Wednesday, October 15, 2008

HARPER'S MINORITY GOVERNMENT: REMEMBER JOE CLARK

Joe Clark in 1980





Don Martin the conservative Conservative Canwest parliamentary columnist, no doubt heartily moistened from celebrating the Conservative victory alongside of his Conservative pals at the Conservative victory celebration in Conservative Calgary, had this to say about yesterday’s election in his column this morning:

“The Conservatives have won a majority in political power if not in name” and that “. . . the Conservatives are now set to lead the an[sic] absolute-power minority, perhaps the strongest in history.” See http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=cfc26653-302d-48d5-bd68-00905896b77a

A combination of unrestrained triumphalism, lubricated by ubiquitous liquid spirits always found at celebratory political events, oftentimes cloud one’s judgment and memory – as was the case with Martin as reflected in his column.

In the federal election of June of 1979 the Progressive Conservatives under leader Joe Clark won 136 Commons seats out of 282 – 48.2% of the total number of seats.

In the federal election of yesterday, the Conservatives under leader Stephen Harper won 143 Commons seats out of 308 - 46.4% of the total number of seats.

After the election of 1979 Joe Clark stated that even though he had a minority government, he would govern as though he had a majority government. See: http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:WnscpCcro-EJ:www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm%3FPgNm%3DTCE%26Params%3DA1ARTA0005326+Joe+Clark+govern+as+though+he+had+a+majority&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=ca

He tried to do so. The result was the defeat in the Commons of the Clark government 6 short months after its victory at the polls. In the election of the following February, Clark and his Tories were defeated and the Liberals were returned to power.

The morals of the story:

1. A minority government is not a majority government.

2. Do not argue with simple arithmetic.
3. Don’t get too drunk at Conservative victory parties. It clouds memory and judgment.

14 comments:

Oldschool said...

I would disagree with you Daryl . . . Harper will have a Virtual Majority - at least for the next couple of years. The reason being that the LPC will be changing leadership and the fact that they are too broke to contest another election any time soon!!!

Joe is about as relevant to this scenario as is John Turner . . . another lefty trying to console himself.
By the way, prolonged cooling is now predicted . . . hopefully it will not be an ice age . . . guess the Green Shift worked!!!

The Right is Where it's At said...

Mr.Harper has governed as a majority in his first term from a weak minority government. Guess what happened? He got a stronger minority almost a majority and a much weaker opposition LOL who will have a very tough time. I've heard on the french network here in Montreal last night that the liberals had to borrow $18 million for this campaign. I also read that just before the election call the liberals were running a defect of $1.5 million for the current year. So to try to bring down the government anytime soon in my opinion it would be the last thing on there minds. So lets get ready for a whole series of confidence motion within the next year and a whole lot of infighting with the liberals. You got to love this LOL.

Oldschool said...

Daryl . . . you must have been around when PET screwed up the oil patch big time . . . how could a thinking man be involved with the LPC after that billion dollar fiasco. We are still paying for oil companies that PET bought from his friends at hundreds of times what they were worth.
Wasn't it Churchill who said "if you not a liberal at 20, you have no heart, but if you are still a liberal at 40 . . . you have no mind."

Liberal 4evr said...

harper is now under control, more than before, your right, the clark effect is in motion, if harper goes around saying if you dont support me in the communs, i will call an election wont work this time, the governor general could call on the oposition to try to form a coalition, if one looks at the liberal party right now, it is in better shape for the future than ever, we have the names and the quality of dept, I do believ we are looking at a leming with harper, he is done.

Darryl Raymaker said...

I confess that I'm flattered that so many Conservatives are getting pleasure out of reading my blog.

Old School and Right Where its at -The past is never irrelevant. Remember the words of a very wise man - "Those who forget history are bound to repeat it. Or, en francais: ceux qui ignorent l'histoire se condemnent a la repeter. (Forgive the missing accents). Besides, this is politics. If the opportunity presents itself - regardless of money or leadership - the government will be brought down. The 1980 election is an example.

As far as PET and the oil patch are concerned, take the time to read this to shed some honest light on the subject: http://darrylraymaker.blogspot.com/2008/07/calgary-heralds-disrespect-of.html
And you have already found that a Conservative is liberal with your money but conservative with his own. Also, A Liberal is a Conservative whose under arrest.
Happy reading. And pay attention to history!

Oldschool said...

