Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens

Dion Prime Minister By Next Week?


tmash

Recommended Posts

With all the hype over Obama in the States, Canadian politics have been pushed to the side. But right now is possibly the most interesting I've ever seen Canadian politics. Before going any further, I want to explain to everyone how Canadian government selection works, since most Canadians do not understand it. Canadians only elect our house of commons (representatives), not the government. The government is selected by the Queen's representative: the governor general. Essentially, her job is to select a government most likely to get the support of the house: this is almost always the party receiving the most seats in a general election.

What makes right now so interesting is the Conservatives are in a bad position. When the economy goes down the toilets, the ruling government tends to go with it. Being a minority, the other parties can trigger an election at any time, and they can get Harper right where they want him: when the economy is at its worst, bring down the government, force and election and Harper takes a sweeping defeat.

Now what is interesting is Flahrety has just proposed cutting most public funding for political parties: a proposal that hurts the opposition parties way more than the Conservatives overall, and a proposal no opposition party can afford to vote for. Being a confidence motion, voting against it will bring down the government.

If the government is to fall, generally the governor general calls an election. However, so soon after the past election , she will be hesitant to grant this. There are a couple of other realistic possibilities:

a.) Michelle Jean selects the Liberals to form a government: The justification would be if the Liberals could show they are more likely to get the support of the NDP and the Bloc (giving a majority of votes) than the Conservatives, they may be the party most likely to gain support of the house

b.) The Liberals, NDP, and possibly Bloc form a coalition and Michelle Jean would have little choice but to put them in place as government (since they form a majority). However, any coalition with the Bloc seems unlikely, so the more likely scenario is the Liberals and NDP form a coalition, and say to Jean that their coalition is more likely to gain the support of the Bloc in the house than the Conservatives.

I don't think I've ever seen a situation more likely to result in the governor general choosing a new political party to form a government: that alone is incredibly interesting.

----------

But that's not the end of it, my discussion above left out one mind: Harper's. Harper knows removing public funding from the parties will never pass, and if it somehow passes the house, the Liberal senate majority will kill it. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I believe Harper is trying to bring down his own government. And the reason is by tabling a proposal that forces a no confidence vote, one of two things happens:

a.) a general election is triggered. Canadians, frustrated at another election so soon blame the opposition parties for bringing down the government over selfish reasons (funding) and give Harper a majority.

b.) a Liberal or coalition government forms. Since this government will depend on the Bloc for support, which is always a risky coalition, it will inevitably fall within months, and people, angry about what just happened, give Harper a majority.

On the current path, Harper has 1 or 2 years left in office. The recession gets bad, his numbers plummet, and his government is brought down. But if he can somehow get a majority right now, that gives him 4 years, enough to get him through the recession and redeem himself in Canadians eyes.

I've got to say, all of this is very interesting and I'll be watching the news extra closely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is, the Liberal party is basically in shambles. If an election were to go down, they'd have no time or money for a leadership convention -- and heck, they're still paying off the last one if I recall.

I do like the motion to cut back on public funding. In Manitoba right now, there's actually a controversy about a "vote-tax" that Gary Doer wants to put in place, with the money going to the parties. This is outrageous if you ask me (the concept, not the actual monetary amount).

While the parties may say that they won't support it, I think it'll be interesting to see the end result. The Liberal party can't afford an election, and forcing an election could prove suicidal as Canadians were disgruntled with having to vote only 2 years after the last time; 2 months would certainly not go over well. However, voter turnout in Canada is pretty pitiful anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is, the Liberal party is basically in shambles. If an election were to go down, they'd have no time or money for a leadership convention -- and heck, they're still paying off the last one if I recall.

They may move forward with Dion or the executive can appoint a leader in an "emergency".

I do like the motion to cut back on public funding. In Manitoba right now, there's actually a controversy about a "vote-tax" that Gary Doer wants to put in place, with the money going to the parties. This is outrageous if you ask me (the concept, not the actual monetary amount).

