possible liberal-ndp coalition?

I saw this yesterday on Progressive Bloggers, although unfortunately I can't remember whose blog it was, so I can't credit the blogger. Yesterday I couldn't find any corroboration, but today it seems to have some weight.
The New Democratic Party is open to forming a coalition with the Liberals if it would help implement the party's policies, NDP Leader Jack Layton said Monday.

Layton, speaking to CTV's Canada AM, hinted he would work with the Liberals if the two parties combined won more seats in Parliament than the Tories on Oct. 14.

"I've worked with any other party, I think people have seen that," Layton said.

"Maybe it goes back to my days as municipal councillor -- you roll up your sleeves and you try to solve a problem. And I think the problem we have is Stephen Harper and his Conservatives."

However, when asked if he'd agree to a formal arrangement, Layton was more evasive.

"I think what I'll do is, hopefully, sit down in the Prime Minister's Office and pull together the leadership of my party and say, 'How can we best serve the country? How can we best get that child-care program that we committed to?"' he said.

"`How can we best get those doctors and nurses trained to deal with these wait times that are really concerning families?' And let's make it happen."

Layton attacked the Tories, saying the party was taking Canada down the "wrong path" with policies that mirror those of U.S. President George Bush.

I don't know what the chances are of this actually happening, but I'd be very excited to see it.


Dharma Seeker said...

The possibility of "uniting the left" has been given a lot of media attention lately. It was the subject of Chantal Hebert's column in The Star yesterday.

As much as I dislike Harper I really hope the idea doesn't gain too much traction, and I'm going to call my MPs office to say so.

I think the US is proof that the public is not served by a two-party system. I also think it's worth noting that after the Reform/Canadian Alliance/Progressive Conservative parties merged to form the Conservative Party they know today they lost some high profile, progressive members.

Maybe a coalition is necessary to defeat Harper, but I hope that's where it ends. I can see why Layton would be on board. The polls (your fave) show that between the Liberals and the NDP, the Liberals are the preferred party but Layton is the preferred leader. If the two did merge, it may not be a stretch to imagine Layton would lead the new party.

L-girl said...

Dharma Seeker, I am only in favour of this as far as defeating Harper. That's all I meant and all I would ever mean.

Chantal Hebert hates the NDP and is always on about dissolving it. I like her and think she is very smart politically, but I totally disagree with her on this point. In fact, I have been writing a post on this for a while.

For now, see comments here (scroll down).

However, I do think a liberal-left coalition to defeat Harper would be a great thing. I'm not necessarily expecting to see it, but I'd welcome it.

James said...

A coalition is a much, much, much better idea than a merger. One of the most important functions of the NDP is to keep the Liberals honest, after all!

L-girl said...

A coalition is a much, much, much better idea than a merger. One of the most important functions of the NDP is to keep the Liberals honest, after all!

Exactly. There's nothing about a merger here - that's a ridiculous idea.

Liberal supporters who call for a merger of the NDP into the Liberal Party don't fully understand the difference between the two. The NDP is not a left-wing extension of the Liberals.

But this is a post for another day, and now I must get to work.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Big discussion in our house last night and although it was not preferred, it was agreed it was a better alternative than 4 more years of a right wing Harper government. I would be opposed to a merger but a coalition could work. Would take a lot of heads together but I think the centre-left is smart enough to pull it off. I am sure there are plenty of Libs and NDP'ers who would disagree with me but for children who need child care, health care, and the environment I think it is worth it to try to find some common ground. I still am crossing my fingers and working hard for a Lib minority though.

L-girl said...

Thank you, Woman At Mile 0. You summed up my feelings as well.

West End Bob said...

Looks like it's all academic now
, L-Girl, thanks to Mr. Dion . . . .

John F said...

I could deal with the concept of a centre-left coalition, as long as the NDP gets some cabinet posts. And Layton should be deputy PM, of course. Of course my, scenario assumes that the Libs would be in the driver's seat. Maybe it would be the other way around!

L-girl said...

Well, it seemed like a long-shot anyway. Back to hoping for a Liberal minority!

mister anchovy said...

Interesting idea. I'd prefer that in a minority government situation than a Tory government for sure.