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Stephen Harper to become Canada's next PM
January 23, 2006 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Harper wins Tory minority government. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper will become Canada's next prime minister, as Canadians have elected a Tory minority government and ended a 12-year reign of Liberal rule.
posted by Robot Johnny (171 comments total)

 
why does it always seem like only idiots ever actually vote?
posted by wumpus at 8:02 PM on January 23, 2006


Why does it always seem like only idiots ever actually win?
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:03 PM on January 23, 2006


well, that's inevitable.
posted by wumpus at 8:05 PM on January 23, 2006


Josh would approve.
posted by mischief at 8:05 PM on January 23, 2006


Why does it always seem like only idiots ever actually post?
posted by mazola at 8:05 PM on January 23, 2006


God, this is going to suck. Thank god it's a minority.
posted by aclevername at 8:06 PM on January 23, 2006


As a Canadian living in the US, all I can say is that now I have no reason to ever go back. I can no longer feel good when I defend Canada to Nascar America.

Say bye bye to that budget surplus, Canada! You get what you deserve.

newfers
posted by newfers at 8:06 PM on January 23, 2006


"Why does it always seem like only idiots ever actually post?"
posted by mazola at 2:05 PM AEST on January 24

Good question, mazola. ;)
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:07 PM on January 23, 2006


Uh.. is this bad? I'm not really clear on what their platform is.
posted by zek at 8:08 PM on January 23, 2006


Also is this going to hurt their social programs?
posted by zek at 8:08 PM on January 23, 2006


The worst part is going to be seeing Harper's fat smug face all over the place.
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:09 PM on January 23, 2006


Well, from the numbers at the CBC, it looks likes Harper won't be able to do too much damage if he can be out muscled by the Liberals and NDP.

However, anyone who calls another election any time soon will probably get there ass handed to them.

But it's good to know there is a fail safe in case Harper gets any bright ideas about Canada joining Jesusland or something
posted by toftflin at 8:11 PM on January 23, 2006


"And so, Armin Tanzarian's reign of terror is over. Now let us welcome our new Principal Skinner... Principal Seymour Skinner!"

Despite the gloom I feel, I just gotta keep reminding myself that, like Bill Hicks once said, it don't matter who wins, because they're all the same in the end.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:14 PM on January 23, 2006


Pardon my American ignorance but assuming the NDP and Liberals band together against the Conservatives this essentially sets Canada up for a lameduck PM, right?
posted by Ryvar at 8:14 PM on January 23, 2006


as a left-leaning liberal in the USA, i could see this coming. the canadian liberals over-reached and got greedy with their power. the same can be said of the conservatives in the USA right now. i expect great conservative losses in the USA come november.
posted by brandz at 8:14 PM on January 23, 2006


I'm rather pleased with the election results. As a minority, the Conservatives can't do anything too far out of line. The Liberals get their well deserved time out. The NDP has enough seats to play a major role in negotiating legislation. In the end, Robot Johnny has hit the nail on the head: the worst of it will be having to cope with the punk's fleshy smirk for the near future.
posted by n0man at 8:16 PM on January 23, 2006


For anyone curious, here are the campaign platforms side-by-side.

I for one, am thrilled that we'll never hear from Tony Valeri, Anne Maclellan and (hopefully) Paul Martin ever again.

Also, it is amazing that the CPC looks like they've picked up 10 seats in Quebec, and have soundly trounced the Liberals in the popular vote in that province (and everywhere, really, save for Toronto and the Maritimes).

Pardon my American ignorance but assuming the NDP and Liberals band together against the Conservatives this essentially sets Canada up for a lameduck PM, right?


As far as I know, the CPC will have first shot at governing. If they can't, it's possible that the Liberals will be asked. There is no precedent for federal coalition government in Canada, so you'll see another election before that happens.
posted by loquax at 8:17 PM on January 23, 2006


Sorry to threadjack, but since there will be Canadian Mefite eyeballs in this thread... Vancouver.Metafilter.com/Meetup (metatalk).
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:19 PM on January 23, 2006


assuming the NDP and Liberals band together against the Conservatives this essentially sets Canada up for a lameduck PM, right?

Depends on whether the conservatives can woo the Bloc Quebecois into lending support with (empty?) promises. The Bloc is very socially progressive, but they have their own agenda (soverignty). They do have, however, historical differences with the Conservative party but they have similar interests regarding increased provincial powers (the conservatives have a strong base in Alberta - an energy-rich ($$$), socially conservative, previously ignored province)
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:23 PM on January 23, 2006


I think it's great. Only a Conservative majority could've made it any better.
posted by gyc at 8:24 PM on January 23, 2006


Nice tag at the end there, by the way.
posted by loquax at 8:24 PM on January 23, 2006


Anyone want to lay odds on Stronach crossing the floor again if Harper offers her her old job back?
posted by loquax at 8:28 PM on January 23, 2006


Anyone want to lay odds Harper thoroughly embarrasses himself in International matters?
posted by juiceCake at 8:33 PM on January 23, 2006


Not possible to do so more than Chretien did.
posted by loquax at 8:35 PM on January 23, 2006


Well, just so I can stick my nose in over here as well, in the other thread I said:
Harper will be in a very strange position in this parliament... If he wants to stay in charge for any length of time he is going to have to move strongly to the centre-right where the Liberals live. If he does a good job of it he will get a majority next time out, if he bungles it we will have a second incarnation of Joe Clark...
It will be very interesting.
posted by Chuckles at 8:41 PM on January 23, 2006


The question I have coming out of this election is will the result drive the Liberals to the left or the right? If they want to come back and win a new majority (or even a minority) under a new leader in several years, they will have to take CPC seats back and challenge again in the West, not to mention reassert themselves as *the* federalist party in Quebec. I can't see how drifting towards the NDP will help the Liberals, only bleed more votes in that direction. I guess that assumes that the CPC won't implode by then. It'll be very interesting to see who replaces Martin too. Ignatieff? Dryden? Goodale? Stronach?
posted by loquax at 8:42 PM on January 23, 2006


Hey loquax: no matter how hard you try to coin 'CPC', we still call them the Conservatives. See there on the tv? CON. Not CPC.

The only thing that doesn't make me run out immediately and get my papers to emigrate to Iceland is the fact that the Liberals and the NDP clearly outnumber the Conservatives, to say nothing of the Bloc. So there's very little the wack-jobs can do. Now they're centre stage and we can see how screwy they actually are. You thought corruption was bad? Let's see what the right-wing bible-thumpers can manage...there's a reason they weren't allowed to speak in public during the campaign.

The only reason the Conservatives got anywhere is because people wanted to punish the Liberals. Hardly a ringing mandate.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:42 PM on January 23, 2006


Agreed, Chuckles. Harper moving to the centre may also give the Liberals an opening in the West if they move towards the right, at least regionally.

Hildegarde: Whatever. They're the CPC. Call them whatever you like, and I'll do the same.
posted by loquax at 8:45 PM on January 23, 2006


Sweet, it's about friggin' time. Glad to hear a lot of conservative candidates suggest various liberal party members are likely going where they belong: JAIL. Canadians have decided: You cant steal from our country and get away with it.
posted by shepd at 8:47 PM on January 23, 2006


We're famous, or infamous.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:48 PM on January 23, 2006


loquax: I can't see how drifting towards the NDP will help the Liberals, only bleed more votes in that direction.

The popular vote is currently 28% left, 30% centre-right, and 36% far-right. I think your ideas about liberals moving right don't stand the test of logic...

There is other evidence... The Martin cronies have been hard hit I think - Valeri is out, Mahoney still can't find a seat, Anne McClelland is out. Many of the other losses are Martin cronies too, I think, but I'm not that up on the complete list.
posted by Chuckles at 8:49 PM on January 23, 2006


Yeah, we'll only give you a hundred-odd seats if you steal from our country. Ouch!
posted by Hildegarde at 8:49 PM on January 23, 2006


At least the liberals will have more than 100 seats, and Harper won't be able to last five years. I expect a lot more "smearing" of the liberals to help strengthen the conservatives in the event of any future election. Unfortunately, unless Harper or his cabinet make any serious gaffs, they'll be too fresh to have anything to hold against them. It's a real shame that Harper will be in our history books now. C'est la vie.
posted by furtive at 8:50 PM on January 23, 2006


P.S. Any bets on who will be taking Martin's place as head of the liberal party? Stronach? (shudder)
posted by furtive at 8:51 PM on January 23, 2006


Liberal seats + NDP seats = Lameduck Harper

If he tries to pull to much Jesus bullshit, he'll be out of there in no time. I am glad to see a change at the top overall, but I would have like to see the NDP there, not the Conservatives.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:52 PM on January 23, 2006


Well, hildegarde, I suppose it's nothing new. There's just that certain set of Canadians that refuse to listen. I can still remember the reason the liberals got into power "I WILL REPEAL THE GST!" ... yet for some reason we re-elected them.

