Canada: A government that’s suddenly in chaos

Canada's opposition parties triggered a parliamentary crisis when they formed a coalition to bring down Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government.

It’s official: “Canada is an ungovernable gong show,” said Ian Robinson in The Calgary Sun. It all started a couple of weeks ago, when two key opposition parties, the Liberals and the New Democrats, joined in a coalition with their old enemy, the separatist Bloc Québécois, to try to bring down the minority Conservative government. The three parties were livid over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s lack of a plan for taming the worsening economic crisis. Harper responded to the opposition’s move by issuing an unprecedented appeal to the governor-general, Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Canada, to allow Harper to suspend Parliament before it could realign against him. The monarchy came through, so Harper will remain prime minister until Parliament returns on Jan. 26. At that point, the opposition could well renew its bid to unseat the Conservatives. “Until this thing resolves itself, all decent folk can do is sit back and try to enjoy the freak show as it unfolds.”

Canada is actually lucky that Harper found a way to prevent the coalition from taking power, said the Toronto National Post in an editorial. We came perilously close to being ruled by the Bloc Québécois as part of a coalition government. No matter how frustrated the opposition was, it should never have agreed to enter into a coalition with the Bloc, whose admitted goal is to “destroy the country” by breaking Quebec out of Canada. Yet the Liberal Party, led by the inept Stephane Dion, put gaining power ahead of the good of the country, agreeing to “all manner of bribes and blandishments for the separatists.”

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