Monday, December 08, 2008

'P' is for 'Prorogue': Looks Like Stephen Harper Got More Than He Bargained For

It's not going Jack Layton's way, either, now that the Liberals will be getting a new leader out of it all.



Blogger Fred said...

Iggy, like all Liberals, smells like Separatist & Socialist.

That's what happens when you jump under the covers with the Bloc and the NDP in a tawdry attempt to steal power.

He sat in caucus when they discussed Dion's plan and came out and said good to go. Iggy agreed to sign up with the Bloc & the NDP (maybe it was because Jacko threw the NDP Afghanistan policy under the bus)

Iggy is gonna have to wear that in the next election.

Iggy . . Leading from the Rear

5:40 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Jeez, Fred. Take a pill.

Separatist, socialist, tawdry attempt to steal power . . . man.

Not long ago, your crowd was screaming its lungs out (quite justifiably) at the loons calling Bush a fascist.

Now it's all coup-d'etat this and Kristallnacht that.

I recommend a nice glass of Jameson's and then off to bed wi' ye.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Iggy's problem is not that he's too left-wing. Indeed, his liberal centrism has the potential to give Harper real problems. And, for those of us who care about Afghanistan, a Liberal party with him at the helm is not a bad outcome.

But I fear he has been compromised by his half-hearted, equivocal embrace of the coalition. Iggy was channeling Mackenzie King in the papers today (not necessarily, etc). However, when the CPC's 'war' room is finished with him, the one-liner will probably be something more like 'I was for the coalition before I was against it.'

7:03 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

If that's the sort of thing the CPC war room plans to rely on, Iggy's already won the next federal election by a landslide.

Liberal voters won't respond to that sort of lowbrow nonsense, most NDPers would rather shoot themselves than vote for him anyway (Iraq! Torture supporter! Once appeared on a panel with Christ Hitchens!) and most Conservatives are far too intelligent to regard Ignatieff's necessary support for the proposed coalition (as demanded by his party leader and endorsed by a majority of members of the House) as some sort of cardinal sin that permanently stains his escutcheon.

So whose votes will that sort of attack sway?

7:23 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

On January 20 Americans are getting a leader whose intelligence is well above average, and now Canadians might just follow suit? Is this really happening or am I dreaming?
And, no, I'm not being partisan -- gave up on that (and religion) many years ago.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Yep, he's a smartypants. Gotta give him that, and the fact that he's the best hope for a credible centre-left prime minister this country has seen for a long time.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Kurt - we already have a smart leader. You may not like his politics, but Harper has thought deeply about Canadian federalism (among other matters), and in fact was one of the first to come up with the idea of a Clarity Act.

Terry - my initial post was a bit flip, and I am no political strategist, but I really do think that Iggy acted badly this week. He should have said the coalition was an ill-conceived idea - not to mention unfair to the west and to the best federalist traditions of the liberal party - from the get-go.

And I am not anti-Iggy - as my post said, I think he will be good for the Afghan mission.

BTW, just to appeal to authority Andrew Coyne agrees with me:

"If you’re a Liberal looking to escape from the coalition — and virtual extinction at the next election — Iggy’s not your boy. He is implicated up to his ears, only without even the virtue of conviction. When the Tories come to remind voters, as they will, who tried to “steal” the election, who was “in bed with the separatists,” who would have let Jack Layton loose in the cabinet, they will make Iggy wear it just as surely as they would Rae or Dion."

Time will tell.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Terry - was Hitchens' first name a typo?

9:22 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Hey Craig: It's not Harper's politics I have a problem with, per se. I was willing to give him a chance. But he's too clever by half (as Tory MP Enoch Powell deadpanned when told that PM Maggie Thatcher admired his economic ideas: "That's nice. But it's a pity she didn't understand them.").

I was also willing to listen to debate on the merits of cutting the federal subsidy of political parties, but when Harper said it would be a confidence vote and changed his mind the next day after hearing about the coalition plan, he vacated any claim to the moral high ground he might have had.

Chretien was probably a bigger SOB than Harper could ever aspire to, but old Jean was far too smart and wily to put his king in checkmate like that. Harper is bush league, Craig.

Working on my latest blog, and will pass along a link when it's done.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


"When the Tories come to remind voters, as they will, who tried to “steal” the election, who was “in bed with the separatists,” who would have let Jack Layton loose in the cabinet, they will make Iggy wear it just as surely as they would Rae or Dion."

My point is I don't think that line of attack will sway anyone but those Conservatives who would vote Conservative even if it was led by the disinterred corpse of Robert Stanfield.

But as you say, time will tell.

Craig: That was a typo, and an especially hilarious one at that.

