Just before Christmas, Governor General David Johnston made an apparently caveat-free statement on the possibility of coalition government in a parliamentary system.
Johnston said Canada — like many democratic regimes — has had experiences with coalition-type governments in the past. “I think that most jurisdictions that have a system of first-past-the-post or proportional representation will from time to have time have coalitions or amalgamation of different parties and that’s the way democracy sorts itself out,” he said.
The Prime Minister has quibbled with the concept of coalition government on three counts. And as such there are three questions Mr. Johnston should be asked at the next opportunity.
1. Would a coalition government be illegitimate if it were formed after an election?
2. Would a coalition government be illegitimate if it included, or relied upon the support of, the Bloc Quebecois?
3. Would a coalition government be illegitimate if it did not include the party that holds the largest number of seats in the House of Commons?