Liberals-NDP Coalition (Canada)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by it5five, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #1
    Anyone else keeping up with Canadian politics? It seems as though the Liberals and NDP are going to form a coalition government together and oust Harper. I only know what I've been reading on the CBC website, and I'd like to know what some of the Canadians here think about it all.

    I fully support their decision, seeing as though the coalition government would better represent the electorate. The Conservatives only had 38% of the vote, and the Liberals and NDP together had about 44%.

    Read up on the issue here, if you're not familiar with it:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/12/01/coalition-talks.html

    Canadians? Opinions?
     
  2. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #2
    Heh, I was going to post a thread, but I didn't think it would get enough interest.

    Not sure how to gather my thoughts on this, so forgive me if this is a little unstructured.

    I don't think Dion is a strong leader. I think he's weak enough that the corruption of the early 2000s in the Liberal party could very easily resurface, and we could be faced with a government rife with cronyism and scandal. I think the long-term viability of the Liberal party is dependent on getting rid of Dion, and that this move could very well lead to a Conservative majority.

    However, I'm not a big fan of Harper. His policies have been strangling Toronto, Ontario has become a have-not province under his watch (although, this started before he took office), and his environmental policies are non-existent. Harper's attempt to remove government funding based on votes from parties is in my opinion misplaced and dangerous. If we had some kind of mixed member representation then I would wholeheartedly agree with the motion, however under present circumstances it would only strengthen the inequality presented by our first-past-the-post system.

    I think this is a power grab by Dion and the Liberals. I think it dates back to the entitlement era towards the end of Chretien's leadership, and I don't think they're acting in the best interest of Canada. This parliament would give unprecedented power to the NDP and to the Bloc Quebecois, who are a separatist and provincial party. But, if it's better than Harper, does it in the end become justified?
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #3
    I don't know, but coming from an American perspective, it sounds like a dream come true. :)
     
  4. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

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    #4
    Although I strongly supported Dion during his leadership run, I have to admit that he was a huge disappointment. That being said, in the absence of a new Liberal leader, I can't think of a better candidate for the leadership of this new coalition. Jack Layton is simply not an option in my opinion.

    Now about the coalition itself, it's an early Christmas present for Canadians. I couldn't imagine a greater turn of events. I am literally giddy with joy at the prospect of seeing that a-moral criminal ousted from the prime minister's residence. Steven Harper isn't fit to hold such an illustrious position. He and his party is more of a threat to Canada then the Bloq could ever be.

    Thank you Dion and Layton for putting aside your differences and doing what's best for Canada and Canadians.

    Now, BRING ON THE GREEN SHIFT!!!!!!!
     
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #5
    I think, though we may be loathe to admit it, that a Coalition government is really in the best interests of our nation.

    Simply put: Stephen Harper is not fit to lead Canada. He is a fiercely partisan politician whose sole objective is to remain in power. He has not and will not act in the interests of our country, but rather in his own interests.

    Harper pushed through fixed-election-date legislation, then ignored it because he thought he had an opportunity to win a majority. The result was a slightly strengthened minority government, and a bill to taxpayers to the tune of $300 million.

    That's not acting in Canada's interest, that's acting in your own interest.

    Harper's proposal to revoke public funding for political parties would have disproportionately disadvantaged the other parties: there is no doubt in my mind that this was a completely partisan effort to weaken the opposition and secure his own power.

    And finally, the lack of any kind of realistic economic stimulus in the economic update is a concerning absence. Harper campaigned saying the fundamentals of our economy were strong and that there would be no deficits. He's since reversed on both those claims, but seems oddly willing with this recent update to allow our economy to continue to sink.

    I think Canadians will view the Coalition badly. I think they'll see it as a power-play, and I think unless the Liberals do a very good job managing it, I think it will hurt them come election time.

    However, I also think they have little choice in the matter. I think Harper was hoping that the confusion about the Liberal leader would make them unwilling to commit to a non-confidence vote, and thus allow him to push through his idiotic legislation.

    But, in the long run, I think Canada needs to get out from under Stephen Harper's leadership. I would like to see his government fall, and Harper be ousted as party leader. I think that would go very far in improving Canadian politics...
     
