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Author Topic: Canadian Coup d'Etat!
DonaldD
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Canadian: actually, I think a 'time out' might be just what is called for: the issue is not so much the requirement for an immediate economic stimulus - that could wait a month. The bigger problem, which you alluded to, is that the Conservatives were taking the country's economic concerns and turning them into cover for introducing political poison pills for the rest of the parties. And then, instead of eating a little humble pie and proposing to work with the other parties, they've gone batsh!t crazy and opened pandora's box in order to hold onto power.

Brian Mulroney at least had ignorance as an excuse when he tried to harness Quebec nationalism. Harper is ripping the scabs off the national psyche with his eyes wide open.

jasonr - 'expedience' is why parties change their platforms and how politicians get elected. The Bloc is as much the 'separatist' party as the Conservatives are the party in favour of instilling Christianity as the official state religion.

Query me this, though: why does Harper continuously spout 'separatist' when speaking in English, but avoids that term like the plague when speaking in French? Could it be that Quebecers understand that the Bloc is not, in fact, separatist?

BTW - I'm half-right so far. I don't think it likely that Harper will resign, but hey, Christmas is a time of miracles... [Smile]

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DonaldD
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Pete: exactly [Smile]
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canadian
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I'm all in favor of slowing things down, but how this plays out for hurting families...I'm not so sure they'll have the same measure of patience.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Stupid.

Prorogue Parliament?

This plays right into the hands of the Opposition Parties. Their main selling point was that nothing was being done for Canadians to alleviate hardship during this recession. That argumnent has just been bolstered.

Puuulease. Harper had conceded to all of their demands. Harper would have worked with them. They had made their point and had him over a barrel and they knew it. But strangely, no desire for compromise? Hmm... could it be that this supposed economic issue was little more than a pretext to topple the government that Canadians elected not even two months ago? DING DING DING.

quote:
Rather than doing their job, it will appear that the Conservatives are instead finding ways to desperately cling to their power. As the next six weeks roll by the argument will be made:

What's more democratic? A Conservative Party with a minority of votes, or all the other parties setting aside differences and working together to help average Canadian families?

That's an easy one. The party that was voted in by a minority is more Democratic than the coalition that was not voted in by anyone. Where was the coalition during the election, just a few weeks ago? What? After all these years with Harper, knowing the man as they did, they just couldn't conceive that this day would come? It was just unthinkable to them?

quote:
Also, the issue that started all this talk of non-confidence: the botched budget. No help for Canadians, plus a very interesting little detail...
It was only "botched" because Dion and his pals said it was botched. Forgive me if I don't take his word as gospel truth, LOL. What I love about this is the sheer arrogance. Dion gets spanked soundly in the election, the Conservatives pick up an even bigger share of the house, but Dion, spoiled brat that he is, invents a fictitious "crisis" as a pretext to topple the government. Nothing has changed between October 15th and the start of this manufactured crisis. Why oh why didn't Dion and his cabal announce their plans to have this coalition before the election? You don't have to answer that one. The truth is blindingly obvious.

quote:
Cutting federal funding for Opposition Parties. In other words, squeeze out the dissenting voices in a Parliamentary Democracy, leaving one Party to Rule Them All.
One party to rule them all and in the darkness bind them! LOL... Setting aside the partisan shtick, while I think the measure was reasonable enough, I'll agree with you that Harper was a jackass for proposing it. He tried to run a minority government like he had a majority. He got spanked for it.

quote:
Nevermind the naked aggression of this move, but consider the hypocrisy. The Conservatives benefitted from said funding all the years they lay wounded, licking their wounds and rebuilding.

And the disservice to the majority of Canadians who DID NOT vote Conservative is staggering.

Yes yes, of course, what's good for the Liberals is good for the country. I've heard that one before. The fact that the Liberals are incompetent and haven't been able to raise a penny without public funding isn't my problem. Incidentally, the NDP would be able to manage fine without it. As much as I may dislike Layton, at least he actually worked for his position, and seems to do something to earn it. I think the Liberals think that they are owed it by birthright.

quote:
We'll see how good the Tories are at selling their side of the story vs the Opposition parties. Short term I think they could have made a case based on fearmongering and creating divisions, but in the long term, they're screwed.
We'll see.

