Justin Trudeau says he’d be open to coalition with NDP - if Thomas Mulcair wasn’t leader

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JKR

Left Turn wrote:

There appears to be confusion on this thread regarding the post-election forming of the gevernment and the presenting of a throne speech.

The first thing the house does when it meets after the election is to elect the speaker of the house. It then elects the Prime Minister. only after being elected Prime Minister can that person nominate a cabinet and present a throne speech.

The house elects a Prime Minister by nominating an MP for this position, and then having a majority of MPs vote yay to the motion. This is called seeking the confidence of the house, and the GG can ask any MP to seek the confidence of the house if the GG thinks the MP can get it.

Only an MP who has won the confidence of the house/been elected Prime Minister can be asked to present a throne speech.

I don't think the House elects the PM.

This is from the Parliament of Canada's web site. I think it does a pretty good job explaining what happens when no party manages to win a majority of the seats in an election:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

This might make a good point of reference in discussing what may or may not happen if no party wins a majority this October.

Sean in Ottawa

Left Turn wrote:

There appears to be confusion on this thread regarding the post-election forming of the gevernment and the presenting of a throne speech.

The first thing the house does when it meets after the election is to elect the speaker of the house. It then elects the Prime Minister. only after being elected Prime Minister can that person nominate a cabinet and present a throne speech.

The house elects a Prime Minister by nominating an MP for this position, and then having a majority of MPs vote yay to the motion. This is called seeking the confidence of the house, and the GG can ask any MP to seek the confidence of the house if the GG thinks the MP can get it.

Only an MP who has won the confidence of the house/been elected Prime Minister can be asked to present a throne speech.

This is not true at all and by saying this you are introducing a confusion that really was not there.

In Canada PMs are appointed by the Governor General not elected by the House.

The Governor General does not have the option of any MP. The choice is among party leaders -- when there is a vacancy based on likelihood to gain Confidence. The Convention is the leader of the party with the most seats unless some representation has been made that another would have Confidence.

A vacancy happens through resignation or non confidence not through an election -- this is why the leader who was PM before an election has the right to meet the House following an election. The first test is the Throne speech -- there is no motion for PM. Usually when it is hopeless that leader resigns on election night.

Normally a clear loss will result in a concession by the PM to the opposition and the GG will then invite the opposition to meet the House and present a Throne speech. If the PM does not resign the PM can bring a Throne Speech. It is normal if the PM has resigned the GG would appoint the leader most likely to obtain confidence normally that is the leader with the most seats but it does not have to be the case if there are representations based on arrangements between parties.

When it is unclear the GG has to choose which leader is most likely to obtain Confidence. This is where the GG has a role to play in requiring a leader wanting to be PM to seek an arrangement that will provide Confidence if the party with the most seats is unlikely to obtain it. When the House meets there is always a PM appointed already by the GG. That PM can lose Confidence forcing the GG to appoint another. As I say the first test is the Throne speech and that is one of the key purposes in the Throne speech -- to lay out a plan for government and seek confidence.

In Canada the party leader is the parliamentary leader and does not require a vote of confidence. In the UK the party's elected caucus can change Parliamentary leaders effectively firing a PM and requiring the Queen to appoint the new parliamentary leader. I have not heard of a mechanism for the Queen to refuse but I presume there must be one if the Queen has reason to believe the new Parliamentary leader cannot gain confidence (in a minority where a majority of the House was not involved in the caucus selection). But none of this applies in Canada.

A lot of people are speaking here as if they know something they clearly do not.

 

 

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

JKR wrote:
nicky wrote:

JKR wrote:

 

If the NDP comes very close to a second place LPC and the CPC has a clear plurality, I think the LPC will still insist on forming a minority government without entering into a formal agreement with the NDP. I think constitutional convention will allow the LPC to take this stance.

 

 Ans Sean responded:

There is absolutely no support for this made up statement

 

Sean, what about the UK in 1924? Labour came second and formed a minority government with the forebearance of the Liberals, not through a coalition with them.

I don't know enough to say this is exact support for JKR's assertion but it looks close.

I think Forsey has similar examples in his book on Disolution of Parliament which I read too long ago to remember precisely.

 

 

These are the kinds of precedents I was referring to. Reading up on Eugene Forsey's work might be helpful for this election that might put Canada in new constitutional territory.

 

I answered this already.

The 1924 example (that comes before most Women got the vote even) is not relevant. The third party did not want to participate in government -- it had only 30 seats in the previous election in a larger parliament than Canada's. In fact the largest party also did not want to share in government.

The Conservatives and the Liberals had campaigned with some positions in common and if there had been a coalition it would have been Baldwin-Asquith not MacDonald. The two older parties enabled Labour to govern becuase they did not want to work with each other at the time and each had good reasons not to want government.

The government lasted less than a year and the third party was wiped out.

This is not an example anyone should use with a straight face in our context. It might be used to support why no third party has ever agreed to do something like this again. It might be an example of how unstable and bad an idea it is to do it. It certainly would not represent a case that it is correct or normal to do this.

Ask yourself while you go back almost a century to scrape the barrel how many coalition government have existed since?

Consider the maturity of the role of GG since as well -- that the only significant obligation a GG has is to ensure a stable government . Asking a party withabout a third of the seats to govern alone with no formal arrangement is hardle a prescription for stability.

JKR -- you have twisted this beyond reason. Is there any stopping you on this?

This is if anything the exception that proves the rule -- it is telling that you have to draw such an old and very bad example. And it is not even what we were talking about -- a party ruling out offering a share of power. This was an unusual example of a second party governing becuase at the time none of the other parties wanted power. I can assure you that this is not in the cards for October.

