Monday, August 02, 2010

Norm Spector, Killer Of Straw Men

Norm is in fine fettle today, arguing that the Governor General will thwart an evil coalition by offering the Conservatives (assuming they win the most seats) the keys to the kingdom. Full stop. Constitution, ya know. He makes it sound like this is a controversial point that needs clarification. Well, no it isn't. But, it is only half the story. Sure, the GG will offer Mr. Harper first crack at forming a government, but he will need the support of the House of Commons. If he does not get it, the Governor General is under absolutely no obligation to call an election, if he feels another stable alternative is available, within a short period of time since the last election. Now, given the way this PM plays with the constitution, it would surprise me not at all if he does something like not recall parliament for a long, long time after the election and then play games with the confidence votes, until it is past the six or seven month mark past an election. In the meantime, you can be sure millions of dollars will be spent on advertising, demonizing the very idea of a coalition. Regardless, if a coalition ever did take power this way, it would also not surprise me one bit if the PM refused to yield and called on the army to protect him. Harper is capable of anything.
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  1. Speaking realistically, if the Liberals and the New Democrats together can combine to outnumber the Tories, they can oust Harper on the Throne Speech of the 41st Parliament.

    Heck, even with a repeat of this parliament, if they all refuse to vote with him, they can still take him down, if they can hold their nerve for a month. (Why wouldn't they? English Canada would pitch a fit at the prospect of a Bloc-backed government again. You can have your coalition for a few months/years, but prepare to lose to a majority next time.)

    Harper still hasn't ever lost a confidence vote. He would have in December '08, but he scared enough Liberals to win their support for his survival.

    If the opposition can't even agree on "our policy is he goes," it's their own darned fault.

    And it's a funny sort of tyrant whose greatest threat to his opposition is, "well, let's have an election."

  2. No, the tyranny comes into it when his default position to any challenge great or small is, let's have an election. If it were up to Harper we would have election every two weeks. Elections are expensive for parties and to give them their do, the Conservative Party is a money machine. Harper knows this and so he is all about elections.

  3. Never fear though, an election is coming. It has to. The next budget is going to be really, really unpopular and Harper will not run on it. So, the clock is ticking.