Coalition is nothing to fear

What is Stephen Harper so afraid of today, yet he supported in 2006? The phrase, coalition government, seems to have put Harper into a fear-mongering mode, about the dreaded “coalition” government of Liberals, NDPs and the Bloc. Even with the black and white evidence (http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/deal-in-2004-had-harper-singing-different-tune-on-opposition-collaboration–118712549.html) of Harper’s support for a coalition government in 2006, he continues to repeat the argument that he does not support a coalition government.

I am very concerned that Canada’s prime minister has taken too many detrimental actions, of what I believe to be harmful to Canada and Canadians. So, I must further criticize Harper for his hypocrisy, and remind him that coalitions are perfectly legitimate and a “natural product of Canada’s Parliament system” (http://www.hilltimes.com/dailyupdate/view/110). Not to mention, that the United Kingdom is currently being governed by a coalition government. According to constitutional expert Ned Franks of Queen’s University: “Harper can say whatever he wants, but a coalition is not illegitimate, it’s a perfectly legitimate form of government”.

Is it that Stephen Harper is unable to count? For the past five years, Harper has governed (as a minority government) with what are effectively serial coalitions — every time he passed a bill he was in a temporary “coalition” with one or more of the opposition parties because he always needed at least one party to vote with the government.

Now that we are into a federal election and Harper aims for a majority government of the Conservatives, I abhor his misleading facts to the public and voters, regarding the place of coalitions in our political system.

The prime minister seems to be suggesting that even if the Conservatives get less than a majority of votes and seats in the next Parliament that no other grouping in the House of Commons could govern legitimately, under any circumstances. As I have pointed out, such statements are completely false. Just think about it, a coalition of the three opposition parties would, in fact, be more democratic than a minority government run by Stephen Harper. In the last parliament these opposition parties represented 62 per cent of Canadians. Again, in my math book, this is greater than a minority government.

Brigid Kemp

 

Penticton

 

 

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