Friday, September 11, 2009

Iggy adopts Steve's attitude to cooperation

So now Ignatieff has ruled out a coalition as well:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff vowed Friday that his party would never enter into a governing coalition and said he could make Parliament work without such a deal.

"In January, we did not support a coalition, and we do not support a coalition today or tomorrow," Ignatieff told reporters in Ottawa.

Ignatieff said he wouldn't need to form a parliamentary pact because, unlike Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he doesn't treat political adversaries as enemies.

Source. I don't know, saying you'll never form a coalition, no matter what, sounds a lot like treating your adversaries as enemies to me. Fair enough to say, "we have no plans to form a coalition at this stage", but to categorically reject the idea seems a bit extreme.

To be fair, the idea of a coalition has been badly smeared over the last year, so it's understandable that Iggy might see it as something best avoided, but I think it would be a lot more constructive to try to sell the public on the idea. Most of Europe is governed by coalition governments most of the time, for instance. Of course, most of Europe has proportional representation, so the parties know from the start that they're unlikely to ever get a majority government. The prospect of that tends to focus the mind wonderfully. But as long as the Bloc is a major player, majority governments are pretty unlikely here, too, so it's high time the Liberals and Conservatives acknowledged that fact. Maybe then we could make Parliament work.

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