Saturday, June 13, 2009

And the Pundits Predict...

It's always interesting to read opinion pieces isn't it? Given all the election talk, there is no shortage of opinion out there today.

I can't say that I've read too much in favour of calling an election now, but there are varying opinions as to why we shouldn't.

Some are rallying behind Harper and chirping his 'tough talk' and others are taking a more measured view. Yet others are reading polls and tea leaves and basing their opinion on the odds.

At this moment, I happen to think it is a good time to go. I know there are scores of reasons not to.

- Polls suggesting Canadians don't want an election
- Harper will play up Liberal opportunism
- Summer is a tough time to engage people/potential for backlash
- Coffers aren't as full as we'd like

There are more I suppose, but when I look at these, the ones most commonly cited, they still don't outweigh the reasons why I think we should go.

The first objection is ridiculous. No one ever says they want an election, which is sad when watching Iran today, but turn the question to, do we need one? The Conservatives would obviously say no because everything is just going along tickity-boo according to tax dollar funded infomercial we saw on Thursday. But, if the need question is then framed in a way that presents a clear alternative, the answer could very well be yes, on both sides.

Things aren't all peaches and cream as it relates to the economy. If you can tell whether the money is actually flowing from that carefully crafted propoganda brochure we saw after the infomercial, well, I suspect you are seeing what you want.

So, that is the premise on which we have said we'd go to the polls and the spin at this point is,

- 80% of the money is flowing
- the money would stop
- we're better than everyone else in the world
- Ignatieff is only in it for the power
- the Liberals are being opportunistic

Is that money flowing? There is no evidence that it is and what's more difficult to determine is precisely how much has been specifically allocated. In simple terms; if an invoice were to come in today, would it be paid?

You see, that the money would stop is a canard. The main estimates have passed and now I think we are waiting on the supply motion. Of the main estimates, how much has been allocated? All of that could still flow, by means of special warrants. Stopping the flow of money could in fact lie in the hands of the Conservatives...but I need more info on that.

As for political opportunism and Ignatieff only seeking power, I say yes to both, because I don't necessarily restrict their inference to being negative.

Using opportunity to gain power is not unique to the Liberals, nor just political parties, obviously. Isn't that how everything in life operates? When an opportunity presents itself, you evaluate whether or not it is beneficial? And, seeking power isn't necessarily crass. It's necessary to hold power in order to implement change and that certainly is what we need.

The reasons why we need a new government? They are numerous. I know many say it is difficult to distinguish between the two parties and as ridiculous as that concept is to me, it may be one of best reasons to go.

Having had to support the government and cite our dissent has been necessary up to this time. Anyone who believes we should have pulled the plug earlier, isn't thinking. This time, yes based on some of the polling, people are paying attention and they see the Liberals as a viable alternative. I think it's time to take that sentiment and provide reasons for the change.

The Conservatives really have a miserable record as it relates to what people in this country care about. To name a few:

Human Rights, the protection of Canadian citizens, the environment, the economy, food safety, immigration, progressive law and order, nuclear safety, heritage, culture, Canadian institutions, foreign affairs and our reputation, equality (Status of Women), drug treatment, meaningful research and technology/science funding, real transparency, respect for the rule of law...

Crafting how the Conservatives have failed us and demonstrating how the Liberals would change things in a 30 second sound bite is no easy task....but it's not impossible.

When I see something like this, in addition to the rest of their 'hang 'em high' law and order agenda, I can't help but see opportunism in it's most negative sense being employed. It's time to put a stop to the abuse.

All of that said, if we decide to go, as I hope we do, it's still quite possible that the NDP will strike a deal with Harper. Gawd knows Layton has done it before and I'm sure I read somewhere today that he's still thinking about it.

With that in the shadows, it's still a win/win for the Lib's. It's time to break the mold, no matter the outcome.

Worth a gander : Rex, opinion, Chretien, Spector, Ivison


Cherniak_WTF said...

t's still quite possible that the NDP will strike a deal with Harper. Gawd knows Layton has done it before and I'm sure I read somewhere today that he's still thinking about it.
Just like he did with Martin?

Brian A said...

I completely agree. Despite all the reasons for NOT calling an election, calling an election makes the most sense from our perspective. So let's jut go for it!

Cherniak_WTF said...

