Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I'm not quite sure where I stand in regards to the current political crisis in Ottawa.

If I don't really like Harper, didn't vote for him and was upset by his decision to cut funding to political parties, I'm also not sure I want to go on the slippery slope that would be this idea of a coalition between the three parties of the opposition.

It seems like there's not enough precedents, and that it seems to give way too many powers to the Governor General. And if there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that I'd be more than happy to get rid of any symbol of monarchy in Canada.

The Governor General of Canada, "Her Excellency The Right Honourable" Michëlle Jean.

It's not about the Bloc Québécois supporting the Government: First, I used to be a sovereignist (a separatist for my anglo friends) and even if I'm not sure it's a wise idea anymore, I do remain sympathetic to the cause. Many opponent to the possibility of a coalition must remember that the Bloc was democratically elected and fulfill its role givinf a voice to the Québécois population that elected them (A majority of Québécois are for a coalition government). Second, the Bloc's leader, Gilles Duceppe made clear he didn't want to have any ministry for his party, they offered to support the coalition for a limited time, and under conditions, so there wouldn't be any "separatists in the government".

It's not about the NDP. I voted orange and share most of their ideas and values, and I'm not surprised that they could form a coalition government with the Liberals and the Bloc. If the NDP is a little more left-leaning than the Liberals, they are very similar in ideology to the Bloc, Québec independance notwhitstanding, and the Liberals would make sure that they govern center-left, as almost any Leftist party would do.

It's about the Liberals. If I did respect some decisions made by the Liberals while they were in power, I've never been a big fan, and even less of actual, but demissionary party leader Stéphane Dion.

The leaders of the three opposition parties, Gilles Duceppe, Stéphane Dion and Jack Layton.

Here's the problem: How could a revoked leader that keeps the job in the interim, while the Liberal party elects his successor, could become Prime Minister? And how his replacement could pretend to have any legitimity, not having been chosen by the people and, probably, the result of a controversial decision by the Governor General?

Because that's the other main issue: The Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, has to follow the government's decisions, unless there's a vote of non-confidence. The Harper government wants her to prorogate Parliament to delay the non-confidence vote, an action she, according to traditions, she has no choice but to accept. But the opposition wants her to refuse the prorogation, claiming the government lost the confidence of parliament. The problem is, it hasn't happen yet, since we need a vote to confrim such an accusation.

So where do we stand? An affront to democracy, or an affront to democracy?

For more information on what's at stake:

David Frum's National Post column.

Globe and Mail article: The Governor General's options

Prime Minister Stephen Harper December 3rd address coverage on CBC.

New York Times article.

On a sidenote, I find this image very funny, with the Bloc Québécois light blue colours included in a Canadian maple leaf symbol...somewhat ironic(but not at the same time, since maple trees grow in Eastern Canada, from Nova Scotia to Southern Ontario, passing by Québec, and are absent from the rest of the country, dominated by the conservatives...):


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