05.01.2011 01:38 AM

KCCCC Day Last: Who won, who lost, and why


  • It’s the last day! I’m supposed to be up at the cabin with my Mom, my youngest, and two dogs…and I have nothing left to say.  Sort of.
  • Here’s my Sun column from today, in which I attempt to explain what happened.  Let me know what you think – and have a great day, whether a campaigner or not.  Oh – and don’t forget to vote!


They back Jack.

Jack’s got the knack.  The others? They yak, but they lack.

There you go: some really (really) bad poetry, designed to neatly sum up Election 2011.  There’ll be lots of much-smarter political analysis, this weekend, but I’m sticking to my pithy rhyming couplets.

Whether he captures the keys to 24 Sussex or not, the NDP’s Jack Layton is the winner of this campaign, hands down.  Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff have lost. Why, you ask?

There are lots of reasons: Harper ran a lousy, uninspiring campaign.  Ignatieff pushed for an election when he should have pulled.  Both men are seen as conservative and conservative-lite, and the country is apparently fed up with policies that are nasty, brutish and short-sighted.

But the main reason why Jack Layton will make history tomorrow night?  The best explanation for why he is going to be leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition – or maybe even Her Prime Minister?

Because Jack is the most likeable leader, that’s why. He’s a HOAG.

I’ve written about my “Hell Of A Guy” theory in these pages before. As the political cliché goes, you can picture yourself at a tailgate party with Jack, swigging Buds, telling lies about the ones that got away. Steve-o and Iggy, you just can’t. Standing behind a podium in an early-morning university class, giving you a lousy mark because you spelled “Milton Friedman” wrong in an essay, sure. But HOAGs? Nope.

I’ve worked with Iggy, and can attest to the fact that – in person – he is a thoughtful, easy-going, impressive guy.  But that quality doesn’t come across on TV. On the big flat-screen, the Liberal leader doesn’t emote HOAGism. It’s not fair, it’s not accurate, but it’s a fact.

Harper, meanwhile, has elevated thuggishness to official state policy. He doesn’t try to avoid being mean-spirited: he positively revels in it.  He embraces it. And Harper’s mistake – and his team’s mistake – has been equating being a hard-hearted S.O.B. with “decisiveness.”

It isn’t. Being a hard-hearted S.O.B. isn’t decisive, Team Tory. Mostly, its just evidence that you’re a hard-hearted S.O.B. More precisely, an angry guy who doesn’t like the country, let alone the people who live in it.

Now, I know what you’re going to say before you say it: how in the name of all that is holy can anyone vote for Wacko Jacko?

His policies, you’ll say, are nuttier than squirrel poop.  He wants to reopen the Constitution!  His promises cost $70 billion, and he claims he can balance the budget! He wants to have tea with the Taliban!

All true.  Also true: Canadians haven’t read Jack Layton’s policy manual, and nor do they intend to.  For different reasons, Messrs. Harper and Ignatieff wanted this election to be a referendum on “leadership” – and they got what they wanted.  In their hubris, however, they never imagined Canadians would vote for the third leadership option, nutty policies be damned.

But Layton’s team, you’ll say: they’re not serious!  He’s got candidates vacationing in Vegas – while the campaign is underway! He’s got candidates who have never run a three-house paper route before, let alone a country!  He’s got no organizational strength on the ground!

Also all true.  But ask Toronto’s Rob Ford or Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi, they’ll tell you: Canadians don’t want polished professional politicians, these days.  They like populists.  They like HOAGs.  They like regular folks.

I’m a Jean Chretien Liberal, and a Bill Clinton Democrat.  Both those men were successful because they never forgot that there are a lot more votes on Main Street than on Bay Street (or Wall Street).  They were winners because they never forgot where they came from, or who made them what they are.

And that’s why Canadians back Jack.

And that’s why, for the others, it may be time to pack.


  1. Mrs. Whiggins says:

    At the very least Ignatieff took out King Steve. Stood up for Canada. Took a big hit for the team. Stayed standing. Tall. Some Canadian eh!

    • nastyboy says:

      Took out King Steve by placing third? All Ignatieff did was lead the LPC to irrelevance.

      • Namesake says:

        Harper made it a ‘Majority or Bust’ referendum, concentrated his fire on MI who took all the hits (but is still standing), and the population’s verdict?

        Bust. Bye. Begone, bully.

        • nastyboy says:

          You mean took all the hits and lead his party to a possible all time worst election result. Wow…..way to go Iggy. Jack is going to keep Harper from his majority. Iggy is a future historical footnote.

        • Paul R Martin says:

          Hi Namesake! You have to had it to John Layton. He really spiced up the election. Iggy said “Rise Up” and Layton did.

          • Paul R Martin says:

            Darn typo! I meant to write “You have to hand it to John Layton.”

          • Namesake says:

            well, maybe he did — 15 years ago.

            but what you CPC w. ADD keep forgetting is he’s likely got ED, now, what with his recent big-C treatment.

          • Paul R Martin says:

            I was writing about the polls and Layton’s rise in the polls.

