The C Word


Gilles Duceppe of Stephen Harper: “I don’t like people lying”

Stephen Harper is pretending out of the gate that the issue in this election is the possibility of a coalition government involving the opposition parties — as though this outcome were some form of treason, when it is in fact a threat only to the prolonged life of the Harper government, sometimes confused by the Harper government as the institution of Canadian government itself.

Above, Gilles Duceppe reminds us that Harper wasn’t always so resistant to the idea of coalition government when the coalition might have been the Harper government.  Today, Duceppe produced a 2004 letter to the Governor-General signed by the leaders of the opposition parties — including Stephen Harper — advising her that the opposition might be able to form a government if the then Liberal minority fell.  At that time, such a maneuver would have been regarded as parliamentary procedure. Now the idea that opposition parties might co-operatively command the confidence of the House is an affront to Canadian democracy — despite the fact that maintaining the confidence of the House is how parliamentary democracy works, and that such an arrangement would, unlike the Harper government, represent the majority of Canadians.

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