No surprise that Harper would do so; he’s done it before where he talks about some aspect of domestic politics while he’s abroad. I guess he feels that everyone is watching his trip, so they’ll be paying more attention. Today, in the UK, the talk arose of coalition government there, and the parallels between that scenario and what could play out here.
Harper was today asked about coalition governments; specifically about the parallels between what has happened in the UK, withe the recent coalition government agreement with the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party, and what could occur in Canada. His answer was this: “Losers don’t get to form coalitions. Winners are the ones who form governments.”
This is of course a mis-characterization of Parliamentary government. When no party “wins” a majority in Parliament, there is no clear winner to start with. Further to that, there’s also this inconvenient fact for Harper:
In the British coalition, it wasn’t even the least losing-iest party, Labour, that formed the coalition with the Conservatives, it was the Liberal Democrats who had one of their worst showings in years.
This sort of statement is again designed to try and confuse and trick the voters back at home, and to try and somehow downplay the fact that we have a UK Parliament that is being run by a coalition government, something that Harper and his colleagues in the Conservative Pary are still attempting to fear-monger.
UPDATE: Excellent point by the CBC’s Terry Milewski:
..Harper’s warm welcome for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was out of order, too. (Tzipi Livni’s Kadima Party got the most votes. But Netanhayu managed to form a coalition of…”losers.”)