The late senator Eugene Forsey, was considered to be one of Canada's foremost constitutional experts. A few days ago someone shared an opinion of Forseys':
“Suppose the government gets a dissolution, and no one gets a clear majority. The government retains office and meets the new Parliament - as it has a perfect right to do - hoping to pick up enough votes to keep it in power. But the new Parliament defeats it. It declines to resign; governments don’t automatically resign on defeat..."They interpreted this to mean that even if Harper were to be defeated, and either the Liberals or the NDP won a minority, that Harper would still have the option of trying to secure enough votes in Parliament to stay on as prime minister.
Remember we don't elect prime ministers in this country, only Members of Parliament, and in a minority, the legitimacy of the prime minister is contingent upon gaining the confidence of the House.
It seems unlikely that he would, but then what if he said I'm going to the GG, a Conservative cohort of Brian Mulroney's, by the way, and I'm going to ask him to dissolve Parliament?
According to Forsey: "Rather than simply being a rubber-stamp for the Cabinet in office, the Crown, with its “reserve” power to refuse its ministers’ advice, may be all that prevents an autocratic government from “spanking the electorate into submission”" According to Lawrence Martin in Harperland, the Conservatives were going to go right to the Queen if the Governor General wouldn't allow them to prorogue to save their jobs.
Expect the unexpected from Stephen Harper if it means power.
So what would he do if the GG refused? We already know what he would do. He will create such a public outcry that Canadians wouldn't know what hit them, especially if any combination of opposition members made Jack Layton prime minister.
It explains why a Conservative operative, emailed this to me. The NDP's socialist agenda includes closing down the tar sands (good news for environmentalists), and nationalizing the auto industry, banks, insurance companies and big oil.
Now we know that's pretty out there, and not likely to happen, but it won't matter. The Conservatives have it in their arsenal, ready to fire off, when and if needed.
Why else has the MSM started to ask about the NDP Constitution? They didn't really care about it before.
They are creating a new fear factor. Socialism. Lock up your children, bar the doors and nail the windows shut. They're coming for you.
It's not fair, but since when has Harper or the media in this country been fair?
Since this so-called NDP "surge" the headlines are changing. NDP can't handle economy. NDP wrong in times of trouble. Reality check on the NDP.
And Michael Ignatieff is right when he told them all to go to hell. They headlined him out of the race, while Jack Layton has been given a free ride. He hasn't had to endure 2 1/2 years of attacks ads. He's had a week, and what a week it's been.
And sadly the strategic voting has now hit a snag. Layton was on board , but is no longer. And the NDPers are asking us to hold our nose and vote NDP, because of some "wave" that's going to knock Harper out. That must be a tsunami.
So now that leaves the rest of us to do all the heavy lifting. Because we are not just looking for warm bodies to occupy seats, and if the NDP did sweep Quebec, the only way this fairy tale works, their MPs would be a ragtag bunch of the mostly disinterested.
How is that going to help our country move forward?
The only way Jack Layton will be prime minister, is if he gets a majority, and even then don't expect Harper to go down without a fight. But the chance of an NDP majority are pretty slim.
So I'm sticking with strategic voting to the end, and fortunately so are most others determined to get rid of Harper.
The NDPers can sit on shore, waiting for the "wave" if they want to, but I'm going to storm the barricades.