5 reasons I support the coalition

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1. It’s what parliament is about: parties working together.
2. All involved parties are making concessions to make it work.
3. It represents the majority will of the electorate.
4. Canadian politics is exciting yet again.
5. It gets Harper out of office.

Disclaimer: The specific parties involved have nothing to do with my support for it.

46 thoughts on “5 reasons I support the coalition

  1. You’ve got to be kidding me. I definitely think Stephen Harper is the best man for the job. He IS trying to work with the others…but it’s pretty hard if every move you make there’s a pre-planned rejection.

    I got a good email on this today. It said:

    Let me see if I have this all straight.

    The NDP had already hatched a plan for a bloodless coup d’etat prior to the economic statement by Mr. Flaherty.

    It apparently didn’t matter that Canadians just voted and elected Mr. Harper. Mr. Layton doesn’t care that we just had a $300 million election.

    Mr. Dion announced his intention to step down, but the coup will put him into the Prime Minister’s office even though he got the fewest votes of any Liberal since Confederation.

    The Bloc Quebecois holds the balance of power and the key to government stability. Hang on, do I have this right? Mr. Duceppe is the defacto Prime Minister in this game of political monopoly?

    So, to recap:

    Mr. Harper won, but really lost the election. Mr. Layton lost, but actually won. Mr. Dion quit but is going to be Prime Minister. And Mr. Duceppe is laughing his backside off because he is the one who is really in charge of the stability of Canadian government while being committed breaking up the country.

  2. “it’s pretty hard if every move you make there’s a pre-planned rejection.”

    Perhaps the rejections are “pre-planned” because the other parties actually HAVE a plan.

    (And not one that was scraped together a week before the election).

  3. I don’t much care either way. I rarely notice much of a change in my life when political parties change.

    But I’m not sure if I agree with reason #3. How does this represent the majority will of the electorate?

    I didn’t notice a spot on the ballot for a three party coalition. It seems more like this will be some kind of new hybrid and nobody will actually be getting what they wanted. I doubt everyone who voted NDP, Liberal, or Bloc agrees with this coalition.

  4. Not that it necessarily means anything on a larger scale, but I haven’t heard anyone complaining about the proposed coalition except Conservative Party supporters.

  5. That’s interesting. I’ve plenty of Liberal and NDP supporters complain about it. None of them voted for the idea of having the policies they voted for watered down by getting into a coalition.

    What bugs me most about this is it truly has nothing to do with any policies put out. This was planned just days after the election results. How can they feel good about that? I realize the coalition is entirely legal and works in our system…but I have issues with the backroom wheeling and dealing going on immediately after an election. To me that is showing NO respect for democracy and is just a power grab.

  6. It apparently didn’t matter that Canadians just voted and elected Mr. Harper.

    Is there another parliamentary democracy in the world that would assume that a party leader was elected as prime minister when that leader’s party or coalition did not gain a majority of seats in an election?

  7. “I’ve plenty of Liberal and NDP supporters complain about it. None of them voted for the idea of having the policies they voted for watered down by getting into a coalition.”

    I’m curious about these Liberal Party and NDP supporters you speak of. What part of Canada are they from? Also, in what way are their policies getting watered down? I wasn’t aware that any new policies by the potential coalition had been announced?

  8. The polls report 72% did not want a coalition.

    46-44% of Canadians support the Conservatives.

    Allowing a veto to the separatists was a huge mistake. Having Jacque Parizeau crowing about it probably was a huge effect.

    Harper made a mistake in bringing forward the things he did in the update. Because he should have been more careful being so partisan.

    Effectively though the coalition, if it had gone forward would have been a gong show. Just look what happened when they tried to respond to the PM, Layton asks for equal time?? Dion does a huge error with his video.

    I personally think the Liberals need more time more time to organize,they are not really a government in waiting.

    Personally, I think precedent in OUR parliamentary democracy would go against switching governments by an appointed governor general. Only once has it happened federally and it was a disaster.

    I think anyone who thinks the LibsDem alliance with the Bloc would last past the first budget are fooling themselves. Better we have a new election then a shame government which only spreads more doubt on our ability to govern.

