Governor General Says Coalitions Are Normal Part Of Our Democracy - Why Is Harper Inventing Crisis??
Gov. Gen. David Johnston told QMI Agency he's been busy brushing up on constitutional governments in case he is called upon to navigate a choppy political crisis.
“Any governor general who has that role in a constitutional system like ours, from time to time will be confronted with questions where there is an element of discretion,” he said.
Johnston won’t say whether he would have saved Harper’s government in December 2008 as former governor general Michaelle Jean did by granting the prorogation of Parliament so Harper could avoid a confidence vote.
But, he said, he is learning from the past and will seek advice, preferably in advance of being called to make any decision.
Harper first attacked coalitions as undemocratic when the Liberals and NDP joined forces with the Bloc Quebecois to try to defeat his newly elected government. In June, while visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had just made a deal with the Liberal Democrats, Harper said coalitions are illegitimate unless they include the party that won the most votes in the election.
“Losers don’t get to form coalitions,” he said.
Johnston said Canada — like many democratic regimes — has had experiences with coalition-type governments in the past.
“I think that most jurisdictions that have a system of first-past-the-post or proportional representation will from time to have time have coalitions or amalgamation of different parties and that’s the way democracy sorts itself out,” he said.
GG on Coalition