Thursday, April 16, 2015

Justin Trudeau and the Great Canadian Coalition

Ever since Stephen Harper came to power and Canada's long nightmare began, I have tried to remain strictly non-partisan and support all three progressive parties.

I have encouraged them to fight the tyrant as hard as they can, I have focused on the strengths of their leaders rather than their weaknesses.

Because all I seek is the total destruction of the Con regime. At this point in our history, for me, that's all that matters.

And in that regard, I'm afraid I have to say that I believe that Justin Trudeau has just made a bad mistake.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says he doesn’t see any possibility of a coalition with the NDP, a day after he said he would “maybe” be more open to the idea if Tom Mulcair wasn’t running the party.

Not just because it's not his job to tell the NDP who their leader should be, and Tom Mulcair is both a good politician, and a good Canadian.

But also because this isn't too smart.

“There’s too many big issues on which the NDP and Liberal party have deep disagreements when it comes to economic growth, when it comes to trade, when it comes to the Constitution and how easy it should be to break up this country,” he said. “I do not see any possibility of coalition with the NDP regardless of who the leader might be.”

For the very simple reason that if Harper should win a minority, Justin will have to form a coalition with the NDP if we are to topple the tyrant...

If Justin wins a minority government he will have to depend on the NDP to remain in power.

At this stage, either scenario looks possible.

For the first time since Justin Trudeau took over the party two years ago, the Liberals have lost the lead in national voting intentions. While that has placed the Conservatives in top spot, it is the New Democrats who have benefited from the Liberals' slip.

And while Trudeau and his advisers may think that they have inoculated themselves against Stephen Harper's attempt to use the idea of a coalition against them...

It can only make many Canadians wonder whether he might form a coalition with the Cons, as John Ibbotson gleefully suggests here. 

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that he was “unequivocally opposed to any sort of coalition” with the NDP. That makes perfect sense. It would be far more logical for the Liberals to make common cause with the Conservatives.

And that will hurt him in places like Quebec, where people strongly support the idea of a coalition, and just want Stephen Harper defeated by whatever means necessary.

But what disappoints me the most is that Justin, who has many admirable qualities, looks like he is running away from the idea of a coalition...

Making it look like it's something shameful or illegitimate. Which only allows Stephen Harper to continue to demonize it. Or invent rules to govern it as Ibbotson does here.

The actual outcome of a hung parliament, if there is one, will be governed by the First Law of Coalitions, which states that coalitions are legitimate if they are legitimate and illegitimate if they are illegitimate. 

 If, on election day, either the Liberals or the NDP are several points behind the Conservatives in the popular vote and well short of them in the seat count, a coalition will be impossible, however much constitutional theorists might huff and puff.

When in fact there are no such rules or laws, all that counts are the total number of seats. And a coalition is an entirely legitimate part of a parliamentary democracy.

One has governed Britain for years and will almost certainly govern Britain again after next month's election, no matter what the politicians are saying now. 

And in a country like Canada where the opposition is divided, a coalition may be the ONLY way we can topple the Cons.

So to deny ourselves that tool would be tantamount to self mutilation or madness.

Especially since I can't think  of a more Canadian way of governing, than one that forces parties to negotiate and compromise. When our genius for compromise was what created this country.

And this Great Canadian Coalition looks REALLY good to me...

With Justin Trudeau providing the generational change, Tom Mulcair providing the experience, and Elizabeth May providing the common sense, and keeping the guys in line.

And this couldn't be more true...

So let's please stop fighting ourselves, let's focus instead on the values we have in common, the slogans we can share, like this one.

In lovely green, orange, and red.

Or this one...

Like the one I'm wearing.

Let's turn the next election into a giant Stop Harper or Save Canada movement.

And bring down the tyrant together...

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  1. Anonymous6:24 AM

    That narcissistic little ass, trudy, just handed heil-harper another win if he actually persists with this new idiotic line of self-aggrandizing bullshit. I guess, though, it's only natural for him to sidle up to the cons. libs are only con-lite anyway. Veerrryyy little progressive about them, Simon. See: "Ontario government for" edification on that point. Just because you think he's yummy, Simon, NEVER meant he would be any good as a P.M. He's just another pretty-boy career politician out to fuck Canada some more along with his pals mcGuilty and wynne.