  9. My totally knee-jerk reaction to all of this causes me to think that the only pertinent question here is whether or not to include Manitoba in the new country. :)

  10. The main problem I have with the coalition is that they were not elected as a coalition.

    There is nothing to stop two parties from running diametrically opposed platforms and once the election is done, to form a coalition – effectively disappointing half of the people that apparently elected this new ruling coalition.

    I would assume that people would agree that this is a bad thing.

    Oh well, maybe we’ll just go back to the ballot boxes next year and get Mr. Harper the majority he wants.

  11. They don’t have to be a coalition to be constitutionally allowed. However you are more than welcome to voice your opinions to said parties.

    I am not sure I support a coalition either but I know for sure I don’t support a prime minister who treats us as imbeciles, does what he wants as if he had a majority and not a minority, won’t cooperate with anyone and thinks he is a monarch.

    Besides that the conservatives only got 37% of the vote. If the country weren’t so divided, it would have been less.

  12. So Kim,

    What’s not to like about the Harper government?

    In a time of global financial crisis, why would you want the knee jerk financial reaction that the coalition is proposing? Why wouldn’t you want an economist behind the wheel?

    Enlighten me!

  13. I still think there is a simple, yet expensive, solution to the coalition. If they apply to the governor general to govern as a coalition then let them go to the polls as a coalition. We will then see the “majority will of the electorate”.

    See I would imagine that the confidence of the NDP, Bloc, and the Liberals would wane if they had to actually convince the people through an election that they, together, were the right people to run the country. If this option were the only option on the table for them they would not be making threats at toppling a government in order to rule as a coalition.

    On a side note, is there anyone else out there that is concerned that one of the largest most influencial decisions of our time in Canadian politics is being made by someone who holds a figurehead position. Something tells me this wasn’t really in the playbook when that position was created.

    Additionally, I heard a report that one of the concessions being granted the Bloc is 6 senate seats, permanently appointed federal seats, to seperatists. Is this one of the concessions you are advocating Kim?

  14. JM,

    Harper is a bully and a tyrant. If you don’t agree with him, then he will do whatever he can to get rid of you. That is not the type of person we need running a majority government.

    Furthermore, Harper is not an economist. He has been a politician from day one after graduating from university. If you want a real economist running the country’s finances, then ask Harper to make John McCallum his minister of finance.

    Rick and Tyler,

    The electorate would never get an opportunity to vote for a coalition. That’s not how the parliamentary system works. We didn’t vote for one in 2000, 2004, or 2006 when the Alliance and CPC were flirting with coalitions. Likewise, we as voters didn’t get to vote on the creation of the Alliance and CPC through party merging, which goes even further than a simple coalition.

    Is this one of the concessions you are advocating Kim?

    No.

  15. Kim,

    Haprer’s perceived attitude is more of an ad hominem attack. It is also a reasonable leadership style, especially considering the position of leading the country with a minority.

    What catches my interest are his governments policies vs. the policies of the other political parties.

    What policies do you have a problem with? What policies of the opposition do you find more favorable?

    I could care less if the guy is a bully. As long as his parties policies (specifically the financial ones) are good for the economy and the country, he can treat the nay-sayers however he wants.

    Do you really think the coalition government would be more stabalizing for the Canadian economy that the conservatives?

  16. I am more than happy to have parties merging. This would bring to the forfront the backroom dealings that we have seen so far. I am not bipartisan in my coalition disfavourment. I realize at this point it is the Liberals advocating but even if it were the Conservatives I would still be against it. By the way, in neither 2000, 2004, or 2006 was the suggestion made to take over leadership of the country or application of such made to the governor general. I kind of think you are grasping at straws here Kim. Your agrument that this is what the majority of the electorate wants is flawed at best. Give me an arguement I can see some validity in because for the most part this all seems like sour grapes to me. Just because you don’t like the leader isn’t the reason to oust him. It seems like the other parties are trying to out bully him. In addition Dion is your replacement, even his own people don’t want him. I for one see this as a sure way for the people to completely distrust any of the left leaning parties and is a sure fire way to make a majority happen in the next election, for the conservatives. I really should be advocating this move if I weren’t so morally opposed to it.

