Tom Flanagan, Stephen Harper's former campaign manager and chief of staff, has confirmed the prime minister himself had a plan to form what he now demonizes as "a coalition of losers" and take power without an election in September 2004. Harper's "co-opposition accord" was "a perfectly legitimate exercise" to explore whether there was "common ground for the Conservatives to undertake a minority government," Flanagan told The National Post Monday.Stephen Harper is once again raising the possibility of a coalition that somewhere in his twisted mind is taking place, between Michael Ignatieff and Gilles Duceppe.
But the fact remains that the only leader ever to attempt a coalition with Gilles Duceppe was Harper himself.
On the day in October 2004 when Mr. Martin’s government delivered its throne speech, CTV journalist Mike Duffy — later appointed by Mr. Harper as a Conservative senator — reported that some Conservatives saw the Liberals’ troubles as a chance to make Mr. Harper prime minister. “It is possible that you could change prime minister without having an election,” Mr. Duffy said on CTV on Oct. 5, 2004.And his coalition included the full support of the Bloc:
The author of Harper's Team: Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power, managed the Conservative 2004 and 2006 election campaigns. But he insisted he "wasn't a part" of a coalition proposal made by then Official Opposition leader Harper, NDP leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe in September 2004 that would have included the Bloc as a full partner.And he had thought about it for some time:
"Coalition-building is the only practical way for the right to seize national power .... an alliance with the Bloc Québécois would not be out of place. The Bloc are nationalist for much the same reason Albertans are populists – they care about their local identity ... and they see the federal government as a threat to their way of life." Stephen Harper and Tom Flanagan, Next City Magazine, 1997So how can we be sure that if Stephen Harper fails to wing the election, that he won't again try to form a coalition with a "separatist" government? We know he'll do anything to stay in power.
He's done it before, he'll do it again.