  2. The only thing Trudeau provides is embarrassment, the NDP already has young MPs in positions of influence such as Charmane Borg as Digital Critic. That's the real generational change.

    That doesn't mean I don't support the idea of a coalition, I do, but I seemly recognize Trudeau for being a complete and utter tool.

    As for Elizabeth May, she still has to account for how she can call her party the Green Party and support dumping raw sewage into the Pasific.

    An NDP Majority is the goal so we don't have to deal with these clown until after 2019, but a Coalition is preferable to another Harper Government.

  3. Who are you going to trust now? We are in Deep S......t !

  4. hi anon...where do I say I think Justin is "yummy"? You anti-gay bigotry betrays you. Kathleen Wynne's government has a pretty good record so far. And when you bring up McGuinty I wonder why you didn't say McFlinty or call the Liberals the Liberals. Time to do your homework Con, or I'll tell the PMO to cut your troll allowance. As humble as I may be, I exist at a higher moral level than you do, and I will not lower myself into your gutter. I want us to be noble, which is something Cons like you could never understand. Now go take a hike and work on improving YOURSELF...

    1. Anonymous9:10 AM

      This from the guy who's entire online existence seems to consist of calumny, character asassination, hyperpartisanship and vindictivness? With poor erudition and precarious evidence?

      How many hours do you spend photoshopping pig noses onto the faces of prominent Conservatives again? Making defamatory "cartoons"?

      And I though feminists were bad with projection, I see I was deeply mistaken.

    2. A pretty good record? How so? They are privatizing Hydro One to pad the deficit. It's the same as burning furniture to heat the house (after blowing your paycheck on coke and hookers -- i.e. $15B/yr or so on tax cuts for the rich and corporations [read: the rich].)

      Not only is this privatization scheme (what the 5th one the Liberals have failed at so far?) bad fiscal policy, it will burden rate payers with much higher electricity bills. Putting a monopoly in private hands means no competition; means they can charge what they want. So that's burning the furniture, borrowing money to pay to the rich and borrowing from future ratepayers to pay money to the rich.

      And the first sale of $500M is only a fraction they burned to close the Mississauga gas plants they commissioned to try and buy a majority in 2011.

      Hope Trudeau Jr. rides his daddy's coattails to a well-earned majority on 39% of the vote. Then he can bring in all the neo-con policies big businesses want while cognitive dissonant Liberals cheer him on. (That's my monthly allotted rant on politics. Think I need to reduce my ration to: f*ck that.)

  5. Anonymous8:03 AM

    In 12 months, you'll still be blogging about how much Stephen Harper is an evul bully, and Canada is becoming this dark land of evil vileness and oppression.

    Your hyper-partisanship has completely blinded you to the facts on the ground. I get that you have a visceral dislike of Stephen Harper, but you don't control it; it controls you. The Conservatives have a truly excellent ground game, meaning the ability to organize, mobilize, raise funds, market to Canadians, and leverage support which is far in excess of what the Liberals can offer.

    When Trudeau was first crowned, I said then that he was the wrong choice for the party, because the party was still looking for a messiah to deliver them, rather than rebuild the party from the ground up. Their poll numbers show, that even with an ultra-friendly media environment, Trudeau has not been consistently able to score numbers in the 45% range, which would give him a very comfortable, very sizable majority in aggregate. As such, the Liberals are reduced to trying to run an offense, to use an extended football metaphor with wide receivers, and quarterbacks, but no offensive line whatsoever. The Conservatives have had a few lucky breaks, yes, but provided that you have a ground game and a decent base, that's all you really need.

    You want to win this on ideology, but it's just not going to work. At the end of the day, Mr. and Mrs. Joey Canuck are going to confront the reality that Kathleen Wynne has just increased their cost of living through a cap and trade scheme and Stephen Harper is handing out "free" money.

    Unfortunately for Mulcair, Trudeau has stolen whatever luster and excitement the NDP could generate. And given the media environment, this is going to be setup as a showdown between the Liberals, and the Conservatives. And in that regard, Harper has got the money working for him.

