07.24.2015 01:48 PM

Here’s how much Canadians are thinking, and talking, about coalitions


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    Lance says:

    The second that either the NDP or the Liberals start talking about coalitions, the more that they are saying that the believe they can’t win in their own right. It may or may not be accurate, but that isn’t a conclusion that will be dismissed so easily. Contrast that with the Tories current majority and belief that they can form another majority, how Trudeau is mired in the weeds, and the Tories kicking a NDP plank off of the platform.

    Even if they do, what would be very entertaining is the ensuing slap-fest between Trudeau and Mulcair on who gets to be PM and senior partner of any coalition. No…..there won’t be a coalition.

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      doconnor says:

      For the NDP “can’t win in their own right” is a significant improvement over “there’s no way they’ll ever win”.

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      Matt says:

      Trudeau’s already said no coalition, formal or informal, as long as Mulcair leads the Dippers.

      But, if the Liberals are still in third on October 20th, the knives may be out for Trudeau.

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      cgh says:

      Lance, it’s more than just the NDP getting a plank kicked away. For over a year, the media have been salivating over the Duffy trial, fondling themselves with glee over how they will make Harper wear this at election time. Bang, gone in 60 seconds.

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    Matt says:

    But, don’t you think talking about a coalition publicly like the NDP have this week could be taken as an admission they can’t win government outright and are pretty much topped out at 32% – 33%?

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      MississaugaPeter says:

      Nope. Don’t think that for a second.

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    Fan590 says:

    I think there’s a very good chance there will be a coalition, even if only the Dippers are talking about it at the moment.

    Of course Justin won’t say it now…smart politics. But he’s crafty enough to know being PM is a nice position to be for the next election.

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    Ron Waller says:

    Trudeau is attempting to use the coalition issue as a wedge like the Ontario Liberals did in the 2014 election. They essentially blackmailed voters: vote for the Liberal party or risk a neo-con minority.

    Of course, if one looks closer, this means Trudeau would rather prop up Harper than work with a centrist NDP. This is exactly what Ignatieff did (previous Liberal leader.) He rejected a coalition that would’ve ousted Harper in 2008. Then whipped his party into voting for Harper legislation. (Trudeau Jr. actually voted for mandatory minimum jail sentences for growing a few pot plants back in 2009.)

    If a centrist NDP party is “fundamentally different” than the Liberals, as Trudeau claims, then obviously Trudeau must be pretty far out on the right wing. That’s the impression I get when I read his views on the economy. (Corporate tax cuts create jobs, blah blah blah…)

    The federal NDP is also referencing the Ontario election. They want to get out in front of this one instead of getting sand-bagged in the middle of a campaign. And it’s working. Canadians opposed to Harper have nothing against coalitions. The more Mulcair talks about coalitions the worse off Trudeau looks. So the NDP is sure to make this a major campaign issue.

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      Fan590 says:

      “centrist NDP”

      Nice talking point. They aren’t centrist. And most people know it and will act accordingly on election day, either for Harper or Trudeau.

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        Ron Waller says:

        I would consider the Mulcair NDP to be right-leaning centrist based on the left-right economic spectrum.

        100% left is full government control over the economy; 100% right is no government involvement in the economy. In the center is the mixed-market system created by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression and used during the post-war era (1945-1980) creating modern living standards. During this time all parties were Keynesian: Republican, Con, Democrat, Liberal, NDP. (Top income tax bracket in both countries: 70%.)

        Trudeau is a right-of-center supporter of neoclassical system in the tradition of Brian Mulroney. Like Mulroney, he says neoclassical reforms created prosperity even though GDP growth has gone down the toilet over the past 12 years (averaging 1.9%; 3.6% average during the Keynesian era.) These reforms also caused skyrocketing debt and inequality, massive recessions, instability, meltdowns and “secular stagnation.”

        Mulroney was a crook and failure. The people hated him. I could never understand how the Liberal party thought it would be a good idea to become the Brian Mulroney party. These days centrist liberals either vote NDP or pretend the Liberal party is centrist.

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          Fan590 says:

          Simple “left-right” explanations like we were taught in high school or first year PolySci at university do not apply in the real world.

          The reality is calling the NDP “centrist” is a tricky way to call them “harmless.”

          It’s like naming a grizzly bear “Mildred” or “Spanky” and ending up like the finale of the documentary “Bear Man.”

          And it’s not going to work with Harper and Trudeau around as choices for PM. We don’t have an Alberta ’15 situation.