At least directly stealing from people, instead of indirectly doing it by telling everyone they'd pay 7% less tax and then not doing it makes people do something. Oddly enough, 7% sales tax on everything works out to way more than the $10 (or less) that the liberals stole from every Canadian. It's really odd.

The only shame in our history books is that directly lying to Canadians gets you re-elected, furtive. The nicest thing in our books is that we won't let felons back in to power.
posted by shepd at 8:55 PM on January 23, 2006


Chuckles - I mean that riding-by-riding, the Liberals stand to lose more seats to NDPers if they move towards them in terms of policy, while presumably losing more ground in CPC ridings. Assume that they attempted to compete with the NDP and in effect swallow their seats - they could grab say half, while probably losing an equivalent amount to the CPC.

If the Libs want a majority, they're going to have to take back CPC gains in this election and then some, how can they do that without moving right?

Furtive: I'd bet an Ontarian, maybe Graham, maybe Macallum, possibly Ignatieff, improbably Dryden. I suppose Goodale can't be ignored, but somehow I can't see it. That's at first glance, anyways.
posted by loquax at 8:56 PM on January 23, 2006


loquax, what you mean by 'the west' is Alberta (well, judging by tonights popular vote, maybe Saskatchewan as well), and the Liberals will remain hated in Alberta for many years to come. The policy flip flop required to change that fact would be astonishing. It is still an interesting idea though...
posted by Chuckles at 8:56 PM on January 23, 2006


I'm curious to see who'll take McLellan's cabinet position. It's a pretty hefty portfolio, and one I work under so I have a personal interest.
posted by aclevername at 8:56 PM on January 23, 2006


Chrétien kept Canada out of Iraq. I don't call that an embarrassment.
posted by zadcat at 8:58 PM on January 23, 2006


The only reason the Conservatives got anywhere is because people wanted to punish the Liberals.

Yep, good old fashioned revenge voting, brought to you by the Shoot Yourself In the Foot Brigade™

Can someone tell me what in the holy hell this dippy broad is holding against her head?


posted by zarah at 9:03 PM on January 23, 2006


This result seems like a win for all.

Conservatives get their government but it's a weak minority, so they're unlikely to get really radical and start outlawing abortion or same-sex marriage (they may try on the latter, but they'd likely be defeated on it). Should put supporters of human rights slightly at ease.

Liberals survive with a decent amount of seats and a chance to rebuild, even though things probably couldn't be worse for them. They're punished, but their future prospects look all right.

Conservatives get some seats in Quebec, which sends a signal to the separatists that support isn't strong for separation.

NDP gains some seats. Actually, this election may not be good for the NDP in the long run, as votes for the NDP did kind of translate into a Conservative government. It depends how they play the game this time around. If they're shrewd power brokers, they could retain their seats and perhaps even gain some next time around. But they could stand to lose a lot too if people hold Layton responsible for PM Harper.

But then, no projection survives contact with the election.
posted by showmethecalvino at 9:03 PM on January 23, 2006


Chuckles: Include BC in that too, the CPC lost seats to the NDP somewhat surprisingly, but they still took most of the non-Vancouver ridings handily.

I'm not saying they will move to the right, only that I can't see any plausibly way in which any party will be able to put together a majority again without serious shifts in philosophy in one direction or the other, particularly the CPC moving to the left and the Libs moving to the right. In other words, the basic scenario we had for a hundred odd years before the BQ showed up and messed up the whole system.
posted by loquax at 9:04 PM on January 23, 2006


If Stephen Harper had been in power two years ago we'd be at war right now. Thank God we have the Liberals and the NDP (and the bloc) to keep us out of Iran.

By the way, this election cost more than the sponsorship scandal. I hope this feels worth it to you. It doesn't to me.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:04 PM on January 23, 2006


That's it. Tomorrow our cities will be overrun with soldiers. With guns.

I'm not making this up.
posted by mazola at 9:09 PM on January 23, 2006


Chuckles is bang on here - the Liberal party has actually done reasonably well considering polling last week. But Martin's cronies have been hammered except for Lapierre, but Outremont is one of the safest seats in the country.

The biggest story of all might be the breakthrough for the Conservatives in Quebec. I had heard through the grapevine here in Ottawa that the party was hoping in private for 8-10 seats, but in public they said that they thought the polls were close - which would have netted them 3 seats. To have broken through to this extent changes a lot in QC. It changes the dynamic inside the Conservative party a LOT, particularly if Cannon or Verner gets the deputy PM job, and the QC caucus will be a tremendous moderating influence on the party.

It also changes the political dynamic in QC in general. The Bloc has only ever had to fight against one party, which was either loved or hated. There was never really that much of a debate on policy between them. This changes all that, and the Bloc will have to fight to prove its relevance. That said, I think the Bloc and the Conservatives will find a lot of fruitful ground to work together.
posted by mikel at 9:10 PM on January 23, 2006


It was hard for me to forsee an outcome to this election that was within the realm of possibility other than this one - a Conservative minority. The Liberals needed their peepees whacked, and the Conservatives were the only party that was going to get enough votes to take over, federally.

I'm not well pleased that that dipshit Harper will be our PM, but he'll be well-shackled, and the amount of mischief he'll get up to will be carefully circumscribed.

No worries.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:10 PM on January 23, 2006


Looks like Hedy Fry has beat Svend Robinson in Vancouver Centre.

So, the results: predictable. It'll be a very short run. I don't expect Harper to last as long as Joe Clark did.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:12 PM on January 23, 2006


It's official, Martin won't run as leader of the party again.
posted by loquax at 9:14 PM on January 23, 2006


God, I miss Joe Clark.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:14 PM on January 23, 2006


Loquax, I think the place to look for movement is not on the right-left spectrum but on the centralist/provinces spectrum. It remains to be seen if the Conservatives will be yet another strong-center federalist party as the Liberals have been of course but even Mulroney was. As the party changed names and moderated some positions, have they become a strong-center/strong-Ottawa party too? If not, how far will they go?

The Liberals can't do much in that area - they invented strong federalism. But as they reinvent themselves in the center, they also now have the NDP on the left stronger than almost ever. If they NDP makes a move to modernize themselves (which they have to do in the post-union NDP), the Liberals could find little room to move.
posted by mikel at 9:14 PM on January 23, 2006


MARTIN STEPPING DOWN AS LIBERAL PARTY LEADER.
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 PM on January 23, 2006


Ahhhh with a new Liberal Leader, the next government will be Liberal. Probably with a majority, too.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:15 PM on January 23, 2006


The only thing that doesn't make me run out immediately and get my papers to emigrate to Iceland is the fact that the Liberals and the NDP clearly outnumber the Conservatives, to say nothing of the Bloc.

I wonder why no one ever follows up on these idiotic threats of "I'm not playing anymore!"
posted by Krrrlson at 9:15 PM on January 23, 2006


I mean that riding-by-riding, the Liberals stand to lose more seats to NDPers

Well, that would be unprecedented. During the Mulroney years the NDP grabbed territory from the Liberals, just as they are doing tonight. During Liberal majorities before and after Mulroney the NDP had much less support (although looking back to 1980 on wikipedia, perhaps my interpretation doesn't extend that far back).

Include BC in that too

I don't think so. Conservative popular vote so far tonight, by province:
65% in Alberta,
49% in Saskatchewan,
43% in Manitoba,
38% in BC,
36% in New Brunswick,
35% in Ontario,
30% in Nova Scotia
I can't see any plausibly way in which any party will be able to put together a majority again without serious shifts in philosophy
...
In other words, the basic scenario we had for a hundred odd years before the BQ showed up and messed up the whole system.


Well, it might be wishful thinking, but the Bloq might be on the way down in a serious way. I can't see Quebec giving up on all the plum government contracts and sovereignty appointments for much longer.

Canada needs some form of proportional representation badly! That is really wishful thinking...
posted by Chuckles at 9:15 PM on January 23, 2006


Martin won't lead the party for the next election. He shouldn't.
posted by QIbHom at 9:16 PM on January 23, 2006


Speaking of the BQ, what do you make of their (by all accounts) disappointing showing tonight? Granted they remain far and away the party to beat in Quebec, they but it was hardly the federalist massacre that most people seemed to be predicting, and not even close to the +50% of the popular vote that Duceppe wanted.
posted by Sullenshady at 9:19 PM on January 23, 2006


The race was the Liberals' to lose, which they managed to do quite well.
posted by clevershark at 9:19 PM on January 23, 2006


I wonder why no one ever follows up on these idiotic threats of "I'm not playing anymore!"

