Stephen Harper, 2004:
As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government’s program.
We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.
Stephen Harper, 2008:
Harper warned that, should the opposition vote down the government's budget when it is tabled on Jan. 27, he will press Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to call an election rather than leaving her in the position where she could ask Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to lead a Liberal-NDP coalition government.
"I will have no choice but to ask for an election. Canadians certainly did not elect a coalition under which the Bloc Quebecois would have a veto to govern the country. If anyone wants to put a coalition government in office, I think they have to get a democratic mandate to do so," Harper said in the Ottawa interview. "If the decision of Parliament is that they don't support the government people elected, then I think the only constitutionally, politically, morally, the only reasonable thing to do at that point is for some other government to get a mandate from the Canadian people."
When asked about this apparent complete reversal of fundamental principles, Blogging Tory co-founder and Fellow at the Manning Centre for Wingnut Welfare Stephen Taylor replied, "I think this shows, beyond any doubt, our Prime Minister's capacity for bold, dynamic leadership *click* leadership *click* leadership *click* bzzzzzzzzz ..."