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Monday Morning mishmash – Israel and coalitions.

– PM Harper sure seems to get tripped up by his foreign policy stances he takes, sometimes by bad timing, sometimes by bad design. We’ll have to see which of those it is today (or if it’s a bit of both) when he meets Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu this AM following an Israeli navy attack on an aid convoy to embargoed Hamas-held Gaza early this AM (reportedly while it was still in international waters) which has reportedly killed a lot of peace activists, and has already been widely condemned internationally, and has even met with some criticism from some of Israel’s normally staunch allies here in Canada. I’ll be very interested to see if Harper expresses any regret or condemnation of this action by Israel publicly or privately to Netanyahu, or if Harper would rather not embarrass his guest, and just how far Canada’s Conservative government’s stance of “unwavering” support of Israel goes, in the wake of a seeming massive overreaction by Israel’s Defence Forces.

(UPDATE @ 10:14 am on this point: The PMO issues its first statement regarding the incident, and reports are that the Israeli PM is cutting short his trip to North American and returning home)

UPDATE 2 @ 11:21 am: No surprise on this announcement. Joint Press conference cancelled. Photo-ops only. Wouldn’t want any hard questions asked, now would we?

– I’d like to issue a suggestion to Liberal Party strategists and Mr Ignatieff about how to answer questions regarding potential “coalition” scenarios following the next Canadian general election. I think the following statement would do much to clarify the LPC stance, as well as be relatively easy to defend:

“The Liberal Party’s goal in the next election is to win a majority government. In the event however that no party can command an overall majority, the LPC will look to cooperate with other parties in helping to form the next government. That cooperation could include the traditional minority government, an accord such as was done in Ontario in 1985 with the Liberals and NDP, or a coalition government, as was done in the recent UK elections by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. All are legitimate ways of forming a government under our Westminster-based parliamentary government.”

Is that so hard to say or to agree with?


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