Krrrlson, I turned down a job in the US because of that country's track record on gay rights. There is no threat involved here. If we had gotten a Conservative government that tried to roll back gay marriage, I would be looking at relocating. I happen to take my rights seriously.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:20 PM on January 23, 2006


Heh, I predicted Martin stepping down. Good to see John Manley joking about running "Some people may want a ... charismatic leader, and some people may support me."

So, bets on who will want to run as his replacement?
posted by furtive at 9:22 PM on January 23, 2006


zarah - those look like noisemakers to me (they were popularized in Korea [south, presumably] and migrated into professional sports spectators in N. America). They're basically inflated plastic sleeves/tubes. Bang them togather and they go boom boom boom (well, biff biff biff) that's fairly loud and carries a fair distance.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:25 PM on January 23, 2006


Finally, Canada escapes the clutches of those avaricious, powermad Liberals!
Finally, a return to the Conservatives, who'll no doubt treat us with the respect we deserve, and will conduct themselves with the honesty and accountability that were the hallmarks of the last time they were in charge.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:26 PM on January 23, 2006


Canada needs some form of proportional representation badly!

Agreed. Hell, as soon as that happens, I'll start my own party!

(and I scooped you all on that Martin announcement!)

Speaking of the BQ, what do you make of their (by all accounts) disappointing showing tonight?

The non-BQ popular vote stayed about the same (actually dipped a little). I think it was a combination of some real star CPC candidates and a near-total migration of liberal votes to the CPC in key ridings. I think mikel's assessment of future elections in Quebec is bang on, as might be chuckle's prediction of their future success. It appears as though there are 30 or so hardcore sovereigntist ridings, and the rest will be up for grabs between three parties, not only two in the near future.

furtive: After thinking some more, I think it's a three-way race between Graham, Goodale and Ignatieff.
posted by loquax at 9:26 PM on January 23, 2006


didn't Harper promise the BQ tons of appointments and power and stuff?

and who replaces Martin now?
posted by amberglow at 9:27 PM on January 23, 2006




Yeah, that's the stuff, Alvy.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:27 PM on January 23, 2006


If we had gotten a Conservative government that tried to roll back gay marriage, I would be looking at relocating. I happen to take my rights seriously.

Agreed. It's bad enough when a government wants to prevent me (as a gay woman) gaining rights, it's a whole other ball game to take away something that's been given. Thankfully the combination of the Lib/NDP/BQ numbers will prevent that.
posted by aclevername at 9:27 PM on January 23, 2006


Layton speaking.
posted by orthogonality at 9:38 PM on January 23, 2006


Like so many people, when I hear the word "Conservative Party" about Canadian politics, I cringe. But you know, I actually read their platform document. There's very little in there I had a problem with.
People keep painting them as Canada's version of the religious right, but I just don't really see it. Is this possibly just a case of people wanting to bash the way the Americans get to?
posted by nightchrome at 9:39 PM on January 23, 2006


One interesting result: Olivia Chow, wife of NDP leader Jack Layton, is going to the Commons as well as MP for Trinity-Spadina. Off-hand I can't think of any other party leader in the world with his/her spouse also in the parliament. They're going to be a formidable team.
posted by j.s.f. at 9:46 PM on January 23, 2006


loquax: After thinking some more, I think it's a three-way race between Graham, Goodale and Ignatieff.

I don't know where to begin thinking about this... Every Liberal leader save one (I think) has gone on to become Prime Minister...

I can't see Graham at all. I can't really see Goodale either, although I don't really have any reasons to back that up. Stronach will run, she has some potential but I don't think it will ever go anywhere. Does that leave Ignatieff? Heh...

nightchrome, that might be it. There is the Iraq war thing though, and that is a very big deal (yes I know, Harper never actually said 'Canadian troops in Iraq', but I believe using that detail as a proof of policy is highly revisionist) - and Kyoto too, of course. The old Bill Davis/John Robarts Conservatives seem to have been pretty good for Ontario, but recent Conservative Governemnts in Ontario and Canada have been bad news!
posted by Chuckles at 9:48 PM on January 23, 2006


I have a vain hope that Michaelle Jean will say that Harper doesn't have the confidence of the house (since he is a minority that is, I think, much less likely to work with him than they were with Martin's minority) and declare somebody else the new PM. Unlikely, I know, but it is within her powers, and it'd be fun.

I don't think it'd serve much purpose, but it'd make for some interesting politics.
posted by synecdoche at 9:49 PM on January 23, 2006


It's beer and popcorn time!
posted by mazola at 9:50 PM on January 23, 2006


I really don't know much about politics back home, as I left the country before I ever even began to care about such things. I just swallowed the old line of "red good, blue bad" that was near-standard all over the Maritimes.
In truth though, it doesn't seem like a bad idea for a government to be composed of a mixture of viewpoints rather than overwhelmingly one-way.

I have to admit though, I was surprised to see the tough stance the Conservatives took on campaign donations and so forth. It's weird that in Canada, it's the liberal party that is well-known for kickbacks and favoritism and being corporate shills, whereas the conservatives are the ones clamoring for stricter legislation. Kind of the exact opposite of things down South.
posted by nightchrome at 9:53 PM on January 23, 2006


I'm really looking forward to the Liberal leadership convention!

zarah - those look like noisemakers to me

They have an unfortunate appearance, sort of a cross between cow teat & dildo 8) I suspect that girl is going to be teased about that photo for years to come, heh.
posted by zarah at 9:53 PM on January 23, 2006


I take great comfort in the fact that this is a protest election. The Connies have been elected with an even smaller minority than the previous scandal-ridden liberals. What does that tell you about the Conservative movement in Canada? It ain't going anywhere.
posted by SSinVan at 9:56 PM on January 23, 2006


our conservatives are considerably more to the left of conservatives in the u.s. unfortunately, canadians are easily swayed by innuendo and misinformation, and are confused about this. this minority government will give the cons a chance to prove themselves and hopefully allay some fears.
posted by Haveed at 9:57 PM on January 23, 2006


Haveed, I think you are right on that. I myself have been seriously swayed by this imagery of Canadian Conservatives being Bush bootlickers, and it just does not seem to be the truth at all.
posted by nightchrome at 9:59 PM on January 23, 2006


nightchrome: I agree that our right isn't dripping with evil as yours is, but Harper recently gave a very evasive (Even for a Canadian politician) interview regarding his opinions on gay marriage and abortion on what I would consider a sympathetic network. That, coupled with the House of Commons tradition of reusing today's platform document as tommorrow's toilet paper, leads me to assume there are a lot of things that have gone unmentioned during this campaign.

Personally, Harper doesn't offend me. He's smarter than the average bear, and he has some common sense, but there are a lot of people that he's had to appease to get to where is today, and after tonight, they'll be even hungrier.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:59 PM on January 23, 2006


amberglow writes "didn't Harper promise the BQ tons of appointments and power and stuff?

"and who replaces Martin now?"


Just a guess, but Michael Ignatieff seems like a fairly good choice.
posted by purephase at 10:00 PM on January 23, 2006


Alvy Ampersand, I'm definitely Canadian. I just haven't lived there in a few years. I am wary of a few of the things I saw on their agenda. Namely their views on drug law, child porn law, and of course the gay marriage issue.

Hrm, this is the second time I've said that, but I still feel the need to explain the child porn thing. They want a zero tolerance stance, but I feel there are legitimate reasons for law enforcement officials and investigative reporters to be in possession of such materials. That's all. :P
posted by nightchrome at 10:01 PM on January 23, 2006


j.s.f - Nina and Gurmant Grewal were the only other husband and wife team to serve at the same time, although since Gurmant wasn't running again (that tape recording scandal I can't remember enough about to detail) Layton and Chow are the only couple currently.

nightchrome - although the platform itself may be less objectionable than "the religious right", there are a number of individual candidates (David Sweet in the Hamilton area springs to mind immediately, since he runs where I used to live and his views are the epitome of Christian Conservative), that have very social conservative views that will exercise them on issues like gay-rights, abortion and other hot button issues if Harper is able to follow through on his promise to put those issues to an open vote in parliament. Admittedly, some of this was used as scare tactics by the liberals and those candidates do not make up the majority of the conservatives (at least I don't think so), but I remember an article or OpEd in the Globe that was slightly less partisan that pointed out a few candidates in particular.
posted by Cyrie at 10:02 PM on January 23, 2006


Michael Ignatieff doesn't care about Ukrainians.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:03 PM on January 23, 2006


loquax: After thinking some more, I think it's a three-way race between Graham, Goodale and Ignatieff.
I'm giving outside odds that Brian Tobin comes back.

