Coalition cracks?

Asked about the first thing he’d do as Prime Minister, Jack Layton in the English leader’s debate said that he’d roll back the $50 Billion corporate tax cut. That would have been his #1 priority. Now we learn that the Liberals won’t support this. Since Layton has supported this coalition, has he sold out his socialist roots? Or is it more likely that the proposed coalition wouldn’t be stable or agree upon much after mere weeks in power?

Transcript of NDP conference call

Judy: Judy, and when I hear the beep stopping, I’m going to start the meeting.
Hello?

Judy: Hang on everybody, you don’t even need to give your name yet, I’m going to do a check in a second.
Hello?

Judy: Hi there, it’s okay, it’s Judy, we’re all set.
Okay Judy.

Jack: Hi Judy, we’re all, we got a bunch of caucus members here, we’ll just wait for your instructions, we’ll leave it on mute in the meantime.

Judy: Okay. Alright, I think I’ll start, uhm, it’s Judy, we’ve got exactly one hour and no more. We’re going to run this meeting very tight. I want everyone to put your phones on mute, also please do not anytime during this call, put your line on hold, because that causes a noise for everybody. We’re going to give an update, an over view from Jack, a report on what’s happening procedurally from the House, generally from Libby, and then thirdly a overview on the issue of platform and policy, from Kathleen, and then a chance for each caucus member to give a very succinct and brief point to indicate their concerns or issues that they would like to see raised by our team as we prepare any further documents. So, as you all know, we have our next meeting as our regular meeting Monday at ten o’clock, in Ottawa, we will have a chance there to have a more extensive roundtable that in through the week, so please don’t feel you have all the time for questions and concerns, but we will deal with that on Monday, so without further ado, let me call on Jack who must be very tired and going non-stop for the last three days, we appreciate what you’re doing Jack, and I think we’re all excited to get an update. Thanks, Jack.

Jack: Thank you very much, uh, keep the myth alive that I’m exhausted and working incredibly hard (laughter) I appreciate you relaying that, I was asleep by ten o’clock last night, and had a very good night, a very good sleep, and that was my Friday night. So, an update on where we are, the, uh, we’re in the middle of a very historic time, and we’re playing a key role in it, in some ways a catalytic role actually, because as we think back, we’ll realize that nobody really imagined that it would be possible for the Bloc Quebecois, the Liberal party of Canada ever to enter into any kind of a discussion around the future of the country and it turned out that we were the glue, and spotted and prepared for the opportunity, and had taken the steps that were required so that when that 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, however, many obstacles remain in our way, and so we’re in a real battle now. The negotiating process, I am, by the way in very very regular touch with the leader of the Liberal party, and the leader of the Bloc, frequently every day. At the same time, negotiation processes are underway, and in fact as we speak, our negotiating team that I’ve named to meet with the Liberal negotiating team are discussing the mechanics of a coalition government, and the form that it would take, the structure of cabinet, the way in which the logistics of a coalition government with the Liberals and the New Democrats would work, the key roles, and dispute resolution mechanisms, timelines, et cetera.
05:23 –
All of the logistics issues that you would expect would be a part of such a discussion are being negotiated now we hope that that part of the negotiations would be completed today. Our negotiating team consists of Brian Topp, who negotiated as a senior member of the Romano team in Saskatchewan, negotiating a similar coalition with the Liberal party there, and of course you know Brian is our campaign co-chair director. Ann McGrath, in her chief of staff role, she’s also wearing the president of the party hat still, and so she’s got several hats on at the moment. Ed Broadbent, Alan Blakely, Dawn Black, as a member of caucus I’ve selected to participate in this process, someone that I happen to know is also respected and trusted by key Liberals, Tom Mulcair, as our Quebec lieutenant, and Carl Belanger. Tom and Carl are the negotiating team with the Bloc team, and Brian and Dawn Black are negotiating with the Liberal team. We’re starting with two party talks, this will resolve itself into a tripartite conversation before the weekend is up, and the goal is to produce by the end of the weekend, an agreement on the machinery of the coalition, which would be signed off, particularly by the NDP and Liberals, but endorsed by the Bloc, and an agreement on policy program for the coalition, that would have three party agreement. I can’t go into the details on all of this stuff, particularly the machinery, but it’s in the process of negotiation, and we could consume an awful lot of time speculating about it, so I don’t propose that we spend that time today on this particular matter of question. But instead, there’s a golden opportunity today, for you to provide input on the policy matters, you can be assured that we have looked at our program, we’ve looked at our platform, we’ve looked at what I’ve been saying about economic stimulus, we’ve been in close consultations with the leadership of the labour movement around some of their key ideas and they’ve been providing terrific support, including at a high-level early morning meeting this morning, so much of what you would have want to see, it’s probably already there, you’ll hear a bit more about it later, but there’s an opportunity to touch base with all of you, because in the end, you’re going to be intimately a part of the delivery of all of this, and so that’s why we’re having this meeting at this point in time.
08:32 –

