And he told voters the opposition is trying to take power “without your say, without your consent, and without your vote.” He lies for I approve the takeover.
The prime minister dropped the angry tone of recent days as he asked for the support of voters and justified his bid to hold on to power. He repeated his vow to use “every legal means at our disposal” to stop opposition plans to bring down his minority Conservative government in a confidence vote Monday. But he admitted no errors in political judgment and offered no hint of what new measures he will take. Harper is expected to follow up the speech with a visit to Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean on Thursday morning, likely to ask that she suspend Parliament until late January when he can present a budget. Harper condemned the Liberal-NDP coalition, which is backed by the Bloc Quebecois, as a power grab by the separatists.
Opposition MPs have assailed Harper for what they called a HYPOCRITICAL desperate ploy to cling to power despite the fact that proroguing Parliament would preclude any major spending at a time of economic crisis.
1: They point out that Harper signed a letter with the Bloc in 2004 advising the Governor General to consider letting the opposition govern should the Liberal government of Paul Martin fall.
2: HARPER HIMSELF BEFORE HAD CONSIDERED A COALITION WITH THE BQ, it was Stephen Harper who first brought the option of vaulting to power from the benches of the official Opposition to the fore in the early days of Paul Martin’s 2004 minority regime. Even before the presentation of Martin’s Speech from the Throne, Harper had sought out his two opposition rivals to lay the groundwork of an alliance to unseat the Liberals. He would not have entered a formal coalition, but he was willing to advance key priorities of his opposition partners (starting with Gilles Duceppe) in exchange for their support for a Conservative government. http://www.thestar.com/Canada/Columnist/article/547510
I think it’s clear that the present government does not understand two things: That we’re in the middle of an economic crisis and that democracy operates when the majority of member of the House support whoever is prepared to govern.” Former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister David Macdonald WHO endorses the coalition.
Harper’s attack on Bloc risks alienating Quebec where he now has lost significant popularity, voters..
It begins with the bogus proposition that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives “won” the recent election and have a mandate to govern.
In fact, in the recent election, the Conservatives won a minority of seats in the House of Commons, 143 out of 308.
Our system of government, known as “responsible government,” holds that for a ministry to hold office it must enjoy the confidence of the House of Commons, i.e. the support of the majority of the members of the House.
In Canada, we do not directly elect our prime minister. The prime minister is an elected member of the House of Commons (in theory, he or she could be a senator, but this has happened only twice, the last time under Mackenzie Bowell from 1894 to 1896.) The Governor General asks the leader of the political party that commands the support of the majority in the House to form a government. In the case of a minority government, the critical issue is which party or combination of parties can command the support of the majority in the House.
On Monday, when the leaders of the Liberals, NDP and the Bloc, whose parties hold the majority of seats in the House announced their intention to defeat the Harper government and replace it with a Liberal-NDP coalition government with the support of the Bloc, they were playing out their roles with the system of responsible government.
Former governor general says coalition is legitimate WINNIPEG – The Liberal-NDP coalition should get a chance to govern if the Conservatives are defeated in the House of Commons, former governor general Ed Schreyer said Wednesday.
And since this move comes early in the new parliament and holds out the promise of stable government for at least the next 18 months, it is almost certain that the Governor General will call on the coalition to form a government once the Conservatives have been defeated. (The Governor General does have some discretion here, under the rubric of royal prerogative, but considering how recent the election was, it is highly unlikely that she would accede to a request by Stephen Harper to dissolve Parliament to call another election.)
The Conservatives are appearing on news shows, talk shows and are organizing rallies putting out the word that what is happening in Ottawa is an attempted “coup.” At the centre of this inane claim is the proposition that Canadians just re-elected Stephen Harper as prime minister and that he has a mandate to govern.
It is true that the Americans directly elect their president and therein lies much of the confusion that is being stirred up by furious Conservatives over their punch bowls. The American constitution (in my view grounded on a poor understanding of Montesquieu and the British constitution following the Glorious Revolution of 1688) rests on the notion of “separation of powers.” The executive branch, the legislative branch (Congress) and the judicial branch each occupy their own hermetically sealed space and are protected from undue interference with each other much the way Vestal Virgins were protected in Ancient Rome. To their credit, the Americans have managed to make this ungainly system work with only one Civil War marring its record to date.
The Canadian prime minister is not a quasi-king in the manner of the American president. He or she rises or falls depending on the votes of the majority in the House of Commons. That is what is going on here. What is coming to an end is the rule of a prime minister who thought he was a king. What is coming is a government that actually represents the views of the majority of the members of the House, and for that matter the majority of voters in the recent election.”
James Laxer is a professor of political science at York University. http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/547335