The opposition is entitled to defeat the government as it sees fit, Harper said Friday, but Dion himself does not have the right to take power without an election.
Perhaps it is time to remind Mr. Harper that in fact the Governor General has the right to consider the Leader of the Opposition forming a coalition government if the minority government falls. Such governments have been exceedingly rare in Canada, but that doesn't mean they cannot occur.
Second, to claim that it is 'undemocratic' is completely ridiculous. The last election for the Parliament was only a few short months ago. Canadians sent politicians a message that none of the parties deserves to govern in a majority setting. Therefore, we clearly asked the politicians to find a way to make a minority situation work. Since the leadership of the 'first party' has made it clear that he is unwilling to compromise with other parties, then the other parties have the opportunity to form a coalition - if, of course, they can persuade her Excellency, The Governor General, that such a coalition would have the confidence of the house.
It is, in fact, Mr. Harper who has shown himself to be anything but an advocate for democracy in the last couple of years.
In terms of the political crisis that Harper has just spawned, Jeffrey Simpson has an excellent assessment of the situation, and Harper's behaviour.
Rick Bell over at the Calgary Sun has the grand prize winner for headline: The PM plays politics when the economy is tanking and people are afraid. So how do you spell 'disgraceful?' S-T-E-P-H-E-N-H-A-R-P-E-R.