I don't know. I don't really like tax dollars going to parties, but it does help to keep corporate and rich individuals interests like we see in the US political system

While the parties may say that they won't support it, I think it'll be interesting to see the end result. The Liberal party can't afford an election, and forcing an election could prove suicidal as Canadians were disgruntled with having to vote only 2 years after the last time; 2 months would certainly not go over well. However, voter turnout in Canada is pretty pitiful anyways.

But the question is, would the governor general call another election? Remember that Jean was appointed by Paul Martin, and I'd think given the timeframe since the last election, she'd need to give the Liberal party or some coalition involving the Liberals a chance to form a government rather than just make people rush back to the polls.

It's idiotic that ulitmately the Queen gets to decide who our prime minister is, and normally it's not relevant, but Canada is still a monarchy, and we could see the liberals form a government without going through another election.

And there is no way the opposition parties will back down on this one. I'd say more likely Harper backs down, the the Liberals are better off risking an election than losing 60% of their funding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So this is really picking up steam. Flahrety has backed off his slashing party funding, but it may be too late. The Liberals have prepared a non confidence motion for Monday and it appears they are ready to replace Dion on an emergency basis.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor...?hub=TopStories

Michael Ignatief appears to be Dion's successor as early as next week and if the Governor General appoints a Liberal - NDP government, Ignatief could be prime minister by next week without an election.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting indeed.

The problem here is that while I could see 2 parties potentially working together (especially either an ignatief or rae run Liberal party (fairly left) and a Leighton run NDP (fairly right by NDP standards) they dont have enough seats and that now means needing the bloq. While the Bloq and NDP are fundamentally very similar on most issues, a) having a 3 party coalition seems tenous at best and B) of course the separation issue with the bloq is always going to be a stumbling point for any coalition.

I think the Tories made a huge gaffe by putting this public funding for political parties cut in place. I mean dont get me wrong, Im all for it - BUT - the timing is just wrong. We all know what a surplus the tories have right now - cutting funding would absolutely cripple the other parties. Its like changing the rules of a card game when you're holding all the cards.

With heavyweights like Broadbent & Cretien throwing their cards in behind a possible merger, this could really happen. It would be interesting to see. That being said, I am not sure Id want to take over the country right now as it could be a bad bad battle.

On the current path, Harper has 1 or 2 years left in office. The recession gets bad, his numbers plummet, and his government is brought down. But if he can somehow get a majority right now, that gives him 4 years, enough to get him through the recession and redeem himself in Canadians eyes.

I think you're being very optimistic. Its quite possible this recession could go much much longer than 4 years. In fact Im not sure we can even evaluate how this is going to turn out because so much has changed in the world & how the world does business now we almost have no clear basis to make a hypothesis. I also think that if it went to election again (ie if the no confidence vote goes through but Michaelle Jean decides not to allow a coalition) I do not think Harper will win a majority. His missed the chance last time around & i think the general canadian public will say "enough is enough, we need a majority" and vote for a Rae or Ignatief led Liberal government. Just my gut on that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting indeed.

The problem here is that while I could see 2 parties potentially working together (especially either an ignatief or rae run Liberal party (fairly left) and a Leighton run NDP (fairly right by NDP standards) they dont have enough seats and that now means needing the bloq. While the Bloq and NDP are fundamentally very similar on most issues, a) having a 3 party coalition seems tenous at best and B) of course the separation issue with the bloq is always going to be a stumbling point for any coalition.

A couple small points, Ignatief is considered to the right of the Liberal party and I wouldn't say Layton is considered to the right for the NDP.

But overall, if you read the news articles, there are no plans to include the Bloc in a coalition. The Bloc would "support" the government as they supported the Conservatives a couple years ago (basically even though they wouldn't be part of the government, they'd attempt to vote with them in the house of commons. If the Bloc gives their support, this may be enough for the Governor General to be convinced that the Liberal-NDP coalition has a better chance of getting control of the house.

I think the Tories made a huge gaffe by putting this public funding for political parties cut in place. I mean dont get me wrong, Im all for it - BUT - the timing is just wrong. We all know what a surplus the tories have right now - cutting funding would absolutely cripple the other parties. Its like changing the rules of a card game when you're holding all the cards.

