UPDATE: Cons back down: Fell them anyway

1:50pm

The conservatives should be fell and a coalition between the liberals and the NDP should be formed.  I will first suggest why and then suggest the political framing and sundry benefits of a coalition.

First-off, it would be ridiculous to assume that the Cons parlour tricks are going to end here.  It is going to be one Rovian blind side after another and will in fact jam the legislature so that nothing productive can get done.  Which serves the Cons just fine.  It serves the Cons just fine because they do not have any idea how they are going to govern during a downturn without further alienating their base and their ideology for that matter.

Second following that it is clear that the conservatives do not have a clue about what is at the root cause of the global downturn.  Why do the Cons think the IMF has been advising 2% of GDP fiscal stimulus packages all around?  The Cons do not know how to think in these terms.  More than any other party they are ideologically blinded with respect to fiscal stimulus.  In short the Cons do not do rational economic planning.  Even the phrase sends them into deep trauma.

That brings me to the political frame.  The liberals and the NDP should announce a unity coalition under the auspices of an emergency government to deal with the economic crisis.  If possible bring the Bloc in.  Fiscal stimulus means everyone can be bought off (i.e., their sacred projects funded).
The liberals do not have a leader.  That is even better.  No big heads to get in the way.  And the beauty for the liberals is that when they do elect their leader he or she can walk into the prime ministers office and run in the next election as the incumbent PM.  The quid pro quo for getting the PMO should be the NDP getting Finance.

——

4:17pm

Some days it is like I have direct hook-up to the collective progressive consciousness.

Macleans is reporting that the liberals are set to bring down the cons and start a coalition government.

Check the framing of the issue.

The Liberal motion, which has the approval of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, reads:

“In light of the government’s failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada’s economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy and to help workers and businesses in hard-pressed sectors such as manufacturing, the automotive industry and forestry, this House has lost confidence in this government and is of the opinion that a viable alternative government can be formed within the present House of Commons.”

A source says the opposition parties have agreed that Liberal Leader Stephane Dion would lead the government for the next few months.

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11 thoughts on “UPDATE: Cons back down: Fell them anyway

  1. Actually, Flaherty just declared in Toronto that the party funding cuts would still be attached to the upcoming vote.

    The Cons are clearly confused, angry, and in crisis; hence the contradictory statements coming out of the party.

    They set a trap and got themselves caught big-time.

    La Presse is reporting that the NDP is asking for Finance and Environment in a coalition cabinet.

    The Liberals have drafted a resolution expressing the need for a new government to be formed out of the existing Parliament.

    And the NDP seems to have accepted Dion as PM.

  2. What kind of decisions does the Finance minister do on a day to day basis? The big spending programs would be decided by the Prime Minister in consultation with the NDP, anyway. It is about managing the banks and financial institutions?

  3. Finance is the control center. From there you get a good idea what everyone else is doing. And information is almost everything in politics.

  4. The Conservatives cannot be this stupid. There has to be another motive. I figure that this is a great way to; a) bankrupt the Liberals and NDP and make smaller inroads – but more than the last – in Quebec if a non-confidence motion is passed and an election is called. The Conservatives won’t lose in this scenario. The vacuity of most Canadians under this scenario will prevail and they will mostly let their absolutely foolish anger get the better of them, thus exacerbating an already pathetic democratic system by not showing up like the last time and leaving the country in another similar minority stalemate scenario. Even if the Conservatives win a minority again they bankrupt the Liberals and NDP; or b) they hand over a train-wreck economy to a coalition govt that will most likely make political blunder after blunder . An economy in which Conservatives have handcuffed themselves to anything substantive because they squandered some of the biggest budgetary surpluses in this country’s history by giving ridiculous tax breaks to corporations . The game is thus rigged in terms of what a coalition takes on and then can handle. The neo-cons would then be in the enviable position of being flush with cash, in opposition and with the claim that the opposition parties stole power by creating a constitutional crisis. They can then sit back and pick-off ploys from what for all intents and purposes will be another set of incompetents attempting to manage an unmanageable economic crisis – in political terms that is. This IMHO is what may be plausibly being discussed by Conservative strategists.
    My two cents.

  5. I will make two arguments. 1) there is no constitutional crisis in our parliamentary system. The Cons and Con west media can blather on all they want about coups and juntas. But the first Canadian Con law expert or Political Scientist the media actually consults will tell them that it is all bullshit. And the Cons know this, the GG knows it and I suspect even con west media knows it to be true.

    2) I simply think Harper and his Rovian drones thought that the liberal and NDP would never form a coalition. Once the Liberals actually thought about it they realized a little power for the NDP would be just fine and giving them finance may be just a set up for: “it was the NDP that was responsible for the fiscal crisis.” That is, the second the NDP attempt to flex their muscle the libs will back out of the coalition and call an election with a new leader at the helm decrying the irresponsibility of the NDP with the publics money.

    So given these dynamics I don’t think much good (progressive) will come out of a coalition government outside of punishing the Cons and potentially giving the Libs a chance rejuvenation which is what will really punish the cons.

    IMHO it is a simple as Harper fucked-up. Hubris does that, look at the state of finance.

  6. Travis, I wish I could share that Harper just fucked up. I really do. But I personally think that this is great way for them to not to have to deal with governing and attempt to throw that responsibility on the opposition. Particularly, when the economy is in the shitter and they don’t have a clue as to how to deal with it. If there is Hubris it is coming from that arsehole Flaherty. He has had a good reputation for behaving like this in the past. But quite frankly, despite the fact that this group of conservatives are completely incompetent at governing (just talk to any of your friends working in Ottawa), they are slimy (and that is being charitable) at playing the chess game of politics and pulling the levers of their prostrate friends in the media. And yes I totally agree that there is no constitutional crisis. But this is the way that they will paint it and again their bed-buddies in the media will follow with. Just listen to that pathetic little temper tantrum speech he gave yesterday a supper time.

  7. Travis is right.

    Losing power would be catastrophic for the Conservatives; they are in the game to keep power, not lose it.

    Look at how the Cons have backpedaled already — on the vote on the economic statement, on the party financing cuts, and on the right to strike.

    Also consider the deluge of criticism coming out of Conservative ranks, in both the press and blogosphere. Harper will be done if the opposition wins.

    Listen to the vitriol coming out of Harper’s mouth on Friday night, when he accused the opposition of plotting a coup.

    Harper and Flaherty screwed up badly and know it.

    They are desperately trying to cling to power by denouncing the opposition as a traitorous junta; by retreating on all recent decisions; by waging a vile propaganda war; by slamming the Bloc; and by bumping up the budget to the end of January — all of which are major signs of crisis and damage control.

    The only question now is can the opposition keep momentum and their shit together — can they establish a new government on December 9?

    Or will the Cons do everything to defuse the situation and to pull the rug from under the opposition’s feet?

    The outcome will be determined by the propaganda war over the next few days and by the willingness of opposition parties to collaborate in a genuine manner.

  8. I do not think the Cons can diffuse the situation. The NDP and the Liberals know two things now. (1) Just how vicious and out of touch the Cons are (2) that a coalition is possible with the support of the grass roots.

    What made the cons go crazy is an open question. One of the theories I’ve been hearing form a well placed tory is that the con convention was brimming with discontent at how centrist Harper had been. And that this discontent was not limited to the convention floor. The speech from the thrown reads like “our mob wants blood lets give them lots of blood.” I think harper thought he could use the pending economic crisis as cover for giving the mob what they were demanding at the convention.

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