Opinion: Dangerous election talk from NDP leader Singh

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh already lacked credibility by ignoring any attempt to balance the budget in his party’s policy book.

Singh has said he will invest in people with no regard for the cost.

We all know people like that: they’re the ones who blow through their paycheques and have no money left by the end of the week, accumulating costly debt along the way.

They’re the ones who have to leech off their friends, because they lack financial discipline.

Sunday, Singh said the NDP would strive to form a coalition government with Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, even if Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have the most seats.

“We’re not going to support a Conservative government,” Singh said. “We’re going to fight a Conservative government. We’re going to fight it all the way. We’re ready to do whatever it takes.”

No one is asking Singh to support a Conservative government, of course. The expectation is simply that Singh honour parliamentary tradition, which dictates the party with the greatest number of seats is invited to form government following an election.

In the case of a minority government, that’s achieved by gaining the support of a smaller party.

If the Conservatives end up with the most seats on Monday, Scheer would likely seek the support of the Bloc Quebecois. As strange as it seems, the Bloc Quebecois has a firmer grasp on reality than either the NDP or the Greens.

The fact Singh would seek to circumvent a custom that is hundreds of years old is alarming and another blow to his credibility.

He not only reveals a disdain for our British parliamentary traditions, but an ugly thirst for control.

He’d rather pervert democracy to achieve a taste of power than honour the will of the people and the customs that ensure a smooth transition of power in the event of a government’s defeat at the polls.

Certainly, there is a role for coalition governments from time to time, but for Singh to insist on such an outcome after an election is either ignorant or arrogant. Perhaps both.

But this is the election Albertans are confronted with. Every party except the Conservatives is determined to sacrifice the oilpatch, Canada’s greatest source of wealth, on the altar of climate change.

The politicians have no idea how they would replace the tax revenue and employment made possible by the oilsands, but they continue to argue for its demise.

They know the oilsands are just one source of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, but they are determined to vilify one of the planet’s most important energy reserves.

The manufacturing of aircraft and automobiles in Canada’s industrial heartland gets a free pass. Never mind that these products are dependent on the very fuel that’s processed in the oilsands in an environmentally friendly manner.

Most Albertans are hoping for a Conservative majority government, an outcome that would at least treat the oilsands fairly. If that’s not the result, they’re hoping for a Conservative minority.

Albertans have witnessed four years of Liberal attacks on the province. We don’t need four more years of that. But as bad as that would be, four more years of Liberal abuse supported by the likes of Singh and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would be even worse.

Monday’s election promises to be interesting.

David Marsden is managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

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