Harper tells us what democracy is

"While we have been working on the economy, the Opposition has been working on a backroom deal to overturn the results of the last election without seeking the consent of voters," Harper said. "They want to take power, not earn it.


So says Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

Of course, if the will of the voters had really been for him to govern they would have given the Conservatives a majority. Given they did not get that majority, a coalition government is hardly undemocratic! This quote is from this story here. According to this bit of good news, there is a real possibility of a coalition between the Liberals and the NDP.

I urge all Canadians who care about global warming issues or dislike Harper for other reasons (there are many) to sign the letter linked to from that article urging the opposition leaders to come to an agreement.

[update: it is of course Stephen Harper, not Paul, as mentioned in the comments. How embarrassing...and I am a Canadian, too! I typed that in too much of a hurry.]

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I dislike Harper for many reasons (his inaction on climate change being one of them), but this coalition may end up being a fate worse than Harper. I see Dion and Layton's squabbles (and they are likely inevitable) making both of them, and their parties, look like fools all the while the economy continues to suffer. The voters would punish them accordingly, and after an appropriate amount of time Harper (or his replacement) comes in and takes the majority.

Recessions are a hard time to govern... coalitions are unstable. Seems to me like a bad combination. Of course I could be (and I hope I am) wrong.

Last time I looked, the coalition has roughly 60 percent of the elected members of parliament. So it is representative, far more so than the Conservative minority.

Yes, they have differences, and yes, they will have to learn how to get along with each other. That is the nature of Canada. It is because the Conservatives didn't understand this, and were unwilling to share with the majority of parliament, that they are headed toward defeat.

Our parliament is a minority parliament. No matter what party is in power, they will have to govern as part of a coalition. best, I think, to have a government in power that is capable of doing this.

So says Paul Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

You're not really familiar with the situation in Canada, are you?

It's Stephen Harper, not Paul.

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 01 Dec 2008 #permalink

Hey genius! If you're going to criticize my PM for something (and there is a whole lot to be critical of) could you at least get his name right? I mean, it really isn't that hard.

I seem to recall my right-wing neighbor complaining about terrible government and the need for two opposition parties to merge in an attempt to rival it several years ago under the Liberal government (back when the Conservatives were still the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party). This same yelling intensified when the Reform Party merged with the rightmost PCs to form the Alliance, and when Paul Martin's Liberals slipped to a minority.

The key difference between then and now, however, is the nonconfidence. Martin may have been ineffectual, but he wasn't actively undermining the Canadian economy in an attempt to get just a few inches further up the American neoconservatives' collective rectum.

What Harper appears to forget is that the Constitution does, in fact, go over this -- and it's a perfectly legitimate course of action. When no-confidence in the current government is met, the Governor General can either dissolve Parliament and send the people back to the polls, or can appoint a new government from existing House of Commons members if a coalition exists. The thing is, the Governor General is pretty much a rubber stamp in Canada on these matters; to my knowledge the office has NEVER acted in a manner contrary to the majority decision. Since a majority are approaching her now, suggesting a coalition government, that is the most likely outcome.

The oddest part about this? In an attempt to not alienate the West too much, it's likely the coalition will appoint an Albertan MP to cabinet. There's only ONE non-Conservative Albertan MP (NDP Linda Duncan, Edmonton-Strathcona), and she's an environmental lawyer (opening Parliament speech here)who serves in the NDP's Shadow Cabinet as Minister of the Environment. The irony of this situation is palpable.

Stephen Harper is a disingenuous prick. It's not like this has never happened before in Canadian politics, and yes, it is in fact constitutional. I think it's good that the coalition parties are hammering out a detailed agreement now, before the no-confidence vote, in order to make governance easier once they're in power. It's called "good planning" and "negotiation", Mr. Harper, although you might be unfamiliar with these radical concepts... I suggest you look them up while you cool your heels in the Opposition.

By liveparadox (not verified) on 02 Dec 2008 #permalink

Well, Coby, since you can no longer support your AGW position, you may as well turn this into a pure political site. I mean, it was, after all, just a political site disguised as an AGW site all along. Isn't it lovely how well AGW alarmism can serve as leverage for the promotion of left wing socialist agendas.

As someone living in the conservative heartland, I can't say I really care for Harper or the Dion/Layton mashup. But anyone who believes that the NDP has an actual interest in taking action on global warming obviously hasn't been paying attention.