Op-ed: Hey, stop hating on coalition governments!

The idea of coalition government has taken a beating recent years in Canada. The most recent example of the form comes courtesy of Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak, who said they are not good for voters. From the Globe and Mail:

“I do hope that Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath will stop all this coalition talk,” he said outside the polling station. “Voters don’t like that. It might be good for politicians, it’s not good for the province. I say no to coalitions. And I hope that Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath will stop this game and be equally clear.”

Talk that delegitimizes coalition government has long been a pet peeve of mine, so I fired off a response in the Ottawa Citizen. Among other things, it says:

The problem is such talk shapes opinions. Over time, if repeated often enough, they create a reality of their own. While uncommon in Canada, coalitions are a perfectly legitimate and potentially useful form of government, one seen now and then in most other Westminster-style parliaments.

If enough politicians claim that they’re illegitimate, however, Ontarians — and Canadians, since this debate occurs at the federal level as well — may come to accept it as fact, effectively taking off the table a potentially useful form of government in times of political uncertainty.

You can read it all here.

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