          The NDP will give too much power to unions, ruin the housing market, and bring in policies that will seriously harm the economy. Mulcair and his team are exactly what Canada doesn’t need during a recession. NDP are also weak on security.

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            Ron Waller says:

            How exactly would the NDP destroy the economy? By abandoning the neoclassical reforms that are destroying the economy? By returning to the Keynesian policies that created the wealth of the first-world nations in the post-war era? (A golden age of prosperity for the average person unprecedented in human history.)

            The Canadian NDP is probably right of the conservative party in Germany — one of the strongest economies on the planet. The NDP would have to spend a lot of time passing legislation to bring our social benefits in line with Germany’s, including its recent move to make all university tuition free.

            BTW, all economic policies and systems can be measured along a left-right spectrum, which suggests there’s an optimal position for each policy (but not all policies have the same optimal position.) What would you use to replace the economic spectrum? If there is a superior way to measure economic policy I’d like to hear it.

            (The neoclassical bias against government involvement in the economy puts that system pretty far to the right. But right-wing ideologues don’t like being called right-wing ideologues because they have built up a terrible reputation over the years. No wonder they are against the economic spectrum. They are just trying to weasel their way out of taking responsibility for all their failures and attempting to repackage their same old snake oil. 10 years from now conservatives will protest being described as “low-tax small-government” supporters. These anti-PC types are PC nannies when it comes to their own demographic!)

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            Fan590 says:

            “BTW, all economic policies and systems can be measured along a left-right spectrum”

            No they can’t. Far too simplistic.

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            Ron Waller says:

            “No they can’t. Far too simplistic.”

            Using a generalization to describe a hypothesis does not make it false. Your generalization is an appeal to an emotional bias: i.e., a hypothesis that is simple is too unsophisticated to be true.

            The statement “2 + 2 = 4” is both simplistic and true.

            If you want to try disproving my hypothesis — for every economic issue there exist many policy actions that can be placed along a simple one dimensional left-right spectrum — you can start by offering an example that disproves the hypothesis.

            I can offer many examples that support the hypothesis.

            For example, the economic issue of international trade. A far-right policy action is free trade (little government involvement.) A far-left one is mercantilism (strong government control.) A centrist one is managed “fair trade” that leverages jobs and common regulations in exchange for market access (partial government involvement.)

            Another example is the economic issue of primary and secondary education. A far-right policy action is free-market education: families pay for their children’s education which is optional. A far-left policy action is mandatory education with no tuition charges. A centrist policy action would be subsidized free-market education.

            These examples also show that the optimal left/right position of a policy action varies across economic issues.

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    Analysis is spot-on, Ron!

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    gyor says:

    Its simple NDP-Liberal swing voters love the idea of coalition and the more that the NDP gets Trudeau to say no, the more pissed off that set of voters gets at Trudeau and the more reasonable they see the NDP and the more they see the NDP as the only reasonible choice.

    I would not be surprise if this has bern tested in focus group.

    Trudeau is a fool for falling into Mulcair’s trap.

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      RogerX says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Mulcair and Harper are covertly coordinating their attacks against Justin just to knock him out of the election race and essentially leaving the Liberals leaderless and headless…. and then to share the spoils. Too conspiratorial you say? Think again.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    A smart leader is neither for nor against possible coalitions until we know the lay of the land as the seat results shake out.

    Looking for the next so-called game changer? Think August 6th and by all means, smile broadly.

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    e.a.f. says:

    the 4 opposition parties ought not to be discussing coalition or any such thing. they ought to go out and give it their best shot and see if they can form a government. if they can’t then they can discuss supporting each other. its fine if they have some chats before hand about supporting each other to ensure the cons to not become the ruling party, but they need to focus on fighting this election as individual parties to the best of their ability.

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    Don Wilson says:

    Actually, people are talking a lot about coalitions. I hear lots of buzz about the “C” word in every political discussion. Ron Waller and gyor are both correct. Being steadfast in their rejection of coalitions, the Liberals are losing swing voters to the NDP. Here’s the ballot question for us: “In a FPTP system, which party has the best chance of defeating the Cons?” Right now more people are saying NDP

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      Fan590 says:

      I don’t see or hear anyone saying they won’t vote Liberal because of the rejection of a coalition. Most people expect their vote to count and that means help form a government.

      If Trudeau did say he was open to a coalition, the same bunch of you would likely be saying it’s a sign of weakness/desperation.

      People haven’t written Trudeau off yet…despite the gaffs of his campaign team. Go see him in person interacting with crowds. He connects. Especially with women and new Canadians.

