Page last updated at 21:52 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

Canadian crisis: your comments

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won a bid to suspend parliament, blocking an opposition attempt to topple his new government

If the request had been rejected, he would have had to step down or face a confidence vote he was sure to lose. Governor General Michaelle Jean agreed to suspend parliament until 27 January when the government is set to present its budget.

Here are a selection of comments sent in by Canadian readers of the website.


Contrary to the populist rhetoric being spouted by Mr Harper and his party, it is Harper who is damaging Canadian democracy.

History is written by the victors, and because this coalition seems inevitably victorious Harper will be remembered for what he is showing himself to be: a failed politician who damaged the credibility of the Canadian parliament and the office of Her Majesty's Official Representative. Shame on Harper!
R A LeBlanc, Sackvile, New Brunswick, Canada

Prime Minister Harper has decided to 'divide and conquer' the usual way for him which is to sow as much discord as possible. The country will only be hurt by this action and the results will remain the same in any case - either an election or a coalition government.

The origins of this debacle are in an extremely shortsighted financial update (mini budget) where the Prime Minister took aim at the financing of political parties as well as the right to strike of the civil service and some of the rights of women.

In addition, there was no fiscal stimulus for our economy - this is after the election six weeks ago when we were told that the economy was in wonderful shape. Strange how things change after you're elected! I am sure that this will seem 'old hat' to many, but the furore here in Canada is considerable and we will almost certainly have an election we don't need!
Anne Clark, Sidney, BC, Canada

I think it's time for Canada to have an elected head of state. In the current state of the world, leaving decisions like this in the hands of a party appointee, who will furthermore be reluctant to exercise anymore than the bare minimum of discretion, could be disastrous.
John FitzGerald, Toronto, Canada

Personally I think the coalition is a fantastic idea. As a minority government, the Conservatives are effectively held in deadlock anyhow.

Also, you can also see this of Harper being forced to 'reap what you sow'. In 2007, Stephen Harper vowed to enforce fixed term elections to eliminate the power of the governing party to call an election to capitalise on favourable political circumstances.

And yet less than a year later he did exactly that. He lost the gamble and ended up with yet another minority government. I think he should now deal with the consequences.
Neil M, Toronto, Canada

This political crisis would best be solved if Stephen Harper were to resign as leader of the Conservative Party. If a new Prime Minister were to emerge, one more ready and willing to work with the opposition, Canada may step back from the brink of this political crisis and start work on the worsening economic crisis.
Keith Hannaford, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Conservatives may have committed errors. It is time to have a new government in order to change the Canadian political scene and our image.
Jad Abouchacra, Montreal, Quebec

As a Canadian citizen, I am outraged at Harper and his party's clinging to power. The majority in parliament are against Harper's government, so if he wants to defend democratic principles, as he says, he must resign immediately.
Yuri Belov, Pargas, Finland

The possibility of having a coalition government is probably the first good news in years. The Conservatives never had the confidence of Canadians. They just managed because the NPD, the Bloc Quebecois and the Liberals divided the votes of the more progressive Canadians.

This "union" now demonstrates that Canadians do not support Mr Harper and his party and it could be the sign of a new way of governing this country created by the separation of French and English Canada in 1867.
Jacques Picard, St,.Barthélémy, Québec, Canada


As a bilingual Canadian, staunch supporter of a distinct society, french culture and all around pro-Canada, I completely agree with our prime minister. I love all of Canada, both English & French provinces.

I would wager that less than 1% of voters even knew the opposition could do this - in my mind that makes Harper right in saying it is undemocratic. In such turbulent economic times, I say call a new general election and let the population decide.
Andrew M, Simcoe, Ontario Canada

This is a shameful act by opposition leaders Stephane Dion and Jack Layton to get power the only way they can. The people of Canada voted the Liberals under Dion their worst election results since confederation and they moved to have him resign after the results of this election, and now they expect us to believe he is the man to be running the country when they dont even want him running their party.

Canada is facing uncertain times and its only going to get worse if this farce continues. As for Layton well he is a man without a conscience if he believes Canadians want him in control. Wonder which one we will have to call our 'Dear Leader' after this coup takes place?
Wayne, Halifax Nova Scotia

What we have here is an attempt by the losing parties in the last election to take power. Stephane Dion's leadership gave the Liberals one of their biggest defeats. His own party wanted rid of him. Jack Layton has never and will never get a mandate from the people of Canada to govern - this is his only chance at power.

The separatists are just that separatists. They have already garnered $1.8bn out of this deal. The legitimate government is working towards bailouts for industry etc, but because our economy is closely tied with our neighbours to the south we have to wait and see what they are going to do especially regarding the automotive industry. This is purely a power grab by a bunch of losers.
Ann Sutherland, Aurora, Canada

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