Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Collect Our Thoughts


rgl said...

Makes one put things in perspective - at least there is time to rebuild the LPC so that it will be about the future vision & not piggy-backing onto the past glories.

Cheryl said...

Saddened, disappointed and frustrated that our current voting system has let us down. I'm fearful of my daughter and granddaughter's future - wondering how much damage Harper's Government will inflict upon our healthcare, our education, women's rights, LGBT rights and most of all our democratic rights. I'm aghast that Harper received his majority with all of the scandals facing him and his party. I'm crying for the Canada that was lost last night.

Tof KW said...

Well, at least the Liberals know what the Progressive Conservatives felt like post 1993.

What can I say, Jacques Parizeau was right. We are elected by idiots. Both moderate centrist parties that successfully governed Canada for 140 years are gone. In there place are two polarizing populist parties filled with yahoos.

Lots of good people went down in defeat, and a lots of people who shouldn't even be elected as a dog catcher are now MPs.

My hopes are with you Grits right now, that you can rebuild your party from the ground up. And in the short term, Canada will miss having an opposition party that actually understands economics.

Not sure how much I'll be around these blogs over the next four years, but good luck to everyone here.

Sean Cummings said...

The story of the night for me at least is that a majority need not require the consent of the province of Quebec - that's a huge change and a huge achievement for a country that is hopefully, maturing.

There will be cries of proportional representation, etc, but don't hold your breath on it happening any time soon. Given the opportunity, all the parties in Ottawa would prefer a majority over a PR system and anyone who says they don't is deluded.

We now have four to five years without federal elections and an opportunity for two competing visions of Canada to emerge. I do hope that Liberals rebuild, though I can't see how that's possible given the shifting values of the country.

k said...

Well for me the night did provide one side splitting moment.

That is when Jack Layton said he was looking forward to working with Stephen Harper to deliver results to Canadians.

I guess I don't have to point out the obvious to the extremely naive Jack Layton.

Jets, Jails, and prison for pot possession and a completely different Canada than what we know here we come.

But not to worry Jack is hard at work and will put a stop to all of it.

Its going to be a long four years.

Steve V said...

Layton was just surreal last night. I understand the NDP being ecstatic, but he was acting as though he will sit down with Harper and get things down. Harper ain't answering the phone, the NDP have less real world power than they did yesterday morning, as strange as that sounds.

Tof KW said...

Exactly, I'm looking forward to seeing how Layton gets the job done for Canadians now. Putz!

Tof KW said...

BTW - I think what's left of the Liberal caucus should spend the majority of their time in Parliament over the next 4 years relentlessly attacking Layton & the NDP. Call it ...payback.

sharonapple88 said...

I think someone needs to explain to Layton what a majority means.

k said...

If you take out of the equation the 60 MPs from Quebec the NDP managed to elect they have the same amount of MPs and support in the rest of the country that they always had. There was no hugh orange wave, there was no Tsunami of support for them.

People in Quebec replaced competent BQ MPs for uneducated and unqualified individuals.

Layton has promised much to Quebec and can deliver Nada.

But the premise that Layton is going to put a stop to Stephen Harper Is ludacris.

Maybe this is the best thing that could have happened to Layton.

Now he can be exposed for what he truly is. Just an ineffective, grand standing turd whose only real legacy to Canada is Harper.

Steve V said...

Ignatieff about to step down, no shock there.

Tof KW said...

Final point, will Layton and the NDP now be adamantly behind a PR voting system, after winning huge all thanks to the current FPTP system? Hypocrisy test #1.

sharonapple88 said...

It should be interesting to see the Conservative attack ads. Here's an article on what the Liberals were facing.

From the article:

"“The hatchet job is complete,” said David Small, campaign manager for Ruby Dhalla, the incumbent Liberal who lost her Greater Toronto Area seat to a Conservative.

"The Tory ads were devastating and were made even more so because they went unanswered. Some Liberal advisers had urged Mr. Ignatieff and his team to put up ads of their own, countering the pre-campaign attack, but to no avail.

