Posted by: jmtoriel | September 26, 2008

Canada needs a coalition government

Truthfully, I’m tired of disagreeing with Layton and Duceppe. Their petty partisan political wrangling focussed on the Liberals only pursuades the centre-right Canadians farther to the far-right-warmongering-ideologically-driven-mean-spiritted Conservatives OR the centre-left towards the angryideologically-drivenordinary-Canadians-not-able-to-pay-bills-at-the-end-of the-month.

I respect May’s position because she refuses to get sucked into the partisan bickering, focusses on solving the issues with concrete science-based policies and exemplifies the role of a true leader rallying and growing her grassroots base support base while still able to play in the sandbox with others instead of constantly throwing sand in other’s eyes.

Even so, is it safe to vote Green if a coalition agreement can be negotiated in a First-Past-the-Post electoral system?

Absolutely, and here’s why:

  1. QUEBEC: Sovereignty is a dead issue. While Quebecers are wanting representation in Ottawa (as the Bloc have “represented” over the past decade), the Party that will prove the worthiest to the electorate will take the House with Quebec swing seats. The newly emerging NDP federalist position will only further strengthen the possibility of a Conservative lead here, despite the emergence of “culture cuts” as a predominant issue. If the Liberals and Stephane are unable to persuade the Quebec electorate of representing the best interests of Quebeckers and their culture, we are more likely to see a Conservative minority or worse — a “false” Conservative majority. Many seats are up for grabs here and the Tories are honing into the rural regional Bloc ridings. The Bloc held 48 seats at the dissolution of Parliament, compared to 11 each for the Conservatives and Liberals. The NDP had one, and there were two Independent members and two vacant seats (source: CBC.ca). The sneaking through the middle syndrome is all too apparent here and Harper knows it.
  2. Climate change is regarded as the most important issue of our time to many more Canadians from across the spectrum who care deeply about the state we will leave our children and grandchildren with. The Greens and May are the only political party to accept that the economy and the environment are intricately linked without basing this as a mere election issue to get elected. Their policies reflect the report put out by Chief Economist of Nicholas Stern which sums: “The costs of stabilising the climate are significant but manageable; delay would be dangerous and much more costly.” While Dion understands the science, the need to put a price on carbon with the Green Shift has been misunderstood due to a lack of communicating the terms effectively. The NDP put all their eggs in one basket with cap-and-trade without a good understanding of the economics. May can effectively communicate the importance of this issue and take Harper and Baird to the cleaners like no one else.
  3. We are in stagflation (inflation is up on food and energy and a recession is creeping across the border faster than we can say “recession”). This means that conservative-neo-liberal theory or traditional Monetary Economics supporting free trade and globalization, tax reduction to the wealthy (trickle-down economics) with massive deregulations has failed — miserably. Altering the bank rate will not calm the storm either. A major change from traditional economics is needed with a balanced and fiscally conservative approach. While following the status quo is arguably the most dangerous path, a move to a socialist approach is equally unrealistic and poised for failure.
  4. Most Canadians believe the Afghanistan war is unwinnable. A vote for the Conservatives is a vote for more military spending and a larger deficit in times we should be focussing our expenditures internally and putting our blue helmets back on. The NDP want to pull out immediately which is also unrealistic and potentially more damaging.
  5. The engineer of the Green Train

    The engineer of the Green Train

     The reason it is so difficult to place the Greens on the traditional left-right spectrum is because they do not fit in any one category. Some policies promote social justice while maintaining a balanced budget with income sharing and reducing taxes on payroll and income. A recent poll conducted by the CTV came up with a very interesting result: The survey identified the Greens as the second choice for 28 per cent of Conservative respondents, 27 per cent of Liberals, 34 per cent of New Democrats and 19 per cent of Bloc supporters polled. (Canadian Press) This shows that, unlike the NDP or the Liberals, Conservatives are more willing to give the Greens a chance to govern.

  6. The smartest thing Layton has done as leader of the NDP was hint at a coalition. Instead of focussing on bringing about electoral reform with legislation in Parliament (when something could have been done), the ABC must pull the majority together to take on the minority Conservatives in order to prevent a Con majority. A majority would only ignite vehement and bitter opposition in-House AND out while preventing positive change for progressive Canadians (that truly make up the true majority in Canada). However, instead of further splitting the progressive vote by dreaming he will be driving the coalition bus, he has to learn to play nice in the back seat with Gilles and Liz. Meanwhile, Stephane still needs to get his driver’s license. Canadians still see a big “L” in the back window of the vehicle that is swerving without clear direction. If Elizabeth May was driving, it’d be a whole different story.
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Responses

  1. I agree. The most definitive consensus in Canada is unfortunately on who we do not want as government. Barring a coalition, we will be governed by the least wanted, with a majority of people opposing the government!

    How does the coaltion work? Do the parties have the right to approach the Governor General with an agreement to form a government, even if Harper wins a minority? Or does one of the parties have to win a minority?

    Why is coalition government so rare in Canada?

    What are the political risks?

    Arif

  2. TAKE ACTION! — Join the facebook group majoritycoalitionforcanada
    =======================

    I’m convinced that the only way to stop another minority Stephen Harper government is for the opposition parties to form a Coalition of the Majority after the election results are announced.

    But for this to happen, the parties must send a formal letter to the Governor General stating their intention and ability to do so.

    Without this letter, the Governor General cannot choose this coourse of action.

    We must start pressuring the party leaders NOW.

    Please join the facebook group majoritycoalitionforcanada
    at http://tinyurl.com/3qwylz

    We must fight for the kind of Canada the majority of Canadians clearly want.

    Stuart Hertzog
    Editor, greenpolitics.ca


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