---

quote:
As an aside, I find it crazy that jasonr has descended deep and quickly into this generation's version of Godwin's Law and no one has called him on it.
Since unlike Hitler and the Nazis, the Separatists are alive and well, it's a little funny of you to bring up Godwin's law. I suppose when Churchill criticized Hitler, he should have lost the argument for bringing up Hitler in a debate [Big Grin]

quote:
jasonr - 'expedience' is why parties change their platforms and how politicians get elected. The Bloc is as much the 'separatist' party as the Conservatives are the party in favour of instilling Christianity as the official state religion.
Are you joking? What you've utterly failed to appreciate is that the Bloc Quebecois has, as its stated aim and as its raison d'etre, the goal of sovereignty for Quebec. The Conservative Party, to my knowledge, was not established as a tool to make Christianity the official state religion, except maybe in the fevered imaginations of the more hysterical members of the Liberal party. The Bloc, by contrast, was founded for the sole purpose of establishing Quebec sovereignty.

You say they've changed. Based on what evidence? Back in 1995 when Lucien Bouchard left the Bloc to assume control of the PQ they seemed pretty sovereignist to me. All that's happened in the interim is that the Bloc leaders and their PQ counterparts in Quebec have been adhering to Bouchard's strategy of waiting for the all-important "winning conditions" before pursuing sovereignty again.

I love how people keep pronouncing the sovereignists dead, but they just keep coming back. People never learn.

quote:
Query me this, though: why does Harper continuously spout 'separatist' when speaking in English, but avoids that term like the plague when speaking in French? Could it be that Quebecers understand that the Bloc is not, in fact, separatist?
My guess would be that he's trying to avoid antagonizing Quebec more than he has to. It's pretty bad for relations with Quebec when you tar everyone who voted Bloc as being a sovereignist. Makes them feel kind of unwelcome.

And of course, everyone who voted for the Bloc isn't a sovereignist. There is a difference between Bloc voters and the Bloc itself. The voters are definitely sovereignist sympathizers and outright supporters, but they have other motives for voting Bloc, including the misguided view that the Bloc somehow looks out for Quebec's interests.

As for the leadership of the Bloc, your suggestion that they are no longer sovereignist is completely baseless, and laughably naive.

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canadian
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yikes!

I'm backing away slowly.

Simple point of fact: this is all above board and legal.

If the Opposition Parties get this done when Parliament resumes, it could end as a colossal failure. If not, then it's business as usual. I just don't understand the hysterics coming from both sides of the aisle.

What interests me is how this plays out for the majority of Canadians and how deep Harper is willing to dig and reopen the separatist divide to keep his power.

In the end, it's not the End. Canadian politics is a slow moving beast.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
yikes!

I'm backing away slowly.

Simple point of fact: this is all above board and legal.

If the Opposition Parties get this done when Parliament resumes, it could end as a colossal failure. If not, then it's business as usual. I just don't understand the hysterics coming from both sides of the aisle.

Canadian, I agree that it's legal. I just don't agree that it's above-board.

You know, for many years I disliked how the Liberals were running the country and the horrendous corruption they had brought. But if my party didn't just get beaten but SLAMMED in an election, and then through a parliamentary hat trick they tried to seize power weeks after the election, I wouldn't be cheering for them to do it. This is especially so given that they promised precisely NOT to do what they were doing during the election.

It's reminiscent of Hillary Clinton trying to bring in Michigan and Florida after she realized that she was losing to Obama, of course after signing a pledge not to campaign there.

And to collaborate with the Bloc in the process, well that was the last straw. And I'll say again, there are alot of Liberal voters, particularly in Quebec, who feel betrayed by this (my father being one example).

How do you think the Liberal leaders of Anglo and Federalist ridings are going to explain to their constituents that they have made a deal with the Bloc, when many of those constituents counted on the Liberals to be the best hope of stopping the Separatists? If Quebec can't count on the Liberal party to challenge the Separatists, then who is left? The Conservatives and NDP have never had any real foothold in the Province. Basically it's the Liberals or nothing. For them to do this is a huge betrayal.

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DonaldD
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jasonr, nobody has claimed that the Bloc Quebecois does not support sovereignty. Where you get that is beyond me.

But in point of fact, the current party platform has little to do with advancing sovereignty, except in that the more autonomous the provinces are, the closer they are to having absolute sovereignty.

On the other hand, the party platform explicitly states, over and over, its goal of putting quebecers interest first.

