Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a temporary suspension of Parliament until January 26, delaying a vote which had been set to topple his Conservative minority government. Canada’s opposition parties, the Liberals and the New Democrats signed a coalition agreement on Monday, backed by Canada’s separatist party the Bloc Quebecois, to form an alternative government after Harper’s finance minister presented a fiscal statement which did not include an economic stimulus package. It also included proposals that would revoke federal employees’ right to strike, clamp down on pay equity, and cancel public subsidies for political parties – a move that would disproportionately benefit the ruling Conservatives. Canada’s Governor General Michaelle Jean granted Harper’s request to prorogue Parliament.
Dr Brian Tanguay is the Chair of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. Tanguay's current research focuses on electoral reform in liberal democracies and on the evolving division of labour between political parties and organized interests. He is also interested in Quebec politics, especially the evolution of the party system in the province. He recently drafted the Law Commission of Canada's report, Voting Counts: Electoral Reform for Canada.More by Dr Brian Tanguay