The Accord that was negotiated was not a coalition, but a working partnership. The government gave up the right to declare votes of confidence whenever it wanted, limiting itself to budget bills. It would accept a loss on anything else. The deal would last for two years, and the government committed itself to a series of measures – on pay equity, labour law reform, social housing, environmental legislation, the protection of medicare and many others, all within a framework of fiscal responsibility – with timelines clearly set out. A management committee of both parties would meet regularly to monitor the progress of the agreement…
In a parliamentary system elections produce a parliament, and parliament makes a government. That was the lesson learned in 1985. Prattle about “winning a mandate” with less than a majority in parliament is just that – partisan spin, all sound and fury, signifying nothing. It is a lesson worth remembering.
Beyond The Commons
Aaron Wherry covers all the goings-on in and around Parliament Hill. Follow Aaron on Twitter: @aaronwherry