Stephen Harper has screwed up big time on the coalition issue, by failing to anticipate that the Liberal Party would come out with a speedy response to Harper's fear mongering on the issue of a coalition between the Liberals, NDP and Bloc.
Ignatieff snookers Harper for second time:
Just as the reinvigorated Liberals snookered Harper over the vote on the Budget, which was Harper's choice, by forcing a vote on the Contempt of Parliament issue instead, leading to the fall of the Harper government, so too the Liberals are now one jump ahead of the Harper new Tories on the coalition issue
What happened? Ignatieff came out with a written statement that clarifies what the Liberal Party will do with respect to coalitions. It will not enter into a coalition with the NDP, the Tories or the Bloc. Period.
And what is Harper doing?
He's running for the hills as fast as he can, because his machinations to try to sink the minority Martin Liberal government in 2004, including his signing of a letter with Duceppe and Layton to the Governor General which effectively told the GG that the Tories (who had the next highest seats) would be prepared to form a government. Of course, that government would have to be supported by the socialists (NDP) and separatists (Bloc) as all three of the parties needed to work together to voted down the Liberal minority govenment and vote confidence in the replacement Tory minority government.
For the record, these were the seats at the time Harper signed the ready-to-launch-
a-coup letter to the GG:
There were 308 seats in the House, and a majority would have been 155. The Liberals won 38% more seats than Harper's new Tories did (40 seats). The total of the Tories, Bloc and NDP is 172, more than the majority needed.
The Tories and NDP totalled 118 only, which was far short of the majority of 155. Harper would not have been able to govern as the replacement government simply with the support of the NDP – he needed the support of the Bloc to vote confidence in his government's Throne Speech and Budget, which is why he sat at the table with Duceppe and signed the now-infamous letter to the GG.
Harper's new tactic: Lie about the next election:
Harper is the prime minister of Canda, and one would think that as such he would be honest with the citizens of the country regarding our constitutional law.
Instead, yesterday and today he has lied to Canadians by omitting to correctly state what laws would apply in certain cases, and instead by choosing to say that there is only one result possible under our democracy's laws.
These lies do not become a prime minister of a vibrant democracy like ours, and he is failing his office by repeating these lies again and again.
What is the lie he is telling Canadians?
``Canadians need to understand clearly, without any ambiguity: Unless Canadians elect a stable, national majority, Mr. Ignatieff will form a coalition with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois. They tried it before. It is clear they will try it again. And, next time, if given the chance, they will do it in a way that no one will be able to stop,'' Harper told reporters outside Rideau Hall.
The highlighted, bolded and underlined statement by our prime minister is a lie.
It is a lie because it directly contradicts the written statement by Ignatieff that the Liberal Party does not intend to enter into a coalition with either the NDP or the Bloc.
It is also a lie by omission because it his words "form a coalition" is a straw man. It has no substance to it. It misstates the reality of our constitutional laws.
Why is it a lie?
If the Harper government won the most seats (but not a majority) of all parties in this election, but failed to gain the confidence of the House (being a majority of MPs in the house, or 155) for his Throne Speech or first Budget, then the GG would ask Ignatieff as leader of the party with the next largest number of seats to attempt to form a minority government, and see if he can win the confidence of the House.
Ignatieff could table a Throne Speech and Budget which the NDP and Bloc could vote for even if there is no coalition of these three parties.
In fact, Ignatieff could govern as a minority government for up to 4 years, with the case by case support of the NDP and Bloc for all confidence measures.
Ignatieff could also discuss with the Tories, NDP and Bloc what they would have liked to see in a Liberal budget (as prime minister of a minority government should do, in a cooperative fashion) and include enough in his budgets to win the votes of the NDP and Bloc for the budgets.
By focusing only on his Big Lie of a "coalition", our Prime Minister is misleading us about our constitutional laws, and trying to sow confusion through this falsehood.
As Prime Minister, Harper should be explaining very clearly to Canadians what our constitutional laws are, not trying to deceive citizens on these matters.
Shame on you, Mr. Harper.
If you lie to us about this important matter, how can Canadians trust you to form the next government of Canada?
Let's protect our democracy from more of these Republican-style lies and distortions.
O, Canada, we stand on guard for thee!