Liberals form coalition to oust Conservatives in Canada
Well, Obama may just have someone different to deal with in Canada
It is mind-boggling how liberals sleep at night after pulling this kind of back-door, school-yard crap....Warfish, I hear you when you say you feel like you are watching your country just slip away, and there is nothing you can do about it...
I have done want I can for now....I have sent this information to many people, and I wrote the governor-general of Canada to voice my displeasure. We shall wait and see...
[B]Liberal-led coalition asks to form government [/B]
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - This time, maybe the Tory-blue sky really is falling.
A remarkably swift, cut-throat and unforeseen game of parliamentary chicken came to a head Monday when Liberal Leader Stephane Dion announced that the opposition parties had agreed to form a coalition government. It moved the extraordinary prospect of Canada changing governments without an election a big step closer to reality.
Dion, flanked by his NDP and Bloc Quebecois counterparts, said he informed Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean of a formal, governing entente between the opposition, and called on her to let him form a new government.
"I have respectfully recommended to Her Excellency that she should, at her first opportunity, exercise her constitutional authority and invite the leader of the Official Opposition to form a new government with the support of the two other opposition parties," said Dion.
That first opportunity is set to arrive next Monday with a confidence vote in the House of Commons - unless Stephen Harper's minority government manages a last-minute tactical manoeuvre.
The Conservatives hinted that something might be in the works, saying they are considering "all options" to stop the opposition.
The Governor General is on a state visit to Europe, but a spokeswoman said she is following the events closely and is ready to return if needed.
Should Harper's government be defeated - and should Jean accept a coalition agreement - Canada would see its first change of government without an election since 1926.
Under the opposition pact, Dion - a leader his own party was ready to jettison after the Oct. 14 federal election when the Tories were re-elected with a strengthened minority - would serve as prime minister until spring when he is to be replaced as Liberal leader.
The pact includes a multibillion-dollar stimulus package for the troubled economy, including support for the auto and forestry sectors.
Any doubt of the seriousness of the unlikely opposition alliance was dispelled by the ashen features of Conservative MPs in the House of Commons.
"I think he's about to play the biggest political game in Canadian history," an embattled Harper told the daily question period.
The 77 Liberal MPs and 37 New Democrats - backed by 49 members of the Bloc Quebecois - reached a deal Monday to form a coalition for at least 18 months.
"Canadians elected 308 members of Parliament in October, not just Stephen Harper," Dion said after signing the deal with NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc chief Gilles Duceppe.
"We are ready to form a new government that will address the best interests of the people instead of plunging Canadians into another election."
In an open letter to Canadians, the three leaders wrote:
"Since the recent federal election, it has become clear that the government headed by Mr. Harper has no plan, no competence and no will to effectively address this (economic) crisis.
"Therefore, the majority of Parliament has lost confidence in Mr. Harper's government, and is resolved to form a new government that will effectively, prudently, promptly and competently address these critical economic times."
What became clear Monday is that the coalition has advanced to the point where Harper's government has very few options to keep this "three-headed Frankenstein monster" - in the words of one Tory MP - from coming to life.
Shortly after the opposition news conference, Harper dispatched Environment Minister Jim Prentice to address the "serious" situation.
Prentice called the opposition pact "irresponsible and undemocratic" and said the government will consider all options. He wouldn't rule out asking the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until late in January, when it has promised to introduce a new budget.
"There is a need for calm, there is a need to step back, appraise the situation, examine the situation and consider what is in the best interests of our country at this point in time," Prentice said.
Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn called the opposition move a "coup d'etat."
Earlier, Harper told the Commons that Canadians will question "overturning the results of an election a few weeks later in order to form a coalition nobody voted for and everybody denied.
"And to have a coalition like that that can govern only with the veto of the people who want to break up this country," Harper continued. "Do they really believe that is in the interests of this country?"
It was total about-face for Harper who advised the Governor General in 2004 to let him govern - supported by the separatist Bloc - should the Liberal government of Paul Martin fall.