I agree that a LPC-NDP coalition would provide the most stable government in this hypothetical situation. But Trudeau just said that the LPC is not going to form a coalition with the NDP or even enter into a formal governing agreement with them. If the LPC sticks to this position until election day I think they will kill any real chance of a LPC-NDP coalition or governing agreement. I think the NDP wouldn't even want to form a coalition government under these tainted conditions. But the NDP does want to get rid of Harper more than any other political party for ideological reasons so I think they would be prepared to formally approve of voting for a LPC Throne Speech and allowing a minority LPC government to go ahead. I think the NDP might see that as being the least worst alternative arising out of the LPC's position against uniting with the NDP after the election. Personally I would like to see a LPC-NDP coalition but not under circumstances where the leading party in the coalition government told the voters they would not form such a coalition during the election.

I think Trudeau and the LPC have made a big mistake in ruling out meaningful post-election negotiations. Hopefully they will change their position before Election Day. But if they don't than I think a LPC-NDP coalition government will have little chance of happening. I think the LPC's position on post election negotiations should be that they are willing to negotiate with all of the parties after the election including the NDP and CPC. Unfortunately the LPC has not taken that kind of stance but hopefully they will before Election Day.

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

A lot of people are speaking here as if they know something they clearly do not,

I'll defer to your expertise.
By constitutional convention can a party that comes in second place form a minority government?

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In Canada PMs are appointed by the Governor General not elected by the House.

Ok, so the GG appoints the PM. In a minority situation, don't they usually wait and appoint someone after they've gained the confidence of the house?

Quote:
The first test is the Throne speech -- there is no motion for PM. Usually when it is hopeless that leader resigns on election night.

Ok, there's no motion for PM, but in a minority situation doesn't a leader have to gain the confidence of the house before they become PM.

Surely the house has the power to pass such a motion, and if I were GG, I certainly wouldn't appoint a PM who hadn't obtained one.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

In Canada PMs are appointed by the Governor General not elected by the House.

And Governor-Generals are appointed by the Prime Minister (who recommends a G-G to the Monarch, who automatically accepts the recommendation).

 

Sean in Ottawa

JKR wrote:
Sean in Ottawa wrote:

A lot of people are speaking here as if they know something they clearly do not,

 

I'll defer to your expertise. By constitutional convention can a party that comes in second place form a minority government?

Absolutely. The first challenge of course is to satisfy the GG that they will obtain confidence and can offer a stable government in at least the short term. This first test would normally require some kind of arrangement.

 

It could be a simple public promise to support the new government by party or parties big enough to give the government a majority. But this would have to be credible. Such a promise is unusual as it is effectively a blank cheque -- a renouncing of interest in taking power from a party that most likely is in politics to govern.

 

The second option could be an Accord. This could offer a more meaningful arrangement. In this a small third Party might be able to provide a fairly blank cheque but at least get a few initiatives or priorities into government. This is a reasonable approach if the Third party is much smaller than the second party. A much smaller party would take this opportunity to get a few policies in place that it otherwise would have no hope to implement. It is very likely that the NDP would agree to such an arrangement if the Liberals had perhaps double the seats the NDP had. With so many more Liberals the NDP would understand that a share of power might not be possible in the short term. NDP members would understand that the party did not get enough votes to share power and be content with at least some priorities being addressed. Further with a larger caucus the public would see the Liberals as having enough broad support to be a legitimate government -- especially if they had representation in all major regions of the country.

 

The third option is what we have been discussing -- a coalition. In this case if the Liberals failed to obtain enough widespread support to be close to a plurality, and they relied on a large NDP to get their shot at power, an Accord would not cut it. The NDP would not be expected to agree to a blank cheque. Proportionate to its members in the house it would want more than a few policy planks in government. It would not be able to agree to prop up a party barely bigger than itself without power sharing. If the NDP is close in size to the Liberals it could not accept not having seats at the cabinet table. The public would not consider the Liberals to be legitimate. The GG would not consider such an arrangement to be stable and would not appoint the Liberal leader as PM in such a circumstance.

Sean in Ottawa

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In Canada PMs are appointed by the Governor General not elected by the House.

Ok, so the GG appoints the PM. In a minority situation, don't they usually wait and appoint someone after they've gained the confidence of the house?

Quote:
The first test is the Throne speech -- there is no motion for PM. Usually when it is hopeless that leader resigns on election night.

Ok, there's no motion for PM, but in a minority situation doesn't a leader have to gain the confidence of the house before they become PM.

Surely the house has the power to pass such a motion, and if I were GG, I certainly wouldn't appoint a PM who hadn't obtained one.

Sorry it does not work this way. The house does not meet without an appointed PM. The House is not sitting when the GG has to appoint a PM. There is no mechanism for the House to meet without a PM.

In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

To answer your obvious point-- the GG cannot get advice from a parliament about which leader to choose for PM because Parliament can only be recalled by a PM who has been appointed. The first step after an election where there is no majority is the negotiation between the parties. The second is the presentation of the results of that negotiation to the GG. The third is the GG appointing a PM. The fourth is the PM recalling the House and then presenting a Throne speech. The final step is the obtaining of confidence. If confidence cannot be obtained the GG may allow another party an opportunity to gain confidence if there is a realistic chance that they may succeed or the GG would call a new election.

The motion you speak of is impossible as there is no forum in which it can be presented.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

In Canada PMs are appointed by the Governor General not elected by the House.

And Governor-Generals are appointed by the Prime Minister (who recommends a G-G to the Monarch, who automatically accepts the recommendation).

 

Well not quite.