"A document leaked to The Globe and Mail shows how aggressively the Conservatives advertised in the 90 days before the writ was dropped, outspending the Liberals about 15 to one, according to a senior Liberal source.

"The document shows the “GRPs” – or gross point ratings – that measure the frequency and reach of ads. In the Toronto market, for six weeks between Jan. 17 and Feb. 21, for example, the Conservative GRP was 1538.5 compared to 131.7 for the Liberals and 11.7 for the NDP.

“We’ve just received the latest competitive TV GRP data from Nielsen in the weeks leading up to the writ,” says a note accompanying the results. “Note the heavy and sustained presence of the Conservative Party. The picture is the same in Vancouver. In Calgary and Montreal French, they had about 600 GRP’s over the same period.”

"The Liberal brain trust was warned but did nothing about it. On Sunday night, Mr. Ignatieff said the party didn’t have that kind of money – pre-writ – to spend on ads.

"If you are going to do it, he said, you have to “show up.” He noted that the Liberals couldn’t compete with Tory ads being placed during the Super Bowl, the Oscars, the Grammy Awards and Hockey Night in Canada."

The Mound of Sound said...

Ignatieff chose to move to the right instead of defending the centre. It resulted in a two-year long leadership/policy vacuum. Harper (temporarily) moved left, Layton moved right and they left Iggy in the middle struggling for air.

weeble said...

Canadian's wanted change...well, we have it now. I believe that Layton wanted to become the official opposition and I believe that if a Harper majority was the only way it, so be it..
We are in for a rough 4 years. First item on the agenda will be the elimination of public funding. That will mute May for the most part as well as the Liberals and NDP....Harper runs the show with cash.

Tof KW said...

Marpman, you forgot the voting subsidy will also affect the Bloc. After their defeat this will effectively kill them, which is the only good part of this upcoming legislation.

Death of the LGR should follow soon after.

And the stupid crime legislation will be back too, however with this I'm wondering if the CPC itself might modify the bills. There was opposition to some of this among their circles, and really a lot of this was just to score points against the opposition to paint them as soft on crime. Without any real opposition to worry about now, they may alter it to minimize the cost to the courts.

Dame said...

I am sorry to say this but I think way too many people are REALLY REALLY STUPID ...
Layton is THEIR man flaky featherweight and talented preacher of the nothingness ... hard lessonfor this once a great Country.
layton delivered Harper again.... however he and alot of other "flakes" will have a comfy life with nothing to do for 4 years .

k said...

This is how I see it.

Quebec took a gamble last night and lost.

They flocked en masse to Jack because he promised to reopen the Constitution and tinker with the Clarity Act.

Quebec was fatigued with the BQ, and Jack seemed interesting to them and what he was promising sounded great.

Harper now has a majority Government and he did it without the support of Quebec.

Quebec had more influence with BQ members than they are going to have with the NDP and Layton.

Layton also misfired. He only had influence as long as Harper was held to a minority.

So in my final analysis Layton, the NDP and Quebec are the biggest losers in this whole dung pile we now have.

But the biggest loser of all is sadly Canada.

Layton should remember one thing. Quebec is a very demanding mistress and they so not brook disappointment well.

NDP wins the battle but will ultimately lose the war.

Kirk said...

We're entering 4 more years of the politics of nothingness.

The Con agenda? Politically motivated spending & targeted tax cuts, vague fiscal promises, no vision for health care which spends the money in Canada but doesn't get the results, hundreds of billions of military spending to fight the cold war, international obstructionism replacing a foreign policy and a complete shift of all power to the PMO.

But Layton will "work with" that.

Harper last night claiming he'll govern for all Canadians now not just those who vote Con when he has never done that in a minority or espoused any pan-Canadian ideals throughout his life, funny.

Meanwhile, those great NDP statesmen, Broadbent & Lewis, were on The Current saying how Jack would take a principled stand as Opposition Leader voting for what he believes in & against what he doesn't. Omitting the fact that now that his votes don't matter at all that's kinda easy.

Better hope the housing market comes in for a soft landing and resources stay strong enough to compensate for $200 a barrel plus for oil devastating other areas of the economy because really Canada has no plan to deal with anything.

