Friday, January 23, 2009

A Buncha Lawyers In Support Of The Coalition

And they've sent a letter to the GG and cranked out a news release on CNW!

OTTAWA, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Academic constitutional experts are publicly advising the Governor General to call on the leader of the opposition to attempt to form a government if the Conservatives are defeated on anon-confidence vote.

The list can be found here, as well as a dummied down explanation of how the Canadian government models works aimed at our bovine public. My favorite bit:

While, in our parliamentary system, as it is the case in the Commonwealth in general, the Governor General (or the person fulfilling a similar role in other jurisdictions) may offer the opposition leader the opportunity to form the government in such circumstances, other parliamentary systems give the opposition the right to form a new government (i.e. Spain's and Belgium's constitutions) and, in the case of Germany, the constitution even makes it an obligation in certain circumstances.

Such rules are meant to avoid creating an incentive for minority government Prime Ministers to make successive calls for elections until one party gathers sufficient support to form a majority government. Successive elections can be quite disruptive, if only because without a functioning Parliament to vote on matters of supply, unelected officials are forced to adopt special measures to pay for the operations of government.

As for the list of "constitutional experts" cited, while they come from all over the nation, their numbers seem fairly heavily weighted towards Que. and Ontario law schools. I don't know if that is a worrying sign or not.

And as for me, even though one recent poll shows the country more receptive to the idea of a coalition government, I am hoping that the mere threat drives the Tories to produce a budget that Ignatieff and crew can support. For non-political reasons, because whatever the details of the stimulus package, the country needs one now and not after either another election or at the end of a no doubt long and painful series of negotiations among the various coalition partners. And for political reasons, because I fear that even with these most recent poll numbers, if the bid for a coalition fails and we are all tossed into another election campaign, the result will be another Tory victory, perhaps a Majority. The populace will opt for "stability" and the Coalition partners will be labelled "troublemakers".


susansmith said...

Except that the coalition partners (signed by all NDP and liberal MPs) through a coalition agreement already "an agreed upon" policy accord which is a working document. So, pray tell, what negotiation are you NOW talking about?
Also, Iggy is "on record" publicly saying on his word that he would honour the coalition agreement in principle as written.
He is a man of his word isn't he, and drawn from a different cloth in comparison to Harper who no one could trust, right???

susansmith said...

So you trust Harper and have confidence that Harper with Iggy backing him up and essentially saying that Harper conservative govt is on this day provides good govt?
I'm pretty disappointed in your reverse stance where you actually think Harper will honour anything and more to the point, that this is good for liberals.
Iggy's two faceness is already being revealed - here - and make no mistake - all the present hold back (that you have even written about) will begin to get more air play and prominence, particularly if Iggy "fits that familiar mold of just another naked ambitious Liberal political grab for power. I'm sorry I have to call it as I see it.

bigcitylib said...


Yes I know they signed a document, but I would still bet on a very slow process between the Gov falling, the GG ruling for a coalition (which I don't think is a given or even likely), the coalition assuming power, and something emerging from the other end of the process. Couple more months anyway.

"So you trust Harper and have confidence that Harper with Iggy backing him up and essentially saying that Harper conservative govt is on this day provides good govt?"

I think their ability to do harm has been effectively contained.

Oxford County Liberals said...

I am rather amazed BCL that you hope Harper does something that he's not normally known for doing.. which is be reasonable. Even if he does try to save his hide this time, he will look for a chance to revert to form the next time, when enough time has passed that the G-G would probably not have a coalition option to look at by constitutional convention.

Personally, I hope he reverts to form, subsequently gets his party defeated in the Commons confidence vote, and let the G-G rule one way or the other on a coalition or a new election. Either scenario suits me - though coalition at this point suits me better.

Ti-Guy said...

Oh God, I'm getting that queasy feeling again...that my favourite Liberals will start going nervous nelly before anything's actually happened.

At this juncture, I simply cannot trust Harper to do the right thing...ever (and his caucus is retarded, so there's no hope for any wise counsel). Even if the budget passes, I don't have much confidence that it will be executed properly or that Harper won't pull some stunt two, three weeks later. He's quite mad, you know...driven insane by his hatred of everything that doesn't worship him.

If the GG consents to yet another election, I'm moving to Qu├ębec and voting Bloc.