Tag Archives: stephen harper

What not to say about a hung Parliament

The initial promise of Canadian Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s campaign is fading badly as polling day approaches on Canada and one of the main reasons is one very familiar to British politics. It’s the failure to have a good answer to the question, “What would you do in a hung Parliament?”

As Adam Radwanski puts it The Globe and Mail when looking at how Ignatieff and Conservative Premier Stephen Harper are faring:

If the two men were being graded by civics teachers, Mr. Ignatieff would indeed be winning. His explanation of how another Conservative minority would work – the need

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Predicting the future: we didn’t turn Japanese

Shortly after the Conservative Party won its fourth general election in a row in 1992, a symposium met to consider the question of whether Britain – formerly a country with regularly rotating government between the two main parties – was turning into a political version of Japan, where the same party had been in power for nearly forty years.

Even between the event occurring and the publication of a book based on it, Turning Japanese? Britain with a Permanent Party of Government (eds. Helen Margretts and Gareth Smyth), political events in both countries had taken a dramatic turn. In Japan the LDP lost power, starting a period of much greater political fluidity with even subsequent LDP Prime Ministers struggling to restore their party’s previous dominance. Meanwhile in Britain the collapse of the Conservative Party’s economic policies following Britain’s enforced exit from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) quickly made the government appear very vulnerable, even if debates in Labour continued on whether, as John Smith preferred, one more heave was all that was needed or whether, as Tony Blair insisted on after John Smith’s death, a more radical reshaping of the party was required to win the next election.

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 5 Comments
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