The Liberal Non-Confidence Motion

edge

Well, this is actually starting to look promising:

“In light of the government’s failure to recognize the seriousness of Canada’s economic situation and its failure in particular to present any credible plan to stimulate the Canadian economy and to help workers and businesses in hard-pressed sectors such as manufacturing, the automotive industry and forestry, this House has lost confidence in this government and is of the opinion that a viable alternative government can be formed within the present House of Commons.”

Apparently Dion would head up the coalition government, at least for the first few months.

Update: Jay Hill speaking on behalf of the government has issued a motion of his own formally requesting that the House communicate with Governor General Michaëlle Jean, accepting the Speech from the Throne (and tacitly Flaherty’s Economic and Fiscal update).

That the Address be engrossed and presented to Her Excellency the Governor General by the Speaker.

Acceptance by the House of Commons of a Speech from the Throne is an expression of confidence in the government. I am pleased that the House endorsed our government’s general program, particularly with full knowledge of the content of the Economic and Fiscal update. Yesterday’s vote and today’s motion to communicate with the Governor General accepting her Speech are critical demonstrations of Parliament’s affirmation of our newly re-elected government.

Seems like they’re trying to do an end-run around the opposition and circumvent their pending non-confidence motion by delaying it for perhaps a week.

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59 Comments

Filed under Liberal Party of Canada, Stéphane Dion, STEPHEN HARPER Govrnment of Canada

59 responses to “The Liberal Non-Confidence Motion

  1. hitfan

    As a conservative voter, I say let the 3 opposition parties form a coalition government.

    I’m rather tired of cyclical economic downturns being used as a cudgel against conservative governments who have the misfortune of being in power at the time.

    Let PM Dion/Ignatieff/whover take the blame for the economic manure about to hit the fan.

  2. Hitfan — Well, that’s one way of looking at it.

  3. Yes.. that’s a uh.. glass half full post.

    On the other hand, I’d assert that progressive governments are better ideologically to handle a downturn. I’m sure Obama and the new coalition government will get along just swimmingly, if this occurs.

  4. Countdown to Elizabeth May demanding representation in cabinet starting in
    10
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    NOW!

  5. Cliff

    Well…isn’t this an interesting turn of events…the Liberals now want to form a goverment with 26% of the popular vote and spend us into deficit…they have no plan, they have made no recommendations…they just want to throw good money after bad…
    The auto industry…well lets spend more money producing cars that nobody wants to buy…after all isn’t that what they did for years…
    Dion was hungry for power….the Green Shaft…and he apparently will do anything to get it…even crawl in bed with the separatists.
    Wasn’t it just a week ago that he mocked the NDP for wanting an election…eerrr…that was before taxpayers were being asked to stop giving their hard earned tax dollars to political parties including those who want to break up the country…it really just boils down to entitlements doesn’t it…certainly not sacrifice and ethics….

  6. Ti-Guy

    I’m rather tired of cyclical economic downturns being used as a cudgel against conservative governments who have the misfortune of being in power at the time.

    I know…it’s so unfayer.

    I was more than happy to put Harper through a teachable moment like this to see if he could really be a statesman when it counts.

    He failed.

    I’m not sure this is all going to happen…by Monday, things could different. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the Conservatives are unfit to govern…their leader is a lying psychopath, the caucus is full dolts and yesmen/women, and the rank-and-file are cretins.

    Canadians would do well to remember that only 22% of the elligible electorate voted for this Party, in a country where rural ridings are over-represented, to boot.

  7. CWTF

    I’m rather tired of cyclical economic downturns being used as a cudgel against conservative governments who have the misfortune of being in power at the time.
    Misfortune? How about being the cause….

    the Liberals now want to form a goverment with 26% of the popular vote and spend us into deficit…
    Haven’t the Conservatives done that? “Barely” balanced budget? More like a Flaherty deficit budget after bad choices….

    I see that Harper has not removed tax exemptions for political donations… maybe he should start there…

  8. Ti-Guy

    Oh great. Now Cliff used up all the ellipses and now there aren’t any left for anyone else.

