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The Globe and Mail

Coalitions: Election letter of the day, March 28

Prime Minister Stephen Harper gestures as he is questioned about coalitions during a media availability following a campaign speech in Brampton, Ont., Sunday March 27, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Each weekday the Globe and Mail will choose one election-related letter from our readers to highlight online. For more letters, click here.

Coalitions

I am getting very tired of Stephen Harper's using the word coalition as a bogeyman to scare voters back into the Tory fold.

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Anyone who has lived in Germany or Sweden, for instance, knows that the coalitions that usually result from a proportional representation electoral system, have provided stable and effective government for decades, in marked contrast to the opportunism that Canadians have witnessed over the past five years of minority governments.

For one thing, compatible governing partners have to agree in advance on major policy issues, rather than making it up as they go along according to their supposed electoral chances. Moreover, coalitions, under proportional representation and usually even under our skewed first-past-the-post system, have at least the merit of representing more than 50 per cent of the voting population, something that Mr. Harper cannot claim so far and I trust never will be able to.

Christopher Levenson, Vancouver

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