I was there in the 70's in Alberta.
Why do you suppose it is so hard to elect a Liberal in Alberta?
Back in the day . . . PET bought oil companies. Some from his friends. Texaco in the US was for sale . . . they couldn't give it away, but PET paid billions for the Canuck branch.
Don't need to read any liberal revisionist history, I was working in the print media back in the day, saw it all transpire,
everything from the UIC Ski Teams, to the massive liberal grants and handouts, and of course large deficits and double-digit inflation. This is when Canadian industry started to decline . . . the Cretien/Martin gang finished the job . . . hence the results we see today in Ontario. Even Harper couldn't fix this mess in two years.
Since the 70's the left has moved so far left that it is indistinguishable from Musolini's 1930's socialist party. His platform was identical, from childcare to a chicken in every pot. The left today doesn't resemble the party of Lester Pearson.

The Right is Where it's At said...

To Liberal for ever post 2:42 pm

"harper is now under control, more than before, your right, the clark effect is in motion, if harper goes around saying if you dont support me in the communs, i will call an election wont work this time, the governor general could call on the oposition to try to form a coalition, if one looks at the liberal party right now, it is in better shape for the future than ever, we have the names and the quality of dept, I do believ we are looking at a leming with harper, he is done."

What the heck are you saying? Are you serious? Did you see the results of last night? Let me remind of them o.k?

Here they are:

Conservatives...143 seats!
Liberals.........76 seats!
NDP..............37 seats!
Bloc.............50 seats!

The only way that they could form a government is if Liberals,NDP and the separatist Bloc get together and form a coalition government. Are you telling me that the Liberals and NDP would let in a party where their sol purpose is to break-up our Canada to be part of the government? What have you been smoking? I know that you are upset of the lost last night,but please be realistic o.k.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Jesus Old School, just because you worked for those hookers, you don't have to believe their bullshit.

I'm not going to debate the old days of the oil biz with you. I already gave you some stats, but of course, you Harperites are not too good at math or numbers, and so you haven't read them or understood them. And that's great, because you think that a minority is a majority just like Clark. And Harper will probably have the same fate - - unless of course, his party knifes him first, and its an even money bet which one will happen first.

And to you, Right is where it Ain't, what is it you don't understand about 46.4% being less than 50%? Is that part of the Harper Economics calculations? And don't you know that it is not a coalition that is the threat to Harper. It is the threat of being beaten in the House when the Opposition parties believe that he can be beaten in an election. What don't you understand about that bucko? Are you a student of Tom Flanagan's or what? (And don't ask me to explain to you who Tom Flanagan is, puleeeeeeeze!).

And by the way, I'm feeling fine today.

The Right is Where it's At said...

To Darryl Raymaker the first term for Mr.Harper's Conservatives was a much smaller minority and just look at how many bills he got passed,because the Libs were afraid to go into an election.

Mr.Harper's Conservatives now have a much stronger minority almost a majority. With a much weaker opposition who will dare
to bring down the government? Especially with the Liberal party such a huge debt hanging over there heads. Now if they are waiting to get reimbursed from Election Canada,don't forget that they will get even less money from us tax payer since the last election just because they received 4% less votes. This will be a huge blow to their finance whether you like to admit it or not. In other words the Liberals can't afford to go into another
election anytime soon. So get ready for a whole barrage confidence bills. You can bring 50% this or 50% that it makes no difference you know I'M right you just don't want to admit it that's all.

burpnrun said...

Dear Delusional Darryl:

First off, I haven't heard your "Not Over Until The Fat Lady Sings" rendition of Titanic (the Dion version) yet, so warm up those vocal chords and finish the last act of Mea Culpa for me, eh? Finish something (acceptance that the Libs are snookered) before moving on to advice about what the CPC should do. Failure to do so kind of spoils your prognostication credits, doesn't it?

Secondly, read "The Right is Where it's At" posts above. It will help set the scene for mitigating your Denial Syndrome.

Thirdly, hunker down and mentally prepare yourself for more bad times if either of the IggyBob twins become leader. Frank may be able to pull it off but, why would he want to and, besides, his French is not all that great either. The rest are "also rans".

Lastly but most importantly, is the central issue "what is the Liberal party, and what does it believe in?". The days of the grandiose programs (most trampling on provincial jurisdictions), tax and spend philosophies, and "money solves everything" that typify past Liberal "platforms", are over. Harper has/will see to that. Besides, what's the difference (in voters' eyes) between the Liberal tax and spend kamikaze approach to governing platforms, and Jack's tax and spend technicolour dreams? Or the Greens' $130B (uncosted) incremental tax and spend pipe dreams? Nothing, and you know it.