  9. JMR

    Mr Harper has done one good thing and that is to get the three opposition parties talking to each other. They appear to have found that they do have a lot in common.
    The Bloc who might be separatists want what is good for Quebec. While Quebec is part of Canada that means what is good for Canada. They want a stimulus package for the manufacturing sector, a good enviromental policy
    infrastructure policy, a firm stand on Afganistan.
    these are policies that both the liberals and the NDP support. A coalition government I say yes yes yes.

  10. Northern PoV

    OK, how to solve crisis Harper has presented us with:

    1) Pass resolution in HoC to support the Libs/NDP approach to the GG with a plan:
    Name Jean Chretian as (interim) PM.
    2) PM Chretian names coalition cabinet then sits in House (by the clerk or heck – in the visitor’s gallery) while confidence motion is taken
    3) PM recommends to GG that she appoint Jean Chretian to Senate (& Broadbent & maybe Paul Martin for finance?)
    4) Goodall remains commons House leader (ie defacto Chretian rep) while Dion gets to stay nominal-interim party leader fwiw.
    5) Lib Leadership continues to May.
    6) New leader can attempt to continue coalition (interesting issue for the 3 candidates, eh) or go to election.
    Oh – and we get a rational Minority center-left proven team gov’t for about a year during, like the worst crisis ever – as a bonus.

    Everybody Happy?

  11. I’m rather tired of cyclical economic downturns being used as a cudgel against conservative governments who have the misfortune of being in power at the time.

    Wah, wah, wah…. It’s clear that it’s a giant conspiracy by the progressives to make sure Cons are in power whenever there is a economic downturn. You know, there is an easy solution to this problem — Actually do something useful when they are in power regardless of the economic situation, instead of using the recession as an excuse for bad policies.

    I’m so tired of this dead horse being dragged out.

  12. Harper homeless on the cold Ottawa streets for Christmas?

    Sounds about right.

  13. hitfan

    Oh, a bunch of good zingers came my way, I feel like Harper at the debates when everyone was ganging up on him, LOL.

    I find it ironic that the Liberals are now willing to align themselves with the “separatists” when they accused Harper in 2005 for being “in bed with the Bloc” when they were voting against the budget.

    Can we say “Deputy Prime Minister Gilles Duceppe” ?

    …and God laughs.

  14. The Militant Liberal

    Yes, Yes, Yes . I have been calling for a coalition for 3 years. Get Harper out now. Fuck the leadership contest. Dion stays and all the right-wing Liberals can go sit on the back benches. Nobody in this glorious coalition will be listening to them. It’s win, win, win.

  15. The Militant Liberal

    Dion, Prime Minister, Layton, deputy Prime Minister, Duceppe, whatever he wants. Ignatieff, backbench obscurity. I love it, I love it, I love it.

  16. Hitfan — Hey, that’s politics for you. You can’t tell me that you’re surprised by Liberal expediency. It’s second-nature to them. I prefer however to call it “pragmatism.”

  17. Ti-Guy

    find it ironic that the Liberals are now willing to align themselves with the “separatists” when they accused Harper in 2005 for being “in bed with the Bloc” when they were voting against the budget.

    The Conservatards seem to be gelling around the “separatist Bloc” theme. I’m seeing it everywhere.

    The Bloc has stated it will not participate in government but will support the coalition in Parliament. So stop lying, Hitfan.

  18. hitfan

    redtory: not surprised, actually. I love to watch the House of Commons on TV. I think that one thing that makes Canadian politics more interesting than the American counterpart is the exchanges. Lots of urban legends about Sir John A’s drunken rants come to mind:

    Once while debating an opponent the drunken Sir John flooded the speaker’s podium with vomit. He apologized to the crowd by explaining that whenever he heard his opponent speak he would lose his stomach. Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his alcoholism. Two apocryphal stories are commonly repeated; the first describing an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out and said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”[62] The second version has Macdonald responding to his opponent’s query of his drunkenness with “It goes to show that I would rather have a drunk Conservative than a sober Liberal.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Macdonald

  19. hitfan

    redtory: not surprised, actually. I love to watch the House of Commons on TV. I think that one thing that makes Canadian politics more interesting than the American counterpart is the exchanges. Lots of urban legends about Sir John A’s drunken rants come to mind:

