After the 2004 election, Stephen Harper was disappointed and even threatened to quit as leader of the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada.
He was pushing for a majority, but instead had to settle for official opposition status.
So what did he do, once talked out of a simple resignation? He disappeared. For the entire summer, few people knew his whereabouts.
We do know one of the things he was engaged in during that time, however. Forming a coalition with Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe and NDP leader Jack Layton, to topple Paul Martin's government at the throne speech. He wasn't even willing to wait until Parliament officially opened.
His letter directed to then Governor General Adrienne Clarkson:
September 9, 2004
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.Governor General
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1
As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government's program.
We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practicehas determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.
Your attention to this matter is appreciated.
Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.Leader of the Opposition Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Gilles Duceppe, M.P.Leader of the Bloc Quebecois
Jack Layton, M.P.Leader of the New Democratic Party
He wanted to be Prime Minister anyway he could, and if that meant promising favours to the Bloc and NDP, so be it. When Stockwell Day found himself slipping in the polls in the 2000 election, he proposed the exact same thing, except that his only included the Bloc, not the NDP.
A Liberal majority that year blew Day's coalition out of the water, but Harper's had potential. Combined, the three parties had more seats than the Liberals, so why not give it a shot?
Now he, like Day, could have only used the Bloc, because with his 99 and their 54, they outnumbered the Liberals' 135. Why he included the NDP is unclear, but perhaps some of the members weren't keen and he didn't want to take any chances. However, he had to use the Bloc to make it work.
Both Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton confirm this 2004 coalition, though Harper has denied it, despite the existence of the letter.
THE LIBERAL-NDP COALITION: A BETTER DEAL FOR BC
Stephen Harper says he is against two parties forming a coalition and then passing bills with the support of the Bloc. However, he himself formed a coalition between Reformers and Progressive Conservatives and then passed two budgets with the support of the Bloc! He wrote the playbook he is now calling unholy!
In 2004, when he was Opposition Leader, Stephen Harper himself wrote to the Governor General a joint letter with the NDP and the Bloc asking for power without an election. Today he calls that exact same thing undemocratic? It was his idea … and with the same partners, Mr. Layton and Mr. Duceppe.
Harper Lies About Coalition Details
Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe held up the letter during Wednesday’s question period while grilling the former Alliance leader over the alleged plan, as well as over the Conservatives’ apparent willingness to form a coalition with the separatist party in 2004.
“Will he admit that in 2004, and in 2000, he was prepared to make such a deal with the Bloc?” Duceppe told the House.
So why was Harper's 'coup' democratic and not the more recent coalition attempt? He just lies so easily now.