You have to give credit to Martin though. He's used his last breath of power to steal some of the Conservative's thunder. Tomorrow people will be talking about the next Liberal leader as much as they will about Harper's victory.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:03 PM on January 23, 2006


Harper's going to allow a free vote on gay marriage?
posted by orthogonality at 10:05 PM on January 23, 2006


It's weird that in Canada, it's the liberal party that is well-known for kickbacks and favoritism and being corporate shills, whereas the conservatives are the ones clamoring for stricter legislation. Kind of the exact opposite of things down South.

What is called 'conservative' in America these days isn't, fiscally, geopolitically, or otherwise.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:05 PM on January 23, 2006


Cyrie, well hopefully not having a majority will keep things a bit more balanced so that those extreme positions don't get any table-time.
Frankly, the Liberals were getting to be absolutely pathetic near the end, so I'd almost like a change of pace that involves at least different kinds of scandals...

stavros, yeah I am well aware of that. Sadly I spend more time thinking about American politics than I do those of my own country. I barely comprehend the landscape these days, and this election showed me it.
posted by nightchrome at 10:07 PM on January 23, 2006


Harper is an wolf in sheep's clothing. He appealed to the centre constituent in order to gain the votes (clearly, a good choice) but the House better be on it's heels. I would not be surprised at all if he tried to swing the party back to the right. I'm still shocked at the Conservative turn-out. This is a sad day for this country and if, for whatever reason, the Conservative government cannot be properly contained, Conservatives voters will (hopefully) regret their decision.
posted by purephase at 10:07 PM on January 23, 2006


Just a guess, but Michael Ignatieff seems like a fairly good choice.
In recent years, Ignatieff has generated controversy by supporting the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the proposed Canada-U.S. North American Missile Defence Shield.

Particularly controversial was an article about torture that Ignatieff published in The New York Times Magazine on May 2, 2004. Ignatieff argued for "an outight ban on torture" but advocated "a lesser evil approach" in which legislation might permit coercive interogation including "forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress." Conor Gearty, professor of human rights law at the London School of Economics accused Ignatieff and other liberal intellectuals of giving Donald Rumsfeld "the intellectual tools with which to justify his government's expansionism" and creating an atmosphere in which torture ordered by the US government might be condoned.
(from the Wikipedia entry) Hmmm. You reckon?

I barely comprehend the landscape these days, and this election showed me it.

You're not the only one, mate.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:08 PM on January 23, 2006


purephase, what makes you so certain that this is a bad thing? I mean, really, aside from dire predictions. I honestly would like to know.
posted by nightchrome at 10:09 PM on January 23, 2006


stavros, it's nice and simple in the US. Evil and Different-Kind-of-Evil. Whereas in Canada it's pretty much Not-Bad and Different-Kind-of-Not-Bad.
posted by nightchrome at 10:12 PM on January 23, 2006


stavrosthewonderchicken writes "Hmmm. You reckon?

I did not mean "good" in that I agree with the decision, I just meant that, from what I've read, Ignatieff seems like a strong front runner for the Liberal leadership.
posted by purephase at 10:13 PM on January 23, 2006


orthogonality: Harper's going to allow a free vote on gay marriage?

Yes. I've heard him say it a few times during the campaign. I don't think it will change anything, but it is kind of too bad that we have to do it all over again.
posted by Chuckles at 10:16 PM on January 23, 2006


the cpc won't be taking a turn to the right anytime soon. that's what the cons have been figuring out the past 12 years in obscurity. stephen harper, for all the misinformation, is largely on the libertarian side of the party. he knows that the party needs to stay on the centrist side to stay in power. but he also knows that there are supporters on the far right that expect certain things - any debate that comes up about contentious issues will be allowed as token returns to those supporters. but don't expect same sex marriage or abortion rights to be ripped away.
posted by Haveed at 10:21 PM on January 23, 2006


Is there any chance John Manley might jump back in the ring for a chance at Liberal leader? I think he might have a devent shot, but not sure if he even qualifies at this point...
posted by aclevername at 10:21 PM on January 23, 2006


One thing for the rest of us Americans to know:

In Canada, the Liberal party uses red. The Conservatives use Blue. Exactly flipped from the way the US media does it for our elections.

The New Democratic Party (central) party uses Orange. And Bloc Québécois uses this blue/green teal color.

Here are the rest of them:

Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party: Dark Brown
Independent: White
Canadian Action Party: Lime Green
Libertarian Party: Pink
Christian Heritage Party: two black perpendicular lines, intersecting 3/4 ways up the vertical line
Marijuana Party: Green.
Communist Party: Red Squares.
Marxist-Leninist Party: Smaller red squares.
No Affiliation: varies per candidate
First Peoples National Party: I don't know this one.
Progressive Canadian Party: A green gecko on a white field.
Green Party of Canada: Green.
Western Block Party: Puse.
Third Parties: A tricolor combination that looks like Vanilla-Chockolate-Strawberry ice cream.

(I kid because I love.)
posted by andreaazure at 10:23 PM on January 23, 2006


[quote]Third Parties: A tricolor combination that looks like Vanilla-Chockolate-Strawberry ice cream.[/quote]

Mind the typo. I am sleeepy.
posted by andreaazure at 10:24 PM on January 23, 2006


Yeah the red/blue thing totally confused me when I first started paying attention to American politics.
posted by nightchrome at 10:26 PM on January 23, 2006


Harper's going to allow a free vote on gay marriage?

I suspect that the other three caucuses will not allow their members to vote freely on any government bill tabled by the Tories, however.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:28 PM on January 23, 2006


Looks like turnout is going to pass 65% nationally, and pass 67% in Ontario.

Trinity-Spadina had a 74% turnout, pretty impressive... I got about 4 calls from the Olivia Chow campaign office including a get-out-the-vote call today (yesterday now). Not a single call from Liberal Tony Ianno - I'm not quite in the Italian neighborhood where his support is highest though. Not every day the NDP out organizes the Liberals, even if it is only one riding.
posted by Chuckles at 10:30 PM on January 23, 2006


chuckles: you're right, a free vote isn't going to change anything - we're not losing ssm - you say it's too bad that we have to do it all over again, but the thing is, it was never really done before... the supreme court made a decision and the liberal government just said they would support it - there was no open debate or free vote to begin with. it was passed by Liberal MP's who were forced to vote along party lines. This time, at least, the representatives we've chosen will be able to vote the way their constituents want. and I don't think that'll change things, but at least it will be honest and open.

ditto on the abortion debate - we don't have a law legalizing it, we don't have a law. period. because nobody's touched it since our courts struck down the last law. nope I don't want to talk about it either, but if our elected members can't have open discussions about these issues, what the hell are they there for?
posted by Haveed at 10:30 PM on January 23, 2006


Whoa - Did he just say a 6% GST immediately?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:36 PM on January 23, 2006


Forgot to add, the way voters lists are tabulated changed in 2000. Before that enumerators would walk the streets and knock on doors to make the list, and it was probably a little smaller than the actual number of electors. In the new system the list is gathered in many ways, but mostly from a voluntary check box on income tax returns and the list from a previous election. This makes new lists a little larger than the actual number of electors. Recent election turnout might be a little higher than it appears, in comparison with numbers from older elections.
posted by Chuckles at 10:36 PM on January 23, 2006


Alvy, yes that's one of their plans. To be reduced to 5% within 5 years as well.
posted by nightchrome at 10:38 PM on January 23, 2006


Whoa - Did he just say a 6% GST immediately?
Well, he's not actually PM for a week or so, so I doubt like right now. But I do expect this to be one of Harpers first pieces of legislation.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:39 PM on January 23, 2006


Naveed:

Bill C-38 passed by a free vote in June 2005. Indeed a number of liberals voted against it, so how can you say it never happened?
posted by aclevername at 10:39 PM on January 23, 2006


they're cutting the gst by 1% immediately, and a further 1% within 5 years.
posted by Haveed at 10:39 PM on January 23, 2006


For all the people hoping for a Liberal/NDP coup in the House of Commons it would appear Layton is looking to sell out every card-carrying party member:

"Layton went on to promise that NDP members of Parliament 'will be looking for ways to co-operate' with the Conservatives in a divided House of Commons."

source
posted by saraswati at 10:41 PM on January 23, 2006


Haveed: Liberal MP's who were forced to vote along party lines.

NDP members were whipped. Liberal Cabinet Ministers were whipped, but Liberal back benchers were free to vote their conscience. The Conservatives were free. I can't remember how it worked for the Bloq. If anyone is wondering, 'whipped' means that the members were forced to vote along party lines.