    • Swervin' Merv says:

      Good point, Mrs. Whiggins, about Iggy’s service to Canada. The election is just preliminary to the real task of ousting Harper, requiring cooperation between Iggy, Layton and probably Duceppe in the coming weeks. Then Harper can go sulk elsewhere (and Gord T. can go back to grammar school).

    • W.B. says:

      No matter what happens, Ignatieff has shown courage, intelligence, wisdom, compassion, good humour, and depth of character. As the campaign has starkly revealed, Harper might barely qualify for one of the six.

    • Namesake says:

      that’s Gord: all Tulk and no action.

      (no verb from the verbose one)

  2. Derek Pearce says:

    WK, it’s been a pleasure reading your website during the whole campaign. As they say, no matter what happens on Monday, the voters are never wrong.

  3. Supernaut says:

    I’d like to add my kudos for sharing your insight and experience, and providing a forum for people to discuss the issues. I’ve learned a lot, and I’d like to sincerely thank all the participants here for that.

    Follow up to something I wrote here a few days ago:

    “Bonus Question – Big Game/Transformative: Under a dipper/lib coalition the most major/radical potential policy push may be towards proportional representation (probably with some sort of qualifying floor of support, to weed out the nutbars). This has the potential to break the back of divisive region-based parties, pave the way for a consensus model on CDN politics, and avoid the need for a merger of anyone with anyone. There are any number of paths forward on this.”

    Ignatieff addressed electoral reform in his most recent interview, out this morning:


    • Reality Bites says:

      Electoral reform is something parties that are out of power talk about. Once they’re in power they realize that the system that put them in power… put them in power and gosh, I guess it wasn’t that bad after all, was it. 😉

      So they put together a commission that comes up with a complicated system where it’s hard to convey the benefits and put it to a vote in a referendum where the bar to success is set too high, and it fails.

  4. Marco A says:

    I think the article is very impressive and accurate in detailing the influence on HOAGism in elections.

    I can personally relate to HOAGism with Jean Chretien. Like many others in early 1990s I went to see him at UBC for his charisma and his great one liners. Many Tories argued that his policies were scary, but I still voted for him in 1993 even though I supported the 1980s Tory HOAG, aka Mulroney. I also thought that a positive uniting leader like Chretien was needed to negotiate the country through the pending Quebec referendum fight that happened in 1995.

  5. Jeff says:

    Warren, Harper agrees with you, Jack is a HOAG.


    “This isn’t about picking a guy you want to have a beer with,” Harper said. “This is about picking the economic direction of this country.

    “This is the big choice: A serious economic program versus, frankly, a program that any other country would view as disastrous and would be disastrous for this country.”

    These are the types of things that Harper should be saying louder and more often in this non policy non issue drive referendum on popularity waste of election.

    • Elisa says:

      All three parties voted for contempt, and Harper went to the Governor General and called the election.

    • Namesake says:

      Not only is it utter BS to pretend that the LPC thought they could fight and win an election based on the popularity of the leaders (they’re not idiots; they knew Ignatieff was both unknown and unliked),

      but it’s also BS to still be pretending that the election is a “waste,” considering that it’s most likely going to:

      decimate the influence of the BQ for quite some time, if not permanently,

      which so many of you CPC supporters were claiming was such an abomination and a horrible threat.

      So you should be GLAD that it happened, for that fact alone. Hypocrites.

  6. Swervin' Merv says:

    One step back…
    If Harper gets to throw first rock from the hack,
    we’ll have to go to the GG’s shack
    before Layton or Ignatieff get to be leader of the pack.

  7. Phil in London says:

    Totally agree that Jack Layton is the big winner IF he becomes the leader of the official opposition. I also totally agree that Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals are one of the big losers if they fall to third or fourth party status. You had the right colour but the wrong shade for the second loser namely Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Quebecois.

    It makes for good Liberal spin to say Harper is a big loser but I think there are three parties that will be wiling to trade their seat count for his on May 3rd.

    The Conservatives will not have scored a decisive victory if they form another minority but if the seat count is more or less the same than they can’t be counted as losers just not big winners.

    In fact, I think they could have a stronger hand to play even in a minority situation. Eons ago (okay early last week) Warren, you wrote about how it was too late for an NDP / Liberal merger now that the orange crush has come. I just don’t get how the party that had it’s ass handed to them on a plate (your Liberal party) will be all that keen in getting in bed with a man who already has learned he can hire a second class hooker to JACK HIM OFF. He still doesn’t need you guys!

    I don’t think he is as power hungry as you Liberals are he is a fighter though and he knows he can make Harper’s life miserable and cement his base (the leftist among the Liberals) why the hell would he want to kiss and make up, bring the two former NDP premiers back to caucus and expect his party to welcome you guys? Before he was attacking Steven Harper minorities he was attacking Jean Chretien majorities.

    If Harper gets about the same seats the three other parties still need to unite to oppose him. The Bloc may have not leader and the Liberals may have no leader, both have bled to the NDP so again where is the love going to come from?

    When the two conservative parties merged it was three years after a similarly hard fought election. The opposition only gets three years to merge if they can take a couple of years to find common ground.

