Friday, June 5, 2009

The Coalition? It Was All About Bloc MP's Pensions Stupid

All credit for this post goes to Bec, who left this comment "18 months of support/veto power (call it what it is)= time needed for Bloc MPs to receive MP's pensions " at Alberta Ardvark's

So it turns out the Bloc signing on to the coalition agreement really had nothing to do with the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper as PM, and had everything to do with Gilles Duceppe ensuring 16 of his seperatist MP's would be able to suck off the Canadian taxpayer's teat. I've known for sometime that there are a number of Bloc MP's who are closing in on the required 6 years of service needed to guarantee a lucrative federal pension plan mere mortals can only dream about. Bec's comment at Alberta Ardvark's fantastic blog made my brain finally put 2+2 together.

First, pay attention to this, from when the coalition was first signed:

"OTTAWA–NDP Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion have signed an historic accord to form a coalition government to replace Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.In an extraordinary scene on Parliament Hill late this afternoon, Dion and Layton signed a formal deal to work together through to June, 2011.And they signed an agreement with Bloc Quebecois Gilles Duceppe that commits the separatist party to support the coalition through to June, 2010."

Now check out this quote from L. Ian McDonald's editorial in the National Post today:

" There are 16 reasons why there won't be an election this summer, and probably won't be one before next summer. Sixteen is the number of Bloc Quebecois MPs first elected with the class of 2004, who will qualify for their parliamentary pensions six years to the day later. On June 28, 2010."

So months after the birth and death of the coalition, we continue to see just how disgusting the coalition deal really was. You had a Liberal party that wanted to take power through the back door, after their worst electoral showing since Confederation. You had the NDP who were willing to sell their souls for the chance at six cabinet minister's position's. And you had the Bloc, who it now appears, were only looking out for themselves, not the people of Quebec who's cause they insist they champion.

But what makes this even worse than most Canadians had realized, is that both the Liberal and NDP parties were willing to allow seperatist MP's a chance to live high on the hog on the backs of average Canadian's like you and I, for their own personal gains. There is no doubt both parties are aware of that June 2010 qualifying date for Bloc MP's.

And they had the nerve to state it was all about taking care of Canadian's. And they wonder why people are turned off of politics.


ian said...

Maybe have to call me stupid because this one does not make sense to me.
Most Bloc MPs are pretty secure seats and would probably still make it to the 6 year threshold anyway.
What am I missing?

paulsstuff said...

Liberal's and Bloc are basically tied in Quebec polling. Liberal's are projected to pick up 15-20 seats in Quebec, some of those currently held by Bloc members needing another year of service.

Éric said...

Pretty flimsy case, Paul. June is usually when Parliament lifts, so it makes sense to make it the date that the agreement runs out.

By my count, only 12 Bloc MPs were elected for the first time in 2004 and are still sitting in Parliament. Of them, maybe - MAYBE - four or five of them could potentially be threatened.

I seriously doubt that is enough. The Bloc caucus is made up of 49 MPs, do you really think Duceppe would make such a big decision based on the pensions of four or five of his MPs?

Give us a break.

paulsstuff said...

"Pretty flimsy case, Paul. June is usually when Parliament lifts, so it makes sense to make it the date that the agreement runs out."

Except for the fact summer elections are not the norm, with most MP's wanting the time to spend in their own ridings and spending time with friends.

Of course Duceppe is going to do what's in the best interet of his MP's, this is politic's. The Bloc could lose upwards of 20 seats.

By the way, that seat projection site you run is very well done. My compliments.

Bec said...

I guess we will know soon kids.

Election or not? Hmmm

Thanks bud, this was fun to be a 'headliner'! Now I will shrink back into the shadows...ha

paulsstuff said...

LOL Bec:0)

Eric, one thing I was wondering is how you get the hyphen above the letter "E" in your name. I'm not very computer savvy. When replying to you or others I would like to be able to address you or them in the way you prefer your name spelled.

Anonymous said...

There will be no summer election.
Ignatieff has gone back to what he has done best over the years - does best - flogging his book on Isaiah Berlin at United Kingdom university campuses.
This is booked for July 8 - tickets already on sale.
He is charging 120 pounds per seat and is now marketing himself as "the HONOURABLE Michael Ignatieff".
If you google he made a living flogging this book on a lecture tour and then he could put on his resume that he was a "visiting professor" at Yale, Oxford, etc.
Funny he is not doing a lecture on his latest "True Patriot Love" mea culpa written to woo us simpleton Canadians. Guess nobody would pay him 120 pounds to gush about smelling horse manure in a barn in Quebec.
Also, I guess his work is done in Canada for now after he can't showboat on Question Period and he's off to England. TaTa Mikey.

paulsstuff said...

