Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Liberals denied sweep - Pity

As Molarmauler stated yesterday, winning all four by-elections would have likely spurred an election, since Her Majesty's Loyal Party of Abstainers might have finally amassed enough intestinal fortitude to vote for their own non-confidence motion.


Unfortunately now as the Globe suggests, "...the loss in Saskatchewan may have tempered any Liberal desire to take down the Conservative minority in the very near future..."


On the other hand, I can't imagine Bob Rae sitting on his hands very long. On the other other hand, as Stephen Taylor points out in this excellent analysis, it may well be in the best interests of all the current leaders to allow this government survive a while longer:

...Luckily for Harper and Layton, Dion's strategy is also to survive and the only way this can happen is for the government to survive. Liberals will be chomping a the bit in order to "get back to power as soon as possible" and most realize that this is impossible under Dion and much easier when they hold a leadership race and select a more capable leader...


So it may all boil down to the internal power struggle between all the Alpha males on the Liberal Dream Team as each one gauges his own best chances for leadership coup based on election strategies.

My money's on Bob Rae.


* * * *
Update - Pithy analysis from Molarmauler in comments:

The only way Harper will get an election before 2009 will be if they initiate an 'Adopt-A-Liberal' program... sort of a voting-buddy system.
He can assign a Con to each Lib and match abstention for abstention. If a Lib leaves the House on a vote, his Con buddy follows him out waving a chicken feather and clucking.

Force them to vote.

Hey, if SDA can do it...

* * * *
Bob Rae talked about a 'progressive coalition' on Canada A.M. this morning:

"...I think we need to build a progressive coalition of people in the country who believe in dealing with climate change, who believe that the search for jobs and justice need to go together, and who want Canada to have a stronger voice in the world," he said.

"We certainly pulled that coalition together in Toronto-Centre."

Update from National Post editorial board on election results here:

...The correct short summary of Monday night’s results is that the party may have gone three-for-four, but the leader batted .000.





25 comments:

maryT said...

How about that close race in BC, and the fact that in Toronto only 27,711 die hard liberals got out to vote. Dion's strategy of sitting on his hands and abstaining has spread to the liberal voter in Toronto and BC.
Next election, don't pay attention to the media. The loss of support for the NDP yesterday might give Layton second thoughts on bringing down the government.
How does Ralph Goodale feel today.
One good thing about him is Orchard is not an MP today.
Apparently a fund raising letter went out to the abstainers saying the results show liberals still have their base. Yes, but it is crumbling.

molarmauler said...

The only way Harper will get an election before 2009 will be if they initiate an 'Adopt-A-Liberal' program... sort of a voting-buddy system.
He can assign a Con to each Lib and match abstention for abstention. If a Lib leaves the House on a vote, his Con buddy follows him out waving a chicken feather and clucking.

Force them to vote.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Molar - Priceless!

You're on a roll, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that you want an election so badly.

I believe that Harper would squeeze out another minority government but I can't see where the big turn in support would come from to provide a majority.

That being said, another Harper government would likely be the end of Dion. I think a new Liberal leader with improved communication skills would be damaging for the Conservatives.

I also wonder if Fortress Harper would be at all weakened by another failure to capture the majority?

I don't see many slam dunks out there and we all know that white guys can't jump.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I believe that Harper would squeeze out another minority government but I can't see where the big turn in support would come from to provide a majority.

Well, obviously an election will happen at some point - sooner or later.

I'm actually content to wait a while now. I think the spectacle of Liberals continuing to prop up the government could be a good thing.

Also, CPC support in BC seems to be on the rise. The win in Vancouver-Quadra was less than overwhelming for the Liberals.

The CPC will concentrate on BC and Quebec, and the LPC will focus on Ontario and the East Coast to pick up more seats.

And I will become a little blue speck drowning in the Red Ontario sea.

Platty said...

And I will become a little blue speck drowning in the Red Ontario sea.

Keep the faith baby!!

Slow and steady wins the race, PMSH, and the Conservative party, are ready to part the red sea.

We will prevail!!

Red sea??

Blue Sky Baby!!

Blue Sky!!

;>)


===

Ruth said...

I'm interested to see which MP's have to move to make room for the "dream team" in the front row. They all want to be seen smiling for the cameras on QP. Maybe Karen Redmond won't be able to sit there saying "shame" all the time for the cameras.

Joanne (True Blue) said...


We will prevail!!

Red sea??

Blue Sky Baby!!

Blue Sky!!


Hey, thanks Platty! That reminded me of the Feb. 26 RMR - "The future is Tory Blue!"

molarmauler said...

I'd love an election tomorrow, or next week or next month.

The polls that show the Libs even close to the CPC are so wrong.
Anyone smart enough to avoid picking up the phone when a pollster calls is smart enough not to vote Liberal.

Majority.

Dion merely needs the assurances of a million dollar leadership-debt insurance policy from PowerCorp and we'll have our election.

maryT said...

Isn't there already a policy in place where, if an MP must be out of the House for a vote, one from another party also is absent.
I think PMSH should secretly adopt a liberal on the next vote. It would be just as sneaky as the liberals calling a vote around midnight during Manning's tenure as OLO. How many remember that one.

Calgary Junkie said...

I always believed that Rae would have been the most dangerous Liberal leader. The main reason being, that I got a sense during their leadership debates, that Rae was prepared to negotiate with Layton over some kind of merger with the NDP.

Rae hardly mentioned merger possibilities, because that would have adversely affected his chances at becoming leader. (Harper was similarly vague about merger with the PCs during his Canadian Alliance leadership race).

Rae could still prove effective, if he can negotiate some other kind of arrangement with Layton, prior to the next election. Maybe these poor NDP by-election results will weaken Layton's resolve to replace the Liberals as official opposition.

