Saturday, April 30, 2011
Will Harper provoke constitutional crisis?
Harper refuses to say if he would accept governor general's decision on coalition (includes VIDEO)
Canada.com: Richmond Hill, Ont: Conservative leader Stephen Harper refused Saturday to say if he would accept a decision by the governor general to hand power to one of the opposition parties after Monday's election... After five weeks during which Harper has, on a daily basis, said that the opposition parties will form a coalition government if he doesn't win a majority, Harper would not say if he would publicly accept or oppose a decision by Gov.-Gen David Johnston to make that happen.
Under constitutional tradition, say experts, if Harper is defeated in the House of Commons by the opposition parties, it will then be up to Johnston to decide if he wants to ask one of the opposition leaders if they have the 'confidence' of the House and form a government. Only upon that invitation by the governor general would a new government be formed -- meaning it is Johnston, not Harper, who has the constitutional power...
At a campaign event Saturday... Harper was asked a direct question. 'Will you or will you not accept a decision by the governor general to call on the second party to form a government if you again lose the confidence of the House?'... Despite being asked repeatedly by a reporter to answer the question, Harper declined... His refusal to answer... raises fundamental questions about whether Harper will provoke a constitutional crisis in the wake of an election...
When a CBC TV reporter continued to press for an answer Saturday, Harper shot back, 'I've given you my answer.' Someone in the crowd shouted out 'Shut down the CBC!' prompting cheers from Harper's supporters.