A GG may be appointed by a PM but the GG's choices are governed by the Constitution. The GG may be sympathetic to a particular party-- in fact it would be unusual if they were not. But there are rules they work by and very limited discretion.

The GG's prime purpose is to ensure that a government is in place that has the confidence of the House. There is some room for favoritism but extremely little.

When there is a PM in place the GG has a back seat as the PM -- so long as confidence has not been formally removed -- has the legitimacy of power. In this case the GG can show more naked favoritism to a sitting PM that the GG prefers. Or a GG may simply wish to defer on principle to a sitting PM. A GG may help a sitting PM by default by granting time as was done in 2008.

But it is different after an election. The PM has few options. If a PM goes through an election and refuses to resign the GG cannot stop that PM from meeting the house and asking for confidence. If the previous PM resigns the GG must choose the Party leader with the greatest likelihood of gaining confidence. If the votes are so close then the GG may have some choice in which Party leader gets a first shot but the House will soon make clear if the choice was incorrect and the other would normally get a shot. The one grey area could be a refusal to give a second leader a chance and instead call an election but in this case the GG would be heavily criticized and the new election might swing towards a leader who would replace that GG as quickly as possible.

So the opportunity to prefer one party over another is very limited. The real ability to show preference exists when there is a PM who has already recieved confidence and that PM is trying to prorogue or somethign like that.

Sean in Ottawa

Our current GG, while a Conservative, is unlikely to throw his reputation overboard.

One thing he could do is be a stickler on the requirement of a leader to provide a good case for confidence. He could make life harder on Trudeau or Mulcair by asking them to show more proof of stability -- he could effectively force a coalition where there could be an argument that an Accord would have sufficed. But this would only be in that grey area. There are parliamentary precedents for both Accords and coalitions. These are based largely on the proportions of seats in the House and the political context (if one party is not interested in power it is easier to believe that an Accord would be enough whereas if there is a clear ambition from that party to govern it is easy to see that the GG would say that the arrangment would not be stable. It would be difficult to imagine Trudeau being able to bully Mulcair into supporting his government when Mulcair wanted a coalition -- if the proportions in the House suggested that a coalition was the right option.

JKR

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Our current GG, while a Conservative, is unlikely to throw his reputation overboard.

One thing he could do is be a stickler on the requirement of a leader to provide a good case for confidence. He could make life harder on Trudeau or Mulcair by asking them to show more proof of stability -- he could effectively force a coalition where there could be an argument that an Accord would have sufficed. But this would only be in that grey area. There are parliamentary precedents for both Accords and coalitions. These are based largely on the proportions of seats in the House and the political context (if one party is not interested in power it is easier to believe that an Accord would be enough whereas if there is a clear ambition from that party to govern it is easy to see that the GG would say that the arrangment would not be stable. It would be difficult to imagine Trudeau being able to bully Mulcair into supporting his government when Mulcair wanted a coalition -- if the proportions in the House suggested that a coalition was the right option.

It sounds to me like you are saying these kinds of proportional results would tend to favour these types of governments:

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 86; NDP - 84: LPC-NDP Coalition

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 95 NDP - 75: LPC-NDP Coalition

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 105; NDP - 65: LPC-NDP Coalition

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 115; NDP - 55: LPC-NDP Accord

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 125; NDP - 45: LPC-NDP Accord

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 135; NDP - 35: LPC-NDP Accord

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 84; NDP - 86: NDP-LPC Coalition

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 75; NDP - 95: NDP-LPC Coalition

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 65; NDP - 105: NDP-LPC Coalition

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 55; NDP - 115: NDP-LPC Accord

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 45; NDP - 125 NDP-LPC Accord

CPC - 155 seats; LPC - 35; NDP - 135: NDP-LPC Accord

LPC-NDP indicates a LPC led government.

NDP-LPC indicates a NDP led government

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

Unless you meant only if the 2nd and 3rd parties want to take power the above is inaccuarate. The GG meets with the leader of the party who won the most seats. Harper didn't made any coalitions or accords with anyone. He could do the same again.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

Unless you meant only if the 2nd and 3rd parties want to take power the above is inaccuarate. The GG meets with the leader of the party who won the most seats. Harper didn't made any coalitions or accords with anyone. He could do the same again.

What I said is accurate --Pondering, I suggest you read more carefully before you argue.

On election night in the cases you mention the two other parties conceeded to Harper. That is their repreesentation. On that basis since they made no further representation Harper was Appointed.

You must recognize that these concession speeches are not just about politeness they are the positions of the parties. A concession normally includes a willingness to work with the new government giving it an opportunity to try to work. The party leader beocmes a PM-elect once they have the concession of the other parties and they pass it on to the GG. If they don't get a concession the bargaining begins and the GG may meet privately with each leader in the process.

Before the PM is appointed the other parties have the option of making representations direct to the GG rather than a concession. they may also ask for time to negotiate. They may even conceed the night of the election but approach the GG the following day to inform the GG that they did not expect there to be Confidence in the first party and that they wish to propose an alternative. If the only representaiton they make is a concession on election night then that is what the GG works with.

Nothing I said above contradicts any of this.

 

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

Unless you meant only if the 2nd and 3rd parties want to take power the above is inaccuarate. The GG meets with the leader of the party who won the most seats. Harper didn't made any coalitions or accords with anyone. He could do the same again.

What I said is accurate --Pondering, I suggest you read more carefully before you argue.

On election night in the cases you mention the two other parties conceeded to Harper. That is their repreesentation. On that basis since they made no further representation Harper was Appointed.

