Canada

Debate still about coalitions and minority governments


Published

Twenty six days in to the campaign and less than two weeks from polling day and the main conversation is still the same. The debate raged again yesterday about whether it was right to form coalition governments or not. The add on being the way in which the opposition ganged up on the minority government of prime minister Stephen Harper to defeat their finance bill and force an election which nobody wants and which is costing around $350 million.

Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty keep giving the same message that they will not form a coalition government but are seeking a clear majority; they need 12 more seats.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff won’t be drawn on coalitions but made two admissions yesterday that pointed very clearly towards his intention to form a coalition if possible. Whilst Giles Duceppe the Bloc Québécois (BQ) leader made it clear that they want enough seats to be a key player in the next government to allow them to force a referendum to ‘break up the country’.

All of this debate is playing in to the hands of the Conservative government who are saying that an election was unnecessary, something with which the majority of Canadians agree.

The latest opinion poll by Nanos Research shows the Conservatives on 39.1%, up slightly but not enough for a majority government. The Liberals are on 28.4%, NDP on 19.8%, BQ on 7.7% and Greens on 3.9%.

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