    That makes Harper at the least in a slightly better position, maybe not the big winner but quite enough to the good that he’ll be around longer than at least two other leaders unless he is tired of the bullshit.

    Let’s not go down the road of what happens to Bloquistes if the party actually implodes which it could and also let’s see what kind of Liberal MPs are left standing before we assume they are all comfortable turning further left, my guess is some may want to veer back to the center which means they have to turn right. Remember the Alliance members who left the fold to oppose Day? A similar number of Liberals could form an independent caucus supporting the conservatives enough to keep them in power till they see what the next new and improved Liberal leader will offer them.

    • JS Rothwell says:

      that’s quite the spin description for a pyrrhic victory

    • Africon says:

      My thoughts precisely.

      WK makes some very good points and even though a Con, I am grateful to Jack for precipitating the end of the Separatists, the Greens and the Liberals.

      It will be very interesting to see what comes of the next Quebec Provincial election.

      Sadly, most HOAGs throughout history were not all that good for their own countries long term interests and all had a problem with keeping their zippers closed.

      Trudeau, Berlusconi, Kennedy, Clinton, Mao Tse Tung, Stalin, Mugabe, Ghadaffi, Mobutu etc.

      Is there a charming, visionary and decisive Canadian accountant out there somewhere ?

      • W.B. says:

        You don’t have too many I would call HOAGs in that list!! But after Clinton you could go with FDR, Truman, Teddy R, Mike Pearson (big baseball fan) Brian M, and of course, John A himself.

  8. Paul R Martin says:

    Jack has the common touch. Only Jack would go to a place called “The Velvet Touch” and think that it was run by a registered masage therapist. I voted early like 2 million Canadians. I doubt that all of the people who say that they will vote NDP will actually go and vote.

    • James Curran says:

      Jack getting a massage =bad

      Hookers at 24 Sussex = “we had no idea”

      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        After working hard to convince Canadians that their scandals and screw-ups are not actually scandals and screw-ups — “Why exactly is this news? Keep moving, nothing to see here, folks” — the Harperites NOW expect us to stop and pay any attention to this? A story from — when? We weren’t suppose to pay attention to their actions as our sitting government, and now what do they want?

        Simply not going to happen.

    • JS Rothwell says:

      Sure Paul, poll opens at 7 in Bc. Do you want me to email you proof that i voted or will you stop making stupid predictions?

      • Paul R Martin says:

        Vote early if you desire JS. My predictions are just as good as anyone else’s. Cheers!

        • JS Rothwell says:

          yeah stupid, but thanks for speculating nonetheless. Im pretty sure you haven’t the compass on us Canadians.

        • JS Rothwell says:

          Paul, I didn’t say decisions were stupid just blanket predictions. As for juvenile please, that is equally owned by all commenters. Weak sauce Paul

  9. Cath says:

    Having fled the NDP after what Rae did to Ontario, and knowing that the NDP still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many in this province, I think Jack’s fortunes in Ontario are way overblown.

    As to his “likeability” – that’s in the eyes of the beholders. Having lived in TO when he was a councilor and watched him as leader I’ll say one thing for him – he is as obnoxious a leader as he was a councilor. Making him the most likeable between Iggy and Harper is more like choosing a high-school prom king than choosing the country’s next PM.

    Just as in high-school the lesson learned will be that popularity will get Jack an increased seat count in places in Canada where they still don’t know him and are falling for his used-car lines….but managing the country? Nope.

    Echoing Derek above I too have found your blog to be one of the best. You do a nice job of letting discussion happen without feeling like your nagging folks into submission. I prefer this blog to many conservatives ones for exactly that reason.

  10. Phil in London says:

    Probably my last post for a while so I want to say thank you to Warren for allowing dissent in his blog. I think the discourse among us all proves we are not that very different in our love of nation.

    I’ll be leaving shortly to see the man whom you all believe is the Devil as he whistlestops to rally the troops in London and I am sure all those present will view him as the saviour of our country.

    After that it’s a lot of Get out the Vote sort of work for me till victory part in London West for Ed Holder tomorrow night.

    Thanks for allowing me to participate even when we disagree so much.

    • Dr.J says:

      100% agreement with your words Phil, for a Liberal WK is more than OK in my books. I will be leaving my surounding at the Beaches to do the exact same thing in Ajax/Pickering for Chris Alexander as the Minivan will be gased and ready to go for tomorrow!!


      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        Yes, WK, thanks for the forum and the extra work during this election. You know we don’t entirely see eye to eye on the means and you let that be expressed.

    • Michael says:

      I would go see our PM as well. Sadly, I am not allowed in, as I already attended the Liberal and NDP events in London.

      Who knew that SH was only prime mininister of the Conservatives. :shrug:

      • que sera sera says:

        Yes, one cannot forget that fact.

        That’s why I find it hilariously sad & pathetically idiotic that Harper is now chasing the Liberal vote.

        Amazing how he & his supporters now can suddenly spell “Liberal” correctly.

        What psychopathology allows you to beat up someone daily and then demand their “love”? Is it electoral domestic violence?