That's the issue. It was a political stunt, and it's looking like it could backfire. My guess is Harper either figured that the Liberals were in such bad shape they'd grudgingly support it, or the government would be brought down (which sounds bad for them, but the opposition triggering an election right now would almost guarantee Harper a majority).

The stupid thing was, the Liberals did seem willing to support the Conservatives, they supported the Throne Speach and probably would have supported this. But he put something in this update that they could not afford to support. Even though he's taken it away, now the parties have picked up steam and are really excited about this posibility: it may be too late for the Conservatives to switch direction. I'm 75% sure the government will fall next week, the only question is new government or election?

With heavyweights like Broadbent & Cretien throwing their cards in behind a possible merger, this could really happen. It would be interesting to see. That being said, I am not sure Id want to take over the country right now as it could be a bad bad battle.

Just be careful with the term "merger" as the two parties aren't merging like the PC's and Alliance did 5 or so years ago. They would simply be sharing running the government. But Chretian getting involved is definately interesting, and no one should ever discount how politically savvy Chretian is.

But it will be ugly. Whie there won't be many battles since it's ultimately up to the governor general, this is "unchartered territory" as some experts are putting it and may lead to calls for an end to being a monarchy, constituional reform, election reform, seperation, etc. The backlash could be huge, but I've got to say, I've never been this interested in Canadian politics: it is incredibly interesting to watch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're being very optimistic. Its quite possible this recession could go much much longer than 4 years. In fact Im not sure we can even evaluate how this is going to turn out because so much has changed in the world & how the world does business now we almost have no clear basis to make a hypothesis.

I've never heard any reasonable economist predict 4+ years. Most say the economy will rebound in 2009 or 2010. The pessimistic predictions seem to be the recession will last 2 or 3 years, the optimistic say it will last less than a year.

I also think that if it went to election again (ie if the no confidence vote goes through but Michaelle Jean decides not to allow a coalition) I do not think Harper will win a majority. His missed the chance last time around & i think the general canadian public will say "enough is enough, we need a majority" and vote for a Rae or Ignatief led Liberal government. Just my gut on that one.

See I think the opposite, if we went to the polls right now, people would blame the opposition for playing politics and bringing down the government for selfish reason (party funding) and just say "enough is enough, just let Harper run the country".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple small points, Ignatief is considered to the right of the Liberal party and I wouldn't say Layton is considered to the right for the NDP.

I would beg to differ on both. Igantief is right only on the basis of economics, not social programs - and if you compare Layton to past leaders like Broadbent, Douglas & McDonough he's very right. He's still very left - but what i said was he is "right" compared to how the party has been known - subtle difference.

But overall, if you read the news articles, there are no plans to include the Bloc in a coalition. The Bloc would "support" the government as they supported the Conservatives a couple years ago (basically even though they wouldn't be part of the government, they'd attempt to vote with them in the house of commons. If the Bloc gives their support, this may be enough for the Governor General to be convinced that the Liberal-NDP coalition has a better chance of getting control of the house.

You're right of course but the very premise of this would mean that the bloc would have to be involved in most decisions as otherwise nothing would get done.

Just be careful with the term "merger" as the two parties aren't merging like the PC's and Alliance did 5 or so years ago. They would simply be sharing running the government. But Chretian getting involved is definately interesting, and no one should ever discount how politically savvy Chretian is.

But it will be ugly. Whie there won't be many battles since it's ultimately up to the governor general, this is "unchartered territory" as some experts are putting it and may lead to calls for an end to being a monarchy, constituional reform, election reform, seperation, etc. The backlash could be huge, but I've got to say, I've never been this interested in Canadian politics: it is incredibly interesting to watch.

Good point - it was a bad choice of words on my part (merger) obviously its a proposed coalition, not merger like when the alliance & PC became the "conservatives"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard any reasonable economist predict 4+ years. Most say the economy will rebound in 2009 or 2010. The pessimistic predictions seem to be the recession will last 2 or 3 years, the optimistic say it will last less than a year.

Oh, I know what they are saying - but economists know that the last thing you want to say on the verge of a recession is how bad its going to be. Id be lying if I said I wasnt concerned about the next decade. God I hope Im wrong.