Kirk said...

I wish I was a NDP seat filler in Quebec...

sharonapple88 said...

Meanwhile, those great NDP statesmen, Broadbent & Lewis, were on The Current saying how Jack would take a principled stand as Opposition Leader voting for what he believes in & against what he doesn't. Omitting the fact that now that his votes don't matter at all that's kinda easy.

They have to put a good spin on it. They were promising so much to Canada -- to fight for pensions, the environment and the little guy. In the end, all this election did was get the NDP a lot of seats. Everything else is pretty much screwed.

Interesting enough, the separatist Alexandre Boulerice won for the NDP. Should be an interesting caucus. And an interesting set of attack ads.

Tof KW said...

sharonapple88, what's the point of attack ads now? Harper can do what he wants in parliament, so why waste money attacking the NDP when no election is on the horizon for a good 4 years?

But you are right there is still a Bloc, but now they're painted orange and pretend to be part of a federalist party.

Jacques Beau Vert said...

Wow such negativity.

I'm an anationalist anti-nationalist so the "death of Canada" hysteria leaves me unmoved. Also, most hysteria is, well, hysterical, and leaves me unmoved.

Ignatieff had "great PM" potential. He was never the problem. The problem for some years now has been the LPC executive. I see a lot of tears spilled over "meano Jack" and "hypocrite Harper", but very few over the executive who denied Liberals a vote for Leader. (That they may have elected Ignatieff eventually is moot).

Ignatieff gave a TREMENDOUS performance as Leader, and especially taking into account his dearth of campaign experience compared to Duceppe Harper and Jack (even May). He will be fondly remembered as one of the Greatest Never PMs.

Jack won Quebec because he surprised everyone (me included) with his easy, comfortable command of French on Debate Night. Other progressives outside of that province saw the swelling bandwagon and jumped onboard. The LPC is too old and too white and too disassociated from reality. Sure, they have Ruby Dhalla, but they are ONE CENTURY older than all the other parties and are the ONLY party to have never elected a female leader. Out of touch much?

Those Liberal partisans who call the voters "idiots" would call the same crowd of citizen votes "magnanimous geniuses" had the LPC been elected, and such trite nonsense is welcomed only in the blogosphere. Real people in real life hear bitterness like that and feel like someone just farted. At least partisans have the internet to commiserate in.

The CPC has become more centrist in time and will likely continue to do so; the NDP will probably become more centrist in time as well.

Mostly I'm excited to see voters willing to take a chance on something new. Compared to the apathy predicted by the entire catholic media at the outset of the election, it's incredible to see people change their minds and open the door to new possibilities.

You know, kinda like how the LPC was first elected in the first place.

Jacques Beau Vert said...

I wouldn't worry, Sharon. Harper was a separatist once, and is now Mr. Patriot.

Pretty sure there's been some Quebec nationalists in the LPC in the past, too. ;)

Besides I don't believe in "countries" or "states" or "nations", so separatists in Ottawa are something I can personally live with. I understand it's vexing to you, however.

Cheryl, as a queer person I'm not weeping, and I'm not afraid of Harper, either.

I'm queer, you're not. The fact is, queers are better off in this federation than anywhere else on the planet. And that's not going to change. Harper saw his life flash before his eyes this week when he was projected for a minority. He knows what he can and can't get away with.

Jerry Prager said...

to me the issue has always been what is the Party doing for liberal democrats in the 'radical middle' as someone on the CBC just called it,
the right wing nixed the democratic renewal package,
and then voted for Harper.

The Liberals cannot remain a corporatist party, democracy and corporatism are mutually exclusive political systems, right wing liberalism is not Liberalism at all because it does not believe in greatest equal liberty.

Neo-liberal was an economic system defined as such by a conservative economist: we do not have a 'neo-liberal' economy: we live in a corporatist state.

We live in a gangster capitalist society, there are racketeers in the PMO and the corporatist media doesn't care, so their readers don't care.

