B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell comments on the ongoing parliamentary crisis in Ottawa on Dec. 2, 2008.
Eggs were thrown at the Vancouver office of Liberal M.P. Ujjal Dosanjh on Tuesday, Dec. 2.
Ottawa's instability bad for Canada: Campbell
Updated: Tue Dec. 02 2008 20:04:45
British Columbians are watching from afar as the fight to control Parliament continues to dramatically unfold in Ottawa.
And everyone has a strong opinion on whether or not the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois should attempt to form a coalition government at the expense of Stephen Harper's Conservatives.
Related: Make your voice heard!
Premier Gordon Campbell has now weighed in, saying he understands what is going on and he thinks it is bad for Canada.
"Right now the Parliament is not working," says Campbell. "At a time when we need confidence, we need stability, we need leadership we need statesmanship. We see partisanship, instability and frankly a lot of concern from Canadians about what on earth is going on there."
Campbell believes a coalition government is a risky leap of faith and says if the gamble fails Canada's economic crises will be made significantly worse. He thinks it is best that the Harper government be allowed to table a full budget in January before being put to a no-confidence vote. He urges calm.
"I think it's the last thing we need right now," he says.
B.C.'s opposition leader Carole James added her voice, saying federal politicians misjudged the views of Canadians who see the crisis in Parliament as a distraction from the country's economic turmoil.
"I think it's time for all political parties to focus on how they serve the needs of the public, of working people, through these difficult economic times. So I hope the decision is made quickly whatever the decision is... and I want some stability in Ottawa," says James.
Political scientist Dr. Jamie Lawson of the University of Victoria believes a coalition government would be unstable, but so, too, would be a Harper government facing unprecedented political anger.
"These folks [the coalition partners] have taken a huge risk. They will pay greatly if this screws up," says Dr. Lawson.
"We have a stability problem cutting it either way. And we have a stability problem if we went back to the polls right now. We are in a genuine constitutional crisis."
And around noon Tuesday someone left a message at the constituency office of B.C.'s senior Liberal M.P. Ujjal Dosanjh - some smashed eggs dripping down the window.
Dosanjh himself, in an interview from Ottawa, said he was a strong supporter of the coalition idea.
"If you saw the Prime Minister in Question Time, he is leading the charge in rhetoric and taking it to a feverish pitch by accusing Liberals and the NDP of wanting to break up the country," he said. "It's irressponsible for us to have that debate and go on in that fashion."
The public continues to be polarized on the issue.
One man at an East Vancouver coffee shop told CTV that "the NDP, the Liberals, and the Bloc have good ideas", while another, in Kerrisdale, had a very different opinion of Jack Layton, Stéphane Dion and Gilles Duceppe.
"Those three are never going to agree on anything, so what a bloody disaster," she said.
With reports from CTV British Columbia's St. John Alexander and Jim Beatty
Please Add Comments(34)
Well for once I have to agree with Gordo!
If this coalition happens Canada as we know it is SUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!
Poor Dion. He couldn't get the support of voters through a democratic election and he just couldn't let it go, so he did what any self-serving egomaniac would do - he sold out his country to the very people who want to tear it apart just to get a little power.
I hope he enjoys his 15 minutes because it's the last 15 minutes any liberal is going to have for a long time to come.
What we need in this country of ours right now is a LEADER, one who can remember the words: Government of the people, by the people for the people.
This is why Campbell has held a liberal leadership in BC. I wish I could support Liberals on a Federal basis, but Dion/Ignatif/Rae - get real - I will take my chances with Harper. And NDP is completely out of the question in my opinion!
Liberals need to take a step back, find a GOOD candidate and be ready to take over then, instead they team up with the debauchery party of Canada NDP. We have never given Harper a chance, give him the chance.
We are starting to make American politics look favourable!
A Guenther - Burnaby
Hedging all your bets with that nasty provincial election coming up in May eh? Campbell, you should be loyal to your party, not publicly criticizing it. I'm sure they'll remember your undying support too after everything does in fact work out with the coalition.