    Once while debating an opponent the drunken Sir John flooded the speaker’s podium with vomit. He apologized to the crowd by explaining that whenever he heard his opponent speak he would lose his stomach. Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his alcoholism. Two apocryphal stories are commonly repeated; the first describing an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out and said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”[62] The second version has Macdonald responding to his opponent’s query of his drunkenness with “It goes to show that I would rather have a drunk Conservative than a sober Liberal.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Macdonald

  20. I got over my aversion to the Bloc a long time ago, so I see nothing wrong in their participation or support for a Liberal-NDP coalition. They’re nowhere near as strident or unreasonable as they used to be. In fact, most of their policies aren’t incompatible with mainstream progressive thought.

  21. This is all a mistake. This was never meant to be in the fiscal update.

    It was overzealous subordinates and Harper is looking for a way to back out at the last minute.

  22. Bill D. Cat

    Supporting the coalition in parliament isn’t participating in government ? Well …….. I’ll be damned .

  23. The Militant Liberal

    I just watched Ezra on CTV and I think his head almost exploded. This is like his worst nightmare. It is treason as far as he is concerned. He’s all, “Dion is gonna bring in his Carbon Tax and make Bob Rae the finance Minister” Harpers freaking, Ezra’s freaking. If they don’t like it, then shouldn’t we totally do it? This sure is one of the good days in politics and Goddamnit there haven’t been enough of those lately.

  24. Ti-Guy

    Supporting the coalition in parliament isn’t participating in government ? Well …….. I’ll be damned .

    No, you’ll be ignorant. The government consists of those parliamentarians who are the PM and the cabinet, roles which the Bloc will not take up. The Bloc will support it by a) supporting to the non-confidence motion and b) voting with it when it has to.

  25. Bill D. Cat

    The Bloc will support it participate by a) supporting to the non-confidence motion and b) voting with it when it has to.

  26. Bill D. Cat

    support it should have been struck through.

  27. Paul Wells (and others) figure that Harper will use the week to make a public appeal by all means available to paint the Liberals and NDP as staging an undemocratic coup. Get ready for the noise machine to go into overdrive.

  28. What are you obliquely quibbling about now, Bill?

  29. Bill D. Cat

    Any coalition proposal requires Bloc participation . In governance , period . Try spin it otherwise , pretty please .

  30. Bill D. Cat

    Heh , here’s a freebie .
    Wrap Duceppe in the flag like PMPM , and tell us he’s doing this for the good of Canada .

  31. Ti-Guy

    In governance , period

    Did I use the term governance?

    Don’t be a jerk, Bill. You’re already ignorant and that’s bad enough.

  32. You’re right to the extent that their support is tantamount to participation in a sense, but there is a significant difference insofar as not assuming cabinet positions.

  33. Incidentally, although I like Ms. Jean, I’m sure she is shitting the bed over the biggest decision of her professional life.

    Ms. Clarkson was competent enough but Jean finds the job of GG exhausting.

  34. Ti-Guy

    Incidentally, although I like Ms. Jean, I’m sure she is shitting the bed over the biggest decision of her professional life.

    She survived Papa Doc Duvalier’s reign of terror. I doubt anything scares her.

    Ms. Clarkson was competent enough but Jean finds the job of GG exhausting.

    I think the Harpies have been terrorising her. She might be quite open to the idea of getting rid of those fascists.

    We shall see.

  35. The Trusty Tory

    This is going to be over before it begins. How are the Liberals going to explain sharing the country with separatists? In addition, John McCallum is out now trying to calm the business community and assuring them that a New Democrat would absolutely NOT take the Finance portfolio. Please. Dead in the water.

  36. evans

    ReD,The Liberals have their worst elections showing in years,Dion was/is a disaster and the party has been trying to replace him.You want to form a coalition with the socialists and have the Bloc pulling the strings on one hand and trying to break up the country with the other.Liberalism truly is a mental disorder.

  37. Paul Wells (and others) figure that Harper will use the week to make a public appeal by all means available to paint the Liberals and NDP as staging an undemocratic coup. Get ready for the noise machine to go into overdrive.