I personally don't care what Iggy does but the reasons you site are hardly motivating...

It just goes to underscore that Liberals want power and really don't care about Canadians... What is Iggy offering? You used to snipe at the Connies for being complainers but it that not exactly what Liberals are doing?
Complaining but offering no solutions.

Robbie said...

Too early for an election. I am a switch voter but the Liberals haven't been in the wilderness long enough yet. The CPC record is not too bad and on some issues(Human Rights), see the CTV non debate Ezra/Jennifer, the CPC has been too slow eliminating section 13. (nuclear safety) AECL has been a dead end agency for 30 years, most of it under Liberal stewardship, (environment) I'm in the business and our superior attitude and hype hides an unwillingness to face the real issues and hide behind more studies that get to collect dust on the shelves.

Anonymous said...

If Iggy had not wanted an election, Parliament would not be sitting next week. They would have been done this week.

There will be an election, or Iggy will propose some sort of summer session of parliament to review the isotope crisis and the economic crisis i.e. continuation of his Spank-the-Harper routine.

Anonymous said...


It's strictly a power grab, but that being said, doesn't mean the LPC won't win. The polls are certainly unbalanced.

It's a gamble.


KNB said...

cwtf, if the reasons I cite don't explain, then I clearly didn't go on enough, but a post can only be so long!

Power grab,'s required.

You crack me up with your poorly disguised hate of all things Liberal and Ignatieff.

You've been screaming for him to take a stand, I suggest he should, and you call it a power grab.

Seriously, your script needs work.

I sniped at the Con's complaining? They still complain...victimhood is hard to shed.

The opposition is supposed to snipe...job description and all.

What does he have to offer? That's what elections are meant to illustrate.

KNB said...

Robbie, if you are a switch voter, you are one with a definite lean to suggest the whole, old, 'wilderness' argument.

The CPC record on all the issues I cited is horrendous.

No, the nuclear discussion is not over, and to flog something that we have led in for years, while saying (Harper said), it was like pouring money into a hole...not the brightest comment to make. Akin to , 'buy my car. It sucks gas and is a lemon overall, but buy my car'.

Environment? We need movement now, not studies. I see the Lib's pushing that. Prentice? ha!

KNB said...

Tomm, read my post. Power grab is not's required to put your agenda in place when you think the existing agenda is bad for the country.

KNB said...

Anon@ 9:01, interesting.

KNB said...

Brian A...write your MP. We need pressure now, this weekend.

Cari said...

I do not think the NDP coffers are very full either..probably worse than the Liberals, they may back down. I have an idea they are pulling our leg, when they say they want an election.

Cherniak_WTF said...

You crack me up with your poorly disguised hate of all things Liberal and Ignatieff.

You've been screaming for him to take a stand, I suggest he should, and you call it a power grab.

Please, I've posted here long enough that YOU know I was a Liberal supporter until Iggy came along...

I'm still waiting for Iggy to take a stand. This does not mean calling an election - like I said, I don't care what he does with regards to an election. I do care about him having some ideas, not parroting the cons...

I think that Iggy is a power hungry ass. He'll play populist politics - what Canada needs is Leadership. Even you should acknowledge this - instead you push Iggy.

I've previously asked you, do you work for the Liberals?

KNB said...

cwtf, I didn't respond, because to me it was a ridiculous question.

If you need an answer, it's no. I don't work for the party.

You have an opinion of Ignatieff that I don't share.

I've met him, I've listened to him and I go by gut. He's not what you make him out to be by reading about him.

You do realise you are trusting someone else's take in doing that right?

Sorry, of course you do. I wish you would just sit down with the guy. If he comes to a town near you, dole out the cash to sit with him. He's just a guy with a vision, that is different than Harper's, for this country.

I take that back..Harper has no vision. Ignatieff hasn't articulated his, so you assume, nay, push that he has none.

I know you know better.

KNB said...

Cari...I think you're right.

We'll see, but if Jack caves...he's done. What's scary about that is the heir apparent is Mulcair, but with an election, we might say bye-bye to him too.


wilson said...

''We'll see, but if Jack caves...he's done.''

And if MI caves, is he done?
Now is a good time for Dippers and Cons to go into an election, before MI can get on a solid footing.

The spectacle of the 3 opposition parties playing chicken while the country is knee deep in a recession, is pathetic.

