The leaders of the opposition parties recently stated that they would be willing to form a three-party coalition if the Conservatives are unsuccessful in securing a majority government in the next federal election.
In the United Kingdom, a coalition between the Tories and Liberal-Democrats was formed after their election. Now, Canada’s opposition parties feel Canadians will soften to such an arrangement if there is no Conservative majority after the next federal election.
There are some stark differences one should take into consideration before making any decision should this arrangement be accepted in Canada.
First, the coalition in the UK was between the parties winning the most seats (Tories) and the third party (Liberal-Democrats). However, here in Canada the proposed Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition would be between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th parties ---given the election results from 2008: Liberals (77 seats), Bloc (48 seats) and NDP (37seats).
Second, the Bloc Party’s mandate is to separate from Canada. Therefore, the implication of a partnership with the Bloc is that the Liberal and NDP parties would be comfortable working with the Bloc – the party that wants to break up the country! The Bloc’s purpose is to obtain what is good for Quebec, not Canada. The Bloc only wants more of everything the federal government has to offer for Quebec. The Bloc will not enter the House on Wednesdays until the national anthem, ‘Oh Canada’ is finished being sung by the other parties. This shows their lack of respect for Canada. What concessions will the Liberals and NDP have to make to keep the Bloc onside?
Third, currently the Conservative party has 144 seats, and is supported by 37% of the population. If you count the second place finishes it is obvious that Canadians gave the Conservatives the mandate to govern. Take away the Province of Quebec and the current government has almost 60% of the seats. In my view, currently, the Conservative Party of Canada has a majority to lead this country.
You ask the question: “But what if the shoe was on the other foot?” Well, our party would never join with the Bloc separatists, and we would not allow the NDP to have any influence on policy decisions regarding the economy or foreign policy.
Our Prime Minister and our government have done very well to make two minority governments work. In the first session we achieved the longest serving minority government in Canadian history. We have accomplished much under challenging political circumstances as well as under challenging economic times. It is obvious that the opposition is only concerned about power.
The democratic way to become government is to be elected by the voters, not by forming an unholy coalition.
Colin Mayes, MP