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If Harper loses to the socialist/separatist alliance... Print E-mail
Written by Link Byfield   
Monday, 01 December 2008
Link Byfield

Since Thursday it has become altogether possible that the Harper government will be defeated in a confidence vote on Monday, December 8.

As you probably already know, the opposition’s idea is not to force another election, but to cobble together a feeble coalition government consisting of the Liberals and NDP, supported by the Bloc Quebecois. Stephane Dion (remember him?) has agreed to be prime minister, with the support of all three leadership contestants hoping to replace him in May.

The numbers in the House are:

Conservatives – 143
Liberals – 77
NDP – 37
Bloc Quebecois – 49

As you can see, the Liberals and NDP combined fall 30 votes short of beating the Conservatives. To win a non-confidence vote, and then to stay in power, they need the Bloc.

This defeat, if it happens, will force Governor General Michaelle Jean into an impossible position, but I’ll be surprised if she has the force of character needed to knock sense into Liberal heads before the government collapses.

Nobody wants her to call a second election. On the other hand, the Bloc Quebecois, which will hold power of life and death over the new government, says right on its Web site that its “main” purpose is to make Quebec “a sovereign state like more than 190 nations around the world.” (

That the Liberals would forge such a partnership as a shortcut to power belies everything they have said against Quebec separatism since Trudeau.

Here we thought the Liberals considered Quebec separatism the most deadly threat facing Canada – so deadly it justified corrupt sponsorship programs, Clarity Acts and oceans of spilled ink. Now it turns out that they think Canada’s worst threat isn’t the Bloc at all, it’s Stephen Harper. The Bloc are good, trustworthy allies with the best interest of Canadians at heart.

Well, I have to say that all bets are off if a Governor General from Quebec – married to a Quebec separatist  (or former separatist) – puts separatists in control of the national government.

With Ontario already on equalization, only the West will be considered rich enough and politically weak enough to finance the grand designs of a left-wing national government satisfactory to the NDP and the Bloc. The assault on the West, where none of these parties has much to lose, won’t be long in coming. Additional billions will be siphoned eastward for nonexistent environmental crises, to shore up bankrupt auto plants, and preserve doomed local cultures.

The NDP has almost two-thirds of its seats from central and eastern Canada, mainly Ontario. The Liberals have 90% of their seats from east of Manitoba, mainly Ontario. The Bloc hails entirely from Quebec, representing two-thirds of that province.

In sharp contrast, the four western provinces have not elected a majority of federal Liberals since 1949. Nor has the federal NDP ever been all that strong either. The West has voted majority conservative (under various party names) in every national election since 1972. At present Conservatives hold 77%  of western Canada’s Commons seats. For 40 years only rarely has their western share edged below 60%.

If the same gang of Liberals, socialists and separatists that we in the West have rejected in each of the last 12 elections thinks we will passively wait to be plucked by this unholy alliance, they are wrong.

This coalition, if it succeeds, will tell us that eastern Canadians prefer Quebec separatists to western conservatives. It will force us to ask ourselves if we’re in the wrong country.

Link Byfield is an Alberta senator-elect and chairman of the Citizens Centre. The Centre promotes the principles of personal freedom and responsible government.

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