Be Careful What You Wish For in Canada: A Greener Coalition Government May Happen

Just after the Canadian election last month we imagined the Liberal leader going to the Governor General and saying:

"Climate change is too important for petty politics. The four parties with strong pro-environment, pro-Kyoto platforms got 61% of the vote and control 163 seats to the conservatives' 143. We are forming a Coalition against Climate Change and intend to ask the Governor-General to let us form the government."

Now, because of some real political stupidity on the part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it just might happen; his minority government may fall next week.


Stephen Harper on Friday, telling opposition to drop dead. He has changed his tune since.

But it isn't about climate; it is about the economy, and some silly and mean ideas that Harper floated in his "economic statement", including cutting off subsidies to the other political parties, tromping on the right to strike by civil servants, and other pandering to the conservative base. Just dumb politics. Today he backed down on the subsidies; his Transport Minister was quoted as saying "I don't think it's worth going into an election over this political subsidy."

I doubt we will get the cabinet I suggested:


Imagine. Stephane Dion as Prime Minister. Jack Layton with dual portfolios of Minister of Finance and Health. And if the Americans can have an Alaskan Separatist sympathizer as a Vice Presidential candidate, we can have Quebec separatist Gilles Duceppe waving the Canadian flag as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Stick Elizabeth May into the Senate and make her Minister of the Environment. Imagine.

But we will get a government that will be more green, more interested in investing in infrastructure that does not involve tar sands and cars. Right now everybody is spending the weekend hammering out deals and it may be too late for Harper to stop it, even if he does back down from his previous statements.

More on Canadian Politics in TreeHugger
Canadian Election Results: A Conservative Minority
Let's Have a Coalition Against Climate Change in Canada

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