Sunday, December 07, 2008

From Coalition Accord to Electoral Accord

Harper is desperately trying to create a sense of crisis so that the Governor General will be stampeded in January, when the Tory government is voted out in a confidence vote, to depart from accepted convention of looking for an alternative government and turning to the LPC-NDP Coalition, and to call an election instead.

Harper realizes that the only way he can remain in power is if he manages to subvert our parliamentary conventions and run a fear mongering election, demonizing the Bloc and painting the LPC-NDP Coalition as traitors for putting into writing an agreement by the Bloc to support the Coalition for 18 months.

If the GG does decide to call a new election early in the new year, despite the country having recently gone to the polls, then the Coalition will nevertheless become the government.

How?

Because there is an irresistible drive by the three opposition parties to replace the Harper government with a progressive centre government, based on the principles captured in the Accord. These Accord principles will still be as valid come the new year as they are today.

Therefore the three parties will, if an election is indeed called, be open to an electoral accord which will guarantee that the three parties return the same number of MPs to Parliament as they now have, and so once again have a majority of votes in the House.

Even if the Tories have the most MPs after that election of all four parties, and form a government, it will be voted down in yet another confidence vote, and the Governor General will then definitely call on the LPC-NDP Coalition for form the next government and proceed to its own vote of confidence, which it will of course win.

In fact, it is highly probable that the three opposition parties will in fact increase their number of seats in the House, at the expense of the Tories.

Why? Because the irresistible logic of the power equation now created by the formation of this LPC-NDP Coalition requires that the three opposition parties agree before the next election not to oppose each other in all the ridings which currently have an MP. That leaves the existing MP facing only one major foe each (the Tory candidate).

And the next step is also logically persuasive: that the three opposition parties agree that in all other ridings now held by the Tories, they will run only one candidate, and coalesce behind that candidate.

Given that the Tories have won many seats only by a small percentage of the votes, and only because of split votes amongst the Liberals, NDP and the Bloc, and that the Tories received a million votes less than the opposition parties in the 2008 election, the Tories will definitely lose many seats and end up perhaps with fewer than one hundred seats in total.

It is conceivable that the Liberals will end up with the majority of total seats in such a new House.

Harper’s demise is inevitable.

3 comments :

  1. Hey, if you truly believe that you ARE part of the "62% majority" (or whatever it is this week, then you should be HAPPY to go to the people with an election. As it is, I'd love to see it happen.

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  2. I think that anyone who pretends to have a clue what will happen if we have an election in January is fooling themselves.

    We have never had an election where the Bloc, NDP & Liberals ran the election campaign saying "If anything less than a Tory majority occurs we will form a coalition government". That's essentially merging the parties and we simply don't know what will happen.

    How many Liberal voters are there who will vote Tory rather than for an NDP/Liberal hybrid? How many will simply not vote because both options are equally distasteful to them? Will voter turnout increase in some ridings as people try to toss the Conservatives or will it increase as people try to prevent a Liberal/Bloc/NDP government? Or will turnout drop as people refuse to vote because their party isn't running a candidate? How effective will it be for the Conservatives when they argue that ONLY the Conservatives wanted to ask the electorate for their decision, while the other parties tried to avoid it?

    You don't know. I don't know. No one knows.


    But about your proposal that the three opposition run only one anti-Tory candidate in every riding? Have you considered that this makes Liberal majority impossible? That the ONLY choice then becomes Conservative or hybrid party? Have you considered that the Bloc would continue to run in every Quebec riding and thus it would only be the Liberals and the NDP that would stop running candidates? That this would make the Conservatives the ONLY national party?

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  3. Your accord idea falls flat for a variety of reasons but I'll waste my time and explain just one for you: Money.

    As much as you can wail on about fiscal stimulus, this whole crisis was precipitated by Harper threatening to cut the $1.95 subsidy. I will give you that it was crass, ill-timed, and poorly thought out, but it cut to the core of the priorities of the 3 opposition parties.

    As to your accord, if each party only ran in the ridings they currently held (except the Bloc, of course because they aren't a member of the coalition, right?) you will be giving each riding only two choices. It is a bad assumption that all Liberal or NDP voters will vote for the coalition candidate because blue Libs will not go NDP, and in BC especially the second choice is of NDPers is often CPC. The end result even under the most optimistic projections is a reduced subsidy to the two coalition partners. And finally, given the level of support THREE polls show for the CPC it is a very bad assumption that you'd even win the ridings the coalition already holds. A very bad assumption. Money talks and in this case it means the accord proposal walks.

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