In my last post, I said that I was wrong about Dion’s political strategy in the last election. It turns out that while I wasn’t exactly right, I also wasn’t wrong. I’d imagined a scenario in which the conservatives were unable to win a majority, thus putting us back in the same, unworkable situation in which we entered the election. That part happened. In my imagined scenario the Liberals would have ended up coming to power through arranging for a censure or coalition against the Conservatives.
I thought, after the speech from the throne that that opportunity had passed. But Harper’s Conservatives pushed ahead with an economic “update” that was both wrong-headed and strangely partisan (at a time when that should be the last thing he was playing at) this in-turn activated the other three parties to form a coalition, somewhat like I’d imagined. Actually I imagined the coalition would have involved different groups (I originally thought the Green party was going to play a bigger role). Also it’s not clear whether the coalition that is taking place is the product of Dion’s strategizing. It could possibly be closer to Layton’s.
Anyway, Harper and his Conservatives can yell all they want that this is “undemocratic” or that the Conservatives were the ones Canadians elected but they’re wrong. The Conservatives were elected as a minority meaning they were supposed to work with the other parties. They didn’t. Instead the other parties, which together compose a much much greater percentage of who Canadians voted for, have come to an agreement to work together, and the’ve done so exactly as proscribed by Canadian Parliamentary rules. I think this is great. Here’s an easy page to read to understand the process. http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/idb/forsey/parl_gov_02-e.asp
Just in case, for some reason that site goes out of order or mysteriously gets changed, or you just can’t get to it, I made a PDF as an exact copy of the page, you can download it to read, study, and comment on here: Parliamentary Government