  17. As long as his parties policies (specifically the financial ones) are good for the economy and the country

    I guess that’s the real question. Are you suggesting that all the policies of the CPC are good for the economy and the country? If so, how do you measure whether the are good? Every economic indicator I have watched shows our economy still dropping. TSX is down, deflation is up, dollar is down, unemployment is up.

    Do you really think the coalition government would be more [stabilizing] for the Canadian economy that the conservatives?

    It’s hard to say at this point given that Harper has yet to release a budget, so we have nothing to which we can compare the basic platform the coalition has released. What I have read so far doesn’t show me that the coalition would be less stabilizing.

    Your [argument] that this is what the majority of the electorate wants is flawed at best

    I guess that depends on what they wanted. The way I see it, 62% of the electorate didn’t want the CPC in.

    In addition Dion is your replacement, even his own people don’t want him.

    He’s an interim replacement. Even so, it seems he will be gone by the time Parliament resumes.

    I for one see this as a sure way for the people to completely distrust any of the left leaning parties and is a sure fire way to make a majority happen in the next election

    IMO, it will be a long time before we see a majority government again.

  18. “Every economic indicator I have watched shows our economy still dropping. TSX is down, deflation is up, dollar is down, unemployment is up.”

    But, are any of these the result of current Conservative Party policy or rather past external circumstances to which we are now feeling the effects of?

    “Harper has yet to release a budget, so we have nothing to which we can compare the basic platform the coalition has released.”

    From my point of view, this isn’t a bad thing. Our economy isn’t in as rough shape as our neighbors down south. We don’t need a knee jerk reaction to the situation. We have time (as short as it may be) to formulate a plan based on what the U.S. decides to do. I’d rather have a government that is formulating and designing a plan that is best for Canada, than the opposition that just seems to want to toss money around and hope that they solve something.

    Everything I have read about what the opposition wants to do smacks of pandering to eastern workers faced with potential and real job losses, in an effort to win votes (not necessarily what is best for the country as a whole).

    “What I have read so far doesn’t show me that the coalition would be less stabilizing.”

    Take a look at what the TSX did when the coalition announced their intentions…

    “I guess that depends on what they wanted. The way I see it, 62% of the electorate didn’t want the CPC in.”

    And with the same logic:

    74% of the electorate didn’t want the Liberals in.
    82% of the electorate didn’t want the NDP in.
    90% of the electorate didn’t want the Bloq in.

    With all that being said, I would agree that no party is looking out for the best interest of Canada first. They are only interested in their own agendas. Very sad. That being the case, I believe the conservatives to be the most stabilizing force in our government at this time.

  19. But, are any of these the result of current Conservative Party policy or rather past external circumstances to which we are now feeling the effects of?

    Oh, I wasn’t saying the current economy is the fault of the CPC. I am just wondering if the CPC financial policies are good for our economy, as you implied they are, why our economy keeps sinking.

    I’d rather have a government that is formulating and designing a plan that is best for Canada

    So would I. I am just not convinced that is what Harper is doing.

    Take a look at what the TSX did when the coalition announced their intentions…

    You mean the same day the US officially announced they were in a recession? For that matter, the TSX dropped when Parliament was prorogued, to a lower level. If we use the TSX to measure stabilizing effects, does that mean Harper’s government is less stabilizing?

    74% of the electorate didn’t want the Liberals in. 82% of the electorate didn’t want the NDP in. 90% of the electorate didn’t want the Bloq in.

    Right. And if the Bloq, NDP and CPC formed a coalition, that would be following the majority opinion as well.

  20. I guess the great thing about a position based on ideology is that it doesn’t have to make any sense. Some fringe benefits:

    You can resort to simple name calling when unable to directly answer questions.

    Reasonable arguments don’t need a response, the question can just be turned around.

