Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Coalition Politics: End of the Presidential PM?

The opposition parties in the federal house of commons, which represent 163 seats and 2 out of every three voters in Canada, have formed a coalition to oust the Tories. The threat to their funding got them together, but they were correct that the Conservative's lack of a stimulus package was essentially incompetent. Their approach to the current economic crisis was the same as that of US Pres. Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression- an approach that is now credited with deepening and extending the great depression. The particular brand of conservatism that advocates that approach, one of meddling only in sexual but not economic behavior is an anathema to the opposition hence they have decided to use their parliamentary majority to bring down the government with a non-confidence vote.

The upshot of this is a return to the Westminster model, where the Prime Minister serves at the pleasure of parliament, and where each member of parliament has a say in government. Instead of voting in a dictator, this returns representation to government in Canada. The individual member serves at the pleasure of the electorate he or she represents. It also suggests that the time may be ripe for the introduction of a system of representation by population.

As an aside, it says something about Stephane Dion that he could get Gilles Duceppe to agree to support a Liberal-led government.

1 comment:

Scott in Montreal said...

He looked like the impressive Dion that brokered the Montreal Accord at the 11th hour to save Kyoto back when he was Paul Martin's outgoing Environment Minister. It seems his decency - and forthright battle for the common good - has once again been key to his success. Here's hoping Harper doesn't proroque (although it's hard to imagine him not doing so at this stage).

"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster