I thought I would share this briefly with all of you fine readers.
As I was volunteering at the Rally for Democracy last Thursday, an attendee came up to me as I was directing people to the back alley club entrance to This is London that we were forced to use, and asked me if I was “big into politics.” I said sure, figuring it was a pretty safe answer, and left it open to him to see where he would take it.
He reached into his satchel and handed me a photocopied booklet with the title “Chapter 2: Conservative Coalitions” from the book Full Circle: Death and Resurrection in Canadian Conservative Politics by Bob Plamondon. He encouraged me to read up on the long and detailed history of Conservative coalitions dating back to Confederation, interesting reading for anyone confused as to why Harper has cast the idea of a ‘Coalition’ as somehow foreign to Canadian interests and values, and therefore as suspect as Ignatieff’s intentions for returning to Canada, since he certainly didn’t come back for us.
In addition to highlighting the various ways in which every Conservative PM who has ever won a majority achieved this through internal and external coalition building (Macdonald, Borden, Bennett, Diefenbaker, and Mulroney), Plamondon argues that “Conservative victories have been achieved only when the party and its leader have built coalitions representing the various factions of conservatives from all parts of the country,” because without every dimension of the conservative movement being accounted for come election day, no politician of any stripe can hope for a majority of seats in the House.
Plamondon also argues that assembling a strong coalition “may seem onerous; however, it is anything but a negative. Coalition building helps keep the country united. A system built on the foundations of confidence and consensus also helps isolate extreme positions” such as those in the fringe minority who stand against including ALL Party Leader’s in national debates.
On a side note: the last I saw of the Rally attendee who gave me this handout was as he handed Elizabeth May the last copy he had printed from his satchel.
I wonder if she read it.