Monday, December 08, 2008

Conservative coup d'état?

The Alberta lawyer who drafted a power-sharing proposal between Stockwell Day, Gilles Duceppe and Joe Clark in 2000 is now suggesting that the Conservatives should defy the Governor-General if she were to ask the Liberal-NDP coalition to form a new government if the Conservative administration falls on January 27.

The lawyer, Gerry Chipeur, claims that Lord Byng
"was just flat out dead wrong" in asking Arthur Meighen to form a government when Mackenzie King lost a confidence vote in 1926. By the same token, Chipeur would likely dismiss the decision of Ontario Lt.-Gov. John Black Aird in 1985 to permit David Peterson's Liberals, with NDP support, to replace the Conservative government of Frank Miller.

What is being irresponsibly proposed here, at least to this observer, is not merely the precipitation of a genuine constitutional crisis, but nothing less than the illegal seizure of power by Harper's Conservatives in the event of a successful non-confidence vote. Constitutional experts, in whose ranks Chipeur is not to be found, have already pronounced on the legality of the proposed coalition. What will Harper do if his government falls and the coalition is asked to form a new government--call out the army?

Stand up for Canada, forsooth. Against the rule of law?

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