Coalition is not a dirty word

Re: “Alliance sounds like school bullying,” letter, June 6.

 

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There seems to be great confusion regarding our parliamentary system this past week, as people cry foul with sentiments such as the quote: “How is it possible that two parties (losers) can gang up on the winner to take the win away?”

This confusion is understandable given the public misconception, concocted by the federal Liberal and Conservative minorities of a decade ago, that “coalition” is a dirty word. Actually, our parliamentary system was designed with coalition in mind. In fact, every government is a “coalition” — a coalition of elected representatives who identify an individual among them whose leadership a majority of them can support.

Originally, these delegates would simply be representatives of their constituents, not affiliated with any “party” as such. The party system, for better or worse, developed later, as like-minded candidates grouped in advance of election day and chose the leader they would support should they hold a majority of the house.

Premier Christy Clark did not “win” the election. She won her riding, and the group with which she is affiliated won a total of 43 ridings — not enough to band together and command a majority.

If other groups of representatives are able to find enough common ground to command a majority, that is exactly how the system is supposed to work. It’s not a “sell-out” or “power grab.” The NDP-Green agreement outlines policies on which both platforms agree. Together they are supported by a majority of democratically elected representatives.

 

Tim Barss

Sooke

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