But in an interview with the National Post, Harper appeared to actually agree with the premise of a coalition almost as though he wanted one with the Liberal Party.
Ivison: Talking about a more bi-partisan Parliament, what steps are you personally going to take to ensure that? For example, during the election, the idea that the justice package was a matter of confidence — are you in a position now to say that only money bills are measures of confidence, given your focus on the economy?
Harper: I wouldn’t go that far. Obviously the economy is everyone’s number one priority. It would be unwise for a prime minister to say he would narrow the range of confidence measures unilaterally, if the opposition parties would not be prepared to do exactly the same thing. I don’t want to be in a position where I would say only one or two or three things would be confidence while they would get up and say: “we reserve the right to bring forward a motion of confidence on every thing.” I think if we could get together and agree that a narrow range of things would be confidence — that would be useful to the functioning of this Parliament. I haven’t had that kind of discussion with Mr. Ignatieff and that would be a judgment he would have to make. But I do think that Canadians want to see Parliament work. We’ve had three elections in four years. They especially want to see it work when everyone knows jobs and futures are on the line. And I also think they believe that the country’s two major parties, who have been in government, who understand what it means to govern, would exercise some degree of common sense and collaboration and not make outrageous demands that they know one or the other couldn’t possibly meet.
Remember that the coalition agreement that was set between the opposition parties was simply a non-binding contract that outlined key policy priorities that would recieve support on confidence* measures from the coalition members.
Not that this point changes anything but it does show that he is a big hypocrite.
* Confidence or non-confidence is a designation for bills that are proposed in the House of Commons to be voted on. If a bill is a confidence measure (budget bills are) a majority of support must found within the House. In the case of insufficient suppport, the Prime Minister must dissolve parliament by advising the Governer General to call an election (or like last month - a prorogation). Non-confidence does not require the support of the House of Commons.