Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harper's coalition talk(s) with Duceppe in 2004: Who is lying?

It seems that Harper did indeed discuss a coalition with the Bloc in 2004, according to a Tweet by Duceppe, but the three men who met in the hotel to talk about the Conservatives lead by now lame duck prime minister Harper on other occasions have said there was no talk of a coalition as such. 

Coyne writes that:

But what of the Conservatives? Weren’t they proposing a coalition themselves, via that notorious 2004 letter to the Governor General? No. 

While it’s abundantly clear that Harper was ready to replace Paul Martin as prime minister under exactly the circumstances he now denounces — making him not just wrong but hypocritical — it is equally clear he was not proposing to form a coalition. 

The letter makes no mention of it. All three leaders denied it at the time. And all three have continued to deny it to this day: asked about it at his morning press conference, Duceppe protested he did not want “to invent things.” (Duceppe later tweeted that Harper “talked about” a coalition in their meeting, but has not clarified what this means. Did he propose one? Then why was no such coalition proposed in the letter?) 

Harper’s readiness to form a government, with the support of the other two parties, in 2004 does not mean he was plotting a coalition, for the same reason that Ignatieff can promise one without the other now: cooperation is not the same as coalition.

Given Duceppe's Twitter recantation, could somebody ask Jack Layton and Giles Duceppe to clarify exactly what was discussed with Harper in that hotel room?

Coyne is wrong to characterize it as a "hypocrisy" problem for Harper; it is more a credibility problem than a hypocrisy problem. 

Is Harper lying when he says he never ever used the word coalition when talking to Jack Layton and to Giles Duceppe in 2004 when he was planning to sink the minority Liberal government?

After all, the Liberal Party had ended up with far more seats than the Conservatives had, but this did not seem to factor into Harper's considerations at all, unlike his squeals of outrage today about exactly that same issue.

It would be helpful to have full and clear answers:
  1. who met with whom,
  2. where did they meet,
  3. when did they meet,
  4. how often did they meet,
  5. who arranged the meetings,
  6. who attended the meetings,
  7. what exactly was said,
  8. were there any notes taken,
  9. were minutes taken,
  10. was a tape recording made,
  11. who booked the hotel room(s).
  12. were any letters exchanged,
  13. who wrote the first draft of the letter to the Governor General  putting her on notice that the Harper Conservatives wanted to take a stab at power if the minority Liberal government fell,
  14. do they have copies of the drafts,
  15. were legal firms involved in the drafting,
  16. was legal advice sought by any of the three men,
  17. were any civil servants involved in any way,
  18. did anyone speak to the GG,
  19. were plans made as to how to unseat the Liberal government,
  20. what exactly did Harper offer to the NDP and the Bloc – the quid pro quo - to put in a Conservative Throne Speech if the Tories took over from the Liberals, and
  21. anything else that might be useful to Canadians given Harpers strange views of constitutional law.
It would be much better if voters got some clarification rather than having Harper go through a Mulroney type of response (if you ask precise question I will give an answer, otherwise ...)

We already have Duceppe saying clearly that Stephen Harper is lying about the coalition meetings. This is a serious charge against a sitting prime minister, and Canadians do have a right to find out exact details of what took place.

It does go to the credibility of Duceppe, Layton and Harper.

If Harper is lying, should Canadians trust him with governing Canada again? If Harper is telling the truth, what does that say about Duceppe?


  1. Are you really this dumb? Harper never proposed a coalition with anybody. Ignatieff did, and until recently he hasn't ruled out another one. Now he's clearly come out against a coalition but in favour of an arrangement that would be the same as what Harper tried. Coalition. Do you understand the word? Personally, though, I think Ignatieff still has a secret plan to implement a coalition. I don't trust Ignatieff and never will.

  2. Could the Anonymous poster above be Giles Duceppe himself? He seems to be privy to some intimate knowledge of what went on in that meeting. Why don't you answer that list of questions while you're at it, Gilles?

  3. Still doesn't change the fact Harper never proposed a coalition, nor has anyone in Parliament accused him of that, lmfao!

  4. @7.21, Gilles Duceppe accused him you tool.

  5. My goodness you guys really don't understand what a coalition is. Gilles Duceppe has never accused Harper of trying to form a coalition government. This is such stupidity. Read, for goodness sake ... or at least learn to read.

  6. Harper proposed to govern as a minority government with support from the Bloc and NDP. To be a coalition government you actually have to have the other parties as part of the government, and they get cabinet seats. The agreement they reached never included that. You guys are so dumb you don't even understand what a coalition government is. ANY and EVERY minority government has to operate with the support of other parties, there was nothing new in what Harper was proposing. What Ignatieff signed on to was a coalition government. He has continued to say he would still be prepared to form a government if Harper wins the most seats but cannot obtain the confidence of the House. By your definition he's proposing a coalition government then. No he's not, and he's not proposing anything different than what Harper had proposed when Martin was PM. But he has now finally ruled out a coalition government. But there's no doubt he still has a secret agenda on this. Learn some politics and history before you make stupid comments.

  7. The existing Liberal, NDP, Bloc coalition expires on June 30,2001. That's why we're having an election now.

  8. nons - read the quote above again and again until you get it into your noggins: Coyne says Duceppe tweeted that Harper had mentioned a coalition:

    "Duceppe later tweeted that Harper “talked about” a coalition in their meeting, but has not clarified what this means."

    That seems pretty clear to me - a written statement by one of the three men who did the talking in 2004 which uses the word "coalition".

    Tweet, tweet, tweet ..

  9. Actually, they say that coalition was an option they talk about. So friggin what? Harper has never proposed a coalition with the NDP or Bloc. Neither the NDP nor Bloc have ever said they had a coalition agreement with the Conservatives. However, Ignatieff DID sign onto a coalition agreement with the NDP supported by the Bloc and has until this weekend refused to rule out another coalition agreement. No matter how you slice it, Harper has never proposed a coalition and Iggy has. And by your comments its very clear the Liberals will whole heartedly support another coalition after the election if they don't win. This is Ignatieff's hidden agenda.

  10. I saw a clip yesterday and duceppe denied that there was any talk of coalition in 2004,was he lying then or now.

  11. He has NEVER said there was a coalition agreement with Harper, even now he's not saying that. It's just Liberal lies. And if the Liberals are lying about this you know they have something to hide.

  12. well our very liberal media is not going to report about gille in 2004 now are they


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