Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

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.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Harper: "Losers don't get to form coalitions"

Finally found the video for the Harper/Cameron press conference where he made that statement, thanks to CPAC. Skip to the 16:23 mark of the video.
"In the end, I think the verdict of public opinion was pretty clear... which is that losers don't get to form coalitions... winners are the ones who get to form governments"

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  • At Mon. Jun. 07, 04:04:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Bert said…

    Oooh, Iggy ?. Jack ?. THAT'S gotta sting.

  • At Mon. Jun. 07, 05:36:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Bruce said…

    So Israel formed a govt with the second place party not the first forming a coalition. Is that a loser situation too?

  • At Mon. Jun. 07, 06:47:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Anon1152 said…

    Thanks for posting the video. I'll have to wait till later to watch the whole thing.

    In the meantime... I have to ask whether or not Harper thinks of Netanyahu as a "loser". The opposition party has more seats. Well. One more seat:

    Of course Netanyahu isn't a loser. And of course "losers" don't form governments. "Winners" get to form governments. But being able to form a government [that can maintain the confidence of the legislature] is what defines "winning" in this context.

  • At Mon. Jun. 07, 06:55:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger stageleft said…

    The the people and governments of Britain, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Japan, and Israel might disagree with Harper -- do you suppose they appreciate him calling them losers?

  • At Mon. Jun. 07, 10:30:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    While that may be the case, I think we can all agree that Israel is a bit of a different case... I can't recall if they've EVER had a majority government, with the number of smaller parties involved.

    Of course, we all know what Harper was referring to... a situation where a CLEAR loser in the vote (by a significant margin, in both Canada and Britain) tries to either sieze or hang on to power when the electorate has clearly given greater preference to another party.

  • At Tue. Jun. 08, 02:57:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Anon1152 said…

    "We can all agree that Israel is a different case".

    Yes. But probably for different reasons.

    Speaking of reasons... I'm not sure I follow your reasoning on this one. (Or maybe I just don't like where it's leading?).

    Why does it matter whether or not there has ever been a majority government (or coalition government) in the past? The previous election matters more than all of the previous, previous elections.

    A coalition government can be considered a "majority government", insofar as the government is formed with a majority (i.e., over 50%) of seats in the legislature. The no-coalition/coalition and majority/minority dichotomy is not coterminous.

    The only way there can be a "clearly" victorious party is if a single party has received more than 50% of the seats. [Preferably more than 50% of the popular vote too, but let's bracket the proportional representation issue for the moment.]

    Any government, even a coalition government, formed from more than 50% of the seats/votes represents the voters' intentions far more than a government formed with less than 50%.

    By pretending otherwise, you are treating our elections as if they were... like a sports game of some sort, where the winner can win by one point or one game, even if a group of two teams won more games between the two of them. That's fine in some circumstances. But not in a parliamentary democracy. It's supposed to be "rule of the people". And 51% of the people is more "of the people-y" than 37% of the people.

    That's why I think that the current UK government is more democratic than the one that came before it, which only had 35-36% of the popular vote, (but a majority of the seats).

    That's why I think the current government of Israel is legitimate, even though if faced with a choice between Netanyahu and Livni, I would probably choose the latter. (Though I don't follow Israel's domestic politics enough to say that with certainty).

    I can't resist pointing out that if the UK had proportional representation, a coalition between the libdems and conservatives would have been possible after the 2005 election. And the 2001 election. And the 1997 election... and of course before that they wouldn't have needed a coalition...

    What makes the current UK government legitimate is not that the Tories have more seats than any other single party. It's that it is able to ally with another party. The The Lib Dems seem to be "in between" Labour and the Conservatives. In Canada, all of the other parties (Liberals, NDP, Greens, Bloc) are closer to each other than to the Conservatives).

    At least according to this:

    I love this test. Many months ago, you posted something like this (though I don't think it was this test in particular, from this website) showing your score. You were right in the middle between left and right... at the top. If I recall correctly.

    It seems that I do:

    But I digress.

    I took the test and ended up in the bottom left hand quadrant. That's the one with the fewest parties/famous-people. I guess that makes sense. As a kid I was described as a "loner". In highschool, one fellow student said that I was an "anti-socialist." My response:yes and no.

  • At Tue. Jun. 08, 08:03:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger stageleft said…

    Yes, we do know what Harper was referring to - his views on coalition governments just like the ones I mentioned being formed losers.

    For a guy who leads a government based on achieving the greatest minority of seats with less than 40% of the popular vote he sure is an arrogant snob isn't he?

    Isn't it odd how Israel is, once again, a "different case".

    Isn't it also odd how partisans always have to explain what their leader "really meant" as opposed to what he said.

    Harper did not qualify his remarks so why are you doing it for him?


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