As a result, Canadians who voted against Harper but are just tuning in now, might be a little confused. They heard the opposition parties, and many constitutional experts who have weighed in, explain that this coalition would be perfectly legitimate in forming government. But then they hear Conservatives liken our system of responsible government to a coup. It must be confusing.
Let's forget what the Conservatives are saying now. They are understandably panicked and saying whatever they think they need to say to stay in power.
Let's instead look at what Conservatives said about these kinds of situations in the past.
On what would happen if a government lost the confidence of the HoC soon after an election:
"If the Liberals win one more seat than us and the Bloc and us defeat the government, it would be obvious what the next step would be," Mr. Reynolds said in an interview yesterday. "It would be irresponsible to hold another election right away."On governments that delay confidence votes:
– then-Conservative House leader John Reynolds, Globe and Mail, 1 June 2004 (during an election campaign)
The whole principle of our democracy is the government is supposed to be able to face the House of Commons any day on a vote. This government now has the deliberate policy of avoiding a vote. This is a violation of the fundamental constitutional principles of our democracy.
-Stephen Harper, May 3, 2005
On working with "socialists and separatists":
September 9, 2004
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1
As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program.
We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising
your constitutional authority.
Your attention to this matter is appreciated.
Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Gilles Duceppe, M.P.
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Jack Layton, M.P.
Leader of the New Democratic Party
Seems like we all agree. Well, we all did at one point or another. Then desperation grabbed hold of Stephen Harper and now we have to face the full might of the Conservative machine as they try to mislead and confuse Canadians in order to gain public support.
But we have the constitution and 62% of Canadians on our side. So, bring it on.