The Shotgun Blog
Friday, November 28, 2008
Who has the support of the people?
This is a critical question that I haven't heard discussed in a real way.
Let us suppose that the government falls and the Liberals form a coalition with the NDP. The Conservatives are sent to the back bench and they start to make hell. Do you think that the Conservatives wouldn't be able to make it impossible for the coalition government to govern?
Remember that the Conservatives have the money in the bank to fight more than one election. How quickly would the Conservative Party make ads that underlined the differences between the NDP and the Liberals. Radio commercials that decree Liberal arrogance for throwing a 'coup against the people's democratic right to choice the government.'
How quickly will the election have to be fought? Or how quickly will the coalition government fall?
The Liberals and NDP can take over the government, but if they don't take the people with them they are in real trouble. The Conservatives have far more resources to turn the people against them. From a purely strategic point of few, if I were advising the Prime Minister, I would tell him, "let the government fall and take your chances."
(though I still think that things will calm down next week)
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Yes, the Conservatives certainly have more money, but is that the only measure of political support?
If the government does fall, the race will be on to blame the other guy for doing it. In that respect, the Conservatives will have an edge.
But if that really does translate into more votes, then we're in a much sadder state of affairs in Canadian politics than I thought.
Posted by: JJones | 2008-11-28 4:34:01 PM
In Mr. Harper's own words.
Solomon: So why did you write that letter to the Governor-General with Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton saying in the event of a confidence vote situation do not call a snap election - are we to assume that therefore you're working to form a coalition?
Harper: There seems to be an attitude in the Liberal government - that they can go in, be deliberately defeated and call an election - that's not how our constitutional system works. The government has a minority - it has an obligation to demonstrate to Canadians that it can govern. That it can form a majority in the House of Commons. If it can't form a majority, we look at other options, we don't just concede to the government's request to make it dysfunctional. I know for a fact that Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton and the people who work for them want this Parliament to work and I know if is in all of our interests to work. The government has got to face the fact it has a minority, it has to work with other people.
Posted by: BJ Homes | 2008-11-28 10:02:34 PM
BJ the circumstances were a little different, but fundementally if Harper had formed a government back then he would have ran into the same problem.
There is nothing wrong with forming a new government without an election. Our system allows it. But you have to ensure that the reason is a good one and you have to be sure of the people's support. I think that polling data will come out late next week that will show us where the people stand. (at least to the extent that polling data can do that)
Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2008-11-29 8:07:42 AM
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