Coalition means two or more items (countries, poliical parties, etc.) joined into one. If, for example, there were to be a coalition of the Liberals and the Conservatives, they would become one party, with each represented in the cabinet and in all party decisions. It does not mean simply cooperation or advising or conusultation. It means both parties have become one and the same. Could someone please explain that to the editors of The Moncton Times and Transcript?
A Mr. Irving wrote a column in that newspaper saying that the economic summit group has formed a coalition with the government of New Brunswick. That means they are now a part of the government. Not advisors. Not cooperators. A coalition sharing power with the government. Has it not occured to anybody that this is against the Canadian constitution and all parliamentary practice?
A couple of years ago, alll the opposition parties in Ottawa were on the edge of forming a coalition. The Moncton Times editorials breathed fire and fury. This was, they said, illegal and unconstitutional. In fact, it was quite legal and consitutional. All involved were political parties with every right to coalesce. The Canadian system of government doesn't even mention parties. Our MPs are elected and, once elected, can join forces with any other elected people they choose to. What they cannot do is coalesce with unelected groups.
But Mr. Irving is speaking for unelected groups. He is claiming that his unelected people have a right to be a part of the government. That is unconstitutional. Mr. Irving has publicly announced his group has the arrogance to claim a right to be a part government this province - though nobody has ever elected them.
This is a very serious challenge to democracy. Why has Mr. Alward made no response? Why hasn't the editorial page raised questions about the legality of this? This looks very much like big business arrogance run wild.
Do people in this province realize the consequences of accepting this statement? Do they undestand it means their votes and choices are now openly irrelevant? Do they realize they their most important right has been taken away from them?
Was Mr.Irving simply using the term loosely? I doubt it. He knows what words mean. And he has a battalion of lawyers who know what they mean. If it were an loose usage, then Mr. Alward should have cleared up the point. He hasn't. New Brunswickers have been told that no matter who they elect, Mr.Irving's summiteers have a right, simply by belonging to his group, to share governing the province.
No province has ever recognized such a right. It goes contrary to all parliamentary practice. It is an attack on the rights of all the rest of us. It is a fundamental attack on democracy itself. Nobody will speak about it? Then expect to pay one hell of a price.