Thursday, June 03, 2010

Oh, That's Why

Stephen Harper tells the world why he would never be involved in a coalition: "Losers don't get to form coalitions." And here I thought it was because he was a sociopathic asshole. You learn something new every day.

Update: As someone else has pointed out, it is a good thing Harper did not condemn Coalitions of Losers the other day when his buddy Netanyahu was in town. Bad manners and all that.
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  1. This is why I actually was slightly disappointed that they didn't try a Lab-Lib-Scots-Welsh coalition in the UK -- I'd have liked to see how a "coalition-of-the-losers" would have played with the public. (That phrase had already been trotted out.)

    My guess is the public wouldn't have accepted it -- but we'll never know, now.


    As for what Harper said -- well, we know now that the public _won't_ accept a 2nd-3rd coalition when the coalitioning parties are still well below (~30 seats) the 1st place party. (And if you try to claim the Bloc's seats and votes for that calculation, well, that's another place where the public gagged.) We know from Ontario in 1985 that the public _will_ accept a 2nd-3rd coalition when the 2nd place party won the popular vote and the arrangement has a healthy majority.

    If the Tories have, say, 130 seats after the next election and the Libs and the Dippers can get to 140, that's where it gets interesting -- and that's where they might be able to send Harper back to Stornaway.

    Note that the 39th Parliament began with 124 Tories, 103 Grits, and 29 Dippers. Had Harper not had the tacit support of Duceppe, Martin could have tried to hang on...


    Losers _can_ form coalitions that are accepted. Just not losers 2008-style.

    If you get the 39th Parliament's configuration back for the 41st, you'll have something to work with.

  2. Political StaplesJune 03, 2010

    Harper is technically incorrect but in practice not so much. If the Conservatives have the most seats after the next election, but not a majority, they are still the government. Assuming that Liberals and NDP have more combined seats than the Conservatives (a big assumption) then they will need the help of the BQ to defeat the government and then go to the GG and say they can command the support of the House. Again, they would need the BQ support for this. We all say how well this played out last time.
    The only way a Liberal/NDP coalition could work is if they can form a majority amongst themselves. If they can do this then by all rights that can, even if the Conservatives have more seats than either of them.
    The way things are going that is a very unlikely scenario.

  3. Dexter Greg! Long time, no blog.

    As much as that spin warms my cold Tory heart, I just don't buy it.

    I think the "no Bloc" rule covers the 40th Parliament-type alignments, where the Tories outnumber the Grits and the Dippers combined. When they outnumber the Tories, I see no legitimacy issue as was the case in 2008. (Unless Iggy is stupid and rules out coalitions entirely during the campaign. Is he that stupid? Actually, yes, he is that stupid. Never mind.) The problem is when you need active Bloc support to pass every bill.

    Still, the PM may go with your line. And he'll have the right to meet parliament in the 41st, no matter what.

    Still, 130 Tories vs. 100 Liberals and 40 Dippers -- I think that would have a real chance at a coalition trying to take down Harper.

    (Mind you, I think Harper's going to beat Ignatieff like a drum and get his majority, so this all will be rendered moot.)