Next week we may have a new government. We only finished elected a Conservative minority, but now the other three parties are discussing a coalition that would put the Liberals back in the driver's seat.
Personally, I would prefer to keep a Harper minority. Both the Liberals and Conservatives are, in fact, conservative parties. One of the reasons the Conservatives spent so long out of office was that people thought the Liberals were doing a great job with the conservative agenda. They hacked into our social welfare net, healthcare in particular, and they got away with it. The Ottawa based press was happy to follow the Federal government's lead, demonizing the Tories and dismissing the Premiers' complaints. A Conservative government would never have gotten away with it. In fact, the Conservatives seem to be called to account for anything and everything. I want a minority government, so that policies will be built on consensus, and a Conservative one so that it will be held accountable.
In last month's election Canadians seemed to agree, giving Harper an increase in parliamentary seats, though not enough to form a majority. Some like to argue that most voted against the Tories, but by that same reasoning even more people voted against the other three parties. The Liberals did so badly that their leader, Dion, immediately tendered his resignation. And now he may be prime minister anyway.
The Liberals and the NDP will form a formal coalition and the Bloc has promised to support it for at least eighteen months. Some are already calling this a Progressive Coalition, but what is so progressive about the current generation of federal Liberals? The last time the NDP propped up the Liberals was during Trudeau's 1972-1974 minority government. That worked for the Liberals. They were returned with a majority. The NDP's representation in parliament was cut in half. It's leader was forced to resign, replaced by Ed Broadbent, who, consequently, became the only New Democrat who could be said to have gained anything by that coalition. Interestingly, the current coalition has been brokered by Broadbent and Chretien, the Liberal leader who savaged our healthcare system. I don't think NDP supporters are going to be any happier this time. Many of them take pride in voting for principles first and there is nothing principled about this! Others vote for them because they don't represent the Establishment. Nothing represents the Canadian Establishment more than the Federal Liberal Party. The Bloc's support isn't going to go unpunished either. While Conservatives don't like separatists, or, in some cases, the French, Federalists hate them. Its not something that gets much press any more, but when it does it is bitter and deep. And it tends to come from left.
So, if the man voters turned their backs on last month becomes the prime minister this month, expect to see coalition members pay for it at the next election. In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb now and predict the results of that next election: a Harper majority. And when that happens, please, everyone who voted for either the Liberals, NDP, or Bloc, don't you dare start whining and complaining. You have no one to blame but yourselves.