We need liberal democrats in an otherwise useless House, to turn out towards the people because until they disenfranchise us, we remain governors general.

If need be, if Harper pushes the envelope to far to the right as time passes, we need to all physically go see the Governor General ourselves,all of the 60% of the crown chartered commoners to be effect by such a move, and demand the dissolution of parliament.

The Liberal Party needs to constitutionally side with democracy and repudiate corporatism, forever.

Jacques Beau Vert said...

NDP wins the battle but will ultimately lose the war.

It was never about "the NDP", it was more about "Jack".

I saw a commenter on LeDevoir this morning refer to him as an "anglophone René Levesque". Who else gets called that?

He's popular and what's more, he is absolutely hands-down by far unquestionably THE most comfortable in both languages. And to some people that means a great deal.

Well for me the night did provide one side splitting moment.
Me too!
For me, it was Duceppe's French language resignation - just as he announced, when a distinctly anglophone voice cried out, "We can't do it without you!" and Gilles froze for a second before continuing. That's comedy, baby!

Jacques Beau Vert said...

Jack Layton did not deliver a Tory majority.

The citizens who voted did.

Credit where credit is due, partisans.

Jacques Beau Vert said...

The Liberals cannot remain a corporatist party,

In my riding (which went orange from red), this is certainly a sentiment I've heard, that the LPC is too corporate aligned for some anti-Tory types.

I'm personally not an economics major or an expert on corporations or corporate law or ties.

Kirk said...

Jacques Beau Vert wrote: "Wow such negativity."

Then gave us 5 posts of anti-Liberal negativity.

Steve V said...

You noticed that too eh ;)

JimmE said...

In a funny way, ending finance reform will be better for the Grits than the Dippers. Corporations & Unions will have to be allowed to contribute (if not exspect a Charter challenge). This will allow compaies like mine to contribute both $ & gifts-in-kind.

JimmE said...

... Oh & I've already given my pals in High Park hell; Peggy Nash? WTF?

Jacques Beau Vert said...

Not at all, I'm in fact very excited for the Liberals.

Last night (as many of your partisans have said) creates enormous potential for the LPC's future in the 21st Century and could easily be looked back on from the future as a key turning point.

The LPC has been responsible for so, so, so much that works rightly and justly in the federation. But they're seriously off their path these past years.

I very much hold that the LPC has the power to continue to influence the federation's evolution for the positive and betterment in the future.

And I'm only negative about the LPC's past, kiddies -- not the situation we find ourselves in today or tomorrow. You're the bitter ones over the results; I see it as a win-win for just about everyone involved in the long-term. Maybe even a female leader for the LPC one day.

See it as you prefer, though.

Steve V said...


Not sure I agree on party financing, at least partially. We will take a big hit on our vote subisidy portion already, to kill it, the Con advantage will remain. It is very, very hard for an opposition party, particularly a third place party to raise scads of cash in a majority. The challenge is astronmical, which is why bighead here with the "kiddies" comment, the "win win", doesn't have much of a clue to be quite blunt. The NDP have a better base structure than we do, and their higher profile will serve them well, our challenge can't be overstated. This isn't a "down" perspective, but we are back to base camp, sea level.

Shiner said...

The country's f'd. That's it. Everyone is talking about this like it's some huge failure of the Liberal party, but it isn't. It's the victory of insane populist nonsense. I've been watching, in complete awe, as family members and friends, who I thought were completely normal, celebrate the Conservative majority. Let's not fool ourselves, the Conservatives won because they appealed to the stupid. Not politically correct to say, but I'm not a LPC member, so I don't care. You win elections by appealing to the small-minded in the countryside and the stupid in the cities. The serious people are out in force claiming that this is a gigantic failure on the part of the LPC over the past 50 years. It's nonsense. I wasn't a fan of the LPC platoform, but they were up against a corrupt, dishonest, insanely dumb government that nonetheless was given an overwhelming majority. This wasn't the Liberal Party's fault. The country is messed up.

Steve V said...

Voters always get it right, but it's fair to say a lot of voters don't get it.

Tof KW said...

