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Coalition Negotiations Must Begin Immediately

By Stuart Hertzog
October 10th, 2008

For the opposition parties to form a coalition government, a formal letter stating their intent and ability to do so must sent to the Governor General as soon as the election results are announced. Without this, she would have no alternative but to ask Stephen Harper to form another minority government. The leaders of the four opposition parties must immediately begin negotiations to thrash out a working agreement. To delay would be to open the door for a second and more repressive Stephen Harper minority régime that 64% of Canadians do not want.

The four opposition party leaders

images by democraticSPACE

An open letter to the leaders of the four opposition parties

Stéphane Dion Liberal Party

Jack Layton New Democratic Party

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Québécois

Elizabeth May Green Party

To the four leaders of the Opposition:

You are competing against each other in trying to stop Stephen Harper from forming another minority government. This forces many Canadians who don’t want Stephen Harper to continue in power to vote strategically.

I believe that it’s not enough to try to stop another minority Harper government in Canada by strategic voting, although that’s a start. Until our voting system is changed to one of proportional representation, it would seem at first glance to be the best most concerned Canadians can do. 

Yet if Stephen Harper can continue as Prime Minister with another parliamentary minority, that’s enough for him to pursue his US-inspired, ultra right-wing, anti-social, anti-environment, secretive, repressive, and continentalist agenda — a prospect that really alarms me.

Stephen Harper wants to create a Canada that most Canadians don’t want.

I always thought that Democracy meant the rule of the majority, but a minority government means that Canada would be run once again by a political party with only, if the current pollsters current predictions prove to be accurate, around 34% support of Canadians.

Whatever happened to the democratic principle of majority rule?

I want the Governor General not to ask Stephen Harper to form the next government of Canada. Instead, I want her to respect the wishes of the two-third majority of voting Canadians and ask your four parties to try to form a coalition government.

Formal letter a necessity

I believe that the Governor General has the power to do this, and that there may be historical precedent to enable her to take this course of action. However, I understand that former Governor General Ed Schreyer believes that to do so she must have a formal letter signed by you, stating your intentions. Please ask him about this.

What is required is a formal submission, in writing, by the parties who have agreed to form a coalition requesting that the Governor General recognize you collectively as the government. If the Governor General feels that you could indeed function as a coalition and that this would be preferable to any other alternative, such a request could be granted.

This means that you must be ready to form a coalition by October 14th, 2008. 

Will you each put aside your antipathies towards each other and work to find your common principles and policies? Will you do this for the poor and needy; for the workers; for business people; for the environment and other species; and for the kind of Canada that the majority of Canadians clearly want? 

Will you begin to explore this possibility, NOW?

Historic moment for Canada

If you could do this, it would be an watershed moment in Canadian history. 

  • It may help to reduce the dissatisfaction that many Canadians feel about the current political system. 
  • It may stop save thousands of Canadians from losing their homes and businesses, and give others the hope of ever finding a roof over their head.
  • It may prevent the waste of hundreds of billions of dollars on an unwinnable war in Afghanistan that is bringing pain, misery, and even death to thousands of innocent individuals and families, including innocent children, both Afghani and Canadian.
  • It may prevent the absorption of Canada into a expanded United States of North America,
  • It may save millions on our entire planet from impending global climate catastrophe.

I urgently beg you to consider this possibility, and to begin negotiations NOW. 

Are you prepared to do this? I and millions of Canadians want to know.

Yours for a democratic, equitable, ethical, and sustainable future,

Stuart Hertzog

October 10, 2008

Victoria, British Columbia

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5 Responses

  1. Freda Davies Says:

    Great Idea! Have you passed it on to avaaz.ca? Maybe they would help spread it around

    Here’s a copy of the email I sent to the four leaders.

    Subject: Coalition please!

    To the leaders of the four opposition parties:

    I would like to echo the sentiments posted on

    http://greenpolitics.ca/2008/10/10/coalition-negotiations-must-begin-immediately/

    and add:

    If the Harper Conservatives do not win a majority, but win enough seats again to form a minority government, it is very important that you leaders take _immediate_ action to put together a coalition government. It is so very clear that the majority of Canadians favor progressive policies and that your four parties share much common ground.

    Even if the Bloc is a separatist party, it is in the vital interest the whole of northern North America, whether one nation or two, to rid ourselves of the inhumane, suppressive, short-sighted, simplistic, mean-spirited, dare I say, outright stupid policies of those running our present government.

    There has been an increasingly strong movement recently toward strategic voting. This will probably not be enough to topple the conservatives. And it is not really a satisfactory solution anyway. A coalition government would be the most effective way presently available to implement desperately needed solutions that reflect the true aspirations of the Canadian majority.

    Please, please, consider this seriously. I know there are long-standing animosites and some very serious policy differences among you. However they pale iin comparison to the impending catastrophe of climate change and to the myriad of human problems needing an intelligent and compassionate approach. The Conservatives are in denial on climate change, and as far as intelligence and compassion are concerned, well…… need I say more?

    Freda Davies

    South Gillies, Ontario

  2. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Well put, Freda! And, my apologies for the fact that your comment was held back by a technical glitch in the comment spam software I’m using. Luckily, I managed to extract it from the ‘marked for destruction’ queue.

  3. Freda Davies Says:

    I originally got to this page via a link from another site (can’t remember where). Luckily I saved the URL. Starting from your own home page I was unable to find it. There doesn’t seem to be a link to it on your own site. It’s an important letter and needs all the links it can get. – FD

  4. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    That’s strange, as the letter is the first article at the top of the home page right now. It’s the link for this page minus the #comments at the end. Anyway, thanks for the support, Freda. Please tell all your friends to read it and join the facebook group majoritycoalitionforcanada.

  5. Jean Proulx Says:

    Dear Stuart

    I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and a supporter of Stéphane Dion. I was very inspired by the classy, substantive campaign that Mr. Dion ran during the election and by his visionary Green Shift policy jointly supported by Elizabeth Manly and the Green Party. Although our party did poorly I feel this was not so much a reflection on Mr. Dion as on a number of other factors (lack of election preparation due to snap election; internal dissension within the LPC, collusion between Stephan Harper and Jack Layton against Dion, lack of cooperation between the centre-left opposition parties,etc.)

    Now that the election is over and loyal Liberal volunteers are exhausted and inattentive, certain “un-named senior liberals” aided by a hostile right-wing media are trying to force Mr. Dion out of his leadership position without even giving a chance for ordinary Liberal members to consider whether this is in the interests of our party or Canadian democracy. They present this as a fait accompli. They say that Mr. Dion is isolated and finished politically. What they do not realize though is that Mr. Dion is NOT isolated. Grassroots Liberals were energized and inspired by his campaign, by the Green Shift, by his refusal to play politics as usual. We do not believe that engaging in another self-destructive round of LPC leadership politics will serve our party or the country well. What we need to do now is to serve Canadians by concentrating on our role of official Opposition. We need to think seriously as a party about why we lost this election and how we can better organize ourselves to win the support of Canadian voters next time. We will not let this leadership coup succeed without being heard from.

    There has never been a LPC leader who has placed a higher role on environmental policies as Mr. Dion did this past election. Elizabeth May feels he is a man she can work with. Greens can play a role on this debate. We need to hear how Green voters feel about Mr. Dion’s leadership.

    Go here to learn more about what we are doing and to join the revolt: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40161095228&ref=mf

    Best regards,

    Jean Proulx


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