Harper is speaking, and he is not sounding very flexible... Of course he has to talk tough on election night, I'm not sure it really means anything.
posted by Chuckles at 10:42 PM on January 23, 2006


Just a note for Americans thinking that this vote represents a shift to the right in Canada. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois would all be on the left of the spectrum, far left as compared to the Democrats in the US. These 3 parties got 181 seats combined as compared to 124 for the Reform-a-Tories. Popular vote wise as well, they combine for 58.5% of the vote, as compared to 36.3 percent for the Conservatives. Add in ~5% for the Greens and you'll see where Canadian's allegiances lay.

The cool thing about our parliamentary system is that unlike in the US where the party getting 49.999% of the vote is left basically out in the cold, in our system, these parties must be kept happy for the Conservatives to get anything done.

Far from perfect still but, a damn sight better than it could be.
posted by Loctor at 10:43 PM on January 23, 2006


They all have to look for ways to cooperate - that's the general force behind a minority. I didn't vote NDP on the idea that they would NEVER co-operate, just that they wouldn't on things like abortion or SSM.

I still trust Jack on that.
posted by aclevername at 10:43 PM on January 23, 2006


Sorry, my earlier comment on the free vote was aimed at Haveed. Clearly I cannot read and am far too much of an OLP fan.
posted by aclevername at 10:44 PM on January 23, 2006


Hopefully you're right, aclevername. I don't trust him all that much.
posted by saraswati at 10:46 PM on January 23, 2006


Naveed, many people misunderstand exactly what a free vote entails; it does not include Cabinet. A free vote simply means that the backbenchers are not required to vote in lockstep with caucus.

The only time in Canadian history (and one of the few times in Commonwealth history) that Cabinet was allowed to vote their consciences was when the Mulroney government tabled a death penalty reinstatement bill.

When the government introduces bills, it is saying, in essence, "we, the government, support this bill." The government is made up of the Executive -- that is, the Cabinet, only. The MPS who are not in Cabinet make up the legislative branch of government. This is a significant distinction; in fact, Cabinet ministers may not have their offices within the confines of the Parliament Buildings or its precincts in order to firmly show this distinction.

For a Cabinet member to vote against a bill indicates that the government does not support the bill. As such, the Executive must vote as one block. This is why cabinet ministers who want to vote against a government bill must step down from Cabinet, as has happened fairly often throughout Canadian and Commonwealth parliamentary history.

But like I said, if a bill to repeal C-38 is tabled, I predict that the other three parties will not allow their caucuses to vote freely (or on any other government bill). Not that it really matters. Even if a bill to repeal C-38 is passed, the Senate will send it to the Supreme Court for judicial oversight. They will reject it as unconstitutional, and thus so will the Senate. And I don't see Harper getting enough votes to use the notwithstanding clause. Gay marriage is here to stay.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:49 PM on January 23, 2006


I knew they had promised to reduce it to 5%, but it still threw me to hear that 'immediately'. Gotta hand it to Harper, though, that was a good speech.
My primary concern isn't social programs/rights. A minority government can't damage them too badly, and there's still the Supreme Court and the fact that I have faith in my country. But as someone who is seriously considering joining the Armed Forces, I will be watching this government's actions and international policies like a hawk. I doubt "But I voted Liberal!" would get me off of a transport bound for Whoknowswhatsnextistan.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:49 PM on January 23, 2006


I fully admit that I am possibly naive, but the idea of any NDP caucus fully or even remotely cooperating with the Alliance is out of my realm of possibility. I choose to believe that in saying "cooperate" Jack meant "pressure" them towards the centre.

It helps me sleep at night to think this, because the day the NDP truly get in bed with the Alliance I move to the Netherlands.
posted by aclevername at 10:51 PM on January 23, 2006


Just a guess, but Michael Ignatieff seems like a fairly good choice.

ugh--can't you guys do better than someone who supports our illegal and wrong actions in Iraq and defends "coercive interrogation" ?
posted by amberglow at 10:51 PM on January 23, 2006


It helps me sleep at night to think this, because the day the NDP truly get in bed with the Alliance I move to the Netherlands.

I have been leaning towards New Zealand.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:52 PM on January 23, 2006


Please.. not the A word.

I still wake up screaming thinking that Stockwell Day could've been our leader
posted by saraswati at 10:57 PM on January 23, 2006


personally, I wish the government would stay the hell away from all that stuff. our cons are as close as I can get to libertarian.
posted by Haveed at 10:57 PM on January 23, 2006


reuters: Canada takes tentative step to right in election--... Traditional wisdom dictates that minority governments in Canada usually last between a year and 18 months.
posted by amberglow at 10:58 PM on January 23, 2006


I still wake up screaming thinking that Stockwell Day could've been our leader

In this instance I would prefer he were, as he wuickly hanged himself PR wise when he was leader.
posted by aclevername at 10:59 PM on January 23, 2006


Quickly damn it
posted by aclevername at 11:00 PM on January 23, 2006


True, he cocked up his political career pretty bad but he was still scary. Harper doesn't seem as bad to me in comparison.
posted by saraswati at 11:03 PM on January 23, 2006


I marked my ballot "none of the above" and they didn't get elected *sigh*
posted by squeak at 11:14 PM on January 23, 2006


I voted Liberal in the Calgary Centre-North riding, which is kinda like peeing into the Bow to warm it up. My only consolation is that they won't be able to pass anything really radical.

I can't believe nobody has said it, but...

I, for one, welcome our new Conservative overlords.

Not.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:27 PM on January 23, 2006


Can we talk about the real winner of the Canadian federal election?
posted by holgate at 11:34 PM on January 23, 2006


AmericaCanada sucks more every day.
posted by wakko at 11:41 PM on January 23, 2006


I don't know if it's been linked to yet, but this Dose quiz is pretty funny.
posted by loquax at 11:43 PM on January 23, 2006


From Rick Mercer's 'Rant', before the results came in:

"If the Tories take it, in a week to ten days, Stockwell Day could be getting sworn in as Canada's Minister for Foreign Affairs. Now, I don't think that's going to happen, because -- quite frankly -- I'm not that lucky."
posted by holgate at 11:46 PM on January 23, 2006


Well Libby Davies has been returned in my riding, it wasn't even close. First election victory party I've been to since Dave Barrret won in 72, weird feeling.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:33 AM on January 24, 2006


After thinking some more, I think it's a three-way race between Graham, Goodale and Ignatieff.

Wha? Are you high?

Graham is out; he doesn't want the job and, more importantly, his private life wouldn't stand the scrutiny. Goodale might run if there wasn't that small detail of oh, I don't know, being under investigation by the RCMP. And Ignatieff is only leadership material in the province of his very large ego. Never happen.

This is McKenna's to lose, boys and girls. The geniuses that brought us Paul Martin have already slid their chips over to the table of the ambassador to the US.

Although I'm still holding out hope that Captain Canada can take the leadership.
posted by docgonzo at 5:22 AM on January 24, 2006


Has Dryden shown any interest at all in the leadership? I saw him mentioned somewhere else as a remote possible choice, and I'm not quite sure why his chances seem so slim. He won his riding handily again, he's smart, and he connects very well with people. Has he just not built up support within the party? Or would he have to be dragged kicking and screaming to even consider it?
posted by maudlin at 5:53 AM on January 24, 2006


I agree docgonzo: this is going to be between McKenna and Manley, with Ignatieff as a dark horse. And you are correct: it's McKenna's to lose. I think a great many Canadians would be excited to have Mac as PM.

Tobin would be an absolute, unmitigated disaster as leader. The guy is a glory hound and complete stuffed shirt. Think Alan Rock or Sheila Copps but without the intelectual ability.
posted by bonehead at 6:32 AM on January 24, 2006


The geniuses who brought us Paul Martin have been soundly discredited for some time. If it is THEM who want McKenna, well he's still got a decent shot but he has less of a shot than if he were to get his own gang together independent of both Chretien and Martin loyalists. I think that's one of the things he's done well, actually, is recognizing that he should stay very clear of the Liberal party in the past few years, at least in public.

I don't think Ignatieff or Stronach can be taken seriously as leadership candidates.

I think the real candidates can be found among the gang who have sat out for the past 2 to 4 years. Tobin (can he do his prodigal son thing twice?), Rock (gah, lightweight alert), Manley (too boring), Cauchon (probably 2nd leader from now though). McKenna of course. Also, I think you can guage how well someone might do by whether Sheila Copps is onside or not. People hate Copps, and she has her negatives, but she is vastly underestimated as a political force in the Hamilton area.

