GUNTER: Liberals don’t have a mandate to do much of anything
Get used to it. Whenever the Trudeau Liberal government climbs up on a soapbox to claim it has a mandate for anything – much less the complete reordering of Canada’s society and economy – I am going to point out that they were elected with the smallest share of the popular vote of any federal government in Canadian history.
Indeed, they received so few votes in September, that had they followed through on their first-term promise to end first-past-the-post elections, they might well not even be the government now.
Since I oppose proportional representation, I can’t object entirely to the party with the most seats forming the government, even if it is a minority. That said, the Liberals don’t have a mandate to do much of anything.
On Monday, the day before Governor General Mary Simon had even delivered the throne speech, Government House Leader Mark Holland told reporters that any bills introduced by the Liberals this month had better be passed within the 20 sitting days between now and the House of Commons’ Christmas break, or else.
“I am not looking to tolerate a lot of obfuscation or political games,” Holland said. The bills cabinet will introduce were already extensively debated in the previous Parliament, he insisted, so there is no need to debate them much now.
“We’ve already had significant debate on these issues, both in and out of the chamber,” Holland claimed. And then there was the election, Holland added, during which, I would contend, the Liberals just basically campaigned on not being Erin O’Toole and the Tories.