    Money isn't the only thing that wins elections, of course. And doubtless the left will continue to agonize and grit its teeth about how "the Conservatives" stole the election, when in reality it was two guys who broke the law, and should justifiably be punished. Nevermind that their actions almost certainly had no impact on the outcome, and that none of this seems to have actually done damage to the Prime Minister, we're assured by our intellectual betters on the left that it has hurt him! Definitely! You would think that'd manifest in the polls, but not so much eh?

    I do think that the Liberals could have won this election. Unfortunately however, they don't seem to be terribly interested in substance, rather, they just want to accuse the Conservatives of proliferating firearms throughout the country. And sadly, doing things of this nature tends to hurt their credibility far more than it actually hurts the Conservatives at the ballot box.

    So get comfortable! Because next year, Stephen Harper will still be residing at 24 Sussex Drive.

    1. hi anon...I'm hardly alone in describing Stephen Harper as the worst and most morally depraved Prime Minister this country has ever known. The fact that you admire a man like that tells me that you are the one with the problem. I recognize that the Cons have a formidable organization, so does the Mafia. But polls show that the Duffy trial is starting to dent his polls, the economy thanks to him is a mess, and if progressives were united Harper would merely be the leader of a marginal party. We are much more than you, and in the end we will defeat you...

    2. hi anon 9:10...So you hate feminists too? Great. Case closed. But since you ask, it only takes me about five seconds to put a pig's nose on a Con. By the time I'm finished (the day the Harperite cult is defeated, I'll have put a pig's nose (and ears) on all of them... ;)

      P.S. Did I ruin your day? Oh goody. What more could I ask for?

    3. Anonymous9:17 PM

      Actually, you're consistent about making my day; I have this notion that the left is absolutely delusional. Every time I think that a leftist might be making a well-reasoned rational argument, I have only to stop by this echo-chamber, and that entire notion evaporates.

      I'm hardly alone in describing Stephen Harper as the worst and most morally depraved Prime Minister this country has ever known.

      You don't even bother doing your own research. You just parrot whatever the leftist Ottawa press-pack is writing this week. When the next poll drops and shows that the Duffy trial is largely being ignored by Canadians what will you say then? You never admit you're wrong so... I'm sure the Duffy Trial will hurt... Next week? In a month?

      The fact that you admire a man like that tells me that you are the one with the problem.

      What? I don't admire Stephen Harper. I tolerate him at best because he's the best option I have at the moment. When I have to vote for "least crappy" that's not supposed to be a ringing endorsement. It isn't to my mind, but it's not like the progressive mind seems to be able to understand crappy choices very much...

      What I am doing with regard to Harper is trying to be sober and rational. What I'm doing, is a clear-headed evaluation, based on the evidence of the likely outcome of the 2015 General Election. I trust Mr. Grenier's projection in this matter. Don't like Mr. Grenier's prediction, fine, take it up with him, I buy it.

      Now, if I could foresee the kind of promises and anti-incumbency groundswell of support needed to unseat Mr. Harper, I would say that. I don't see it. Except Warren Kinsella, sometimes, the Progressive Bloggers are little more than an echo-chamber, without the slightest hint of a rational evaluation of the facts. Is there something in the water or something that makes people this delusional? Harper has all the initiative, because the Liberals keep looking for a messiah, and the NDP is entirely too beholden to the unions to actually put together cogent arguments. You leftists actually make it way too easy for him!

      So you hate feminists too? Great. Case closed.

      For the most part, yeah. People who perpetuate a genocide are loathsome to me.

      We are much more than you, and in the end we will defeat you..

      Perhaps you are more numerous than I, that's probably correct. However, the idea that you will defeat me is nonsense.. In fact, the more of you there are, the faster you will defeat yourselves. The dirty little secret of the "progressive movement" is that it's ultimately unsustainable and self-destructive. How can you defeat me, when ultimately you're going to engineer your own defeat?

      I'm ready though, for the inevitable. I think you probably aren't. And seeing you crash and burn is going to be tremendously entertaining.

