Coalition Governments

Posted: October 2, 2011 in Election, politics

Should the party with the most seats automatically be entitled to form the government?  Certainly not.  Whenever you have a system involving more than two parties, coalitions become part of the formula.  Hudak has resurrected what he calls the “specter” of coalition government this past weekend.  He claims that McGuinty is the kind of person who will make “back room deals” while he is not.  He is hoping that the tactics of his federal  counterpart ,that if you say something often enough people will believe it, will work equally well for him at this late stage of the campaign.

First, we have four viable parties in our political system.  Three of those parties, the NDP, the Liberals and the Green Party, have much more in common with each other than they do with the PC.  They are all left of centre, although the Liberal probably collect some of their supporters from the centre of the spectrum.

As I’ve said many times before, the PC are really an amalgamation of two parties.  From an integral perspective, they include more moderate conservatives who support conservative economic policies and represent wealthier capitalists wanting to protect their own interests along with more extreme social conservatives who are attracted by family values and extremist religious values.  Two parties.  Even though the federal conservatives changed their name by dropping the “Progressive” when the federal PC and Reform parties merged, there is no doubt that both these elements still exist within the Ontario PC party.  You can’t tell me that if these two parties were not merged, and had an opportunity to form a coalition government that they wouldn’t join forces in an instant.

Any combination of like-minded, compatible parties that can join forces to represent a majority of the public should be obligated to do so.  Government should be constructed by representatives from a majority of the population, not decided by some technicality.  And this is a very conservative idea.  The only reason that the PCs are opposed to it right now is that it is inconvenient and doesn’t serve their immediate purposes.

As for McGuinty and “back room deals”, what does that even mean?  The Liberals are not going to discuss a coalition government at this point in the campaign.  They need to hold out for an all out win, and they don’t want to lose the support of the centrists who may react badly to a pact with a more left wing party.  The Conservatives don’t have the option of a coalition.  If they win a minority government, -especially if it is by a very narrow margin, are inevitably going to be facing a majority of the house that is ideologically opposed to them.  It would take some really radical compromises for the PCs to ally themselves with the NDP.  Back room deals sounds like a really negative, reprehensible thing, when really what it means is that after the election is over two parties may get together to decide that they can better represent the majority public interest than can the “winner”.  You can call that a “back room deal” if you want to give it a negative spin, or you can call it negotiating a better solution.

It’s not a conspiracy; it’s a natural consequence.


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