Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spoken words reveal unspoken ideas

“The other parties 'are saying that even if we receive a mandate from the people they will defeat us on our budget if they can. They will get together and form another alternative, of some other kind of government'” said Stephen Harper, according to the Globe and Mail.

Let's deconstruct this statement. First, the “mandate from the people.” Harper implies here that an election that results in more seats for the Conservatives than for any other party equals a mandate.

This is not so in the Canadian parliamentary system. Calling a plurality vote a “mandate” is invoking the kind of electoral system in the U.S., or other countries (the U.S. Electoral college system is actually more complex than that).
In the Canadian system, we vote for local members of parliament. The government is formed at the confidence of Parliament.

In so many of his statements, Harper implies that he has some kind of right to govern the country, and any method anyone else uses to form a different government is somehow illegitimate.

Canadians will not fall for this argument. We decide who has the right to form a government. And let's remember, we decide. The government works for us, not the other way around.


  1. Anonymous11:14 AM

    If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.