    Indeed, this is going to go from bad to worse. I have said elsewhere, but I am suddenly feeling like a Bosnian circa 1991.

    This could go south very fast. The Lib-NDP coalition with the backing of the Bloc would be the majority, but need to rely on the unelected GG to do something that has been done once before in Canadian history to gain power. The Cons are going to spend the next week demonizing them, screaming about coup d’etats and whipping up the partisan Wurlitzer. This could get regional if provincial leaders get drawn in. I fully expect some of the Con mouth breathers to get violent because of the hyperbole and polarization. Somebody on the left will respond.

    We could be on the brink of a serious collapse of the federal government, even the fracturing of the country.

    Interesting times…

  38. Ti-Guy

    This is going to be over before it begins.

    So why have all your Conservative friends become so shrill and panicky? They’re literally soiling themselves.

    I think the Cons are worried about anyone looking at the books. There are suspicions that Flaherty has cooked them.

  39. The Trusty Tory

    Hey! I have an idea. Why don’t the Tories completely wipe out transfer payments to the provinces in order to eliminate the deficit! That’s a tried, tested and true method!

  40. The Trusty Tory

    Mike, does it not bother you for ONE second that the Liberals are even thinking of sharing Canada with the Bloc Quebecois? You people are so power hungry that you’d sell us out to the separatists. Nice.

  41. Trusted gather yourself and read…
    “What is becoming clear is that Mr. Harper’s power grab has rebounded on him.”
    John Ivison
    November 28, 2008

    That’s John Ivison, Trusted. From the National Post. You hero Harper just destroyed his reputation and threw the Country into chaos. Bravo.

  42. Ti-Guy

    Hey! I have an idea.

    Does it hurt?

  43. Mike, does it not bother you for ONE second that the Liberals are even thinking of sharing Canada with the Bloc Quebecois? You people are so power hungry that you’d sell us out to the separatists. Nice.

    “You people?”

    Uhm, I’m a libertarian. I don’t want ANYBODY to form a government. I’m exactly the opposite of power hungry.

    That being said, I could care less about the Bloc. They wouldn’t be part of the government, they would merely vote with the Coalition to keep it in power, as long as they wished.

    Just like they did when the supported the Conservatives against Paul Martin in 2005. Just like they have done on many occasions in the last 3 years in support of Harper.

    And really, anyone that supports a party that just broke its own fixed election date law in order to call an election no one wanted in order to try to get its precious majority and then recently tried to abuse its power in government to financially destroy the opposition shouldn’t be whining and calling the other side “power hungry”.

    Sweet Jesus, Harper has been drooling for his majority for 5 years, so much so he has forgotten to actually govern and instead subjected us to 3 years of constant campaigning and and political smears.

    I’m almost looking forward to the civil war…

  44. CWTF

    Mike, does it not bother you for ONE second that the Liberals are even thinking of sharing Canada with the Bloc Quebecois?
    No – are you saying that the Bloc members are not Canadians?
    Were the Bloc members not elected?

  45. Ti-Guy

    The Bloc irritated me less than the frickin’ Reform/Alliance bunch did.

  46. “are you saying that the Bloc members are not Canadians?”

    that’s exactly what chauvinist jackass is saying, and without any merit, of course.

    “does it not bother you for ONE second that the Liberals are even thinking of sharing Canada with the Bloc Quebecois?”

    reminds me of a scene from gangs of new york: “father, jaysus! did you know there’s a nigger in your church?!”

    KEvron

  47. Tomm

    Ti-Guy,

    You said:

    “…The Bloc irritated me less than the frickin’ Reform/Alliance bunch did.”

    Lovely.

    Good to know that you share your informed opinion with the rest of us.

    …I think I’ll go take a shower now.

  48. Tomm

    The most interesting part about all of this is the notion that the Grits, Dippers and Blocheads can all share power in a coalition government.

    It absolutely blows me away.

    Brass balls, no doubt at all. Especially after being such walk overs.

    Even better is the blind opportunism of it all. The naked greed of it, the chutzpah.

    The trumped up reasons.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but you’ve got to give them points for the shear gall.