See I think the opposite, if we went to the polls right now, people would blame the opposition for playing politics and bringing down the government for selfish reason (party funding) and just say "enough is enough, just let Harper run the country".

Oh it could TOTALLY go that way too - but i *think* think - that if the liberals were able to get even the small amount of votes they did with Dion at the helm, they could cakewalk to a victory with Igantief as their leader. Tough one to call but I think either way, if there WAS another election next month or something there would be a majority government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would beg to differ on both. Igantief is right only on the basis of economics, not social programs - and if you compare Layton to past leaders like Broadbent, Douglas & McDonough he's very right. He's still very left - but what i said was he is "right" compared to how the party has been known - subtle difference.

Well Ignatief is very right on foreign policy and military issues, although very liberal on social issues (gay rights, etc.) I don't know his economic policies (including social programs) but I get the impression he's more to the right of the party with guys like Martin and Manley.

I'll give you that I can't really compare Layton to the past leaders since I was too young, but he never struck me as being a "moderate NDP", if there is such a think

You're right of course but the very premise of this would mean that the bloc would have to be involved in most decisions as otherwise nothing would get done.

Yes, but I don't think it's as big an issue as you claim. Harper, who is much further from the Bloc politically than NDP/Liberals managed to get their support for over a year to hold up the last government (this was back when Graham was in charge of the Liberals, under Dion Harper stayed in control because the Liberals never voted on anything, giving him a majority). Duceppe is a reasonable man and will support policies he agrees with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I know what they are saying - but economists know that the last thing you want to say on the verge of a recession is how bad its going to be. Id be lying if I said I wasnt concerned about the next decade. God I hope Im wrong.

It's tough to say without being an economist. Personally, maybe I'm a bit optimistic, but I think it's being blown a bit out of control by the media: crisis's always grab the headlines. SARS is going to be the next pandemic, Canada will have a terrorist attack in the next couple of years, etc.,

Although it was never as bad before the 24 hour news networks and the internet, I bet if we look back at papers from the 70s, early 90s or even early 2000s recessions there were people saying the same things. In all cases, they eventually came out of recessions (in the dot com burst, Canada never even entered a recession).

I'm not an economist and won't pretend to know what is going to happen, but I have learned not to get too worried by sensationalist news stories. The economy is in bad shape, but things do seem to be stabilizing fundamentally and the road to recovery can start.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's tough to say without being an economist. Personally, maybe I'm a bit optimistic, but I think it's being blown a bit out of control by the media: crisis's always grab the headlines. SARS is going to be the next pandemic, Canada will have a terrorist attack in the next couple of years, etc.,

Although it was never as bad before the 24 hour news networks and the internet, I bet if we look back at papers from the 70s, early 90s or even early 2000s recessions there were people saying the same things. In all cases, they eventually came out of recessions (in the dot com burst, Canada never even entered a recession).

I'm not an economist and won't pretend to know what is going to happen, but I have learned not to get too worried by sensationalist news stories. The economy is in bad shape, but things do seem to be stabilizing fundamentally and the road to recovery can start.

I hope you're right, Graeme. I really do. Time will tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple small points, Ignatief is considered to the right of the Liberal party and I wouldn't say Layton is considered to the right for the NDP.

But overall, if you read the news articles, there are no plans to include the Bloc in a coalition. The Bloc would "support" the government as they supported the Conservatives a couple years ago (basically even though they wouldn't be part of the government, they'd attempt to vote with them in the house of commons. If the Bloc gives their support, this may be enough for the Governor General to be convinced that the Liberal-NDP coalition has a better chance of getting control of the house.

I've heard the opposite in some cases; anyways I don't think a coalition would fly without the Bloq.

Ignatieff should have been made the party leader at the last convention, maybe even before that. He's one of the smartest Liberal party members out there, and his views might actually help bring a party that is supposed to be central (but has strafed quite left in recent years) actually back to the center of the spectrum. I wish he was a bit younger, but Canadian politics really lack young, charismatic politicians, and there's no way in heck that I want to see Trudeau's kid at the head of the Liberal party.