    4. When you say blatantly stupid things like "the leftish Ottawa press-pack", you just forfeit any right to accuse others of having a problem with "rational evaluation of the facts". It's one of those sayings in Conservative fundraising emails. I know they must reprogram peoples' brains at Conservative HQ, and arrogance is deep in your bones, but you realize "the leftish Ottawa press-pack", with the exception of the Toronto Star, all endorsed the Conservatives in the last election, right?

      As to your evaluation of Warren Kinsella as a voice of reason, the last 2 times he was seen putting his political talents to work, he was repeatedly forecasting the demise of the Ontario Liberals at the hands of Tim Hudak (both before and throughout the campaign), and piloting Olivia Chow's Toronto campaign right into the dirt with his shrewd tactical assault as part of the campaign team by accusing John Tory about him having segregationist tendencies. Warren Kinsella likes to think of himself as a shrewd political operator, but Warren Kinsella is now reduced to juggling lemons for crackerjack political operations like the Alberta Liberals, who can't even nominate a full slate of candidates for an election.

      What you should maybe realize is that Conservative fear-mongering rhetoric about coalition horrors is not going to have the resonance that it did when the Bloc was a factor and when a party to whatever governing arrangement shakes out is not going to involve a Layton-led NDP party who essentially campaigned without a costed campaign platform because the prospect of their being anything but a minor player was not foreseeable to anyone when the campaign began. The NDP under the leadership of someone with credible governing credentials like Mulcair is not going to be campaigning like that.

    5. Anonymous8:05 AM

      you realize "the leftish Ottawa press-pack", with the exception of the Toronto Star, all endorsed the Conservatives in the last election, right?

      A singular endorsement doth a whole pattern of behavior unmake? Sure...

      As to your evaluation of Warren Kinsella as a voice of reason, the last 2 times he was seen putting his political talents to work,

      Warren is *trying,* even if he ends up being wrong. He's the only voice on the Progressive Bloggers willing to consider and really think about the possibility that Harper might actually... win. And since the polls actually reflect that, I'm gonna have go "Hmm... Maybe, just maybe, this one isn't insane." No other Progressive Blogger that I have seen has been willing to do the same, rather, they dismiss the possibility out of hand. Harper's only real opposition is slowly, but inexorably dropping into 2nd place, probably because, he keeps saying stupid things, and he can't seem to figure out that ISIS are unambiguously the bad guys. What? Those are the facts. And when a blogger makes it a point to try to get to those facts, and extrapolate from those facts, rather than the conjecture and lunacy which tends to be de jure in the Progressive Bloggers, I'm willing to ignore tactical political blunders.

      What you should maybe realize is that Layton's base of support was *mostly* out of Quebec, since Quebeckers don't much care for Harper, had grown tired of the Bloc, and weren't persuaded by Ignatieff. Layton's success was the success of being the default choice, because all the other guys were terrible. Unfortunately for Quebec, most of the rest of Canada have grown to view the NDP's brand of socialism with some degree of skepticism.

      Maybe you should realize that the polls have Mulcair solidly in third place. And instead of being up against a predominantly anglophone Ignatieff, he's got to take on the francophone, Trudeau. You maybe could be more Quebecois if your name was Belanger. Maybe. But I'm not sure about that. For all my criticism of Trudeau, I'd be willing to bet that he will get very good numbers in Quebec. With a base of seats in Quebec, he's going to have to fight in his own backyard, moreso than in the RoC.

      Granted, it's not impossible that Mulcair will blow Trudeau out of the water, in truth, I'd love to see that! But it doesn't look that way now. And try as I might, Trudeau will not go down without putting up a fight.

    6. Anonymous10:08 AM

      @Anon 8.05 am Just a brief comment:

      To add to what Brian 11.28 pm had already mentioned about Kinsella supporting Hudak and Oliver Chow, both of whom lost, recall that he had also supported Iggy (before he apparently had a falling out with him and his camp), and Pupatello when she fought Wynne for the OLP leadership.

      I will add one more thing about the Ontario election. Kinsella was so sure that Hudak was going to win because he apparently had based his prediction on the Ipsos Reid polling which he had suggested was the only polling outfit that knew what it was doing (or something along those lines). Kinsella apparently ignored both the EKOS and Forum polling which had shown that the Liberals were leading, consistently in the case of the EKOS polls. We all know how that went, eh?