Just imagine what the coalition of losers would have accomplished....nothing.
Since the events from Dec right until now, even a Liberal/Dipper 'ageeement' is unappealing.
Too much jocking for position, not enough leadership.

penlan said...

knb wrote:
"He's just a guy with a vision, that is different than Harper's, for this country.

I take that back..Harper has no vision."

I disagree with you on that Harper doesn't have a vision. He does have one - a very scary one. He wants to change Canada as we know it, turn it into something else & also make govt. along the U.S. model of sorts. He doesn't articulate his vision. He just works behind the scenes, secretively, to implement it. Don't forget his statement "You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it."

I heard Layton the other day in an interview saying he might try to work something out with Harper so it would be no surprise if the NDP were to vote with the Cons.

Anonymous said...

Ndp will not cave unless they get substantial goodies from Craps. they do not like what Craps are doing to Canada....Mulcair not going to get Jacks' job...disliked immensely...arrogant PR@@k to other members of party especially as he calls them subserviants.

RuralSandi said...

I watched Don Newmans - journo panel discussion on Friday. They'd been to a party (I believe it was Newman's retirement shindig). Anyway, one of the journalists said he was talking to Layton at the party and Layton said he was ready to strike a deal with Harper but Harper hadn't returned his calls.

Harper didn't set out his policies until the 2005/2006 election was underway.

Speaking of power grabs - Harper and Layton brought down Martin at "Chrismas" when Martin had promised an election after the Gomery report - Layton fell into Harper's manipulation then.

Voting in summer - well, it only takes a few minutes to vote and if you're going on vacation you can vote ahead of time.

Cost - it would cost whether it's now or the fall or whenever.

Stimulous money - take a look at the headlines - not much coming.

You don't like Iggy - simple, don't vote for him.

It isn't only about the economy, stupid - it's about our institutions, assets, respect for parliament, respect for the courts, etc.

Ya, I say go for it.

I find this power grab nonsense too funny - hell, aren't they all in it for power. You have to have that ambition or you'd never get in power.

Gayle said...

"It's strictly a power grab..."

Which differentiates them from every other political party how?

wilson said...

Anyone here watch QP today?

Seems the Lib increase in support in Quebec is concentrated and will not amount to alot of seats. Duceppe WANTS and election now.

'' Layton said he was ready to strike a deal with Harper but Harper hadn't returned his calls''

And he won't.
The Cons will not be part of any agreement with Libs either,
because they will be fighting the next election against the coalition of Lib/Dippers.

Gayle said...

Good to hear Wilson. I guess there is nothing standing in the way of an election now (assuming you have some insider knowledge of what Harper is going to do, though I highly doubt that).

I guess we will see. If the LPC decide on an election then either Layton or Harper will have to cave if they want to avoid one.

RuralSandi said...

They're trying to use this stupid coalition strategy....duh.

Now, who were the coalition in 2005 - Cons/NDP/BLOC - at "Christmas".

Who caused the last elections, that are now bitching about being too many? Cons/NDP/BLOC - the last one illegal and unnecessary one called - Cons.

NDP have a pattern of games.

How hard is it to walk into a voting station, Mark you "X" and walk out? Are we that feeble? Or, if going on vacation - you can vote ahead or vote by mail - no excuses.

wilson said...

Why would PMSH cave?
His budget was passed by Liberals,
the stimulus package was passed by Liberals.
And if Liberals want to form a coalition, again,
with the Bloc and Dippers to force and election over EI 360 that the Government has repeatedly, including today, said 'no' to...why stop Liberals from their own Coalition train wreck?

Why would the Bloc cave?
They want an election now.
The numbers are deceiving, and would not amount to a huge Liberal seat gain in Quebec, says the Bloc.

Why would Dippers cave?
It is THEIR issue that Libs want to cause an election over.
With limited funds, Dippers will have to concentrate on ridings they think they could win and pay token attention to the rest.
So what, other than last election, that is how they operated before.

It is up to the Libs to cave or force Canada into an election,
by resurrecting the coalition
with Dipper/Bloc support.

RuralSandi said...

Wilson (not that I want to help the Cons) but this whole coalition stuff is going to wash. People think it's stupid, and it is.

penlan said...

