So wow. If you somehow hadn't heard, the Liberals and the NDP have created an agreement to form a coalition government with the support of the Bloc Québécois, and are planning to take the current government down in a non-confidence vote on December 8th. It's due to the opposition's general belief that the Conservatives are not acting responsibly with regards to the worldwide economic crisis, yet are taking advantage of it to make some bold political moves, such as cutting public funding for political parties. The two parties have agreed to support each other in a coalition for 30 months, and have divvied up cabinet positions roughly based on the number of seats each party has, giving the NDP 25% of the cabinet positions. I had actually hoped for this move at the end of the last election, when it was clear that Canada wasn't interested in a Conservative majority.
So how do you feel about this? The Conservatives are running a fear campaign against the idea, claiming it's a power grab, or that it's undemocratic, that it gives the Bloc too much power, or that it's not the will of the people.
I want to address that first point right off the bat. I think that in giving the Conservatives a minority government, it's very much the will of the people that all of our political parties work together to run a responsible government. We explicitly did not vote in a Conservative government - if we did, they would have a majority. No, as a majority, the Canadian voting population would rather have a Liberal/NDP/Bloc government working together. It discounts the undemocratic issue as well, since nobody's MP is being usurped or replaced -- the people we voted for are still represented in the House of Commons, and will still push for the best interests of their constituents (or at least they should).
As for giving the Bloc too much power - they already have a significant influence over the current government, with 49 seats. The Conservatives are reliant upon them to balance any non-confidence vote from the Liberals and NDP. Likewise, the Liberal/NDP coalition is cognizant of the divisiveness of a Bloc contingent in their ranks, which is likely why the Bloc is not officially a part of the coalition, but rather brought into support through an accord with them.
Finally, the power grab. Is it a power grab? Most definitely it is. You just don't get into leadership politics if you're not interested in power - either for your own ends or for the betterment of the population. Is it any more of a power grab than Stephen Harper breaking his own fixed election laws and calling the 2008 election, when, while high on positive polling results, he thought he could get a majority? Of course not.