      As we also know, this is a tough world, especially in politics. Thus when someone unfortunately has a record of supporting a string of losing "horses", people tend to ignore or at least pay less attention to what they say, no?

      Glad you still have confidence in what he thinks ....he probably appreciates your confidence. I suspect though you might be in a small minority there, buddy. :)

  6. Anonymous8:48 AM

    Everyone always speaks as though Trudeau is the only one who counts in the party. I am always aware of the experienced and ethical people in the liberal bench especially those women. And Ralph and the little guy from PEI and others. They are not Harper lite. I can't see them teaming up with harper in a million years.

  7. Give him enough rope..guess the old cliche is true..
    The real reason Trudeau now states that he would only form a coalition if Mulcair was history? every respect. Mulcair can sing and dance around Junior and Emperor Steve with aplomb, and he doesn't kowtow to every idea that Harperoids throw out there..but smoothly rebuts every Con idiot that has the temerity to squawk their nonsense in Parliament..a pretty boy is a pretty boy, but that don't mean he's a politician...unlike his father, Justin cannot get down and dirty with facts and figures, except maybe in the ring with Brazeau..amusing, yes, and a great little distraction but not what Canada needs...
    I too am afraid that if it came down to it, the Libs would get in bed with the Cons..and that is why all this talk of coalition goes nowhere...

  8. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Disavowing a possible coalition with the NDP is Junior's second major mistake. The first was supporting Bill C-51. He had tried to mitigate that by suggesting that the Libs would have opposed it if it had not been an election year. Even if one had been inclined to give Junior the benefit of the doubt on that, this latest claim suggesting there are too many ideological or policy differences with the NDP clearly implies that the Libs actually support C-51 but with a minimum of oversight. Seems only the NDP and Greens are genuinely fighting C-51.

    Thus it is becoming clear that, unfortunately, those who had said that Junior is Harper Lite could be on to something there. How bad could it be when an apparent Cons shill like Ibbitson is pointing out the obvious, that a coalition between the Cons and Libs might make more sense? Recall that Andrew Coyne also had said the same thing many years ago.

    Perhaps the easiest way to look at this is the following. The Libs now represent the Progressive Cons and is no longer the party of PET. Perhaps those of us who had been fervently hoping for a coalition among the Libs, NDP and Greens, as you articulated above, should wake up and realize that a vote for the Libs is a possible vote for a Cons-Libs coalition.

    This does change my hope that Junior would make a good PM. I would have voted Libs to rid us of this government. I am disappointed, but I am hoping that this means the progressive Libs and soft NDP votes will go to the NDP to stop us from a Harper Lite government or, worse, a Cons-Libs coalition.

  9. Does Trudeau Jr still want to send in the troops should Québec opt for independence? (which really doesn't seem on the agenda now). It is really odd to use this to attack Mulcair, who has always been a strong federalist. It also means he'd never have agreed on a coalition or other arrangement with the Bloc, when they were an actual force and not a laughing stock, and when they had MANY progressive positions on everything from the right to die to better access to unemployment benefits to improving the living conditions of First Nations people on reserves.

    It is silly, as it would be highly unlikely to achieve a non-con government that doesn't involve some kind of coalition or alliance.

    Simon, another subject, but I'm very happy about the ruling against prayers in council or legislative meetings. People have every right to pray (at any time, to themselves) or in church, synagogue, mosque, temple or any other gathering place, but legislators and council members (and the public attending) of all religions or none should be equal in public governing bodies.

    And yes, homophobic swipes against you AND Wynne are a bit over the top, even for bigots.

  10. The Tory Lib coalition was already a thing under the Minority years, so lets be honest, the Liberals will back Harper in Minority which why we need an NDP Majority its the only way to stop him.

