I’m seeing a lot of talk about Coalitions and the Coalition agreement of last year between the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc -so I’d like to address this.

I am not a lawyer and I am not a student of political science so I don’t know all the proper terms and rules. And even though I took civics, law, and Canadian Politics in high school, I do not know our political system backwards and forwards. However, I do consider myself to be informed, and I try to look at things from all angles.

My take on the coalition last winter was pretty simple:

Last October, we’d just had an election – and one party came out with a majority of the votes. Then it seemed that the party that actually LOST the most out of the remaining parties was trying to take government regardless. Why? because well, they lost and they lost badly.

I’m aware that in a parliamentary system like Canada (as modeled from Britain) that Coalition Governments are not Illegal, or undemocratic in the sense that the system allows for such agreements and types of governments.

However, what was violated was the people’s will. We had an election and as Canadians we made a choice only to be told, “Wait, we aren’t going to listen.” That was why people say this wasn’t democratic. This not because it was illegal but because it was unfair to the voters. It was like the opposition leaders and members in the House saying to the voters, “We don’t care what you voted for, we’re going to do this.”

And that goes for ALL voters, not just CPC voters. What about the people who voted NDP and not Lib? Or the Green voters who didn’t vote Lib? What about the Libs who didn’t want to see the NDP in any position of power? Or even voters who didn’t vote Liberal because of Dion???

People say it was just Conservatives that opposed the Coalition. That is untrue. I talked with Liberals and New Democrats alike that were pissed at the idea of a joint-governing agreement that would see a mixed cabinet and possibly a Senate filled with Bloc or Greens members.

People point to the signed coalition agreement with the NDP, the Bloc and the Liberals and say that it’s no different than an agreementthat the CPC had with the Bloc and NDP to bring down the then Liberal government years back!

Okay, why do I believe the situations to be different?

The Conservatives never offered the NDP or Bloc positions (Ministries/Senate appointments) as the Libs did with the NDP in 08. The CPC agreement probably offered cooperation on some issues, that I’m sure of because all governments do that!

The Liberals did it with the NDP, did they not? Conceded on a budget (unless I’m mistaken) to stay in power?  Even Paul Martin never offered a  Coalition!

Making agreements on policy is a far cry from giving governmental powers (ministerial control) or special appointments!

Policy agreements or a change is not the same as a Coalition government!  And no matter what Bob Rae says, Iggy, like all Liberal MPs, agreed to form a government with the NDP!


3 Responses to Coalitions

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Last October, we’d just had an election – and one party came out with a majority of the votes.”

    Ah, no. That just didn’t happen. No party won a majority in the last election–neither of seats nor of votes.

    I think it’s fair to argue that SOME people who voted for either the Liberals or the NDP would not have voted that way if they knew it would result in a Liberal-NDP coalition. But let’s keep that in perspective.

    Even after the coalition agreement was reached between the Liberals and the NDP, the best the Conservatives did in any poll was 45% with the rest of the vote divided between the other parties. That means a majority of Canadians STILL would have voted for a party that supported the coalition even after it was formed.

    The reason the coalition was presented as somehow being deeply unpopular was simply that the five or six percent of voters that would have switched their vote to the Conservatives because of it would have been enough for the Conservatives to win a majority government had their been an election. But that majority government wouldn’t have had the support of a majority of voters. It’s hypothetical letigimacy would have been based on the fact that it had a majority in the House of Commons which is, ironically, what the opposition was saying about a coalition.

  2. stephen p says:

    One additional point you may wish to consider. Other than the expiry dates contained therein, The Coalition Agreements contained no Conditions permitting early Termination, particularly no Condition whereby one Party to the Agreements could unilaterly declare them to be null and void without the expressed written consent of the other Parties.

    As far as I am aware the formal annulment of these agreements has never taken place and so they remain effective today and until their respective expiry dates.

  3. TrueWest says:

    So if I’ve got this right, Iggy pulls the plug and we get to vote Lib-NDP or Bloc, which are votes for The Coalition. Which, if the above three parties, ie The Coalition, received the majority of seats, The Coalition would then be a democratically elected government. Or we could vote Conservative.

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