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« GOLD STOCKS: On the move! | Main | COMEX: The longs take deliveries! »

Stephen Harper Suspends Canadian Parliament!

Stepen Harper
Stephen Harper

Sean Boyd Agnico
Sean Boyd of Agnico-Eagle

How serious a move is this, Denis Gartman has thrown his hat into the ring by saying he will ‘sell’ Canadian stocks due to the lack of political leadership, Ed Morgan, professor, faculty of law, University of Toronto was of the opinion that this move is not so important as Parliament was due for recess anyway, you can catch his comments on BNN just click here.

In an earlier spot on BNN Sean Boyd, president and CEO, Agnico-Eagle Mines; was of the opinion that the C$ would suffer which would help Agnico as four of their mines are in Canada. The recent loan of $300 million will be spent on mine development, so its full steam ahead for Agnico. He also commented that this was weak political leadership however, Canada has strong business leadership. To see the full interview on BNN just click here and go to about half way through.

The Canadian government will present a budget in mid January and if it receives a vote of no confidence an election will be called.

This may be an opportunity to submit a few ‘stink’ bids on your favourite stocks and hope to have your orders filled later when there just might be a spike down, just our opinion of course.

We would appreciate comments from our Canadian readership if you can spare a few minutes, and of course our regular contributers, please chip in.

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Reader Comments (11)

If there is a vote of no confidence in January, after Harper delivers his budget, there is no need to have another election at a cost of $300,000,000. The coalition will still exist and therefore the Governor-General will almost have to give the coalition the opportunity to rule in place of the Conservatives. Your statement that there would then be an election is absolutely WRONG... An election in less than 8 months after the prior election is unheard of in Canada, and when a viable alternative exists, a documented coalition, would be considered constitutionally unacceptable.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRsH

Re Stephen Harper...The Prime Minister of Canada ,in office only 7 weeks since the last election, was challenged by all the losing parties (the Liberals, the New democratic party and the Bloc Quebecois) forming a "coalition".
The Conservatives had tabled a budget which took away public funding from political parties and the 3 losers are fighting for financial survival. The budget also pegged salaries and cut gov't waste.
Fortunately, the Governor General( the titular Head of State) has the power to suspend Parliament until January by which time cooler analysis of the situation will prevail. This will affect the Canadian currency which will drop and make our exports is a time to buy canadian stocks , not sell !

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterH D Kerr

As someone living in Canada, it rather strikes me they have had a profound lack of leadership for well over a decade now and these minority governments don't help. The real problem is a lack of people able to be True Leaders and a lack of experienced politicians trained in the real world of health, education, environment, business, engineering, law etc who then decide to move into politics rather than people who trained as politicians at university and inherited portfolio's in fields they have no competent experience in (which seems to the prevailing mix in current governments)

And this is not just a Canadian problem - its a western world problem! John Howard and now Paul Rudd in Australia... Gordon Brown in the UK... George W Bush in the US... None of these people are Winston Churchill's, Margaret Thatchers, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln - all people who history looks back on fondly as leaders with strength and vision (even if that vision seems to get sickly after about 8 years in power...). No, political leaders of the last 10-15 years seem to be career politicians hopelessly unprepared for the BUSINESS of running a country.

So as to the suspension of government in Canada? Well, it may distress people internationally - but as someone who lives here, I suspect Canadians won't even notice the difference... Canada has been stifled by hopelessly draconian laws which favour a few large corporation and inhibit development in not just mining but other areas like telecommunications and health care (don't get me going on how pitiful their health system is outside of the major cities!) for years now. And as a result, the people just keep on living, frustrated at the lack of leadership. How can re resolve this? Unfortunately, we do not have much say in who the party picks to lead - so the only way Canadians get to express their frustration is poor attendance at voting booths and lame duck minority party ruling as a result. Worse, the general public doesn’t seem to do a good job anyway – favouring charismatic unqualified people over uncharismatic blunt-spoken people to get people elected into politics in the first place.

Neither Steve Harper's party or the new coalition are offering a chance to kickstart and revitalise Canada and stop favouring a few large corporations. All the coalition are offering is to inject money into ailing industries (namely the automotive and forestry). But since none of that will go into the mining industry, I will probably end up not noticing any difference whether the Conservatives are leading Canada or this coalition – except peripherally. None of the 4 parties involved have a decent leader or team of people with vitally needed experience in a wide array of things, someone/anyone with the experience and capability to actually scrutinise the laws being made, the money being spent and have the backbone to stand up do what is right for Canada rather than pander to a few large fat cats and public opinion polls. It may not be popular (for example) to say 'we won't support the automotive industries because they need to restructure and with their debt, they can only do so under bankruptcy laws." But we need people with the spine to say that – and explain why in laymans terms.

