Federal Politics

Topics Relating to Provincial Politics

The Year of the Political Apology - I'm Sorry for the F.U.

By Jared Wesley on Dec 11, 2008

I guess partisanship means never having to say "I'm sorry"?

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The Liberals Land on Their Feet

By Harold Jansen on Dec 11, 2008

I haven't had a lot of time to blog lately. It's grading time at university which leaves little time for other things. However, I'm procrastinating right now, so it's time to write something.

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With Michael Ignatieff as Leader of the Liberal Party, is the Coalition Dead?

By Greg Farries on Dec 9, 2008

CTVNews is reporting that Bob Rae has told his supporters in a conference call Tuesday that he will end his bid for the Liberal leadership. Considering Rae's departure means Michael Ignatieff is the sole remaining candidate for the leadership position and almost certainly the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is Ignatieff going to continue with the coalition with the New Democratic Party?

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Is the Problem Coalitions in General or THIS Coalition?

By Harold Jansen on Dec 5, 2008

Although the question of whether a coalition can take over is primarily a constitutional and parliamentary question, there's no doubt that public opinion is a factor, lurking in the background of all of these discussions. And the polls are coming in. They suggest that Canadians prefer Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to govern.

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(What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? Reconciliation and Prorogation

By Harold Jansen on Dec 4, 2008

The more I think about the prorogation decision, the less comfortable I am with it. Essentially, it can gut the central principle of Canada's system of responsible government: that the government must have the support of a majority of the members of the House of Commons. The Conservatives are pointing out that they passed the last confidence vote, which was on the Throne Speech as justification for this, but that's pretty flimsy. They lost the confidence of the House and they know it. Only messing around with the scheduling in Parliament saved them.

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Lessons Lost?: Mantioba's Coalitions

By Jared Wesley on Dec 4, 2008

We've heard a lot about Canada's limited experience with coalition governments in the past week.  Engaged citizens today are as familiar as ever with the 1917 Union Government, the 1925-26 King-Byng Affair, and the Ontario episode in 1985.  One prominent example of Canadian coalition government has been lost in all of the talk, however.  And there are important lessons to be learned from it.

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Considering the Governor General's Decision to Prorogue Parliament

By Harold Jansen on Dec 4, 2008

Like many Canadians, I was glued to the television to see what the governor general would decide in response to Stephen Harper's request to prorogue Parliament. I have a lot of sympathy for the governor-general: the Prime Minister put in her a very difficult position with this request. I'd also like to give credit to the opposition leaders. Rather than attacking the governor general and needlesly politicizing her decision, they pointed the finger at Stephen Harper. That's where the blame belongs, if there is any.

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Constitutional Refresher Course: What is a Prorogation of Parliament?

By Harold Jansen on Dec 4, 2008

As I write this, Stephen Harper is currently meeting with Michaelle Jean and is reportedly requesting a prorogation of Parliament. I've been asked a lot what exactly this means and how it relates to the current situation in Ottawa. So, here's a refresher course on prorogation.

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Andrew Potter on legitimacy in this debate

By Harold Jansen on Dec 3, 2008

Andrew Potter at Macleans.ca has a really good blog posting that's worth reading. He's been posting some interesting stuff on the crisis.

Harper and Dion take to the airwaves

By Harold Jansen on Dec 3, 2008

In case you missed it, both Harper and Dion took to national television to make their cases directly to the people. Neither really had much new to say. Here are my impressions of both speeches.

Harper

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The mess in Ottawa is an opportunity for the Greens, but....

By Harold Jansen on Dec 3, 2008

I think it's safe to say that none of Canada's four political parties in Canada are looking especially good right now: the partisan bickering and yelling, the political manouevering and scheming, the constitutional brinkmanship. There are lots of Conservatives upset with Stephen Harper, many Liberals disgusted with Stephane Dion, and even more Canadians just annoyed with everyone. 

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If the governor-general agrees to dissolve Parliament, what would the election look like?

By Harold Jansen on Dec 2, 2008

Running through all the what-if scenarios that could unfold over the next few weeks has become a favorite activity for Canadian junkies. Here's one that just occurred to me. What happens in the (unlikely, according to constitutional experts) event that Michaelle Jean granted a request by Stephen Harper for a dissolution of Parliament? We'd have an election. And here's where things would get even more interesting.

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Will the Conservative MPs Resign En Masse in Response to Coalition?

By Greg Farries on Dec 2, 2008

CFRA's Lowell Green, QR77's Dave Rutherford, and Bourque Newswatch are reporting that the Western Canadian MPs may take a drastic measure if the Governor General allows the coalition to form government - they will resign en masse.

This drastic measure - effectively removing significant political representation from a large portion of the country - would certainly push the Governor General and or the coalition to consider dissolving the House and calling an election.

Stephen Harper is the great unifier in this country

By Harold Jansen on Dec 2, 2008

Stephen Harper has been a transformative leader in Canadian partisan politics. First he united the right. Now he's united the left. Pretty impressive.

Note to coalition: Just because you CAN replace the government doesn't mean you SHOULD replace the government

By Harold Jansen on Dec 1, 2008

Wow: events on Parliament Hill are developing quickly as Canada enters almost uncharted waters: the Liberals, NDP, and the Bloc have signed a deal on a proposed coalition. Given how coalition governments are foreign to Canadian political tradition, it's a remarkable thing to see this come about in such short order. I'm surprised to see this. I knew the opposition parties would be galvanized by the end of the vote subsidy, but I thought once the Conservatives withdrew it, they would relent. I was wrong.

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