06.24.2010 06:54 AM

Anyone? Anyone?

So what, exactly, would be their ballot question? We fear the A.G.? We fear the Libs and the NDP doing what we did? We fear fear itself?

Comments are open.  What do you think the winning Reformatory ballot question might be?

Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?

52 Comments

  1. Catherine says:

    The House of Commons is dysfunctional and requires a new mandate to clear the air.

    And ‘the other guys’ are stooges and idiots that should be erased from the benches.

    • James Smith says:

      No, the other guy is Iggy not the Stooges!

    • Harper used the dysfunctional line in 2008. He didn’t say “Canada is going through a serious recession and I’m already spending the country deep into debt”, both of which were true when he called election 2008, over a year ahead of his own fixed date law.

      All he said was parliament was dysfunctional.

      The economy would be Harper’s safest ballot question to float. The best possible angle (for Harper) to play, if it pans out as such, is to run on “his” economic record in the face of what them may appear to be a re-worsening of the global economy, the dreaded second half of the “double dip”.

      If that doesn’t appear to be the global direction come fall, I doubt we’ll see an election in 2010. Maybe spring 2011.

      Then again there’s going to be an awful lot of video and still photos of Harper looking all Prime Ministerialish atop his boondoggle summit. We should expect to see those images start to appear in advertisements over the summer, maybe even paid for by taxpayers. The best-before date on that stuff is pretty short.

  2. Darrell says:

    I noticed the Sunshine Girl, and well I’ve been distracted and I can’t think of any ballot questions. Maybe Harper is trying to set up the Liberals with an Afghan exit strategy crisis.

  3. PolyGon says:

    I think you’ve got it – it will be December 2008 rehashed with extra whammo sauce. “An unrepentant rag-tag band of wild-eyed separatists, American professors, and homosexual communists are plotting the creation of an Islamic state in Canada. Let’s stop them.”

  4. JStanton says:

    … of course, Mr. Harper doesn’t really need to provide a non-political justification for calling an election. He will nonetheless simply say that in these “tough times” we need a “real man” to do what has to be done.

    His stalwarts will nod, and vote for his supplicant candidates. Greens will vote for Greens, as usual, Dippers will vote for Dippers, as usual, but who will Liberals vote for?

    In my riding, I’ll vote for the Dipper incumbent, as will most Liberals, because a) there is no compelling or viable Liberal alternative, and b) the Liberal leader has no fire in his belly, and as such, has failed to ignite the fire in mine, sufficient to have me vote for his candidate on faith.

    At the end of the day, Mr. Ignatieff cannot go mano a mano against Mr. Harper; he is simply the wrong man for the times.

    • Sandra says:

      Really, you know how Liberals will vote? I think it’s wishful thinking.

      • JStanton says:

        I limited my prognostication to my own riding, where there is historic data that, when coupled with the neutral candidate, is sufficient to predict the outcome with reasonable certainty.

        As for Liberals elsewhere, I’m assuming they are sensible and realistic to the extent that they share my regret and disgust that the LPC has seen fit to promote 3 people in a row to a leadership role that commonse sense alone would indicate they are unsuitable for, in terms of them lacking experiance at winning elections or charisma.

        In which case Liberals are unlikely to blindly follow the party line, given that the party can no longer demonstrate much credibility. I suspect many Liberals will throw their lot in with Mr. Harper or Mr. Layton. given that the LPC has yet, after 6 or 7 years, to provide a compelling reason for them not to.

        What would a compelling reason be ? How about a credible, Liberal position on … anything? How about waging a campaign-to-win, in a credible manner, instead of running for cover? How about acknowledging that to win, the LPC needs to include the possibility of tactics such as coalitions, rather than simply self indulging in hubris?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      J Stanton,

      Respectfully, one might be truly amazed to see how much fire-in-the-belly at even the faint prospect of potential electoral execution is necessarily generated, in the interest of personal political survival. I’m counting on that.

      I prefer to take them on according to our own self-driven proactive fall timetable. But if this Prime Minister regrettably proves to be the determined instrument responsible for Liberal action — so be it.

      Unlike many Liberals, either way, I think we can win. Yours truly is determined to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

  5. Bill King says:

    “Anyone? Anyone? So what, exactly, would be their ballot question?”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Dunno. Ask Greg Weston. He’s the one making up this story.