In fact, I don’t even know what is right for Canada - I just know that I am underwhelmed by the weak, weak, weak parties in Canada over the last decade or so and that none of the posturing by the conservatives or the coalition convinces me that any of them know how to truly lead Canada. This is a country with a population between Australia and the UK with a powerful neighbour to the south - this country should be much stronger than it is!

Suspending parliament??? Big deal… Not much happens with when parliament is in session anyway! If you think Canada lacks political leadership, you clearly don’t’ know much about Canada – its lacked political leadership now for well over a decade and you still bought our stocks….Its a government in name only.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGillies

I should add... the only reason Canada probably hasn't crumbled is because I think the parties have been resting on the laurels of the solid foundation laid down for Canada up until the 1990s... Its all just been meddeling since then.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGillies

A few notes summarizing what has happened politically in Canada...
*The Conservatives have laid out a plan economically (read past 2 budgets) since taking office a couple of years ago in a minority government.
*The opposition made up of Liberals, New Democrats (socialists) and Bloc Quebecois (Quebec separatists, yes you read right - separatists!), in response to a confidence motion (economic statement announced last week) have formed a coalition to torpedo that statement and take over power in Canada defeating the Conservatives.
*Under the constitution, which takes it's cue from Britain, the Prime Minister had a few of options, but his first option was to prorogue Parliament which means to suspend Parliament. He has suspended Parliament until a budget is introduced, which will be January 26/09. He gained this yesterday in a loooong meeting with the Governor General.
*Why the Conservatives didn't introduce the budget at this time is beyond me and may be political in nature (more on that, later), because it has given the opposition time to form the coalition - apparantly the coalition was already in place before the economic statement was announced!
*What the opposition really want is power. The coalition will feature a Liberal leader who received the lowest voting support for his leadership since confederation in the election just 6 weeks ago and has already called a leadership convention to replace himself in May/09. Additionally, the Conservatives received a strengthened mandate, but fell 12 seats shy of a majority. As well, there will be 6 cabinet positions for the NDP in exchange for their support, with the Bloc having an input into the process but no cabinet positions. What the coalition says it wants is to spend money...big money on the economy and support for the automotive industry, etc., etc...
*So, there were things in the economic statement (mandated tax payments to all political parties - axed, pay equity issues - axed, government employees right to strike suspended for 2 years) that have since been revoked by the Conservatives in order to appease the Coaliton. These issues were to show restraint on the part of all political parties in a time of restraint. The policies introduced to date have been to stimulate the economy via tax cuts both corporately and personally and infrastructure spending with the provinces and municipalities.
*The Conservatives want the voters (instead of political parties in Parliament)of Canada to decide and now have to come up with a budget that is satisfactory to all. But the Coalition can still defeat the budget and take power, unless the Governor General goes along with the PM and dissolves Parliament - Call an Election, so we are not out of the woods, just yet.
**What does this mean...well the Conservatives need to get it together, but they have demonstrated to people what the Liberals will do to get power and that is line up with the NDP and Bloc, which is a death sentence (my opinion only) for them in the next election. An unholy trinity.
**How this affects our stocks is a guessing game I don't play, but the CDN $ will likely continue to fall and the Canadian economy will generally get weaker (3rd quarter growth was 1%, but 70,000 jobs lost in Nov.). The 2 rays of hope I see are tax loss selling season (brutal) is over and the Obama affect takes hold....then the pyschology of the market will hopefully turn up for a short period of time.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMark

All western countries tend to prefer celebrity leaders, Canada is no better/worse.
Hollywood seems to have the most effect on US politics!!!
As for Canada it is a British parliamentary system, US citizens and many Canadians try to do direct comparisons to US system, causing much confusion.
Yes the C$ will probably be losing ground against other currencies, probably
a buying opportunity.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHugh

The opposition party in Canada is in a power struggle after suffering it's worst loss ever in the recent election. Canada is basically a 2 party country ... the Conservatives and the Liberals. There are two other parties that go through the motions as it is their constitutional right but they are really non-players ... the New Democrats (mainly socialist) are a National group that carries representatives in all provinces and territories but usually have trouble getting any members elected to Parliament (you can generally count them on one hand). The other group is essentially a provincial party as it is represented in the Province of Quebec only. This party is representative of the major French speaking element of our population resident in Quebec. They are also renowned for having a very strong "seperatist" belief in their core.

The Liberals leader was considered to be the major factor in the Liberal party doing so poorly in the polls and as a result he offered to step down and as a result the party then scheduled a leadership convention for May/09.

For whatever reason the three opposition groups conspired to topple the Conservatives banking on the financial and economic crisis at-hand to give them an opportune moment to holler "non-confidence".

