06.20.2012 10:12 AM

Back in Castlegar

So, am I heading back to an election or not? My preference is to have one, comme toujours, but that’s just me.

12 Comments

  1. JamesHalifax says:

    Please, Warren…please please please……stop by the SUNTV studio when Lilley is inteviewing Glenn Beck.

  2. Dan says:

    This isn’t a statement of strategy. This post IS the strategy (in some small part). Because if a leading Liberal strategist’s preference were to NOT have an election… the opposition would certainly topple the minority government.

    If there IS an election, we can look back at this blog post when the results come in, and ask if “comme toujours” was really the best policy. Best of luck.

  3. Tiger says:

    There isn’t going to be an election because the Ontario Liberals looked at the polls and decided to fight another day. See how the rhetoric cooled, and quickly.

    There’s a non-trivial chance they win the K-W by-election and have a parliamentary majority this fall, and three more years free and clear.

      • Tiger says:

        Well, I’d’ve enjoyed a summer general election myself.

        But this lets you take two bites at the apple. Try to get that majority the quick way via a single by-election. If that fails, and the opposition remains intransigent in the fall, then you go for a general election if you still feel you need a majority to pass your agenda.

        The strategy makes sense to me. (Alas!)

    • James Bow says:

      I agree there’s a fair chance the Liberals will win Kitchener-Waterloo. So far, the Conservative contenders haven’t looked strong. The only drawback is the Liberal’s obvious choice (Sean Strickland) has decided not to campaign. The NDP remain a wild card. At this point, I’d rate the Liberals’ chances here as 50:50

      But while such a victory would officially give them a parliamentary majority, in practise the reality may be something different, because the rankings in the house are actually Government 53, Opposition 53, Speaker 1. Assuming a full house, and the NDP and Conservatives playing entirely by the same playbook, that’s a lot of tie votes.

      The current speaker (Liberal MPP Dave Levac), is bound by convention as to how he votes in case of a tie. Traditionally, in first or second reading, he votes to “prolong discussion”, and will likely vote with the government on bills in this case. On third reading, though, convention dictates that he has no mandate to pass legislation into law, so he votes for the “status quo”, voting against the government.

      The exception of course is when the vote is a matter of confidence, as a Speaker cannot vote to bring down parliament in and of itself, but the Speaker has leeway to determine what is or isn’t a confidence measure, so as to prevent a premier from abusing the process.

      All in all, I suspect some Liberals are kicking themselves that they didn’t back Frank Klees as speaker. Instead, they need another riding to change hands, either by by-election victory or floor crossing, in order to give them a working majority.

      And that would be historic, I think. Plenty of majority governments have lost their majorities over the course of their mandate, but I can’t think of a single one where a government gained its majority from a minority between elections.

      • Tiger says:

        So here’s what the Ontario Liberals do.

        1. Win K-W, if they can.
        2. If they do, prorogue the session of Provincial Parliament to re-set the committees, giving themselves new 5-4 majorities on each, preventing a repeat of the last week.
        3. Jam everything, absolutely everything, into economic update bills and budget implementation bills, which necessarily are confidence votes.
        4. Govern alone.

        It isn’t pretty, but it works.

        • Tiger says:

          [Not giving away any secrets by this. Our host knows how it’s done, as do his colleagues. (Unlike some of their federal counterparts.)]

  4. Shawn says:

    Too bad the weather hasn’t been so nice in Castlegar for ya. When it’s nice out there are few nicer areas of the country than the West Kootenay.

  5. michael hale says:

    spoken like a true political masochist (something which I much admire).

  6. dstm says:

    H Warren,
    Yes. Election avoided.
    Can’t help but wonder why the Liberals did not vote down the bill regarding the TPPA. Seems to me that would have killed Andrea’s the tax on the “One percenters” AND sent her a message that two can play the broken agreement game.
    On the other hand I understand that Dalton and his caucus have principles.
    But what has it gotten them?
    All it has gotten them is pious condescending and humourless hectoring from the ‘Andrea’s fault’.
    And you want to (at least federally) unite the Lib and the NDP.
    The NDP, federally and certainly provincially are sanctimonious liars and Liberals should have nothing but contempt for their apparent approach to governing

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