Your being ousted in May won't have anything to do with what's going on federally. You're an arrogant, useless, wishy washy, floor crossing, dud of a premier.
Dr. Mike Heit
A pox on all MP's. I have no respect for any of these.....
It is Steven Harper who is creating a divisive atmosphere in Canada with his bigoted views of Quebec and the Bloc. He is desperate to distract us from what has really caused this crisis.
He has created it with his unwillingness to seriously address the economic concerns. Had he been in opposition, he would be shouting for the same steps that the coalition is demanding. I am personally fed up with his hands off attitude. I want the coalition, with the aid of some very experienced economic advisers, to get busy and do the job that they were elected to do. Stop waiting for Harper who appears to be out of touch with reality and the Canadian public. He underestimates how angry we feel about the mismanagement and outright criminal nature of big business & financial institutions' role in creating this global economic crisis.
He wasted our money with an election in hopes of gaining more control when he knew what was on the economic horizon. He had his chance to manage this crisis and has failed. He does not have the confidence of the majority so the coalition should have the opportunity to do so.
I am totally opposed to wasting more money on another election!
I stopped listening to the likes of the Gordon Campbells of the world the day after he was first elected. After promising to not expand the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay, he did precisely that. I wouldn't trust him with a stray dog, let alone the truth.
This is not about toppling a government because of the lack of faith in the government. When Jack Layton ran as the "next Prime Minister of Canada" which has never been done in the past by this party, he already had a plan to get there if he wasn't voted into that position . He has been talking with the Bloc Party for quite some time now with every intention of overthrowing the Conservative government if it was re-elected. That is what this outrage is about and should be about.
On the radio here the people are calling for another election. Those who voted NDP did not vote for the Liberals, and those that voted Liberal did NOT vote for the NDP.
Campbell has this one pegged right on the money.
This coalition hasn't given enough time for the government to present their solution,especially with Obama and th U.S.changing political stripes at the end of January.
Our largest trading partner,the guys who buy our goods have to make the first move,then we will follow.
It will take this coalition months to get familiar with the government side before their budget comes before parliament.Throwing $30 billion at the economy without rel thought is just a waste of money.Three totally different ideologies will be bickering about everything in their budget, not the way to run a country.
Jake Nienhuis Langley, B.C.
Three Stooges in controll? God help this country!
w clark Campbell River B.C.
The leaders of the bloc, ndp and lib are so hungry for power that they have lost sight of their purpose in government. Of all the arrogant moves for the group to make at a time when Canada needs leadership, not turmoil. Mr. Dion knew his tenure as Liberal leader was comming to an end and this is his last ditch stand to try to be Canada's leader even when canadians in the last election said "No thankyou" to his political platform.
I don't see why a coalition government should be seen internationally as "unstable." Coalition governments with and without extra-governmental support (a la the Bloc) are commonplace in Europe. No one said Germany was "unstable" after its last election. Coalitions are the daughter of compromise and the mother of consensus.
It looks like Harper would rather spend another 300 million taxpayer dollars on an election than let the coalition who have agreed to work together, attempt to govern. Before Harper's Folly reaches 600 million, people have to ask themselves one question. If you had to vote tomorrow, would you vote for a different party than you voted for in the last election? I for one, know several areas where 300 million would make a big difference in the lives of Canadians. Let's not blow another 300 million on Harper's ego if the results wouldn't change.
Marilyne M. Lutzko Toronto
I am very disappointed in our elected representatives. We elected the government that we have and the people who want to take over were not the winners. Do our votes fall on deaf ears? We should be able to feel confident that the people who represent Canadians will all be working in Canada's best interest. We did not elect any of the three candidates who are trying to take control. It is obvious that we do not want any of them to be Prime Minister. Our voting results should not be changed. We voted and the outcome should be honored. I will never vote for the Liberals or the N.D.P. while they have the leaders that they have and I have voted for both of those parties at other times (Liberals and Jack Layton). I am disgusted with them and can't believe that they expect to get away with such imature and selfish behavior.
