I’ve been hoping for a Liberal-NDP coalition government since Chrétien left office, but I never thought I would actually see it so close to actually happening.
If the opposition comes out on top when the dust settles, we might see a new era of coalition governments in Canadian politics, and — dare I say it — electoral reform to prevent the vote-splitting which allowed the Conservatives to take power in the first place. Blue sky thinking to be sure, but no more than a Liberal-NDP coalition was, five years ago.
I could go on for days about my dream cabinet, or the platform I think we’ll see, but all of that is secondary to what would be the most important consequence of a successful coalition: The destruction of Stephen Harper.
Stephen Harper is the most dangerous animal lurking in the jungles of Parliament. He is a threat to the future viability of the Liberals. A blood simple opponent of the NDP and the only serious contemporary challenge to the Bloc Quebecois. Without him, his party is an unlikely combination of Reform Party leftovers, Harris refugees and Red Tory desperates. They don’t matter or even exist without Mr. Harper. So before you think a moment longer, opposition leaders, think on that.
And if that’s not compelling enough, remember: He doesn’t play to win. He plays to conquer. Under his guidance, the public interest is always subjugated to his personal political advancement. And he poisons Parliament with an extreme, bare-fanged breed of partisanship that has no hope of repair until he is banished.
This becomes relevant because suddenly, he is weak. In fact, at this particular moment, he is almost unable to defend himself. Owing to a ridiculously ill-considered act of hubris, he has laid himself vulnerable to his opponents. Their imperative could not be more clear: kill him. Kill him dead. Do not, whatever you do, provide him with an opportunity to extend his hold on power. Because you can be damn certain he will never again be so reckless as to give you a chance to finish him off.
He’s right. Everyone involved has gone past the point-of-no-return; this is uncharted territory, and whoever gains ground will be salting the earth behind them.