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Canada’s Liberal coup
Will a center-left coalition unseat the Conservatives?
W

hat happened
Canada’s center-left Liberal Party agreed to form a governing coalition with the leftist New Democrats and the cooperation of the separatist Bloc Québécois, two months after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won reelection, with a plurality of votes, in national elections. If Canada’s Governor General agrees, the coalition could unseat Harper’s minority government Dec. 8. (The Toronto Star)

What the commentators said
This appears to be “something of an electoral coup,” said Patrick Edaburn in The Moderate Voice. And as “it could smack of overturning the will of the voters,” the Liberals should tread carefully in their bid to create Canada’s first-ever coalition government.

“This is hardly some sort of coup,” said Michael Stickings in The Reaction. The Conservatives only won 38 percent of the vote, and “if the three opposition parties think they can govern together,” well, “they should be allowed to do so.” The biggest obstacle is the disastrous lame duck Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, the interim prime minister under the deal—Liberals won’t elect a new leader until May.

With Canada’s economic problems, this is “no time for political games or experiments,” said The Globe and Mail in an editorial. The claims that this is a “coup d’état” are “silly"—it is bad politics, and the Liberals should quash the deal. If they don’t, and they won’t, then the Conservatives should defuse it by replacing Harper—it was his “horrendous miscalculations” and “hyper-partisan” economic “machinations” that pushed the Liberals to act.

There is another way to “get us all out of this mess,” said Andrew Coyne in Macleans online. The Governor General could “just say no.” Instead of allowing this “unstable and potentially destructive coalition,” she could refuse Harper’s resignation and “send him back to Parliament, with instructions to find a consensus on his economic plan.”

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