Jack: I made a list Judy, so I’ll take a whack and you’ll say if I’ve missed any…

Judy: Ya. Meetings, confidentiality, what can be said. Go ahead.

Jack: First, do MP’s have to be in Ottawa until we have a better sense of the potential confidence motion stakes. You have to remain agile. And with Ottawa being the base. Uh, and so when you’re organising your community meetings make sure there’s a speaker phone facility, or a webcam. Secondly, I believe that we should get immediately into the driver’s seats on organizing these community meetings, you have people who worked on your campaign who are exactly the kind of people, whether in labour movements, labour councils, uh, childcare groups, environmental groups, these are people that need to be pulled together. You get them together, and then they’ll take it from there, it doesn’t have to be your meeting, it shouldn’t be your meeting, but of course you’ll be there as the MP, and you’re part of the coalition, and you’re consulting with the community to make sure they’re open, so if anyone wants to come and protest and say it’s a bad idea, be there to make a real news event out of it, the youth comes with the emotion in favour of the coalition and an action plan coming from Thursday night, particularly focused on the weekend, with petitioning, and phone in shows, and god knows what else, a letter writing, one of the goals here is to of course, recruit as many names, addresses, emails, phone numbers as possibly can, because this coalition will need the support of these people, and then we will need their support when we get an election. Now, will there be an independent NDP caucus, yes. BQ stability issues, worry about BQ potentially being off-side, we’re taking that very much into account.  We have numerous strategies designed to deal with it, I actually believe they’re the least of our problems, but in case I’m wrong, let’s just say we have strategies, this whole thing would not have happened if the moves hadn’t have been made with the Bloc to lock them in early, because you couldn’t put three people together in one, in three hours.  The first part was done a long time ago, I won’t go into details, and the managing expectations, lists from groups, actually, the wisest people in the groups are already coming to the conclusion, some of them are in direct contact, saying probably wouldn’t be too helpful if we had long lists of stuff, right? What we really want is just to get Harper out and get the new group in because it’s going to be a hell of a lot better for everything we believe in, correct? Correct. So let’s stay on that track, and not start debating whether or not it’s twenty five percent change or fifteen percent change over here, let’s get them out, on the basis of unity not the basis of division. Somebody asked about Bill Casey, absolutely, in the game, uh, on confidentiality, we now have to get out and defend the idea of the coalition. This is not a secret that it’s been discussed, the various elements that are in it, you can say it’s all about getting the economy going, and transforming the economy for the twenty first century, use everything that you’ve seen in my speeches up until now, that you’ve all been using so well particularly when I’ve seen you on panels, and by the way, our team on panels, everybody, staff and MPs, rocking, absolutely rocking doing us proud, so yes, there is a coalition, we’re fighting for it, we’re trying to make it happen, we think it’s a good idea for Canada, the majority of Canadians voted to go in a different direction than Harper’s taking us, you can’t trust him, no matter anything, throw him out. What about the legitimacy of the democratic process, yeah, what about it? He was given a minority, and he refused to work with the other parties, he had 38% of the vote and he’s trying to govern like he had 100% of the power, he’s the one who’s got democracy wrong, not us. So do not be defensive, to work among what we are doing is to give effect to the wishes of the majority of Canadians, have no doubt about that. The coalition for Canada, I love the idea, it could be a deal-breaker for the Bloc (laughter) so if we don’t go, we call it “The Coalition for Canada and Quebec,” (lots of laughter).  Well, welcome to the real world of….that’s not funny

