Cooperation: What’s possible post-election?

Trust & Confidence: Post-Election Cooperation in Parliament

Maxwell A. Cameron
Department of Political Science, UBC
October 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 7.00.34 AMIt looks possible, even likely, that no political party will win a majority on October 19, leaving two possibilities: a minority or coalition government.

A cooperative government formed in the absence of a majority, may offer Canadians many advantages over the false majority it replaces.

Increased representation of Canadian interests in government can yield policies that benefit Canadians broadly. Historically, minority governments cooperating across party lines have given Canadians our national health care program, bilingualism and our pension plan.

This paper (English) & (French) aims to combat myths around Canada’s democracy and suggest minority and coalition governments as legitimate and desirable alternatives.


Quick Q&A: The case for minority governments

Paper endorsed by

Peter Russell
Professor Emeritus, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Andrew Heard
Associate Professor, Political Science Department, Simon Fraser University

David Boyd
Adjunct Professor in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University

Patti Tamara Lenard
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa

Melissa Williams
Professor of Political Science, and founding Director of the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

Monique Deveaux
Professor, Canada Research Chair in Ethics & Global Social Change, Department of Philosophy, University of Guelph

Yasmin Dawood
Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Paul Thomas
Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba

Donald Savoie
Canada Research Chair in Public
Administration and Governance, University of Moncton

John Courtney
Professor Emeritus, Political Studies, and Senior Policy Fellow, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Recent and upcoming events on the subject of minority governments:

It’s a Minority: Who Gets to Govern
SFU Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University
Oct 7, 2015 @ 5:30pm

“Conventions, Confidence and Caretaker: Post-Election Possibilities”
The Public Law Group, University of Ottawa
Oct 13, 2014 @ 11:30am
Panelists: Adam Dodek, Sebastien Grammond, Phillipe Lagasse, Vanessa MacDonnell, Carissima Mathen, Errol Mendes, Peter Oliver

“The Constitutional Politics of Government Formation”
Centre for Constitutional Studies, University of Alberta
Oct 15, 2015 @ 7pm
Panelists: Steve Patten, Linda Trimble, Eric Adams

Cooperation in the media:

Kristy Kirkup. “Minority governments can still get things done: professor”. CTV News. October 8, 2015.

Peter Russell on CBC Radio. “What happens post-election if no party wins a majority?” October 18, 2015.

Philip Fine. “Canadian voters could be showing Conservatives the door.” Deutsche Welle. October 18, 2015.

Kathleen Harris. “Minority outcome could produce political and constitutional squabbling for months.” CBC News. October 17, 2015.

Dene Moore. “With a tight race, talk of minority government grows.” Canada Politics. October 17, 2015.

Joan Bryden. “Tories could hang on if reduced to minority: analysis.” CTV News. October 15, 2015.

Dylan Penner. “What happens to Harper’s grip on power after election day?” Rabble. October 15, 2015.

Max Cameron. “How to make Parliament work again”. Toronto Star. October 14, 2015.

Charles Mandel. “In the event of a minority government, don’t panic.” National Observer. October 14, 2015.

Adrienne Clarkson. “Minority governments: Time for the G-G to come out from behind the scenes.” The Globe and Mail. October 14, 2015.

Bill Curry. “Post-election possibilities for a minority Parliament.” The Globe and Mail. October 13, 2015.

[Video]. Max Cameron and Yasmin Dawood on Power & Politics. “Coalition conversation: Two constitutional experts weigh in on how the next government could be formed if no party gets a majority of seats.”. CBC News. October 13, 2015.

[Video]. “Polls point to a minority government”. Power Play. CTV News. October 13, 2015.

[Video]. “Leaders focused on winning big, but minority questions persist.” CTV News. October 13, 2015.

Max Cameron. “Minority government could be good for our democracy.” The Globe & Mail. October 12, 2015.

[Video] Max Cameron on CTV News. “The case for minority government”. October 10, 2015.

Calvin To. “Three options for government after federal election day.” Global News. October 9, 2015.

Jane Taber. “What the Liberals, NDP are thinking if Harper wins a minority”. The Globe & Mail. October 9, 2015.

Josh Wingrove. “How a Trudeau-Mulcair alliance could supplant Harper in Canada.” Bloomberg News. October 8, 2015.

[Video: starts at 13:30]. Martin Stringer, Max Cameron on Primetime Politics. CPAC. October 8, 2015.

[Video] Max Cameron on Global News. “UBC Political Scientist says minority gov’t could rule better”. October 8, 2015.

Paul Thomas. “Co-operation key to minority government success”. Winnipeg Free Press. October 8, 2015.

Andrew Heard. “Opinion: Sorting out who governs if no party wins a majority”. Vancouver Sun. October 6, 2015.

John Courtney. “Political grandstanding can’t trump convention”. The Star Phoenix. September 16, 2015.

David Mitchell. “When ‘losers’ have the right to form a government”. The Globe and Mail. July 20, 2015.

Max Cameron. “Scenarios for a hung Parliament”. Comments on Ibbitson’s Globe article (see below). May 27, 2015

John Ibbitson. “Five ways a hung Parliament could swing in October”. The Globe and Mail. May 27, 2015.

Leave a Reply