You must recognize that these concession speeches are not just about politeness they are the positions of the parties. A concession normally includes a willingness to work with the new government giving it an opportunity to try to work. The party leader beocmes a PM-elect once they have the concession of the other parties and they pass it on to the GG. If they don't get a concession the bargaining begins and the GG may meet privately with each leader in the process.

Before the PM is appointed the other parties have the option of making representations direct to the GG rather than a concession. they may also ask for time to negotiate. They may even conceed the night of the election but approach the GG the following day to inform the GG that they did not expect there to be Confidence in the first party and that they wish to propose an alternative. If the only representaiton they make is a concession on election night then that is what the GG works with.

Not so:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

4.2.2 If there is no clear majority, which party is entitled to be asked to form a government first – the party with the most seats in the House of Commons, or the incumbent party?

If there is no clear majority, the incumbent Prime Minister is given the choice of resigning or meeting the House to see if his or her party has the confidence of the House.18

Harper did not need the concession speechs of anyone to maintain power. Concession speeches are a declaration that the votes won't be contested not an expression of willingless to support the winner.

4.2.3 If there is no clear majority and the government resigns, how is the Prime Minister determined?

Should the incumbent Prime Minister and Cabinet resign in the event there is no clear majority, the Governor General would probably ask the leader of the opposition party most likely to enjoy the confidence of the House to form a government.  The confidence of the House might be evidenced through an informal agreement or a coalition between parties.

In almost every case, the Governor General has chosen as the Prime Minister the leader of the party that has received the largest number of seats in the House of Commons, even if it is not the majority.19

While there might be an informal agreement or coalition it is not required and in the grand majority of cases in Canada there have been no accords or agreements or coalitions prior to a minority government being formed.  

In this election as in others it is most likely whichever party wins the most seats will form government without any coalition or accord or any other powersharing arrangement.


Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

Unless you meant only if the 2nd and 3rd parties want to take power the above is inaccuarate. The GG meets with the leader of the party who won the most seats. Harper didn't made any coalitions or accords with anyone. He could do the same again.

What I said is accurate --Pondering, I suggest you read more carefully before you argue.

On election night in the cases you mention the two other parties conceeded to Harper. That is their repreesentation. On that basis since they made no further representation Harper was Appointed.

You must recognize that these concession speeches are not just about politeness they are the positions of the parties. A concession normally includes a willingness to work with the new government giving it an opportunity to try to work. The party leader beocmes a PM-elect once they have the concession of the other parties and they pass it on to the GG. If they don't get a concession the bargaining begins and the GG may meet privately with each leader in the process.

Before the PM is appointed the other parties have the option of making representations direct to the GG rather than a concession. they may also ask for time to negotiate. They may even conceed the night of the election but approach the GG the following day to inform the GG that they did not expect there to be Confidence in the first party and that they wish to propose an alternative. If the only representaiton they make is a concession on election night then that is what the GG works with.

Not so:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

4.2.2 If there is no clear majority, which party is entitled to be asked to form a government first – the party with the most seats in the House of Commons, or the incumbent party?

If there is no clear majority, the incumbent Prime Minister is given the choice of resigning or meeting the House to see if his or her party has the confidence of the House.18

Harper did not need the concession speechs of anyone to maintain power. Concession speeches are a declaration that the votes won't be contested not an expression of willingless to support the winner.

4.2.3 If there is no clear majority and the government resigns, how is the Prime Minister determined?

Should the incumbent Prime Minister and Cabinet resign in the event there is no clear majority, the Governor General would probably ask the leader of the opposition party most likely to enjoy the confidence of the House to form a government.  The confidence of the House might be evidenced through an informal agreement or a coalition between parties.

In almost every case, the Governor General has chosen as the Prime Minister the leader of the party that has received the largest number of seats in the House of Commons, even if it is not the majority.19

While there might be an informal agreement or coalition it is not required and in the grand majority of cases in Canada there have been no accords or agreements or coalitions prior to a minority government being formed.  

In this election as in others it is most likely whichever party wins the most seats will form government without any coalition or accord or any other powersharing arrangement.


In other words, we know we can't win a majority but want Canadians to think if they vote for us the NDP will always support us in the house, because if the LPC govt falls Canadians will know it was the NDPs fault and give us a majority at the NDPs expense

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Because Trudeau is such an unsophisticated communicator and does not know the ins and outs of the law as did his father, he is revealing the 148-year-old Liberal scam to more Canadians than ever. The Liberals will always be a caretaker government for the Conservatives. If the Conservatives make one advance against our civil liberties, the Liberals will not support the people, as we have seen from Liberal support of C-51.

Like Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau is our enemy. He is just not as good as his father was at fooling us into believing we are his friend.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

All permutations are designed to favor the Liberals and screw the NDP.

Anything new here?

No.

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

Unless you meant only if the 2nd and 3rd parties want to take power the above is inaccuarate. The GG meets with the leader of the party who won the most seats. Harper didn't made any coalitions or accords with anyone. He could do the same again.

What I said is accurate --Pondering, I suggest you read more carefully before you argue.

On election night in the cases you mention the two other parties conceeded to Harper. That is their repreesentation. On that basis since they made no further representation Harper was Appointed.

You must recognize that these concession speeches are not just about politeness they are the positions of the parties. A concession normally includes a willingness to work with the new government giving it an opportunity to try to work. The party leader beocmes a PM-elect once they have the concession of the other parties and they pass it on to the GG. If they don't get a concession the bargaining begins and the GG may meet privately with each leader in the process.

Before the PM is appointed the other parties have the option of making representations direct to the GG rather than a concession. they may also ask for time to negotiate. They may even conceed the night of the election but approach the GG the following day to inform the GG that they did not expect there to be Confidence in the first party and that they wish to propose an alternative. If the only representaiton they make is a concession on election night then that is what the GG works with.

