Monday, December 1, 2008

NDP - Bloc - Liberal Coalition will Give Power to the People

Minority Harper Conservatives cling to power by delaying non-confidence votes -

You read it here first: The Harper Conservatives have never won a majority government in Canada. Since their latest minority election win a few weeks ago, the Canayjun has called for a return to majority government in Canada through the tried and true democratic process of a majority coalition of the opposition parties. To quote the Green Party of Canada, who support an NDP - Bloc - Liberal coalition, "
No party should be allowed to rule this country with a 37% minority" [ the Conservatives have only thirty-seven percent of Canadian's votes ].

The mechanics of the Canadian parliamentary system with respect to minority governments and defeating them through non-confidence votes have already been outlined here on Canada News Commentary, and are part of the public record as outlined on the Governor General of Canada's website. There are always two alternatives to a minority governments' defeat following a vote of non-confidence - first, the Prime Minister could request the Governor General call a new election. The Governor General has the right to refuse this, as well they should in the current circumstances, given the most recent election was only six weeks ago, and was called by the same minority leader Harper in defiance of his own Fixed Election Dates act. The second, and equally democratic solution is for the Governor General to entertain submissions from opposition leaders proposing a coalition of elected representatives who enjoy a majority of seats in the House, to form a new government which would have the 'confidence' of the Canadian electorate.

The current debacle for the minority Conservatives was triggered by Finance Minister Flaherty's "Economic Update" bill, a thinly veiled budget equally thin on real measures to address Canada's economy and a strong response to the current world economic woes and financial market meltdowns. All opposition parties have voiced strong opposition to the bill, united in their criticism that the update does not contain definitive actions to combat recession as evidenced by other G7 partner nations recent initiatives. It also included a divisive measure to remove taxpayer subsidies, worth $1.95 per vote, to political parties following election. This measure was included at the express instructions of PM Harper, not the Finance Minister, and has been lambasted as a blatant example of partisan political gesturing.

The minority Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been reported as calling coalition plans an attempt to, "take power, not earn it". The PM would do well to remember that he and his party have never enjoyed a democratically earned majority in this country. Harper himself has repeatedly stated that the Conservatives have a "clear mandate" from the electorate - which is pure double-speak ( a la 1984) - a mandate requires a majority, something the Conservatives will likely never win in Canada. Remember the new Conservative Party is not the historical Progressive Conservatives of Canadian politics, it is an aggressive right-wing merger of the Canadian Alliance - Reform Party of Canada, a reactionary opposition also ran who attempted to "unite the right" in partisan politics. It polarized the real Progressive Conservatives, and former leader Joe Clark and other mainline left of centre Red Tories with more liberal views never supported them. Conservative minority governments in Canada under Harper have mirrored the extreme right wing policies of the American Bush administration, which has also fallen in the wake of a more sensible and liberal Democratic victory by U. S. President Elect Barack Obama.

NDP Leader Jack Layton sparked the current coalition formation by requesting that the elder stateman, Ed Broadent have discussions with former Liberal PM Jean Chretien. Including the Bloc Quebecois seats in Parliament, the NDP - Bloc - Liberal coalition would enjoy the electoral support of more than 62% of Canadians. Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe has announced he would support an NDP - Liberal coalition without taking a formal role in it. It is hoped that the Bloc position could be formalized to guarantee a degree of stability in government for the near future and return to Canadian national politics the strong positive role Quebec has traditionally played in the formation and exercise of Canada's domestic policies.

The message to Prime Minister Harper is clear: Canadians have had enough of your self-absorbed posturings. You, Mr. Harper, wear the P.M.'s mantle like the Emperor's New Clothes. The will of the people demand majority rule to guide us through difficult times. The NDP - Bloc - Liberal proposal is truly a "coalition for Canada".

Perhaps we should call it the Canayjun Coalition?

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  1. "No party should be allowed to rule this country with a 37% minority"

    So instead we replace him with a leader who won 26% of the popular vote....

  2. Yes, and luckily Canada is not like the United States with special "executive power" vested in the office of the President. Our Prime Minister is merely the leader of his political party. He runs in his riding and holds a seat ( 1 vote ) in the house just like every other elected MP, including Harper, Layton and Duceppe. (poor Elizabeth May couldn't duplicate that simple feat). I know Harper and other PM's have tried to emulate the American federal system and act as if they were Supreme Commander, but that's not what we vote for...yet.

    So, do your math Nick - Harper's conservatives have 143 seats, the coalition with the Bloc will have 163 - simple majority - something that seems to have eluded Harper. He could have avoided this by seeking "coalition"-like consensus from just one other opposition party before dumping Flaherty's economic update boondoggle on us. But no, he's the boss ...