But it will be ugly. Whie there won't be many battles since it's ultimately up to the governor general, this is "unchartered territory" as some experts are putting it and may lead to calls for an end to being a monarchy, constituional reform, election reform, seperation, etc. The backlash could be huge, but I've got to say, I've never been this interested in Canadian politics: it is incredibly interesting to watch.

I think it definitely is quite intriguing. Although, the "constitutional monarchy" in Canada is such a formality that I'm not sure if I'm comfortable seeing such a decision be placed on an individual with no involvement in the actual political process. Although, maybe we'll finally be able to justify the insane list of expenses and over-inflated salary that the GG receives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's tough to say without being an economist. Personally, maybe I'm a bit optimistic, but I think it's being blown a bit out of control by the media: crisis's always grab the headlines. SARS is going to be the next pandemic, Canada will have a terrorist attack in the next couple of years, etc.,

Although it was never as bad before the 24 hour news networks and the internet, I bet if we look back at papers from the 70s, early 90s or even early 2000s recessions there were people saying the same things. In all cases, they eventually came out of recessions (in the dot com burst, Canada never even entered a recession).

I'm not an economist and won't pretend to know what is going to happen, but I have learned not to get too worried by sensationalist news stories. The economy is in bad shape, but things do seem to be stabilizing fundamentally and the road to recovery can start.

Well the world's going to end in 2012 anyways, so it doesn't matter!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

(Sorry, I just think it's an insane idea and had to bring it into this conversation some how)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard the opposite in some cases; anyways I don't think a coalition would fly without the Bloq.

As I said above, the Conservatives somehow had their support for about a year, so I can't see why the Liberals-NDP couldn't do it. My bigger worry would be the fundamental differences between the NDP and Liberals (Afghanistan and economics in particular). And I have never heard that the Bloc would be part of the coalition: no way the Liberals orchestrate the PR disaster of allowing seperatists to take cabinet posts.

Ignatieff should have been made the party leader at the last convention, maybe even before that. He's one of the smartest Liberal party members out there, and his views might actually help bring a party that is supposed to be central (but has strafed quite left in recent years) actually back to the center of the spectrum. I wish he was a bit younger, but Canadian politics really lack young, charismatic politicians, and there's no way in heck that I want to see Trudeau's kid at the head of the Liberal party.

I'm not really sure that they've drifted left. Being out of government, it probably seems that way since all politicians tend to talk "left" of their true policies since left policies sound good on the surface (but may not fly in the face of complicated economics). Even Dion, considered at the left of the party, supported corporate tax cuts, nuclear power, etc. I think the party is still in the mold of Chretian/Martin, not the old Trudeau mold.

I think it definitely is quite intriguing. Although, the "constitutional monarchy" in Canada is such a formality that I'm not sure if I'm comfortable seeing such a decision be placed on an individual with no involvement in the actual political process. Although, maybe we'll finally be able to justify the insane list of expenses and over-inflated salary that the GG receives.

The monarchy itself is the issue. Canadians do not elect the government and it creates a real mess because the house and government get so intermingled. The US system (at least in theory, maybe not in practice) is much better - after you remove the electoral college. You seperate the house, senate and executive and have citizens vote on each (instead of having an unelected official appoint 2 of the 3 bodies like in Canada). Canada should be able to have a govenrment who doesn't have the most seats in the house (as would be the case if this coalition takes over); the problem is the Canadian people can't vote on this, it is chosen by an unelected official. If we want a Conservative house and Liberal government, fine, but let us vote on it.

No matter how you look at this, ultimately the governor general may be given very serious power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I said above, the Conservatives somehow had their support for about a year, so I can't see why the Liberals-NDP couldn't do it. My bigger worry would be the fundamental differences between the NDP and Liberals (Afghanistan and economics in particular). And I have never heard that the Bloc would be part of the coalition: no way the Liberals orchestrate the PR disaster of allowing seperatists to take cabinet posts.

Fair enough, but it gives the Bloc the balance of power in the house; they power they hold with their number of seats if an NDP-Liberal coalition does take place would likely give them the similar "pull" power as being a member of the coalition would.