Not so:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

4.2.2 If there is no clear majority, which party is entitled to be asked to form a government first – the party with the most seats in the House of Commons, or the incumbent party?

If there is no clear majority, the incumbent Prime Minister is given the choice of resigning or meeting the House to see if his or her party has the confidence of the House.18

Harper did not need the concession speechs of anyone to maintain power. Concession speeches are a declaration that the votes won't be contested not an expression of willingless to support the winner.

4.2.3 If there is no clear majority and the government resigns, how is the Prime Minister determined?

Should the incumbent Prime Minister and Cabinet resign in the event there is no clear majority, the Governor General would probably ask the leader of the opposition party most likely to enjoy the confidence of the House to form a government.  The confidence of the House might be evidenced through an informal agreement or a coalition between parties.

In almost every case, the Governor General has chosen as the Prime Minister the leader of the party that has received the largest number of seats in the House of Commons, even if it is not the majority.19

While there might be an informal agreement or coalition it is not required and in the grand majority of cases in Canada there have been no accords or agreements or coalitions prior to a minority government being formed.  

In this election as in others it is most likely whichever party wins the most seats will form government without any coalition or accord or any other powersharing arrangement.  


Pure garbage Pondering.

Absolutely not true.

There have been many minorities and almost all have had statements from opposition parties about giving a party the opportunity to try to govern. And you don't know what you are talking about when it comes to concession speeches and how they work. They are not about just accepting the numbers theya re recognizing a winner who can form a government. They are meaningful.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In Canada PMs are appointed by the Governor General not elected by the House.

Ok, so the GG appoints the PM. In a minority situation, don't they usually wait and appoint someone after they've gained the confidence of the house?

Quote:
The first test is the Throne speech -- there is no motion for PM. Usually when it is hopeless that leader resigns on election night.

Ok, there's no motion for PM, but in a minority situation doesn't a leader have to gain the confidence of the house before they become PM.

Surely the house has the power to pass such a motion, and if I were GG, I certainly wouldn't appoint a PM who hadn't obtained one.

Sorry it does not work this way. The house does not meet without an appointed PM. The House is not sitting when the GG has to appoint a PM. There is no mechanism for the House to meet without a PM.

In a minority situation the GG listens to representations of the party leaders. This is their opportunity to claim a majority in the House through agreements, accords, coalitions etc. If no party leader can make a case to be appointed after consulting with other parties the GG would have no choice but to call a new election. This would of course create a very bad economic, political and constitutional crisis. Voters in the new election would likely vote on a ballot question asking which party prevented the formation of a government. If a party had ruled out any power-sharing I suspect they would be destroyed on that election.

To answer your obvious point-- the GG cannot get advice from a parliament about which leader to choose for PM because Parliament can only be recalled by a PM who has been appointed. The first step after an election where there is no majority is the negotiation between the parties. The second is the presentation of the results of that negotiation to the GG. The third is the GG appointing a PM. The fourth is the PM recalling the House and then presenting a Throne speech. The final step is the obtaining of confidence. If confidence cannot be obtained the GG may allow another party an opportunity to gain confidence if there is a realistic chance that they may succeed or the GG would call a new election.

The motion you speak of is impossible as there is no forum in which it can be presented.

Wow. Our Constitution is really messed up if it allows the GG to appoint a PM who doesn't yet have the confidence of the house, and doesn't provide any other mechanism for the house to meet.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
There have been many minorities and almost all have had statements from opposition parties about giving a party the opportunity to try to govern. And you don't know what you are talking about when it comes to concession speeches and how they work. They are not about just accepting the numbers theya re recognizing a winner who can form a government. They are meaningful.

Are you suggesting that if the Liberals win a plurality of the seats, and Harper resigns, Mulcair won't give a concession speech on election night?

Furthermore, you are claiming that if Mulcair doesn't give a concession speech the GG won't offer Trudeau a chance to give a speech to the throne?

Aristotleded24

You forgot to highlight the following:

Pondering wrote:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

4.2.2 If there is no clear majority, which party is entitled to be asked to form a government first – the party with the most seats in the House of Commons, or the incumbent party?

If there is no clear majority, the incumbent Prime Minister is given the choice of resigning or meeting the House to see if his or her party has the confidence of the House.18

Harper did not need the concession speechs of anyone to maintain power. Concession speeches are a declaration that the votes won't be contested not an expression of willingless to support the winner.

4.2.3 If there is no clear majority and the government resigns, how is the Prime Minister determined?

Should the incumbent Prime Minister and Cabinet resign in the event there is no clear majority, the Governor General would probably ask the leader of the opposition party most likely to enjoy the confidence of the House to form a government.  The confidence of the House might be evidenced through an informal agreement or a coalition between parties.

In almost every case, the Governor General has chosen as the Prime Minister the leader of the party that has received the largest number of seats in the House of Commons, even if it is not the majority.19

While there might be an informal agreement or coalition it is not required and in the grand majority of cases in Canada there have been no accords or agreements or coalitions prior to a minority government being formed.  

In this election as in others it is most likely whichever party wins the most seats will form government without any coalition or accord or any other powersharing arrangement.

Given the lengths to which he has gone to hold on to power, I would actually be surprised if he resigned his government even if another party finished ahead of his in a minority situation. The only way I can see him resigning his government is if something drastic like the party falling into third place or being closely tied for second when it would be obvious the numbers would not work for him, but that is very unlikely.

Pondering

Left Turn wrote:

Wow. Our Constitution is really messed up if it allows the GG to appoint a PM who doesn't yet have the confidence of the house, and doesn't provide any other mechanism for the house to meet.

