View Full Version : In 2015, a coalition government is totally plausible. But is it desirable?

12-26-2014, 07:03 PM
In 2015, a coalition government is totally plausible. But is it desirable?


As Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stood to address a packed House of Commons, I sat in the gallery with my non-partisan colleagues in anticipation of what we assumed would be a routine fiscal update.
It most certainly would not be.
By the time Flaherty took his seat, he had promised to suspend the ability of civil servants to strike and eliminate the per-vote subsidy on which all parties relied for funding. And no stimulus plan was included in the fiscal update, despite the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Justin Trudeau rules out coalition with NDP, says ‘immediate action’ needed on climate change
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ruled out a coalition government, called climate change a serious threat and promised a national inquiry into murdered and missing women in a wide-ranging, year-end interview with Postmedia’s Mark Kennedy in his Parliament Hill office on Friday. Here is what he said:
Coalition with the NDP
There is constant political speculation about what Mr. Trudeau will do if Mr. Harper is re-elected with a minority government. Will Mr. Trudeau topple the Tories in Parliament and form a coalition government with the NDP’s Tom Mulcair?
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It was Nov. 27, 2008 — six weeks following a sleepy fall election that had returned a second minority government for Stephen Harper. As I shuffled out of the Commons gallery with my fellow parliamentary interns, we exchanged confused glances, uncertain as to what we had observed and whether it would have ramifications for the new Parliament.
We did not have to wait long for the answer.
Within hours, all three opposition parties had united, setting the wheels in motion to topple the Harper Conservatives and form a coalition government. Within days, they had signed a formal agreement. And just weeks later, by the time we returned to Ottawa after the holiday break, Stephen Harper’s stunning prorogation of Parliament had allowed him to escape political demise — and the vitality of the progressive coalition had withered.
Fast forward to 2015. Political circumstances have changed such that the next federal election offers the first real opportunity to revisit the plausibility and desirability of a coalition government in Canada. But why did the proposed coalition government of 2008 fail in the first place?
There are three key reasons:
First, the coalition’s integrity was dependent on parliamentary support from the separatist Bloc Québécois. This enabled the Harper Conservatives to paint the coalition as a threat to national unity.
Second, the coalition crisis hit Ottawa in the midst of a severe recession. With economic insecurities pervasive among Canadians, economists and political analysts warned that a left-leaning coalition government would threaten a fragile Canadian economy.
Third, the coalition was ultimately a victim of feeble leadership in the Liberal Party. Having just been rejected by voters six weeks prior, Stéphane Dion was not a credible candidate to lead a government.
 John Ivison: Latest NDP defection speaks volumes about which direction the party’s fortunes are heading
 NDP’s Thomas Mulcair open to coalition with Liberals but Trudeau rejects idea
Today, none of these circumstances persist. The Bloc Québécois is a marginalized fourth party with grim electoral prospects, the global and national financial recoveries are largely on track, and charismatic Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has the overwhelming support of his party. Furthermore, with the NDP’s support stalled in third place and the Trudeau Liberals losing some ground in recent months, it’s appearing increasingly likely that neither party will be able to defeat the Conservatives outright in 2015
So a 2015 coalition is more plausible. Is it desirable?
For progressives, a coalition government would first and foremost serve as a direct means of dislodging Harper. And from a progressive standpoint, it would be a net positive for Canada in public policy terms. Major government social and tax policies could be fundamentally overhauled by a coalition government — particularly on issues where Liberals and New Democrats see eye to eye. For example, one could reasonably envision a Trudeau-Mulcair team swiftly reversing the current government’s regressive policy on income splitting, introducing a vastly different approach to handling international diplomacy and tackling global climate change and child-care issues.
It would instantly bestow a sense of common purpose to progressive parliamentarians. The Liberals and New Democrats would be expected to table a legislative agenda and fiscal plan in short order that balanced the policy priorities and cultures of both parties. Of necessity, they would find innovative ways to co-operate.
Pundits aren’t the only ones reaching for a coalition as a solution to a decade of Conservative rule. An recent EKOS Research poll suggests Canadians are now open to the idea of coalition government too, with 54% supporting a hypothetical Liberal-NDP coalition over a Conservative minority government.
Assuming Liberals and New Democrats could lower their swords after election night, a number of barriers would still need to be overcome for a coalition government to be viable: The Harper Conservatives would of course have to lose their majority in the next general election. Political progressives, parliamentary traditionalists, and those with democratic imagination would have to overcome cynical Conservative messaging about what constitutes a legitimate government.
But almost six years to the day of the 2008 fiscal update, I found myself sitting in the Commons gallery once again — this time watching over dozens of Liberal and NDP MPs aggressively questioning the government on cuts to veterans’ mental health services. It struck me that they could just as easily be working together in opposition or in government.
If it came to pass, the results could fundamentally alter the way in which we view parliamentary democracy.

National Post
Andrew Perez

12-26-2014, 07:05 PM
one whiff of coalition Liberal/NDP government will seal a CPC win.

12-26-2014, 07:25 PM
Trudeau is a charismatic leader? From the sound bytes I've seen he seems like an ineloquent tool. I'm probably a better public speaker than he is.

12-26-2014, 08:48 PM
Occasionally, I find myself wishing for a right wing totalitarian state, just so I could live to see someone tell the leftist MSM to just........ Shut the F--k Up! And see the expression on their faces. :la:


12-27-2014, 01:04 PM
Well the thing about progressives is their ideology fundamentally is based on a rainbows and unicorns perspective on the world. That ideology falls to pieces when the reality of the world - an ugly, screwed up mess - sets in.

I think there is an unavoidable increase in the awareness of reality and think the progressive movement is losing steam accordingly.

Edward Teach
12-27-2014, 05:42 PM
Trudeau is a charismatic leader? From the sound bytes I've seen he seems like an ineloquent tool. I'm probably a better public speaker than he is.

It would be nothing to worry about if the average lefty wasn't dumber than a turd.

12-27-2014, 09:38 PM
Well here's the thing. Trudeau HAS to convince people that a coalition is out of the question. Why? Because if he doesn't, people will not be afraid to vote ndp. Why not, if it's going to be an ndp/liberal gov't anyway, you'd still get rid of harper, so they might as well elect an ndp'er in their riding. And those who lean left would like to see more ndp in such a coalition - gives 'em more bargaining chips for more left of center ideas.

Trudeau MUST defeat the NDP - otherwise even if there IS a coalition it'll be an NDP lead coalition and either way he'll lose seats to the ndp. So he must avoid that thinking at all costs.

Which isn't to say he won't form a coalition gov't under the right circumstances.

But really - it's the last thing he'd want. He would be responsible for running the gov't, but his hand wouldn't be free so he'd be stuck apologizing for everything he did (and didn't) do, and coalitions inevitably fall apart long before the next election date.

I think trudeau is in a two election plan right now - form opposition and let the cpc win, then form gov't. He doesn't want a coalition - as long as he beats the ndp he's got a chance at the next one. If he doesn't beat the ndp but it's a minority - he may well go for it. Like Dion he might look at it as the only way to save his job.

We really want trudeau to come in third this time around, and still win a majority (even if it's not a big majority).

12-27-2014, 11:01 PM
Too bad we can't regulate government.
They fight over who gets elected, and all they really have power over is what cars they decide to buy for themselves using tax dollars.
While the rest of us pay taxes & allow them to do this, so they leave us alone.
CPC can buy fords, Liberals will buy GMs, NDP will buy ladas, ect.
So we can still fight over which party should win.