My friend Mike has written an interesting post about Canada’s ongoing political situation, and the possibility the Conservative minority will be replaced by a Bloc-supported NDP-Liberal coalition:
stephen harper, who is huge fan of blind canadian patriotism Ã lâ€™amÃ©ricaine, has taken it upon himself to re-align the country along more populist lines. the frightening thing is that he does not just do this through legislation (i.e. â€œscrew the scientists; safe-injection sites have to go!â€), but he does it by changing the icons of our national heritage (i.e. â€œitâ€™s not a coalition; itâ€™s a coup dâ€™Ã©tat!â€). basically, harper is applying the traditional centralised power of the prime ministerâ€™s office in a manner that is reminiscent of the american political system. in other words, heâ€™s playing baseball with a hockey stick.
herein lies the rub (and the danger): what stephen harper is doing in this scenario is pretending that he not only has a parliamentary majority (which he doesnâ€™t), but also that he can govern by divine right since his government was directly elected. this is incorrect, and he knows it.
Since it is interesting – and because I am too busy to write anything substantive today – I suggest that readers go have a look at the whole post. It makes a good case for both better understanding of Canada’s existing political system and traditions and for some ways in which they could be usefully modified.
On a related note, Watawa Life has a photo of ‘Hotties for Harper’ protesting against the coalition on Parliament Hill.
[Update: 28 January 2009] As of today’s Liberal response to yesterday’s Conservative budget, it seems the possibility of a coalition is dead, at least for now.