Many federalist voters (though not centralization-supporting voters) chose the Bloc this time around because of their overall platform. By automatically excluding the Bloc, you are excluding the representatives of 2/3 of quebec's population.

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canadian
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Keep your friends close...

Anyway, I'm not a Liberal, so mostly I don't care how they explain it to their constituents. I live Conservative Alberta where mismanagement doesn't matter so long as Oil Money continues to flow so if you're talking about accountability, well, I'm not familiar with that being a necessary part of government.

And dude, for the last time: the Conservatives already collaborated with the Bloc themselves. What's the argument?

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Gaoics79
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quote:
And dude, for the last time: the Conservatives already collaborated with the Bloc themselves. What's the argument?
The Conservatives considered entering into a coalition with the Bloc, but didn't actually do it. That makes them hypocrits maybe, (and I'll happily condemn them for it if and when they actually go through with it), but for now, it's entirely beside the point. I'm not Stephen Harper. He can answer for his own sins. I'm more interested in what the Liberals are up to.

As for the fact that the Bloc has supported Conservatives on individual votes in the past, well so what? The Bloc are members of the house. In any given vote they're necessarily going to support or not support someone . There's a big difference between taking advantage of their support or even courting their support on a specific issue, in a no-strings attached momentary alliance, versus forming a formal pact with them and using their seats as the lynchpin to prop up a minority government.

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DonaldD
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jasonr, the Conservatives didn't just consider entering into a Coalition with the Bloc. Harper signed a document arranging exactly the same type of agreement.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
jasonr, the Conservatives didn't just consider entering into a Coalition with the Bloc. Harper signed a document arranging exactly the same type of agreement.
The Conservatives entered into a formal coalition with the Bloc to topple the Liberals? News to me.

But even if it were true, then fine, the Conservatives are hypocrites. Doesn't mean I have to be fine with the Liberals doing it now. No hypocrisy on Harper's part makes it right for the three stooges to seize power weeks after an election where they got their butts kicked, in which they explicitly promised not to form a coalition.

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DonaldD
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jasonr, we don't elect presidents in Canada: we elect members of parliament. The members of those 3 parties together account for a majority of the seats in the legislature; as for the popular vote, Conservatives only got 38% as compared to 61% by the other major parties who no longer support the government.

Yes, the other parties did not run on a platform that included the possibility of a coalition. On the other hand they weren't asked what they would do if - 4 weeks after the election - the Conservative minority government proposed, on a matter of confidence, policies designed to decimate the opposition parties.

Things change. I personally don't support a coalition that doesn't include the Conservatives at this point, but the Conservatives have also shown they don't deserve the confidence of the house. Practically speaking, the threat of the coalition might just be the wake up call that the Conservatives need in order to get their heads on straight.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
On the other hand they weren't asked what they would do if - 4 weeks after the election - the Conservative minority government proposed, on a matter of confidence, policies designed to decimate the opposition parties.
Is that the reason why the coalition formed? From what Dion et al. were saying, I thought it was because of Harper's lack of an economic stimulus? Which is it?

quote:
Things change. I personally don't support a coalition that doesn't include the Conservatives at this point, but the Conservatives have also shown they don't deserve the confidence of the house. Practically speaking, the threat of the coalition might just be the wake up call that the Conservatives need in order to get their heads on straight.
And in response to that threat, Harper promptly withdrew his proposal to cut political funding and all the other offending provisions. But they didn't back down.

Sorry, I don't buy this coalition as a last minute response to the Conservative economic plan, or any move by the Conservatives. I think it's something they were all planning right from day 1.

quote:
jasonr, we don't elect presidents in Canada: we elect members of parliament. The members of those 3 parties together account for a majority of the seats in the legislature; as for the popular vote, Conservatives only got 38% as compared to 61% by the other major parties who no longer support the government.
One minute you're quoting the rules of parliament, and how the Conservatives winning the most seats doesn't mean they are entitled to form a government. The next moment you're using the popular vote count as a rationalization of this end-run around the last election. Sounds like sucking and blowing at the same time to me.

And I still find this appeal to the popular vote count laughable. The coalition got 0, zilch, nothing, because they didn't run as a coalition. Had they done so, you and I both know they would have been slaughtered by Harper's Conservatives in the last election.

Yeah, things change. But things didn't change that much in 6 weeks.

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canadian
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I love it when they suck and blow.

