Please tell me

I’m not being facetious here: please tell me what is so threatening/frightening about a coalition government?

I’ve heard a lot of people say that Canada needs to adopt a two-party system of governance so that we no longer have to be faced with things like minority governments and the possibility of coalition governments. I have to admit that I just don’t understand that argument. I *do* understand that folks’re tired of the expense and of the rigamarole of going to the polls every two years (although I absolutely do not agree with the idea that anyone other than “The Harper Government” is responsible for this latest election. It’s not about the opposition parties voting against the budget, people, although “The Harper Government” is certainly the better man when it comes to spin, because they are certainly good at obfuscation and redirection.)

But aside from my thoughts about the Conservative party in general and Stephen Harper specifically, I really do want to know what is so bloody frightening about a coalition government. Because to me, it seems like asking more than one party to run the government in co-operation with others isn’t inherently *harmful*. Sure, trying to get a decision made by committee can be a pain in the arse if you’re designing a web page and all seventeen people on the committee have a different favourite colour and the best feedback you can get about the web page is “I think it should be more blue; like the kind of blue the sky is, and not the kind of blue you feel when your pet fish has died”. But making *big* decisions by committee isn’t all bad. It’s probably why all governments strike committees to make recommendations for big decisions. I could be guessing wildly on that one.

So. Clearly, I do not understand. And I should very much like to understand. I’m not being facetious or sarcastic here.I *do* want to hear from people with whom I may not share political points of view.

Okay, *was* being a little sarcastic up there, but my question is an heartfelt and honest one: what’s wrong with a coalition government?

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

5 Comments

  1. You know that ‘spin’ you mentioned? Well, that is the reason that ‘coalition government’ are naughty words. Knowing that if the other parties united and offered to form the new official government, Conservatives would be without the PMO and out of the driver’s seat for up to 4 years. So, the spin was developed to make working together and negotiating to be a sign of weakness in Canadian politics. If you voted for Liberal, you should be offended that your representative is siding with the NDP! You voted NDP? Well, how can you justify your NDP MP agreeing with the Bloc?? You voted Conservative? Well, we’ll always vote together and we hate the other parties for not holding to their convictions. Then repeat over and over and over and over for months until people start saying “Hey, did you hear about those guys trying to form a coalition government? It must be bad, the Conservatives seem to think we should be upset about it. It is like, betraying our trust or something.” And thus, the spin was spun and Conservatives were able to splinter one group (Liberals) from the pack, making them agree never to form a coalition. So it really, really worked.

  2. The Conservatives have spent millions of our tax dollars for 3 years telling Canadians that coalitions are evil and to be feared, and those same Canadians aren’t aware there’s a coalition government in the UK right now, so they’ve been successfully propagandized. It’s as simple as that. Those 10%ers that showed up in your mailbox have paid off for the CONTEMPT Party.

    1. I know; I get that. But I’d like to know WHY coalitions are to be feared. What’s the poop on it?

      Basically, maybe I’m asking : “What do Stephen Harper’s Conservatives THINK will happen if Canadians elect a minority government that chooses to work in coalition with other parties to form a majority?”

      And it’s not like it’s never happened. We’ve had two Coalition governments, and both at the behest of Conservatives (I think) who were tired that legislation was deadlocked. So I don’t get why the “modern” Conservatives are so frightened of it. Is it just a simple browbeating thing?

  3. I’ll try this one. You’re giving the CONS too much credit for having something in mind on this one other trying to keep power. For the CONS, they THINK that they will basically be shut out of a coalition government. So, using classic FUD techniques they keep harping on about the evils of a coalition. They have nothing concrete to offer in terms of why that would be bad other than the BQ might be involved (Having chosen to be represented by the BQ, those ridings should have no say in how the government operates apparently) and the “socialist” NDP would be involved.

    Notice Harper’s language on this “try to *seize* power”, “some other sort of government”, etc. Vague, threatening terminology with no substance.

    1. Okay, so the thing that scares the hell out of people who vote Conservative, when it comes to the idea of a coalition government, is that someone other than the Conservatives will be “running the country”? So really, the *actual* fear is that “not Conservative” = communist/socialist = bad?

      I’ve noticed Harper’s extremely well-thought-out use of language before. The guy and his PR know spin, and they know it well.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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