Rhonda Pick Enderby BC
The three Stooges,must never rule............sounds like a bad movie.........I pray that the taxpayers of this country,wake up ...and not let the sad losers rule.I feel this whole takeover was planned well in advance of the last election.............
Campbell can hardly talk. He himself has "prorogued" the fall sitting of the BC Legislature so he could rubber stamp new legislation in secret, without any discussion, before he gets thrown out of office in May by an angry ripped-off public. I'm voting for STV to put an end to this BS once and for all.
Showdown in Ottawa?
Call it what it is,The Nightmare before Christmass.
I'd be more comfortable having B.C. become the 51st U.S. State Than hav the three stooges run the show.
I really feel like my vote counted for nothing.
I feel sick to my stomach.
The majority of Canadians voted for MPs who do not support Harper. In a parliamentary democracy, the Prime Minister must have the support of over 50% of MPs. By playing silly political games instead of showing leadership, Harper has lost the confidence of Canadians. Unlike Obama, Harper is stuck in permanent campaign mode where slick talking points are treated as a substitute for good policy. It is time he stepped down. We government that can work together for the good of Canada.
So far, the leaders of the coalition have shown they are willing to work with other parties. That is what we need in these troubled times.
Jack in BC
Can I ask a stupid question? Is an economic statement/update suppose to lay out details of a budget? I thought it was meant to be general & forwarding looking to the actual budget. Can we at least see the actual budget before the coalition steps in?
I happen to agree with everything in the economic update but then again I am only a financial advisor with a business degree and have studied economics so I must be wrong...clearly throwing money at the auto sector is much better plan.
Didn't all the parties say they wouldn't operate a deficit? Isn't the world economy in turmoil because people borrowed more than they could afford? Aren't we learning any lessons here?
I'd rather spend $30M on another election than have my vote which my grandfather fought for thrown out.
Funny thing, I don't even like Harper but I feel we should choose the parties with the best policies when we vote so...I guess I can hope for another election to bring a majority for the Conservatives so that my children won't be saddled with debt that the coalition would bring. The Americans can throw money at the problem without thinking twice; they are already spending trillions in Iraq. Are they really the bastions of fiscal common sense?
I've already emailed the GG so let's everyone, no matter what side you are on, take acion so that your voice is heard. Canadians need to stop being so nice and get angry.
Mr. Campbell zip it shut? Youv'e got the gull to speak out about what is best for Canada. Is it best for Canada the massive child poverty in this province. Is it best for Canada the homelessness. Is it best for Canada our youth strung out on drugs no future. Is it best for Canada you and your parties treatment of seniors. Is it best for Canada you and your health minister's scandel in the Comox Valley. Not one but numerous people who were told they didnt have cancer so they meet clinical trail critera well you and Haper through the fast track method bring in quesionble drugs while dismantling our Universal Healthcare. Was it good for Canada the shares released in the states concerning drug reaserch while Canadians are used as hunman guinea pigs.
The Metis Aboriginal Women fighting for her life at the moment makes your opinion a joke. No Mr. Campbel you and your party are the shame of this Nation. I support the coalition cause we get Paul Martin back and Ray Romanov. Canada's Twin#1
Tim in Victoria
A Guenther in Burnaby:
Campbell can say whatever he likes about the federal Liberals; the BC Liberal Party is not a wing of the federal party, nor is it even affiliated with the federal Liberals.
They are two very, very different animals.
Maybe it's time to have our kindergarden kids take over the parliament buildings
Yes, a coalition can work and historically it has been proven to be an assest in times of government uncertainty. BUT lets face the facts here Canada and wake up. Where do THREE GOONS get off taking over our country after the people have spoken and elected those we wish to represent us. Is everyone so apathetic in Canada that Quebec could become the Capital of our country by throwing a tantrum and threatening to seperate.....well go........ lets just say....seperate! If you don't like it here....go back to where you cae from. Unity is the only chance we have and you Quebec are no solution!
I feel this coalition idea came about because the opposition party members are upset because they are losing some of their perps.
They are only concerned about their own financial greed and make it sound like it's what is best for everybody.
