Harper talks about playing games but he is the master of games although at times he courts disaster as well. Iggy is quite correct that he can always do as the Conservatives have done, count on the support of some opposition parties to avoid an election if he finds himself with a minority government. Assuming Iggy is a bit less confrontational than Harper he could very well survive for some time by giving a few scraps to the NDP or the Bloc or even more likely to the Conservatives--such as some tougher crime bills that are always popular it seems.
Perhaps in the end he could form a coalition. If voters always voted against politicians who broke promises no one would ever get elected.
Ignatieff insists he won't join forces with Bloc, NDP if Liberals win minority in next vote
September 12, 2009
Tonda MacCharlesOTTAWA BUREAU
OTTAWA–In a bid to counter Tory attacks, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has declared he would not form a coalition with other opposition parties if he forms a minority government in the next election.
And Canadians may find themselves going to the polls sooner rather than later. A Commons vote that could bring down the minority Conservative government has been tentatively scheduled for next Friday, sources tell The Canadian Press. The so-called ways and means motion signals an upcoming vote on a budget matter, but is considered a vote of confidence.
The Liberals have said they will not continue to support the Conservative government.
"Let me be very clear – the Liberal party would not agree to a coalition. In January we did not support a coalition and we do not support a coalition today or tomorrow," Ignatieff said yesterday.
Ignatieff said Prime Minister Stephen Harper is once again warning – in private speeches and in television ads – that the Liberals are out to form another coalition with "the separatists and the socialists" to scare people into giving him a majority government.
Ignatieff said he would work more cooperatively with the opposition parties than Harper has during his time as prime minister. But the Liberal leader could not explain how he would provide political stability in any Liberal minority situation without a formal coalition.
Instead, he said, there are "many other models" of how to run a minority government with the cooperation or support of other opposition parties without entering a formal coalition. He pointed to the Liberal minority governments of Pierre Trudeau and Lester B. Pearson as "among the most productive in the history of our country."
Ignatieff signed a letter of support for last year's coalition when Stéphane Dion was leader, but yesterday he said he should be judged on his actions once he became leader.
When Ignatieff first took over from Dion in December, he said his position was "a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition." In January, he killed it in deciding to support the government's budget. He says now a coalition was not "in the national interest."
"I could be standing here as the prime minister of Canada," Ignatieff said yesterday. "I turned it down ... . I don't think I need to give further proof of my feeling that that's not what Canadians want. I agree with Canadians."
However, when asked whether he excluded a coalition with the opposition parties if the result of an election were another Conservative minority, Ignatieff called it a hypothetical question he didn't "like."
In French, he said he would seek to form a "good Liberal government, a government of the centre that looks for honourable compromises, that looks to inspire Canadians and to unite them."
The Conservatives continue to insist that means Ignatieff is scheming to strike a coalition with the NDP or Bloc Québécois.
A senior government official, speaking on background, said Ignatieff didn't answer the "straight-up question," which was based on polls that suggest a Harper minority would be the likely outcome of any vote. "He sidestepped it, he dodged it."
Last fall, the Conservatives successfully propelled a wave of popular anger against the Liberals who, under Dion, signed a coalition agreement with the NDP. The Bloc Québécois promised its vote-by-vote support, but was not a formal partner.