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Canadian coalition? politics thread (Fearless Blue)

Simcountry: Simcountry Bulletin Board  Canadian coalition? politics thread (Fearless Blue)

Almohad117 (White Giant)

Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 09:13 pm Click here to edit this post
Basically this is what happened as I understand it:
On October 14, Canada had a national election which was won by Stephen Harper's Conservative Party. They had already been in power before, with a minority government. A minority government means that the party that wins the election does so with less than 50% of the seats in the House of Commons. Basically they win more seats than any other single party does, but without winning an absolute majority. With a multiparty system such as we have this kind of thing happens now and then - it wouldn't be possible in the US where you just have 2 parties.
On October 14 the Conservatives had hoped to change their minority into a majority, but they did increase from a weak minority to a stronger one.
Whenever a government rules by a minority it means that if the other parties get together they can have enough votes in Parliament (House of Commons = Parliament) to win a vote of no confidence in the government. So any minority government at some point is going to face this kind of challenge, unless it really waters down its policies to get support from some of the opposition parties.
A vote of no confidence means the ruling party has to ask the Governor General (Queen's rep in Canada and nominally the Canadian Head of State) to either dissolve Parliament and call a new election, or suspend ("prorogue") Parliament, in which case the ruling party has to behave like a party that has been newly elected and put together a new budget. After the period during which Parliament is suspended, the new budget is introduced and the Parliament votes on it, which basically means you have another vote of confidence and the government could again lose and everything starts all over again. So the government usually tries to modify its budget to get one of the opposition parties to support it.

After October 14, everyone pretty much knew that the Conservatives would be challenged pretty quickly, although no one figured it would happen this soon. Harper brought in a new budget that he must have known would be pretty provocative, with provisions to eliminate the right to strike and to get rid of pay equity for women. He really was behaving as if he had a majority.

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