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I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, November 28, 2008

CTV: "Experts doubtful a Liberal-NDP coalition would work"

Some experts are thinking all this could lead to a Harper majority...
Experts doubtful a Liberal-NDP coalition would work
Updated Fri. Nov. 28 2008 3:42 PM ET
Parminder Parmar, CTV.ca News Staff

As talk of a potential coalition government swirls through the halls of parliament, some experts in Canadian political history say the reality is it will likely never come to fruition.

There's "not a chance" that the Liberals and NDP will be able to convince Governor General Michaƫlle Jean they'll be able to form a working coalition, says Barry Cooper, a political science professor at the University of Calgary.

Cooper, the author, editor, or translator of 27 books and dozens of academic papers, says the NDP and Liberals are just too far apart on issues for their MPs to agree on a working alignment.

Cooper says it doesn't matter that party elders are behind the coalition talk. CTV News reported Friday that former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent were discussing a possible coalition government, with the support of the Bloc outside cabinet.

If they do come up with a deal and the MPs for their respective parties agree to the terms, they could defeat the government as soon as Monday when the Tory economic update comes up for a confidence vote.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper would then have to go to the governor general to dissolve Parliament and call an election. But the governor general may also decide to hand power to the leader of one of the other parties, if she believes he or she can hold together a coalition.

That's what happened in 1926 during the so-called King-Byng Affair. That's when Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King went to the Governor General Lord Byng of Vimy, asking for an election call, but was turned down. Instead, Byng asked Conservative Arthur Meighen to end a parliamentary stalemate.

Cooper says he doubts that would happen this time.

"The Governor General has to be convinced that this coalition is real," he said, noting the party's MPs won't necessarily listen to Broadbent or Chretien.

"If she thinks it's doable she is in deep doo doo."

Cooper says that even if the governor general granted the opposition parties' request to form some type of coalition government, they just wouldn't be able to function effectively.

"The consequences would be catastrophic," he said. "They will be defeated right away," he said.

The governor general would likely shoot down the idea well before that point, says Steve Patten, a political science professor at the University of Alberta.

"The hurdles to forming a coalition government are absolutely massive," he said, noting that the fact that the Liberals are in the middle of a leadership race doesn't help matters.

"Who would be the prime minister," he asked, adding, "What kind of policy agenda will there be?"

But while Cooper is all but certain that a coalition government won't happen, Patten isn't so sure.

"My gut reaction would be similar to his (Cooper's). However, sometimes, the political parties in Ottawa get themselves into a situation where they can actually create a momentum that is hard to push back," he said.

"It's possible that they (MPs) are all saying we'll defeat the government. But they don't want to force an election and so they will force themselves to make a coalition work."

Cooper said even if that were to happen, the new government would, like Meighen, have an extremely short tenure. King was voted back into office in the next election.

"(The new coalition) will be defeated right away," Cooper said.

"Instead of Mr. King, it will be Mr. Harper who has a majority."

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5 Comments:

  • At Fri Nov 28, 04:57:00 PM EST, Blogger Richard said…

    The Liberals have a death urge -- if they think this is going to go over well with the Canadian people, who just gave them the lowest show of support in years, they are truly expressing what Freud called "Thanatos."

     
  • At Fri Nov 28, 05:12:00 PM EST, Blogger Kit said…

    Well so much for the much vaunted and treasured Liberal brand!
    How far the "natural governing party" has fallen, if it would sell its soul to the Socialists and Separatists just to taste power again. How corrupt, how pathetic.

    This is not your grandfathers party. It is only worthy of contempt.

     
  • At Fri Nov 28, 05:49:00 PM EST, Blogger Skinny Dipper said…

    CTV: The Conservative Television Network.

     
  • At Fri Nov 28, 06:47:00 PM EST, Blogger caz said…

    Beautiful..I like the ring of that

     
  • At Sun Nov 30, 02:58:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Um, Barry Cooper is a Conservative and friend of Harper.

    Of course he will say that sort of thing...

    So much for the view of 'experts'.

     

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