Harper precipitated the crisis last Thursday with a provocative economic update that provided no economic stimulus for an ailing economy, slashed government spending, and included a poison-pill-proposal to gut public subsidies of political parties.
Desperate government back-peddling over the weekend in the face of coalition talks did nothing to slow the oncoming train wreck.
"Conservatives have given in on a few points but nothing can restore the confidence that Stephen Harper has violated," Duceppe said Monday.
Others agreed that Harper has so poisoned the confidence of Parliament that any death-bed conversions he might offer now are worthless.
"I think the credibility of such promises is virtually zero," said Liberal John McCallum. "If we pull back, they will once again feel safe to go back to their old ways."
It's been a dizzying descent for a Conservative government that appeared comfortably in control just five short days ago.
Thursday's fiscal update so incensed and threatened the combined majority opposition parties that the previously unimaginable coalition scenario suddenly became a subject of negotiation.
After weekend-long talks, the key to breaking the logjam was an internal Liberal agreement Monday by MPs to hold their noses and keep Dion as interim leader - and thus prime-minister-in-waiting - until he can be replaced at a scheduled leadership convention in May.
"The accord that was presented to us received unanimous support and the other issue which is very important is we decided the only person and the best person to lead and form a coalition government is the elected leader of our party, the leader of the opposition Stephane Dion," said Dominic LeBlanc, one of three Liberal MPs along with Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae who are in the race to replace Dion.
If the coalition goes ahead, Dion would avoid joining Edward Blake as the only Liberal party leaders since Confederation to miss achieving the big prize.
The agreement between the Liberals and the NDP is to last until June 2011. The Bloc has agreed to support the arrangement until June 2010, at which point their support could be extended.
The Governor General's role becomes pivotal in the coming days.
There is a precedent - the King-Byng affair of 1926 - for the vice-regal refusing to dissolve Parliament in the face of a confidence crisis.
Constitutional experts suggest the current Governor General similarly may be reluctant to permit prorogation when it is such an obvious dodge of a clear lack of Commons confidence in the government. But Jean is working in uncharted waters.
The opposition parties represent just over 54 per of the popular vote in the Oct. 14 federal election.
Duceppe said the Bloc would not join the coalition government nor have any ministers in cabinet.
A 24-member coalition cabinet would have six New Democrats and 18 Liberals, according to the deal.
The Bloc would support all confidence votes until June 30, 2010, but would be free to vote as it wished on all other non-monetary measures.
The Liberal-NDP pact lasts a year longer, until June 30, 2011.
[quote]With a throne speech looming in 2004, Stephen Harper and other opposition leaders wrote then-Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson noting she could be asked to dissolve Parliament should the Commons defeat the Liberal minority government.
"We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation," says the Sept. 9, 2004, letter signed by Harper, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe and NDP Leader Jack Layton.
"We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority."
The letter was written a month before Parliament convened, indicating that talks on an opposition pact had occurred before MPs returned from their summer break.
At the time, the Liberals held 135 seats, the Conservatives 99, the Bloc 54 and the NDP 19, with one Independent member. [/quote]
[QUOTE=Tyler Durden;2890135]IAlso it's "president-elect" not "president-elect-designate". Obama was elected, not designated.[/QUOTE]
Not 100% sure how this works but I think Obama is President-Elect-Designate until each states electors formally declare their electors to Obama, next week sometime. Then he becomes President-Elect until inauguration day when he becomes, simply, President Obama.
Then he continues politically conservative trek where the rich get richer, etc.
[QUOTE=AlbanyJet;2891187]Not 100% sure how this works but I think Obama is President-Elect-Designate until each states electors formally declare their electors to Obama, next week sometime. Then he becomes President-Elect until inauguration day when he becomes, simply, President Obama.
Then he continues politically conservative trek where the rich get richer, etc.
Technically, that's correct. The Electoral College has not yet confirmed Obama as the President-Elect. If you want to get all technical about it.