Politics - Federal

Shocking! Cornered Conservatives Court 'Socialists and Separatists'

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 30, 2009

CTV reports on a Conservative Party strategy to block the Liberal resurgence by ... wait for it ... cooperating with the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois to avoid a non-confidence vote and an election that they will probably lose.

In exchange for continued support, the Bloc seeks tax harmonization with the federal government and improvements to Employment Insurance. The NDP also wants changes to EI, plus more pension protection and stricter rules for credit card companies.

Of course, this is precisely the way Parliament is supposed to work: the governing party is supposed to introduce legislation that has the support of a majority of MPs in the House of Commons so that it can retain the confidence of the House.

But damn, the optics sure don't look good for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who excoriated the Liberal Party in December and provoked a Constitutional crisis for doing the same thing.

At the time, Harper managed to avoid the defeat of his government in a non-confidence vote by successfully petitioning the Governer General to prorogue Parliament and avoid facing the elected House of Commons until announcing the 2009 Federal budget in January.

By that time, the Liberal Party had replaced lame duck leader Stéphane Dion with Michael Ignatieff, who decided that the Liberal Party's agenda could better be served by withdrawing from a coalition with the NDP (and supported by the Bloc) and biding his time until public sentiment shifted away from the Conservatives.

Public polling data since January has shown a steady slide in public support for the Conservatives as voters have shifted back to the Liberals.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 10:18:08

Personally, I'm sick of all this political posturing! Completely sick of "cooperation" whether it's liberal or conservative.

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By Get Along Already! (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 10:43:48

^ I'm confused Frank. In a minority government, without cooperation you can't get ANYTHING done. What gets in my craw is not that the Cons want to cooperate with the Bloc and the Dippers but that they screamed bloody murder when the Libs threatened to do it.

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By Bye Bye Jack (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 10:54:57

If Happy Jack goes along with this he signs his political death warrant. NDPers will crucify him for making a Deal with the right wing Devil that killed the Coalition.

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By cms (anonymous) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 11:57:27

Jack already did a deal with Harper that killed Martin's government, taking away national daycare and the Kelowna accord with it. Will he make the same mistake twice?

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By Frank (registered) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 12:55:38

Get along already, notice the "" around cooperation! The kind of cooperation I'm sick of is "if they don't do what we want, we'll band together and force our will anyway". It's political posturing at it's best. Party interests ahead of public.

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By LL (registered) - website | Posted April 30, 2009 at 17:47:31

Whatever. I don't see the return of Liberal mandarins as any better. They've not been substantially better than the Conservatives on core federal issues that I care about: funding cities and sustainable tech, ending the war in Afghanistan, civil liberties etc. Locally, I object to the obnoxious power of the Liberal party machine.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted April 30, 2009 at 23:46:41

I agree with Frank, it is party politics and it has very little to do with the people.

It is all about them, the people have to want change and with the way things are going, you never know, it could be around the corner.

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By Margaret (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2009 at 20:10:55

This is really rather disgusting. Especially on Jack Layton's part - to allow himself to be courted by Harper. The Bloc too - because their support for the Tories is self-serving, if they go along with it. Of course, it's related to the fact that the Liberals are ahead of the Tories in Quebec.

Hopefully the Bloc supporters in Quebec will see what Duceppe is doing, if he does do it -- and punish the Bloc at the polls. This is the point at which I see we do not need a party in Parliament that is not accountable to the rest of Canada.

As for Layton - he's going to be a walking ghoul if he does this. His days will be numbered; Canada will never forget that he was willing to go that far and ignore his principles, just to get back at Ignatieff.

The lot of them are revolting. Harper, Layton and Duceppe. How in the name of God did Layton think they were going to pull off a coalition in the first place? There IS NEVER GOING TO BE AN NDP Prime Minister and there will NEVER BE a Bloc Prime Minister. Not going to happen.

Take a poll in Canada, and find out how many Canadians would like to get rid of the NDP, and get the Bloc out of Parliament and see how that one goes.

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