Can I get a "yeeah?"

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DonaldD
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quote:
One minute you're quoting the rules of parliament, and how the Conservatives winning the most seats doesn't mean they are entitled to form a government. The next moment you're using the popular vote count as a rationalization of this end-run around the last election.
No. you need to read what I actually wrote, instead of assuming things I didn't say.

You said that "the three stooges ... got their butts kicked". I just pointed out that the Conservatives getting 38% of the popular vote does not a butt-kicking make. Especially when you consider that the Bloc actually won 2/3's of the seats they were contesting (this is having one's butt kicked?) and that the Liberals and NDP together (even without the Bloc and the Greens) garnered 7% more of the popular vote than did the Conservatives.

quote:
Yeah, things change. But things didn't change that much in 6 weeks.
Since in those 6 weeks, the Conservatives came out with the most politically inflammatory, minority-government proposed piece of legislation in the history of the country, yeah, I'd say that things did change that much in 6 weeks. Seriously, I challenge you to find anything between 1867 and 2006 to compare this to.
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Aris Katsaris
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Pfft, the people who use the words "coup d'etat" so easily, ought go live in a country that actually has coup d'etats.
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Aris Katsaris
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By the way, in my own country's experience, the fastest way out of a monarchy is for the monarch to start actually interfering in the functioning of the state, either sustaining or knocking down goverments.

The Governor-General interfered in a matter allowed but unprecedented. Very soon you'll be seeing him deprived of that privilege he just used, I wager.

I just hope Canada goes full out and abolishes the monarch altogether.

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DonaldD
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Ehhh... the Governor General is a woman. She also didn't interfere, but acceded to the request of the leader of the government.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
You said that "the three stooges ... got their butts kicked". I just pointed out that the Conservatives getting 38% of the popular vote does not a butt-kicking make. Especially when you consider that the Bloc actually won 2/3's of the seats they were contesting (this is having one's butt kicked?) and that the Liberals and NDP together (even without the Bloc and the Greens) garnered 7% more of the popular vote than did the Conservatives.
As you well know, what constitutes a "butt kicking" is relative, and governed by expectations. For the Liberal party, which not too long ago was holding vast unassailable majorities, the last election was a butt kicking, in fact, the biggest butt-kicking they have ever faced.

Had the NDP, by contrast, picked up the same number of seats, it would have been the greatest victory in their history, and it would have signaled a new dawn for them.

By any rational account, the Liberals were clobbered. The Conservatives may not have gotten the coveted majority, but they more than met expectations. It was undoubtedly a victory for them.

Barack Obama only got 52% of the popular vote, and yet because of history and relative expectations, it's being characterized as a landslide.

[ December 04, 2008, 07:17 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
The Governor-General interfered in a matter allowed but unprecedented. Very soon you'll be seeing him deprived of that privilege he just used, I wager.
This is a classic example of the sucking and blowing type argument I mentioned. In one breath, people defend the idea of a guy like Dion, who was humiliated and defeated not 6 weeks ago, taking power by arguing that it's in the rules, and therefore it's perfectly acceptable. But then in the same breath, they cry about the Governor General exercising her discretion in doing something that is equally within the rules, albeit just as unusual and unheard of as what Dion is doing.

We're sticklers for the rules one minute, and to hell with how it looks, but then the next minute we don't care about the rules, and suddenly it's all about appearances.

quote:
Pfft, the people who use the words "coup d'etat" so easily, ought go live in a country that actually has coup d'etats.
I was being slightly facetious with that choice of words. I don't see it as a literal coup d'etat, to be perfectly clear.
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DonaldD
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So by "the three stooges ... got their butts kicked" what you actually meant was one of them got clobbered, one of them met expectations, and one of them exceeded expectations. Got it.

As far as the expectations thing is concerned, the Conservatives absolutely expected to get a majority in the last election. By your own metric then, the Conservatives were repudiated and got their butts somewhat kicked. [Smile]

So here's a question: you thought it irresponsible to question Obama's natural born status; why are you going out of your way to label the Bloc - effectively a regional party and has been acting as such for at least 3 election cycles - as 'separatist', knowing that labeling it as such is going to cause rifts in the country? Alternatively, what specific power does the Bloc have to facilitate Quebec sovereignty in the federal parliament that would be at all equivalent to what Harper is doing by alienating the vast majority of quebecers and feeding the anti-quebec mouth-breather brigade of his base?