I think Dryden might think he's in the mix, but I really don't see it. Too much of a wonk. His facial hair could get into a deathmatch with Layton's moustache though, that would be fun.
posted by mikel at 6:36 AM on January 24, 2006


IOW I think the upcoming Liberal battle will only be useful to the party if it allows them to get out of the Trudeau/Turner dichotomy, which they have been in all this time. Martin was simply a variation on a theme. They have to break the mold altogether.
posted by mikel at 6:38 AM on January 24, 2006


Tobin would be an absolute, unmitigated disaster as leader. The guy is a glory hound and complete stuffed shirt. Think Alan Rock or Sheila Copps but without the intelectual ability.

I disagree. I think Smilin' Brian is very adept at projecting a certain folksy, aw shucks, good ol Newf charm. But while he may not hold many academic credentials -- something about dropping out to sell pot got in the way -- he has an unparalleled political instinct.

If he's such a gloryhound why did he drop out of the Liberals years before the shit hit the fan with Sponsorgate? That speaks to his smarts -- knowing Martin would implode and not wanting to be tarred with that shitstorm -- and his ability to keep his eyes on the prize.

And if Sheila's so smart, how come she got caught in the "I promise to repeal the GST" snafu and then got rolled by Tony Valeri? Please. At least writing for The Sun she's found her own intellectual level.

Brian Tobin will be Canada's first PM from the rock. You read it here first (and I've been saying it for years.)
posted by docgonzo at 6:40 AM on January 24, 2006


i expect great conservative losses in the USA come november.
posted by brandz at 10:14 PM CST on January 23 [!]


Expect to be disappointed. (Sadly)
posted by Ynoxas at 6:59 AM on January 24, 2006


I'm not suggesting that Copps is so smart, just that her family has controlled Hamilton for several generations and that it's important that the Liberals can use those kinds of power levers as they have for most of their history.
posted by mikel at 7:00 AM on January 24, 2006


I think Dryden might think he's in the mix, but I really don't see it. Too much of a wonk. His facial hair could get into a deathmatch with Layton's moustache though, that would be fun.

I'm picturing the leaders' debates, with Ken leaning on his stick while the others are talking:



GO HABS GO! (And you wouldn't see the beard behind the mask.)

Brian Tobin will be Canada's first PM from the rock.

Well, as a Newfoundlander I can confess that the idea has a certain appeal, but... no. The Grits could sorely use him right now in opposition, as his theatrics are certainly attention-getting.
posted by hangashore at 7:07 AM on January 24, 2006


If they both run, the Lib leadership race will be a close call between Tobin and McKenna. I like them both, so either way the Libs will be well poised to take the next election in 12-18 months. Copps is hated everywhere except in Central Hamilton, where her father's legacy as a well-loved mayor still carries wieght. Manley and Dryden both lack charisma. Ignatieff is still an unknown, and those who know him see him as a foreigner (he's lived outside of Canada most of his adult life).
posted by rocket88 at 7:38 AM on January 24, 2006


Chrétien kept Canada out of Iraq. I don't call that an embarrassment.
posted by zadcat at 11:58 PM EST on January 23 [!]


Exactly. It was just the opposite in fact.
posted by juiceCake at 7:39 AM on January 24, 2006


I am wondering to what extent will the BQ cooperate with the new government?
posted by paradroid at 7:48 AM on January 24, 2006


nightchrome writes "People keep painting them as Canada's version of the religious right, but I just don't really see it. Is this possibly just a case of people wanting to bash the way the Americans get to?"

This is because they are still being run by the Reform party who, in Alberta at least, are probably right of George Bush. It's really freaky living here and seeing results so overwhelmingly in favour of the conservatives. I was hoping that the massive immigration from other provinces we've seen lately would be tempering that a bit but that doesn't seem to be the case.

nightchrome writes "I have to admit though, I was surprised to see the tough stance the Conservatives took on campaign donations and so forth. It's weird that in Canada, it's the liberal party that is well-known for kickbacks and favoritism and being corporate shills, whereas the conservatives are the ones clamoring for stricter legislation. Kind of the exact opposite of things down South."

Well the Conservatives haven't been under the microscope of the public eye in any meaningful way for over a decade. I'm predicting a lot of patronage by Harper while he has the chance.
posted by Mitheral at 8:17 AM on January 24, 2006


Graham is out; he doesn't want the job and, more importantly, his private life wouldn't stand the scrutiny. Goodale might run if there wasn't that small detail of oh, I don't know, being under investigation by the RCMP. And Ignatieff is only leadership material in the province of his very large ego. Never happen.

I would have said the same about Graham until the past few months, when I've started to hear rumblings that he might be interested after all. As for his private life, I frankly can't believe he's still in office let alone defense minister. It appears as though the media and the party aren't interested in the rumours (and to be fair, they are only rumours, as far as I know). I say he throws his hat in.

Goodale isn't personally being investigated, and from all indications he's well liked by MPs of all parties and the electorate. He's one of the few Western Liberals with any kind of a profile, and I certainly think he'd get a few votes in a leadership campaign.

Ignatieff will run I'd bet, but I agree that he'd lose (at least this time around)

I cannot believe that the Liberals will elect either Tobin or McKenna. I don't see the benefit to them in having a Maritimer as their leader. Tobin is also a complete ass in my opinion. Both have been rather invisible lately.

The others I've been hearing about are Manley (irrelevant), Cauchon (Quebecer, Chretien guy), Brison (former PC leadership candidate, gay, too young), and bizarrely, Bob Rae (???). I think for the Liberals to have a chance at forming a majority, they're going to need a leader from Ontario that appeals to the West in some way. They need to reaffirm their dominance in Ontario and win at least 75 seats. They're already dominant in the Maritimes, and their taint in Quebec may be diminished with the end of the Chretien/Martin era. That leaves roughly 50 CPC seats in Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC that they must challenge for again. There's no obvious candidate that I can see that would be a no-brainer choice for them, at this point anyways.
posted by loquax at 8:24 AM on January 24, 2006


None of the Brat Packers, Copps, Tobin or Rock (was he one of the four? If not he should have been) would be at all good as PM. None of them have any chops beyond finding the next open microphone. I've worked under a few of them, and they were absolutely do-nothing, seat-warming ministers. Not the people I'd pick to be anywhere near real decision making.

Copps was in Heritage because she couldn't do much damage there. She was widely regarded as a joke as Deputy PM. Compare her tenure with Anne McClellan.

Rock's highest post was Health and he was widely judged to be in a position way beyond his competence. He certainly didn't cut the mustard for either Justice or one of the finance posts which he openly lusted for.

Tobin, while he looks good standing in front of a camera, is the Liberal's version of the former head of FEMA, Mr. Brown. He presided over the dismantling of Environment Canada ("program review" it was called) and was an utter non-entity at the cabinet table.

They're all good in opposition, because they make a huge amount of noise and they all were doggedly loyal to Chretien, but not one of them has the stuff to competently run a single department, let alone the country.
posted by bonehead at 8:25 AM on January 24, 2006


Word is now that Bill Graham will likely be the interim leader of the Liberals.
posted by loquax at 8:46 AM on January 24, 2006


None of the Brat Packers, Copps, Tobin or Rock

That'd be the Rat Pack: Don Boudria, Brian Tobin, Sheila Copps, and John ("I'm not bitter") Nunziata.

They're all good in opposition, because they make a huge amount of noise and they all were doggedly loyal to Chretien, but not one of them has the stuff to competently run a single department, let alone the country.

About sums it up.
posted by hangashore at 8:53 AM on January 24, 2006


When asked about possibly running for leader, Goodale says "I do not anticipate ever having to cross that bridge,".

'Having to cross that bridge' - sounds like he really isn't interested. Maybe he is sending the message "I don't really want the job, because I'm not ambitious, but if you twist my arm..."

Who knows...
posted by Chuckles at 8:57 AM on January 24, 2006


nightchrome writes "purephase, what makes you so certain that this is a bad thing? I mean, really, aside from dire predictions. I honestly would like to know."

First, Stephen Harper was both President and Vice President of the National Citizens Coalition. The NCC has (from the link):

Over its almost four decades of existence, the NCC has funded campaigns against:

- the Canada Health Act,
- the Canadian Wheat Board,
- the general strike organized by the Canadian Labour Congress against wages and prices controls imposed the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau in 1975, and
the allowing of Vietnamese refugees ("boat people") into Canada in 1979-1980.
- closed-shop unions
- the Member of Parliament "gold-plated" Pension Plan, which allowed former MPs as young as 30 to collect a pension that was fully indexed to inflation, and would have been illegal in private industry in Canada
- government waste, in general

While not all bad positions (particularly on "government waste"), there is some cause for concern regarding their opposition to the Health Act (which is probably one of the cornerstones in their two-tier health platform). The NCC has very wealthy members who would love nothing more than to see crown corporations get the axe and open up their services to privatization and competition. While, admittedly, some of those services are not nearly as good as they should be, privatization has proved to be much worse when practised in other countries.

