Jason Cherniak Endorses New Democrat - Liberal Coaliton Government
Liberal supporter and my friend, Jason Cherniak, has endorsed a coalition government of the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada.
"I am a blue Liberal. I am a fiscal conservative and I see taxes as a necessary evil. At the same time, I believe that we have a responsibility to build a social safety net for Canadians who have fallen on hard times. While I do not like paying taxes, I am happy to do so as long as the money is being used for the good of the country. Nevertheless, I would support a Liberal-NDP Government.
As a general rule, the Conservative Party would be my second choice. I have much more in common with centre-right Conservatives than I do with New Democrats. As a result, I approach the possibility of a Liberal-NDP Government with some hesitation. Is that really what is best for Canada? In the past, I have gone so far as to argue that “the NDP is sick” and oppose the concept of working together in government. How can I justify supporting a Liberal Government that includes Minister Jack Layton?
My preference is for a Liberal majority government. That was rejected by Canadians. My second choice is for a moderate Conservative government. Stephen Harper does not offer me that choice. That leaves me with only two options: a neoconservative Stephen Harper Government or a left-leaning Liberal-NDP Government. Whether I like it or not, the best I can hope for is my third choice. Politics is the art of the possible and not the philosophy of the dreamer.
Over the past three years, Stephen Harper has turned out to be different than anybody expected. Instead of an unrepentant fiscal conservative, he is the biggest spending prime minister in Canadian history. Instead of a sound fiscal manager, he is about to give Canada its first deficit since 1996. Instead of an honest man with whom many people disagree, he spent an election lying to Canadians and is now trying to hide a deficit with a misleading fiscal update. Stephen Harper is only different than expected because nobody knew who he was before he became Prime Minister. Now that I know who he is, I am quite confident that he is the worst possible choice for prime minister, except for Gilles Duceppe.
Whether I like it or not, I have to accept that my preference is a temporary Liberal-NDP Government. It will be led until May by an honest man, Stéphane Dion. It will include some fiscally conservative Liberals. It will include some well meaning, fiscally reasonable New Democrats. It might also include some socialists, but I believe that they will be outnumbered by the non-socialists. Perhaps I could never be in the same political party as them, but I can support a government in which they participate as long as they do not control the ministry of finance or the prime minister's office.
Stephen Harper has brought this upon himself. He might have convinced many Canadians during the election that he could provide a steady hand, but he did not convince enough of them. Mr. Harper did not earn a majority government and that means that he had a responsibility to work with the opposition to provide something that enough of them could support. He failed to do so, and now the Liberals and NDP seem to be proposing an alternative government.
The Liberals and NDP together earned 44.4% of the vote, compared to 37.6% for the Conservatives. Their government would be completely legitimate. It is unfortunate that separatists hold the deciding votes, but that is what Canadians voted for. Whether the government is Conservative or Liberal-NDP, the BQ Members of Parliament will still be the ones who decide. Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals and New Democrats can avoid that unfortunate reality."