  6. SilvorX macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

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    #6
    I agree fully with you (minus the last paragraph.. the Green Shift was why the Liberals lost so many votes.. although the idea of the Green Shift was very thorough). I was planning on going to the convention in '06 and voting for Dion but I couldn't get the cash to do so, at the '06 Convention, Dion was overwhelming the best choice, I went from being a firm choice between Scott Brison and Ken Dryden to Dion just after an afternoon seeing him speak

    Dion was a really weak leader for the Liberals, but for policies, he knows what to do. Before the issue of the environment really took off, Dion was visioning ideas for Canada as Environment Minister.

    I support the coalition, a coalition IS democratic, look at a handful of European nations.

    I absolutely refuse to believe that Harper is Canada's PM, and many Canadians are realizing that Harper isn't the best chance in this time of economic uncertainty.

    What pisses me off is that Dion got bashed by provincial premiers over the idea of a carbon tax to "big business" however Saskatchewan's Premier, one of the most vocal in the election, just announced a.. you guessed it.. a carbon tax! Hypocrisy is so Canadian

    Also, a strong coalition between the 3 opposition parties (even if Bloc is essentially just supporting it) is in Canada's best favour in the meltdown of a Canadian economy, Canada needs a strong government that can keep the economy a float

    and lastly, what would you rather see, corporations starting to donate money to political parties again or the $1.95 or so per vote?

    I wasn't planning on renewing my Liberal membership for the fall, because I was disgraced with the Liberals, but now that there's a potential leadership race in May, I'm backing Dominic LeBlanc, for now atleast.
     
  7. Rivix macrumors 6502a

    Rivix

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    #7
    Wow. I thought this thread would be about bitching and complaining. I'm in Alberta and thats all I hear all day.

    I LOVE this idea. I hate the conservatives way of governing but they really shot themselves in the foot. I laugh every time I picture Stephen Harper's face.

    I hate it when people describe this as a coup or a grab for power. Everyone in the House of Commons was ELECTED to GOVERN.

    I can't wait to see what Rick Mercer has to say.

    My only concern is that this will increase Alberta separatist support. Although I can't see Alberta surviving on its own. Especially when we need less oil.
     
  8. SilvorX macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

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    #8
    At a Manitoban based discussion group I frequent, all it is is bitching and complaining against the Liberals/NDP.

    5 years ago, I believed my own riding was a very progressive riding, accepting to change, we were the only riding in Western Canada with a PC MP for a long time, mainly because the Reform was too nutjob for the local interests, but now.. the whole community has gone backwards, everyone's grouchy and I see "Harper is god" everywhere.

    What about this, who do you want to see in cabinet?
    PM: Dion (I'd rather see LeBlanc but that wont happen)
    Deputy PM: Layton
    Economy: McCallum or Goodale
    Foreign Affairs: Ignatieff
    Health: Bob Rae (or would that be too circa 1995?)
    Defense: not sure, I would say maybe Scott Brison
    Immigration: Libby Davies
    Justice: LeBlanc
    Agriculture: Ralph Goodale or Wayne Easter
    Token Quebec Minister: Thomas Mulclaire
    Token Francophone Minister: Coderre
    Environment: David Suzuki.. uh get some Dipper in there
    Fisheries: someone from Newfoundland
    Heritage: Ruby Dhalla
    Minister of Good Times: Ken Dryden
     
  9. it5five thread starter macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #9
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Bloc isn't getting any cabinet positions out of this, right? Their only role appears to be to vote against Harper when the vote of no confidence comes up.

    Also, the Bloc and the PQ both have been backing away from the sovereignty issue in recent years. I'm paying a lot of attention to the current Quebec provincial elections, and the PQ hasn't been talking about sovereignty at all. They know they don't have support on that issue and have to base their platform on legitimate issues, and I think the Bloc is in a very similar position. That said, the Bloc will never have enough power to push the sovereignty issue anyway. If they ally with the liberals based on their economic and social policies, all the better for Canada.

    I think they are acting in the best interest of Canada, seeing as though the current leadership doesn't have the support of about ~66% of Canadians. The Liberal-NDP coalition will much better represent Canadians, according to election results.
     
