A coalition?

I have been saying, for some months now, that “The CPC might be able to form a minority government but it is equally, perhaps even more likely that Justin Trudeau, with the formal support of Jagmeet Singh, would be able to continue to govern with some support from the BQ and the Greens on an issue-by-issue basis.

95d471a0-3ec8-11e9-b0a6-d9395dec29a0_JDX-1x1_WEBNow I see, in a story in the Globe and Mail, by Marieke Walsh and Michelle Zilio, that “Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is not ruling out a possible coalition government if no party wins a majority of the seats in the Oct. 21 election.

The coalition issue, that article says, “was raised Sunday jagmeet-singh.jpg.size-custom-crop.1086x0when NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he would “absolutely” consider forming one if it meant keeping the Conservatives out of power.” The Good Grey Globe‘s journalists explain that “While Canada has had its share of federal minority governments, where the party with the most seats governs by getting support from other parties on a case-by-case basis, coalition governments are rare. Under a coalition, multiple parties sit at the cabinet table and the prime minister is the leader from the party with the most seats.” I’m 20171106-1bill-morneau-02not entirely sure that Justin Trudeau even knows what a formal coalition is ~ he is, I am sure, that bloody dumb ~ but Jagmeet Singh certainly does and my guess is that his price for keeping Justin Trudeau in power includes a few key seats at the cabinet table: maybe Catherine McKenna’s and, perhaps, even Bill Morneau’s.

It seems to me that Canadians are saying, is I’m reading the polls correctly: “None of the above, thank you.” Canada seems headed for a minority government and Jagmeet Singh seems hell-bent on keeping Andrew Scheer out of power.

My guesstimate is:

  • If the Liberals win the most seats they will, of course, continue to govern and they will, for some time, at least, have solid NDP support ~ thus no coalition but a stable, two or even three-year Liberal minority government;
  • If the Liberals finish second to the CPC –
    • By only a few seats and there are enough seats between the Liberals, the NDP and, perhaps, the Greens to equal more than 170 then the Liberals will propose a formal, stable, Liberal-led coalition government, or
    • By too many (say 20+) seats meaning that even with NDP support they would have only a weak minority then Trudeau would resign the government resulting a weak Conservative minority government which would not last more than a few months and would mean a general election in about April 2020, after both the CPC and LPC had leadership conventions; or
  • If the Conservatives win a strong minority ~ say 155+ seats ~ and both the Liberals and NDP are weak (say 100± Liberal seats and only 35± NDP seats, meaning 45 BQ, Green and Independent seats) then we will have a fairly stable two-year Conservative minority government that will survive by going very green.

3d128cb0f7d3a2433b3637acb876189fThere is, I believe, a HUGE risk for the Liberals if they enter into any sort of coalition, even an informal one, with the quasi-Marxist NDP: the Liberal Party might disintegrate as dozens of so-called Manley Liberal MPs, supported by millions of Liberal partisans in riding associations, bolt and form a new Party ~ perhaps persuading Andrew Leslie to join and to contest for the leadership. Many, many Liberals would find making common cause with the overtly socialist NDP a step too far.

I have some Liberal friends: good men and women who put Canada first but who, unlike me, believe that the Liberal Party of Canada is most likely to provide the best solutions, overall, for what ails our country. I am about 99.9% certain that some of my Liberal friends are horrified that “Justin Trudeau is not ruling out a possible coalition government.” Some of them, I suspect, might not disapprove of a coalition IF it was announced on or before next Sunday, 20 October; others I think would not object if the proposed coalition would be with the Greens; but most, I think, will find the idea of coalition arranged in secret by Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh to be unethical.

It might also be a problem for the NDP. There are many ‘Dippers‘ who are grounded in the rural, prairie Co-op tradition rather than in the dominant, urban and Big Labour wing of the NDP. There is already an attempt by an exiled prairie MP to reform the old CCF. Some rural ‘Dippers‘ with strong social-democratic values might find a coalition with the overtly capitalist/big-business Liberals more than they can stomach.

800px-John_Baird_Minister_of_Foreign_Affairs15800411_10154341982098525_8219604508050442225_o (1)I think that anything other than a very strong minority spells the political end-of-the-line for Andrew Scheer and I suspect that anything less than a majority will prompt calls for a leadership review from grass-roots Tories … and that may bring back some familiar faces, any one of whom might be able to win a Conservative majority in 2021 or 2022.

 

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