‘Hung Parliament’ is just a Parliament in Canada

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SW LONDON — We have had plenty of hung parliaments in the UK. Not for a while perhaps but they’re not uncommon. In other parliamentary systems, like my native Canada, they are the most common way of governing.

In fact, there’s a lovely guy called Ed Broadbent, who should really buy Nick Clegg a beer. I remember an election in the 1980s when Mr Broadbent, the long-time head of Canada’s third party — the New Democratic Party — had a few days of embarrassing panic and puffed out chests, as the polls said he and his dusty academic cohorts might form a government. I’m sure he tells it as a great story now.

The NDP have never done better than a distant third. And with all the consistency of a Jackson Pollock painting.

What is fun about minority government is that the participants have to actually agree on stuff before they try and make it happen. So that means less time on silly things like:

  • Redrawing boundaries to make ridings easier to win
  • Fewer bills that driven my single party interests
  • Trying to make the opposition look silly

Maybe this is an opportunity.

Maybe I’m an optimist.


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One Response

  1. Mike Klein

    Aah, I’ve always liked Canadian politics, though I remember Messrs. Trudeau, Clark and Mulroney far better than Mr. Broadbent.

    Of course, there could be certain cultural factors as to why Canada functions relatively well with minority governments–perhaps a Dudley DoRight factor that ultimately unites all factions except Le Bloc Quebecois?

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