Parliament can't meet before it is opened by a throne speech given by the GG which contains the plans of the government seeking the confidence of the house.

That is the entire purpose of the throne speech.

Parliament is closed once an election is called. After the election parliament includes new MPs that have never met. The speech to the throne reopens parliament. If MPs reject the leader proposed by the GG, which by convention is either the incumbant or the leader with a plurality of votes, then we move onto other scenarios.

If Trudeau wins a plurality of votes and Harper resigns as is the norm the GG would cause a constitutional crisis if he refused to allow Trudeau the opportunity to address the new parliament within a throne speech.

The point of addressing the house is to seek the confidence of MPs not parties. Regardless of what the party leaders said about whether or not they would support a Liberal government denying the Liberals the opportunity to address parliament and denying parliament the chance to have a formal vote would be gross interference in democracy.

Parliament is the venue in which parties and MPs express their rejection of the government or proposed government. If they reject it they can then approach the GG with a different leader and plan.

What do you imagine would be the result of the GG refusing to allow the Liberals a chance to address parliament?

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Given the lengths to which he has gone to hold on to power, I would actually be surprised if he resigned his government even if another party finished ahead of his in a minority situation. The only way I can see him resigning his government is if something drastic like the party falling into third place or being closely tied for second when it would be obvious the numbers would not work for him, but that is very unlikely.

If Harper comes in second and refuses to resign then he will propose his plans in the speech to the throne and face parliament where he would lose the vote of confidence.

The leader of the party that came in first would then be offered the opportunity to address parliament.

If the Liberals recieve the most votes and both the Conservatives and NDP refused the Liberals a chance to govern sending us back into an election I think Canadians would give the Liberals a majority.

The only situation in which the Liberals would have to agree to a coalition with the NDP is if Harper wins a plurality of seats and the Liberals vote against the throne speech.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Given the lengths to which he has gone to hold on to power, I would actually be surprised if he resigned his government even if another party finished ahead of his in a minority situation. The only way I can see him resigning his government is if something drastic like the party falling into third place or being closely tied for second when it would be obvious the numbers would not work for him, but that is very unlikely.

If Harper comes in second and refuses to resign then he will propose his plans in the speech to the throne and face parliament where he would lose the vote of confidence.

Not necessarily. One of the Opposition parties could outright abstain or enough opposition MPs could miss the vote due to "sickness" that the government still stands.

mark_alfred

All this coalition talk here based on something that Trudeau said is silly.  We all know that anything Liberals say is meaningless.  If Liberals feel a coalition with the NDP might advance their cause, then they'll develop amnesia like they always do and enter into a coalition with the NDP.

That won't happen, though, because a coalition with the NDP would not advance their cause.  We all know the Liberal cause is to ensure that big business rules the roost.  So, the Liberals would never enter into a coalition with the NDP.  As before, even in a minority, they'd be silent partners with the Conservatives.  If the NDP won a plurality, I bet the Liberals would enter into either a coalition or an accord with the Conservatives.  Birds of a feather flock together.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Ask yourself while you go back almost a century to scrape the barrel how many coalition government have existed since?

None ever in Canada no matter how far back you go.

At the federal level in Canada, there have been no coalition governments as a result of a minority situation.  Neither have there been formal agreements on cooperation between parties.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

 

JKR

This is also from the Parliament of Canada's web site. It does a good job explaining what happens in case no party has a majority. Importantly, it doesn't mention the specific order the parties are in. It treats all parties the same no matter how they placed in the election.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

Quote:

4.2.5 In a case where no party has a majority, what options are there for parties to govern?

- Two (or more) parties can form a coalition. In a coalition government, members of different political parties are brought into Cabinet and together contribute to policies that become part of the government’s legislative program. There has been only one coalition government at the federal level in Canada’s history, and it was not as a result of a minority situation. In 1917, as a way of broadening support for conscription during World War I, Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden invited individual Liberals and independents to join a coalition known as the Union Government; it lasted until Borden’s retirement in 1920. Coalition governments are more common in countries with proportional representation electoral systems. According to C. E. S. Franks, “a minority government is more likely to make concessions over policy and legislation with a third party than to enter into a coalition.”20 Franks’ observation is borne out by the events of the 38th Parliament when the Liberal government reached an accommodation with the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP); changes were made to the 2005 Budget in exchange for NDP support.

- Two (or more) parties may choose to have a formal pact whereby a smaller party does not have membership in Cabinet, but has publicly agreed in writing to support another party in government for a limited period in exchange for specific policy concessions from the government. The 1985–1987 minority government in Ontario was an example of this type of arrangement.21

- Another option is to form an informal alliance or an agreement with another party, without any written commitment. This is not as formal as a coalition and does not result in members of another party joining Cabinet. According to Peter Dobell, the 1972 informal alliance between the federal Liberals and the NDP meant that “every policy proposal, all legislation, was discussed between representatives of the two parties … only when agreement had been reached did the government proceed to introduce a bill.”22

- Minority governments can also deal with the situation by governing on a case-by-case basis, “where the government makes a separate accommodation with the opposition parties on each bill.”23

...

4.4.6 Is it necessary for a minority government to have the formal support of smaller parties in order to govern?

No. A minority government can survive without the explicit support of smaller parties. To do so, it hopes that individual Members or the smaller parties will support it, or at least avoid defeating the government because they fear the consequences of an election.

4.4.7 Are there any special rules regarding a minority government?

No.

Pondering

Left Turn wrote:

There appears to be confusion on this thread regarding the post-election forming of the gevernment and the presenting of a throne speech.

