Parliamentary politics.

Ok, so Canada elected a conservative government again, meaning that the Conservative Party of Canada (a merger of the former right-centre Progressive Conservative Party and far-right Canadian Alliance) won more seats than the other parties. However, they did not win more than all other parties combined, which means that they have a minority government. In such a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister is the leader of the party who won the most seats, although his party may still be a minority in parliament.

There is now talk of a coalition government between the left-centre Liberal Party and the left New Democratic Party. Together, these two parties still would not have more seats than the Conservative Party, but with the support of the Quebec-only Bloc Québécois, they could be given the chance to govern.

There is some talk on the news and on forums that such a move would be undemocratic since the Conservative Party was elected and has a clear mandate from the people. What do Canadians want? Here are the data from the recent election (via Wikipedia).

Party Orientation Seats Votes Popular %
Conservative Party of Canada Right 143 5,208,796 37.65%
Liberal Party of Canada Left-centre 77 3,633,185 26.26%
Bloc Québécois Left-centre 49 1,379,991 9.98%
New Democratic Party Left 37 2,515,561 18.18%
Green Party Far left 0 937,613 6.78%

Conservative Right 143 5,208,796 37.65%
Liberal + NDP + Green Left 114 7,086,359 51.22%

3 thoughts on “Parliamentary politics.

  1. I don’t want to speak for all Canadians, but this one doesn’t want to have another election. The one which formed this government was on October 14th 2008, and was the third election resulting in a minority government since 2004. This compares to the previous three Parliaments lasting a total of 10 years. I think it’s most likely that a new election called today would also result in a minority government, putting us back into the same situation.

    I think Harper and the pundits are forgetting one major thing. In the parliamentary system voters do not vote for parties and they do not vote for a Prime Minister. We vote for particular individuals who will then cast their own votes in Parliament.

    If the Liberal/NDP alliance can form a government and win a no confidence vote then they are the government within our system.

  2. Someone was pointing out on the CBC tonight that, while Harper is now calling the Bloc Quebecois a bunch of separatists that Canadians don’t want to be part of a coalition government, in 2004 the Conservatives signed an agreement with them to govern as a coalition if the liberals showed signs of slipping. Hypocrites.

  3. I’m totally with the coalition for a whole lot of reasons, but mostly because I support our Parliamentary system of governance. No, it’s not the best, but it’s the best we got and the Opposition is taking its role very seriously in chancing a coalition government. It’s *huge* to get that kind of a diverse coalition to agree on anything, I think. At the same time, I think it would be best for Canada’s democracy for the coalition to govern. Here’s hoping the G-G thinks likewise!

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