Now Accidental Deliberations posts about Michaelle Jean's decision to allow prorogation. I think AD is suggesting the GG would seek an alternative government before calling an election; if so, I agree.
But something popped into my head this morning when I recalled Iggy speaking about the coalition. "I told caucus I will vote non-confidence in this government. I am prepared to enter into a coalition government if that is what the Governor General asks me to do," he said (from CBC).
Perhaps this isn't a suggestion of an uncoalition, but rather positioning the Liberal party as being "forced" into one by the GG. If Harper plays tricks with the budget again he could be voted down. Then it is not Iggy forcing a coalition, but the GG. The most interesting (entertaining?) thing to me is how this makes the GG's role much more active than ever before. Well, except King-Byng maybe, but that was before I was born.
And yes I said Harpers' tricks not Flaherty, and I mean Harper not Flaherty. I'm joining the list of people who question why Flaherty is still around and what if any value he adds.
What are the GG's options after a Conservative loss of confidence?
(in no particular order)
- Disolve parliament and call and election
- Ask the Liberals to form a government
- Ask the coalition to form a government
I think 1 is unlikely, but still possible. I think it is unlikely because I believe another election would end with another Conservative minority, right back where we started in 2006 (a 3rd time). I don't think the media would celebrate this result from the GG anyway.
I'm think 2 is also unlikely because it is necessarily less stable than 3. Then if the Liberals lose confidence an election would likely be necessary... but I'm no constitutional scholar, perhaps not.
Anyway I expect the GG would chose 3 as the most stable alternative, given the background posted at AD. So in this case Iggy could say "This is the will of the GG and the Queen. I didn't grab for power before hearing the revised budget. But the Conservative government lost confidence, prorogued parliament and still failed to work effectively within a minority house given a second chance." Maybe the coalition isn't completely dead - mostly dead is also slightly alive.
If the coalition failed blame would be shifted around to all parties, the Conservatives would say "I told you so", and Dion would likely wear some of Iggy's share (i.e. that Iggy was never enthusiastic about the idea).
But it likely won't go that far, the budget will likely be acceptable. I expect the Conservatives know they're not getting a third chance.