  11. I don't think Anon is a Tory, Anon seems horrified by the Tories.

  12. Or maybe there are multiple Anons now so I'm confused :-)

  13. I've got a fairly busy day today so this will be unusually short for me. I agree Trudeau is making a mistake in this if he is serious about it AFTER the election results (I say that because it is typical of parties to always argue they are out for majority status and the coalition argument has time and again been used to try and weaken them by opponents and the CPC in particular will do so), and in this particular cycle I am also inclined to think it is a mistake as well to say so even before the election. HOWEVER Simon, I just read every comment in this thread first and the only person who is not being extremely insulting, disrespectful, contemptuous, and derogatory towards Trudeau as a person and leader was you yourself. Part of the issue I have with most Dippers is how they do this while claiming it is only the Lib side doing so, or that only the Lib side is responsible for the bad blood between the parties.

    I would suggest to you and especially your commentators that this is evidence of just how far apart in culture these days the two parties are, because for me, someone who is a partisan of no-one this sort of treatment of Trudeau looks a LOT like what I see from Harper partisans in both one and content. One can be opposed to what someone says and does politically without having to be as incredibly disgusting on the personal attack level that has apparently become the norm not just for CPCers but far too many Dippers too, and I find that very troubling, and I suspect more than a few swing voters you need to appeal to will also feel as I do about this.

    Sorry Simon, but I think this is an important point. The Dipper side of the equation has to learn to tone it down just as the Lib side needs to tone down their own issues with arrogance on working with them in my view.

  14. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Montreal Simon is a great contributor to the Canadian poltical debate both through his artwork and his words. Simon clearly trusts the Liberals more than they deserve, but he has the intention of getting rid of Harper at heart. This should not be discouraged, unless you are a Harper-con robot.

    Simon should be reminded that the Liberals have done nothing but work with the Conservatives since Paul Martin got his minority government in 2004. Since then and in various combinations the Liberals and Conservatives have propped each other up and voted on their bills.

    The Liberals will NOT do a coalition with the NDP. There is just no precedent for it in modern times. If the Cons get more seats than the NDP, they will continue to govern unless the Liberals get a minority or a majority. If the Liberals get a minority, they will be supported by the Cons and continue the neoliberal austerity regime.

    The real choice is NDP majority or any other combination. If the NDP get a minority government, they will not be allowed to govern by the Liberals and Conservatives.

    There is only one party which is not tainted like the Liberals and Conservatives and the Greens.

  15. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Another Anon here!
    Justin Trudeau just lost the 2015 election. He has proven that he is incapable and unwilling to work with the 'rest of the left' and that his statements reflect a lighter version of the Conservatives.
    I am now thankful for this. Justin Trudeau has now energized my opposition to both the Conservatives and the Liberals and I will put everything I have into supporting the NDP, flaws and all, because so far, the NDP - under the leadership of Thomas Mulcair - has been the only party that CONSISTENTLY shows Canadians that we are all capable of taking the high road.

  16. Anonymous2:45 PM

    You would think being knocked into third place after the last election, that the Liberals would have found some humility at this point. The temerity of Trudeau to think that he is in the position to call the shots is just beyond me. This election is not about you Justin, it is about the future of our country.

  17. Hi Simon, a $16 glass of orange juice proved to be deadly. What will a $300 makeup job paid for by the taxpayer do to Harpers face?

  18. Anonymous8:05 PM

    If Justin Trudeau absolutely and unequivocally loves this country, he will form an alliance with Tom and Liz to permanently rid us of Harper. If he doesn't, then ego prevails, and he will fail. Imagine if the USA had 2 centre left parties splitting the vote instead of one. It would be an endless rule of the tea party from hell. Wake up Justin, your country needs you.


  20. Anonymous3:18 AM

    I am afraid that Justin Trudeau is going to follow Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, and Bob Rae to carry on as the leader of the Red branch of the Liberal-Conservative party. Justin Trudeau has shown by his recent statements that he is not ready for government, and he will betray the progressive forces in this country.

    One post author said that the Liberal Party has become the PC Party. which is a good thought. If this is so, the Liberals and the Conservatives are actually splitting the right. The way the polls are, neither of them are going to be in a majority. If Trudeau winds up propping up Harper the election after that is going to be brutal for the Liberals.

  21. The only poll that counts is the election day poll. Michael Harris and others have said that polls are deceptive. Keep in mind most people under 30 don't have a land line, and polling companies phone land lines. So ALL polls are skewed and not a true representation of what most Canadians think.

    Young Voters Could Defeat Harper, So Why Don't They?