Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Call their Bluff

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

-Napoleon Bonaparte

Having just watched the latest Michael Ignatieff presser to announce his withdrawal of support for the government, my advice to the government is to put a confidence motion in front of parliament as soon as possible. Somebody up at that Liberal camping trip had better start running the numbers on the electoral map. Their hand is not as strong as they are making it out to be, so either they are bluffing or they don’t realize that the number of potential permutations where the Tories win a majority are far greater than the Liberals winning a minority. If you take a count of the number of ridings where the Tories finished in 2nd place with at least 30% of the popular vote, there were 54. They need 12 seats to a majority. That means that they only need to convert 1 in 5 of their 2nd place, 30% finishes. In how many ridings did the Liberals finish 2nd place with 30% pop vote? I’m glad you asked. The answer is 39. They would need to convert every single one of their 2nd place 30% finishes in order to win one more seat that the Conservatives.

I’m not convinced that this press conference was the beginning of a plan to topple the government right away. The Liberal probability of winning an election after they topple the government less than a year after our last election is very low. I believe they are trying to force the NDP or the Bloc to flip sides because they realize that it is tricky to complain about the government when you are passing their legislation. If the NDP and the Bloc hold their positions, the Liberals will either fold their hand or go all in on “pocket twos”.

Call their bluff. Can I get a throne speech? Can we do those more often? Please?


  1. I think you may be right. It may indeed be a bluff game.

  2. I just read this:

    Canada's dollar fell to its lowest level of the day on Tuesday afternoon after Canada's official opposition Liberal Party said it will no longer support the minority Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff made the comments in Sudbury, Ontario, during a summer gathering of his Liberal caucus.

    At 1:18 p.m., the Canadian dollar was at C$1.1068 to the U.S. dollar, or 90.35 U.S. cents, down slightly from C$1.1044 to the U.S. dollar, or 90.55 U.S. cents, before comments made by Ignatieff on not supporting the government. The Canadian dollar was at C$1.0950, or 91.32 U.S. cents, at Monday's close.

    For the libs, it's power over the economy, I guess.

  3. That settles it for me! I'll not be voting for the Liberals. Where do I send my cheque to Harper?

  4. I second the motion. Call Iggy's bluff. Let him face an election nobody wants. Be good to see Iggy's COALITION with Jack&Gill go down the hill.

  5. Further to the comments of "anonymous", if you want to contribute to a winnable Conservative riding, please donate to http://.troydesouza.ca

    I am 68 votes away (the second closest Conservative riding in the country) from being part of the new Conservative majority!

    Troy DeSouza
    Conservative Candidate in Esquimalt Juan de Fuca

  6. I disagree that Harper should "put a confidence motion in front of parliament as soon as possible."

    Harper's narrative is the right one--Canadians don't want an election, as we are struggling with a recession, yadda yadda. He should stick with to the end.

    No hardball (just yet) with Iggy. The Libs have got to wear this election call 100 %. Voters must see them as the ONLY Party forcing an election (the Dippers and Bloc have been consistent about opposing the gov't so they will share very little of the blame).

    This is an important talking point for us in the early part of the campaign. The longer the Libs are pressed for WHY they called the election, the worse for them. All it takes is for one of their candidates to trip up, and admit it was all opportunistic on their part (or some such), and the pain increases for Iggy.

  7. I completly agree with Calgary. That's the kind of thinking that will win the majority.

  8. Seconded. Harper's tone is the right one, putting a confidence motion before parliament would make him look opportunistic, and give credence to the "Meany Harper" narrative.

  9. But if it were a throne speech, which by the way I don't know if we do these at the beginning of every session of parliament, it just feels like I've seen countless throne speeches in recent years. If he went in front of the house with a "keep Canada strong" type of simple confidence motion, or a procedural matter, the opposition could screw themselves into an election. It does not need to be a bold divisive confidence motion, just an opportunity for the opposition to vote yes or no in parliament.

  10. I've got to disagree Iceman, I would avoid any hint of trying to provoke an election. If the government falls on a fiscal update, or the budget, then thats one thing, but it shouldn't fall on a simple confidence motion. How is either side going to justify the election? I would prefer if we were able to say "Hey, we didnt want this either, but since its been foisted upon us, this is our plan".

  11. But if the opposition collapses the government over an irrelevant matter, then it is them who must explain the election to the electorate.