Posted by: Joe | December 4, 2008


“undemocratic seizure of power”
“illegitimate government”

Mr. Harper, the rhetoric is a little over the top.  The proposed coalition is no more illegitimate than when you proposed the exact same thing in 2004.

Harper’s wailing and gnashing of teeth is nothing more than a desperate attempt to appeal to popular ignorance of how a parliamentary democracy works.  This is not the Republic of Stephen Harper, as much as he would like to run the country that way.

The arguments against the Bloc support of the Liberal-NDP coalition are a strawman argument as well.  The Conservative minority government would need the votes of at least one opposition party in order to pass legislation as well, and the Bloc would be the likely group to provide them.

This is not a constitutional crisis.  It is not a traitorous coup d’état.  It is a healthy exercise in how a  parliamentary democracy works.  Oddly enough, a knitting blog has the single best Parliamentary Democracy 101 I’ve found.

However this plays out in the next few weeks, I think it’s time for Harper to resign, though I’m doubt he will.  Forget the House of Commons, he doesn’t even have the confidence of his own party at this point.

Aside: for all the fanfare about the historic election of an african american president by our friends to the south, I find it a little amusing how little attention is being put on the fact that the immediate future of our government will be determined by one black woman.



  1. I did a pretty good synopsis of the situation, too. But as of a few minutes ago, it’s all on hold until the end of January and we’ll see what happens next. I guess having no government for a couple of months during an economic crisis is better than having a Harper government.

  2. Personally, I feel better about the decision being in her hands than most of the party leaders’. Hey…can we make HER head of the coalition? I’m sure that wouldn’t present any legislative problems, making the head of state the head of the government too…

  3. I think the only way to get a functional government out of this mess is if Harper were to fire Flaherty, and then resign. The Opposition would work with Prentice as PM.

    I also think there’s zero chance of that happening.

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