Jack: And let me come to, I know it’s complicated, so let’s just be wise about how we put this thing together. I think that there were many good comments that were developed from this, right from Aboriginal, which was on our mind, right through to many of these other suggestions and we will do our very best to put this together. And I’ll just say one other thing about the issue of the Bloc: nothing could be better for our country, than to have the fifty members who’ve been elected to separate Quebec to actually helping to make Canada a better place. I think we just approach it on that basis, and say we’re willing to make Canada happen, here’s other things that we’re going to be investing in and transforming together, they’re willing to work with us, we’ll accept that offer. What will be important to point out is that this will be an NDP-Liberal coalition, which is supported by the Bloc, with policy ideas that the coalition is bringing forward. Okay? And that’s going to be helpful to you in your dealing with those that have concerns, because they, you can see where Harper’s going here, he’s going to say it’s the socialists and the separatists and the opportunists getting together. You know? Those are their talking points, and so we just need to push back. I want to thank everybody for the input, I would get going this weekend on getting groups together, start talking about organizing those Thursday meetings, act as the catalyst to make it happen, and then just let it go, it’ll roar, and it’ll be very exciting. If you’re in a larger city, and there’s several of you, or if you’re in the largest city and you’re on your own, act as the catalyst anyway, chances are there’s a bunch of Liberals in the other ridings on whom we want pressure placed, as I mentioned at the outset of the conversation. I guess we’re at the end.

Judy: I just want to add one thing, and that is so the major thing is here that the message we’re focused on the message, so that’s not confidential, what’s confidential is strategy, the discussion, details, the speculation about the other parties and their motivation and what they will or they won’t do, we should not talk at all about war rooms, or campaigns in that sense. We’re building, trying to create a coalition government that will be a Liberal-NDP coalition that will be supported by the Bloc and that’s the message that we want to get out, nothing about the discussions in the background, and when in doubt, call, probably Brad, and Brad on that issue and on the whole issue of the campaign, and organizing meetings, people will want to reach you quickly, what’s the best way?

Jack Harris: Judy, Jack Harris here, I know it’s a structure question, but I’m at a loss at this point to know whether we’re talking about a short-term, quick economic stimulus coalition, or are we talking about something that could last two or three years, this is kind of important in our own minds, as well because aside from economic stimulus of course, this coalition will have to govern on every part of the government, of the legislative of the –

Judy: Okay, let me ask Jack to answer that and then Brad, you give the best contact information.

Jack Layton: Longer term. Not short term.

Judy: Now, Brad, you’re going to be in demand, what’s the best way to get to you quickly?

Brad: For folks that are going to be holding panels that we’re setting up, we’re going to be briefing you and your media office, for your press secretaries, the press secretaries have been divided into thirds, so every member of caucus has been assigned, so those folks are going to be available to you, and working very closely with me, and I discourage anyone from phoning me, the smartest move would be to give me as much heads-up as possible, I’m on a panel in two minutes, is highly unhelpful, and I will fail you miserably, and I know some times that situation has to happen and it’s understandable, but obviously calling me on my cell is the fastest way or by sending me an email, at brad@ndp.ca

Judy: Alright, and is it you, not just on panels, organizing meetings, events, here at the grassroots level, who’s the best person?

Brad: It will not be me, I will not be able to assist with your meetings on the Thursday night, we will assign a member of the team to that.

Liveblogging Flaherty’s economic statement

4:09pm: Persuant to a standing order I do not recall, the Minister of Finance tables his economic statement.

4:10pm: Time of unprecedented economic deterioration. Uh oh, this sounds bad.

4:11pm: IMF projects global growth weakest since ’93. Good thing the IMF puts Canada in the best fiscal position of the G7.

4:13pm: CTV reports that the Liberals will not support the economic statement. This statement is a matter of confidence and if defeated would precipitate an election.

4:14pm: Reformation of global finance will be done with global partners.

4:15pm: Trade will be expanded.

4:15pm: Opposition mocks Flaherty for saying the government planned for the downturn last year.

4:15pm: Taxes have been reduced by $200B. Investments have been made in infrastructure, S&T and training.

4:16pm: Funding for infrastructure projects. Taxes down by equivalent of 2% GDP. Sustainable and permanent tax relief.

4:19pm: Canada will come out of the crisis in a strong position because it went in a strong position.

4:21pm: Will not engineer a surplus just to say we have one.

4:21pm: Budget is balanced for now, but future injection of government stimulus may move Canada into deficit.