9:52 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

my lord the way the righties go on about the coalition, you'd think the tories had a majority govt. But they didnt. So presumably, the 60 or 62 percent of canadians who voted for the other three parties (ok the greens got a few percent too) presumably wouldn't mind their boys being in the coalition.
Coup d'etat? Kristallnacht? gimme a break. if you wanna act like a majority govt you have to actually be a majority govt. the coalition have as much right to govern as the tories, more actually, as long as they have the votes to carry a majority. if you don't understand that, you don't understand parliamentary politics

As for the big bad separatists, they are duly elected MPs, irrespective of their politics, and simply savaging them as "separatists" is not going to play well in quebec (where I come from). And as ardent a federalist as I am, i agree with jean charest that there is a civilized discourse between federalists and sovereignists in quebec that all the shrieking about separatism from elsewhere doesn't really get.
So i wouldn't be surprised if the Liberals make gains in Quebec in the next election at the expense of the tories.

Granted, Harper is a clever man, but he's proven himself to be too shifty and untrustworthy. The Emerson affair (i live in that riding, woke up a week after the 2006 election to find out i'd voted Tory after all); the fixed election rule he brought in only to break it first thing just to take advantage of Dion's weakness; and using the economic crisis to try and cripple the other political parties by getting rid of public funding for political parties, no wonder he's lost the confidence of the house. he's also lost my confidence and presumably that of many other canadians. I do like his principled stand re: Israel and China, but that isn't enough to make up for the shifty operator he clearly is. If he keeps this sort of thing up, he'll end up being despised like Mulroney.

10:59 PM  
Blogger jaycurrie said...

Terry I am having way too much fun with this. What we are actually seeing here is a fight for the soul of the Liberal Party and for its very existence.

(And, before I go on, I rather like Iggy and could easily live with him as Prime Minister.)

For the longest time there has been a split in the Libs between the left, multicult, pc bunch and the right, business, not so pc bunch. the lefties tend to dislike Israel, want out of Afghanistan and are convinced that the NDP have some good ideas about the economy. The righties like Israel, understand the commitment to the 'Stan and think the CPC are lousy managers.

Both factions believe, notwithstanding the Liberals having been reduced to a few urban, vis-min enclaves, that the Liberal Party has a natural right to govern Canada.

In the background to this split are the "party pros", a diminishing band of people who believe that the Liberals should be in power which is not quite the same thing as governing.

Iggy is of the right wing of the Liberal Party and, in the last few weeks, has lined up the pros. Only the pros could have delivered the caucus and the Senate and the Party Executive gift wrapped as an early Christmas present.

But Iggy got his present at the cost of accepting the pragmatic fact that the Liberal Party is not in a position to challenge the CPC in an election.

Bob Rae, on the other hand, was never embraced by the pros and has decided to continue his hunt for the Coalition unicorn. He is to smart to believe the unicorn exists; rather, his quixotic hunt is designed to stir the romantic imagination of the Party.

He will lose.

We don't know what sort of campaigner Iggy will turn out to be. I suspect better than Dion but my black cat could meet that mark. What we do know is that the pros are not letting him out the gate until they have some money. And I have no doubt at all that Iggy has the capacity to raise money.

The question will come down to whether or not the leaden anchor of the coalition can be firmly tied to Iggy's ankles. Harper will try and with a great deal of justification. But Iggy has the chance to wriggle free.

The Toronto Party had the shit scared out of it when it saw the first round of polls. All of the people they knew (invoking Pauline Kaal) thought lining up with the NDP and giving the Bloc a veto was just spiffy.

The problem is that when you are confined to enclaves you have no idea what is going on in the rest of the country. Faced with that the Toronto Party freaked out and we are left with The Count.

Hugely entertaining, possibly the end of the Liberal Party.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

The coalition was never presented as an option during the election, in fact Dion went out of his way to deny the coalitions. If the Canadian electorate knew that a coalition may emerge after the vote, I know that some would have held their noses and voted Conservative rather than see this country governed by a three headed monster . Harper would have gotten a majority,(or maybe the Liberals, you never know ).
If the coalition had been granted the right to govern, then the condition would be an election in 6 months, rather then some secret deal with the Bloc to support them for at least a year.

3:26 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I'm mainly with Vildechaye's assessment.

Jay: I'd dispute the proposition that "Iggy is of the right wing of the Liberal Party," but only because I situate liberal internationalism on the left of the Liberal Party, and flakes, hippies, stoppists, obsessive Israel-haters and that crowd on the right.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Hi Terry: I take umbrage at having Craig's nonsense attributed to me. Kindly amend.

Thanks for the allusion to the Trailer Park Boys, though, which I used in my blog rant as follows:

Team Canada hits bottom of the standings
Black Press Blog - Posted by Kurt Langmann - Aldergrove Star - December 09, 2008 11:41AM

I'm fighting mad, as angry as Don Cherry can get about a game misconduct ruling on a bad suit day.

What's ticking me off is those clowns in Ottawa, you know who I mean. It's like watching an episode of the Trailer Park Boys, eh? And I'll let the fans decide which bad players on Parliament Hill remind them of Bubbles, Julian, Ricky and their arch-nemesis Mr. Leahy.

Team Coalition had a real meathead for captain but you can't fault them for getting the puck into the blue zone on the power play. But Team Conservative almost let in an own goal. These guys are supposed to make the first team, not make the first team laugh.

