Saturday, May 7, 2011

Did Harper Trick Ignatieff Into Forcing Early Election?

At the start of the 2011 election campaign, some pundits were musing that Stephen Harper in fact engineered his own defeat and tricked Ignateiff into forcing the early election. This theory was born from the fact that the Liberals were trailing significantly in the polls when they decided to bring down the government, which had a lot of people scratching their heads. Generally elections are forced by parties who sense "winning conditions", but those tea leaves did not exist for the Liberals in March.

It is more likely Ignatieff's ignorance that forced this election instead of an elaborate rouse by the Prime Minister, but I suspect that the PM wanted the Liberals to defeat the government, if he sensed a majority on the horizon.

As I wrote on March 27th:

"This is a plausible thesis considering the lead the Tories have in the polls, leaving a lot of people scratching their heads wondering why the opposition would be so recklessly foolish triggering an election when they are so far behind. If the Tories win a majority, this "historic" contempt of Parliament vote will be forever viewed as one of the dumbest political blunders in Canadian history. The opposition might have done the Prime Minister a giant favour by forcing an early election, and it might be exactly what Stephen Harper wanted."


  1. Since iggy was out of the country for most of the time that liberals were in power, he missed the scandals, thefts, lies, broken promises that liberals handed us. He missed the absolute hate for liberals in the west due to the NEP. In his ignorance he thought that majorities meant support across canada, instead of 2 provinces. And he thought that we bought all that contempt BS that they threw at us. So glad that a lot of those committee members are gone for good.
    The media and talking heads at cpac are saying that the PM must reach out to Quebec, have cabinet representation etc. Why, they defeated the ones they had, by electing a communist. Until Quebec reaches out to Canada, with respect, they can live with their new diaper party.

  2. I do think the Liberals thought they had their ace with the bogus "contempt of parliament" charge. Some Liberals felt that this would outrage the public like Adscam did. They surmised that voters would demand a change in government and be more open to a coalition. Or the polls would drop and allow them to form at least a minority government. A win-win scenario. They were spectacularly wrong on both counts. I now think, however, that the vote subsidy flap of 2008 was indeed engineered by Harper. I think he found out about the Liberals, NDP and Bloc's secret agreement to work together and engineer a defeat of the government and form a coalition. He flushed it out with the proposal to end the vote subsidy. He knew the GG would grant the proroguing of parliament and not allow the opposition to try and reverse election results. The coalition deal mortally wounded the Liberals in the eyes of voters and directly led to the near demise of the Liberal party.

  3. I meet a lot of apolitical non partisan people day to day. Almost all of them felt that all of the Political Parties were in contempt of parliament and in contempt of the people.

    One thing that I have noticed, is that before the writ and for a long period before, the Conservative support varied little.

    The Conservative base was solid and the opposition did not have a real useful base.

  4. I think that before his attempted contempt scandal, Canadians had tuned out because of all the other alledged scandals that turned out to be false. Problem is he wasn't listening to voters, or else too much to Layton who screwed him royally.

  5. I believe that Iggy, in his mid 60's, had long since cooked up a deal with the party brass, to try for a modest minority victory and him to end up being PM, or he would ACCEPT the long offered teaching position at U of T(poly-sci - who would believe it ?) - the brass who had dragged him up from Haahvad had no choice but to go along - which means they are all idiots - happily

  6. William in Ajax said...

    I think Iggy (saw the light) within 3 months of becoming party leader.
    I think he had that Univ. of Tor job locked up long before calling the election.
    He was (TOLD) go for it've got the Univ. job should anything go wrong!

    I predicted, Ontario would decide this election,
    by voting against more (McGuintyish green socialism), ALL the parties of the left are pushing (green socialism).
    Ontarians know that going green means paying more for electricity and heating oil and gasoline, while Liberal/Socialists get rich building expensive windmills.

    Ontario gave the Conservatives 22 more seats than they had.
    Thank you McGuinty ! for showing us what the going green scam is all about.

  7. Iggy had nothing to do with it...Donolo ran it all and Iggy probably did what he was told..The liberals didnt want to wait any longer...their lust to get back in was too strong and they believed their own kool aid....

  8. My explanation of why he had the election is much simpler: Ignatieff was an arrogant fool.

  9. I don't think PM Harper wanted an election. The NDP were ready for it before it happened. Mulcair had his signs up and his office ready to go before it happened. The opposition had a plan...long in the works. To take down the Govt. and form a coalition.It started with Elections Canada, Bev Oda, Carson etc. Dirt digging. The block got fooled by the NDP and the Liberals got fooled by the voters. I don't think PM Harper expected the majority he got. His warning of the coalition got out to the voters, and they were afraid of Layton and his socialist platform of tax and spend.Canadians didn't like Ignatieff. The voters finally gave PM Harper his majority because of the good job he did with the economy during the recession.

  10. I have to agree that Ontario decided this election. Iggy didn't realize how fed up Ontarians were with the McGuinty government. Luckily for Harper all the stars aligned at the same time: the economy getting better, the desire for change in Ontario and the stupidity of Duceppe at the Parti Quebecois convention in signaling a readiness for another referendum.

  11. NB Gal has it right.

    Iffy was just another actor in this pathetic drama, and a bad one at that!

    Super Boy Donolo has certainly proven himself to be quite the amateur director. Why it only seems like yesterday that “they” appointed him to his position and all the media went ga-ga over him. They told us that he was going to make mince meat out of Conservatives. Yup, it was all over but the crying.

    Unfortunately it was them who ended up crying like little spoiled babies

    They’re Super Boy chalked up their worst drubbing ever. So much for him.

    The defeat of three Liberal Leaders makes for a hat trick.

    Let me end with this.


  12. Michael (Icarus) Ignatieff is the victim of no one. His over whelming conceit led him to believe he could be the PM of a country he left 30 years ago. His over whelming conceit led him to believe that the time was right to bring in a coalition government which he could springboard into a clear majority a few years down the road. His over whelming conceit and not his political enemies or political advisers got him to where he is today.

  13. With 5 provincial elections on the horizon,
    if the Opps didn't bring down the govt in March,
    they had to wait an entire year, until 2012 budget.

    Another year of Lib MPs standing in the hallways, propping up the Harper Govt, intolerable.
    The Opps had in hand, amongst other brown envelope mini scandals,
    the leaked AG report.
    They thought they had it in the bag.

    I'm betting Libs showed Jack the leaked report, and that's when he said it was a go.

    The Coalition of losers could lose a combined total of 8 seats and still have a majority,
    so they went for it.
    Iffy didn't have to win any seats to seize govt.

    Iffy likely had the backing of many MPs and grassroots Libs
    (which is why he has not been given a very rough ride from caucus now)

    No, PMSH did not trick anyone into an election,
    the coalition of losers 'ignored' the public mood on 1) an unwanted election; 2) coalition of losers

    The good guys won by getting it right.

  14. Joe 5:51 You are right, the "old boys club" of the liberals used Iffy's conceit and arrogance. I believe the lieberal ad-scam stash was running low so they were willing to try anything to get power back and top it up.

    Rob C

  15. Have y'all seen the daily series by Paul Wells over at Macleans? Riveting.

  16. That the Liberals triggered the election thinking they would have a similar result to last time and be able to trigger a coalition (led by them, of course) seems to be the only logical explanation.

    Too bad for them the initial calculations were incorrect and they were unwilling or unable to change course; they got owned and won't be in contention until about 2019 if their pundits and legacy media supporters are any indicatioonl they still do not understand why they lost.