  11. CQ says:

    “at a tailgate party with Jack, swigging Buds”. Nobody advertises or refers to Canadian originated beer brands anymore. We need to bring back the Labatt hot air balloon. Another good column though.

  12. fritz says:

    If when all the votes are counted tomorrow the Tories and NDP are close to each other (say within 40 seats) and the BQ is decimated; it will be up to the Liberals, who will hold the balance of power, to choose who will lead the country. What choice will they make? I really don’t know but I can make good logical arguments for each choice.

    • CQ says:

      Floor crossing might be the next word of the month, replacing April’s “on the Hustings”.

      • fritz says:

        Actually it wouldn’t surprise me if a number of the BQ switch parties (mostly to the NDP) if they are reduced to a small rump and Duceppe is defeated personally. And if Harper is within a few seats of his majority you can expect a big push to poach Liberals ( or maybe even BQ’s) with promises of cabinet seats or senate appointments – whatever it takes.

        • Ian says:

          This is what I think Harper will try to do with those months after the election during which he doesn’t have to face the House.

          But do you think there would be Liberals willing to cross? (Tell us who they are, please! — Just kidding.) And would the CPC be willing to follow Harper down a course that might damage their party in the long term? I mean, this method of gaining a majority would look pretty bad even to some Conservatives.

          • fritz says:

            Gord: If 5 or 6 Libs cross over to the Tories it won’t be because of their love for the Clarity Act It will be because Harper promised them some junior Cabit post or a future Senate appointment. 🙂
            Nice try though.

          • fritz says:

            Cabit should read Cabinet

    • ES says:

      Finally, someone who has suggested that a realignment betweem the Cons and at least some Libs might give Harper his lusted-after majority. A scary thought.

  13. George says:

    Does Iggy back Steve or Jack? I am voting Liberal tomorrow but am hoping that the Liberal Party will back Jack. Backing Steve would be a strategic mistake which guarantees that they lose almost all of their support in Quebec.

    • If the LPC does not support Layton after the election and offer to collaborate on key policy issues, they will be further removing themselves from mainstream political life in this country. Ignatieff’s policies are closer to Harper’s than to Layton’s, on a macro level. After this election the LPC rank and file need to indeed Rise Up and take back the party from the paternalistic cabal who have brought us to this brink.

    • Namesake says:

      I suppose you’ll just backtrack and retroactively add weaselword scare quotes, again, but that’s crap:

      the federal NDP was in third — or even lower — place for years, and has even lost their official party status at times, but they’re going strong, now, and are about to rise to Official Opp. or maybe even no. 1. The only thing dying here is your hackneyed metaphors.

  14. Dr.J says:

    Whatever happens let us all remember….Iggy wanted this election for reasons that are beyond me except for maybe appeasing his ego!! WK, are you related Pat Martin or something? Jack,back,lack…nuttier than squirells poop… classic!! Everyone please vote no matter what side of the coin you are on!!

    • smelter rat says:

      Wrong again Doc. We’re having this election because Harper is in contempt of Parliament. Nice attempt at changing the channel though.

      • Namesake says:

        you dropped reason three elections ago

      • Philip says:

        It is interesting how Conservative Party shills are really desperate to change this particular channel. No matter how this election turns out, Harper is still the only PM in Commonwealth history to be found in contempt of Parliament. Win, lose or draw that is what Harper will always be known for: a small nasty little man who couldn’t work with other people. Every history textbook will mention the Conservative Party, Harper and contempt of Parliament, for generations to come. And that makes me smile. Alot.

        • Philip says:

          Gord you have your opinion about Harper and history may very well have another. It won’t matter to anyone that not a single Conservative MP voted for the contempt of Parliament motion. It still happened. It happened on Harper’s watch. Minority parliaments can work, as they have worked throughout the Commonwealth, but Harper made a deliberate choice not to make this one work. History will show that.

        • Philip says:

          Again your opinion, a hypothetical that you created but which ultimately changes nothing. What matters is the end result of Harper’s unwillingness to make the minority Parliament work. That end result was a motion of contempt, which all opposition parties voted in favour of. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, it certainly has meant something to Canadian voters. Don’t believe me, look around. The NDP surge is at heart, an Anyone But Harper movement. That sucks for my Liberal Party and my leader but in the end if Harper is destroyed by his own party that is good enoug for me.

  15. Brad says:

    There has been lots of talk about Ignatieff stepping down if his party does poorly. That will be his decision I guess. I have thought from the very start Harper has to step down if he fails to get a majority. His failure to secure a majority is a much bigger failure than Ignatieff losing Liberal seat count. Harper has tried and tried and obviously he is the biggest handicap for the conservatives.

    If Harper does not stepdown after failing to secure a majority, I hope his party starts to stand up to him. I can’t wait for the backstabbing to start. Nobody likes a bully. The country will be much better off without Harper and his brand of politics.

    • Lance says:

      “That will be his decision I guess.”

      No, it won’t.

