Letter: Coalition not needed, alliance will do
To the editor:
A Liberal-NDP alliance won’t work without the Bloc.
Jack Layton’s comments, “I have said I will work to ensure the ideas we campaigned on have the best possible chance of being implemented in Parliament” certainly gives you the sense he would be willing to form a coalition with the Liberals.
Michael Ignatieff initially refused to rule it out, but, when he realized it wasn’t playing well politically, decided to categorically deny any such intention.
However, what would happen if the election result were similar to our last one—a distinct possibility? The Conservatives would be well out in front but the other three parties would still have a majority in the house. As the largest party, the Governor General would be obliged to offer the Conservatives the opportunity of forming a government. Given the bad blood between the Conservatives and the other three parties, it is distinctly possible, even likely, that (the others) would agree to bring down the government at their earliest convenience given their ideological similarity.
To do so would not require a coalition, merely an agreement.
Since the Conservatives would have more MPs than any other two parties combined, any Liberal-NDP alliance would, necessarily, have to depend on the Bloc’s support or else it would fail. Effectively, the Bloc would have veto power over any serious measures proposed by such an alliance. In that scenario, whenever the separatists snap their fingers, you know which dogs will bark.
It is the presence of an indigestible Bloc (pun intended), that makes it difficult for any national party to earn a majority in the House of Commons.
However, the Conservatives have promised to end the taxpayer supported stipend every party receives for every vote cast their way in the past election ($2 per year per vote). The Bloc has virtually no private fund raising. Over 90 per cent of their finances come from this subsidy. Withdrawing it would cripple the Bloc and give the federalist parties a significant advantage in Quebec.
However, no Bloc-supported alliance would end this subsidy. The only national party that can govern without the Bloc’s support are the Conservatives.
It’s time Canadians give them a majority and help end the spectre of a separatist party determining the policies and legislation of our national Parliament.