  49. CWTF

    Even better is the blind opportunism of it all. The naked greed of it, the chutzpah.
    Describes Harper perfectly don’t you think?

  50. I just created a Facebook group I Support Coalition Government in Canada. Would like to see astounding numbers by the end of the week, so look me up, or if you see the Group join. This voter supports the coup.

  51. Mike, what does the GG being unelected have to do with it, she represents 400 years or so of parliamentary custom. The custom is deep and clear. Also, the coalition would represents more voters than Harper, which in a Charter country like Canada means they have more legal legitimacy, seats notwithstanding. And as for the Bloc, it is not a neo-corporatist haven like the Cons, but a moderate party with only one agenda item that most of us here don’t agree with, so give me the support of Quebec over the support of Alberta oiligarchs and Ontario Harrisites any day of the week.

  52. philosoraptor

    Well we can look forward to some extremely strong rhetoric over the next week. I just listened to Poilievre on CBC and it made me want to vomit.

    Obviously the opposition parties don’t want to make the $1.95/vote matter into a significant part of this issue, but I’ve always wondered what exactly is wrong with having some public subsidy of our political parties. I’ve never seen anything wrong with that.

  53. Dave — I wasn’t aware the it was a burning, hot-button issue for anyone, although obviously Harper and most of the Conservative rank and file have had a burr up their the collective backside about it. Well, if it bothers them so much, then perhaps they should refund all the money they’ve received in public subsidies over the years to the Receiver General. Another option would be for them to voluntarily opt out of the system. Or they could include it as a referendum on the ballot in the next election — perhaps along with a vote on PR.

  54. Ti-Guy

    The most interesting part about all of this is the notion that the Grits, Dippers and Blocheads can all share power in a coalition government.

    It absolutely blows me away.

    Brass balls, no doubt at all. Especially after being such walk overs.

    Even better is the blind opportunism of it all. The naked greed of it, the chutzpah.

    The trumped up reasons.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but you’ve got to give them points for the shear gall.

    And here’s the comic version of right wing political discourse. All clichés and vague impressions to cover up basic ignorance and outright dishonesty.

    It’s no different whether it comes from the rank-and-file or from the very best of the Conservative “intelligentsia.” It’s exactly the same.

    I’ve had more than enough of watching this minority of dishonest cretins making a shambles of everything.

  55. Gayle

    I like the idea of making it a referendum. I think it is possible people would prefer funding the political parties rather than seeing them go bankrupt and giving Harper carte blanche for the next few years. The other benefit may be the opposition parties see their donations go up.

  56. philosoraptor

    Ti-guy, after reading what you quoted, I had a thought about the reasons, oft-touted on the right, as to why ‘military occuption’ (or, in nicer terms, ‘offensives’) are necessary, say, in the Middle East, in lieu of diplomatic measures. I often hear the “they only understand and respect force and power” excuse, and I wonder if it isn’t shared by the right, given the text of your quote.

    It seems to me that they also are dazzled (for lack of a better word) by naked force; however silly or misguided it might be, however much they might disagree with the causes, and, possibly, however much they would *prefer* to think that their reason protects them from bedazzlement.

    Obviously not all of them, but there seems to be a “you magnificent bastards” tone to what you quoted.

  57. philosoraptor

    Red,

    Or they could include it as a referendum on the ballot in the next election — perhaps along with a vote on PR.

    I’d be supportive of that. I’d like to see a Condorcet voting system implemented with PR, and I would be willing to have this subsidy issue revisited under suitable conditions to examine other electoral issues.

  58. I see nothing wrong with eliminating it, perhaps by phasing it out over time so as to allow other parties to adjust to a completely private system, but you can’t just unilaterally change the rules of the game without any public discussion, thereby effectively pulling the rug out from under the opposition immediately… all just for crass partisan gain. And this at a time when Harper should have been working to build consensus and teamwork to deal with what he himself has said is a financial “crisis”… It’s incredibly irresponsible.

  59. Tomm

    RT,

    Your last point is a good one. I also think it was what was the end game of Chretien’s 2003 changes.

    Since the corporate and union and max donation changes have been put in place, I cannot think of one good reason for the taxpayers to directly fund the political parties machinery.

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