The leaders of the three opposition parties need to take another look at the Constitution. The strange ideas they were spouting at their joint news conference last week suggest they are seriously confused about how our parliamentary government is supposed to work.Well, some of their ideas will probably sound strange to a lot of people. We haven't had a minority government in this country for over 20 years but does he really think that Harper, Duceppe, and Layton don't understand the freakin' system?
He goes into a little bit of history of the GG and whatever and then try's to explain what the GG will do in the questioned situation...
If a majority of MPs vote down the government's program when it's presented in the throne speech, or the budget, or, in fact, any bill the government chooses to regard as central to its program, the prime minister will advise the Governor General that he has lost the confidence of the House. Normally, he will advise dissolution of Parliament and a new election, and she will consent. But if it's soon after an election and it appears that the leader of the Opposition could present a program and win the support of a majority of MPs, she can reject the advice of the prime minister – who will thereupon resign – and invite the Opposition leader to become her PM and seek the confidence of the Commons.
Prime Minister Martin's Liberals failed to win a majority in the recent election, but the opposition parties were even less successful. So it makes sense for him to lay his program before the newly elected Commons next month, and seek a vote of confidence. If he fails to win the support of a majority, he will resign and the Governor General will invite the leader of the next largest party, Conservative Stephen Harper, to become her PM and lay his program before the Commons. If he failed to win a majority, another election would follow.
Wow - that's what the stinking letter to the GG points out - or more exact - it says:
We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.So, Harper and the other leaders are basically pointing out that they aren't so ideologically driven that they can't sit down together and write a letter - that the Governor General should 'consult' and 'consider' all of her options.
Besides these details, the letter wasn't for the Governor General. The letter was for Martin, the Liberals, and the press. To remind them that the Liberals can't play games, try to blame the opposition for a failing parliament and automatically get another General Election before Paul gets too old to pound back the Tim Horton's on the campaign trail.