Does everyone remember John Baird's famous words to veteran CBC reporter Don Newman on the eve of the last time that the Conservatives almost lost power? Here are his exact words:
"We'll go over the heads of the members of Parliament; go right over the head, frankly, of the Governor General; go right to the Canadian people."
No one knows exactly what that meant at the time and still no one is sure. Was John Baird advocating the mobilisation of his supporters to violently maintaining his government?? Actually I cannot think of any other reasonable explanation.
Thus, if the Conservatives were to win another, reduced, minority in this election and yet were unable to gain the confidence of the House, what would happen? The legal process would be for the GG to the next largest party in the House and ask its leader to attempt to form a government. Now, if this happened and it was Ignatieff to whom the GG went, (which is a reasonable assumption), and Ignatieff was able to gain the confidence of the House, what would Baird and Harper do?? If the quote from Baird above is any indication, it would be reasonable to assume that the Conservatives would attempt some unconstitutional move to prevent Ignatieff from forming a government. Would Harper and Baird barricade themselves in the Prime Ministers Office, refusing to leave and calling on their supporters to storm Parliament Hill to prevent the change of government?
Of course, none of these things would probably work. The GG can technically dissolve parliament and swear in another Prime Minister without any word from the sitting Prime Minister. The only way that Prime Minister William Pitt managed to get away with ignoring a vote no-confidence in the 1790s was because King George III was sympathetic toward him and refused to dissolve parliament. I don't believe that our current GG would ignore the constitutional tradition in this manner. But the whole thing would be quite a spectacle.
And the truth is Mr. Baird that unless you have more than 50% of the popular vote, the people have already spoken and you don't have the support of the majority.
Good Morning America ....
5 months ago