CONSERVATIVESHarper asks voters for majority
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Posted: Mar 26, 2011 12:39 PM ET
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2011 7:22 PM ETBack to accessibility links
Supporting Story Content
End of Supporting Story ContentBack to accessibility links
Beginning of Story Content
Canada must elect a majority Conservative government or risk instability, Stephen Harper said Saturday.
The Conservative leader said he's being frank with voters when he says the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois will never settle for losing to the Conservatives. He says the only way to ensure a stable government is to vote Conservative.
It's a break from previous campaigns when he's avoided using the word "majority," fearing Canadians weren't comfortable with the idea of the Conservatives having full control of Parliament.
"Of course I would like to have a majority. Every party would prefer a majority than a minority. But if Canadians elect a Conservative government, whether it's a Conservative minority or a Conservative majority, I will accept their mandate," Harper said.
"That's my responsibility. That's the democratic result."
Harper said Friday's defeat of the government was disappointing.
"It has been a privilege and an honour to serve as prime minister, especially prime minister of the best country in the world as together we have faced the most difficult days of the global recession," said Harper Harper spoke about the economic challenges still facing the world and other challenges such as the conflicts in Libya, and said the opposition parties are forcing an election that the country doesn't want and the economy doesn't need.
And as he has in the past, he attacked the notion of a Liberal-led coalition usurping another Conservative minority.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Saturday morning he won't form a coalition, saying he'd try to work with other parties on individual issues, pointing to previous Liberal prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau who led minority governments.
Harper, however, said he doesn't buy it.
"Now they're trying to run on it as a hidden agenda. They've done it before and they will do it again," he said, urging Canadians to elect a Conservative majority.
Harper was asked about a letter he signed in 2004 with NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe telling the Governor General Harper he was ready to form a government should Paul Martin's Liberal minority lose the confidence of the House of Commons. At the time, Harper's Conservatives had the second-most seats in the House.
Harper said that was different from what he says the Liberal Party did in 2008, when then-leader Stéphane Dion tried to form a coalition with Layton, supported by Duceppe.
"There's a difference between working with other parties and forming a coalition," Harper said. "(The Liberal Party) tried to take power without a democratic mandate."
The Conservative campaign headed to Quebec City later in the day, where Harper spoke of this past week's proposed federal budget.
"We presented an important budget, a solid budget, a fair budget," he said.
In his remarks Harper said that, in the budget, his party had been "sticking to our reduction targets and not raising taxes."
End of Story ContentBack to accessibility links
Story Social Media
End of Story Social Media
Related News Content
Big Box Advertisement
Federal Election Results
Updated: May. 3, 2011, 3:40 AM EDT
|Party||Elected||Leading||Total||Vote Share (%)|
All results are unofficial until final ballot counts are verified by Elections Canada. CBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
What is truth in an election campaign?
by Ira Basen Apr. 30, 2011 3:47 PM
Fail At Reality Check we take what politicians say at face value. Maybe that's a mistake.
The cost of being tough on crime
by David McKie Apr. 30, 2011 9:54 AM
Fail The Conservatives have used their so-called tough-on-crime agenda to drive a wedge between themselves and their political opponents. But the issue here is cost.
The NDP's cap-and-trade plan: Brace for sticker shock
by Reality Check Team Apr. 29, 2011 5:10 PM
Fail The NDP wants to curb GHG emissions and raise billions in revenue by imposing cap-and-trade on big polluters. But these costs will be passed along.
The NDP and price of doctors
by Meagan Fitzpatrick Apr. 29, 2011 4:08 PM
50-50 The NDP is promising to add 1,200 doctors over the next 10 years and has a thought-out plan. But is it really accounting for all the additional costs to the health-care system?
What comes next? Post-election scenarios and the Constitution
by Laura Payton Apr. 29, 2011 1:03 PM
Pass The surprising increase in NDP popularity makes this election harder than usual to predict. But there are three main scenarios that could play out after election day.
Top News Headlines
- Record number of women elected
- There will be more female faces in the House of Commons following Monday's federal election that saw 76 women elected, the highest number of women ever. more »
- Layton defends inexperienced Quebec caucus
- NDP Leader Jack Layton defends his youngest, least-experienced caucus members after Quebec voters elect three McGill University students and a pub manager who doesn't speak French or live in the francophone riding she'll represent. more »
- Ignatieff quits as Liberal leader
- Michael Ignatieff is quitting as the Liberal leader after his party took an electoral drubbing on Monday night. more »
- Harper faces cabinet gaps
- With Parliament expected to return to work at the end of May, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have openings to fill after losing several cabinet ministers on election night. more »