Hot on my earlier post, we now have Tom Flanagan corroborating the insistence by both Duceppe and Layton that Harper was plotting to replace the legitimately elected Liberal minority government in 2004 with a Harper Conservative minority government – without an election:
Tom Flanagan - There was a PlotA key adviser to Stephen Harper during his days as Opposition leader says the "co-opposition" arrangement Harper negotiated with NDP leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe in September 2004 was seen by Conservatives at the time as a potential avenue to a Harper-led minority government — without seeking Canadians' approval in an election.
Tom Flanagan, the federal Conservatives' former campaign manager and a one-time Harper chief of staff, told Postmedia News on Monday that the deal Harper described in 2004 as a "co-opposition" accord — but insisted then and insists now was not a formal coalition — was a "perfectly legitimate exercise" aimed at exploring whether there was "common ground for the Conservatives to undertake a minority government."
Duceppe & Layton: There was a PlotFlanagan's comments are significant because they raise further questions about Harper's interpretation of the episode and, perhaps, his current election strategy of branding Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff a would-be coalition leader — even if he finishes second behind the Conservatives in the May 2 election — willing to strike a deal with Layton and Duceppe to trump a Harper minority and become prime minister.
That is pretty strong support for the Duceppe and Layton version of what happened in the Delta Hotel in 2004 when Harper called these two men to meet him.
The Three Amigos met and signed the letter to the Governor General advising her that they were in "continuous consultation" and that she should consider her options.
|Harper - No Plot|
Jack Layton and Giles Duceppe have both said that prime minister Stephen Harper is lying to Canadians about his attempt to hatch a plot in the hotel in 2004.
Now Tom Flanagan, a grizzled veteran of right wing politics, has weighed into the fray.
So: Is our Prime Minister lying to us?
Stay tuned – as more answers to The Cat's Questions come tumbling out into the public space.