The monarchy itself is the issue. Canadians do not elect the government and it creates a real mess because the house and government get so intermingled. The US system (at least in theory, maybe not in practice) is much better - after you remove the electoral college. You seperate the house, senate and executive and have citizens vote on each (instead of having an unelected official appoint 2 of the 3 bodies like in Canada). Canada should be able to have a govenrment who doesn't have the most seats in the house (as would be the case if this coalition takes over); the problem is the Canadian people can't vote on this, it is chosen by an unelected official. If we want a Conservative house and Liberal government, fine, but let us vote on it.

No matter how you look at this, ultimately the governor general may be given very serious power.

No doubt that the GG may ultimately be given such power; that's what I mentioned was what troubled me.

I agree, the United States has a much better system when it comes to electing (could it be that this is why voter turnout is better in the States?). I mean, there have been past elections where leadership has weighed heavily on my voting for a party. Sure, there are a lot of "lifers" out there who will support the same party regardless of anything, but I much prefer the US system. Plus, their senate actually serves a constructive purpose too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough, but it gives the Bloc the balance of power in the house; they power they hold with their number of seats if an NDP-Liberal coalition does take place would likely give them the similar "pull" power as being a member of the coalition would.

They will have the balance of power, but there's often been cases where one party has the clear balance of power, it's vastly different from being part of a coalition. "Coalition" refers to the government, not the house, and the Bloc still won't be part of the government (although they will have some influence over the types of policies if the government doesn't want to be defeated.

No doubt that the GG may ultimately be given such power; that's what I mentioned was what troubled me.

I agree, the United States has a much better system when it comes to electing (could it be that this is why voter turnout is better in the States?). I mean, there have been past elections where leadership has weighed heavily on my voting for a party. Sure, there are a lot of "lifers" out there who will support the same party regardless of anything, but I much prefer the US system. Plus, their senate actually serves a constructive purpose too.

In theory, the US system is superior except for the pointless electoral college. In practice, Canada has some good things (multi-parties, less corporate influence, etc.). Now the US doesn't forbid these, but they've become part of the culture.

Ideally, I'd like to see Canada work like:

- voting for the house of commons would be the same as it is today, except much less emphasis would be put on party leaders since the party winning the house election does not form the government. Elections would be every two years, all representatives serve for two years

- Each province has two senators, which Canadians elect one of every two years for four year terms (so the two senators alternate elections)

- Every four years we vote for the prime minister: ideally we'd do multi balot where one candidate is eliminated each round, but realistically it would probably just be winner of popular vote, first past the post style. This means the prime minister could be from a different party than the house majority. It also means he could pick anyone for his cabinet, not just MPs as it is now.

This would allow Canadians to vote for all 3 parts of our government, and also give better seperation between the government and the house.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Truth be told I think 90% of Canadians are too busy on a "day to day" basis worrying about paying their bills and trying to make a living than worry about politics. That is one reason we have such a low voter turn out. The BLOC has clearly stated they are for Quebec and the NDP; well they are the NDP. Neither party will ever form the government. Another reason for low voter turn out is that over the last decade or so the Liberals and Conservatives really are not that different in their policies when they have come into power. People do not see any difference (hence no choice) between the two parties.

As for the recession; the U.S has numerous economic problems - a huge debt increasing daily by a stagnant war effort, artificially high gas prices which has increased the price of every consumer product, and increased unemployment brought on by Corporations moving manufacturing to 3rd World countries. The same Corporations which sell their products back to North America at over inflated prices and expect the growing unemployed to still purchase. The whole collapse has been in the making for the past 10 years. It will take at least that long for it to turn around.

As the U.S. is Canada's biggest trading partner Canada will feel the effects of a struggling U.S. economy; especially since over the past 10 years many Canadian companies have been taken over by U.S. conglomerates (Hudson Bay Company is a prime example). As the U.S deals with the meltdown you will see companies downsize and move out of Canada (you just need to look at the auto industry in Ontario) and greater U.S protectionism (despite the Free Trade Agreement). It will cause greater unemployment in Canada and less consumer spending.

