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And the future is: coalition

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Minority parliaments are the new norm ...Read the full article

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  1. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: And the future is now.
  2. No Worries from Canada writes:
    My Canada does not include a BLOC coalition.
  3. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: lol the populace did not ask for a coalition. let the ndp-liberals adopt this plan during the next election if they think they have so much support. do it democratically. i can bet you a huge chunk of the people who voted ndp or liberal do not want this coalition. and come on... a coalition with the bloc too... do you really think they give a rats bum about this country.. the conservatives have more seats than the ndp and liberals combined. the bloc isnt included because they dont regard themselves as canadians. so the majority of canadians voted for the conservatives. the minority voted for the ndp and liberals! jack layton is pretty pathetic too. why is he acting all tough in the cameras.. dumb socialist. go hide in your little hole with the rest of the socialists in this country. no one wants you people running this country!if they did, you wouldnt be the smallest party. bring on the election. i will cry with joy once the NDP is crushed in the election. a return back to free market capitalism, limited government, liberty, and greater economic freedoms. PEACE
  4. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: but, but, but, Willy-Lump-Lump, our vibrant and warm-hearted P.M. is already a coalition - a coalition of one.
  5. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: LONG LIVE THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA: THE PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND THE FREE MARKET CAPITALISM SYSTEM.
  6. Pan de Monium from Montreal, Canada writes: Should Ignatieff make as lasting an impression in Quebec as his initial forays suggest this article's main premise will be moot. I predict the Liberals will win many seats in Quebec next federal election with Igntaieff at the helm. Ontario with its new seats will add to Liberal fortunes. Should the West want in we could see a new majority goverment in the HOC. Just in time for the upcoming economic turn around.

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Ignatieff Launches MISSION quebec/1216052/story.html
  7. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    Benjamin Disraeli:
    A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy.

    Mort Sahl:
    Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen.

    Peter C. Newman:
    Conservatives usually prefer twin beds, which may contribute to the fact that Canada has more Liberals.
  8. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: Pan de Monium from Montreal, thank you for that great article. I think Harper's days are numbered. Like the American public, I believe the Canadian public is also tired of a cold, self-important pseudo-leader who only takes his own counsel. His time at the helm has been one of Canada's lowest points. What is it about Conservative P.M.s? They just seem to alienate the majority, time after time. Do they find learning difficult?
  9. Jim Q from Halifax, Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: LONG LIVE THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA: THE PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND THE FREE MARKET CAPITALISM SYSTEM.

    ===========================

    and don't forget kittens. They defend kittens, from the evil Liberal Reptilian kitten eaters.

    Remember folks,

    if you can't think of anything intelligent to say,
    write a caps lock ceeseball slogan,
    and post it here today!
  10. siren call from Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: LONG LIVE THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA: THE PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND THE FREE MARKET CAPITALISM SYSTEM.
    ..................................

    What, like the 'free market capitalist system' that just collapsed in the land most enamored of it -- the US?

    You did notice the economic meltdown spreading across the globe, yes?
  11. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: No Worries from Canada writes:
    My Canada does not include a BLOC coalition.
    _________________

    My Canada does not include Harper as a PM (and your Canada won't for too much longer either).
  12. diane marie from Canada writes: The author suggests that Canadians have largely rejected a coalition. No, they rejected a coalition that would have been steered by Mr. Dion. Voters had already rendered their verdict on Mr. Dion, so they could hardly have changed their minds a month after the election. The most recent polls, for what they're worth, suggest that Canadians are much more likely to countenance a coalition without Mr. Dion at the helm.

    The posters who keep complaining about the BQ are forgetting that Mr. Harper was prepared to govern with their help in 2004 and has governed with their support since.
  13. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: The author suggests that Canadians have largely rejected a coalition.

    ________________

    Obviously Canadians were not given a chance to either reject or accept it. The author makes presumptions only.
  14. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: DM are you suggesting Canadians are willing to enter into a coalition because of Iggy?? you have to get out more and talk to all canadians, not just liberals. the thought of Jack and gilles any where near the reins leaves just too sour a taste in most Canadians mouths to ever except :)
  15. The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: troll, please learn how to spell. 'accept', not 'except'.
  16. Ray jones from Hamilton, Canada writes: All I want is a political leader who puts the good of the country above his or her own personal wealth and power. Can anyone name one?
  17. Victoria Scrimger from Victoria, Canada writes: I dunno, Elizabeth May? Is she any good? Let's get her in power, just for giggles.
  18. siren call from Canada writes: Probably Dion.

    Certainly Joe Clarke.

    Definitely Ed Broadbent.

    Oh, you probably meant someone sitting in Parliament.

    Martha Hall Findley?
  19. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Capitalism had nothing to do with the economic slowdown. It solely had to do with deregulation -- unregulated capitalism.
  20. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Once Harper wins his majority, he should ban all trade unions. They are a disease to our society. They don't care about the regular folk

    Read this article.

    www.ottawacitizen.com/Survivor walks hours save/1208352/story.html

    IT IS ABOUT A POOR OLD WOMAN IN HER 60's THAT HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY GREEDY TRANSIT UNIONS. SHE HAS TO WALK 12 HOURS A DAY IN THE COLD TEMPERATURE TO WORK AND BACK HOME. ISN'T SOCIALISM JUST GREAT? read it!
  21. DG Rose from Canada writes: If the future is weaker, fractured parties ganging up to seize Parliamentary control because they're too pathetic to win an election outright then I guess there's not really much of a future for us. The CPC got the majority of votes from decided voters; get a tissue, blow your nose, and get over it. Layton is such a fool he declared he'd vote against the budget, sight unseen... Nice. Harper didn't cause a global economic meltdown but the CPC seems to be the party best equipped to deal with the tough times ahead. This coalition was and still is a joke in poor taste; the CPC are the ruling party, so lend a hand or get out of the way.
  22. siren call from Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Capitalism had nothing to do with the economic slowdown. It solely had to do with deregulation -- unregulated capitalism.
    ................................

    The economic downturn is not due 'solely' to any one thing.

    But you're against deregulation?

    Harper's all for unregulated capitalism -- that's why he further deregulated the food industry. Industries like Maple Leaf.

    Harper and genius Flaherty also introduced deregulation into the banks, setting in place 40 year mortgages for home buyers, nothing down.