The first thing the house does when it meets after the election is to elect the speaker of the house. It then elects the Prime Minister. only after being elected Prime Minister can that person nominate a cabinet and present a throne speech.

The house elects a Prime Minister by nominating an MP for this position, and then having a majority of MPs vote yay to the motion. This is called seeking the confidence of the house, and the GG can ask any MP to seek the confidence of the house if the GG thinks the MP can get it.

Only an MP who has won the confidence of the house/been elected Prime Minister can be asked to present a throne speech.

The GG gives the speech to the throne in the Senate which opens parliament. Only then can the house meet.

In those countries that share with Britain the same person as their respective sovereign, the Speech From the Throne will generally be read on the monarch's behalf by his or her viceroy, the governor-general, though the monarch can give the address in person: Queen Elizabeth II read the Throne Speech in the Parliament of New Zealand in 1954, the Parliament of Australia in 1954 and 1974,[5] and the Parliament of Canada in 1957 and 1977. Another member of the Royal Family may also perform this duty, such as when, on 1 September 1919, Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), read the Speech From the Throne in the Canadian parliament.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_from_the_throne#Canada

If no party has a majority the incumbant has first shot at forming a government if they don't resign even if they didn't win the most votes. Even if the GG "knew" the Harper government would fail on meeting with the house the GG would still have to give Harper the chance to write the government portion of the speech to the throne which is given in the Senate by the GG.

It would be up to the house to defeat Harper.

If the Liberals had won a plurality of the votes the GG would then give the Liberals the opportunity to submit a plan through the throne speech in the senate as has always happened in Canada without exception.

The Liberals would then have to face the house for a vote of confidence.

It is at this point the NDP could make their threats and follow through by voting against the Liberals if they refused to negotiate but the Conservatives would probably support the Liberals in that situation rather than have the NDP and Liberals working together.

If the Conservatives also refused to support the Liberals without a powersharing deal we would be going back into an election.

I think Canadians would return the Liberals to power with a majority if they won the most seats and the other two parties refused them a chance to govern.

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Ask yourself while you go back almost a century to scrape the barrel how many coalition government have existed since?

None ever in Canada no matter how far back you go.

At the federal level in Canada, there have been no coalition governments as a result of a minority situation.  Neither have there been formal agreements on cooperation between parties.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

 

We've also never had a situation where the second and third place parties have similar election platforms; have similar amounts of seats; and also have many more seats than the first place party. This type of situation has never occurred in our history:

CPC: 120 seats

LPC: 105 seats

NDP: 104 seats

GPC: 1 seat

BQ: 1 seat

This kind of result would be new to Canada. In this situation most of the voters who voted for either the LPC and NDP likely would expect the LPC and NDP to either form a coalition or establish a formal pact.

Northern PoV

Wow: CPC: 120 seats, LPC: 105 seats, NDP: 104 seats GPC: 1 seat BQ: 1 seat

Any more WAGs?  (Wild Ass Guesses) 

Fun speculation for boys and girls but the adults running for office do not need to be distracted by these various hypotheticals.

The future is hard to predict cause no one knows whats going to happen. Be patient... October 19 is just around the corner.

 

 

JKR

mark_alfred wrote:

All this coalition talk here based on something that Trudeau said is silly.  We all know that anything Liberals say is meaningless.  If Liberals feel a coalition with the NDP might advance their cause, then they'll develop amnesia like they always do and enter into a coalition with the NDP.

That won't happen, though, because a coalition with the NDP would not advance their cause.  We all know the Liberal cause is to ensure that big business rules the roost.  So, the Liberals would never enter into a coalition with the NDP.  As before, even in a minority, they'd be silent partners with the Conservatives.  If the NDP won a plurality, I bet the Liberals would enter into either a coalition or an accord with the Conservatives.  Birds of a feather flock together.

I think parties try not to antagonize the people who voted for them so if the NDP won a plurality I think the LPC would vote for an NDP throne speech.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Pondering wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

There appears to be confusion on this thread regarding the post-election forming of the gevernment and the presenting of a throne speech.

The first thing the house does when it meets after the election is to elect the speaker of the house. It then elects the Prime Minister. only after being elected Prime Minister can that person nominate a cabinet and present a throne speech.

The house elects a Prime Minister by nominating an MP for this position, and then having a majority of MPs vote yay to the motion. This is called seeking the confidence of the house, and the GG can ask any MP to seek the confidence of the house if the GG thinks the MP can get it.

Only an MP who has won the confidence of the house/been elected Prime Minister can be asked to present a throne speech.

The GG gives the speech to the throne in the Senate which opens parliament. Only then can the house meet.

In those countries that share with Britain the same person as their respective sovereign, the Speech From the Throne will generally be read on the monarch's behalf by his or her viceroy, the governor-general, though the monarch can give the address in person: Queen Elizabeth II read the Throne Speech in the Parliament of New Zealand in 1954, the Parliament of Australia in 1954 and 1974,[5] and the Parliament of Canada in 1957 and 1977. Another member of the Royal Family may also perform this duty, such as when, on 1 September 1919, Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), read the Speech From the Throne in the Canadian parliament.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_from_the_throne#Canada

Pondering, I admitted upthread that I was wrong, and that I now understand how Parliament works in this respect.

What I'm now arguing is that the way it works is messed up. There are two reasons for this:

1) There is no mechanism to prevent the GG from making an incorrect choice for PM.

2) Whoever the GG appoints as PM could theoretically attend an international leaders summits or such without passing a Throne Speech, if there were an intenational leaders summit scheduled very closely following a Canadian election.

3) The GG can technically block a party they don't like from forming government.