But while captain Harper sits on the penalty bench, stewing about the one-game suspension, instead of sending his goons out into the arena parking lot to maim and insult the other team, he might think about changing his game plan...

More here:

12:30 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

"Once appeared on a panel with Christ Hitchens!"

Oh, Terry you are simply too cute. I remember watching that panel where Ignatieff teamed up with Hitch supporting the Iraq invasion and faced Robert Scheer and Mark Danner arguing against. My own discomfort with Ignatieff, to put it mildly, has more to do with the substance of his presentation that night, and his support of war on Iraq than his choice of debating partners. Scheer and Danner were ultimatley correct not to buy the premises upon which was argued and alspo correctly predicted its outcome. Yes, Ignatieff recanted in an egotistical and wrng headed article for which he was blasted by Katha Pollitt and Salutin. I think that his tragic misjudgement regarding Iraq reveals a much greater flaw which Salutin referred to he tendecy to speak "power to truth." Liberal humanitarian invasion is built upon an incredible naive belief that existing superpoers can bve compelled to act as a vangouard for human rights, and in the case of Iraq ended up providing political cover to neo cons whose agendas had to be with regional hegemony and oil, cetainly not human rights

Iggy because he steas towards power and accepts the fundemnetal premises upon which empire rests ends up coming across as a fliup flopper form time to time. During the invasion of Lebanon he first utters the disgusting statement that he loses no sleep over the shelling of southern Lebonese cities, then rightly claims that ISraeli actions constitute war crimes (somehting echoed by human right watch) only then to back off it. Iggys weaknesses can be seen too in a debate he had againmst jonathan schell on the charlie rose show. On issues of human rigths I'll take people like Schell, Richard Falk and Tom Hayden over "humanitarian intervention" advocates like Iggy who endorsed the Iraq war any day.

My fear is that Iggy will further push the Libs towarsd the right in the direction folks like Manley would want. This may benifit the NDP, as it would make the claim that the LIbs are a home for progressive voters seem less credible. It should certianly be interesting

6:35 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"I'll take people like Schell, Richard Falk and Tom Hayden over "humanitarian intervention" advocates like Iggy who endorsed the Iraq war any day."

Be my guest. The Iraq war notwithstanding, there is still lots of elbow room in history's dustbin. You're welcome to it.

6:57 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

Richard Falk is the currently a UN commissioned rapporteur working who has just finished publishing a lengthy and much discussed report on human rights in the area. Like Falk, Schell has been working on the issue of human rights for decades, his own focus on nuclear disarmament is not only highly praised but also incredibly influential. Tom Hayden has been a persistant critic of US forrign policy, once a leading member of the new left, he went on to become a legislator and an author who has written about the criminal justice system, gangs, zapatista movement and irish American identiy. I may not agree with the positions that all three of these people have taken over the decades but to suggest that they've confined themselves to "history's dustbin" is to display and ignorance of immense proportions.

7:35 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

I meant to say that Richard Falk is currently a UN rapporteur working in Gaza. For some who our genial host assigns to history's dustbin, the guy seems to be alive and kicking

These kind of responses to debate are, as I said earlier, too cute

7:41 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Falk is a 911 conspiracy-theory enabler who has been an embarrassment to the UN ever since he got the job. Scheer has spent the last three decades telling aging hippies what they want to hear, and his most recent claim to fame was getting dumped by the LA times, causing Barbara Streisand to cancel her subscription. Tom Hayden is a demented loser who was once married to a famous moviestar.

Dustbin. History. In it.

8:40 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

"Scheer has spent the last three decades telling aging hippies what they want to hear, and his most recent claim to fame was getting dumped by the LA times, causing Barbara Streisand to cancel her subscription. Tom Hayden is a demented loser who was once married to a famous moviestar."

I think that I should probably let this atrocious nonsense stand on its own, but here's a very brief reply. Scheer's claim to fame is hardly that he was dumped by the LA Times, which, btw, is now an awfully reduced paper having dumped some great journalist, most recently Marc Cooper with whom I often disagree but who I respect as a writer. Scheer has gone on to found Truthdig which features some truly brilliant pieces of writing, including one of my favorite American journalist, Chirs Hedges. As for Hayden he is a "demented loser"? Huh? What are you 5 years old.

8:57 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

And if Scheer, Hayden and Falk whose work after all undoubtedly reaches larger audiences than Glavins are all marginal or in history's dust bin, than where exactly does Glavin belong? I think that he doesnt like their poltics, which is his right but than why engage in kindergarten level discourse. A case of journalistic envy perhaps?

9:04 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

As I said, Falk: 911. Scheer: hippie. Hayden: dementia.

Yesterday's men. They lost. It's over.

9:09 PM  
Blogger ahmed said...

And as I've said all of these folks "yerterdays men" as you say are much more prominent than yourself, which, let me suggest is perhaps the source of your irritation.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Keep telling yourself that, Ahmed.

Say. didn't I ban you from this place?

9:46 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Lorne Elliott can have the last word:

Allah Allah Ahmed is 40.

7:46 PM  

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