    You've heard of the invisible hand? That's what Harper thinks should rule the markets.
  23. Ray jones from Hamilton, Canada writes: I'm afraid that Joe and Ed are well past their 'best before' date, much like John McCain in the U.S. election. I agree, Martha Hall Findley does come across as sincere and intelligent but doesn't seem to have the support of her party insiders.
  24. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: three faces of A$$..........SO SORRY........ ACCEPT ACCEPT ACCEPT HOWS THAT YOU TROLL ?????
  25. Phineas freekinstone from who knows ,who cares, Canada writes: you can always tell a dipper........they are the ones that jump all over others for spelling errors......right three faces of a troll??????
  26. Yves Champoux from Trois-Rivieres, Canada writes: To No Worries from Canada:

    Gilles Duceppe's Quebec does not include Canada, and your Canada doesn't include the Bloc. Isn't it why we do have a minority government. Try as you may, the Bloc cannot be wished away.
  27. Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: Siren Call...

    My mistake. There should be regulation in the markets but to a very minimum; regulation where it is cruicially and absolutely positively needed (like the meat industry for example). Yeah, of course Capitalism and the free market has its flaws but what better alternative is there? Honestly, can you tell me ? I cant for the life of me see how people can vote for the NDP or Bloc. Do they not realize how their lives would change so drastically? Their country would become a Northern European welfare state. Is that what the Canadian populace wants? I don't think so or the NDP would be the largest party wouldn't it? The NDP needs to be truthful and publically say what alot of their voters dont know; excessive regulation of the markets, very high income tax rates, etc etc. Then we will see whether the NDP is supported by the average Canadian.
  28. janfromthe bruce from Canada writes: Quebecers when polled, overwhelmingly support the coalition govt. The time is now for a coalition govt. It quite true what the author stated, 'In Canada, we have long relied on our 'first past the post' system to remedy the lack of majority opinion among the electorate by producing an 'artificial' majority parliament. Recent elections suggest that this is no longer the case and that minority results are likely to persist, significantly raising the likelihood of future coalitions.
  29. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: Quebecers when polled, overwhelmingly support joining ranks with a political party which only a few short years ago set-up a secret program that illegally sent tax-payer money from the rest of Canada into the pockets of Quebec businesses. No surprise there!
  30. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: 'As long as the Bloc takes 50 or so seats off the table, it is nearly impossible for the Liberals or Conservatives to win enough seats to form a majority government.' The Bloc should not be allowed to be a 'national' party as it represents only one province. As long as Canadians outside of Quebec have no way to vote for or not vote for the Bloc, it should not be included in the federal election. What kind of a mess would we have if every province created a 'national' party to represent its own interests? We cannot have a group of separatists in a position to manipulate the outcome of elections and force us into coalition governments with these same separatists. This is a situation that is unfair and diminishes the democratic rights of the rest of Canadians to chose the governing party and holds our parliament continually hostage. As long as the Bloc is not actively pursuing 'separation', then they don't actually have a legitimate mandate as per their stated goals. they have no interest whatsoever in the rest of Canada, yet they are in a position to control the government of the rest of Canada. The Bloc needs to go national - with a candidate in every riding across the country - or get out. If the current rules don't allow for kicking them out of parliament - then change the rules or demonstrate that the majority of Canadians outside of Quebec support having a party in parliament that supports the break up of the country.
  31. Edward Vickers from Edmonton, Canada writes: What is missing from this conversation is the fact that an ever increasing number of Canadians are resisting that tool of the lazy mind-Labelling. There is a large pool of undecided voters including the non-voters that could easily elect a majority government. Any double bedding of the Liberals and NDP will affect the right wing of the Liberal Party which is significant. Any cozy arrangement will also affect the centre right althought to a lesser extent. Mr Ignatieff knows this and is understandingly cautious. Conservatives likely have 125 solid seats with another 20 or so voting conservative occassionaly. A realization that the government of Canada will be in the hands of a centre left-left government will most likely drive right and centre right Liberal voters to the conservatives. This is the dilema for Mr Ignatieff who is much more alert than many political science and media pundits. It is not as simple as it seems, Canada is almost impossible to govern. My prediction is that Canadians will have a greater focus on what the situation is in Quebec with its Canadian taxpayer funded separatism. Look for a realignment that is neither of the scenarios presented.
  32. Brian Havelock from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Steve Harper has an opportunity to demonstrate that he is a true leader in the upcoming Parliamentary session. If past practice is any guage of his behaviour and his caucas of trained seals continues to support his actions I am afraid we are in for more of the same.

    I personally like the idea of a coalition in the current circumstances given the neoconservative leanings of the current government.
  33. Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: The Three Faces of Steve from Canada writes: 'Like the American public, I believe the Canadian public is also tired of a cold, self-important pseudo-leader ...'
    ---------------------------------------
    A 'cold, self-important pseudo-leader'?

    That's a good description of Michael Ignatieff!
  34. Grassroots are the wave of the future from Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa: do you believe that the conservatives believe in less governemnt? I have not seen a great exodus of government people, have you? Are you for real? Boy are you brainwashed. Anyways, if the truth be told, they only got 22% of the vote, when on factors in all the people did not vote. Just because of first past the post sysytem is flawed, is the only reason they have as many seats as they do.
  35. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: I think that the author has made a good point. Minority Parliaments are most likely to be the norm for the foreseeable future. At election time, all parties campaign to win but after the election, they have to sit down and make the compromises necessary to make parliament work. No one campaigns for a coalition - it is a tool that Parliamentarians use after an election to make a workable House of Commons.