    Cheers,

  6. Michael Behiels says:

    The Conservative Party’s leading but ‘ironic’ ballot question will be: “It’s the economy stupid!”

    Harper triangulated with his Keynesian-inspired Winter 2009 Stimulus Budget, after almost loosing power to an ill-conceived and very badly-executed Liberal-NDP coalition thanks to a weak and compliant GG. Harper, in doing so, set the stage for the next election. Which leader is best capable of managing the economy. Harper or Ignatieff? Canadians will vote for Harper! Canadians do not like his overly authoritarian leadership style but Harper does take control and he gets things done. Most voters appreciate this when times are difficult.

    The cumulative $60 billion stimulus spending, Harper believes, saved the Conservative government and Party and, he is convinced, will bring additional electoral support and seats to the Conservative Party. It was a whopping gamble, on par with Mulroney’s gamble with the FTA in 1988, but Harper believes that the Conservatives can pull it off and may even win a slim majority.

    A sub-question will be: “Who is is the best leader to deal with the resurgence of the Qu

  7. James Smith says:

    – Mission Accomplished? – nah, too Bushie
    – Stand up for Canada? – good, worked once, but might remind geezers of Income Trusts
    – A Common Sense Revolution? – could work, I mean it’s why half the cabinet is in Ottawa not Queens Park – oh yeah, never mind.
    – I am not a crook? – Too soon?
    – Hey it’s fall, everybody get a sweater! – no wait Bow Ties are the next cool thing (Dr Who anyone?) That’s it! Blue Bow Ties! Then the present PM can quote the late Great Senator Paul Simon on SNL:

    “I think I really got em with the bow tie!”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Simon_(politician)

  8. Michael Behiels says:

    Harper’s Ballot Question for the Fall 2010 Election!

    The Conservative Party’s leading but ‘ironic’ ballot question will be: “It’s the economy stupid!”
    Harper triangulated with his Keynesian-inspired Winter 2009 Stimulus Budget, after almost loosing power to an ill-conceived and very badly-executed Liberal-NDP coalition thanks to a weak and compliant GG. Harper, in doing so, set the stage for the next election. Which leader is best capable of managing the economy. Harper or Ignatieff? Canadians will vote for Harper! Canadians do not like his overly authoritarian leadership style but Harper does take control and he gets things done. Most voters appreciate this when times are difficult.
    The cumulative $60 billion stimulus spending, Harper believes, saved the Conservative government and Party and, he is convinced, will bring additional electoral support and seats to the Conservative Party. It was a whopping gamble, on par with Mulroney’s gamble with the FTA in 1988, but Harper believes that the Conservatives can pull it off and may even win a slim majority.
    A sub-question will be: “Who is is the best leader to deal with the resurgence of the Québécois separatist movement?” Harper, of course! Ignatieff will be portrayed as soft on Québécois nationalists and separatists.
    The US economy is now well into a double dip recession and Canada’s economy will follow along by late Winter, early Spring 2011. Harper does not want to bring down a really tough budget in the Spring of 2010 just as the economy goes into another recession phase and government revenues are dropping. He needs a stronger mandate to bring in tougher budgetary measures – cuts to provincial transfers for health, social services and education and further cuts to equalization grants because these are the only two really big expenditure areas.
    The Harper gang has no choice but to manufacture its defeat – by ending election financing for all parties — in the House during the Fall session.
    Harper will then run on his handling of the economy and his ability to fend off the separatist movement in Quebec. The narrative will include: “I did the best I could under extraordinary circumstance!”; “It’s time to slay the deficit and reduce the national debt!” ; “The Liberals and the Socialists will destroy Canada if they form a coalition government with the dreaded Separatists!”; “The Conservatives will slay the separatist dragon!” You get the drift!
    Harper also wants a stronger mandate so that his government, rather than a coalition Liberal-NDP government, will be in the one negotiating the renewed mandate for NATO’s role in Afghanistan post 2011. Harper has already gained the upper hand on the Afghan mission. Why, because the silly Liberals have decided, if they form a government, that they will extend Canada’s Armed Forces Mission in Afghanistan. In doing so, the Liberals will move the troops from Kandahar to Kabul where they will train the Afghan Army and police and protect Canadian civilians who are trying to rebuild the Afghan State.
    Harper will triangulate once again and steal the Liberal plan for keeping the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Very Mackenzie King like! Brilliant.
    The Liberals and NDP will be relegated to the opposition benches for another four to five years!