Here is more Liberal spin on the NCC (PDF), so obviously, take a lot of it with a grain of salt.

Second, the free-vote on same sex marriage that he had talked about through the majority of the campaign is still very much an issue. He just stopped mentioning it during the final part of the campaign because most Canadians consider it decided and closed. The simple fact that he wants a charter issue to be decided in such a way that it goes against rulings both in provincial jurisdictions and the Supreme Court is more than worrisome.

Last, he has repeatedly chastised the Liberal government for their supposed anti-US sentiment when (IMO) the Liberal government truly acted in the interests of Canadians. From softwood to Kyoto and Iraq, Harper's Conservatives have not only bullied the Liberals in the house, they have misrepresented our country abroad by baldly claiming that the Liberals were acting against the wishes of Canadians. It's this last part that scares me the most. The clear distinction regarding social policy between the two countries is (also IMO) probably one of our greatest strengths internationally. I strongly believe that the Reform/Alliance/Conservative governments want to move us closer to the US model and do away with those policies/practises that make us uniquely Canadian.

Anyway, it's just a minority (I keep telling myself this) so I seriously doubt they'll risk pulling too much back the right. I just hope that Canadians are not fooled and give them a majority the next time at the polls.
posted by purephase at 9:26 AM on January 24, 2006


Mitheral,

I feel that. I was working for the NDP down here in Leth (what a community of core members we have. It is truly wonderful to be surrounded by like minded people, and most of all, insulating against the coldness many Alberta lefties are probably experiencing this morning).

Our candidate, Melanee Thomas (keep an eye out for her, she is amazing) pulled in the best showing for a federal NDP candidate ever, coming in second place at 13.8%, only 28 000 votes behind the conservative Ric Casson (Mr. "raise the age of consent" who had 67.2% of the vote).

28 000 votes.
posted by Quartermass at 9:30 AM on January 24, 2006


Anyone want to lay odds on Stronach crossing the floor again if Harper offers her her old job back? - loquax

She has said stuff about his leadership that guarantees she won't return under Harper.

It'll be very interesting to see who replaces Martin too. Ignatieff? Dryden? Goodale? Stronach? - loquax

Yeah, I'll be interested. This morning in a radio interview, Goodale said emphatically "No" to the possibility of him running for the leadership. He said he doesn't aspire to that, but does intend to remain a major player in the party under whoever becomes the new leader.

Canada needs some form of proportional representation badly!That is really wishful thinking... - Chuckles

Right on both counts. The NDP had substantially more votes nationwide than the Bloc did, but the Bloc got more seats. That's f*ed up.

When I hear the word "Conservative Party" about Canadian politics, I cringe. But you know, I actually read their platform document. There's very little in there I had a problem with. - nightchrome

There's all the stuff they don't put in their platform document. Example: part of how they intend to finance many of their promises is to rollback the income tax changes the Liberals introduced in their mini-budget. This means they would decrease the basic personal exemption and increase the tax rate in the lowest income bracket. These changes would mean every Canadian will be paying more income tax than the Liberal mini-budget would have had us paying. Does that sound good to you? Likely not. But while it's a central part of how they will finance the promises made in that document you read, there's no mention of it in there.

And prominent people in their party have been President of Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family and some have claimed the world is only 6000 years old, so that gives them religious right credentials. (More here)

Harper's going to allow a free vote on gay marriage? - orthogonality

Yes. He also promises free votes on all "moral" matters. This would, of course, include gay marriage and abortion, but he hasn't specified what else, if anything, would qualify.

the supreme court made a decision [re: same sex marriage] and the liberal government just said they would support it - there was no open debate or free vote to begin with. it was passed by Liberal MP's who were forced to vote along party lines. - Haveed

Only Cabinet Ministers were forced to vote in favour of the marriage legislation. I see solid-one-love covered this well in a later comment.
posted by raedyn at 10:33 AM on January 24, 2006


The conservative platform pretty clearly states that they will not be bringing in any new legislation on abortion, so I think the only one they have plans (or had plans) to table is SSM.
posted by Quartermass at 11:21 AM on January 24, 2006


Quartermass, the _government_ (ie cabinet) will not introduce abortion legislation. A backbencher could.
posted by raedyn at 11:27 AM on January 24, 2006


Anyone want to lay odds on Stronach crossing the floor again if Harper offers her her old job back?

The Tories aren't going to take her back. I don't think the Liberals would have taken her - or at least wouldn't have given her a cabinet position - if she hadn't been a strategically crucial swing vote. With the present makeup of the House of Commons, her vote won't make a difference to the Tories, and they have reason to be pretty pissed off with her.

I have to laugh. She crossed the floor purely out of self-interest and it backfired, because she's back in the Opposition.
posted by orange swan at 11:34 AM on January 24, 2006


(I was kidding when I made that crack about Stronach. And yes, I love the fact that she's back in opposition. Gives her more time to shop and drink with Magna Austrian exchange students.)
posted by loquax at 11:45 AM on January 24, 2006


Michael Ignatieff = John Kerry
posted by Clementines4ever at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2006


Since the turn of the century, the leadership of the Liberal party has alternated between French and English. The next leader of the Liberal party is therefore supposed to be French-Canadian, I believe.

Have the Liberals abandoned that tradition?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:16 PM on January 24, 2006


fafblog on you guys: My plane has landed in mysteeeeeerious Canada - the world next door, the land of a dozen lakes, the blueberry state. Did you know that Canada has over a thousand people in it, and its own government? The Canadian parliament meets twelve times a year. Each meeting is called a "Musgrave" and is presided over by an official whose name is legally changed to Musgrave for his political tenure due to a quirk carried over from British parliamentary tradition. ... Recently there has been trouble in Toronto since the old prime minister Jean Chretien quit an the new prime minister turned out to be a bunch of rabbits taped together in the shape of a prime minister and not in fact former Minister of Finance Paul Martin. I ask Jacques why weren't the bunch of rabbits allowed to serve as prime minister? Were Canadians anti-rabbites? "Sacre bleu, bon voyage," explains Jacques which makes it all a lot clearer. ...

; >
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on January 24, 2006


The next leader of the Liberal party is therefore supposed to be French-Canadian, I believe.

Isn't Paul Martin considered to be French-Canadian? (His father was Franco-Ontarian, and his riding is in Montreal.)

fafblog is awesome.
posted by russilwvong at 4:28 PM on January 24, 2006


Wow, pretty reasonable discussion, guys! But for the odd paranoid border-hopper, I'm proud of youse!

Without getting into policy too deeply, I think those who are apprehensive but at least a little open-minded will be pleasantly surprised at the legislative agenda. With the main planks of the Conservative platform, there is a surprising amount of common ground; at least there is not sufficient disagreement that anyone would dare risk another election. I also think Harper will make a positive impression on Canadians and the world.

My relatively impartial call on the Lib leader pool (prediction, not preference): 1.McKenna 2.Tobin 3.Manley

Dark Horse: Dryden (would be interesting but has NO political machinery behind him)

And whoever suggested McCallum is off his/her nut. The guy's a mess.
posted by raider at 4:38 PM on January 24, 2006


And whoever suggested McCallum is off his/her nut. The guy's a mess.

I did, but I was stuck in the year 1999, and had temporarily forgotten about every crazy thing he's said and done since.
posted by loquax at 4:49 PM on January 24, 2006


Isn't Paul Martin considered to be French-Canadian? (His father was Franco-Ontarian, and his riding is in Montreal.)

Seems like a valid theory theory, russilwvong. But Martin succeeded Chretien, so that would mean that the Liberals abondoned the musical-chairs game last go-round. I don't remember any discusssion about it at the time.

From Wiipedia ...

A businessman and politician, Paul Martin is from a well-connected Roman Catholic Canadian political family. His father, Paul Joseph James Martin, a francophone of half Irish and half French descent, served thirty-three years as a member of the Canadian House of Commons and was a cabinet minister in four Liberal governments. His mother, Eleanor "Nell" Adams, was of Scottish, Métis and Irish descent. Martin was raised in an English-speaking environment in Windsor and Ottawa. To give him the opportunity to improve his French, his parents enrolled him in a private French-language middle school, École Garneau in Ottawa, Ontario.