    This is a logical reflection of the fact that in the Canadian Westminster tradition we elect a Parliament, not a government. Parliament will follow the rules of tradition and the constitution to form a Government. That Government will stand only as long as it has the confidence of Parliament.
  36. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: As long as one of the parties required to form a coalition, is a party whose sole reason for being is to separate a province from Canada, there is no way in hell they should be considered a legitimate part of any 'coalition government'. Canada works best with majority governments anyway, and the easiest way to rid us of the Bloc, is to end political party welfare. It's absolutely ridiculous that Canadian taxpayers should be paying for Bloc MP's when the raison d'etre is to separate. I can't wait until the next election, and hopefuly the Conservatives will put that on the agenda - that alone, would give them a majority.
    If Jack Layton ever grows a brain, then next time the Conservatives propose ending political party welfare, he should support it. If the NDP did, they would not only become the official opposition because the NDP fund-raising has been good; but ending party welfare would basically end the Bloc's existence - then Canada could get back to a 3 party system, which has worked well, very well, for us for decades.
    But, that would require Jack Layton to grow a brain, and we all know the chances of that happening.
  37. Brian Havelock from Winnipeg, Canada writes: As I recall Steve Harper and the CPC reached out to the Bloc when seeking power.
  38. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: The GG should enforce a coalition on all parties in HoC for the benefit of Canada. Either this or a smart benevolent dictator, oh wait that sounds like someone.
  39. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: Minority parliaments do not have to be the new norm. Canada functioned, and functions very well, when we have a 3 party system. It's only since we allowed a party dedicated to Quebec separation in to our federal parliament, that our politics has suffered so much. Ending political party welfare would end the unnecessary dysfunction we have experienced, because the ONLY way the Bloc survives is party welfare. If they had to survive on voter's financial support, it's highly unlikely they'd be araound for very long. Get rid of the Bloc, by getting rid of party welfare, and we can return to having very functional, stable parliament and governments again.
  40. john chuckman from Canada writes: Yes, indeed, Mr. Cross, and coalitions are very democratic political mechanisms. But, unfortunately, the Liberals have thrown yet another wrench into our creaking national political machinery by making, through undemocratic backdoor operations, Michael Ignatieff, a man utterly without ethical principles, the leader of the party. Ignatieff's ambition - his sole guiding principle - does not have a lot of room for coalitions, so I think the Dion-Layton coalition is pretty much dead on its feet. Ignatieff's strategy will be to let Harper continue, hoping he takes the popularity hit for the coming economic crunch. By then, he figures he'll be better positioned to win. But Ignatieff represents no gain over the soulless Harper, none. His entire career shows little respect for, or defence of, genuine principles of democracy and human rights. Indeed, he represents the interests of American Imperium as no other leader of any party has ever done, and he is actually arrogant enough to brag about it at times. I'm deeply sorry our country's political landscape is completely bleak for some time to come. Just when America has seen the last of the ghastly Bush and has welcomed a generous new spirit as its leader, Canada has two soulless men leading our two major parties.
  41. Philly Canuck from GTA, Canada writes: Jim Q from Halifax, Canada writes: Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada writes: LONG LIVE THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA: THE PROTECTORS OF FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND THE FREE MARKET CAPITALISM SYSTEM.

    ===========================

    and don't forget kittens. They defend kittens, from the evil Liberal Reptilian kitten eaters.

    Jim Q, are you suggesting that defending kittens is not important? And after all, since the CPC CAN'T do anyting else competently of effciently, we should be happy that Canada is safe for kittens...and if I may be so bold, puppies as well...I ALWAYS believe that we should acknowledge peoples' strengths, and I can see Generalisimo Steve in his Ozzie-and-Harriet sweater vest making sure that littens and puppies are WELL protected...damned kitte-eating Liberal Lizards! And all you right-thinking right-wingers...KEEP IT UP...gawd knows, there aren't enough cogent thinkers and writers on this space, like 'Canadian born liberal-conservative Muslim from Ottawa, Canada' OY!
  42. Sean O from Ottawa, Canada writes: This country needs a Lib-Dip-Bloc coalition like we need a hole in the head. While it may be a possibility, the future, post-coalition will be a severely weakened LPC and a destroyed NDP, as the Canadian public mets out its punishment for pushing such a foolish idea upon it.
  43. Northern PoV from Canada writes: Thank you Mr. Cross (& the G&M) for adding this bit of reason to the infantile-national-discourse that has developed around this issue.

    so aptly demonstrated by the lack of any reasoned arguments on this comment thread by those that disagree.
  44. Brian Morris from Salmon Arm, BC., Canada writes: N. Ontarian from Canada writes: '.....Ending political party welfare would end the unnecessary dysfunction we have experienced, because the ONLY way the Bloc survives is party welfare. If they had to survive on voter's financial support, it's highly unlikely they'd be around for very long. Get rid of the Bloc, by getting rid of party welfare, and we can return to having very functional, stable parliament and governments again.'

    The per vote grant of $1.95 is not the only way that the parties are subsidized. The 75% refund from income tax for donors of up to $400 also comes from taxpayers generally, and favours most the party which is most successful in raising money from individuals, the Conservative Party. If we are to do away with 'Political Party welfare' then let's also cut this out, or at least reduce it substantially.
  45. Brian Lee from Toronto, Canada writes: Liberals I voted for you in 3 elections... of which you won all 3... in the 13 years you were in power... I can't say that you did anything good that was memorable or lasting i.e. gun registry, sending us to Afghanistan (very controversial I'm impartial about this one)

    I thought the conservatives were creepy at first but... I'd like to say this if anything they don't make big promises but they act on the ones they do.

    He said he would cut the GST regardless of if you agree or not they did what they promised. I want someone in power who will make small promises and deliver on them. TFSA (Tax free savings accounts) we just got them
  46. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Pan de Monium from Montreal, Canada writes: Should Ignatieff make as lasting an impression in Quebec as his initial forays suggest this article's main premise will be moot. I predict the Liberals will win many seats in Quebec next federal election with Igntaieff at the helm. Ontario with its new seats will add to Liberal fortunes. Should the West want in we could see a new majority goverment in the HOC. Just in time for the upcoming economic turn around.
    ==================================================

    Agreed.
  47. Remain Nameless from Canada writes: We need run-off elections so that each riding is represented by a candidate elected with a majority. In the run-offs, parties would declare their coalition intentions. If after the run-offs, a minority government is elected, then voters will know that they have voted for a coalition.
  48. Bill Harrison from Canada writes: The author of the article is undoubtedly right as long as we have a Jack Layton who desperately wants to hold cabinet rank; a Liberal party that believes it is entitled to govern; and a separatist party that loves to muddy the waters of national unity. What a triumvirate. And wasn't it triumvirates that brought the Roman Empire to its knees?
  49. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: Hmm, the author seems to have forgotten or missed the rather successful coalition that occurred in Ontario in 1985 to 1987... but yes, we shall see coalitions, I imagine even some that involve the Conservative party... as well, they already tried it at least once in 2004 under Harper, but it fizzled as they failed to limit Chretien to a minority government during that election...
  50. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: The article is quite vague. Few specifics are included. I can only think of a handful of western countries with a similar system where coalitions have worked for a reasonable period of time. Most are short lived and unstable.

    What we need, as has been suggested, is to outlaw separatist parties, so we can have majority government.

    A coalition, cooked up by a leader who lost an election and gave no hint of alliances with other parties is not acceptable.

    Unless we have a clear vote on the concept.
  51. William Roberts from Whistler, Canada writes: Mr Cross has it exactly right. Thanks for putting into words what I have been thinking for months now. The reality of the BLoc and the NDP, the weakening of political parties, and the many fault lines across our wonderfully diverse nation indeed make this the new normal.
  52. david sandford from Canada writes: Elizabeth Vann: outlaw separarist parties? we might as well outlaw democracy then...
  53. elizabeth vann from victoria, b.c., Canada writes: David S.: The way the opposition parties are acting seems like we're on the road to losing our democracy.

