MayDay 2011: The Conservative Coalition
Stephen Harper has dropped the word ‘coalition’ of late, possibly because he and his handlers have decided to focus on backpeddling following scathing reviews from Canada’s Auditor General insinuating that they broke the law with spending for the G8/G20 summit.
However, Canadians shouldn’t let him drop the word ‘coalition’ because he lives and breathes by it.
His power depends on a coalition.
At the outset of the campaign, Stephen Harper had us believe that the word ‘coalition’ – especially when the opposition is concerned – may as well be the spawn of the Devil or something … gasp … worse: a Canada without him at the helm.
Of course, this is OK because every time Stephen Harper speaks about the evils of coalitions, he is painting himself into a corner and he won’t be able to get himself out … or blame a low-level staffer for his mistakes.
This is because he represents and leads one of Canada’s most successful coalitions: the CRAP coalition.
I know this term is used as a derogatory remark about the existing Conservative party and platform, but let’s take a brief look at the history of what is now the Conservative Party of Canada:
- Progressive Conservatives dominate the scene from Confederation to the end of the Mulroney years
- Albertans get all snippy about how we Canadians treat ‘their’ oil and form the Reform Party of Canada, a thinly veiled gang of libertarians, Gordon Gecko fanatics and Ayn Rand junkies
- Other conservative folks decide that there isn’t enough religion in the halls of Canadian government and form the Alliance Party, a thinly-veiled ‘whites only’ group
- These three parties split the small-c conservative vote and keep the Liberals in power from 1993 (the year Kim Campbell was defeated) to 2006, when Stephen Harper used a coalition to defeat Paul Martin
- The tables are turned in 2003: Stephen Harper eventually crams all three parties into one box, forms a coalition of conservative and right-leaning parties and declares that ‘progressive’ isn’t fashionable anymore
- Voila: The Conservative Party of Canada is born!
As you can see, ‘coalition’ is the life-blood of the Conservative Party of Canada, but a more important word might be ‘suppression‘.
It’s inevitable that folks from all walks of life – be they Libertarians, Pro-Life, religious fanatics, anti-gay, anti-feminist – will be busting to have a voice in a room where they cannot speak or have an opinion, lest they fragment the voting public that puts Stephen Harper in power.
They’ll also get more and more irritated as ‘socialists’ like Jack Layton get a seat at Stephen Harper’s table while they’re left out in the cold because Jack (and/or Ignatieff) represent Stephen Harper’s SECOND ongoing coalition: the vacillating support from either the Liberals, NDP or even the Bloc that keeps this very sick patient alive and provides new blood when the Conservative minority is about to go into cardiac arrest because of its own largesse.
I pity the people who are in these and other groups that want to be heard, but who will never be listened to as long as the Conservative Party of Canada has Stephen Harper at the helm swearing that ‘coalitions’ in Canada are an unacceptable form of government.
The real truth to the situation is that a coalition of progressives and centre/left would represent more than 2 out of 3 votes in Canada. This would push Stephen Harper and his corrupt crew into oblivion.
Today, the left and centre parties will not talk of a coalition, but can we at least try to convince them to create a plan to push the Conservative Party of Canada out of power and avoid damaging their own prospects in the process?
Is that too much to ask? Maybe Jack Layton and Elizabeth May can take the lead on this since Michael Ignatieff has ruled it out?