Saturday, November 29, 2008

Note To Stephen Harper - Grow Up and Play Nice

In the political game of chicken unfolding in Ottawa Stephen Harper is coming across as a spoiled little brat who's shorts are in a knot. And what is it exactly that's crawled up his ass? An annoying little thing called Parliamentary Democracy that's what.

The Conservatives came out of the recent election with a minority mandate, not a majority Mr. Harper...a minority. With about 35% of the popular vote that means more than six in ten voters opted for parties other than the Conservatives. It appears there's a very real possibility that Harper's Conservatives could lose a vote of confidence in the house of commons.

If that does come to pass the question is do we go to the polls. Its hard to imagine Canadians being thrilled with the prospect of voting yet again in the dead of winter...casting ballots for what seems like the tenth time in a month. We had the Liberal minority under Paul Martin, followed by two consecutive Conservative minorities...We don't need or want a fourth election in just a five year span!!!

It appears the opposition parties, who cumulatively garnered significantly more support than the Tories, are poised to allow the Liberals to lead a minority coalition government. And this is the wedgie pull that has Harper whining. He's on record as saying:

“They want to install a government led by a party that received its lowest vote share since Confederation. They want to install a prime minister – prime minister Dion – who was rejected by the voters just six weeks ago.”

Someone needs to remind M. Harper that this is Canada and not the United States. We don't vote directly for the Prime Minister, rather we vote for individual candidates in our ridings. If M. Dion is able to garner the confidence of enough sitting members following a defeat of the government, then it is certainly legitimate for him to ask the Governor General for the right to form a government. And it would be Mme. Jean's responsibility to grant that request to save Canadians another costly election.

There is of course an alternative. Mr. Harper can grow up and work with the opposition parties, acknowledging that the majority of Canadians did not vote for the Conservative's agenda. This would involve compromise and a conciliatory approach, things for which our PM is not well known....But if he can learn a second language later in life maybe its not too late for him to grow up and learn that there are ways to get along even if you don't always get things your way.

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