Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stephen Harper Makes a Compelling Argument in Favour of Minority Governments

A friend sent me this flyer, which was distributed by Stephen Harper in 2004, right after the election.

It says in part:

In June, Canadians spoke loud and clear with their votes. They punished Paul Martin and the Liberals for their wasteful spending and arrogance, leaving them with only a minority government.

What's interesting was his view of minority governments at the time:
Minority parliaments give opposition parties a unique opportunity to influence decision-making in Canada's government. The Liberals will no longer be able to stifle dissenting opinions by shutting down debates. This means that your priorities will finally be heard, respected and represented in Parliament.
"Stifle dissenting opinions"? "Shutting down debates"? He really opposed those things?

It's hard to imagine his ever holding these opinions, when he locked down Parliament twice to "stifle dissenting opinions" and created a manual for "shutting down debates".

The pamphlet continues:

The Liberals have been sent a message and we, the loyal opposition of this country will continue to hold them accountable. We will work in this minority parliament to build a better future for our fellow citizens, to make our parliament work in their interests and to ensure that your priorities are the priorities of your national parliament.
Stephen Harper,
Conservative Party Leader,
Election Night 2004
And yet during both debates Stephen Harper has made a plea to the Canadian people to give him a majority, so that he no longer has to bother with the opposition holding him to account. Too many elections he cries. Too much democracy.

This is a very good reason not to trust him with a majority. What does he hope to do with it that he hasn't been able to accomplish by stifling dissent and shutting down debate? Stephen Harper failed to take the advice of one Stephen Harper, who once believed that "a minority Parliament [would] build a better future for our fellow citizens".

So again, on May 2, vote and vote wisely.

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