4:22pm: Days of chronic structural deficits are behind us.

4:23pm: Tax dollars for political parties and tax credits for donations brought up. Flaherty talking about the $1.75 per vote subsidy. Political parties should pay their own bills without excessive tax dollars.

4:25pm: $1.75 subsidy gone as of April 2009.

4:26pm: Spending growth will follow sustainable track.

4:27pm: Spending review will also look into crown corporations. Government will save $15B over the next five years because of expenditure management system.

4:28pm: re: public sector… New legislation will put in place “annual wage increases for the federal public administration, including senior members of the public service, as well as Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, and Senators, of 2.3 per cent in 2007–08 and 1.5 per cent for the following three years, for groups in the process of bargaining for new agreements.”For groups with collective agreements already covering 2008–09, the 1.5 per cent would apply for the remainder of the three-year period starting at the anniversary date of the collective agreement. In addition, the legislation would suspend the right to strike on wages through 2010–11.” Some honourable socialist members: “oh, oh”.

4:32pm: Largest increase in infrastructure spending. $6B in spending. Aim is to provide new jobs.

4:33pm: Flaherty wants more power to help sustain the banking industry. These powers would include:
– Funding in the unlikely event that there is a draw on the Canadian Lenders Assurance Facility.
– The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) to establish a bridge bank as a further resolution tool to help preserve banking functions.
– An increase in the borrowing limit of CDIC to $15 billion to reflect the growth of insured deposits since the last increase in 1992.
– The Minister of Finance to provide the CDIC Board of Directors broader scope of action when systemic risk concerns may result from the potential failure of a member institution.
– The power to direct CDIC to undertake resolution measures when necessary to prevent adverse effects on financial stability.
– The provision to CDIC of greater flexibility in the timing of preparatory examinations.
– The Government to inject capital into federal financial institutions to support financial stability, with appropriate provisions to protect taxpayers.

4:37pm: taking action to allow RRIF holders to keep more money in their RRIFs.

4:40pm: increase available credit to the exporting sector. $350 million injection of credit for these businesses.

4:41pm: Inject an additional $350 million of capital to the BDC to help SMEs.

4:44pm: “The greatest histories are written in the toughest times”

4:45pm: Scott Brison to respond for the opposition. Demands a “real action plan”. Brison accuses Conservatives of symbolism over substance. Conservatives have provided gimmicks instead of a game plan. “Nothing for manufacturing, autos”.

4:46pm: Brison: PM wants to change the channel from economy to politics. Canadians are hurting. They want talk on economics rather than politics.

4:48pm: Brison bringing out the personal anecdotes describing real Canadians and real concerns. Liberal are making this statement out to be about that $1.75 vote subsidy cut.

4:50pm: Brison accusing the Conservatives of huge spending and huge cuts at the same time.

4:51pm: Brison: government is selling the house to pay for the groceries.

4:51pm: Brison calls Flaherty “Deficit Daddy”.

4:52pm: NDP will not support economic statement.

4:53pm: CTV reports that the government is digging in their heels on the $1.75 subsidy.

4:55pm: Brison brings up Obama and speaks about his economic team and accuses the Conservatives of schemes.

5:00pm: Brison calls for “a new deal”. Brison’s seat mate earlier called out “FDR”

5:01pm: Gilles Duceppe responds for the Bloc. Duceppe: hat was presented was not an economic statement but an ideological statement.

5:02pm: Duceppe: government blind to urgent need to stimulate the economy. Government is attacking democracy, women’s rights and worker’s rights. Government has attacked Quebec.

5:03pm: Duceppe: government has sparked a democratic crisis.

5:03pm: Duceppe: economic statement runs against Quebec’s interests.

5:04pm: Duceppe: Bloc will not cave in on its principles.

5:06pm: Duceppe: Bloc ready to support the reduction of the size of the state.

5:12pm: Bloc Quebecois will oppose the economic statement.

5:13pm: Layton responds for the NDP. He’s got his wounded face on.

5:14pm: Layton: government has failed to act on the economic crisis. Layton is speaking quietly and slowly to show concern and disappointment.

5:15pm: Here comes the anger. Now Layton is doing some finger pointing.

5:19pm: Layton applauds Duceppe and Brison for “standing up to ideology”.

