Vive le Canada!!!

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Where else would you get things like this happening?

The Liberals and NDP have reached a deal to bring down the federal Conservative government and form an unprecedented coalition to take its place that would last 30 months and include cabinet seats for both parties.

Sources confirmed Sunday night that the two sides have ironed out an agreement that would see a cabinet of 24 members — 18 Liberals and six NDP.

The two parties called emergency caucus meetings Monday to lay out the plan under which the Tories would lose power to Canada’s first coalition government in 91 years.

91 years. Think of that, people, and savor it. This is how a parliamentary system works. Last time this happened, Canada was in the depths of a long and bitter war. Well hey howdy, aren’t we now? Our army’s been in Afghanistan for longer than World War TWO, if I don’t miss my guess.

And this coalition, unlike the conservative/conscriptionist Borden Union Government (which provoked riots in Quebec with its pro-draft stance), won’t be such an odious compromise, either. It’ll be a PROGRESSIVE one. You know what this historic news calls for?

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Now, with that off my chest, here’s a little nitty-gritty wonkery from yer ol’ Auntie ‘Bina:

The key question of who would lead the first coalition government of modern times remained unsettled Sunday night, as Liberals differed over whether Stéphane Dion should take over as interim prime minister, or a new leader be chosen — and leadership contenders Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc met to discuss how to proceed.

Dion is stepping down as Liberal leader, but he might be persuaded to postpone that, IF anyone is really so inclined. Iggy the Warmonger is no choice of mine (everything about him just rubs me the wrong way, plus there was all that time he spent at Hahvud). And I don’t even know what Dominic LeBlanc looks like, let alone much about his leadership style.

On the other hand, Bob Rae is very familiar to this Ontarian. He’s a Liberal now, but used to be NDP, and in those days he was premier of my fair province, too, so to me he seems a natural choice to oversee a Liberal/NDP coalition. His French is decent. He’s also tactful and conciliatory enough to make things work. To me he seems like an obvious pick, even if I would much prefer Jack Layton (whom I met in Toronto more than a decade ago, along with his wife Olivia Chow, and instantly liked both of them–which is a very unusual reaction for me to any politician).

All right, people, get to work and hammer out those details. Give this fair land the government it deserves, and let’s hope it’s a reasonable facsimile of the one the majority of us voted for.

Okay, I can’t resist the urge to let out one last whoop. Harpo is finished. And for that, I paraphrase Charles de Gaulle:

Vive le Canada…LIBRE!!!

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