    The coalition is a separatist 'party'.
  54. Fake Name from Canada writes: ' Pan de Monium from Montreal, Canada writes: I predict the Liberals will win many seats in Quebec next federal election with Igntaieff at the helm. Ontario with its new seats will add to Liberal fortunes.'

    Snort ... the new seats aren't going to go anywhere near toronto. They'll load up the suburban areas, like Flaherty's riding. How anyone could vote for that rodent, I don't know.
  55. Kevin Allan from Vancouver, Canada writes: Mr Harper continues to claim coalitions are not allowed:

    I woke up today, turned on the TV only to hear the PM Harper again LIE to Canadians that the only way to change a Government in Canada is to have an election. That is even though a lot of us know how he attempted to take over the Government from PM Paul Martin with a letter to the GG.

    It is an outrage to have a illegitimate lying PM in OUR Canada.

    We have all already noticed that he took no blame for what HE did last November and December. And then claiming to be the saviour of Canada from the separatists to save his skin (i.e. the BLOC veto LIE for the coalition which Mr Harper says we can't have anyway yet he saved us from it anyway).

    He has ABUSED our DEMOCRACY and our INTELLIGENCE enough.
  56. David J from Canada writes: First of all people, coalition governments are perfectly legal and democratic in our parlimentary system. Secondly, no one would go into an election with the sole purpose of forming some sort of coalition, to do that you would have to predict the future, and I don't know about you but I don't know anyone who can do that. Every political party goes into an election with a plan to win the thing, if they don't they why even bother running candidates, so none of them are going to declare from the outset that they wish to form some sort of coalition. The real problem for Canada is not the system of government, or the prospect of coalition governments but the regionalism the is rampant in this country (and I use that term loosely). The Bloc is just the most visible example of this regionalism, but it is not exclusive to Quebec. The truth is we live in a 'pretend' country where all the various regions try their best to get as much out of the rest of the country as possible. We are really just ten little entities all strung together, with an increasingly irrelevant Federal government trying to appease the various regions. Until people in this country start viewing themselves as Canadians first, and something else second, then we will continue to live with this problem.
  57. Geoffrey May from Canada writes: I wouldn't vote for Ignatief's Liberals or , Layton's NDP , but I support a Liberal NDP coalition .

    Harper won his minority on a 'stay the course', 'no time for untested theory' theme .Now he's off course, and has a massive 'untested theory' deficit , yet his supporters still regard Harper as a more legitamate government . What great luck for Harper, that his supporters share his unwillingness to be consistant.
  58. bill williams from Guelph from Canada writes: -

    Sometimes you just have to sit back and wonder at the sheer ignorance of people who are - evidently - interested in the process: After all, this person read a political story and posted a comment:

    'DG Rose from Canada writes: If the future is weaker, fractured parties ganging up to seize Parliamentary control because they're too pathetic to win an election outright then I guess there's not really much of a future for us. The CPC got the majority of votes from decided voters; get a tissue, blow your nose, and get over it.... the CPC are the ruling party, so lend a hand or get out of the way'.

    This would be an understandable (though not to be trumpeted to the blogosphere) bit of a knowledge deficit, if it had been posted just before the prorogation. On the day of a unique re-opening of Parliament it is breathtaking in its sheer obliviousness as to what has been going on.

    PEOPLE... In the last election the CPC candidates did NOT gain a majority of the Canadian popular vote. They won a mere plurality: The largest MINORITY of the popular vote. Their support gave them a MINORITY of the seats in the House.

    In our system (you could look it up) the House rules the government .... NOT the other way around. If one party does not have a majority of the seats in the House it must get other people to support EACH ONE of its important bills. So it has to be careful. The Coalition (or even the idea of a coalition) is not bad or foreign. It is a way for the Parliament to get the job done.

    Harper needed to put legislation forward that would have the support of his political enemies. He failed in that. HE BLEW IT. Not the LPC, not the NDP, not the Bloc. It was the JOB of the other parties to see if there was a way that they could govern; Parliament was brand new and it was REQUIRED to find a way to function.

    Read a f--king history book for f--k sake.

    -
  59. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The $1.95 coalition will set off a Western firestorm.

    It will blow in from the West and consume the east.

    All that will be left is Upper Canada with it's failed auto industry and Lower Canada with it's poutine stands.
    They will beg Newfoundland, the only remaining 'have' province for a few pennies.

    In the new nation to the West, the money has stopped flowing eastward.

    Brother, can you spare a $1.95?
  60. Mark S Noel from Canada writes: If the Separatist Coalition is elected then the Bloc will rule Canada and Dueppie will be PM in every way except name. If that happens Mike, I'm behind you 100%.
  61. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: I think if the Liberals were ever to re-right the ship (pardon the pun) and obtain a minority government, the Conservative response would be very interesting one.

    Would they support the Liberals in running a sort of centrist coalition government, or would they combine with the socialists and seperatists in attempts to bring down the Libs?

    It makes far more sense for the Libs and Cons to work together somwehat, rather than allow the other parties to gain power and influence over government decisions.

    Then again, if the voting trend continues and Greens were to get into Parliament, things would be even more interesting - you could see a Green/CPC coalition or a Liberal/NDP one. I feel that will give us the best environment, one where working together as parliamentarians is a requirement, and pure partisan plays like Harper's latest stunt become a thing of the past.
  62. Craig Anthony from Burnaby, Canada writes: Sad to see the decline in the quality of discussion in these comment sections. A proportional electoral system would help to diminish regional differences by ensuring that the proportion of seats a party gets is about the same as the proportion of votes it gets. This is not only an issue of basic fairness, but also of good governance. Wide policy swings reflect the differences between parties’ ideology but cause inefficiency, an unstable investment climate and uncertainty for Canadians. Government policies should reflect the desires of the voters, but our current flawed FPTP electoral system often gives complete power to a party which represents only a minority of the voters. Multi-party majority coalitions would more truly reflect the desires of Canadians. The regional composition of MPs in each party is also un-reflective of voters’ desires. If you look at the results of FPTP elections, you would think that there is no support for Liberals, NDP and Greens in Alberta, very little support for Conservatives in cities and lots of support for the Bloc in Canada. But we know this not to be true. And it is on this basis that FPTP distributes power. We should be able to look at election results and see the true sentiments of the voters.
  63. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: To Mark S Noel: Hmm, coaliton or not, the BLOC hold just as much sway, as well, if the Libs or NDP don't support the Cons, then the Cons need the BLOC and they make the deal with the BLOC, just as if the coalition doesn't get the Cons support, they would need to go to the BLOC, so both the coalition and the Cons will/would need the BLOC, no real difference, but I suppose you'ld somehow be okay with the BLOC supporting the Cons or the Cons relying on their support, as they did in the last session of parliament and no complaints came from you then about that type of support, eh?
  64. David Forbes from Canada writes: This is a real shot in the dark: What if in order to run canidates in an upcoming federal election a party must have gained a minimum of 15% of the popular vote.
    Before any screaming starts about 'dissenfrancising' or 'marginalizing', this would not be the case, it would mean that all voters would have to fully and closely analysize the platforms of the respective 'national' parties and pick the one that most closely represents their views. There aren't that many voters that agree 100% with EVERYTHING their choice says or does, they tend to vote for the party that reflects the majority but not all their views.
  65. Tim Cares from Toronto, Canada writes: Do these other coalition governments around the world form the coalition before the election is held or after?
    Do they assume there will be a minority if they don't form the coalition? Do they announce that if they don't get a majority they will form a coalition with another party?
    What is the norm elsewhere?
  66. Sylvia Wilson from Canada writes: Iggy's a smart politician that knows Canadians will not accept a coalition that includes the Bloc. What he's doing is trying to increase the numbers so the combination of Liberals, NDP and Greens total more than Conservative seats.