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Gaoics79
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quote:
As far as the expectations thing is concerned, the Conservatives absolutely expected to get a majority in the last election. By your own metric then, the Conservatives were repudiated and got their butts somewhat kicked.
Getting a majority would have been their home run. But after Harper mucked up the artist issue in Quebec, there wasn't much chance of it happening. He had to settle for a much bigger minority than he had, which was still an improvement. It also hurt the Liberals badly, which was good for him too. Basically it was a ground rule double.

quote:
So here's a question: you thought it irresponsible to question Obama's natural born status; why are you going out of your way to label the Bloc - effectively a regional party and has been acting as such for at least 3 election cycles - as 'separatist', knowing that labeling it as such is going to cause rifts in the country?
Well me personally calling it like it is and labeling the Bloc separatist isn't going to cause rifts in the country. And who said I'm happy with what's happened? Harper's scorched earth defence of his party has done huge damage to the country and may even buoy the PQ in Monday's election. Don't confuse me with someone who is happy with Harper these past few days. But at least Harper is defending himself. I understand and sympathize with why he has done what he has done.

The Liberals and their allies caused this in the first place by thinking they could just overturn an election without consequence. What they have done is more offensive to me than what Harper has done, even if both acts may end up screwing us all in the long run.

quote:
Alternatively, what specific power does the Bloc have to facilitate Quebec sovereignty in the federal parliament that would be at all equivalent to what Harper is doing by alienating the vast majority of quebecers and feeding the anti-quebec mouth-breather brigade of his base?
Just having a veto power and being perceived as being the lynchpin of the coalition alone gives them undeserved influence and prestige. It's a PR victory, primarily. And again, I am still of the view that we don't know the full story yet about this deal with the devil. Dion has been rather coy about things. He apparently decided to make Elizabeth May a Senator, and she doesn't even have a seat or any real influence at all. I don't want to even try to guess what little perks he's offered Duceppe and his crew.

Generally speaking, what's good for the Bloc is not good for Canada, unless you happen to be Jacques Parizeau and his ilk.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by canadian:
I sure hope Harper isn't planning to set fire to the Parliament building and then blame the Bloc!

[Wink]

Now *that*, were it not for the smily, would be a violation of godwin's law (which has always been a training wheels law for sophmores who don't know how to deal rationally with analogies).

Anyone knows that a Canadian Coup d'etat is no more a coup d'etat than a corporate marriage is a real marriage. In other words, the "Coup d'etat" was obviously figurative, so whoever was complaing about that, have a beer and get over it.

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DonaldD
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quote:
The Liberals and their allies caused this in the first place by thinking they could just overturn an election without consequence. What they have done is more offensive to me than what Harper has done, even if both acts may end up screwing us all in the long run.
You keep forgetting that a minority government has the responsibiity to build a consensus before putting something to a confidence vote. The other parties had a responsibility to vote down the economic update. You can blame the opposition for Harper's partisan bullying, but that requires you to ignore how minority situations have always worked in the past. You would also need to ignore the previous 2 years, when Harper made absolutely every vote into a confidence vote, thereby abusing the whole parliamentary process.

You also keep forgetting that a Canadian minority government does not magically have the mandate of God: any combination of MPs could reasonably form a government. To pretend that the members of parliament don't have authority beyond clapping when they are told is to ignore thousands of years of cumulative parliamentary precedent.
quote:
Now *that*, were it not for the smily, would be a violation of godwin's law
Actually, that was a reference to Canadian history. It had absolutely nothing to do with Hitler.
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Pete at Home
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You're kidding. Someone in Canadian history burnt down the Reichtag -- I mean the house of Parliament? I've got you guys all wrong. Maybe we're building the wall at the wrong end [Wink]
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DonaldD
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Oh, and 'veto' power - they signed away their veto power as part of the agreement. Did you by the way read the agreement? They of course could go back on their signed agreement, but that would be pretty stupid, without provocation. At any rate, your big concern is over some theoretical possible harm that you cannot clearly describe, as opposed to the already heightened animosity among the regions (which is only going to get worse if Harper stays in power?) Really? You're biting off your nose to spite your face.
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DonaldD
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Many things in the country would be different if the Parliament was still in Montreal... but lets not forget, we burned down your white house, too. Bunch of pyromaniacs...
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Pete at Home
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Hehe. I can't remember the silly dude here who called the US invasion of Canada an act of "aggression." Dude, I said, you'd just burnt down our White House. The war had been going for some time before we invaded. Who was that?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
You would also need to ignore the previous 2 years, when Harper made absolutely every vote into a confidence vote, thereby abusing the whole parliamentary process.
Wait a second. So you're saying that Harper was a big bully before the election? And the opposition parties knew that he was a big bully before the election?

