Wow, I got rid of my TV too soon, I'm missing a lot of interesting news about the Canadian Political Crisis.
PM Harper is waiting for a response from GG Jean about his request to suspend Parliament in order to develop a plan that would prevent the NDP-Liberal Coalition. There has not been a coalition government in Canada in living memory, if ever (I'm too pregnant to be researching Canadian History, I will trust my memory and leave it at that).
Even though we have not seen a coalition government most people who are familiar with the concept and the rules of a Parliamentary Democracy were aware that it was always a possibility with a minority government. Canadians are not going to want to return to the polls this soon and for the most part we don't trust Harper to spend what is needed to keep Canada in business during this Global Economic Crisis. I think that a coalition is the best possible alternative.
I'm amazed at the people up in arms about how this is violation the central tenants of democracy. I'm fairly certain that the MAJORITY of Canadians did not vote for Harper as PM. If a large number of Conservatives crossed the floor and became Liberals would the Conservatives still have a mandate to govern? We elect MPs to represent us and our geographical location. We do not elect parties or the PM. If the MPs think that they are acting in the interest of their constituents they will support the party that will best represent those interests. I think of this as members of the NDP temporarily crossing the floor to become Liberals for a set amount of time (18 months) in order to do what is best for Canadians.
I fully support a coalition government especially if it can maintain the support of the Bloc. If the Conservatives had acted in a manner that maintained the support of Parliament and Canadians they would not be in a no-confidence situation. They could have done the right thing and tried to form their own coalition of sorts instead of acting unilaterally against the interests of Canadians.
Check out this great article from Neil MacDonald: "Dear neighbour, about what's going on in Canada: Neil Macdonald explains the Canadian crisis to Americans"