Sandi, Harper's been throwing out the coalition word again. Once on Thurs. at his infomercial with Duffy & the other time on his Fox news "American Repub identity" interview on Fri. So get ready to hear a lot of it again. He's going to use it, false as it is.

EI isn't so much the issue if the Libs do vote non-confidence. The issue is that the stimulus money isn't getting out. And the EI is just a part of the whole package.

Gayle said...

The funny thing is according to the pundits on Newman, the only party the coalition hurts is the NDP, and since Harper wants to boost the fortunes of the NDP, feigning outrage of a "coalition" is a losing strategy. It only shows how desperate he is.

So I say keep pumping that coalition meme! The fact that accusing the opposition of being in a coalition merely because they vote non-confidence means that Harper was in a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc only sweetens the deal for the LPC.

And Wilson, the LPC are not 'caving". They are in a position to determine whether or not there is an election right now. They are the party that leads in all the national polling so I hardly think they will be caving if they do not choose to go to an election. But you keep trying to sell that, along with the coalition and calling Ignatieff "Iffy". I am very confident that will only makes things better for the LPC.

Calgary Junkie said...

At the height of the Coalition kerfuffle, the Tories were polling at around 50 % nationally, and 35 % in Quebec. There was an extremely strong emotional response from the public, as was seen from the rallies, callers to talk shows and the like.

So why wouldn't Harper want to try and frame the election around the Tories vs the Coalition ? At crunch time--when people have to get to the polling booth, and mark their ballot, strong emotion trumps policy analysis.

RuralSandi said...

Well, there's another way of looking at it.

Harper is deliberatley misleading Canadians about our parliamentary system - this is wrong and unethical, or he doesn't understand it and any MP that doesn't understand it, shouldn't be an MP.

So, I think an issue can be made about Harper's attempt to hoodwink Canadians or his lack of knowledge about our sytem - either way he's wrong.

What kind of message does this sent to kids for example who don't know enough about our system.

I think Rick Mercer's bit on this should be out in full force on YouTube.

Calgary Junkie said...

What was "misleading", and offended so many people, was that none of the Libs/NDP/Bloc campaigned on forming a coalition after the election. Dion even categorically denied it.

So sure, let Iggy lecture Canadians on how Parliament works. He will be playing right into Harper's hands, by even using the word "coalition". The question Iggy will have to answer is: "Will you form a coalition with the NDP and/or BLOC after the election" ?

He will probably answer along the lines that he expects to win a majority, or some such. But imagine if his polling numbers drop around 30 %, and Harper is around 35 %, with seat projections showing nobody will get a majority. At that point, the coalition possibility becomes a lot more realisitic.

Harper is playing this right. He won't be making any deals with Layton. Do nothing that can be used against him later, saying "see, Harper made a deal with Layton". His spinners, MPs and Cabinet are using the coalition word more and more.

Iggy definitely does NOT want to be put on the defensive over this. But we have him on tape saying he was FOR it, then a few months later he issued a statment saying he was AGAINST it.

Gayle said...

CJ - The coalition is largely identified with Dion and Layton, not Ignatieff. The only evidence Harper has of its continued existence would be the fact that all three parties cooperated with each other to bring him down - which is exactly what he did when he brought down Martin's government, so this is a double edged sword for him.

On top of that, in the months that have followed all Harper's efforts to distort the truth about the legitimacy of the coalition, many people may have relaxed, taken a step back and recognized that it was Harper's histrionics that was to blame for whatever crisis he manufactured. Harper has been widely panned for his out and out lies about a "coup".

I do not agree that the issue was that the parties did not campaign on forming a coalition - if that was the only thing "wrong" with the idea, Harper and his cronies would not have had to resort to using terms like "coup". The CPC tried to paint this as unlawful and undemocratic, and it was neither.

Combine all that with Harper's decreasing personal popularity, and his continued reference to a coalition might just make him look like a petulent fool.

RuralSandi said...

What was "misleading", and offended so many people, was that none of the Libs/NDP/Bloc campaigned on forming a coalition after the election. Dion even categorically denied it.

Duh - of course not, it wasn't necessary at the time BUT our system allows for it if the House loses the confidence in the PM - like or not, thems the rules.

(I was not for the coalition by the way), but law and rules are law and rules)

Duh, we don't put "agenda" items on a ballot like they do in the US.

KNB said...