Pondering

Left Turn wrote:

Pondering, I admitted upthread that I was wrong, and that I now understand how Parliament works in this respect.

What I'm now arguing is that the way it works is messed up. There are two reasons for this:

1) There is no mechanism to prevent the GG from making an incorrect choice for PM.

2) Whoever the GG appoints as PM could theoretically attend an international leaders summits or such without passing a Throne Speech, if there were an intenational leaders summit scheduled very closely following a Canadian election.

I understand the bare bones of how parliament works in this respect but I too am just learning.

I don't know what would happen, theoretically, if there were an international leaders summit that was timed between the election and the time it takes to form a new government.

I think the outgoing PM would still be the acting PM so they would attend the summit but that would never happen because these things are scheduled far in advance. Canada would move the election by a week or two to avoid having it during a major international summit of some sort.

I think the acting PM only makes emergency decisions until the new government takes control.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Ask yourself while you go back almost a century to scrape the barrel how many coalition government have existed since?

None ever in Canada no matter how far back you go.

At the federal level in Canada, there have been no coalition governments as a result of a minority situation.  Neither have there been formal agreements on cooperation between parties.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

 

We've also never had a situation where the second and third place parties have similar election platforms; have similar amounts of seats; and also have many more seats than the first place party. This type of situation has never occurred in our history:

CPC: 120 seats

LPC: 105 seats

NDP: 104 seats

GPC: 1 seat

BQ: 1 seat

This kind of result would be new to Canada. In this situation most of the voters who voted for either the LPC and NDP likely would expect the LPC and NDP to either form a coalition or establish a formal pact.

I think Canadians would expect parliament to hear Harper's speech to the throne before deciding and that the GG would have to give Harper that opportunity.

I think the Liberals would base their decison on political expediency and what kind of deal the NDP was offering.

For example I don't believe the Liberals would agree to enacting PR as a condition of forming a government nor agree to pass the Unity Act.

In my opinion the coalition would only have social licence to move forward on common legislation meaning all stuff the Liberals would have done anyway.

So, I think the Liberals stand to benefit most from a coalition if they are forced into one by circumstance.

Pondering

Northern PoV wrote:

Wow: CPC: 120 seats, LPC: 105 seats, NDP: 104 seats GPC: 1 seat BQ: 1 seat

Any more WAGs?  (Wild Ass Guesses) 

Fun speculation for boys and girls but the adults running for office do not need to be distracted by these various hypotheticals.

The future is hard to predict cause no one knows whats going to happen. Be patient... October 19 is just around the corner.

I do think that split is highly implausible. It would mean the Liberals gaining almost all their support from former Conservative voters and none from former Liberal voters.

Rokossovsky

I wonder if Pondering notices how strange it is that she has to "explain" how Truduea meant "conditional coalition" when he said "no coalition", and that takes 10 or 12 long posts on the subject.

Couldn't Trudeau explain these fine points himself? And if not, one also has to wonder if its not a problem, if he can not.

Rokossovsky

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Pondering wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Ask yourself while you go back almost a century to scrape the barrel how many coalition government have existed since?

None ever in Canada no matter how far back you go.

At the federal level in Canada, there have been no coalition governments as a result of a minority situation.  Neither have there been formal agreements on cooperation between parties.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-37-e.htm?cat...

 

We've also never had a situation where the second and third place parties have similar election platforms; have similar amounts of seats; and also have many more seats than the first place party. This type of situation has never occurred in our history:

CPC: 120 seats

LPC: 105 seats

NDP: 104 seats

GPC: 1 seat

BQ: 1 seat

This kind of result would be new to Canada. In this situation most of the voters who voted for either the LPC and NDP likely would expect the LPC and NDP to either form a coalition or establish a formal pact.

I think Canadians would expect parliament to hear Harper's speech to the throne before deciding and that the GG would have to give Harper that opportunity.

I think the Liberals would base their decison on political expediency and what kind of deal the NDP was offering.

For example I don't believe the Liberals would agree to enacting PR as a condition of forming a government nor agree to pass the Unity Act.

So Harper resigns from Conservative leadership, and Kenny takes charge and the Liberals support that.

The presumption that the NDP and the Liberals have more in common with each other than the Liberals and the Conservatives is highly suspect.

Pondering

Rokossovsky wrote:
The presumption that the NDP and the Liberals have more in common with each other than the Liberals and the Conservatives is highly suspect.

All three parties are distinct from one another. A merger between the NDP and the Liberals even if the NDP were the lead partner would mean the NDP becoming even more centrist than it is now.

Those who promote the demise of the Liberal party don't seem to realize that if the more moderate progressives of the Liberal party joined the NDP the NDP would automatically become less progressive. The left side of the party would be completely out-numbered. It would not take long for them to split off to form a more progressive party. The NDP would just be the Liberals by another name.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I still say the best thing for Canadian politics would be if Liberal posters would stop derailing every thread that starts here on Rabble. The title is Trudeau hates Mulcair; instead its the NDP are the Liberals, the Liberals are the NDP, and the Liberals should govern Every thread goes like this on here. But why should I be surprised, its all about Justin.

Pondering

Arthur Cramer wrote:
I still say the best thing for Canadian politics would be if Liberal posters would stop derailing every thread that starts here on Rabble. The title is Trudeau hates Mulcair; instead its the NDP are the Liberals, the Liberals are the NDP, and the Liberals should govern Every thread goes like this on here. But why should I be surprised, its all about Justin.

Trudeau doesn't hate Mulcair and the title is highly misleading. Given that the thread is about Justin Trudeau it is quite natural that it is all about "Justin". Who else would it be about?

If you want a thread centered on Mulcair call it "People who hate Mulcair". 

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