The conventional wisdom is that Rae is a danger to Dion. But he is also a danger to us, if he makes signifcant moves towards merging the left.

west coast teddi said...

MaryT - The house "rule" is that if a MP is on official business then they can ask the opposition (or government) to "pair" someone for the vote which makes it fair. Ed Broadbent did a pairing for a member that had cancer and couldn't make it for a critical vote - this is my understanding anyway.

Only 151 vote difference in Vancouver Quadra is a huge "win" for the CPC. My understanding is that the CPC candidate didn't get much party backing unlike the Liberal winner so it indicates to me that the CPC "brand" is pretty good.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

C.J. - That's why I was nervous about 'coalition' talk this morning.

Anonymous said...

Rae's Canada A.M. remarks sound like he's trying to coax those who would vote for the NDP over to the Liberals.

It's pretty similar to the stuff he once believed as leader of the NDP.

The lines between the two parties get fuzzier and fuzzier.

Maybe that's the plan?

Swift said...

What happened in Willowdale? Didn't the NDP and the Greens campaign? Byelections are times when parties that ran third or fourth in a riding can improve their vote percentages. Otherwise it went peretty much as I expected. Okay I was 152 votes too optimistic in Quadra, but DMCR was even better than I thought. Rea days were not as big an issue in TC as I suspected, but then Rea is not the leader of the Libs, at least yet.

If the CPC wants to win an real majority government instead of the current defacto one, then they need to pick up more seats in Ontario. My riding is one possibility, although most people outside the riding don't think we have a chance. Win or lose it's going to be a Quadra-like surprise for many. Your riding is also a possible win, although small c conservatives won't be happy to see a red Liberal wearing a blue suit representing them in Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

Who said this?

"We had failed to deliver on change. Our agenda was all over the map. The areas of our perceived greatest focus-better labour laws and public auto insurance - were at the bottom of the list of public priorities."

Bob Rae in his book "From Protest To Power" - I was reminded while reading another Tory blog that I had a copy sitting on my bookshelf.

Put into context those lines written by Rae as he described a report card he rec'd via a message from his own party pollster at the time.

Re: Alpha Males in opposition - I think you're right. Actually if the Liberals have any brains at all it would be Martha Hall Finlay who I'd be taking a serious look at for replacing Harper. She impresses me more every time I hear her. She's got something that all of those Alpha males combined don't.....spark and personality.

Dion, Iggy and Rae are pretty much bankrupt in that department.

Anonymous said...

Mary T. - I don't think that a Liberal/NDP merger would go over with the Ontario NDPers who can't stand Rae.

Perhaps Stephen Harper should work on
teaming up with Peter Kormos?

maryT said...

Rae's great coalition consitst of only 14,187 voters. How many liberal votes did he lose as compared to what Graham got.
It was the Abstainistan party in action in all 4 elections.
Will they also abstain in a general election.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the Toronto Sun editoria which includes:

"...but Rae's power presence in Parliament could also prove a bit of a nightmare for his leader.

Loathed by the political Left as a turncoat who damaged the New Democratic brand through such policies as unpaid mandatory days off for the civil service while he was Ontario Premier, Rae is equally disliked by the Right for his deficit-swelling ways from 1990-1995."

"Big Spender, big taxes"

kursk said...

Bob Rae finding a coalition of like minds (to support his leftist agenda..) in Toronto centre is like finding alchoholics at the Betty Ford clinic..

OMMAG said...

So was there any surprise in these results?

Not that I can see...
The MSM donned their Liberal Cheerleader oufits and did cartwheels.
The Leftards of the Green Party and The NDP declared themselves big winners.

Certain Toronto ridings are populated by delusional fools.

Can we please have REAL election now?

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget that the fat cat Libs owned all 4 seats.They were all Liberal seats won by the Liberals in the last election.So lets see,The Conservatives beat the hell out of the Libs in Sask.in a riding that the oh so smart-ass Dion planted his own personal pick.And in a riding in B.C.where they won by 20% over the Conservatives last election,they barely squeek out a win by less than 1% .They win 2 ridings in Ontario where a pile of **** could run and win and apparently did in one riding.They elect a man who was the worst premier Ontario ever had.LOL LOL LOL.Its so friggin funny i cant stop laughing.And to top it off we get to hear a speech from Dion on how it was the Liberals finest hour.And all the MSM liberal scumbags headline Liberal Victories,,Liberals win,,We all love the Liberals,,Maybe this will be all the Liberals needed to get them to call an election..Well here is the Headline you scumbag MSM Liberals lose 1 of their seats and nearly lose a second one to the Conservatives.A sad day for the Liberals,not a happy day.They won nothing,they retained 3 of their 4 seats.The Conservatives didnt lose a thing,they are up 1 seat this morning and guess what you MSM scumbags ,the Libs didnt win anything,as a matter of fact if you check out the number of seats now you will find that the LIbs have one less seat than yesterday.So c,mon you MSM scumbags,tell us again,what did the Libs win last night.

Joe said...

I don't see any need for an election. Harper has a majority and the longer Dion stays on as OLO the better Harper's chances are in the next election.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Bob Rae finding a coalition of like minds (to support his leftist agenda..) in Toronto centre is like finding alchoholics at the Betty Ford clinic..

I noticed that some of his supporters included notables such as George Smitherman, Scott Brison, and of course Bill Graham who I believe was the incumbent.

Colourful crew.

Möbius said...

Rae will make a good MP, well-spoken, reasonable, etc.

He will not make a good leader, because of his political baggage, at least in Ontario. For this reason, I predict the LPC will dump Dion and make Rae leader.

Say goodbye to centre-right voters.