I'm not sure who decides these things, but I'd say that makes Martin an Anglo. I'm geussing that's how most French-Canadains would view it, anyway. Interesting.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:51 PM on January 24, 2006


I thought you were kidding about that altnernation between French and English - there's no tradition, just coincidence (and loose coincidence at that). The Liberal leader is chosen at a party convention, and both Quebecers and non-Quebecers have been up for election every time out. Chretien narrowly lost to Turner in 1984, and Martin (rather less narrowly) lost to Chretien in 1990. There were more strategic reasons in the past to having francophone leaders, who were unusually long-lived in power, but there are very very few viable francophone candidates around this time out, and I can't see where they'd find any more. Either way, the federal Liberal party is practically dead in Quebec, and judging by the past few francophone leaders of the party, aren't likely to curry any favour by appointing a token francophone now.
posted by loquax at 9:16 PM on January 24, 2006


They tried to finesse the Ontario/Quebec Franco/Anglo thing with Martin forever. His dad always represented a riding in Windsor, and he grew up pretty much an anglo but when he went to work it was in Montreal where the Desmarais family took him under their wing in the Power Corp.

No matter how you slice it, Martin screwed up the tradition.

And he was no more than marginally competent as the leader.

(my sources tell me that he's one of those guys who always believes the last person he talked to on a subject. whoever that might be.)
posted by mikel at 9:20 PM on January 24, 2006


Either way, the federal Liberal party is practically dead in Quebec, and judging by the past few francophone leaders of the party, aren't likely to curry any favour by appointing a token francophone now.

I wouldn't count out the Liberals in Quebec (although I think it's awesome that the Conservatives are now competitive in Quebec--it's great to have two federalist parties in Quebec). I was glad to see that Stephane Dion, a vocal and articulate defender of federalism, was re-elected.
posted by russilwvong at 9:42 AM on January 25, 2006


Dammit, I built a huge post with Quebec election results since 1965, and then I go and close the tab.

Anyways, the gist was that the Liberals dominated Quebec until 1980, and the patriation of the constitution. After that, they bled votes and seats to the PC party until 1993, when the PC party died, at which point all that support went to the Bloc.

My assumption is that if the conservative parties hadn't collapsed/been fractured/been dominated by the West for the last 4 elections before this one, the Liberals would have seen support remain at the levels they saw in the 1980's, which was pretty pathetic. As it was, they only enjoyed moderate success there (despite a very unpopular Chretien and Martin) because of the lack of a federalist alternative. Now that there is one, and one that is in favour of decentralization and more provincial powers as Mulroney's government was, I cannot see how the Liberals will come close to their previous success again unless they also move in that direction (which would, of course, have negative impacts elsewhere).

Now Liberal support in terms of both votes and seats is heavily concentrated in Montreal, and I would argue that this is not only federalist support (as federalist support everywhere else returned to the CPC party as soon as they got their act together again, as it has been since 1980), but ideological and traditional support. I would say that much as the Liberal party has no shot in the short-medium term of winning seats outside of Vancouver in BC, they have no shot of winning seats outside of Montreal in Quebec anytime soon, regardless of their new leader.

(That being said, I admit my bias towards looser federalism and more power for the provinces - I agree though that the more viable options in Quebec, or anywhere for that matter, is a good thing.)

By the way, here are some neat maps of the election results from wikipedia
posted by loquax at 1:09 PM on January 25, 2006


Now that there is [a federalist alternative], and one that is in favour of decentralization and more provincial powers as Mulroney's government was, I cannot see how the Liberals will come close to their previous success again unless they also move in that direction (which would, of course, have negative impacts elsewhere).

Don't underestimate Liberal flexibility (or opportunism, if you prefer!). And decentralization isn't going to be the only policy issue that affects Quebec public opinion (although it'll be a strong one). Overall fiscal policy (i.e. taxes vs. spending), social issues, the environment, official bilingualism, etc. will all provide opportunities for the Liberals to differentiate themselves from the Conservatives, particularly if the Conservatives misstep.

Anyways, the gist was that the Liberals dominated Quebec until 1980, and the patriation of the constitution. After that, they bled votes and seats to the PC party until 1993, when the PC party died, at which point all that support went to the Bloc.

Hmm. I looked up popular vote percentages and found a couple links: Environics, Elections Canada. I couldn't find the pre-1984 data, unfortunately.

1984: PC 50%, Lib 35%.
1988: PC 53%, Lib 30%.
1993: BQ 49%, Lib 33%, PC 14%.
1997: BQ 38%, Lib 37%, PC 22%.
2000: Lib 44%, BQ 40%, PC 6%.
2004: BQ 49%, Lib 34%, CPC 9%.
2006: BQ 42%, CPC 25%, Lib 21%.

It's true that the PCs were severely weakened in 1993 and 1997, but they weren't dead--they were still taking a significant portion of the vote.

Very cool maps!
posted by russilwvong at 2:10 PM on January 25, 2006


(Don't forget the CA vote in 2000, remarkably around 7%)

You're right that the PC party didn't die entirely, but they were nowhere near the numbers needed to take seats. Surprisingly, a disproportionately low number of their votes in their down years didn't come from Montreal, which I would have expected.

You may certainly be right about everything else, and of course, everything I said is predicated on the fact that the CPC won't blow up and return to fringe status.

The data I had put together was grabbed from wikipedia, they have province-by-province seat totals and popular vote totals going back to the beginning. It's amazing how dominant the Liberals were in Quebec before 1980, 60%+ and 67 of 75 seats, with most of the rest going to Social Credit. I think that looking at the seat distribution and voting patterns pre- and post-patriation indicates just how much nationalism vs. federalism plays into Quebec politics, and the related impacts in the other areas you mentioned, social policies, economics and so on.

I would guess that voting in Quebec breaks down like this:

20-30% - Hardcore separatists, BQ territory only
20-30% - Nationalists that swing between separatism and decentralized federalism, BQ/CPC territory (territory that the Liberals never had a firm grip on post-1980 and only won portions of because of the lack of a strong alternative to the BQ)
20-30% - Mild nationalists and left of centre that could go either CPC or Liberal, depending on policies and party strength (more Liberal losses that that could swing back if the CPC slips up or the Liberals change their tune)
~15% - Anglophone Montreal, federalist and Liberal all the way.
~10% - Socialists, former Social Credit, currently NDP/BQ

Let's say that that gives the parties the following maximum %s:

BQ - 50%
CPC - 35%
Lib - 35%
NDP - 10%

Which seems about right. That would see the Bloc fighting it out with the CPC for ridings, the CPC fighting the Bloc and the Libs, and the Libs only challenging the CPC from their home base of Montreal.

Admittedly unscientific, but election history seems to bear this out. If you assume that CPC support will never again dip below 15% (the pre-1980 low) and will likely not fall below 20-25% in the near term barring a collapse, that leaves a maximum of about 25% for the Liberals unless they themselves slip up even further. Which leaves us in the current majoritiy-impossibility stalemate for a long time.

Anyways, speculation is great fun (and I haven't even really thought about Ontario yet!), and it should be a very interesting decade or so.
posted by loquax at 4:04 PM on January 25, 2006


Stephen Harper says he wants to move quickly as leader of a fractious new Parliament to reopen the same-sex marriage debate. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on January 28, 2006


He's got to be seen as sticking to the promises he made pre-campaign to the anti-human/equal-rights folks who helped him along the way, so of course he is going to allow a free vote. That vote will still have to pass by the Supreme Court, and failing there Harper would be forced to invoke the notwithstanding clause to get his way. Taking power away from the provinces, and forcing them to repeal rights and laws they have already put into place? Probably not a fight Harper is willing to take on. Fact is he got into power using a centrist platform, nowhere in the Tory platform was any mention of SSM or abortion rights. They specifically excised those issues from their website & avoided them in all interviews, sometimes even fleeing the premises if pressed by reporters! (not to mention how they sanitized their right-wing candidates, such as David Sweeney, removing all mention of his name from the Promise Keepers site, a group he founded) So now they have to answer to a majority who happens to be sane and decent, voters who have their focus on things like the economy, jobs, and healthcare.

Yes he's going to stir us up again and get everyone all stressed out, but it's not likely to result in any changes.

(pdf alert!) A CBC/Environics poll released Jan 24 confirmed that 66% of people who voted for the Conservative party say that same-sex marriage should not be brought back to vote.

The main damage the conservatives will do won't be reversing human rights, it will be economic. Look how they're going to be kicking off their term, by raising the taxes of the poorest Canadians, in order to make up for lowering the GST. Stealing from the poor and giving to the rich is a time honoured Tory tradition.
posted by zarah at 4:03 PM on January 28, 2006


No McKenna, no Tobin, no Manley. A lot of people were wrong so far upthread! We're left with...

Brison, Rock, Cauchon, Dryden, Stronach and Rae, along with my favourites Goodale, Ignatieff and Graham about to become Interim Leader.

Although things could well change before next February or so...
posted by loquax at 6:44 PM on January 31, 2006


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