Interesting. That's what I was thinking when this whole mess began. That the opposition were not surprised at all by what happened. Almost like they had it planned in advance.

So if they knew all about Harper's ways before the election, and therefore presumably knew what they were dealing with, why did Dion go out of his way to rule out the possibility of a coalition during the election? Hmmmm....

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DonaldD
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Oh come on, jasonr - do we really need to teach you the realities of political campaigning? [Smile] I could say "For the same reason that the Conservatives completely ruled out running a deficit, which they are going to announce in their very first budget".

In both cases, admitting to the obvious would have given their opponents big sticks with which to hit them over the head. In the case of the Liberals, they would have been further validating the NDP in the eyes of left wing voters and thereby bleeding support to them. In the case of the Conservatives, all the other parties would have accused them of mismanaging the economy. Practically speaking, not a single conservative voter switched to the Liberals because of that statement, and nobody believed Harper when he prevaricated about a deficit.

The whole issue is a red herring.

As to them knowing he was a big bully before, yes, they did. But if you had been paying attention at the beginning of this parliament, all the parties were feeling chastened by the electorate, including the Conservatives. For you to somehow think that they timed this election - and broke their own law to do so - just so that they could get another minority is historical revisionism. At any rate, all reports from new parliament (up until this fiasco) showed that the parties were at the least pretending to be putting their best bipartisan feet forward.

So were the opposition parties surprised? Of course. Could they have predicted it? Maybe. But it's a certainty that, when presented with Harper's crass political grab when the other parties were at least attempting to be bipartisan, their responses would be colored by the previous two years' activity. You really expect them to ignore that context?

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Gaoics79
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quote:
In both cases, admitting to the obvious would have given their opponents big sticks with which to hit them over the head. In the case of the Liberals, they would have been further validating the NDP in the eyes of left wing voters and thereby bleeding support to them. The whole issue is a red herring.

If this was a case of the Liberals and NDP saying nothing at all about a coalition during the election, you might have a point.

But they didn't say nothing. The NDP approached the Liberals and were soundly rejected. Dion made a big point of saying that he would not consider such a coalition.

Dion rejects coalition idea

So your argument, if I understand this correctly, is that it was politically expedient for Dion to lie and promise not to form a coalition with the NDP during the election, when that was really his plan all along and therefore... what? I'm supposed to give him a pass because Harper lied about the budget deficit?

If this coalition had come down the pipe even, say, 3 months after the election, I could perhaps excuse you for making the quasi-plausible suggestion that the coalition arose as a result of a genuinely unforeseeable occurrence.

But 6 weeks after the election? You're surely joking. Even in politics, such a naked, blatant lie is not something the electorate just brushes aside. Particularly when this specific lie (unlike the other examples you cited) had the exact effect of practically flipping the government on its head.

For something that was an "obvious" possibility, Dion sure made a point of making it not so obvious. As you yourself said, alot of people were surprised by this supposed "obvious" option.

quote:
For you to somehow think that they timed this election - and broke their own law to do so - just so that they could get another minority is historical revisionism. At any rate, all reports from new parliament (up until this fiasco) showed that the parties were at the least pretending to be putting their best bipartisan feet forward.
That was certainly their original intent, yes. The election wasn't worth calling just to get another minority. But the election was by no means a defeat for the Conservatives. They managed to pick up a ton of seats and came as close to a majority as they ever have.

Moreover, victory isn't just a matter of winning. It's also about making the other guy lose. And Dion lost, BIG TIME. You can sit here and claim that the Conservatives didn't get what they wanted, but don't tell me that the election wasn't a fiasco for Dion. Half the country, including his own party, expected him to resign immediately.

quote:
So were the opposition parties surprised? Of course. Could they have predicted it? Maybe. But it's a certainty that, when presented with Harper's crass political grab when the other parties were at least attempting to be bipartisan, their responses would be colored by the previous two years' activity. You really expect them to ignore that context?
Believe it or not, I understand why they did what they did, and even, upon reflection, have some sympathy for it.

