Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting to a Conservative Majority

Can Stephen Harper manage to bring himself to a majority in the current parliament? Possibly.

Stephen Harper has 143 seats at the moment and needs 154 votes to pass any legislation, he is 11 votes short.

If he can bring the two independents on board, he is at 145 and nine short. Both of them are politically close to the government.

There are a number of Liberal MPs not happy with being in coalition with the NDP and depending on the Bloc for support. Asking some of them to cross the floor and become Conservatives or sit as nationalist Liberals against the Bloc. Say he can find six that would do this, he would get to 151 MPs, three short of a majority.

There are about 20 sitting Liberal MPs that are politically the same as the Conservatives. I have my list of the top eight most likely to consider crossing.

There are 12 Senate vacancies, what if he appoints some sitting MPs to the Senate? Harper is so far from a majority in the Senate that some more Liberals would make no difference. He could appoint four Liberals and three Bloc MPs along with five Conservatives, not MPs, to the Senate. This leaves the house with 301 MPs and he has a majority.

Another option would be the creation of a Federalist Liberal Caucus, 12 Liberal MPs that are opposed to the Bloc and willing to form their own caucus. This group could then be in a coalition with the Conservatives and allow for a stable and centrist government in Ottawa.
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