Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1997 Stephen Harper on Coalitions:: Advocating Working Together

While Stephen Harper on TVO states that he wants to unite the right, he doesn'tt stop there. He goes on to talk about the eventual decline of Liberal seats and the 5 parties in Parliament::
"...and so I think that parties that want to form government are going to have to eventually learn to work together."
Here's what Parliament looked like in 1997::

First off, he sounds like he's getting ready for a love-in, although reading between the lines there's a bloodlust for power. Now, Harper is trying to spin his 2007 words as him meaning a coalition of just the right and that he never attempted to take power without winning an election. He's right, in that it's not his style to take power through democratic means, he just takes it. I digress. Tom Flanagan, a former Tory campaign manager, divulged that in 2004, Harper sought consideration for "co-opposition". A letter signed by the opposition leaders to Adrienne Clarkson read::
“We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation...We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise, this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.”
This sure sounds like Harper trying to "work together" with the Bloc and the NDP, just like he advocated in 1997. Harper thinks he has clean hands since he didn't follow through on any coalition efforts, but the ruse is pretty transparent now. It's clear that Harper saw nothing wrong with exploring coalition formation and he's done nothing to say, "Whoa! Yeah, I looked into it and it was wrong, undemocratic, and the fruits of the devil." Instead, he weasels around his past actions in his constant effort to spin. I think the danger here is that he loses credibility. I understand he wants to push for a majority by scaring the electorate into believing that an unelected coalition will come to power {read:: undemocratic} and will include the separatist Bloc {read:: damn Québec}. I think it's time for him to move far away from this one.

Twitterversion:: [video] 1997 Stephen Harper discusses parties working together & in 2004 wanted co-opposition options. Time for plan B? #cdnpoli @Prof_K


Officer Mazaltoff said...

What's absolutely ludicrous about "unholy coalition spectre" he tries to raise is that it isn't undemocratic. There have been other democratic nations that have been run by coalition governments, a fact he seems to ignore. And let's not forget, Canada's first government was a coalition government.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

om:: Indeed. I think he's running for his political life here. I think another minority government will erode his stature as leader and will make him vulnerable to votes regarding allegations and pending investigations.