      • James says:

        It’s funny, all the people who think Harper should step down if the Conservatives don’t win a majority tomorrow are non-Conservatives. Why is this the standard over whether or not he should carry on as leader? It’s truly and utterly bizarre. He’s only been leader of the Conservatives since 2004, even less than Layton as leader of the NDP. Should Layton step down if he doesn’t win tomorrow??

        Conservative voters are very happy with Harper and want him to continue on. The fact that he hasn’t won a majority yet has everything to do with the Quebec-based Bloc speaking for so many seats.

        • Ian says:

          Oh, so it’s all because of those dastardly separatists, and nothing to do with Harper? So when the Bloc collapsed, how come Quebec went to the NDP, then?

          Face it, Harper is a mean-spirited bully. If the Conservatives had a more reasonable and civilized leader, they could have still defeated a tired and discredited Liberal Party, and rather than trying to barely scrape their way into a majority through smears and microtargeting and voter suppression, they would probably have achieved it already — in a much more dignified manner.

          • James says:

            Ian: the Bloc and NDP have similar political philosophies and outlooks. In addition, Layton is a “Montrealais” and therefore a Quebec native-son and Quebecers have always chosen/preferred a native-son over anyone from “ROC”. This phenomenon has always been an obstacle for non-Quebecer federal leaders. Just look at Iggy.

            If Harper was franco-Ontarian, franco-Manitoban or an Acadian from Nova Scotia he still wouldn’t be accepted by Quebecers as “one of us” or “nous”.

  16. Steve T says:

    Layton’s popularity provides yet more evidence that voters are getting stupider. People are voting as though they are electing their high school president – as a popularity contest. Layton is one inch deep.

    In this reality TV era, perhaps having Layton in 24 Sussex for awhile will snap people out of their coma, and force them to actually read policy, and recognize that we are not electing HOAGs, we are electing someone to run the country.

    I have never been as disillusioned with Canada as I have during the past 2 weeks of this election.

    • nastyboy says:

      Yes, yes we know….anyone not a liberal is an idiot. And you wonder why you guys finish 3rd?

      • Steve T says:

        Uh, actually I’m conservative, as many on this blog can tell you.

        My point isn’t that the NDP isn’t a worthy party to vote for. My point is that the recent “orange surge” has not been driven by a sudden recognition of the brilliance of NDP policies. Instead, it has been driven by people jumping on a popularity bandwagon. That is a frightening reason to elect the leader of the country.

        On a similar rationale, I suspect some will vote for Helena Guergis out of sympathy. Sure, she was thrown under the bus by Harper. But is she any better a candidate than she was when she was in the CPC fold?

      • Namesake says:

        ha! Some conbot (un)friendly fire. Drones crashing into each other.

    • fritz says:

      “Layton’s popularity provides yet more evidence that voters are getting stupider.”

      ^That sort of ignorant comment says much more about your intelligence than that of NDP or Liberal supporters.

  17. Patrick says:

    Why did Iggy force the election? Maybe he couldn’t handle being in opposition anymore and he decided to go for broke. If he was lucky, he would have become PM. If not, he could go back to being a professor. Either is better than opposition leader.

    • JS Rothwell says:

      It’s Patrick! He took out life insurance.

      It wad because of contempt of parliament. Do try to pay attention Patrick

    • Patrick says:

      The problem with “contempt of Parliament” as a rallying cry is that barely anyone knows what it means. Very few voters are up on parliamentary protocol. I can’t see why a party that was in a weak position in the polls would feel compelled to trigger an election to whine to the public about a point of honour that the public can’t relate to.

  18. Bill From Willowdale says:

    Your column reminded me a lot of your Starbucks Vs. Tim Horton’s theory which holds a lot of truth. Sure, Jack is a nice guy but remember this whole thing started in Quebec. Jack made several attempt to appeal to Quebecers and the NDP platform is a good match for the views of it’s progressively minded citizens. Iggy’s positions on the war and the oils sands meant that he never had a chance to capture that vote. The NDP popularity outside of Quebec is an Anybody But Harper effect which gathered steam once Canadian realized that Jack would hold that crown in Quebec.

  19. que sera sera says:

    I’m glad there was a non-confidence vote that brought down the Harper government & brought on this election. And I am a card carrying Liberal.

    Harper had to be challenged & called on his lying & his contempt. To pretend that one should only be held accountable if the challenger can “guarantee” an election win is ridiculous & also trivializes the seriousness of Harper’s contempt to Paraliament & hostility to democracy.

    I support the HoC in booting Harper out of government & triggering this election. I support the RoC in electing someone, anyone, to finish the task of kicking Harper to the curb. It can be the NDP, LIB or the NDP/Lib/Bloc or any combinations thereof. Perfectly fine with me.

    But to sit back & wait patiently while Harper continued to abuse Parliament & Canada – because not one MP in the house, individually or collectively, had the balls to challenge him and give the RoC the opportunity to continue with punishing Harper electorally – would have been patently absurd & would have made a further mockery of the Opposition and the House. And while Harper can lead his MP’s around by a ring in their nose, I am reassured the rest of the HoC stood up and collectively said “NO MORE”, regardless of the electoral “fallout”.

    Let Canada vote. And stick a fork in Harper, he’s toast.

