How "coalition" works against Harper.
The Globe's Bruce Anderson, like me, thinks all the coalition talk has worked against Harper in Week 1. Kinsella disagrees, sort of.
With Saturday's effort by Michael Ignatieff to clear up any ambiguity in his position on this issue, combined with the disclosures by Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe that Mr. Harper’s allergy to coalitions is not something he was born with, the Conservative Leader is now faced with a difficult choice.
To continue hammering away at this theme is to risk a voter backlash. Either because people tire of the allegation he is making, which he can’t really can’t prove, and thus is nothing more than saying Mr. Ignatieff is a liar. Or because talking about it more means people hear more about the 2004 discussion he had with Messrs. Layton and Duceppe and come to believe the PM is a hypocrite.
Please, God, make it stop: The endless, never-ceasing, interminable [fill in your own synonym - ed.] preoccupation with the coalition stuff – here and here and here and here - is going to send an entire despairing nation to the medicine cabinet. It’s worse than boring – it’s completely irrelevant. On the list of issues with which Canadian are preoccupied, is “coalition” even in the Top Five? No, it is not. This subject has become a classic case of North of the Queensway – you know, Ottawa politicians talking all about the things that matter to them, and not at all about the things that matter to the Canadians they allegedly serve. The politician(s) who shift the discourse to jobs and whatnot will benefit. But who will?
And now, let me completely contradict myself: My friend Tom Flanagan shows, once again, why (a) he’s honest and (b) he ain’t a monkey to Harper’s organ grinder (Tim Hudak and Lisa MacLeod are that). Said Flanagan, on Stephen Harper’s hypocrisy/dishonesty on forming a Conservative/NDP/Bloc coalition government: “I can’t see what other point there would have been in writing the letter [to the G.G.] except to remind everybody that it was possible to change the government in that set of circumstances without an election.” Ipso facto, Harper is lying his face off; so says his campaign manager. Take the coalition club away from him, as Gilles Duceppe is doing, and beat the Hell out of him with it. It’ll work.
Like me, National Post's Tasha Kheiriddin thinks of the coalition meme as "the gift that keeps on giving" - though not always to the Tories' disadvantage:
Just when you thought the C-word was fading amidst a slew of policy announcements, it gets a second wind, thanks to… the NDP. Turns out the NDP candidate in Elgin-Middlesex-London has bailed and thrown his support to the Liberals, in an effort to prevent a Harper majority.
Ryan Dolby suddenly announced through an email Wednesday morning he’s leaving the race to throw his support behind Liberal Graham Warwick.
“I am worried if Stephen Harper gets a majority. I made a strategic decision,” Dolby said.
So I guess now we'll have a round of punditry on the pros and cons of strategic voting, of which coalition considerations are integral.