  10. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #10
    The Bloc would hold the balance of power in parliament. The coalition would still be a minority government, and it would be the Bloc that would ultimately determine any no-confidence vote.
    I don't believe they are acting in the best interests of Canada so much as the interests of the Liberal and NDP parties are currently in line with the interests of Canada. In the last election the Liberals were roundly trounced; Canadians don't want Stéphane Dion as Prime Minister or the Liberals as the governing party. Game theory also says that you can't simply add the popular support of the two parties together and attribute it any relevance.

    Don't get me wrong, I think an NDP/Liberal coalition would be an improvement over the Conservatives. But I don't think that the Coalition is acting out of a sense of altruism, and I don't think this is a move that's going to be popular among Canadians. I am especially concerned that it will hurt the image and the credibility of the Liberal party in the long run, and that they are trading short-term gain for long-term loss. This move could end with a Conservative majority, maybe even with somebody far worse than Stephan Harper at the helm. What I was hoping to see was a change in Liberal leadership and an eventual return to a majority position, and I think that's in jeopardy now.
     
  11. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #11
    I more or less agree with this, except for one thing: I do not think the Liberals would be pursuing this course unless they thought they had no other choice. The party is at its lowest point in history, in debt, and essentially leaderless. This is not a good time for them to engage in a controversial political maneuver (and I agree that in the long run it could backfire).

    But I think Harper has backed the opposition so far into a corner that the Liberals have no choice but to hit back. Harper was hoping that the Liberals would be unwilling to put themselves on the line. That's why I see some glimmer of altruism in this: because a Liberal party that was only in this for itself would wait until the leadership race was decided before it acted. This is a terrible move for the Liberals - unless they have no other option.

    I do agree that this could wind up leading to a Conservative majority, which is a scary thought. On the other hand, that might be a fair price to pay to remove Harper from office. Stephen Harper is a pariah, and his slash-and-burn partisan politics are poisoning our democracy. I think that without Harper in the top spot, the Conservative party is far less dangerous to our country. There are many voters that supported the old Reform party or the Progressive Conservatives, but who do not support Harper's style of Conservatism.
     
  12. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #12
    Aside from motivation, I think we more or less agree. I'm not willing to give Dion or the remnants of the Chretien liberals the benefit of the doubt, and more importantly, neither are most Canadians. After the last election I took the long view; it was my hope that the Liberal party would clean house and replace Dion with an electable leader, leading to an eventual return to Liberal governance. I actually kind of hoped that this would happen after the fall of Paul Martin, but no such luck.

    Harper's new policies would be absolutely ruinous to Canadian democracy, and I'm glad that the opposition parties are willing to fight him on it. But, it looks like a power grab, it smells like a power grab, and even if it isn't a power grab it will be perceived as one. The opposition has done an absolutely abysmal job of highlighting the dangers of what the Harper administration is attempting, and that's going to hurt them a lot. This is an issue where they could have humbled and humiliated Harper's haughty high and mightiness (quintuple word score!) and then tipped back some champagne in victory. They could have painted him into a corner and it would have been highly ideal ammunition for the next election. Instead we have a massive recipe for disaster and infighting (propped by the BQ, Liberal leadership hopefuls trying to position themselves) during an extremely tumultuous time.

    And if we manage to dispose of Harper, who in the Conservative party will replace him? Flaherty would be a disaster if he were elected. Baird? This could be extremely dangerous as any potential candidate could float in on a wave of sympathy.

    So my feelings are decidedly mixed, and I'm disappointed that this prime opportunity wasn't seized in the most optimal way.
     
  13. Rivix macrumors 6502a

    Rivix

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    #13
    Its sad how few Canadians actually know what's going on. They just assume its a grab for power and don't even know why. They forget the conservatives started this by antagonizing the other parties.

    And i'm upset the conservatives taped the NDP phone lines.

    Its a loose-loose situation. Bad conservative economic policy or an unstable government that most canadians don't want.
     
  14. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #14
    Interesting how most of the Canadians have incorporated an "x" into their username.
     
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #15
    What's that, Iscariot? I can't hear you until you append an X onto your username... :D

    They're really between a rock and a hard place in trying to defend their move. Harper's politics may be ruinous and parasitic, but you have to admire the man's cunning and savvy (even if he uses for pure evil!).

    For the opposition to justify their move, they would have to convince Canadians that removing that public party funding would effectively cripple the opposition. But that would mean admitting that the big issue with the economic update was the party funding, and not the economy. You see the trouble.