But you know what, when you run an election, even in 2008, promises mean something . And certain promises mean more than others. When you say you're not going to consider a coalition, and then six weeks later, you overturn the government to form a coalition, that's just unacceptable to me. It looks like you weren't happy with the election results, so you decided to end-run around them before they even had a chance to close the voting stations.

Harper may be a colossal prick. But he's the colossal prick that Canadians put into power. He hasn't gotten any more colossal or any more of a prick between election day and today, as you yourself and others have practically conceded.

So for Stephane and his bunch to claim that they were just reacting to some unforeseen circumstance is laughable. I call that the biggest pile of BS I have ever seen. They planned it from the start. They set a trap for Harper, he took the bait, and they sprung the trap. Very clever of them. Completely contemptuous of the election and its results, but clever. I'll give them that.

[ December 05, 2008, 08:48 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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DonaldD
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errr... they forced Harper to ignore the economy and come out with a political hatchet job as his first piece of legislation? Really? I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about the opposition's ability to control Stephen Harper's mind...

Seriously, what was this 'bait' of which you speak? That the opposition parties were willing to bend over and be fisted, and that led Harper to roll up his sleeves at the opportunity?

And no, Canadians did not put Harper "into power". They elected MPs, not a president. Harper had the first shot at putting together a government made up of those MPs. He failed.

As to the motivations of the opposition parties, it seems clear that they were prepared to work with the Conservatives until the government completely shat upon them in the economic update. To claim otherwise is laughable [Smile] I guess we'll simply to continue to disagree on that point.

I know, I know, you're going to claim that the NDP and the Bloc have been proved to have been planning this for a long time. But even in that recording of the NDP caucus meeting that followed the Conservative economic update, Layton only stated that the Bloc and NDP have been discussing political options ahead of time. We already knew this, that they had some agreements in place and an on-going relationship. They had in fact already negotiated that type of agreement with the Conservatives two years earlier, with the same two leaders in place. This is not news, except in the way the Conservatives are trying to spin the conference call. Also, to characterize the NDB-Bloc strategy talks as "Stephane and his bunch" is transparently dishonest.

And I'll repeat this one last time: I don't support the coalition taking over from the Conservatives at this time. I think it would be bad for the country, and bad for parliament. But to mischaracterize a possible coalition as a 'coup' or 'anti-democratic', to claim that the Conservatives have been given some absolute mandate, or that the Canadian people didn't vote for anything but a Conservative government is simply to be ignorant of our electoral system, parliamentary tradition in general and the Canadian constitution.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
And no, Canadians did not put Harper "into power". They elected MPs, not a president. Harper had the first shot at putting together a government made up of those MPs. He failed.
Actually, it was his second shot. His first shot was the throne speech, which was also a confidence measure. And he did receive the confidence of the house.

quote:
And no, Canadians did not put Harper "into power". They elected MPs, not a president. Harper had the first shot at putting together a government made up of those MPs. He failed.
A ridiculous argument, made by someone grasping at straws. The operative point is that whoever they "put into power", it sure as hell wasn't the Liberal / NDP / Bloc monstrosity, in effect a new party that didn't run in the election.

The Conservatives got more votes than any of the parties that were running. This fiction that they got 60% of the vote is pathetic, in addition to being a lie.

quote:
As to the motivations of the opposition parties, it seems clear that they were prepared to work with the Conservatives until the government completely shat upon them in the economic update. To claim otherwise is laughable I guess we'll simply to continue to disagree on that point.
What's laughable is to say in one breath that Harper is a prick and that this latest insult is just another in a long line of things he has done in this vein, and then in the next breath, to claim that Dion didn't flat out lie to the public 6 weeks ago in the election, when he said he wouldn't form a coalition, because of course Harper's latest insult (which is along the lines of everything he had been doing for years) was somehow totally unexpected.

quote:
And I'll repeat this one last time: I don't support the coalition taking over from the Conservatives at this time. I think it would be bad for the country, and bad for parliament. But to mischaracterize a possible coalition as a 'coup' or 'anti-democratic', to claim that the Conservatives have been given some absolute mandate, or that the Canadian people didn't vote for anything but a Conservative government is simply to be ignorant of our electoral system, parliamentary tradition in general and the Canadian constitution.
It's not a coup, but it is anti-democratic.

