Michael L. Davenport (valacosa) wrote,
Michael L. Davenport
valacosa

Parliamentary. Democracy. Both those words are relevant.

Coalition government.

I imagine there are some people out there who are nonplussed by the idea. But there are other groups whose comments are clear. Stephen Harper himself said, "...the opposition has been working on a backroom deal to overturn the results of the last election without seeking the consent of voters. They want to take power, not earn it." Closer to home, there's a Facebook page for an upcoming event, which claims, "The Separatist-NDP-Liberal coalition is seeking to overturn the results of the last election by installing a government unelected by the people of this country."

From the things some conservatives are saying, you would think a coalition government is subverting democracy itself.

I didn't major in political science at UW (just the regular kind) so it's not as if I spent years studying the minutae of this stuff. Still, I like to think my education has endowed me with some basic research and reasoning skills. That, and years of covering Feds politics has given me some sense of when people are trying to bullshit me.

Is a coalition government inherently undemocratic? No, that argument is ridiculous on its face. The current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is underpinned by a coalition. I can't see the "inherently undemocratic" argument working, unless someone wants to try and argue that Germany isn't a democracy.

The hubub would be easier to understand if coalition governments were just reserved for other parliamentary democracies, but they have happened here. I'll give that they've not been formed recently on the federal stage, but I don't see any alternative proposed by the conservatives. Should we pay for another election? I doubt anyone (especially conservatives) would be for that. Should the opposition relent, and just let the party which has fewer than half the seats and only 37.65% of the popular vote rule? That doesn't seem very democratic.

I don't have a problem with complaining; I do it all the time. I wouldn't have been disgusted had the accusation been that the Liberals and NDP are forming a coalition for selfish reasons, or if the chief concern was that the Bloc might get a cabinet post. (Looks like they're not.) But the rhetoric used seems intended to convince the general public that the coalition is a subversion of democracy itself. No. This is a subversion of democracy. This is a subversion of democracy. That is what "installing a government unelected by the people" is like, and what a parliamentary coalition is completely unlike.

That's the big problem I have with what the conservatives are saying — They're trying to equate a coalition to a coup. The reality doesn't merit the weight of the words used.

Now people are going to think I hate the Conservatives. That's not true — I find that me being annoyed with a party correlates with them being in power, not who they are. No, what I hate is disingenuity.
Tags: politics
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