Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reflecting the Will of the People

To suggest that only having a Conservative government in power somehow reflects the 'will of the people', as Stephen Harper would have us believe, is quite a stretch. The Conservatives, with support of less than 38% of those who chose to vote, were, as a result of the traditions of our parliamentary democracy, rightfully given the first opportunity to form a government. Such a government however, only remains in place so long as it has the confidence of the House.

When Stephen Harper points out that "Canadians didn't elect Stephane Dion to be Prime Minister of Canada", he is correct. However, Canadians didn't elect Stephen Harper either. We don't have a Presidential system in this country. We don't elect the Prime Minister, we elect Members of Parliament who in turn choose the leader of the country. Apparently, a majority of our MPs are choosing Stephane Dion.

Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are treading on very dangerous ground when they try to whip up sentiment that the proposed coalition is "an affront to the democratic will of Canadians". They may not like it, but they need to understand that this is how parliamentary democracy works. If this coalition does become the government, it will be far more reflective of the "will of the people" than the less than 38% of the electorate that the Conservatives represent.

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