  20. Sean says:


    1. Are the Liberals and BQ going to be moving into leadership campaigns immediately? If so, would either party prop up the Tories for a year or so until things cool down?

    2. Would Harper try to push the budget off until Sept. until things settle down and to test the cohesiveness of the coalition?

    3. What is in the NDP’s best interests? Should they put Libs in their cabinet in order to gain some credibility? Example: McCallum as Fin., Rae as International will calm a lot of people down.

    4. Might they assume the Liberals will support them even without cabinet posts? After all, they supported the Tories quite frequently without cabinet posts. (sub question: do any Liberal M.P.s really want to take ownership of “Canada’s Latest New Government?”

    5. The Senate is controlled by the Tories and could veto all NDP legislation. Layton is going to have to appoint NDP Senators to get anything through!

    6. Do the Tories move immediately into a leadership if Harper is defeated in the house? Some of my Tory buddies think so. Will they ever find a guy as cagey as Harper?

    7. Can the NDP as a natural protest party, survive a term in Government where they actually have to make real life decisions? Personally I can’t wait to watch these guys squirm through every senate appt, every S.C. appt, every Embassy appt, every Crown Corp. appt, every PMO appt., every Dep. Min appt…

    8. Does anyone doubt that Layton’s first act as PM will be to establish about 25 public enquiries into every single document that Harper / Martin / Chretien / Mulroney ever signed? Airbus, Adscam, Afghan Detainees, G8, Carson, CSL, maybe even the Pacific Scandal will be re-opened! Parliament is going to be a weekly soap opera, the likes of which Canadians have never seen before.

    9. Afghanistan Mission over? Troops back by the fall?

    10. What the hell is going to happen with the FTA?! Do nothing and they get into big trouble with the grassroots and the unions… Do anything and get into even bigger trouble with everyone else.

    11. Will Harper’s first response to a Non. Con. vote be to demand another election?! Absolutely. That will be his default position going into the budget.

    12. What will the GG do? This is the fun part… No one knows. My hunch is, he’ll let the NDP govern.

    • Namesake says:

      on 2, it was reported last night that Harper’s indicated he’ll do the throne speech and budget before the House’s summer break.

    • Ian says:

      On #3, good god I hope not. What’s the point of an NDP government if we’ve got a Liberal finance minister? Mulcair should be finance.

      And Rae? When hell freezes over. Not just out of vindictiveness, but because — think about it — the federal NDP is constantly taking flack for Rae when he’s not even in the party anymore, why bring him back any closer? It would be suicide!

      The NDP has a perfectly good candidate for Foreign Affairs, in Paul Dewar.

      On #8, wow, that sounds awesome! I hadn’t even thought of that. NDP should have started promising that to Canadians during the home stretch of this campaign.

  21. George says:

    “On CBC Sunday Morning (Wilson, Tasha, Riley and Russo), Tasha K., made a point about how Jack’s bawdyhouse stay story was in fact shopped by the Liberals 3 years ago. Tasha added that the one who shopped it is running in this election. ”

    Yes, let’s get to the bottom of this shall we?

  22. George says:

    just glad it’s almost over but dreading another provincial election in October.

    • JS Rothwell says:

      Hmm isnt Compas linked to the Frontier Institute? Not very objective in the polling techniques are they.

  23. Bill M. says:

    I think the LPC should have dovetailed more talk about the economy along with their platform.

    They played a good hand on health care and education but ceded the economic turf or merely gave it lip service. For example, when Harper says Canada emerged stronger than others, the LPC could have had a spot saying that’s because our regulatory stance, which Harper wanted to undo while in opposition, never allowed us to sink so deep in the first place.

    Harper takes credit for the performance of the economy, an explicit endorsement of his fiscal position. Yet, after the G20 meetings in Nov. 2008 when Flaherty gave his economic update, he offered zero stimulus and it was the coalition that first proposed a $30 billiion stimulus budget. The CPC try to have this both ways…it was forced upon Harper…but since the economy is doing well, we’ll take credit for it. The LPC, notably guys like Brison and Goodale were nowhere on the national stage making this known.

    The joke is that the economy is always front and foremost irrespective of performance…if it’s too strong, you’re trying to manage growth (just ask China) and if it’s too weak, you try to fill in for the lack of private sector demand (by the way, nice of the cons to come around to Keynes and realize theirs is an incomplete economic ideology).

    LPC could have better managed the balance between social priorities and the overall health of the economy.

    The disappointing part of this is that the contempt charge became an afterthought. I hear many on the CPC side claim this was just a partisan trick. Well it’s quite a trick to be pulled on the party that campaigned on accountability and transparency. Proroguing rather than release Afghan documents (noted by Tom Flanagan no less) and the refusal to release cost estimates to the HoC on prisons and jets, based on a ruling from the Speaker of the House. The squelching of dissenting voices from senior bueaucrats, the attacks on Harper’s own appointed Keving Page. Let’s not forget Chritiane Ouimet. Ignatieff’ “Rise Up” moment noted all of this. Maybe he’s right, Canadians don’t care about that. I would hope that’s not true. But if it is true, imganine how CPC supporters will feel next time in opposition. You will understand if nobody cares, won’t you?

