I believe that the goals of the coalition are valid and just. Harper has violated every democratic principal we hold dear. The Conservatives must be voted out of office. It is your responsibility as the MPs of the opposition to defeat the government when they lose the confidence of parliament.
Unfortunately, the media is choosing to interview people who seem to be mostly against or neutral on the coalition. Many Canadians do not even understand how our parliament works. They think that because Harper won the election and then accuses the other parties of being socialists and selling out the country to separatists, that he might be right. It is your job to explain how parliament works to the average Canadian so that they will appreciate how difficult a decision it was to form a coalition but how necessary it was to do to defeat a minority government, who has done nothing to help the economy of Canada over the last six months.
The election has only given Harper a sense that he should rule Canada with an iron fist, like Charles the First of England, or regime leaders in countries Canadians have read about and seen on the TV news over the past 40-50 years. Harper seems to be confused as to which country he is the head of. If he can’t run a minority government, then he should be defeated and if the other parties can find enough common ground to put a coalition government together to run the country for a set period of time, then that is what should be done.
You should take out ads and list the reasons why the coalition is valid and necessary based on the situation and Canadian parliamentary rules. It is time to stop letting the biased media define your coalition and for you to do so. If you truly believe that you are on the side of common sense and what is right for Canada (as I do), then you must inform Canadians why you have taken this decision (digg.com, twitter.com, facebook.com, myspace.com or myspace.ca, party web sites, printed press, radio and TV).
Like a well oiled machine, you should work together to put a united front out and make sure that you have a solid economic plan to counter Harper’s, so that the average Canadian will see how different your visions for the country are and why Harper needs to go.
Some of us understand that a minority government whose first order of business is to prevent civil servants from striking and attempts to cripple the funding of the majority of the house right after they have benefited from that same funding, then closes parliament to avoid losing a non-confidence vote, is an illegitimate government. But honestly, many other Canadians do not understand this. They do not know that their dollars help you campaign, pay for advertising, posters and signs during by-elections and federal elections. It is just wrong. They don’t understand that once the election is over, that it is parliament that decides whether or not a minority government is competent and working in the best interests of the country.
It is your job to properly explain it. Canadians need your voices of reason to counterbalance the never ending campaign of Harper and the Conservative Party who are supported by the media in Canada (the CBC, CTV and National Post have all been pro Harper and very anti-Dion).
The Harper government called the election supposedly because he claimed that parliament did not work (to his satisfaction). The lowest voter turnout in history cost Canada over 300 million dollars to give him 22 more seats. Harper’s first order of business was not to work on the country’s economic problems but to try and rule as a King and insult the members of parliament and voters. Harper caused the problem. He still has produced no leadership on the economic difficulties that we are facing. He is simply focussed on destroying the rules of parliament, as we know them in general and the Liberal Party in particular.
If the coalition will succeed without Dion, then he has to step aside. The coalition is more important than him being leader of it. The Deputy Leader of the Liberals could take his place without any problem. Dion could still be part of the cabinet but his English language issues seem to be irritating Canadians and it is becoming a focus instead of what he is saying (of course, this could also be part of the media spin – but it has to be addressed, if everyone supports Dion, then show us that you do). Personally, I think that Dion should stay, but if there is a serious issue between the coalition working better without Dion as the interim Prime Minister for three or four months, then he needs to step aside for the good of its success and the country.
I think that Dion would be a great Prime Minister. I really do. He has a sound, responsible vision for the country and its untapped potential but the coalition needs to focus. Do not be cowardly about it. If all of you support Dion then come out as leaders and say so. If you do not, then privately negotiate a sharing of responsibilities with the Liberal Deputy Leader or ask him to step aside.
I remain an ardent supporter of the coalition and confident in the mission of the coalition to defeat the Conservative government that has lost the confidence of the house of parliament.
P.S. The letter that Harper wrote in 1997 that explains his current efforts and philosophy.