    Common sense doesn’t get in the way, either! :)

  21. You know I am afraid it will be awhile before we see a majority government again as well, Kim. In some ways I welcome a minority government given the fact that those in power have less ability to screw things up, for lack of a better phrase. On the other hand there are times like right now that a strong economic response by our government could really help to stablize our economy or at least contribute to a positive movement. The problem is we are now stalled and can’t focus on the one thing this country desperately needs because of the minority position, and political posturing. I do not have a crystal ball which tells me what the CPC’s are thinking and what effect their policies will have on our economy but I can tell you this, what we are doing right now is not positive. I wish government would work together that includes the CPC’s, I agree they haven’t offered as much as an olive leaf let alone a branch, but on the other hand even if they had would there have been much of a reception? I guess now it will be hard to tell.

  22. Sorry that last post was from me I am at a different computer and it didn’t have my sign in.

  23. Tyler,

    I too like a minority government for many reasons except when the PM treats it like a majority government anyway…

    Frankly I wish they would all grow up and start working together instead of fighting and wasting time.

  24. To be frank Mary I completely agree with the one move that “started”, reports are that no matter what the PM put into the budget he would have been voted down and the coalition would have taken over, this coalition movement. I think it is ludacris that we are funding the political parties from the federal coffers as determined by votes. I welcome that to be taken out. If they can’t fund themselves then they obviously do not have the support they should. My tax dollars do not belong in the Bloc parties bank account.

    The rest of the rhetoric is just political posturing and the ever present left leaning media spin.

  25. If they can’t fund themselves then they obviously do not have the support they should.

    Which would be much easier to do if Harper didn’t keep calling elections.

  26. “Which would be much easier to do if Harper didn’t keep calling elections.”

    As far as I know, the PC party also must finance their campaign.

    I have trouble putting my country’s economy in the hands of a party which can’t even keep its’ own house in order.

  27. As far as I know, the PC party also must finance their campaign.

    And it doesn’t hurt that they merged with another party and get to use the PMO for free advertising.

  28. Really that is your arguement that the PC’s called the election to bankrupt the other parties? That is rediculous you know as well as I do that the elections were pushed by the Liberals and the NDP. A vote of non confidence was coming they stated it themselves. In fact, Harper asked them before he called the election to extend the term and they refused to even return his calls. This was in the media I am sure you heard it. They have no one to blame but themselves and you know that.

    Also, free advertising for the merger? Really if it is such great free advertising the Liberals have every right to merge with whomever they please. You also have to admit that they get the benefit of the doubt in pretty much all media coverage. I would not bring up an inequity in the balance of coverage unless you are telling me it is towards the left.

  29. I don’t mind removing funding for parties, but this isn’t the only issue. I can’t see how the budget addresses the economic concerns, but perhaps you can, being an accountant. I haven’t seen the entire budget.

    Harper has made it clear that he wants to down the Liberals and I think that was one of his main reasons for calling the election when he did. He could have held on for a lot longer, as he promie4se to create fixed election dates and then completely ignored that promise.

    What I find annoying is the focus on right versus left. Why can’t everyone just smarten up and realise that we need the best answer for ALL of Canada, and not just a few select.

  30. Really that is your [argument] that the PC’s called the election to bankrupt the other parties?

    No. You shouldn’t try to read too much into what I say. All I said was every time they try to fundraise, Harper calls an election. The extrapolation was all yours.

    you know as well as I do that the elections were pushed by the Liberals and the NDP.

    The 2008 election was called by Harper without even a confidence vote. He simply “felt” he didn’t have the confidence of the House.

    free advertising for the merger?

    Huh? I never said anything of the sort. Seriously. You need to stop extrapolating my words. You’re going to break a blood vessel or something.

  31. All of the partisan stuff aside, what do folks here think about the need for an “economic stimulus package”?

    I can’t think of many examples where economic stimulus did anything particularly stimulating. I believe that the problem gets solved when individuals (and individual corporate entities) reach the point where they have to radically adjust the way they operate. When a government throws money at these entities the result is simply a delaying of the process that is already under way. Tax money gets flushed, and we’re that much farther away from the changes that really need to happen.