Steve V said...
Voters always get it right, but it's fair to say a lot of voters don't get it.

Need I bring up Jacques Parizeau's line again about that 20% who don't even know who the prime minister is that decide elections?

Aside from those who are politically aware, you give the general public way too much credit Steve.

Shiner said...

Voters always get it right

In the most functionalist sense, obviously. Yet lately, in both the US and Canada, seems like the sun is setting on democracy. Stupid vote for the stupid, and those that are most adept at appealing to the stupid win.

Steve V said...

This NDP Quebec candidate who didn't even campaign, was out of country, nobody could contact her, really doesn't say much about depth of choice. Change just for the sake, it really was a very superficial election, as were prior ones where we had Lib majorities :)

JimmE said...

Steve, I'm not saying this will be a walk in the park, not having the OLO budget & staff will really hurt, & you're right #3 is a tough sell. The fact is Grits never really adapted to the new reality of the new rules.The caveat I would add is money will have strings attached.
To offer my 2¢ on the big pic:
I've seen & lived this movie, & this sequel sucks. To attract good new people will take a short, medium & long term plans. Some will see this as an opportunity to make a mark. Others who might have taken this on may give it a pass or choose the Dippers as the place to make a mark, but they won't generally choose the Tories as all the good seats are taken.

JimmE said...

There's also a funny push-pull going on right now. People SAY they want more consultation, but will vote for folks who promise & deliver less. In fact most peeps don't care, they want stong leadership, until it bites them in the pocket, or they get an issue to be all NIMY about.

sassy said...

OK, I did stay up later than usual last night to watch the election *stuff* but I don't think I am seeing things.

Earlier today the CBC headline read
"Harper 'Disappointed' by fewer Quebec Seats"

Google it.

The same link now reads Harper hails Quebec's 'shift to federalism'

ricky said...

From reviewing the comments, it appears many Liberals do not accept the premise of "Far and Wide" who has been warning Liberals for some time.

Thefacts are hard to take but ignoring them gets you no where.

The LPC has won fewer seats in every election since 2000.

Fundraising has been a disaster since Corps were banned.

Iggy's coronation was seen as such and played right into the CPC attack ads.

The LPC did nothing that was productive to change the CPC painted picture of IGGY. NOTHING!

I contend the LPC made a very bad error off the start by caving on the coalition option.

As usual, many LPC member fail to recognize the skill of Jack Layton. You can go on blaming him or making silly comments about Layton saying he would try to work with Harper. The NDP will benefit if voters see that they have tried.

Finally, the LPC support for all those Harper budgets is really what killed you.

Its a ground up effort now, the NDP and Jack Layton will work very hard to ensure they grow and remain the alternative to Harper. The more you focus out and blame the NDP and or Layton, the longer you will remain the third party.

Steve V said...

Agree with some thoughts, but the voting for Con budgets angle, well what was alternative, elections every year? It was just the reality of the circumstance, which hurt no question, but I don't see an alternative. Remember what happened in 2009 when Iggy came out and said the Libs wouldn't prop up, the public rejected VEHEMENTLY? Not as simple as suggested.

ricky said...

I agree it was a tough place to be. Still the Liberals did in fact vote for many regressive measures in those budgets.

By he Time the Libs said no more to propping up the CPC, they already had a record. It looked like the LPC did not know where to go.

In the end, it was some bad circumstances that you were dealt and you played right into the CPC and NDP. I suspect the LPC lost it after the fashion in which they dispatched the coalition.

Steve V said...

You're right, and Harper put a lot of poison pills in the budget after the fact. Congratulations for your chosen party, a great result in QC. I've had a bit of fun with Layton, because working with Harper is noble but for at least 2-3 years he's just going to do whatever he wants and the public won't even notice. Sad but true.

JimmE said...

