Comment 27813

By BC (anonymous) | Posted December 04, 2008 at 13:41:11

Four comments.

First, the concept of precedence. There is a misunderstanding of what it means and how it applies. "Let the decision stand" (a paraphrase) is evolved through the commonlaw system, and really means even that that when judges rule on the law, athough judges are independent they should rule in a predictable and non-chaotic manner. A judge could, in theory, ignore a precedent, but generally do not in order to maintain some stability or predictability in law. If there is no precedent, does a judge not rule? No, the judge "creates" the precedent. Well, for those that say there is no precedence for a prorogue of parliament, that is correct. How could there be a precedence when it hasn't happened? Also, just because the GG does something, does not mean the GG is bound to do the same thing the next time (hopefully no next time) it happens, or the next GG, or the GG after that; the GG is not bound by precedent.

Second, the election. Yes, about 38% voted Conservative, and 62% voted something else. However, that doesn't mean that 63% of Canadians voted for a coalition. Conservatives (37.6% - Elections Canada), less (26.2%)for the Liberals, and even less (18.2%) for the NDP. Although the Lib/NDP together make 44.4%, the best I can tell is that NO ONE for the Lib/NDP combined. If the Lib/NDP want to talk like they have 44% of the vote, then let them go to the electorate together and find out what people actually want; hey, who knows, maybe more, maybe less, maybe the same, but at least it would be clear as a combined vote.

Third, the coaltion. Yes, there have been coalition governments, but normally when the parties in the coalition have MORE combined seats, not LESS. The Conservatives have 143, the coalition would have 113 (Elections Canada results). If I understand a coaltion correctly, the Lib/NDP should have MORE than the opposition. I say this having read the accord (from the Liberal website) that only has signatures from Dion and Layton. One might argue that the BQ supports them (and in writing), but the BQ is not forming part of government, just keeping their noses out of it, so to speak. So, how is democracy better served by having a smaller number of people talk about being the government, with a bystander saying "go ahead, I won't stop you?" Goes back to my previous paragraph: if the Lib/NDP want to get together and form a government, then do it openly in an election.

Fourth, Harper (who admitted or accepted responsibility, which doesn't matter) did an incredibly stupid thing. Notwithstanding that stupid move, does it mean we then hand over the reins to people who did not have a combined support during the election. I think that the government should have come down, but not to bring people who have no legitimate claim. Politicians talk about the cost of an election, but I believe even if elections cost nothing that the coalition wouldn't go to an election, because they know it wouldn't fly; maybe the vote would change, but most likely not for the coalition.

To close, this has been a pretty exciting thing to watch, and seeing how much it has raised peoples' interest in how our system works, good and bad, is a good thing.

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