Traditionally in coalition governments, the leader of the party with the most seats becomes the leader of the coalition and therefore the government. This is true in European states when they choose governments by coalition and one would assume that this would be true here. So the question of leadership in the coalition is really a question of leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Stephane Dion is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. According to the
LPC constitution there are five ways a leader ceases to be a leader:
- The leader resigns
- The leader fails a leadership review
- The leader dies
- The leader is no longer recognized by the GG as leader to due to incapacity (not clear on the circumstances; maybe leader's in a coma or something)
- Leader is found by the national executive to not meet the minimum requirements for leadership (e.g. not a member of the party or qualified to hold office).
On to the second question: does Harper survive at the CPC? I really don't know. I obviously don't have insider knowledge of the CPC. I don't know whether the membership blames Harper for this mess or thinks that "those damn Liberals screwed them again." I can't believe there won't be questions. Apparently there are already draft movements afoot for various cabinet members. Some of these movements seem legitimate feeler campaigns (Prentice) some of them are a little far-fetched (Baird). I have a hard time seeing Stephen Harper in opposition for two and a half years. I don't think he can be righteously indignant for that long. The plan seems to be to make this government last so long that a) the economy turns around and b) people forget they voted for the Tories in 2008. That would limit Harper's ability to copy the King model and win a majority after being turfed by a minority parliament.