I think the recession could very well last 5-10 years and there isn't a political party in Canada that can or really has the will to do anything about it. They seem to have forgotten that they are in office to serve the interests of Canadians not their own self-interest of staying in power. While they tell Canadians they need to tighten their belts the politicians are overdue in voting for an increase in their salaries again; but that's politics. ;)

That's just my 2 cents worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They will have the balance of power, but there's often been cases where one party has the clear balance of power, it's vastly different from being part of a coalition. "Coalition" refers to the government, not the house, and the Bloc still won't be part of the government (although they will have some influence over the types of policies if the government doesn't want to be defeated.

I've read today that the Bloq rule themselves out of a coalition anyways.

I know that the coalition refers to joining the executive government. But the main, underlying problem is that the Bloq will have an incredible influence and power in the final decisions made by government. I know that certain parties have had a clear balance of power in the past, but you're giving the balance of power to a political party that ONLY will look out for the interests of QUEBEC. It's baffling that a party that represents a single province would have such pull and control on national issues. Yes, they won't have any cabinet posts or anything like that, but I think this really points out a major flaw in Canada's system; a party with less than 10% of national support and that doesn't even run candidates coast-to-coast realistically will be what ultimately decides whether a bill will pass or not -- does this not sound crazy?

It won't matter that they're not a part of the executive, their influence will still be too much, which is my problem.

On your other point, I think one of my favourite parts of the American system is that they vote on issues (bills, etc) when they vote. I really think Canada should look at implementing something like this, as it gives a much clearer picture of what the public wants and doesn't cost a tonne of money like a national census survey would.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Truth be told I think 90% of Canadians are too busy on a "day to day" basis worrying about paying their bills and trying to make a living than worry about politics. That is one reason we have such a low voter turn out. The BLOC has clearly stated they are for Quebec and the NDP; well they are the NDP. Neither party will ever form the government. Another reason for low voter turn out is that over the last decade or so the Liberals and Conservatives really are not that different in their policies when they have come into power. People do not see any difference (hence no choice) between the two parties.

As for the recession; the U.S has numerous economic problems - a huge debt increasing daily by a stagnant war effort, artificially high gas prices which has increased the price of every consumer product, and increased unemployment brought on by Corporations moving manufacturing to 3rd World countries. The same Corporations which sell their products back to North America at over inflated prices and expect the growing unemployed to still purchase. The whole collapse has been in the making for the past 10 years. It will take at least that long for it to turn around.

As the U.S. is Canada's biggest trading partner Canada will feel the effects of a struggling U.S. economy; especially since over the past 10 years many Canadian companies have been taken over by U.S. conglomerates (Hudson Bay Company is a prime example). As the U.S deals with the meltdown you will see companies downsize and move out of Canada (you just need to look at the auto industry in Ontario) and greater U.S protectionism (despite the Free Trade Agreement). It will cause greater unemployment in Canada and less consumer spending.

I think the recession could very well last 5-10 years and there isn't a political party in Canada that can or really has the will to do anything about it. They seem to have forgotten that they are in office to serve the interests of Canadians not their own self-interest of staying in power. While they tell Canadians they need to tighten their belts the politicians are overdue in voting for an increase in their salaries again; but that's politics. ;)

That's just my 2 cents worth.

Good post. The CDO crisis is a big part of the recessionary troubles as well. Your point on outsourcing is a real cause for concern, as while it does have its benefits in some aspects, "over-outsourcing" is a sure-fire way to create more problems at home. It's going to be quite interesting to see what actions are taken to help right the course of the economic ship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that the coalition refers to joining the executive government. But the main, underlying problem is that the Bloq will have an incredible influence and power in the final decisions made by government. I know that certain parties have had a clear balance of power in the past, but you're giving the balance of power to a political party that ONLY will look out for the interests of QUEBEC. It's baffling that a party that represents a single province would have such pull and control on national issues. Yes, they won't have any cabinet posts or anything like that, but I think this really points out a major flaw in Canada's system; a party with less than 10% of national support and that doesn't even run candidates coast-to-coast realistically will be what ultimately decides whether a bill will pass or not -- does this not sound crazy?

It won't matter that they're not a part of the executive, their influence will still be too much, which is my problem.

