"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Harper Wins the Coalition Battle

Well the 2011 federal election campaign was barely one day old when Stephen Harper had already fought and won a major battle, one that could ensure his return to power on May 2nd.

Harper's argument about coalitions being an illegitimate form of government, a government forged from back-room deals rather than the will of the people, is absolutely ludicrous. Ask Israel or England or Poland if they feel their governments are illegitimate. But Stephen knows this all to well. 

The Coalition "monster" that the Conservatives have been warning us about is strictly a product of the Tory Spin-Doctor machine. As they've learned over the years, all they have to do is put the "misinformation" out there, frequently and forcefully and throw in a few well chosen adjectives like referring to the Bloc as the "Separatists" and the NDP as the "Socialists" and they have a monster. At a speech given in Montreal to a number of business types, Jim Flaherty used the phrase "coalition" no less than 14 times, as though he were attempting to conjure up an evil spirit or control the minds of the audience through the power of "auto-suggestion" like some cheap vaudeville hypnotist.

So the monster doesn't actually have to be real. The Spin-Doctors just have to say it often enough and passionately enough, and it becomes real. Harper knows this. In fact, he explored the possibility of a coalition Government with the "Separatists" and the "Socialists" himself in 2004 while Paul Martin was still Prime Minister and no three-headed Hydras appeared.

So the auto-suggestion technique seems to have worked it's evil magic once again. The "suggested" theme, an "evil coalition of the damned" was thrown out there so often that the members of the media latched onto it and applied sustained pressure on the Opposition leader, Michael Ignatieff to articulate his stance on the possibility of his forming a coalition Government.

But prior to the fall of the Government of Harper,  all three opposition parties seemed to have simultaneously snapped their fingers and awoken the media and the electorate from it's trance by producing a 2004 letter to then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, signed by  Stephen Harper, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe that seemed to be asking the GG to  consider the alternative of a coalition Government should Paul Martins fragile Liberal Minority Government of the time lose the confidence of the house.

That seemed to have rid us all of the Evil Coalition suggestion once and for all. Stephen Harper seemed to have no suitable comeback for this new revelation that he too had explored to coalition alternative. But the Tory Witch Doctors continued to perpetuate it's myth never the less. If nothing else, they are good at what they do. 

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The Government of Harper fell to a non confidence motion due to it's contempt for the House of Parliament. And the Coalition suggestion kicked back in as if Mr. Harper had rung a little bell from somewhere on the floor of the Commons. And the media immediately snapped into action, pouring unprecedented pressure on the leader of the opposition to give them an answer as to whether or not he would consider a coalition Government should the Tories win the most seats.

And Ignatieff finally relented and gave them an unequivocal "NO"! He would not, could not, should not form a coalition under any circumstances. And instantly, a very real and viable alternative to any future Tory minority was lost forever. There is no way the Liberals could go back on a statement like that and retain any shred of credibility, to be able to say they are more "honest" than the previous Government of Harper. Which means that the only hope that there would not be any future Tory minority Governments is that either the Liberals OR the NDP become the first party "past the post", meaning they get the most seats in Parliament. This is indeed, putting all our eggs into one very leaky basket, which is exactly what Mr. harper had hoped for. 

Mr. Harper has not been pressured to make the same claim regarding a coalition Government. He has promised nothing. If Liberals should gain the most seats but fall short of a majority, there is nothing what so ever stopping the Tories from attempting to form a coalition of it's own as it was considering in 2004. So unless Michael Ignatieff goes back on his promise, the only thing between the country and another Harper-Con minority is the Liberals winning a majority Government, which at this times seems to be highly unlikely.  

So while this war is destined to continue for a further five weeks, it appears that it's outcome may already have been determined as a result of the very first battle fought on the very first day of the campaign.

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