  24. JStanton says:

    I’m still amazed how conservatives here, continue to conflate Conservative party politics with Mr. Harper. They certainly are not one and the same.

    And because the CPC is merely a vehicle for Mr. Harper’s own, personal agenda, his appeal to Liberals to support him can only fail. Outside of his personal cult of true believers, Canadians reject everything he has demonstrated he represents.

    Would Canadians ever support a party based on conservative ideology? Perhaps, if one were available. But that won’t be the case until Mr. Harper is out of the picture. He is conservative’s biggest liability.


  25. James says:

    Hi Warren, I don’t agree with your argument about Jack. If he embodies “HOAGism”, then why didn’t voters gravitate enthusiastically to him and the NDP in previous federal elections? After all, he’s been leader of the NDP since 2003, and been in politics a lot longer. So why his strong popularity now after all these years??

    The real reason, in my opinion, is that the NDP has now become the “alternative choice” to the Conservatives, a development in the making since the Liberal sponsorship scandal and the internal party war. I’m surprised that, the day before the election, you didn’t write a column instead about the decline of the Liberals, and how it has all come to a painful head in the Election Campaign of 2011. That has been the big story of this election, not Jack. Jeffrey Simpson and Margaret Wente of The Globe and Mail wrote about this in the weekend issue, and so has Lorrie Goldstein in today’s Toronto Sun. To me, Layton-mania has been a sideshow that has very shallow roots.

    I believe the Conservatives will do even better than expected tomorrow. Now that the country faces a crystallized choice between the Conservatives and NDP, voters will decide to carry on with the Conservatives. Throughout this wholly unnecessary, tedious election, voters haven’t been given truly compelling reasons to change government. A lot of exaggerated, contrived rhetoric, but no compelling reasons at all.

  26. George says:

    was this an essay question? Not one for reading long posts or lectures Gord. Sorry.

  27. Bill M. says:

    Nex time anybody cries about the Liberal media, show them this.


  28. Gord, as a farewell gesture to a fierce warrior, here is a bit of information for you that will, once and for all, puncture another one of your favorite canards: The MSM are biased against your conservatives. At this link you will find a list of editorial endorsements from newspapers across Canada. But don’t let the facts interfere; keep telling us that the media are all against you….


    Thanks Warren for providing us with this wonderful sandbox. I look forward to Monday night’s debrief thread.

    • Craig Chamberlain says:

      (No, we don’t need your so-called “information” — “we know otherwise”.)

      Well, that’s inconvenient.

  29. M-J says:

    “I’m a Jean Chretien Liberal, and a Bill Clinton Democrat. Both those men were successful because they never forgot that there are a lot more votes on knew how to win votes on Main Street than on while doing the work of Bay Street (or Wall Street).”


  30. nastyboy says:

    I wonder how long before Rob Rae deserts the sinking ship and goes back to the NDP?

  31. George says:

    Forum has it 35-33. Are those numbers an NDP minority because of the all the wasted Tory support in Alberta?

    • Ian says:

      It is really possible that NDP could win the most seats now. But the splits will be crazy in Ontario.

      • George says:

        It depends on strategic voting in Ontario. Layton needs a major breakthrough in the 416 and needs Ignatieff to hold the 905. If I had to bet, I don’t think it happens but some of the polls like this one make me wonder.

  32. Namesake says:

    Ever wonder how your friends see you?

    Ever worry that if they said so, it might blow the lies you tell about yourself all to Hell?

    “Relying on an extremely small circle of advisors and his own instincts, he has played the game of high-stakes, partisan politics well, but his reputation for decisiveness and shrewdness has been tarnished by a sometimes vindictive pettiness. With only a few exceptions, he has not built the bridges to the opposition typical of a minority PM.

    …[As of Jan., 2009 he has] reached across the floor only twice: in March 2008 to achieve bipartisan consensus on the extension of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan through 2011; and, in June 2008 to resolve the Indian Residential Schools issue. More typical was his free use of confidence votes on a series of legislation to force passage of his agenda under threat of an election…

    …Harper has centralized communications and decision-making within the PMO (an ongoing trend since the 1970s) to an unprecedented degree, according
    to commentators familiar with the public service and
    Conservative insiders. “The Center” (PMO and Privy Council Office) is clearly the arbiter of even the most routine decisions… [and] ministers are still on a short leash.

    …Notoriously hard on staff (Harper burned through a series of communications directors as opposition leader, and once reportedly told an aide that he liked to see the “fear” in the eyes of prospective employees), Harper seems to operate largely as his own strategist, tactician, and advisor.

    …In the changed economic and political landscape of
    2009, PM Harper will face new imperatives to adopt a more conciliatory and inclusive approach. However, this will go against the grain for such an instinctively combative Prime Minister.”

    And who wrote this frank assessment of Harper?

    The U.S. Ambassador to Canada… in an official briefing for Bush’s Republican Administration!



