Sunday, November 30, 2008

NDP, Liberals reach deal to topple minority Tory government

Posted by Christian  |  at  30.11.08

Breaking news from the CBC

The NDP and Liberals have reached a deal to topple the minority Conservative government and take power themselves in a coalition, CBC News has learned.

A deal has been negotiated between NDP Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion that would see them form a coalition government for two and a half years, the CBC's Keith Boag reported, citing sources.

More as it becomes available.
Of course it does not suggest that it will happen, only that a major hurdle has been cleared. And Stephen "hypocrite" Harper can cry all he wants about this being an attack on democracy, even though apparently it was the oppositions responsibility to
provide an alternative government when he wasn't in power.

Harper: We'll support the government on issues if it's essential to the country but our primary responsibility is not to prop up the government, our responsibility is to provide an opposition and an alternative government for Parliament and for Canadians. What the government has to do, if it wants to govern for any length of time, is it must appeal primarily to the third parties in the House of Commons to get them to support it.

How's the appealing thing workin for you there Mr.Harper?

updated below

Solomon: You will, but you won't form a coalition -

Harper: No.

Solomon: You won't form a coalition, therefore in the event this government falls we cannot expect you to turn to another party and try to form a government, in other words it will be an election?

Harper: Well you're getting into a lot of hypotheticals...

Solomon: That's what this is all about!

Harper: I've said we wouldn't, we're not looking to form a coalition, the Bloc Quebecois has been very consistent that they're not going to form a coalition with anybody, so we wouldn't look to form a coalition - but the present government isn't in a coalition either.

Solomon: So why did you write that letter to the Governor-General with Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton saying in the event of a confidence vote situation do not call a snap election - are we to assume that therefore you're working to form a coalition?

Harper: There seems to be an attitude in the Liberal government - that they can go in, be deliberately defeated and call an election - that's not how our constitutional system works. The government has a minority - it has an obligation to demonstrate to Canadians that it can govern. That it can form a majority in the House of Commons. If it can't form a majority, we look at other options, we don't just concede to the government's request to make it dysfunctional. I know for a fact that Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Layton and the people who work for them want this Parliament to work and I know if is in all of our interests to work. The government has got to face the fact it has a minority, it has to work with other people.

Here is part of that letter
As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program. 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. Your attention to this matter is appreciated.

You are right on one count, the government has got to face the fact it has a minority, it has to work with other people. If at the very minimum this sinks into Harpers big head, it may not be a waste of time.

The NDP would hold 25 per cent of cabinet positions, Boag said, adding that the finance minister and the deputy prime minister would be Liberals.

The Bloc Québécois would not officially be a part of the coalition, but the new government's survival would depend on their support, he said.

The Harper government could prorogue Parliament to block the coalition efforts, but "that'd be a very, very dramatic step given the government has taken the position there'll be a budget early in January," Boag said.


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