Wow. That is very interesting. Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link for Ignatieff's excellent summer vacation plans in jolly old England returning to his former job - selling books and talking about them.
I wonder who is paying for his hotel, airfare and expences. Not sure the taxpayer should or even the Liberal party.
Not too many constituents to serve in the UK or votes to be had methinks.

maryT said...

Did Iggy or the backroom boys want his travel plans out there for us all to read. Does his caucus know about this. Might be a great time to pull the plug. I know, the wind is blowing him across the sea.
Is the money raised his or the partys.
So, there will be no election called in June, or a vote of no confidence.
One could defeat Iggy in his riding and save us loads of pension funds. When does IRuby qualify.

Éric said...

-- "By the way, that seat projection site you run is very well done. My compliments."

Thanks. I have trouble seeing the Bloc losing 20 seats, though. They might lose ten or so but will likely gain almost as many from the Conservatives.

In retrospect, sorry for the tone of my last comment. The comments on the Aardvark blog today set me off.

-- "Eric, one thing I was wondering is how you get the hyphen above the letter "E" in your name. I'm not very computer savvy. When replying to you or others I would like to be able to address you or them in the way you prefer your name spelled."

While holding ALT, 0201 on the number pad.

Michael Ignatieff would be able to cancel speaking engagements in the case of an election. Ignatieff won't be deciding whether we go to an election anyway. Jack Layton already said he won't bring down the Tories, and the Liberals and Bloc can't out-vote the government without the NDP.

paulsstuff said...

Éric. Hey, cool, it works.

Layton said he won't put forth a non-confidence motion, but would support one if Ignatieff brought one to a vote. Should be a very interesting few weeks.

In regards to your seat projection site, it's results differ from others but to me appears more realistic with it's projections. Perhaps there is something you put into the equation others don't.

Éric said...

Has Layton positioned himself that strongly? I haven't gotten that impression.

Layton has the most to lose (aside from the Tories), his caucus could be cut in half. The Liberals might be able to get into government and the Bloc could return to the Quebec City region with the disappearance of the Conservatives.

It would be a bad idea for Layton to support a Liberal non-confidence motion.

As to the projections, I take into account past voting behaviour back to 2004. I don't think other projectors do the same thing.

paulsstuff said...

I'll look for the link but everyone who read the story thought Layton meant he would support the government. There was one line in the article where Layton stated if Ignatieff put forth a non-confidence motion he would go along with it.

I think right now there is a lot of posturing going on. Ignatieff would love to break the trend of Liberal's supporting the Conservative's, and force either the Bloc or NDP to assume that role.

Political chicken if you will.

paulsstuff said...

Éric, new poll numbers out if you want to adjust your projections blog.

Bec said...

"Political chicken if you will."
I concur.

Gotta try this,Éric YOU ROCK!! I love it. Thank you because it has always concerned me to insult! Woohoo!

Can yo do that with any name?

Agent Smith said...

' This is booked for July 8 - tickets already on sale.
He is charging 120 pounds per seat and is now marketing himself as "the HONOURABLE Michael Ignatieff". '

Would this be a conflict of intÉrÉst using his office to peddle his pamplets?

(ps how do u make the 'double o' umlets over the letter 'o'?)

Anonymous said...

Exposed! For those of you that have posted that this is not the reason, are you pretending that the BLOC agreed to the Coalition for the love of Canada? More like their entitlements from Canada. Politics are volatile in that great soup of Canada - Quebec politics. Look at the recent polling that the Liberals are surging in Quebec. Too bad the residents of that province are so selfserving - no such thing as the greater good, its all about leverage and how do we make this work to our advantage. Cheers Fern StAlbert

Bec said...

FernStAlbert@ 6:53pm

WE LET IGNATIEFF, self destruct.

He is causing such RoC issues, that he is the gift that keeps on giving.

I think that under the circumstances, the PM, IS playing this right and this country could be the NEXT economic, super power!

ps we should all invest....

paulsstuff said...

"ps we should all invest...."

I agree fully Bec. And people will call me crazy but I will be buying some GM and Chrysler stock when it becomes available.

Éric said...

-- "Éric, new poll numbers out if you want to adjust your projections blog."

Thanks, I'll wait until morning before doing any updating.

wilson said...

