I arrived home from my conference/vacation in the midst of a national election campaign. Our fourth in less than 10 years.
My friends from the south might be surprised by this concept - not being used to a Parliamentary Democracy. Actually, a friend of mine from the NORTH doesn't understand it much either, despite repeated intelligent attempts on my part to provide her with a civics lesson.
She believes we elect a leader who once elected is pretty much able to do whatever the heck he or she wishes to do. This is not how it works.
In a Parliamentary Democracy we do NOT elect a Prime Minister - we elect a Parliament made up of representatives, all of whom are elected at the local level. Each of these local representatives will be a member of one political party or another. If a majority of the representatives are from one party then that party is asked to form the government. The leader of that party becomes our Prime Minister.
If no party has a majority of the representatives in the Parliament then whichever parties are able to cobble together enough of the people's representatives to form a majority could be asked to form the government. This coalition would govern until it is defeated at which time there would be another election.
This is how a Parliamentary Democracy works. If you don't like it there are other governments out there . . . frankly while it isn't perfect, it works.
We've had democracy for such a long time that we forget that Parliament is meant as a place of honour. A place where the representatives elected by the people meet to debate, discuss, and ratify legislation. These days Parliament is more a place of dishonour with lies, name-calling, obstruction, and general mayhem.
People have died for the right to have a Parliament; to have a say in their government. We forget this.
This election was triggered by our government governing in a ham-fisted manner. Compromise was an anathema. The built up to the election saw the government being he first government in history to be found to be in contempt of Parliament for treating this institution and the people elected to govern so shabbily.
Some say this election is uncalled for. I disagree, if for no reason than a message needs to be sent to ALL politicians that governing is a sacred responsibility and it is high time they started acting respectfully.
One of the early issues that the Prime Minster has used to drive the campaign is the fear of an opposition coalition running the country. In fact, he mentions the word coalition regularly as if it is a red beast with a forked tail and horns rising from the depths of the earth to smite good men and women down.
Given that more Canadians voted for parties OTHER than the former government in the last election if a coalition were formed the majority of Canadians would see themselves reflected in the government. Coalitions aren't new for Canada - we have had them at the Provincial and the Federal levels. both Britain and Ireland are currently lead by coalition governments with nary a sign of the horned beast smiting anyone, contrary to the groundless fears fermented by the Conservatives.
The thing that truly exercises me about this is that Harper tried to defeat a former government by negotiating a coalition of his OWN. This is a fact documented in numerous letters, public statements, and the historic record of numerous meetings. To then criticise others for being in a position to do the same is just deceitful.
What is that saying we learn as children? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones . . .
This Canadian is sick and tired of lies and deceit. It was suggested to me that all politicians are the same. While I do believe that there is a level of manipulation from politicians of all stripes, we have never seen this level. I refuse to tolerate it any longer. I will not be threatened by things that aren't scary. I am intelligent and refuse to allow this blatant manipulation.
Frankly, Mr. Harper, if there was a coalition and it meant the end of you this country would be a damn sight better than it is now!