"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 practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority."
- Stephen Harper, leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, 2004
Gasping for air after a bout of "cynicism that would make Machiavelli envious," Prime Minister Stephen Harper must know he's at death's door.
Alas, poor Harper unknowingly wrote his own death warrant 4 years ago, in a letter (excerpted above) to the Governor General in which Harper as then-opposition leader lobbied to have Paul Martin's minority Liberal government potentially dissolved.
Now he's gotta be eating his own worms, er, words.
Yes folks, for the first time since the famous King-Byng affair of 1926, Canada has itself a constitutional crisis in Her Majesty's Government. The 3 opposition parties will coalesce to oust the Tories in a confidence motion as soon as next Monday, and then unite in a plutonium-rare display of collaboration.
The leaders of the Great Canadian Putsch '08 have emerged from behind the curtains to produce a velvet tapestry of inter-factional harmony: Stéphane Dion as interim PM; 6 cabinet seats to the NDP; a Bloc guarantee of acquiescence for 18 months.
But do they have the support of the people, 58% of whom just voted in an election 6 weeks ago, 37% of whom (the 58%) voted for the Tories?
If an election were called tomorrow, we and surely thousands of other Canadians would humbly cross over to the side of the lazy 42% of Canucks who failed to vote last time round; for as much as we love democracy we cannot justify such a bald manipulation of Canada's feeble electoral laws by deigning to vote twice in succession.
But a palace coup? That we support!