Monday, December 19, 2005

Unconventional Alliances

James Bow has a comprehensive look at how Harper and Layton might work together in an upcoming Parliament, should the numbers provide the CPC with the most seats in the House. While most predictions thus far don't give the NDP the balance of power in any scenario, it's clear [unless the drastic occurs] that the next House is going to survive on unconventional synergies, or else we'll be back to the polls by Thanksgiving.

How can the NDP tolerate a Conservative government? The answer is simple - Harper will be boxed in, with every motivation tending toward the moderate. After over 12 years in the wilderness, the incentives to present a straightforward, non-confrontational agenda will be overwhelming. As Bow summarizes:

Paul Martin’s blacklisting attempts aside, the fact remains that Prime Minister Harper is not a scary prospect. Thanks to the strength of the Bloc in Quebec, and thanks to the resurgence of the New Democrats, it is unlikely that either the Liberals or the Conservatives will come away with a majority. So whatever agenda might be hidden in Stephen Harper’s back pocket is going to run up against a brick wall of three other parties who aren’t going to play ball.

Other moderate voices on the right have been dropping the idea for awhile now as well. Harper needs to find a way to channel that simple point - how can my agenda be "scary" if it is contingent on votes from the likes of the NDP? It's like a free trial that might finally shake up the staid political environment in place in the central PMO for too long.

After all, that's the point underlying calls for proportional representation, is it not? If you are the NDP, then deal with the fact that 80% of the voters did not select you. Likewise the 60-some % who voted against the Tories. Find a way to make reasoned compromise work.

I, for one, am willing to roll those dice. My vote for the local MP in Halifax will be for Alexa. If I had to make a Presidential-style ballot decision between potential PMs Martin or Harper... I wonder.


Blogger The Tiger said...

That Radwanski article I forwarded you reminds you why you probably shouldn't vote for Harper. On the other hand... I have a sneaking suspicion that your conscience wouldn't let you vote for Martin.

Would you spoil your ballot, maybe?

9:21 PM  

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