Like them losing some of their freeloading is going to hurt me.
AMG - BC
All I have to say is:
For all you PC party faithful using those buzz words from the memo you got from campaign headquarters, read the Coalition Faq as provided for your convenience by CTV.. it's only one click away.. , and start thinking for yourselves.
3 stooges, banana republic, coup d'etat, traitors, greedy, power hungry .. these are all catch phrases, among others, that make you look more stupid and complicit than the people that you are trying to con.
I've never voted Liberal in my life but I am all for the coalition with Dion at the helm, and that is in spite of the horrible premier that we have in BC. Seeing his comment above, I don't doubt for a minute that Harper has made some kind of deal with the sleeze Campbell for his support.
I agree with Dave, Campbell is one to talk about democracy. Campbell's just scared because he sees the writing on the wall for his government in May.
Paul in PG Bc
hey Gordo you should be worried like harper.You will not be there at the ribbon cutting,cause in May yer gone like the wind.As for the coalition GOV.I will support them lets wait and see how the ship runs now.
Anythings better then a tory majority.Wave bye bye again Steve
Separatist Coalition supporters consider $300M on an election as "wasted" but $30B of handouts to companies that are not profitable is stimulating??
The coalition is exagerating the problem and making a bad deal with separatists. Senate seats for E. May nad the Bloq? Incredibly power-hungry
I think the '3 stooges' fit the bill on the take of the coalition government. As a business owner when times are tough you have to cut back. When the consevitives tabled what could be cut back they hit a stone wall in the beuacracey of welfare government. The 30 million cut from automatic political party donation from taxpayers = 120 million over 4 years. That was one of the first steps that should have been taken. We are facing tough economic times and programs have to be cut in order to retrain people in other needed work forces. Throughing money at a obsolete industries without them even trying to cut back or change their ideas on how to enhance their industry is a complete waste of tax dollars. How can any person who payes taxes back this kind of coelition is beyond me. If this coalition government goes through I personaly think their is going to be civil strike such as Canada has never seen before. Our have provinces that are making the transfer payments should cut them off. Cripple the government until they start listning to the people who has elected them.
it warms my heart to see Carol and Gordon agree on something!
stephen harper isn't my favorite PM but Dion i like even less. i think the majority of canadians would pick a different PM but we don't vote for our prime ministers, we vote for our MP's. So what happens in a coalition to our local MP's jobs? this isn't about over throwing stephen harper himself. it's sad that people symbolize all the conservatives by him. unfortunately the wrong people make it to the top sometimes, we've all had a horrible boss before! but the great thing about parliament is that the elected MP's still have a say in what their 'boss' wants to do. so let our elected MP's do their jobs. don't let some pouty sore losers over throw what the canadian people voted for. and it goes without saying that it's all a little fishy that they're all fighting to be leader for when Obama gets inaugurated.
Michael from The Republic of BC
"Unlike Obama, Harper is stuck in permanent campaign mode where slick talking points are treated as a substitute for good policy."
Too funny. I wasn't aware that the Messiah was even the President yet. ROTFLMAO
Well this is a first, first time I've ever agreed with anything out of Campbell's mouth! This coalition is a joke, and is bad for Canada. Layton and Dion are losers in a desperate attempt to grab some power they didn't get in our last election. The BQ said it themselves on air, they're only in it for what they can get for Quebec. Some of their so-called supporters are already abandoning ship because they finally realize what the BQ's motives are. This is crap. I voted in the last election and I don't appreciate a bunch of losers telling me that now my vote doesn't count, and they know what's good for me.
I think that one of the BIGGEST problems with the coalition is that there is NO reason to do this at this time. The country is not in an immediate financial crisis and the coalition will not be able to bring in their financial stiumulus before the 27th of Jan. This is a sham issue. I also think that Harper will have learned an important lesson, so backing off is the best way to defuse the crisis. Another mistake on Harper's part and people would be ready to pillory him -- they are NOT at this juncture. Instead, they are feeling disenfranchised. This is sheer folly. It is a sinister and totalitarian move by those who have not been able to get the public generally to support their views.