Just noted the turnout #'s & a comment I've heard the last few elections just made sense. When I speak to people at the door some will say " Oh, we've not seen anyone around yet, you're the first one". I think they're referring, in part, to enumerators. It may be a coincidence, but voting numbers have declined since we no longer have door to door enumerators. I know in the 70's & 80's we used to feel somewhat smug in our turnout vs the Americans, now we're about the same. Perhaps it was all due to Canadians being jarred from their slumbers by Official Election Agents reminding us all of our duty. That & global warming.

sharonapple88 said...

sharonapple88, what's the point of attack ads now? Harper can do what he wants in parliament, so why waste money attacking the NDP when no election is on the horizon for a good 4 years?

It would be smart to soften Layton up before the election. What the NDP needs to do is look like a government in waiting. What the Conservatives would like is to make them look like is a bunch of idiots. It would be smart to do this early just in case any of the things the NDP will be yelling from the opposition bench happens to stick.

I've seen some NDPer note that Layton won't be trashed as easily as Dion or Ignatieff because he has an established presence. But Dion was a skilled debater, but they made him out to be a wimp. As well, both Ignatieff and Dion were popular when they first became leader, but this changed when the attack ads started. The Conservatives have a way of turning people into sad little stereotypes.

sharonapple88 said...

Throwing some ideas out there on the campaign....

One of the things I disliked from all the federal leaders was that none of them had any ideas that played to Canada as a country. Most of them seemed to go from coast to coast promising money to the provinces. I suppose the "stop Harper vote for the NDP," "Stop Layton vote for the Conservatives" caught on towards the end....

Steve V said...

I wouldn't mind mandatory voting.


People haven't noticed really, but I believe, especially now, on of Harper's chief legacies will be the unravelling of a Canadian sense. I think the Liberals can fill the void there, we are slowly but surely drifting apart into fiefdoms.

sharonapple88 said...

People haven't noticed really, but I believe, especially now, on of Harper's chief legacies will be the unravelling of a Canadian sense. I think the Liberals can fill the void there, we are slowly but surely drifting apart into fiefdoms.

It really does feel like this. Sometimes it feel as though there's too much geography. Other times, it feels like the political parties are trying to divide us up into focus groups.

And our political leadership loves to play up to this. Take the Constitution. There's a great passage in Bastards and Boneheads by Will Feruguson, where he argues the Constitution wasn't forced on Quebec, Quebec was one the one who forced it on us. Afterall, the main people behind it were Trudeau and Chretien were from Quebec.

As for Liberals filling the gap....

They could. They have the potential. I think that's part of the attraction people have towards Justin Trudeau. I read an article early in the campaign when a man said, "He's just like his father, a good man." Trudeau was a polarizing figure, but he also gave us the Charter and tried to move us beyond the idea of nationalism (didn't work), and people are still hungry for this. (Talking to the receptionist at work, and she said that after watching this campaign, she really misses Trudeau.)

I'm going to miss some of the MPs who lost on Monday. I remember Gerard Kennedy's speech at the 2006 convention about Canada. I hope Kennedy and Navedeep Bains, the big promoter of the Charter, stay on as Liberals even though they're no longer MPs.

sharonapple88 said...

I read an article early in the campaign when a man said, "He's just like his father, a good man."

Just wanted to note that the man was someone in the crowd.

Yeah, maybe we live too much in the past, but honestly, the present political leadership makes it easy. In comparison to the some of the leaders of the past -- Dieffenbaker, Pearson, Macdonald, Trudeau, I'll even throw in Mulroney --our current leaders are really small men. What will their legacy really be? How did our politics get to be so tiny?

sassy said...

New title so same post

see my comment above

"PM returns to Ottawa after majority win


Jerry Prager said...

Finances, the party more than doubled small cheque donations from the last two elections combined this time, which is why Ignatieff thought the base would hold.

Jerry Prager said...

I am convinced that the a merger with the NDP is now pointless, the Liberals were betrayed by their own right wing who blocked the democratic renewal package from making it to the platform and then voted conservative, and the NDP voters in ridings they couldn't win voted NDP anyway: Parliament is now irrelevant, Harper has permission from the corporatist media and the electoral system to run Canada from the PMO.
Liberals cannot allow right wing liberals any more say in the party, and they need to rebuild rather than merge, because the NDP is going to prove over the next four years just how irrelevant their voters made parliament.