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The possibility of the defeat of the Harper Conservative government and its replacement by a Liberal-NDP coalition with Bloc Québécois support has provoked a huge debate across the country.

More than 4,500 comments were posted yesterday on news articles and columns on about the issue.

Here's a sampling of the voices we heard. (The website permits the use of pseudonyms.)

Tim Vining, Toronto

This is great news! Finally, we will have a government that represents a majority of the votes cast in the recent election. This is democracy in action.

Percy, Newfoundland and


Thank God, in this time of great financial stress for so many Canadians, we will not have to waste one more minute dealing with Stephen Harper's sadistic political games.

The time for co-operation and good government has finally arrived. Now I would hope that the more balanced "Progressive Conservatives" within the ranks of the CPC will finally show some backbone and do the right thing.

Robert Lucy, Niverville, Man.

Ignorance, sheer ineptness and a huge dose of political hubris from Harper and his cadre of Mike Harris Conservative retreads and Reform bumpkins will be aptly rewarded with the defeat of their Reform/Alliance/Conservative excuse for a government.

Neil Fiertel, Spruce Grove, Alta.

Bring down this government and put in one that represents Canadians who work for a living, who worry about their futures, who support unions and the right of workers to work or to go on strike if necessary to uphold their rights as citizens. ... There are thousands of jobs at stake and they need help today, not in February.

Myroslaw Tataryn,

Waterloo, Ont.

Clearly, Mr. Harper does not know how to work with Parliament, and does not want to work with Parliament. The playground bully must go. Bring on the coalition.

Parliamentary democracy will be the stronger for it.

Mervyn Frame, Ottawa

Absolutely undemocratic. This coalition would completely negate the last election. Even if the Tories have presented a poor economic stimulus model, the opposition parties have no right to override the electoral demands of the majority of Canadians who voted for a minority Conservative government.

Mike Vinakmens

What an obscene perversion of our democratic system!

Clarence Ekstrand, Regina

This coup by the losers [the Liberals and the NDP] could usher in a new Canada - a Canada without the West. The East can't abide by election results, so why should the West keep pouring money into the Eastern sinkhole. ... Keep pushing for this ridiculous change and the West will have a border like Mexico.

Rick Trent, west of Toronto

It's great to see a new government where the West will have no say again. It's time to separate from the East.

F.P., Edmonton

I would rather pay the price for another election than have this country run by separatists and communists.

Ken K.

Neither the Liberals or the NDP can claim to be national parties - based on the seats they have - while the Bloc is interested only in what Ottawa is prepared to give Quebec. So say the coalition succeeds in unseating the Conservatives, what do the next 30 months look like? No one can answer that question because they have no plan.

A.A., Ottawa

My wife may finally have to learn French and get a job, after we put our kids in national daycare to learn to be good socialists. We'll need the second income for Jack & Gil's freebees.

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