are wondering why they skip the odd light skate? Wish I was wrong….

  38. Patrick Hamilton says:

    Posted for no particular reason, save perhaps, for a bit o’ comic relief……http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31FFTx6AKmU

  39. JWN says:

    WK: I have made the odd comment here and share your view completely.

    Drop me a line if you are looking for like-minded volunteers who care about the future of the country.

  40. Baba says:

    It’s only bankrupt because the right-wing has all the money.

    Gord, this stuff belongs on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard. You’re comparing a left-of-centre party (NDP) and a centrist party (Liberal) to SOVIETS. How disingenous and silly can you get? If you’re going to frame it that lazy fashion, it’s easy to offer the flipside argument, using similar extremes. Conservatives are FASCISTS. Would I be hyperbolic in comparing Harper to Mussolini? Of course! But you’ve done the equivalent, above.

    And… if you’re going to go back decades and centuries to make comparisons and booster your argument, two can play at that game. One can trace back major societal advancements (in Canada and elsewhere) to progressive left-wing intiatives:

    Womens’ right to vote and participate in government
    Fairer labour laws
    Racial equality
    Separation of Church and State
    etc. etc.

    Meanwhile, it was conservative thinkers and politicians who opposed all of the above. Luckily, they were defeated like the Japanese at Guadalcanal.

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