      Mulcair has peaked too early and with some improved management Trudeau will be called “the comeback kid” by September. This is Harper vs. Trudeau and Mulcair is just another ’88 Broadbent summer illusion.

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        RogerX says:

        Exactly, people want their vote to count and a coalition makes people who would normally vote Liberal question their vote if it didn’t defeat Harper. Don’t you see the NDP strategy behind their cockamamey coalition proposal to the Liberals? The Conservatives are hammering the Liberals with their ‘just not ready’ attack ads and now the NDP are floating the ‘coalition’ idea to defeat Harper. Trudeau is now being attacked from both sides and he is forced to defend himself…… and in politics if you are defending you are losing.

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        MississaugaPeter says:

        You can’t truly be serious about your statement: “People haven’t written Trudeau off yet ….”

        You mean among the roughly 1,000,000 voters that were Liberal (Trudeau) supporters a year ago but are not today, none have written off Trudeau and his cabal of half-wits?

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          Fan590 says:

          You can’t say those people are not Trudeau supporters now. Look at Warren’s post: it’s July, most people aren’t paying attention.

          I’ve seen Trudeau speak at public meetings and he connects. Especially with women and new Canadians.

          Get ready for the Comeback Kid and a Trudeau/Harper show down come election day. The whole Mulcair thing is something for the media to talk about and it won’t last.

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          MississaugaPeter says:

          You are right, they are not paying attention right now.

          But when they were paying attention the past year, roughly 1,000,000 Canadian voters switched their allegiance away from Trudeau and his cabal of half-wits.

          Sure, your wishful thinking may have them all miraculously come back to Trudeau after they already found some distaste in him previously. But that requires Trudeau and his cabal of half-wits (that obviously is not referring to CalgaryGrit) to FIRST stop the monthly gush of supporters (about 1% monthly) leaving the Liberal Party and THEN start to gain some of the old folks back.

          Stop the Gush. Then Get Back Old Supporters and Gain New Supporters. The motley crew in charge of the Liberal Party give no one any reason to believe they can do the first, let alone the second.

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            Warren says:

            Too late.

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    RogerX says:

    In the 1930s, the world and Canada suffered through the Great Depression plus a 10 year drought cycle in the Prairie Provinces that was supposed to recur every 60 years according to the weather records. Well, now we have the “super” el Nino ocean currents bubbling up in the South Pacific causing our strange weather occurrences in Western Canada according to the weather folks. Sorry folks, it’s not disastrous global warming yet.

    So now we are encountering very low oil prices that is straining the Canadian economy caused by OPEC overproduction, regional economic upheavals such as Greece, regional war and terrorism causing death and destruction, and now wild weather that is scaring the beejesus out of fearful Canadian women and traumatized children and blaming it on Canada’s 1.83% contribution to global GHGs.

    When the tumbleweeds start to roll on Vancouver, Calgary, Regina streets that is when people will start talking about coalitions and other such political nonsense.

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    Liam Young says:

    I don’t think the opposition parties should talk about coalitions because their platforms are too different. Also, it provides fodder for the Con attack ads.

    Instead, I believe they should talk about ‘strategic removal of candidates from ridings they cant win’ and focus on ridings they CAN win and form a ‘partnership’ government (assuming it’s a minority government) following the election. I would gladly support this if the Liberals, NDP and Greens signed a pledge committing them to democratic reform following the election.

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      RogerX says:

      Sorry, Liam, but strategic riding nominations to impose strategic voting is anti-democratic because it assumes Canadians are too stupid to know how to vote to defeat Harper. Your solution sounds a tad desperate and again demonstrates the uncertainty that you and other Harper haters have in your minds about the next election. Why don’t you just sing the praises of the party and leader that you believe to be best for Canada, rather than concocting something that will never happen and if it did it would be a monumental failure insuring a massive Harper majority government. Why can’t you see that too?

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    Steve T says:

    A political coalition (in Canada at least) to win power is like getting married because you’re pregnant, even though you don’t really love each other or have common interests. You think it’s the “best” thing to do, in the circumstances, but in the end you just f**k up yourselves and the kid.

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    terry quinn says:

    In door knocking for Liberal candidates canvassers are not hearing anything about a coalition nor the senate. C51 is still a topic but fading fast.

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    Ron says:

    In Peterborough we will be happy to just have an MP. (Now Gerrymandered for two!), as long as he isn’t what Dean Vernon Wormer described.

    Coalition discussion at the local town hall:


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