Trouble is it is a coalition of losers and seperatists led by the biggest loser Mr. Dion. Mr. Harper took the most logical step he could under the circumstances and had parliament suspended. This gives him time to prepare the budget as originally planned,to be released after Mr. Obama takes office and gives them a bit of time to see what actions,if any, may need to be fine tuned dependent on what Mr. Obamas immediate agenda is.

As it turns out the "coalition" of losers and seperatists got their own vote of non-confidence as a public opinion poll was in the order of 60% opposed to them taking over.

Hopefully Mr. Harper will recognize the error of his ways and will do a better job of putting things together for his budget presentation and it behooves him to step across the aisle and try to work with the Liberals ... this will be a very difficult task with Mr. Dion remaining as the head of that party.

The Liberal party is also giving Mr. Dion a vote of non confidence as there are many appearances of dissention amongst the ranks. If Mr. Dion had any concern at all for the Country instead of his power thirst he would step aside and let an interim leader take over ... preferably Mr. Ignatieff.

This Country does not seem to be able to elect a majority government as the pie is split too many ways but if there is going to be a coalition to get things accomplished let it be between the two parties that represent the majority of the people ... the Conservatives and the Liberals. And let them work together for the good of the Country in these trying times. I believe Mr. Harper and Mr. Ignatieff could accomplish that ... if Mr. Harper looks at things realistically.

I know, I'm asking for politicians to set aside politics.

Other than that we're in for another election to elect another minority government because the electorate will not set aside politics either and will vote much the same as they just did 2 months ago.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Team, Many thanks indeed for all your insights they are very much appreciated. But I am disappointed that Gordon Brown is not rated either!

only joking........ he is a complete waste of space.

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGold Prices

Canada? Where may that 'region' be in this world?

I consider myself a world citizen, with its homebase in the Netherlands. But I've never heard any political leadership coming from Canada. Where in the world where they all along?

There's a deep crisis going on for 3 months now, and Canada is just waking up, in my belief. Its time for them to set a stage and actually do something instead of resting on their lauwers and 'getting divided'.

Lets hope Canada remains are warm en healthy commodities country to invest in. Buy the dips and get richhh.

Thanks for the political enrichment guys. I see we have some fellow Canadians around. Always a pleasure.

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterde Graaf

It is chuckle-genic for a Canadian (born and raised in this country 59 years ago and having enjoyed frequent stays and contacts in the U.S.A, Asia and Europe--U.K. included, albeit U.K.ers may not agree with being called Eruopeans), to read about Canada "lacking leadership". Is Canada not the only western country whose national government has been running budget SURPLUSES since 1993? One in which you get excellent health care free? and whose citizens probably do a better job of LIVING WITHIN THEIR MEANS than most others (although that is where Canadians most need to make progress). Oh yes, one is which, after an election is lost, there is no violence? One who had the LEADERSHIP TO STAY OUT OF IRAQ (whereas current Conservative Prime Minister Harper, then opposition leader, would have joined the U.S. Coalition of the Witless?

But a western country who is militarily very active in Afghanistan, for which horrible war at least a better case can be made that the rain of fire that Americans amused themselves pouring upon Iraqui civilians running while American "spotters" said on a whim to U.S. pilots, "yeh, take 'em out" just so the spotter could enjoy the whiz-bang explosion and the gore. Until Americans set off an all-out civil war.

An earlier respondent contradicted himself by stating that Canada should have as ministers experts in their fields, yet that what makes a good/great leader is "vision". I tend to agree with the latter point; the place for experts in their fields is in the civil service.

In general, minority government has given Canada good government, but the federal budgetary surpluses were eliminated when the centrist Liberal party had a majority of the seats in the House of Commons and confronted a very divided opposition on both its left and its right. Now the Conservative/neo-Con Party faces a very divided opposition on its left, one which, however, collectively, got 65 % of the popular vote in the lates provincial election.

OK, agreed, the Canadian electoral system needs to be reformed in the direction of proportional representation, but on to economics. I was surprised that a gold company expert said the "weak" Canadian dollar might help a gold company because it has 4 mines in Canada: the gold is sold in U.S. dollars, but most mining equipment and supplies must be paid for in U.S. dollars. Therefore, a weak C $ is bad overall for most Canadian mines. However, what is good for them and all mines is cheap oil. With oil at below $40 U.S., mining operation stand a much better chance of profitability than with oil at $147 U.S.--and profitability is the key factor in a company's worth.

Canada is no worse, as a place to invest or to live in, than any other country, and rather a bit better than most.

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Bishop

After Neil Bischop's excellent contrast 'perspective' after my modest rant about the political establishment in Canada, I must add that Neil's first alinea, describes some the facts that I find very honourable about Canada.
That also contributes to the fact, that we never hear from them in the media. They have so much more louder neighbours. Canadians are more like us in Holland. Somewhat modest, albeit with strong opinions.

Good comment Neil.

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterde Graaf

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