    “Residential school apology rare ‘consensus’ moment during centralized, secretive Harper minority rule: U.S. diplomatic cable,” 01. May, 2011 by APTN National News http://urlm.in/hqcj

    • Ron says:

      Funny how Liberals and NDP have a hate on for America, expecially under the Bush admin and yet quote writings of an American diplomat.
      Hypocracy and hyperbole from all sides in this election knows no bounds

      • Namesake says:

        But not as funny as how a Harper-boy tries to minimize the United States Ambassador to Canada as being a mere “diplomat,” and,

        who vainly tries to deflect the damning portrayal of our PM (as a petty, vindictive, over-controlling, poor Parliamentarian bound for failure in a Minority position) by

        the Chief eyes and ears of our biggest ally and trading partner (the same ally this PM has been trying to curry favour with by spending tens of billions more than we should on a plane we don’t need, and by offering them unparalleled access to our citizens’ personal records and movements and our national intelligence)

        … by trying to mutter something under his breath about the alleged hypocracy (sic) of the person who brought this to light.

        Too bad you can’t just fire or transfer me, eh?

        • Ron says:

          and they say Harper spews venom
          our biggest ally and trading partner
          yet within the same sentence you say he tries to “curry favour”
          and amazingly you know we are over paying for planes etc…

          you seem to know so much and are so in the know

          put your name on the ballot and do something about it!

  33. Craig Chamberlain says:

    Let’s return to my question.

    Mr. Tulk — yes or no:

    Does Mr. Harper recognize the legitimacy of the Governor General to determine who can form government if the governing party loses the confidence of the House?

    Yes. Or No.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      What a stupid pretext! (And about what one would expect from Milewski.)

      “No, Terry. I’m gonna hold up in my office, surround the parliament buildings with JTF2, and hope the UN doesn’t come huntin’ for me, too!”

      Give your heads a shake!


    • Craig Chamberlain says:

      I think Mr. Harper raised a lot of questions in how he has “responded” to this. Unnecessarily? Tellingly?

      Time will tell. Perhaps Terry Milewski HAS put his finger on something. Perhaps also he was tired and reacting to the sham that was the media access.

  34. George - the other says:


    who is the “Liberal fixer” exactly?

    • Namesake says:

      I’m sure a lot of people are wondering that, today… and where.

      And, don’t know if you’ve noticed, but he or she seems to have been AWOL for about five years, now.

      I think his name is “Godot.”

  35. Namesake says:

    Or for the Glorious Leader perilously close to embodying Lord Acton’s 1887 dictum,

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  36. But Gord, did you actually click on the link? If you did, you would find a list of 32 newspapers, some of them very large, who endorsed the Conservatives, while the number who have endorsed the Libs are zero, the NDP 2 and the Bloc 1. How can you maintain that the media, or the print media in this example, are biased against Conservatives? Let me answer my own question. You will keep on repeating your tired and worn-out canard about the dominance of the left-wing media in Canada, evidence to the contrary be damned. Hare Krishna, Gord. May a pure white light of peace and harmony radiate from the center of your forehead on the morning of May 3.

  37. R says:

    Canada need a politician who are come to stop corruption and not encourage immoriality in big cities

    Down town Toronto and piggy look dummies Toronto Mayor
    and his family is going to corrupted city more than already it was corrupted before with other political groups

    all city and all hotel and motel and all gays and all china town and drgus disco and alchol and corrupted school board of education in Toronto do not forget their police and their hotle reservation and increase prostioootionnnnn etc…

    DO not blame it to conservative Toronto mayor
    blame it to Muslim Calgary mayor




  38. Granny says:

    My husband wanted to put his estimate in: Conservative: 118 seats (He has included Helena Guergis as an Independant Conservative in these figures. He figures as soon as the real Conservatives send Stephen Harper down the road kicking rocks that she will be back in Cabinet) . N.D.P: 100 seats. Liberals: 74 seats. BQ: 16 seats. As has been the case over the last 40 years my predictions differ from his. He suffers from a need to make realistic analysis and projections whereas I have my crystal on a string. My predictions are in percentage (have you ever dangled a crystal over a table top for a count of 308 ?) I have a slight adjustment to my previous prediction: NDP: 34%; Liberal:32 %; Conservative: 26 %. Don’t laugh..remember the election where the Liberals and Conservatives came with-in a seat or two of each other ? When I predicted that about a week or so before the election people laughed. Yes, I do have to reach back a bit in counting my wins.

  39. Robert Henderson says:


    Most of the time you are Buddha of Canadian Politics (with moments of willful blindness). I feel you are right on the money…again. Few read platforms and they are usually partisans. I read the Liberal one before door knocking. I quickly realized if I just smiled, kept an open body stance, and listened more than talking, I got a favourable response. Smile with your eyes & tell them you will eat their 1st born & they will shake your hand.

    It’s the old Verbal/Non-Verbal thing. Playing the boiler room thing for fun on twitter, when I was attacked by a Tory for a comment I made I would respond with ” I Love You & Wish you all the Very Best”. Not only did they stop attacking, they put me on their To Follow List! That said Attack Ads killed Iggy. At the door people hated him. Time to unite the left.


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