  9. Michael Harkov says:

    This will be a pitch for a majority government and it will be, “why risk the very real potential of an unstable coalition with separatists having a veto during a fragile but very real economic recovery? After five years at the helm, we’ve proven we can get the job done in getting our economy out of a rough patch during two temultuous minority Parliaments. Help us give Canada the stability it needs to bolster that recovery by granting us a majority government.

    And you know what? That will click with a lot of Canadians. And they will finally have their majority government.

    • Catherine says:

      That ‘rough patch’ is not evident with the taxpayer money finding its way into Tony’s riding.

      or, our retirement saving.

      • Michael Harkov says:

        Hmm, and here I thought that only Liberal or NDP ridings should be so entitled. You mean money found it’s way into an MP’s riding, even a *GASP* a TORY one?

        Perish the thought.

  10. Tim says:

    I never thought I’d ever say this as a Canadian, but I truly wonder whether this crooked, morally warped Tory movement will peacefully relinquish power even in the event they do lose an election outright.

    Just re-read Sinclair Lewis’ classic “it couldn’t happen here,” and there’s a frightening set of parallels between the declining America of Lewis’ imagination and the Orwellian Canadian political scene we inhabit today.

    Patriotic Canadians need to be vigilant, both in fighting an election and ensuring its results are respected. I fear for our country.

  11. Steve T says:

    “The Harper gang has no choice but to manufacture its defeat – by ending election financing for all parties — in the House during the Fall session.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, with regard to the issue.

  12. Joseph says:

    Ballot question: Do you want us or Jack Layton running the country?

  13. William M says:

    Ballot question “Are you voters really as stupid as we think you are?”

  14. Michael Bussiere says:

    For all the pessimism addicts out there (and there seems to be oh-so many of you):

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/ignatieff-emerges-as-a-leader-96545884.html

    Furthermore, Harper has provided so much free ammo since the last election (i.e. “Canadians aren’t worried about loosing their jobs or their homes”. Some economist!) and the Liberals now actually have policies. So, please, bear in mind Harper has blown every small-govt. principle and has so many targets painted on him he looks like a shooting gallery.

    But, far me it from me to suggest you let go of your gloomy outlook. I hope for your sake an asteroid is careening towards Earth and we’ll all be destroyed!

    • Pessimism? I’ve a better word: realism.

      Canadians are not likely going to give three cheers to Ignatieff and the keys to the Prime Minister’s office for his take on Afghanistan. A sizeable contingent of potential voters for the Liberals and NDP do not want to see a Harper mini-me leading the country. Why would they want to replace the hawk Harper with the hawk Ignatieff?

      If Afghanistan were somehow to become a central issue in an election, hawk lovers will vote for the real deal, Harper. Hawkish blue grits will vote for Ignatieff. The rest will find reasons to vote elsewhere or stay home.

      Bear in mind that the last three Liberal party leaders have blown every single opportunity to pound Stephen Harper and his Conservatives into the ground. Realism says when there is a trend in place (this one runs all the way back to 2005) you need to see a catalyst of some meaning to determine that the trend has changed. Nothing of the sort has occurred so the only possible conclusion, the realistic conclusion, is to bet on the continued failure of the opposition to take charge.

      Putting on rose coloured glasses doesn’t change outcomes.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Michael Watkins,

        Michael strikes me as having called for discussion and debate on this important issue with his fellow Canadians, not just fellow Liberals. We are presuming to know where he stands personally, namely for a Canadian role insofar as training is concerned but is that his carved-in-stone position? We will see.

        In any event, I support debate and dialogue on Canada’s military role in Afghanistan. Others are perhaps prepared to move the goalposts. Yours truly definitely is not. Canadian Forces are exhausted: one need only look to the latest tragic death — that poor man perhaps cheated death on three previous tours of duty. To my mind, it’s simply unconscionable that our brave soldiers are even there on a fourth tour of duty.