    The reason people don't accept the Bloc is legitimate because Canadians can't vote either for or against the Bloc--only voters in Quebec have the opportunity to vote for them. If the Bloc extended across Canada, they do would become a legitimate national party. Until that happens, coalitions made up including them will be rejected by voters and rightly so.

    Iggy, please keep campaigning in Quebec so you get enough national seats to make up either a majority government or a coalition that voters accept.

  67. philip polutnik from Canada writes: Tim Cares from TO asks what the norms are elsewhwere. In my reading of the situation, there is no formal coalition established before an election. After the election, the party with the most seats goes and seeks a partner amoung the weaker parties. I have not found a single instance where 3-4 weak guys ganged up on the guy with the most seats. Only in Canada ids that seen as an acceptable outcome by the Lib-NDP-Bloc coalition.

    That type of thinking will raise the western alienation factor so high as to wreak havoc on the fabric of this country. This type of manouver will absolutely be interpreted as a rejection of the single biggest block of voters in Canada. If the Cons can get 40-45 % of the seats then they have the right to be an active part of the government side of the equation - not relegated to the opposition because the lefties say so.
  68. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Wishful thinking by partys that are unelectable.
  69. David J from Canada writes: Hee Hoo Sai: Does that include the Conservatives?. After all they didn't get enough seats to form a majority government and as such need support from the other parties to govern, a de facto coalition as it were.
  70. Kevin Allan from Vancouver, Canada writes: Time Cares: Well we can take Canada's ally Israel as an example (believe it or not, but Israel in NOW Canada's ally under Mr Harper where Canada no votes for Israel at the UN with the US, prior to Mr Harper, Canada was neutral). Only a few months ago, when a coalition fell apart in Israel, other members of their Government (such as the current foreign minister Tzipi Livni who was made the Prime Minister designate) were given several weeks to try to form a coalition so to avoid an election. She failed to negotiate this and so now an election will occur this early this year. Coalitions are formed after elections (and before too I guess). In other words, our GG could ask the Liberal Leader if he can form a Government if Mr Harper fails a confidence vote. At that time a formal or informal coalition could take form the Liberals, the NDP and even some Conservative MPs who believe in Canada.
    Let's remember, Mr Harper himself tried this when Paul Martin was PM. He presented a letter to the GG signed by both the NDP and the BLOC.
  71. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: To David Forbes: The problem I see is that your system basically says, 'no new parties, ever', as well, how do you get onto the list of voters if you've not gotten 15%? That seems to me to be highly undemocratic and will only perpetuate the existing parties, but then, lets see what history would have made of your suggestion, hmm that would have meant that the PC party would have disappeared along with the Reform party and BLOC parties, and all we would have left as parties now would be the Liberals and NDP... egad, not sure even I woud like that. We work best when we have strong opposition parties, as that is what amounts to only real check on unbriddled power in our system of governance.
  72. Terry F from Edmonton, Canada writes: Tim Cares - In European countries, coalition partners are well known ahead of time. Everyone knows which parties are apt to form a coalition and they vote accordingly. It's rare to cobble coalitions together after the fact.
  73. D M from Canada writes: The Canadian people don't need to Vote for a coalition for it to be legitimate. All the parties run for election. If there is no majority government, then a coalition becomes one of many possibilites. Canadians don't need to vote for it. The problem for the Conservatinve at this time is that's it's hard to see any of the other parties agreeing to work with them.
  74. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: To Terry F : Sort of, they usually don't campaign on being a coalition, and do in fact only formally agree on a coalition after the election, just in case they get a majority themselves and a they don't know how many MPs/votes they need to coalition with... politicians in Europe are just as power hungry as ours, don't kid yourself.

    As well, aren't the NDP and Liberals are already well known to be apt to form a coalition? History says that they did so in the Pearson years, and in Ontario in 1985 to 1987, and as they are both continually classified as lefties by the righties, and well remember during the election, all that talk about uniting the left, gee, that's even stronger than forming a coalition, so I'm not sure why anyone with any common sense in them was at all surprised about this. Heck, there were even articles in the rags like the Vancouver Sun in Sept about a possible coalition... Gee, you'ld have to blind as a mole not to think a coalition was possible...

