Federal election begins amid coalition promises, accusations and denials

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper kicked-off the 2011 Federal Election campaign by accusing the opposition parties of having a hidden agenda to form a coalition government in the event of another Conservative minority parliament.

Unless Canadians elect a stable national government, Mr. Ignatieff will form a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois.

– Stephen Harper

Harper warns of hidden coalition agenda, Ignatieff denies it, Duceppe is willing,
and Layton would be Prime Minister of a minority government 

After several days dodging the question, Liberal leader Micheal Ignatieff issued an early morning statement in which he rules out a coalition in the event of a Liberal minority parliament:

We will not enter a coalition with other federalist parties.   In our system, coalitions are a legitimate constitutional option.  However, I believe that issue-by-issue collaboration with other parties is the best way for minority Parliaments to function.

– Micheal Ignatieff

However, Ignateiff’s statement does not rule out a coalition if the Conservatives win the most number of seats, but not a majority.

Meanwhile, NDP leader Jack Layton is actively running to become Prime Minister of a minority government, especially if the election produces another Conservative minority parliament:

This time we have to do something different.  This time, it’s not enough to keep Stephen Harper from his majority, this time we have to replace him …

I’m asking for a mandate to lead the next government.  And if that turns out to be a minority parliament, as Prime Minister you can count on me to reach out to all members of Parliament who believe in building a better Canada.

And together we will provide an alternative to a Harper-led government — whether its on a case-by-case basis as has been done in the last five years, or more stable arrangements — I will work with the mandate you give me.

– Jack Layton

A coalition government could have the support of the Bloc Québécois, according to Gilles Duceppe who remains open to the option.

If they propose something like that, we look if it is in the best interests of Quebec.

– Gilles Duceppe


2 thoughts on “Federal election begins amid coalition promises, accusations and denials

  1. I think it’s strange how all MI’s cronies laughed at that journalists question about too little too late.

  2. A likely scenario is emerging should the results of this election produce another Conservative minority parliament:

    Micheal Ignatieff will resign in disgrace. Nothing short of a Liberal minority will prevent this from happening.

    As Ignateiff exits the Liberal Party, so does his promise against forming a coalition government. The freshly elected Liberal MPs will find themselves out of power, and not particularly inclined to remain bound by their former leader’s foolish promises.

    With a headless Liberal Party, Jack Layton will emerge as the coalition’s best option for Prime Minister. He already is far ahead on perceptions of trust, leadership and vision.

    Unlike Michael Ignatieff and Stephane Dion before him, Jack Layton has not ruled out a coalition government — in fact this video shows Layton explicitly running to become Prime Minister of a coalition government in the event Harper is returned with another minority.

    The possible scenario? When Ignatieff steps down as leader of the Liberal Party, Jack Layton will step up to lead an NDP-Liberal-Bloc government.

    This may have been Jack Layton’s plan for some time. Layton more than anyone drove events toward an election, and he appears to have some sympathetic allies in the Liberal left-wing such as Bob Rae, who himself has coalition experience in the NDP party.

    Prime Minister Jack Layton, anyone?

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