5:21pm: Layton reiterates NDP’s position that they will vote against the economic statement.

English, French and Punjabi?

Canada’s three official languages will be English, French and Punjabi should Jack Layton become Prime Minister according to the Indian Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

From the Indian government’s website:

Toronto, Sep 29 Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton has promised support for a new visa office in Mumbai and official status for the Punjabi language in Canada if he becomes prime minister after the Oct 14 polls.

Jack, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) has fielded a record 14 Indian Canadian candidates to woo the million-strong community, said his party will also roll back a newly passed immigration bill that the community finds discriminatory.

India will be a priority nation for his government if it comes to power and he will visit New Delhi at the earliest, Layton said in an interview.

UPDATE: Not true, says a spokesperson for the NDP who contacted me a few minutes ago via email. Turns out the reporter got the story wrong.

UPDATE: The NDP has been pounding the pavement to get this clarified on this side of the Pacific. From the author of the article,

Subject: from Gurmukh Singh, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), New Delhi

Clarification: Since the word ‘official’ in my report has caused confusion, let me explain it from our Indian perspective.

In India, an “official'” language does not become a “national” language. The acceptance of a language by the government makes it “official”, not a national language.

So Hindi and English are link languages (but never mentioned as national languages in the Indian Constitution), and 21 other languages are our official languages (but not national languages).

So my use of the word “official” might have been confused with the word “national” by some people. But that was not my intention.

All I wanted to know from Jack Layton was whether he will give some kind of recognition to the Punjabi language as it has been here for about a hundred years. Not the status of a national language.

Jack also didn’t promise anything except say that he will support any idea of such a recognition if his party is voted into power.

English debate, the next morning

Five federal party leaders squared off last night around the oblong table at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Coming off of a sort of dress-rehearsal last night for the English speaking viewers, leaders were coached all day yesterday on earlier missteps and new opportunities as senior scripters checked debate playbooks, wiped the blackboard clean and chalked out some final plays.

And though politics can be a contact sport, referee Steve Paikin kept the unnecessary roughness to a minimum and even straightened out a few players when needed. The format of the debate has been criticized by some Conservatives as too amenable to unbalanced debating particularly when four candidates (including one late-comer and one spoiler) focus their attention squarely upon the incumbent. However, if one contrasts this with the American Vice-Presidential debate last night, the table format led to more exchanges and discussion rather than moderator-induced conversation without direct confrontation between candidates. Indeed, the Palin-Biden debate was instead two separate interviews, occurring simultaneously in the same room. The Canadian debate format for this election cycle proved more interesting for viewers and provided an unvarnished look at the candidates as they were challenged directly by the other candidates.

Despite this, the current Prime Minister seemed at ease though at times I’m certain he wanted to leap across the table and give Jack Layton a better-balanced bludgeoning. Viewers of the French language debate joked that the Prime Minister seemed to have been sedated while partisans both friendly and not yearned for more emotion; the unfriendlies hoped for anger while Conservatives hoped for more passion from their champion to describe their common agenda. In the English language debate, the Prime Minister seemed to exude what is more appropriately described as confidence than calm as he took the barrage that came as the polarized players flailed their collective left-wing and labeled the Prime Minister everything from out-of-touch with the middle class — quite brazen coming from Elizabeth May — to a George Bush clone (the left will miss him when he’s gone).

Despite the constant attacks, Stephen Harper performed strongly by donning his figurative blue sweater vest appearing the most rational and collected candidate of the group. As one twitterer likely not voting for Harper put it, “It concerns me that Harper sounds the least crazy.” Jack Layton, the other strong debate performer appealed to the dramatic by twice making cynical references to the very same sweater the PM wears in the Conservative ads. Jack Layton and Stephen Harper needed each other to boost their debate performances and by focusing their heat on each other, they were able to wedge out Dion. Though the Liberals have never had a leader like Paul Martin that was richer, the critics couldn’t be fairer; the Liberals have never had a greener candidate than Stephane Dion and despite Martin’s failings, he was more animated than Dion was last night. Though Martin entered the election in the lead, Dion is coming from behind and failed to capture anyone’s attention last night.

