I stand by yesterday's posting that Harper and Iggy acted in a way that was proper for a coalition. But something about this arrangement still bothers me. I think it is destructive of our democracy to have an official opposition that isn't. Having an official opposition that acts as an opposition party only up until a vote of confidence, at which time it switches to support the government, breeds cynicism among the voters. How can a party say one day that the government is full of crooks and incompetents and then the next casts its votes with the same government? It just looks really, really bad. It makes it look like the official opposition is play acting and does not oppose at all. And that is not a good thing. It is not how our system is set up.
If the people running the Liberal party cannot work with the other opposition parties because they find they are ideologically closer to the Conservatives, then they should enter into a formal coalition with the government. That way, the opposition will really oppose, we will not be going to the polls every 12 months, and (this is important), Liberals would have more influence sitting around the cabinet table, than they do being caught in an endless "we oppose -- we back away", cycle. Entering a formal coalition would also enjoy the benefit of being intellectually honest and who knows, such a coalition might restore Canadians' faith in their politicians.
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