Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'll Take 'Conservative Spies' for $500, Alex

Question: Sunday's winner of the Conservative Weasel of the Day award

Answer (in the form of a question a la Jeopardy™): Who is "the Conservative member" who secretly taped Jack Layton's caucus call?

According to the audio tape, Layton appears to take credit for the possibility of a coalition.

"Let's just say we have strategies. This whole thing would not have happened if the moves hadn't been made with the Bloc a long time ago and locked them in early," Layton says. "Because, you couldn't put three people together in one or three hours. The first part was done a long time ago."

He then goes on to say that the NDP "spotted and prepared for the opportunity and had taken the steps that were required, so that when the opportunity arose, which was when Mr. Harper made his disastrous strategic error by not providing stimulus to the economy and instead playing political games, we were able to move and things began to move very quickly."

Layton also says about the Bloc: "Nothing could be better for our country than to have 50 members who have been elected to separate Quebec...actually helping to make Canada a better place."

The standard denial was issued, of course, and legal action against the person who recorded the conversation is being looked into.

Who knew this fall session would be so much fun?

In related news, Daddy Deficit has now bumped up budget day to January 27 and John "Pit Bull" Baird announced that the Cons are backing down from taking away strike privileges. That's Baird once again acting as Steve's spokespuppet - the Transport minister. What's wrong with this picture?

How do you spell scramble? These days it's spelled C-o-n-s-e-r-v-a-t-i-v-e.

And how do you spell subpoena? Stay tuned.


Details of proposed Liberal-NDP coalition emerge

A Liberal-NDP coalition agreement that would replace the minority Conservative government was being fleshed out Sunday night, the CBC has learned.

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion has shown the outline of an agreement between his party and the New Democratic Party to Liberal leadership candidates Michael Ignatieff, Dominic LeBlanc and Bob Rae, the CBC's Keith Boag reported, citing sources.

"They're discussing this tonight in Toronto," he said from Ottawa.

The NDP would hold 25 per cent of cabinet positions, Boag said, adding that the finance minister and the deputy prime minister would be Liberals.

The Bloc Québécois would not officially be a part of the coalition, but the new government's survival would depend on their support, he said.

The Harper government could prorogue Parliament to block the coalition efforts, but "that'd be a very, very dramatic step given the government has taken the position there'll be a budget early in January," Boag said.

"The real obstacle to this deal going through is still within the Liberal party," Boag said, adding the deal is being negotiated by Dion, who believes he has the right to be prime minister.

But it's unclear whether the party wants him to continue, and the leadership candidates were meeting Sunday evening to discuss the matter, Boag said.

Canwest reports:

The National Post reported that Michael Ignatieff is to become prime minister in a Liberal-led coalition if the opposition parties do bring down the Conservatives in a no-confidence vote next week. It went on to say that outgoing Liberal Leader Stephane Dion would step aside and that leadership Bob Rae would receive a senior cabinet post. The Post reports that the plan will be presented to the Liberal caucus Monday afternoon.

But a spokesman for Bob Rae categorically denied Sunday night that Rae has agreed to step aside to make room for Ignatieff and said that Dion was not even at the meeting where the purported deal was said to have been hatched.

Also Sunday night, there were media reports which said that the Liberals and NDP had agreed on sharing cabinet seats, although there were conflicting reports on the number of portfolios each party would get.

Whatever's going on, the Liberals had better get their ducks in a row quickly by getting these leadership egos out of the way if what they're up to is truly for the good of the country. We've had enough politicking this year, thank you very much.

And, here's more of who might have recorded the NDP caucus call:

Harper's spokesman Kory Teneycke said the PMO was inadvertently given the co-ordinates to the teleconference call between Layton and his caucus. Teneycke said he would "leave it to others" to decide if it were ethical to tape the conversation and to distribute it.

There you go. It was the PMO's office. Busted. They wouldn't know the definition of "ethical" if it slapped them in the face. No wonder they have no shame about what they've done.

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