Is Harper prepared to do a King-Byng?

Harper’s dogmatic opposition to coalitions raises a few questions


Who’s on first

Argh. I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right as I was typing it, and should have checked: it’s not actually true, as both the Liberals and I have lately suggested, that the party that wins the most seats in an election has the right under convention to be called upon first to form a government.


An illegal election?

The idea that the Governor General would be within her rights to refuse Harper’s request for dissolution apparently has other adherents besides crankish magazine columnists. Indeed, constitutional scholar Errol Mendes, professor of law at the University of Ottawa and editor of the National Journal of Constitutional Law, argues Harper’s demand for a snap election may well be illegal: