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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why Ignatieff's "no coalition" pledge is worthless

Michael Ignatieff followed-up his embarrassing avoidance of the question of whether he'd form a coalition with Canada's other political parties a day later with an unequivocal denial that he would do so.

A recent poll says only 17% of Canadians believe him. Which proves that 17% of Canadians are gullible.

If Steven Harper fails to achieve a majority on May 2, then it's a certainty that the Liberals will form a coalition with the other parties, and there are two very clear reasons why that will happen.

The first requires only a basic familiarity with the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Liberals are Canadian democracy's answer to the ancient Carthaginians, who executed their own generals if they were defeated in battle. Liberals do not tolerate failure from their leaders. The example of the palace coup that Paul Martin's gang inflicted on Jean Chretien shows Canada's Liberals don't even tolerate success when they get too antsy and hungry for power.

If the Conservatives fail to achieve a majority this election, one of two things will happen. Ignatieff will either renege on his promise and form a coalition to put the Liberals in power, or he will be removed from the Liberal leadership faster than you can say "Stephane Dion."  In the event of the latter scenario, Ignatieff's successor, not bound by a 'no coalition' pledge, will form one with the NDP and have support from the Bloc.

There is another reason the opposition parties will rush to form a coalition if the Conservatives fail to achieve a majority. Stephen Harper tried to bring in campaign financing reform that would have seen all political parties lose their federal subsidies. Those tax dollars go to propping up parties that don't get enough donations to support themselves from private sources.

The Bloc and NDP in particular rely heavily on that money and they would collapse without it. The last  proposed Liberal/NDP/Bloc coalition emerged as a result of Harper's threat to cut off those funds, and the next one would emerge in order to preclude that threat from reoccurring.

So in essence, we do have a two party race in this election; the Conservatives versus a coalition.

But make no mistake, if there is no Tory majority, that coalition will be in place to assume power. At least until the Liberals figure out a way they can rule without them.


Don Sharpe said...

Here's hoping that after the Tories do win a majority, they REPEAL all federal election subsidies immediately. Then destroy the HRC's . . ...

Garry G said...

I agree with Don Sharpe. I'll also add, that (THANKFULLY) the GG has to decide who will be in power. We could yet be saved from a coalition of losers. Let's hope the GG has the foresight to disallow a coalition involving separatists.

You don't hire a wrecking crew to build your house.