Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Crash course in parliamentary democracy
I just received what I expect will be the first of many press releases from Treasury Board President Vic Toews (with a very unusual post-script that shows how serious this all is – "To book an interview with Vic Toews, please call….").
It lambastes the Grit-NDP coalition. Toews calls it a "separatist-driven coalition" no fewer than three times and calls on Canadians to make their views known.
And he calls any coalition an undemocratic attempt to overturn the results of the last election. That’s bunk.
Just because Canada has the world’s most boring parliamentary democracy and a coalition government has never really happened here doesn’t mean one is undemocratic. Dion and Layton were elected, along with all 112 of their MPs. They have every right to attempt to govern if the house has lost confidence in Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Instead of "overturning" the results of the last election, a coalition respects them. These are the people Canadians from Edmonton-Strathcona and Brampton West and Churchill and Labrador voted for a few weeks ago, so let some of them govern if they can.
You can argue the coalition will install a deeply unpopular and about-to-exit Liberal leader as Prime Minister. You can say the Libs and the NDP have sold their souls to the separatists. You can even credibly question the NDPs ability to handle an economy, especially one in crisis.
But don’t call it anti-democratic, because it’s the exact opposite and I’m pretty sure smart parliamentarians like Harper and Toews know that.
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More Welch's Gripe Juice
More Welch's Gripe Juice
(1 of 6 articles for this year)09/30/2014 3:24 PM 0
About Mary Agnes Welch
Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first covering city hall and then the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter. Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.
Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school. She has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category.
She was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13, where she studied indigenous issues, urban planning and political science. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and has served on several boards.
She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.
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