In any event, this discussion is getting tired. To be frank with you, I think Harper has bungled this to such a degree that his continued presence is an unacceptable liability. His response to this outrageous power grab has done more to buoy the Separatist cause than 100 sell-out coalitions.

Harper has to go. He should resign and let someone else take over from him, before he does further damage to the country.

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DonaldD
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Well, there you go then. We agree. [Smile]

By the way, I never said Dion didn't lie. Just that the lie had no appreciable effect on voter outcome as represented by Harper.
quote:
This fiction that they got 60% of the vote is pathetic, in addition to being a lie.
I know you are not saying that the parties that support the coalition didn't receive 60% of the vote, so what are you saying here?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
I know you are not saying that the parties that support the coalition didn't receive 60% of the vote, so what are you saying here?
I am saying that quite simply that a vote for the Liberal party or a vote for the Bloc or a vote for the NDP does not = a vote for the Liberal / NDP / Bloc coalition.

Therefore to add the three popular vote counts together and say that the "coalition" has 60% of the popular vote is a lie.

The coalition controls 163 seats. That is it. We have no idea how much of the popular vote it would have gotten during the election because the coalition did not exist, and was expressly ruled out by Dion during the election.

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rightleft22
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I may be showing my ignorance here but how can the NDP and Liberals form the government, constitutionally, when they don’t have enough seats to do so? I know they have the support of the PQ but to form the government doesn’t that mean that the PQ must be an official part of the coalition with members in the cabinet?
In my mind the Governor General ought to have informed the NDP and Liberal parties that they did not have enough seats to form the government and that support of the PQ did not meet the requirements of the constitution. There only options are to bring the PQ into the coalition or hold a non-confidence vote and force election.

The other thing that confuses me is that the Liberals are in no shape to run the government at this time. Their party is in a shambles and the leader a lame duck.

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jimskater
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This has been fascinating. I'm completely unfamiliar with Canada's parliamentary system, but it's beginning to sound a lot like Chicago in the 60'& 70's with Harper playing the Richard J Daley role. Smoke filled rooms, back room dealing, only it's (seemingly) all in public.

Very interesting to observe, but... a potential constitutional crisis, every time the government changes hands?

[ December 07, 2008, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: jimskater ]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
I may be showing my ignorance here but how can the NDP and Liberals form the government, constitutionally, when they don’t have enough seats to do so? I know they have the support of the PQ but to form the government doesn’t that mean that the PQ must be an official part of the coalition with members in the cabinet?
In my mind the Governor General ought to have informed the NDP and Liberal parties that they did not have enough seats to form the government and that support of the PQ did not meet the requirements of the constitution. There only options are to bring the PQ into the coalition or hold a non-confidence vote and force election.

I don't get it either. But since they're doing just that, I assume it's permissible.

quote:
This has been fascinating. I'm completely unfamiliar with Canada's parliamentary system, but it's beginning to sound a lot like Chicago in the 60'& 70's with Harper playing the Richard J Daley role. Smoke filled rooms, back room dealing, only it's (seemingly) all in public.
You should see the videos of some of the parliamentary debates. I hadn't really watched any until this crisis and it was quite shocking. I half expected these guys to start a brawl on the parliament floor.

But then again, this is the country that had a Prime Minister who was known for his Shawinigan Handshake, so it's not exactly the sanitized stuff you see in American politics.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Very interesting to observe, but... a potential constitutional crisis, every time the government changes hands?
Well, practically speaking, this wasn't a constitutional crisis. The responsibilities of all parties are clearly defined, and it's all constitutionally above-board. In fact, an almost identical situation played out not 3 years ago, with the main differences being that the government had been in place for longer than 6 weeks and the GG wasn't even tempted to ask the opposition party coalition to form a government.

Additionally, in most cases governments don't fall to confidence votes - most governments aren't even minority. They simply ask for an election when the mood strikes them.

rightleft22: you probably meant the BQ, not the PQ - the PQ is a provincial party, so yah, their suport wouldn't meet and federal requirements [Smile] On the other hand, the BQ members are no different from any other MPs and would be in no way constitutionally constrained from supporting any government they wished.

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rightleft22
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I understand the BQ are no different form any other party constitutinally but to form the goverment based on support vice member of the coalition makes for a very unstable minority goverment IMO.
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