So if the Liberals want to occupy the centre and still do their "promise left, govern right" deception, it's going to be a tough slog against the CPC.

I suspect that the Libs will once again take the short-cut of electing a leader, pasting together a few pithy (but great-sounding) programs, then take another run at the brass ring. And end up again with the same result (+/-) as Oct 14th.

Message in all this? Get it right this time. John Rae/PC can't bail out the LPC any more. And, the LPC won't have enough money for 4 years to mount a reasonably-funded campaign. So sit back and do it right this time, and get rid of the stupid leadership dogs braying in the back yard.

Oh, and see a psychiatrist ASAP about getting rid of your fixation on the CPC. The LPC has 3-4 years to ignore them too, while it gets rid of its current mess (a.k.a. catastrophe). And, get used to saying "Aye" in the House

Darryl Raymaker said...

Well Hiccup, here goes:
1. I admit that I was somewhat overly optimistic in my prediction that Harper would bite the dust. However, the Fat Lady hasn't sang yet. At the risk of repeating myself I once again remind everyone to remember Joe Clark. Two plus two only equals five when the calculation is done by a Conservative finance minister. But the truth is, the answer is four.
2. I have read the posts of 'Right is where it ain't.' He just doesn't get it and so I gave up on him.
3. Compared to what the Conservatives have got waiting in the wings after they knife Harper, our bench looks very strong indeed. And make no mistake, the Conservatives will knife Harper. His disloyalty to his comrades is well known. His control freakish nature is grating. And he blew Quebec in more ways than one. They will get him. Lawrence Martin, by the way, agrees that he will be gone before the next federal election.
4. You neanderthal Hooverites - I'm talking about Herbert Hoover and not the vacuum cleaner, bucko - still don't get the economic trouble that we are in. To get out of it is going to take a good dose of Keynesian economics -that's John Maynard Keynes (wiki him and learn something) - to prime the pump and get things moving.

The simplistic 'Tax and Spend' harping (that's a good pun) of you Harperites reminds me of the mindless Klein era. His cronys always blurted that one out when cornered by intelligent critics. They believed it of course. So much so that Alberta's infrastructure crumbled as did all manner of government services. The result is that the price tag is now three times as high to get the house back in order, and poor Stelmach is saddled with it all.

5. The final point is this. If Harper governs as though he has a majority, he is going to try to implement his ideology - such as private Health Care, a Return of the Death Penalty, nationalization of the CBC, more cuts to arts and culture, and probably a greater devolution of power to the Provinces. Most Canadians are not going to like that and the polls will show it. And that is when the Opposition will strike. If you don't believe me, ask Joe Clark!

burpnrun said...

Darryl, how priceless!!! (and not the MasterCard kind)

Let's keep this one on the books, eh? Quote:

" ... If Harper governs as though he has a majority, he is going to try to implement his ideology - such as private Health Care, a Return of the Death Penalty, nationalization of the CBC, more cuts to arts and culture, and probably a greater devolution of power to the Provinces. Most Canadians are not going to like that and the polls will show it. And that is when the Opposition will strike. If you don't believe me, ask Joe Clark! ..."

All that is hogwash, and you know it. Come on, admit it. The best play I will give you on the quote is that Harper will continue to reinforce his commitment to a clear line (constitutional/BNA, eh?) between provincial and federal jurisdictions.

But you still haven't sung, Darryl, for your HUMUNGOUS miss on Oct 14th! You can't carry your huge prediction loss forward ... this isn't like income taxes!

Take your pick ... Harper returned, with an increased minority (bullet-proof, BTW), LPC sunk into the lowest vote share since 1867, less reps our west than free nickles dropping from a pauper's pocket ...

As I said, take your pick ... and start singing.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Singing what? The praises of Harper and the Conservatives?? Give me a break. You want me to pat you guys (and I do mean guys) on the back for having screwed up the election? Harper did screw it up. He even broke a promise in screwing it up. Having screwed it up, he has breathed new life into Gritdom. The Liberals are going to whip your ass next time out!

Bye, Bye.

Dame said...

Hahaha Darryl .. You said it really well. Thanks from me who doesn't have the power of great writer like you .
One mistake ..you expect these goons To READ a lot and that won't happen .
I agree with you the Liberals have far better front bench and that will be a WMD ...
I am surprised how many prominent columnists saying Harper will be Gone in less then 3 years . and I see the reasons.

Keep up the good work.
it is always a good time for me to come to your blog!!!