In light of all this confusion surrounding Mr. Harper’s previous practice and present stance on parliamentary cooperation, there are perhaps two questions that might (need?) be asked of the Conservative leader for the sake of clarification.
1. What “options” did you intend the Governor General to consider when you, along with Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton, wrote to her in September 2004?
2. In 1997, you said if the Liberal majority government of the day was ever reduced to a minority government, there would be an opportunity for one of the other parties “to form a coalition or working alliance with the others.” In 2004, during your news conference with Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton, you were asked if you were prepared to form government and said such a scenario was “extremely hypothetical.” You and your party now argue that only the party that wins the most seats can form government. Why and when did your views change on the functioning of our parliamentary system?
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.