    I severely dislike Harper and his politics. I dislike even more just how good he can be at it! He's in a rare weak position, which is one big reason I support finishing him off. He needs to go!

    In a perfect world, Parliament would be able to function with a Conservative PM and government and a unified opposition. But imo Mr. Harper has shown he is unwilling to accept that arrangement.

    Perhaps, if Harper were to resign and a more moderate Conservative take his place, this crisis could be averted...
     
  16. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #16
    Thank you for redirecting me here, oh Wise One.

    Exactly why I failed to do a search before starting mine (now closed). ;)
     
  17. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #17
    Completely agree, but sadly the Harper machine is apparently gearing up to tell us Canadians that the coalition is not democratic, and we did not vote for Dion, etc. What they won't say it that it was Canadians that voted to keep Harper in check with a minority government and it was essentially Harper's bullying/daring(?) of the majority of seats in the house that triggered this.

    ... while I don't really like the Harper conservative government this situation is not going to serve Canada well. It's another divider for the country and causing a lot of uncertainty.
     
  18. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #18
    I think they could have done it, if they approached it right. Taking away the $1.95/vote would just strengthen the first-past-the-post system and diminish the value of an individual vote. If you, say, vote Conservative in Toronto Central or Liberal in Oshawa, your vote still supports your party. Without that $1.95, it would be pointless to vote in those ridings.

    If Dion had done the right thing and stepped down right away, the Liberals new leader could have ridden out on a horse, brandishing his sword, and cut a huge swath through Harper. Positioned Harper as undemocratic and power-hungry, and themselves as champions of democracy.
    As I was asking earlier, who? Harper actually is (unfortunately) kind of moderate.
     
  19. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #19
    But it's still a terribly difficult line to toe. One would need to appear to support the public financing without coming across as just being selfish. Reasonable people would certainly get the message, but with the Conservative propaganda machine in full swing, I think a lot of people would miss it. It's also very difficult to make an argument that you're defending democracy while doing something many Canadians would call "undemocratic".

    It's a very difficult stance to take. I will agree wholeheartedly that a different Liberal leader would have been much better suited to it, though. I admire and respect Dion, but I do not think he is cut out for leadership. I'm aware that he has a hearing impairment, and that negatively effects his grasp of English, but his inability to communicate well in English is a huge liability. It's unfortunate, because he strikes me as an excellent politician, but it's a fact of lie. :/

    Using the economy as justification might be less truthful (both since I think the public funding is the main issue, and because there is something to be said for the Cons "wait and see" approach to the economy), but it's a much easier argument to make. Canadians are worried about their jobs, especially during the Holidays. It's much easier to argue that you're doing this in their interest rather than in the interests of "democracy".

    I don't think making this argument on the basis of "democracy" would fly in this economic environment. Again, sad, but a fact of life.

    I have no idea, either. :( But I would hardly call Harper a moderate. He might not be a staunch policy conservative, but he's certainly extremely right-wing in his tactics. He needs to go...

    Unfortunately, he's done such a good job of neutering his party I'm not sure there's anyone there who is really qualified to take over.

    If this Coalition goes forward, I'd love to see them reach across the aisle to the Cons and select a few cabinet ministers from their ranks. A truly bipartisan Coalition would be a helluva thing. But under Harper's leadership, I don't that can or will happen...
     
  20. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #20
    No doubt.
    In '05, the party was considering Flaherty if the Conservatives were defeated, so he'd be up there. "Moderate" is a relative term, and relative to, say, Flaherty, Harper is.
    I agree that it'd be nice, and I agree that it'd be unlikely. But we can hope!
     
  21. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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  22. adroit macrumors 6502

    adroit

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  23. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #23
    Yep, a sad day indeed when the sitting PM "ownes" the GG.

    The Queen should invite her for an audience, to explain the legal rationale for her action.
     
  24. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #24
    I'm not expert on Canadian (or Her Majesty's) Parliamentary procedure; how long does the suspension last?

    Surely it can't last too long. And once it does, can't we basically say that the Conservatives will pay heavily for Harper's move?
     
  25. it5five thread starter macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #25
    Yep. Just more proof Harper is a tyrant. Hopefully the opposition parties take advantage of this ~month long "break" and do everything they can to get everyone who voted for them backing up the coalition.
     

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