Saturday, December 24, 2005

An NDP Coalition Government

Chatel Herbert in the Toronto Star says so. She is everyone's favorite and respected columnist, usually when she says nice things about their party or bad things about the other guys.

Warren K. was cheerful that Chantel had, like him, discovered that the Harper was now a born again 'progressive' (conservative) just like him. And Greg Staples joy that she likes Harper. She really likes him, Staples gushed.

I found that what Chantel said about the NDP was far more important despit the Harper Headline.

the minority Parliament has given the country a glimpse at a different future for the NDP.By co-authoring a federal budget, the NDP not only gave itself a record to showcase in the campaign but, for the first time in its federal history, the party has also had to defend its choices rather than just criticize those of others. That has forced it to start speaking the language of trade-offs, as Jack Layton did when he admitted that privately delivered health-care services and the Clarity Act were both here to stay. If New Democrats are to continue to hold sway in the Commons, they will have to become even more familiar with the practice of the art of the possible.To most Canadians, the notion that Ed Schreyer, Alexa McDonough, Bill Blaikie or Jack Layton could one day sit around a federal cabinet table alongside Liberal or even Conservative ministers seems far-fetched.But if the NDP ever gets the more proportional election system it is advocating, minority governments would become the rule rather than the exception. And the presence for the foreseeable future of a sovereignist party in the Commons would make the New Democrats the most likely bedfellows of any minority government, regardless of ideology.With the potential advent next month of a Parliament at least as sharply divided as the previous one, the notion of a coalition government may become a reality long before electoral reform stops being a policy abstraction in Canada.


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