        I don’t want our troops training a clearly inept Afghan Army. Time to get out while the getting is good. On this issue, perhaps the leader and I will be on different sides of the issue. So be it, if necessary.

    • Namesake says:

      I wouldn’t take any solace from a hawkish endorsement from the Winnipeg Free Press editorial board, who are an embarrassment to the city. Besides wanting us in Iraq — and now Afghan. indef’ly — they frequently lambasted Lloyd Axworthy & cheered his retirement from federal politics by ridiculing his soft-power diplomacy initiatives, implying that he was a real Nancy for things like the abolishing land-mines. I’d run (or rather, hesititate to run), not walk proud, from their endorsements.

  15. Herman Thind says:

    Gord, “you ignorant slut”… “Reactionary” means “right wing”. I think the term you wanted to use to describe the NDP/left is “radical”. When you take a poli-sci course or two, you pick that up… Conservatives are “reactionary” while left wingers are “radical”. Oh yeah, there is no real term for the “middle”…

    To correct your comment further, Harper’s “user-fee and spend”, or “spend and spend” ConBots know nothing about fiscal prudence (as their out of control “law and order” (hahaha) spending indicates). They simply took a $13 BILLION $$$ Paul Martin SURPLUS, built on years of Liberal fiscal prudence, and replaced it with, oh, about $60 BILLION in excessive spending on reactionary/right wing pet projects.

    The true party of fiscal prudence in Canada is the Liberal Party of Canada. After Mulroney spent us almost to death in the 80s, it was Chretien/Martin/Goodale who saved us from economic ruin.

    Better to know the facts rather than echo Con talking points, eh Gord? (unless you’re simply stating what the Reform-a-Tories will say – then I apologize for calling you a slut… lol… just too much SNL imagery here…)

  16. Namesake says:

    What do you see when you turn out the light?

  17. Robin says:

    “the scheduled date for an election is still a long ways away” … ? Why, have fixed election dates, even when legislated, ever stopped Harper?

  18. Ted says:

    Harper has not needed any reason to break fundamental campaign promises or laws before now, and he certainly didn’t break his fixed election date law in 2008 with any real ballot question other than “the polling companies show me that I can crush Dion, so let’s go!”.

    So why would anyone think he needs a reason. He is poll and ego driven: if the polls show he could do well, he will go with or without any reason; if he thinks he will lose a confidence vote, he’ll rather “surprise” everyone and not have it on his historical record that he lost the confidence of the House.

  19. MississaugaPeter says:

    An aside: the new EKOS poll

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf/ekos-federal-vote-intention-fullreport-100624.pdf

    actually reveals the undecided as 13.4% but continues to not include it in it’s published polling numbers. Including the undecided in the real polling numbers reveals:

    Conservatives: 26.8%
    Liberals: 24.0%
    NDP: 14.3%
    Undecided: 13.4%
    Green: 11.3%
    Bloc: 8.1%
    Others: 2.2%

    Are not these numbers just pathetic? Harper gets to play big cheese and only 26.8% of the population supports him. I wonder if the other world leaders (from democracies) have such a low support rate.

    Now to the blog topic…

    The Conservatives are going to run on

    1. How great Canada is
    2. Claim they have got us through the world financial storm
    3. Claim they are not a socialist coalition
    4. Promise to eliminate the public funding of political parties

    The Liberals are going to run on

    1. Claiming they represent the views/aspirations of typical Canadians
    2. Not Harper

    Conservative Win: They can shout louder since they have more money in the bank, and because they will tap into the cynical view folks have for politicians and thus are offering point 4.

  20. Namesake says:

    Shoo, fly.

    • Namesake says:

      Don’t worry, you will think of, or at least recite it, next time, after it appears in your next set of con-bot yapping orders. Run along, now.

  21. Cynic says:

    Harper gang’s ballot question:
    “Look what we gave to the good people of Tony’s riding – Want some of this pork & more?..”

  22. Robin says:

    So then the Reformatories must be the ‘radical extremists’ of Canadian politics.