    As well, as it turns out Harper himself setup a coalition with the NDP and BLOC in 2004, so heh, it seems anyone is apt to form such a coalition with anyone; which again, really isn't surprizing to anyone with any common sense at all, as we all should well know by now that all of these political parties want to get into power, and will say anything and do anything if they think it will help lead to that garnering of power...
  75. sheila ross from Vancouver, Canada writes: Ahh, the defintive PRECIPITOUS
  76. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: To philip polutnik: LOL, it is rather ironic, the Cons used to complain bitterly and nearly endlesssly that the only reason the Libs got a majority with only a mere 40% of the vote under Chretien was due to the horrible unfair vote splitting that occured between the various right wing parties, but now that they are on the other end of the vote splitting stick, it is now of course suddenly wondefully okay to nearly get a majority with only 38% of the vote due to that wonderous thing called vote splitting ...
  77. sheila ross from Vancouver, Canada writes: woops, that got away on me! Sorry everyone.
  78. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: To Sylvia Wilson: That Harper setup the very same coalition with the NDP and the separtist BLOC in 2004 is of course somehow not a valid counter point for conservative supporters when one argues on the moral and democratic aspects of coalitions; proving once again that to be a partisan (for any political party) requires what is akin to undergoing a frontal labotomy, that is the attaining of an attitude that ensures a complete disregard for fairness, honesty and truth.
  79. David Forbes from Canada writes: Hockeyguy; You did not read my post carefully enough. Yes you are correct when you say the Reform and Bloc would not have come into existence. The Reform party no longer does exist and their voters would have gone exactly where they went - to the Conservative party ( naturally it would still be the 'PC' party). Yes the BLOC would never have existed, which would be for the good of the country. Que voters would have had to decide which of the truly national parties, best reflected their views. If we continue to have an over abundance of small fringe parties, with single agenda driven policies, we will continue to have these 'pizza pariliments' and Canada is ill served by such. To those that make comparisions to the European models, it doesn't work, this country is too large and too diverse to accomodate the same template.
    I'm assuming by 'voters list' you meant 'voters choice', the voters list has no connection to party affialitions.
  80. Mike Kay from Ottawa, Canada writes: Coalition, Coalition, Coalition. Assuming that Mr. Cross is correct and that a coalition government is to be a reality, why does everybody seems to think in only ONE direction. What would happen if the Conservatives and the Liberals formed a Coalition? As long as the NDP and the BLock are out of the picture, this is a coalition I could work with............Crazy you say! Maybe, but no less crazy than a Federal coalition government with a separatist party as a member.
  81. Western Bear from Canada writes: Minority Govs, will be around Until we get the HOC sorted out. We have no right to 'ban' the Bloc (if Quebec wants them as their MPs, so be it), but that does not mean we should be obligated to financially support them. And the problem I personally have is that they get 50 seats. (1.4 million voted for the Bloc = 50 seats, Why?)

    The HoC needs to be based on population and divided more equatably. For those provinces that lack the necessary pop. they need to have a 'kicker number of seats' to permit fairness. No ONE region, should be allowed to dominate all others. (I know, I know, it would mean changing the constitution). But what other choice do we have?
  82. Hockey Guy from Ottawa, Canada writes: To David Forbes: Not sure if I did, the Reform party, and the BLOC would never get to be on the list of parties to vote for in an election, as well, they never had 15% of the vote the first time they ran as a party did they? So how would they (or any new party) get on the list of parties you can vote for if they don't get 15% of the vote?... nor would any new party, such as the Conservative party, like I said, we would have the Libs and the NDP... If I read your comment right, if a party fails to get 15% they are off the valid parties list and can't get back on, as well, they need to get 15% of the vote but if they aren't on the list how do they get a chance to get 15% of the vote to get back on? Seems to me we could eventually only have 1 party left... gee, that would be democratic...
  83. Bill Harrison from Canada writes: David Forbes: I would'nt require parties contesting federal elections to have gained 15 percent of the vote in the previous election. However, I think the financial deposit candidates put up should be higher, and perhaps the national parties should have to put up a deposit as a guarantee they will obtain a certain percentage of the vote.
  84. F Rioux from Canada writes: People talking about proportionnal representation never look at the counter argument wich is sad since they wont convince nobody that way. Proportionnal representation would give nearly all the power to Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver and would further centralize the power at the expense of regions.
  85. M Poland from Canada writes: Typical academic--he neglects to mention the most salient fact of the coalition facing Canada these days: namely that it requires the support of separatists to survive! And that is why it [the coalition] completely fails the stink test. Mr. Ignatieff, reputedly a very intelligent man, would be off his rocker to attempt to govern with said separatists. It would cause irreparable harm to the cohesion of the nation, to say the very least.
  86. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: F Rioux from Canada writes: People talking about proportionnal representation never look at the counter argument wich is sad since they wont convince nobody that way. Proportionnal representation would give nearly all the power to Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver and would further centralize the power at the expense of regions.

    I thought it was a good thing to give the power to the people as opposed to 'regions'.
  87. Mathieu Vanasse from Montreal, Canada writes: This analysis is true only as long as Bloc exists.
    Sure it seems Bloc will never disappear; though things can change quickly.
    A lot of people in Quebec have voted Bloc but were not enthousiastic about it. Duceppe knows his party is more fragile than it seems. And I think he is afraid of Ignatieff.
  88. F Rioux from Canada writes: @Art Vandelai
    The idea is to balance it so regions still have a word to say about their affairs, lets say for Québec, so that Montréal dont decide for the Gaspésie and the rest.
  89. David Gibson from Hamilton, Canada writes: The national brain trust has not yet realized that the party system itself is the course of our pathologically confrontational politics. The system is ill-designed, a structured version of two men fighting with clubs. It's been 12 years since I last voted, and I shall never vote as long as such a stupid and obnoxious system reigns.
  90. Wayne Neon from Toronto, Canada writes: Coalitions tend to be stable under proportional representation, when you cannot win a 'majority' government with 38% of the votes.

    First we need a fair voting system.
  91. bill williams from Guelph from Canada writes: -

    I'm trying to remember if there's a name for the system where you mark your ballot according to the way you rank your preference for each candidate and when the ballots are counted they keep dropping the person who came last until someone gets a majority: 'This guy is my number 1 choice. If he comes in last on the first count and gets dropped, my second choice is this woman...'

    -
  92. Craig Anthony from Burnaby, Canada writes:

    Bill, BC-STV, the proportional system which is going to referendum in BC on May 12th, does what you are looking for but improves on it.

    BC-STV has preferential ballots, but also has multi-member districts so that more than one point of view can be represented from a riding.

    BC-STV also elects each representative with about the same number of votes so that every voter has an equal share of their representative.

    This makes the system fair to both parties and voters.

    F Rioux:

    Proportional electoral systems like BC-STV do not work in favour of either urban vs. rural, or rural vs. urban. Because BC-STV still has ridings, the current smaller populations in the rural ridings (over representation or rural areas) can continue if desired by the government. This is not an issue with some electoral system like BC-STV.

    Of course, the fairness of this is government created rural bias is a question urban voters might be upset about.
  93. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: @ David Forbes: Your idea only works if everyone votes. Bring in Australia's law to do so. Otherwise, give up.

    Personally, I think it would be an excellent idea to legally require all eligible voters to do so. We would see a lot less of the BS results we get now.