Elizabeth May surprised last night as she was the most sober of the opposition leaders. In comparison with other leaders, May brought a calm, number- and fact-referencing persona to the debate and politely corrected leaders as to the “facts” (though many as she saw them). For many Canadians who look at the political landscape and see the same old players locked in a seemingly eternal stalemate, May brought a fresh face to the stage for Canadians to consider. The Green Party leader needed to show Canadians that she deserved to debate on the same stage as the party leaders. Despite real and valid arguments against her inclusion and a childish repeat of her fraud accusation leveled against Harper, last night she didn’t appear out of place. In that, May scored an impressive victory for her cause.

As the leader of a french-first-and-last separatist party from Quebec, Gilles Duceppe did not have much to gain or lose during the English language debate and the Bloc leader appeared to be the candidate most genuinely at ease during the two hours last night. Duceppe also appeared as a shadow moderator; when he was not advancing his ideology, bringing he brought realism against rhetoric particularly when he gestured towards Layton and Dion suggesting they knew they’d never become Prime Minister and then proceeded to address the sitting Prime Minister — indeed, seated directly across from him — speaking about Quebec’s issues as the Bloc leader saw them. Most observers note that this will likely be Duceppe’s last performance in this forum as the dean of the debate is expected to retire from federal politics before the next federal election.

The debate was interesting to watch and was more interesting than debates in previous years. It certainly brought a fresh perspective to the players that we see in Question Period when parliament is sitting. If more and more newcomers show up to claim their stake on the democratic frontier as May did last night, we might see this format degenerate into a collective browbeating of an incumbent. If democratic reform proceeds along the path which May advocates, do more voices create more noise or do the enrich the process? In the American primary process we’ve seen about ten voices crowd one stage at a particular time with the TV networks biased towards perceived front-runners. Democracy is by definition a dynamic process and the evolution of the Canadian leader’s debate will follow its own path. The method by which our leaders appeal to Canadians for their votes will be, for the most part, fixed directly to the format by which Canadians would choose to hear them. That is democracy.

Tonight’s debate: the drinking game

Tonight, Canada’s four national mainstream party leaders (and one wildcard) will gather at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre for the English language debate. To occupy yourself while you twitter, and yell at the screen here’s the debate drinking game.

First, pick your poison.

If you support Stephane Dion, make sure you have some Château Pétrus on hand. Sip it slowly and savour it. If Stephen Harper is your guy, go to the corner store and get yourself some Coke Zero. Same great taste, zero calories. For those of you supporting Jack Layton, grab a can of Steelworkers Oatmeal Stout. Gilles Duceppe will be in the debate and without much of a clear purpose, if he’s your choice, just pour yourself something bitter. Finally, if you choose Elizabeth May finish your organic pomegranate with vodka and then go and mooch off of Dion. That Pétrus is some good stuff, and though and it won’t give you a hangover unlike the one that came after that thirteen year bender when the Liberals were drunk with power.

And now the rules:

If Jack Layton references the initiatives of one of his MPs, take a drink.

If Elizabeth May calls an idea/policy/person “stupid”/”ridiculous”/”outrageous” take a drink.

If Stephen Harper talks about the fundamentals of the Canadian economy take a drink.

If a leader says “George Bush” take a drink.

If Stephen Harper says “George Bush” finish the bottle and keep drinking til it stops hurting.

If a leader says in reference to Dion “you didn’t get it done”, “Mr. Dion doesn’t think it’s easy to make priorities” take a drink.

If Dion says “this is unfair”, finish the bottle.

Every time Duceppe puts the emphAsis on the wrong SyllAble take a drink.

Every time Dion seeks clarification take a drink.

If Jack Layton says “corporate tax cuts”, “boardroom/kitchen table”, “Ed Broadbent”, “Tommy Douglas”, “hope/change”, “working families”, “big oil/gas/pharma/banks” take a drink.

If Jack Layton says “big labour”, “big ass” or “Barack Obama” finish the bottle.

If Elizabeth May/Jack Layton/Stephane Dion cite Al Gore or David Suzuki take a drink.

If Stephen Harper cites Al Gore or David Suzuki finish the bottle.

Every time Harper/Layton tag-team Dion take a drink. Every time Dion/May tag-team Harper take a drink.

Anytime anyone tag-teams anyone with Duceppe, finish the bottle.

Every time Steve Paikin brings out his pleasant non-offensive wit, take a drink.

If Steve Paikin makes an off-colour joke, finish the bottle.

Add your own in the comments, and… please drink responsibly.