Ottawa's instability bad for Canada: Campbell
Published Tuesday, December 2, 2008 8:04PM PST
British Columbians are watching from afar as the fight to control Parliament continues to dramatically unfold in Ottawa.
And everyone has a strong opinion on whether or not the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Qu�b�cois should attempt to form a coalition government at the expense of Stephen Harper's Conservatives.
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Premier Gordon Campbell has now weighed in, saying he understands what is going on and he thinks it is bad for Canada.
"Right now the Parliament is not working," says Campbell. "At a time when we need confidence, we need stability, we need leadership we need statesmanship. We see partisanship, instability and frankly a lot of concern from Canadians about what on earth is going on there."
Campbell believes a coalition government is a risky leap of faith and says if the gamble fails Canada's economic crises will be made significantly worse. He thinks it is best that the Harper government be allowed to table a full budget in January before being put to a no-confidence vote. He urges calm.
"I think it's the last thing we need right now," he says.
B.C.'s opposition leader Carole James added her voice, saying federal politicians misjudged the views of Canadians who see the crisis in Parliament as a distraction from the country's economic turmoil.
"I think it's time for all political parties to focus on how they serve the needs of the public, of working people, through these difficult economic times. So I hope the decision is made quickly whatever the decision is... and I want some stability in Ottawa," says James.
Political scientist Dr. Jamie Lawson of the University of Victoria believes a coalition government would be unstable, but so, too, would be a Harper government facing unprecedented political anger.
"These folks [the coalition partners] have taken a huge risk. They will pay greatly if this screws up," says Dr. Lawson.
"We have a stability problem cutting it either way. And we have a stability problem if we went back to the polls right now. We are in a genuine constitutional crisis."
And around noon Tuesday someone left a message at the constituency office of B.C.'s senior Liberal M.P. Ujjal Dosanjh - some smashed eggs dripping down the window.
Dosanjh himself, in an interview from Ottawa, said he was a strong supporter of the coalition idea.
"If you saw the Prime Minister in Question Time, he is leading the charge in rhetoric and taking it to a feverish pitch by accusing Liberals and the NDP of wanting to break up the country," he said. "It's irressponsible for us to have that debate and go on in that fashion."
The public continues to be polarized on the issue.
One man at an East Vancouver coffee shop told CTV that "the NDP, the Liberals, and the Bloc have good ideas", while another, in Kerrisdale, had a very different opinion of Jack Layton, St�phane Dion and Gilles Duceppe.
"Those three are never going to agree on anything, so what a bloody disaster," she said.
With reports from CTV British Columbia's St. John Alexander and Jim Beatty