Dr. Dawg

Perhaps an apology

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Liberal voters.jpg…is in order. I was pretty rough on the folks who switched from orange to red on October 19. But I might have been too hasty in assuming it was just a mindless stampede.

A look at what is now going on in Portugal makes me somewhat more sympathetic to their reaction. The hypothetical parallels are instructive.

Left parties won a majority in the recent Portuguese elections, and they proposed an informal coalition government led by the Socialist Party. But the President (similar in role to our Governor General) decreed that a minority right-wing party that had previously held power would form government again, because it had won the most seats. And the left parties, he noted, had not run as a coalition.

Veteran political commentator David Climenhaga was all over this story, while the Canadian media, for whatever reason, have chosen to black it out.

Could the same thing have happened here if Harper had won a plurality of seats? If so, a non-confidence vote would have been required to topple Harper, and, after that, new elections might have had to be held if Governor General David Johnston, hand-picked by Harper, refused to pull a King-Byng. All this might have merely forestalled the inevitable, but not necessarily. We should remember Michael Ignatieff’s betrayal in 2009 that saddled us with Harper for another six years. What would have kept the Liberals from working out a deal with Conservatives rather than the NDP, which is precisely what happened in 2009?

There are more unknowns here than I was willing to accept during the final days of the campaign. I still believe that a majority of Liberal and NDP seats would have prevailed, sending Harper packing. But as the example of Portugal shows, this was not necessarily a slam-dunk.

We have a Liberal majority now. I predict a lot of disappointment among the orange-to-red set. They jumped too soon. But maybe not entirely without calculation.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 27, 2015 6:16 PM.

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