    I also think that we need a better way of distributing and creating ridings than what we have now. The present system is much too open to abuse.
  94. Craig Anthony from Burnaby, Canada writes: Orest: Aside from having some court confirmed discretion in determining the variability of number of people in a riding, in BC at least, there is a non-partisan process for determining riding boundaries (the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission). With BC-STV, the multi-member districts would typically remain unchanged with population changes. For instance, under FPTP Burnaby has 4 single-member ridings and New Westminster has one single-member riding. When the population changes, the riding boundaries need to be re-drawn. With BC-STV, FPTP ridings are grouped together. So where I live, the four Burnaby ridings and the New West riding would be added together into a five-member riding. When the population changes, MLAs can either be added or subtracted without changing the riding boundaries. The BC-STV ridings make a lot more sense than our current FPTP ridings that zig-zag all over the place, trying to get the same number of people in each riding. BC-STV ridings define communities. FPTP ridings define areas with the same number of people. With BC-STV, the multi-member ridings make it possible for almost everyone to have an MLA that they prefer. So that's nice. Provincially, about 50 percent of voters don't have an MLA who represents their point of view, because they didn't vote for the winner in their single- member riding. I think this statistic is worse federally, but with 308 ridings, I'd rather not do the math.
  95. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: The non-voting block is the biggest percentage special interest group. WE are winning. Soon, as the non-voting block creeps past 50% a majority of citizens will realize politics is a sham and refuse to validate the corrupt process. Then who ya gonna call?
    Resistance is futile.
  96. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: @ Mike Sharp: 'Rep by Pop' - a radical concept. But Mike, the population of Toronto alone is about the same as all of Alberta's. And the GTA is pushing 6 million.

    As a true democrat, Mike, why are you opposed to that majority rules thingy? Not to mention the other thingy I raised.

    While we are on the subject, how about the trivial fact that the population of the GTA in 2008 exceeded individual the populations of
    Alberta, BC, MB and SK. Byu a very large margin.

    More to the point, it takes the combined total population of BC and Alberta to beat the GTA. But then there's the 'Golden Horseshoe' - whose total population will always exceed the combined population of all four Western Provinces. And that's before we bring in the Maritimes. Or the territories.

    Reality - deal with it Mike. Say, how about if you and your cohorts started to build up your population to counter us horrible Easterners. Have more babies. Bring in all those immigrants.

    But wait - you and your ilk don't want to make 'appropriate' babies - it costs way to much.

    But those GD immigrants are just way too weird and strange.

    Make up your mind Mike.
  97. Still Learning at 78 from Canada writes: The best definition I have heard for a Conservative is 'He tries to fine moral justification for his own selfishness'says Mr Galbraith no less. Kind of beats the dipper saying.
  98. Darcy Meyer from Canada writes: I have been arguing in favor of a grand coalition for weeks. Today I laid out starting terms to start negotiations on a cooperative governing arrangement. It can provide stable government, strengthen unity, and moves us forward in this time of need.
    darcymeyers.wordpress.com
  99. Darcy Meyer from Canada writes: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/01/19/nyt-expense-policy.aspx

    'the next great coalition?'
  100. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    Orest Zarowsky, the majority of population is represented in the House of Commons.

    The regional disparities are not represented anywhere.
    For example, there is no defense for PEI against the the tyranny of the majority.

    Should the GTA decide it is no longer acceptable for PEI to exist, tough luck, PEI.

    A Triple E Senate protects against the tyranny of the majority.

    It is only the tyrannical majority who oppose it.
    They always do.
  101. Tom Z from Canada writes:
    To Bill Cross:

    Nuts!
    Amazing delusion.
    In this challenging times, Canada needs a majority! One with vision, responsibility, strong stomach, pragmatism. Problem solvers.
    No ideology. Especially stupid ideology.
    And certainly no coalition formed from a bunch of losers who can't even finance their own parties from supporters and need taxpayer money.
  102. Western Bear from Canada writes: I may be mistaken but BC-STV (or something very similar, after some very serious province-wide consultations) was put to referendum, and defeated. Now some did not like that, so here we go again.
    I guess we get to keep trying, until it passes (whether we want it or not)?
  103. Craig Anthony from Burnaby, Canada writes:

    Western Bear,

    58% of BC voterers supported BC-STV
    42% of BC voters supported FPTP

    So I agree with you. I don't know why we're having another referendum.
  104. Western Bear from Canada writes: Mr.Anthony:
    My memory is a bit fuzzy here (obviously I did not want it so when if failed, I sort of forgot about it), was there not some standard (agreed by all) that it had to meet? I think it was 60% agreement, but I am probably wrong. Thanks for the info.
  105. Brent Hodges from Canada writes: bill williams wrote:

    'I'm trying to remember if there's a name for the system where you mark your ballot according to the way you rank your preference for each candidate and when the ballots are counted they keep dropping the person who came last until someone gets a majority: 'This guy is my number 1 choice. If he comes in last on the first count and gets dropped, my second choice is this woman...' '

    Bill, what you are referring to is usually called 'preferential ballot', 'alternative vote' or 'instant runoff'

    This allows for retaining single-member ridings (and hence direct voter accountability) but, in the view of some at least, it gives the elected member more credibility as a representative.

    Some Canadian provinces (Manitoba for example) used this system for provincial elections many decades ago but abandoned it.

    The wiki article on it is not bad:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting
  106. Craig Anthony from Burnaby, Canada writes:

    Western Bear,

    The BC legislature put a double 60 percent threshold on the referendum. This unusually high threshold was determined after the Citizens' Assembly made its recommendation, one assumes to thwart its implementation.

    The double 60 percent threshold was only 'widely accepted' in the legislature and by FPTP supporters. For some reason, these people didn't want voters to have more power over their MLAs.

    50 percent in 60 percent of the districts.
    60 percent in the province over all.

    BC-STV got 50 percent in 77 of 79 districts and 58 percent province wide.

    Because of the high level of public support for electoral reform, the Premier thought there should be an additional referendum.
  107. Western Bear from Canada writes: Mr: Anthony, Thank you (Sincerely). Are those same thresholds applicable this time? I won't ask you any more questions, and Thanks.
  108. Craig Anthony from Burnaby, Canada writes:

    Western Bear,

    Yup, same thresholds.

