Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How Ignatieff Should Handle The "Coalition" Question

Iggy: "If the Stephen Harper Conservatives win a plurality of seats, they will be given first chance to govern."

If not, why not? I'm OK with it.


Shiner said...

Elegant, well said.

Northern PoV said...

I thought he Iggy handled it OK and your suggestion could prove problematic.
It really doesn't matter. They will be smearing him with this regardless of what he says

bigcitylib said...


Problematic why? I've lived through several minority govs provincially and federally and I've always thought this was common courtesy.

pogge said...

I've always thought this was common courtesy.

More to the point, I believe it's constitutional convention. And all the moreso because Harper is the incumbent prime minister.

Sir Francis said...

I believe it's constitutional convention.

True. And the serially unlawfully proroguing, fixed-election-date-law-violating, in-contempt-of-the-House Stephen Harper deserves to be accorded his full share of constitutional rights in very much the same way a thug found standing over a bullet-riddled body with a smoking AK47 and wearing a sign reading "I just shot this guy" deserves to be accorded every one of his civil and legal rights.

Mark Francis said...

This is all fine. Here's the scenario to consider. Harper gets another minority. He forms government. He puts out another budget. The House defeats him on a budget confidence motion.

At that point another election? No way! iggy goes to the GG, asks for his turn, and, that close after an election, he would get it.

The Conservative scream bloody hell, spend a fortune on attack ads, yet again (there has to be a bottom to that barrel...), and the liberals form government anyway, as per convention.

Betcha that's in play.

Alison said...

What about turning the tables and asking Harpie if he will reprise his coalition from the days of the Martin government. I understand that the NDP will make the letter public.

ridenrain said...

How about:
The new Government is supported by parties that share a commitment to fiscal responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers.

That doccument has still not been rejected.

Northern PoV said...

not if the current config in the house is repeated - then the GG should give the 1st nod to Harper (gulp)...
but lets say its 101 Cons, 99 Libs
then following the constitutional convention is problematic and the Libs should demonstrate to the GG that he should not listen to Harper


wilson said...

It is much more important we put the coalition question to our MPs.

That's who we vote for, not a PM.
Constituents have a right to know where their own MP stands.
Because it is not clear.

First Lib MPs all signed the coalition agreement, then the LPC backed away.
Are they in or out this time?

Scott said...

Iggy shouldn't back away from a coalition.

Instead of dancing around the issue, we should be reminding Canadians that Australia and the UK are functioning under coalition governments; and that these coalitions were forged out of an election without a majority winner.

Canadians need to snap out of the idea that the party with the most seats, but not a majority, is the automatic winner. We can learn a thing from the UK over how they handled their last election, and how the parties HAD to come together to actually form a government in the first place.

Mark Francis said...

The House always determines who government is, in the end. Harper's convenient ground rules that coalitions need to be announced first ignore that. In the end, constitutional law rules, not Harper, and as much as he ties to use populism to skirt the rule of law, the bottom line is that we pick the makeup of Parliament. If we hand no one a majority, by definition, government can only be maintained with the confidence of the House. Harper's run things with no formal coalition, but he's still relied upon the support of various parties. No difference, really.

So, deny, deny, deny. "No coalition." And if The Liberals get in as a minority, do whatever. I'd suggest lots of backroom deals to get case-by-case support. Whenever Harper, or his successor (heh heh), claim "secret coalition" just cite the number of votes he survived with pure Bloc support or pure NDP support.

James said...


Are they in or out this time?

There's an unfortunate choice of words.