I think that the improbable and utterly unforeseen resolution to the current crisis in Parliament may have finally been hit upon. The situation was quickly becoming a cluster of impossible options.
We can not have another election so soon after the last one, which was called prematurely to begin with and resulted in very little change.
Harper can not continue to govern without the confidence of the House, and has no prospects of winning it back.
Dion can not become Prime Minister of an unstable minority coalition after being thrashed in the election and being scheduled to resign in five months. As much as I’ve enjoyed defending the democratic legitimacy of the proposed coalition, I think it’s becoming pretty clear that it will be a short-lived misadventure that is being savaged by the media and will therefore be rejected by the public. The coalition government will likely accomplish almost nothing during its short term except greatly strengthening the two parties that aren’t members.
Where does that leave us? With one way out.The only realistically viable government given the current configuration of Parliament is a Conservative minority, led by someone other than Harper.
He won’t go willingly. He was elected President, after all, and would never admit defeat at the hands of the top three people on his Enemies List.It is the responsibility of MPs from all parties to find a way to establish a stable government out of the results of the recent election. That includes the Conservative caucus.
Their leader has failed the party, the Parliament, and the country. His absurdly partisan economic update was followed by wiretapping an opposition caucus meeting. If he takes the drastic (unprecedented?) step of prorogation to avoid a non-confidence vote, it would render him utterly unable to claim any democratic mandate.
Time to get out the old Thatcher hatchet. Harper needs to be shown the door, and his own caucus is the only one able to do it. It is their responsibility as the largest party in an unstable Parliament to present a government that can gain the confidence of just a small fraction of the opposition. We’re all waiting, and don’t see one yet. Off with its head!
Then, select a conciliatory interim Conservative leader that can approach the other Biggest Loser of the coalition scheme, Ignatieff. All the new Conservative leader needs to do is convince Ignatieff to tell 11 of his supporters not to show up to take down the government when the opportunity arises. Offered any reasonable deal to opt out of Dion’s Charge of the Light Brigade, Iggy will take it.
Canada gets a government that understands and accepts its obligation of responsibility to Parliament but appeases the expectations of the public, the Conservatives get to stay in power for a year or two while they select a permanent new leader, and Ignatieff gets his opportunity to rebuild the Liberal party into something credible.
Fire Harper. A plan we can all get behind!