Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Coalition Born Of Duceppe's Loins

In December of 2008, a Coalition of losers attempted to seize control of Canada in a legislative coup. Thanks to a new book by Gilles Toupin and discussed by Chantal Hebert, we now know that this Coalition was initiated by the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Duceppe brought a fully costed fiscal policy to Jack Layton, Jack took the platform to a desperate and soon to be ousted Stephane Dion, and the rest is history.

What is Gilles carrying in that file? Is it the coalition's policy platform?

I have always believed that the Prime Minister was fully aware of the deal brokered between the NDP and Bloc and pulled the vote subsidy in the fiscal update to force the Liberals into that unholy alliance with socialists and separatists. It wasn't a "mistake" as some journalists, but rather a political masterstroke. The PM tainted coalition governments for a generation, taking away the most likely means of the Liberals regaining power in the near term. He led the opposition into a monumentally stupid move by virtue of a brilliant move. He also suckered idiots like Scott Reid into writing "kill him, kill him dead" which turned a lot of people off the coalition taking power.

Interesting that the CBC discussed Harperland over 100 times frequently mentioning that the Prime Minister considered going to the Queen if Jean had refused to prorogue parliament.  But there is little to no mention of the book that includes the Bloc writing Coalition fiscal policy.


  1. I don't think Harper knew what would happen. He looked very defeated and shocked that first day in Question Period after the fiscal update was brought down.

    Prior to the fiscal update the government gave no indication they were willing to engage in stimulus at all. In fact, Jim Flaherty was railing against it. The CPC pledged in their platform not to go into deficit. The fiscal update made that impossible. They had to give in to the opposition and offer a stimulus plan, or face a snap election and possibly lose their government.

    I absolutely believe Chantal Hebert when she says the coalition gambit was planned well before the fiscal update, but you take away the poison pills and the coalition attempt falls flat, which in turn strengthens Harper's hand heading into the recession.

  2. The book is actually written by francophone journalist Gilles Toupin. Hebert simply wrote an article about it.

  3. Harper forgot that they are entitled to their entitlements and would fight tooth and nail to keep the subsidy.

  4. Thanks Jad, my bad. I'll fix that.

  5. Macleans has an article up on Duceppe's chest thumping, Ducey says LibDips used 85% of his policies because they had none to deal with the crisis.

    here's a comment that nails it:

    'At the time, the Liberals and NDP were downplaying the per-vote subsidy issue,
    and were instead arguing that the primary rationale for the Coalition was the urgent need to respond to the economic crisis.

    That's pretty ironic, given what we know today. When the Liberals and the NDP were signing the coalition agreement,
    neither party had proposals to face the economic crisis.

    Like lazy schoolchildren who borrow the smart kid's homework so they can copy it five minutes before class,
    the Liberals and NDP were forced to borrow 85% of the Bloc's proposals and present them as their own....'

    On the 2004 coalition Ducey quoted here

    “I called Stephen Harper and Jack Layton to meet me then, and we signed a letter, the three of us.
    We sent that letter to Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, saying that if Paul Martin was to lose a confidence vote in September, don’t call an election, call us, okay?”

    Now why is it Ducey does NOT talk about any formal agreements, policy negotiations, between the dippers Bloc and PMSH?
    Because there weren't any.
    No cabinet seats, no senate seats, no policy compromise... no nothing,
    Layton apparently called it a 'pressure tactic'.

  6. Do you remember the infamous tape recording of Taliban Jack bragging to his caucus that he had Gilles in the bag, or words to that effect? I'm sure the Prime Minister had that tape, knew what was coming and smoked them out with the poison pill annoucement, before the coalition of losers could spring a non confidence vote, march over the the GG's office and offer the deal as proof of their ability to form a coalition government.
    I'm also sure that entire tape is stored safely away, to be used when the need arises.

  7. Re that tape ... Stephen Taylor wrote a piece, saying that we have only released about 25 % of it, and are holding back the remaining 75 %. I fully expect Harper to use the most damning statements by Jack from that tape, especially in tv ads in B.C.

    We have only seen the tip of the iceberg on this coalition stuff. In a way, we have an embarassment of riches, and so it will be a challenge for our war room to whittle it all down to the best stuff.

    It's kind of funny, watching our opponents (like the Globe editorial), pooh-poohing all this coalition fear-mongering, dismissing it as not very effective, and costing us votes in Quebec. I.E. all the usual mediocre "analysis".

  8. '..smoked them out with the poison pill annoucement, before the coalition of losers could spring a non confidence vote..' Capndan

    Agree 100%,
    that was the only window of opportunity to prorogue.
    After a nonconfidence vote, the GG was in control and not the government.

    There were 3 poison pills in the update.
    the party subsidies, no challenge job equity contracts, and something to do with unions, can't remember.
    money, women, unions... it was as a clear hit

  9. Dave Rutherford played a couple of minutes of that tape this morning. It is out there, to be used as necessary. I remember the fuss that a conservative mp had listened in and recorded that conference call. Wrong, someone sent him an invitation to participate, mixing him up with a dipper with the same name.
    I would have listened and recorded if I had been invited.

  10. Coalition talks started October 24, 2008

    “The first one to talk about a coalition was Jack Layton 10 days after the election in my office in Montreal,” Duceppe told reporters Wednesday.

  11. That per vote subsidy is the oppositions achilles heel.
    The Bloc can't campaign without it.
    The NDP and liberals can't survive without it.
    And no party can campaign in an election to keep it.
    Just like the promise to cut the GST (the one Harper kept and Chretien did not) once put into a campaign platform it will be the deciding issue.
    Because of that coalition attempt, none of the opposition, particularly the liberals, can pledge to eliminate it.
    They formed a coalition to preserve their entitlement