"We've got tape'....ooohh, a 'coalition'...

LOl, you guys seriously crack me up.

If there is an election, I kinda hope you guys do go with the juvenile lame brained stuff. It's worn out it's welcome and is being called out for what it is on a daily basis in the press. It's not likely to be ignored if there is an election call.

As to the coalition nonsense, there won't be one. There will be a vote in parliament, just as there was when Martin was defeated and we'll got to an election. If you don't think every commentator, opinion writer and political scientist in the country doesn't speak to that, you're dreaming.

Yea, I saw QP. Oliver laughed at that idiot of an MP Poilievre every time he used the term and as to where support lies in Quebec, Joel Denis may be right, but use his musings as a definitive is rather silly.

RuralSandi said...

The Cons and their tapes - Cadman, Grewal, Harper promising not to tax income trusts, yadda, yadda.

Well, other parties have tapes too.

You know, if Harper was doing such a bang up job he would have to resort to this garbage - it just shows he has nothing to offer. Keep it up.

KNB said...

btw, the only thing that seems not to be spoken out loud is the obvious.

The Liberals have to believe they can win and that is what will be analysed.

Too crass for you? Sorry, that's reality, because to go to an election only to end up with what we have would be ridiculous.

I know some believe this should all come down to principle and principle only, but of course if that were true, we'd have an election...oh, about every 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

From National Newswatch;

Coderre signals Liberals could support budget

Coderre says that if the Liberal Party decided to vote for the budget, it doesn’t translate to support for the Conservative economic initiatives…

Cherniak_WTF said...

LeDevoir is stating that Iggy will back the Harper government but complain about doing it....

KNB said...

Yep, I read that too. The Star says the who know?

penlan said...

I wonder why a Dipper - cwtf - keeps hanging out on Liberal blogs?

Cherniak_WTF said...

I wonder why a Dipper - cwtf - keeps hanging out on Liberal blogs?

To give you a dose of reality....

I'm amused how I'm associated with almost every party except for the one that I voted for...

I used to be a member of the Liberals (but let my renewal slip under Iggy). I voted BQ in the last Federal election to ensure that Fortier would not get in. I would have voted Liberal but the candidate was so inept and stupid that my vote would have been wasted...

penlan said...

Yes, cwtf, I like that BQ MP as well. If the BQ was national I'd be voting for them.

Cherniak_WTF said...

penlan, I don't like the BQ overall as a party.
They do have the liberty of being able to be progressive because they only have to pander to Quebec.

I voted for them because the choice was Fortier or Faille... Fortier went around bribing mayours and infiltrating the municipal systems all the while ignoring people. Faille, at least, would respond to citizens...
The Liberals put up Legault - did I say she was dumb? I mean plain stupid ("it burns" stupid) in interviews...

I do like Mulcair - he did a lot when he was a Liberal provincial minister and had principles. That much cannot be said for many MPs.

(and if we are to name a few MPs that I like include Dryden, Kennedy...)

See, I"m not always cranky...

KNB said...

cwtf, did you know that Faille speaks Mandarin? (I think I have that right)

CPAC has an interview with her. While Clark certainly cannot be called an in depth reporter, it's interesting to get a little insight into MP"s.

Cherniak_WTF said...

You are right, Catherine Clark is the typical airhead - "incredible"....
I wonder if she is amazed at a kettle boiling...

Melli Faille is a "reachable" politician, I think she has peaked in terms of reach but she is solid.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Wow, what a non-answer from Iggy - could he be more serpentine?

Cherniak_WTF said...

"Clear as mud" - CBC


Kady O'Mailey is, as usual, the best blogger on this

KNB said...

What's unclear about saying we'll vote against if no answers. All 77 members will be in their seats voting on Friday.

The ball seems to have bounced to Harper's court. How following that for a change?

KNB said...

Yes, and Nancy was quickly disabused of that characterization wasn't she?

haven't read Kady yet

Cherniak_WTF said...

Poor Iggy wants to call the shots without taking any responsibility....

Playing with fire... I hope that Harper gives Iggy the finger....

KNB said...

Well, in a way, so do I because that means we go and it's on Harper for a lack of tranparency and cooperation.

KNB said...

Kady's take was good...funny as usual.

Wonder who the skeptic is she's referring to at the end? Wells maybe. I saw him grimacing ;).