Hypotheticals (II)

by Aaron Wherry

Peter Russell lays out the options.

When the House does meet and no party has a majority, there are basically three ways of forming a government. First, the Conservatives can simply carry on as a minority government hoping to win support, issue by issue, from opposition MPs. Second, either the Conservatives or the party that finishes second in seat numbers can form a legislative alliance with one or more other parties that would agree to support them on the basis of a shared legislative program. Such an agreement between David Peterson’s Liberals (who finished second to Frank Miller’s Conservatives) and Bob Rae’s NDP gave Ontario a stable minority after the 1985 provincial election. In this option, the parties supporting a Liberal or NDP government would not have cabinet positions. The third option is a coalition government in which two or more parties form a government and share cabinet posts.

All three options are constitutionally legitimate. Indeed, in the dozens of parliamentary democracies around the world, it’s highly unusual for any party to have a parliamentary majority. Governments in most of these countries are either coalitions or single-party minorities supported through alliances with opposition parties.




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Hypotheticals (II)

  1. I dont care what it is as long as Harper is gone.

    • You should care about Canada. If this is what you base your vote on, maybe you should change your name to Proud Idiot

      • I'll stick with Proud Canadain thank you. I am too tired to keep typing all the wrongs Harper has done to my country and besides there is not enough room to post them all here so I found a way to sum it up in a few words here and they are "I dont care what it is as long as Harper is gone".
        And once again, when in doubt, resort to name calling. I'm glad i can bring you to that level…your insecurities are showing…
        VOTE ABC on Monday

        • I know I have caused some discomfort on this site with my statements since the election. I have also made people think about the controlling billionares that are trying to steal our country and control our wealth. I must say this; Our country is at a crossroads right now and our vote has never meant as much as it means today. We must rid ourselves of the Harper dictatorship once and for all and tomorrow we can do that as a united country. The Conservative party of today is not the conservative party of our fathers and grandfathers and it is Harper that is responsivble for that. He must go because we are Canadian and not american and we resent being treated as such. We are not Fox news north nor will we ever be. We live in a country with hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of natural resources and they belong to us, Canadians. Our economy will not suffer under an alternative government other than that of the controlling tories. Vote to save Canada on May 2. Vote ABC. God bless Canada!!!

  2. Harper is clever enough to know that there are more options than those in Peter Russell's lawyerly list.

    You delay parliament, try to create an atmosphere of national crisis, and use that crisis to convince some Liberals to cross the floor.

    If not floor-crossing, you may at least get a crippled Liberal Party that decides to let you govern while they regroup.

    I'm sure that Harper's thinking way beyond these crusty stories of King-Byng and such. Harper doesn't need to impress Canadian historians. He's thinking about the shock-jock radio crowd and blue Liberals.

    I hope it doesn't work, but let's be ready for it.

    • Sorry, I didn't mean to sound as if I'm dissing Peter Russell. It's good for the media to report on the truth about our constitution. I just mean that Harper knows this and I don't think he cares and I think HE thinks that 35-40% of Canadians won't care, and that number might grow if he can foment the right kind of crisis.

      • You seem to "not care" about this great country, if you're going to support Jack or "John" Layton, or Iggy

        • Ah. So only if you vote Conservative do you care about this great country, is that it?

          Well, good to know that in your world this great country can no longer have different viewpoints. Because, in my world this great country is exactly that BECAUSE we have different viewpoints, and up until Harper we have been able to express those viewpoints and even use them to our advantage. If nothing else, you've given a ringing endorsement for voting whatever candidate in your riding can most likely unseat Harper's puppet.

    • A further point: during that crisis that Harper manufactures, he can also hope that the markets go crazy. Then he can point to those market reactions to stoke more fears of a "socialist" government.

      • So now you're telling us Harper controls the markates?
        Does this nonsense never end?

        • No, but after May 2, you will.

        • He doesn't need to control markets. He deliberately creates a period of "uncertainty", which you know markets don't like. And then he points to the market reaction as yet another reason why we need his "steady hand" against the "socialists".

          Evidently you'll be in the mob that rallies to him, offering your rabid jingoistic support.

          • Ah, stewardship.

        • Learn to read.
          In this specific example, the words "hope that" might be a clue.

    • That is Russell's first option. That Harper governs from issue to issue and maintains the confidence of the House. You've just filled in some of the "how" he might try to do that.

      But the first point has a bit of a flaw in it. Russell talks about issue by issue, but the first "issue" that Harper would have deal with is getting a Throne Speech passed and the second would be a budget. That's more like "every issue" and Harper has already been rejected on that.

      To go even further along your tactical line though, I would expect Harper not to convene Parliament and present a Throne Speech for 6 months. During that time he'll continue to pretend he cares about democracy and launch a massive fearmongering campaign again spending millions of our tax dollars. In the meantime, two possibly three judges will have retired from the Supreme Court and I think a few more senators retire.

      • I have some sincere questions abaout delaying the return of Parliament.

        Does Harper have limited powers until the House returns? Can the government continue to operate or at some time does the House have to meet to pass money bills?

        I lack any significant knowledge and would appreciate factual answers.

      • Wow, I hadn't thought about the judges. Yeah, and that six months will feel like an eternity as we're subjected to all the fear and loathing, aided by Sun Media.

        I'm hoping that Harper might end up far from majority territory and it may even be an NDP plurality. Apparently Frank Graves (EKOS) sees it possible (not likely but possible) in his latest numbers. See https://twitter.com/#!/VoiceOfFranky

      • I doubt any Supreme Court judges will retire in the next 6 months. Justice Fish is the oldest judge and he doesn't have to retire until November 2013.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_Can

        What worries me is that the next 3 judges due to retire are 3 of the 4 strongest onh constitutional rights (in my opinion). I wouldn't want to see Harper as the one who gets to replace them.

    • There won't be any 'blue Liberals' left in the Liberal caucus after the election, if there are any now (besides perhaps Iggy himself)

      • good point

      • Why not? I'm a blue Liberal. Where am I going?

  3. Hmmm…No mention of locusts? Boils? The sea opening up to swallow our brave nation into the depths?

    • No,Harper has cornered the market on those, for this election anyway.

      • Do they actually pay you to post this craziness?
        Please let me know where to apply because I can make this garbage up all day long.
        Sure looks like easy money to me.

    • No, but a sea of troubles is lapping at our shores.

      • Great. This 'Sea of Troubles' is just yet another coast that needs defending. To The F-35s, everyone!

        "Hey, this thing won't start! Mechanic! Mechanic? Peter?"

        • we forgot to buy the engines!

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