Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harper advocates for coalition


That was old Steve as a right wing lobbyist back in 1997, explaining how parties could form a "coalition" to oust the Liberals even if the Liberals won the "largest number of seats" in the House. . .

New Steve, unsurprisingly, not a fan of coalitions. Today new Steve said that old Steve was only talking about "uniting the right". Somehow, for Steve, a coalition for "uniting the right" is imbued with a certain caché not extended to the other parties that the majority of us voted for in the last election. . .

Excellent crib notes on how the Canadian parliamentary system works from Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy : . 10 basic facts : .

1.) We elect individual candidates who may or may not belong to a political party. .

2.) We do not elect the prime minister, parliaments do. .

3.) Political parties elect their leaders. .

4.) The prime minister is the person who enjoys a majority of the support of the elected members of parliament. .

5.) When a party wins the majority of individual ridings it forms the government with its leader as the prime minister. .

6.) A majority government may change its leader any time the party decides to and continue to rule for the duration of their mandate in virtue of their majority in the house of commons. .

7.) Political parties only have a mandate to govern if they have a majority. If not, they have to coalesce* to form the government. .

8.) There is thus NO SUCH THING AS A MINORITY MANDATE TO GOVERN. Parliamentary tradition says that the incumbent government has the right to try and form the new government. But parliamentary tradition also says that any majority group of MPs can form a government. Why? because we elect individual MPs not political parties to represent us in the House of Commons. .

9.) There is such a thing as a minority parliament which receives a mandate from parliament at each moment there is a vote on major money bill or when the legislation in question is deemed a confidence vote. .

10.) All minority parliaments in this sense are run by coalition governments in that they require the support of other parties to stay in power. .


West End Bob said...

Thanks for the primer, Alison. Again. ;-) . . . .

Kev said...

Harper in an article written by him and Flanagan that same year "why can't we have a system like those in Europe, where coalitions prevent governments riding roughshod over their critics?"


Alison said...

Many thanks, Kev - a fascinating read. Blogged.

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