    The auto industry is a great example. While all companies are hurting to one degree or another, the ones who are in danger of collapse are the ones who haven’t yet accepted reality. In order to be “competetive”, they haven’t really changed anything, they’ve just been selling their vehicles at a loss. Now they’re in a bad spot because they’ve lost a lot of money and haven’t made any of the changes that they will eventually have to make. If they get more money, they’ll just keep doing what they’ve been doing (with a little belt-tightening window dressing) and nothing will be accomplished.

    If they are left alone, maybe they will have to fold in order to get out of their RIDICULOUS labor contracts. That alone will put them in a much more competitive position.

    Individuals and families often have to hit rock bottom before they do the right thing, the smart thing, the thing they’ve been advised to do all along but didn’t have the discipline to actually implement.

    Are there going to be casualties? Absolutely. But there will probably have to be if anything is going to REALLY change.

  32. I don’t like the stimulus idea either, conservation and proper budgeting is really important on a personal as well as a governmental level.

    But after the terrorist attacks of 2001, that’s exactly what the US gov’t encouraged spending to ‘fight terrorism’.

  33. I think all the US government really advocated was “no change” in spending to fight terrorism. Don’t freak, out, just keep doing what you’re doing, etc. If we let them disrupt our lives, they win…..

    Who’s the enemy they can use this time?

    While not necessarily ardent in my support of Obama, his potential is really intriguing to me. It has been a VERY long time since any major national leader had the charisma and personal public appeal that he wields. He could actually get away with encouraging individuals to do better, work harder, make sacrifices. People would actually buy into it. And it would make a difference. Sadly, not many politicians have the guts to make those kinds of appeals. I’m holding out a cautious hope that he might use his influence in this way……perhaps other world leaders would follow.

  34. Well maybe, but you should watch The Story of Stuff. Interesting.

    I like Obama too. If I were American I would have voted for him, he does offer some hope.

  35. I really wish I knew something about the Canadian government so I could join in the discussion; but alas all I know about Canada comes from watching Corner Gas. Pretty sad I know.

  36. Personally, I hate the coalition idea. Not because I’m a big Harper fan or a flag waving Conservative. I’m a moderate, which sadly puts me in the middle. What I don’t like is how it manipulates the voice of Canada. Canada didn’t vote for them, but collectively somehow they’re representing the majority? Last time I checked the Bloq, Liberals and NDP all had different platforms. It reminds me of high school. All the school president wannabe’s that didn’t get elected form a coalition and everyone else be damned. It’s the popular kids with a bad idea and Canada pays the price.

  37. But Canada did vote for them, Nikki. Everyone interested in participating in the coalition had been elected by Canadians to parliament. Sure, Canadians didn’t specifically vote to have the parliament led by a coalition, but likewise Canadians didn’t specifically vote to have parliament led by Harper. The parliamentary system allows for both scenarios, however.

    While it’s true that the platforms of the three parties are not identical, that’s not really the point. Their accord is a testament to the idea of putting aside partisanism and working toward common goals, the way parliament should actually be working.

  38. “Their accord is a testament to the idea of putting aside partisanism and working toward common goals”

    Assuming they could actually DO anything once in power. I think at this point, it’s looking like a pretty big assumption.

    I mean, the only thing they really agree on is getting Harper out of office…

  39. Correct me if I’m mistaken but I believe:

    • The NDP, Liberals, and Bloc each campaigned on policies to end combat missions in Afghanistan.
    • The NDP, Liberals, and Bloc want to inject money into the economy (following the lessons learned in the Great Depression — think Keynesian economics)
    • The NDP, Liberals, and Bloc all campaigned on platforms of attempting to meet the Kyoto Accord targets.

    You may not agree with what they want to do, but I don’t think it’s true that they don’t have any common goals except getting Harper out of office.

  40. Points taken, but my comments about the coalition gaining power still stand.

  41. 38: ” Not because I’m a big Harper fan or a flag waving Conservative. I’m a moderate, which sadly puts me in the middle. ”

    Canada doesn’t have a national party that is “small c” conservative. The Conservative party is the moderate party with the others WELL to the left. I read a comparison last year that put Harper’s Conservatives’ platform significantly to the left of the Bill Clinton administration, for an example.

  42. why did this happen in the first place ?
    what was the reason for a coalition ?

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