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Mon Oct 12, 2015, 04:08 PM

Trudeau, Mulcair reject any suggestion of backing a Harper minority government

Source: The Toronto Star

Stephen Harper’s only hope of forming a government after next Monday’s election is if his Conservative party wins enough votes to form a majority.
That was the message his opponents tried to send loud and clear on Sunday, when Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair both declared they wouldn’t prop up a minority government with Harper at the helm.
Both Trudeau and Mulcair had said earlier they wouldn’t back a Conservative minority. But with the election exactly one week away and opinion polls suggesting it could be difficult for any party to secure a majority of seats in the House of Commons, it appears likely that whoever comes first in the Oct. 19 vote will need the support of a rival to govern.

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/10/12/trudeau-mulcair-reject-any-suggestion-of-backing-a-harper-minority-government.html

Steven Harper's conservative government is despised so much that Canadians might break with tradition in the aftermath of this month's Canadian federal elections.

Canada's political system is multi-party structured with 3 major federal parties aligning roughly as conservative, centrist and progressive respectively for the Progressive Conservatives (a historical misnomer for a very right wing party), the Liberals and the NDP (New Democratic Party). Canada has a "first past the post" system where candidates for parliament who receive the most votes in their "riding" (aka district) win, a majority of votes is not required. The federal party with the most elected members to parliament then gets to form the national government. Or at least try. If the "winning" party does not get a majority of the seats in parliament, they must form a government with the support and participation of one or more of the other parties. This means that often a minority government can be formed with the winning party having only ~34% of the vote. This is the dilemma Canadians are facing where the much maligned conservatives look like they will win the most seats in parliament, but not enough for an outright majority. In the past, our polite northern neighbors would routinely have the party with the most seats form the government. But the Harper conservative regime is so despised that the other ~66% of Canadians want all parties not to support the conservatives in forming a government at all. Its a fairly rare occurrence, and while not an expert, I think its like a once in a 100 year event. Hence the call now to reject the conservatives and let the next party in line have the opportunity to form the next government.

Please, any Canadian's participating on DU feel free to correct any mistakes I made in describing this. lol

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Reply Trudeau, Mulcair reject any suggestion of backing a Harper minority government (Original post)
uawchild Oct 2015 OP
George II Oct 2015 #1
uawchild Oct 2015 #2
roamer65 Oct 2015 #3
Jim Lane Oct 2015 #4

Response to uawchild (Original post)

Mon Oct 12, 2015, 05:30 PM

1. I think you pretty much have it, but it's more complicated than the US.

From what I've seen (talking to relatives up there), Harper may not have the highest number of seats, but its close.

I don't see how he gets even as much support as he does - he's despised by many Canadians coast to coast and some laws he got passed have not been enforced by the Provinces. Some types of laws, although Federal laws, are put in the hands of the Provinces (something like unfunded mandates down here in the US, but different of course) who can choose not to provide resources to enforce them.

I've been up in Ontario during campaign season - it's a lot better there than down here. In some races there is little or no negative campaigning, they pretty much stick to the issues. In the cases of campaigning against an incumbent, its a little negative but almost entirely on criticizing positions on the issues, none of this childish "3 AM phone call" stuff.

About the worst I've ever seen, from the outside, has been Rob Ford campaigns. But he's out of the picture now anyway.

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Response to George II (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 12, 2015, 06:04 PM

2. Thanks!

And I can't tell you how much self-restraint it just took me not to post a few animated Rob Ford gifs just now! lol

um.... ut oh... maybe just one!

From former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford days of sneaking out of city hall to coach his favorite high school football team...

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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Mon Oct 12, 2015, 06:19 PM

3. I think Trudeau and Mulcair will see the wisdom of forming a coalition gov't.

They will have the mandate from the Canadian people do it, especially if the Cons finish second or third. Most Canadians want Harper out of 24 Sussex.

The Lib-NDP coalition government of Lester Pearson produced Canada's crown jewel.


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Response to uawchild (Original post)

Mon Oct 12, 2015, 11:49 PM

4. That three-party structure poses problems.


What happened last time, IIRC, was that Harper had a minority of the popular vote but won a majority of the seats. That the opposition to the Conservatives was divided between the Liberals and the NDP meant that many ridings returned a Conservative MP even though most of the people in that riding wanted a change.

Isn't there a danger of that happening again?

If the Liberals and the NDP are open to a coalition, they should be working NOW to prevent the election of another Conservative majority on a minority of the votes. If they each dropped some of their weaker candidates it would help. Promise some of the dumped candidates an ambassadorship or some sub-Cabinet post or whatever, just get the deal done.

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