    Questions are good.
  109. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: Canada has thrived for decades without coalition governments. It's part of the reason this country is great as it is, and why people are lining up to come here. We need coalition governments like we need a hole in the head. What we really need is to find a way to rid us of fringe parties, like the Bloc Q, which only have their own self-interests, instead of the nation. Once we get rid of that, we can return to our very stable governments, which has served us well for decades.
  110. bob adamson from Victoria, Canada writes: Thank you for this excellent and timely article. With five political parties entrenched and having a significant presence in the federal electoral scene, it is time for these parties and the public generally to appreciate that coalition government may be both necessary and useful from time to time. Sure, the Liberals and Conservatives each will hope that they will gain an outright majority and the elecorate may well give such a majority to one or the other in many elections but minority Parliaments will also often occur. Coalitions can give stable government for agreed upon administrative and legislative programs for a specified period. When the electorate chooses to elect a minority Parliament and their is little prospect that a further election will give a clear mandate to one party, isn't a coalition a sensible alternative to short term parliamentary political postering on all sides. The Liberal/NDP Coalition supported by the Bloc is well developed conceptually but suffers in the public mind because (a) these are troubling times and people do not want to try unfamiliar approaches, (b) Dion did not have the capacity to rally either his party or the public to support the concept and (c) the role of the Bloc (while well conceived and set out in the agreement whereby the Bloc agreed to support the Liberal/NDP Coalition) compounded the difficulties described in points (a) and (b). The fact that this coalition is apparently stillborn should not bias our minds against future possibilities. I have some follow up thoughts about the Bloc which will be set out in a second posting.
  111. bob adamson from Victoria, Canada writes: While I do not welcome the presence in Parliament of regionally based parties be they the former Reform Party or the current Bloc, I freely acknowledge that people have the clear right to elect members of such parties and these parties have every right to participate in Parliament insofar as they have elected members. The positions taken by the Bloc, on the one hand, and the Liberal/NDP Coalition partners, on the other, to ensure that their proposed coalition would have majority support in the House of Commons were both realistic and practical. All three implicitly appreciated that the constitutional role of the federal level of government was not being raised by the creation of a coalition government at this time; the need was for a stable and coherent reflation of the Canadian economy before deflation truly set in. The Bloc appreciated that, as a soveignist party, it was not appropriate that Bloc members caucus with the Coalition or hold Cabinet portfolios. The Liberal/NDP appreciated that the needs of the country could be well served if they accepted the support the Bloc offered to them in good faith. The Liberal, the NDP and the Bloc each appreciated that it and the other parties supporting the coalition, having public declared the nature and extent of their respective roles, could not thereafter while their agreement continued act in bad faith and retain credibility with their respective supporters. In short, it was both a viable and productive proposal; especially as it requires the parties involved to look outward beyond their narrow regional and class support base. The public should be encouraging such thinking and initiative.
  112. Jonathan S. from Toronto, Canada writes: I've said it before on these forums and I'll say it again: any coalition will be self-remedying. It will be short-lived, then it will die, then it will be replaced by a majority conservative government... As a Liberal supporter, I cannot support the idea of a coalition given our electoral system. Any move on the liberals' part that bleeds centre-left votes (to the NDP) will allow the conservatives to glide through the middle, with ease, to a majority. If the coalition does good things, centre-left voters won't be sure whether to reward the NDP or the Liberals. If the coalition does bad things, centre and centre-left voters won't be sure who to punish. Bad idea.

    (Even the most anti-Liberal conservatives must agree that the Liberals are better positioned to steer our economy than the NDP, just as even the most anti-Liberal NDPers must agree that the Liberals are better positioned to maintain our social-safety net than the conservatives.)

    My prediction: if there's a Liberal-NDP coalition ever, the Conservatives will ultimately defeat it with a majority. That majority will be followed by another majority, whatever the party.

    My suspicion: any of the comments here telling the parties to run as a coalition during the next election ('if they really believe Canadians want a coalition') are from conservative people who are aware of how our electoral system works, and who would love to see the conservatives take every seat except a few in Quebec.
  113. Wayne Young from Victoria BC, Canada writes: Coalitions are great : just ask anyone from Iceland right now. Better yet check up on our history with them especially the provinces BC is still paying years and years later for one we had here.
  114. Yannick Carriere from Ottawa, Canada writes: Coalitions in the future? Maybe, maybe not. I don't mind coalitions.

    And for those who want to see the Bloc dead, advocate for an electoral reform in order to end the regionalism that our current first-past-the-post systems contributes to create. They won't get 50 seats, for sure. Much less in fact. Furthermore, for those same people, the urban Conservatives whose votes elect next to no MPs would get more representation.

    There are a few good electoral systems out there in use and I believe it's high time to boot the out-of-date one we have. In fact, almost all the democracies have booted the same one decades ago.
  115. DG Rose from Canada writes: Grassroots are the wave of the future from Canada writes: (The CPC) only got 22% of the vote, when on factors in all the people did not vote.

    bill williams from Guelph from Canada writes: PEOPLE... In the last election the CPC candidates did NOT gain a majority of the Canadian popular vote. They won a mere plurality: The largest MINORITY of the popular vote. Their support gave them a MINORITY of the seats in the House.

    ***

    More self-serving rubbish from sore losers. The CPC got the majority of votes from decided voters... Put in simpler terms: They won the election. If people are too lazy, bitter, ambivalent, or 'cool' to vote then who cares? They didn't vote so there's nothing to count other than apathy; coalition supporters and Conservative haters only value the non-voters because they can use them to pad their disingenuous stats. It's like saying if 'everyone in the city of Ottawa went to a Sens game it would've been a sell out!' Well everyone didn't go, so stop moaning about people who didn't bother to go to the show. The only thing either of these two have pointed out is that even LESS people voted for the Opposition parties, and since 'Coalition' wasn't on the ballot we can safely assume NOBODY voted for that whatsoever, so once again: Lend a hand or get out of the way.
  116. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: This article is wrong, wrong, wrong! The so-called 'coalition' is dead, dead, dead!

    However, to plan for the worse-case scenario, perhaps it's time to lubricate the bicycle and check the air in the tires, clean my automatic assault rifle and load ten mags, dig up that chest of gold sovereigns in the backyard, and hope that the ten cases of sardines in the basement are not time expired.
  117. Jack O'Wight from Canada writes:

    Dump the anti-Canadian politicians! Those are the politicians sitting in the House of Commons after the October 14, 2008 Federal Election.

    Not a single one of the elected parliamentarians of the NDP, or the Liberals stood for Canada - they all backed their respective parties!

    DUMP THEM ALL NOW!
  118. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: 'Ding Dong the (coalition) witch is dead
    The witch is dead
    the wicked (coalition) witch
    ding, dong the wicked witch is dead.....'

    Now, if Canada can get rid of fringe parties, then we can back to stable governments - sometimes Liberal, sometimes Conservative - but NEVER a coalition. If you notice the postings for the last month that think 'coalition is a good idea' - you will notice that the only people that think that are the perennial political LOSERS - the NDP and Bloc, and if the Greens ever actually win a seat (doubtful). You also may notice these are the only people - that is again the perennial losers, that support Proportional Representation. Even the goofy NDP who pretend to be big fans of PR, once they get elected to power in a province, drop the PR idea like a lead balloon. That's because PR, like coalitions, only benefits the losers.
    Jack Layton's attempt to steal power - a.k.a. the coalition, is DEAD. Just like Jack's political career in a few months.
    It's a great day for Canada my friends.

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