  23. Cath says:

    no ballot question at all. Why? Because Weston’s writing like he’s already taking advantage of the free refreshments by the reflecting pond because Harper would NEVER pull the plug on an election Canadians don’t want because it would upset the uptick of the countries economy.
    Don’t hold your breath kids.

  24. Cam says:

    Gord -Looks like you’re not in touch with the rest of Canada.

    http://www.cbc.ca/greatest/top_ten/

  25. jenjen says:

    Harper is worried about the coming bust of the housing sector – which in fact he created through his policies at the CMHC. Hmmm…CMHC… an entity many Canadians do not know much about. They will in the coming year or two when people actually wake up to what Flaherty and Harper have been up to with this entity. Moreover we can already see their communications strategy shifting. They are talking about how Canada will face tough times because of international events and the personal decision making of low income Canadians taking on loans and getting over leveraged.
    What will the ballot question be? He will need to evade his own responsibility for the massive financial leveraging of Canada under his watch. He will say to the voters “we are heading into turbulent times because of events out of our control internationally. We need a majority and cannot afford gridlock in parliament anymore. ” He may also seek to indirectly blame low income Canadians for taking the loans in the first place- a trend that has occurred in the Irish political scene when their housing bust blew up. Their government went on a PR offensive claiming that the housing bust was due to reckless home owners who took on financial leverage, and that the banks, real estate industry and government institutions were just innocent bystanders.

    • Philip says:

      Wow! Is there anything the Cretien Liberal’s can’t do? They seem to thwart the Reform Party at every turn, even now preventing them from changing the obviously broken CMHC. Because the Reformers tried to change those rules, right Gord? Through all those Reform budgets, all years of virtual majority in HoC, they tried mightily to change the CMHC but were always defeated by the awesome power of the Cretien Liberals.

  26. allegra fortissima says:

    Bueller Boy, something about you is definitely a bit European, whether you like it or not – “ue” Umlaut is the proof (now you have to pronounce your last name correctly)! To add a bit more European flair to your very handsome appearance take a cold shower, don’t fear to add the colour red to the colour blue and above all: forget that old, stinky American Chevy – the most attractive Euro guys I’ve seen in the past ten days were riding bicycles, bicycles, bicycles…

    Ballot question: will Warren’s tie survive a bicycle ride?

  27. Riley says:

    They will fight the election on “fairness” — those Liberals and NDP and Bloc guys aren’t fair, they’ll say. They take the money of hard-working white folk and give it to all those lazy welfare moms, pointy-headed academics, do-nothing artists and social program pimps. They are going to say, “you shouldn’t have to pay to raise someone elses’s kids”, you shouldn’t have to pay for doctors and lawyers and social workers and marxist-feminist intellectuals to go to school when they’re going to get paid six figures a year when they get out of university. You shouldn’t have to pay for all those professors who run our country down — not to mention the CBC. We’re going to cut all those fancy programs for the lazy socialists and latte-sipping egg-heads and give you a big tax cut in return (of course they won’t mention their plan to cut social and health transfers and privatize CPP) so you can spend your own money the way you see fit. You see, we’re not really the government … we hate the government and we hate politicians. We’re just here for a while so we can fix it and make sure nobody can mess it up again (yes, it’s an idea stolen from Mike Harris’s regime but it worked for two majorities, and a bunch of Harris clowns currently in cabinet). This will be very hard to counter because you can’t counter it in simple language and it is a very simple message that appeals to a large block of voters who get out and vote. A few extra wedges here, a few extra wedges there during a campaign and it’s all over. The only way to really counter it is by saying Harper doesn’t trust you — or his MPs. He shuts up everybody. We have to drag the idiots out of the conservative wood work and say they are the one’s really in charge of the party. The Kathy Shaidles, the Ezra Levants, the Marice Vellacotts, the Dean DelMaestros, etc. Drag out all the dumb stuff they say and then ask voters if they speak for you. Ask them if they want to be left to fend for themselves in a Canada in which Ezra Levant is in charge.

  28. George says:

    Rationale:
    Minority governments last, on average, two years…it’s been two years, so it is time for an election…especially since it is likely to create another minority…which will then last two years…
    Oh, and by the way, we need to end taxpayer handouts to political parties…
    Ballot Q:
    Do you really think Ignatieff can do the job of PM?

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