Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coalition is Not a Four-Letter Word

Tim Hudak
Let the fear mongering begin...or continue, at least.

Tim Hudak is "worried" that if his party wins the most seats on October 6th, but doesn't win a majority, that the other two parties who, together, would represent the majority of Ontarians, will make a "back-room deal" and form a coalition government.

Do not let this tactic fool you. Coalition governments are not only a legitimate facet of parliamentary democracies, but an integral one. When one party does not win the confidence of the majority of voters, but a coalition of two or more parties would better represent the electorate, a coalition is a viable, and oftentimes, a preferred arrangement that can best serve the majority of voters.

Thanks to Stephen Harper's efforts to manipulate Canadians in the 2008 federal election, many of us now believe that there is something shady about coalition governments. I assure you that there isn't. Many countries around the world are governed by coalition governments, and many of them function very well. The UK currently has a coalition government, as do Finland, Germany, Belgium, and India, among others. Finland has actually been governed by coalition governments since 1917.

This really isn't about coalition governments, though. Before the election campaign began, Tim Hudak had been the frontrunner in every single poll for months. His election was all but assured. Since the campaign began, however, Hudak's popularity has plummeted, and in most polls, McGuinty is now slightly ahead. So what's a desperate Conservative politician to do? Pull out the coalition card, of course! Instead of appealing to reason, Conservatives consistently play to the very fears, biases, and misconceptions that they themselves have promoted, and in some cases, created.

Each and every Canadian should be insulted by this widespread effort to misinform us. How can we possibly trust a political party that actively seeks to limit our knowledge of the political process?

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