Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coalition forces quietly creeping to a deal

Coalition forces quietly creeping to a deal | Eric Duhaime | Columnists | Comment | Edmonton Sun

It's interesting to see what the take is of someone who is a little bit closer to Quebec than I am. It also interested me to see that someone is reporting how similar the Liberal and Bloc campaign messages are in the province of Quebec.

I'm going to preface any further comments here by acknowledging that yes, a coalition IS a valid option in Canadian politics if the governing party loses the confidence of the House.

But I will ask one simple question... what happens if, during the election, it's clear that the governing party won't have the consent of the House regardless of what they do? Does that not take the democratic power from the hands of the electorate and put it squarely in the hands of those who can't get enough of their candidates elected to win government as is intended?

The issue I, and I'm sure many others, have with a Coalition is not that it is illegal or illegitimate, but that it is a back door to seizing power despite electoral outcomes. Let's call it what it is. It's a coup d'estat. It's seizing power that doesn't belong to you, or wasn't rightfully won. One of the hallmarks of a democracy, is the idea that power transitions peacefully to those who have won elections.  Dictatorships seize power.  Democratic governments win power, and keep winning to maintain power.

Given that the NDP, Liberals and Bloc have already stated that they will not support a Conservative budget, they assume that the Governor General will just offer power to them in the event of a loss of confidence.  Given that they will refuse to acknowledge the confidence (however tenuous) the electorate has shown in the Conservatives, and the lack of confidence (however glaring) the electorate has shown in the other three parties, I recommend a couple simple changes to the electoral laws.  The rebate totaling 50% of eligible election expenses will not be paid to the parties should another election occur within one year of a minority government being elected (Elections Canada to withhold the money until 1 year after a minority government is elected).  A second change might be that all loans outstanding from leadership or electoral contests must be repaid before another writ is dropped.  Any loans still outstanding at the time of the dropping of a writ will be considered a donation and in violation of the Elections Canada Act should that donation exceed the legislated limits.

Might restore some stable government, wouldn't you think?

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