If Jack wants to play political chicken with the Libs,
he's got the first opp day.
Dippers could table a motion about EI that includes 'permanent' changes.
Libs vote against.
Then dippers can vote against Lib opp day motion.

Looking back, seems like I only missed one faux scandal RaittGate...
The Iffy lead Libs have been a disappointment, I thought PMSH would have a tougher fight on his hands,
which brings the best out in him.

Looks like all the opps gave the auto bailout a pass.
Tho Gilles will use the 'you love Ontario more than us' card, later.
I can't wait to see Iffy juggle that one! lol

Maybe it's because I was gone for a few days,
but to me the Libs and Bloc are so predictable, they are boring.

Funny the Bloc brought out truth ads, using Iffy's own words...that's the first time the Bloc copied rather than put out original ads, strange eh.
Waiting to hear msm rant about how mean and nasty Duceppe is to attack King Iffy and insult immigrants...crickets.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm a little late to the party here, but nice catch Bec, and great post Paul!

Sammy said...

OT again paul...but further to Layton's 'six-minute wait time stupidity' just do a search on Brian Sinclair! For those of you not aware,this is a man that DIED after spending 34 HRS IN EMERG WITHOUT BEING SEEN! He had a bladder infection that would have been fixed up with some antibiotics,yet he sat..alone.. in a wheelchair in Health Sciences Center in Wpg..and died alone!Yeah Jacko,all's good in public healthcare!

Anonymous said...

could we do a graphic listing all of the Coalition MPs who are in line for those pensions's would be news worthy.

paulsstuff said...

"could we do a graphic listing all of the Coalition MPs who are in line for those pensions's would be news worthy."

Hey, that.s a fantastic idea. I'll do that later tonight.

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff is one. He was just elected in 2004 so he will need 6 years to collect an MP's pension.

At that time he can retire in comfort to his villa in the south of France and hand the leadership reins over to Bob Rae without the nuisance of a leadership election.

Rae already double dips pensions - one from the province of Ontario as an MPP and one from his time as an MP prior. Probaboly topped off nicely by a Premier's pension.

The old boys stick together you know.

PowerCorp has both horses in their pocket.

paulsstuff said...

No problem Sammy. I remember that incident. Imagine the struggle his family and friends went through knowing he died for no reason.

In my case, I've had two sinus surgeries in the last 10 years becuase the ER doctor never thought I needed x-rays after getting 12 stiches across the bridge of my nose in hockey. My septum had been crushed and if taken care of at the time it would have saved me a lot of misery over the years.

Möbius said...

I don't think so. The Bloc signed on because, at the time, two parties (the Libs and NDP) agreed to give them some power in government, which would allow them to plant the seeds of dissent in Canada, which is their natural mandate.

To show that Canada doesn't work is their raison d'etre. I question the motives more of the Liberals and NDP, signing deals with them. I haven't forgotten that Ignatieff's signature is on that deal.

Ardvark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ardvark said...


Ignatieff was elected in 2004? I was not aware that Boston/Cambridge had their own MP.

I don't think the pensions were their only reason, but I do think that the pension issue played a part.

biff said...

Iggy selling books in England while Rome supposedly burns?

That'll be good for an ad or two.

Good catch anon, and great post Paul. BTW flattered about the blogroll.

biff said...


I've got a post up about Iggy's London gig.

It's titled "Canada Was so Last Week" and the first line is "you can take Iggy out of London but you can't take the London out of Iggy".


FoxtrotBravo said...

Creating É, Ö, ö and other extended characters (in reference to some of the comments above).

paulsstuff said...

Thanks for that FoxtrotBravo, great handle by the way.

I'm not really computer savvy so all this info helps. I always like to refer to someone as they way they refer to themselves.

Éric said...

You know, I just thought of a big hole with this theory. There wasn't going to be an election at the time of the coalition talks, and the NDP and Liberals were unable to bring down the Conservatives without the support of the Bloc.

Jumping on board with the coalition and keeping his hands tied to them until the pensions kicked in would have been far riskier than simply not voting down the Tories and letting Parliament continue to function, if the pensions were indeed the priority of the Bloc.

Supporting a coalition and signing an agreement that would severely limit Gilles Duceppe's range of manoeuvre to save the pensions of a half-dozen MPs sounds a bit rich, when instead Duceppe could have just bided his time and see where things went without committing his party to anything.

I imagine this whole line of thought was spurred by that Ian MacDonald article a few days ago. Did he cover this aspect?