posted by camarooned at 6:47 PM
My response to the email promoting the petition against the coalition:"I also think this is an important matter, and I'm glad people are talking about it. I just wish that more of the discussion - including fundamentally the statements being made by Stephen Harper - would deal honestly with the facts. The notion of democracy being used now by Harper, and used in this email, does not fit with the history of Parliamentary government in Canada. Like it or not, the democratic system that we have holds that minority governments can fall to a no-confidence vote in the house of commons. The majority of the popular vote in the last election went to parties other than the Conservatives, so a no confidence vote against a minority government that tried to govern as though it had a majority mandate can be fairly interpreted as an expression of the democratic will of a majority of Canadians.Further, the Governor-General has the right, according to precedent and tradition within the parliamentary system, to ask the Opposition if it can form a government that does have the confidence of a majority in the house. Stephen Harper even sent a letter to the Governor General in 2004 asking that, if the Martin minority government were to fail a no-confidence vote, the GG would offer the Opposition Conservatives the right to form a coalition that could hold confidence (ie: majority of seats in the House). Ie: same potential circumstance, same move by the opposition to form government through coalition, without going to election first.So, I read these statements of the undemocratic nature of the current move as at best being a commentary on the historical institutions of government in Canada, and at worst, blatant lies propagated by the Conservative government now that the Canadian democratic system is no longer working to their advantage.A coalition of these parties may or may not govern effectively, but democratically they have the right to try should the GovGen ask it of them, and then at the next election, Canadians have the right to vote to keep them in or not. If this doesn't sound good, then what we are talking about is the need to analyze and reform voting systems in Canada, as well as the institution of Parliament itself, because fundamentally Parliament is not geared to be re-organized by national vote every time something comes up that some people or some parties don't like. We elect representatives, they make decisions while Parliament is in session, and when the next vote comes along, we keep them in if we are satisfied, and elect someone else if not. The function of Parliament can include members of the house bringing down the Government and forming a new Government without an election. Harper is making a mockery of the Parliamentary system; he should either leave it alone, or move to reform it and have that be part of his election platform. He has no mandate to redefine what democracy means in Canada and how Canadian political institutions materialize the concept of democracy, regardless what the former Reform Party wing might like to hope.
Oops. I should have noted that that came from me.Delacey
Well put, D. My version would have included more horrible examples of Harper's lies and disdain for the people of Canada, and, um, a lot more expletives...P.
A good editorial by the Globe and Mail, clarifying the role of the GovGen in all this.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081202.weConstitution03/BNStory/politicsDelacey
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