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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to British Prime Minister David Cameron during a joint news conference in the gardens at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday June 3, 2010. (Adrian Wyld/Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to British Prime Minister David Cameron during a joint news conference in the gardens at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday June 3, 2010. (Adrian Wyld/Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

'Losers don't get to form coalitions,' says Harper Add to ...

Stephen Harper says losers don't get to form coalitions and that's why the Canadian attempt in 2008 failed.

Standing beside British Prime Minister David Cameron, in the back garden of 10 Downing St. Thursday, the Canadian Prime Minister noted how "instructive" this new British coalition government is for Canada.

"The verdict of public opinion was pretty clear," said Mr. Harper. "Losers don't get to form coalitions. Winners are the ones who form governments."

Mr. Harper is in London today to meet with Prime minister Cameron in advance of the G8 and g 20 Summits. And although their talks focused on economic issues in this recession recovery period the two leaders did speak of the coalition government Mr. Cameron formed recently with the Liberal Democrats.

There has been more talk of late in Canada about mergers and coalitions as a result of the British elections and also because of gridlock in the national opinion polls that shows no party able to form a majority government.

"The coalition in Britain - it is important to point out it was formed by the party that won the election," said Mr. Harper.

He said that in Canada the parties that lost the election tried to form a coalition for the purpose of excluding the party that won. He also said that the Canadian coalition also included the Bloc, which is "dedicated to the break-up of the country."

He suggested that's why it was rejected by Canadians.

Mr. Cameron joked that he has said many disparaging things about coalitions and is now finding himself in the position of having to prove himself wrong.

"But in politics .. We have to do two things - play the hand that we're dealt by our electorate and face up to our country's problems."

He said on both of those counts a coalition was "right" - create a stable government to deal with the huge economic problems.

And he says in working together as a coalition, "it is early days" but he believes it "seems to be going well."

 

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