I've written this three times above but I'll bold it this time :PThe Bloc had the unofficial balance of power in the first year or so of the Conservative government. This would have been absolutely no different, last time Harper made policies that were biased towards Quebec in order to get Bloc support. It didn't last forever and Harper eventually depended on the Liberals not voting to stay in power, but there was a year or so where the Bloc had incredible influence, and the balance of power if you will. You say it sounds crazy and everything, but it's already happened and the country didn't go up in flames.

Is it a problem with our system? Yep. But this isn't something new, the Conservatives used the Bloc to their advantage and now it's the Liberals/NDPs turn.

On your other point, I think one of my favourite parts of the American system is that they vote on issues (bills, etc) when they vote. I really think Canada should look at implementing something like this, as it gives a much clearer picture of what the public wants and doesn't cost a tonne of money like a national census survey would.

Canada has that as well. It's a bit more difficult here because we don't have fixed election dates ever 2 years, but there are often referendum questions. The last Ontario election had a referendum with proportional representation for example. We don't use the fancy terms, "Proposition __" or whatever, but Canada has referendum questions.

Anyways, on the original topic, it looks like Harper caved. The Conservatives appear to be quite embarrassed by this and I think it will change the tone in parliament. Harper felt he could continue ruling like he had a majority and had the Liberals backed in a corner (can't afford an election and would probably lose even more seats if you are the one who is seen as "at fault" for the election). However, now the opposition parties have a viable alternative they can use if Harper tries to bully them. The coalition talks will probably be at least put on hold for now, but will come out again if needed. I'm hopeful we'll see more cooperation now after this stunt backfired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've written this three times above but I'll bold it this time :PThe Bloc had the unofficial balance of power in the first year or so of the Conservative government. This would have been absolutely no different, last time Harper made policies that were biased towards Quebec in order to get Bloc support. It didn't last forever and Harper eventually depended on the Liberals not voting to stay in power, but there was a year or so where the Bloc had incredible influence, and the balance of power if you will. You say it sounds crazy and everything, but it's already happened and the country didn't go up in flames.

Is it a problem with our system? Yep. But this isn't something new, the Conservatives used the Bloc to their advantage and now it's the Liberals/NDPs turn.

Yes I know that they had the balance of power, I'm not a complete fool, but I don't think it's as dramatic as this situation, that's what I'm trying to get at. In this Conservative minority, all they need are a few Liberals to agree or no-show (or just abstain). I don't doubt that it could work with a heavy balance of power for the Bloq, but it's a lot easier to get two parties to agree who are much, much closer in ideology (ie. Cons and Libs) vs. the alternative. The thing about the last two Conservative minorities is that the Liberal party was reeling for the majority of both times (except immediately after the leadership convention, where they were in heavy debt anyways), and attempting to bring down the government would likely not serve them any good at all.

This time around, the potential opposition would be healthy; they could vehemently oppose anything put forth, whereas with the past, I really think the state of the party weighed into the voting -- if the Liberals knew it would pass, they'd vote against it, but otherwise they wouldn't attempt to bring down the government.

Could it work? Certainly! I just feel like it doesn't make sense. Sounds like a fishy case of politicians just looking out for their own best interests to me.

Canada has that as well. It's a bit more difficult here because we don't have fixed election dates ever 2 years, but there are often referendum questions. The last Ontario election had a referendum with proportional representation for example. We don't use the fancy terms, "Proposition __" or whatever, but Canada has referendum questions.

Ok. I have yet to see anything in Manitoba, that's why.

Anyways, on the original topic, it looks like Harper caved. The Conservatives appear to be quite embarrassed by this and I think it will change the tone in parliament. Harper felt he could continue ruling like he had a majority and had the Liberals backed in a corner (can't afford an election and would probably lose even more seats if you are the one who is seen as "at fault" for the election). However, now the opposition parties have a viable alternative they can use if Harper tries to bully them. The coalition talks will probably be at least put on hold for now, but will come out again if needed. I'm hopeful we'll see more cooperation now after this stunt backfired.

Maybe I missed it, but I heard of him backing down a few days ago -- but the Liberals want to push forward with a vote of non-confidence in the government anyways?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...