I'm going to sum up my views on a possible Liberal-NDP coalition government in two words: apprehensive support.
A month or so ago, I never thought that there would be a set of circumstances that would make me supportive of the NDP forming a coalition with the Liberals. But here we are.
The Conservatives delivered their waste-of-paper economic update yesterday and not only was it lacking in any kind of stimulus for the economy, but they had the nerve to project a phony surplus.
What they pulled yesterday was disgustingly partisan and exactly the kind of thing that turns so many Canadians off of voting for any political party.
I gotta hand it to Paul Wells, when he nails it, he really nails it:
So the real outrage of yesterday’s economic “update” is not that it seeks to impose on most parliamentarians a change to funding rules that most of them would never ordinarily accept; it’s that it accomplishes nothing else. It’s that in the most dangerous economic times Canada has faced in 20 years if not far longer, this prime minister can’t wipe the smirk off his face and grow up a little.
I was put off, to say the least, by all of this, but the last straw for me personally- what really sent me over the edge into let's-take-these-jerks-down-now territory- was the assault on collective bargaining.
Public service unions were negotiating in good faith to try to find a way to get through these challenging times, and Flaherty essentially spit in their faces. It may seem to some as a rather benign attempt to tighten the belts of the public service at a time when all Canadians are tightening their belts, but in an update that was supposed to be about "symbolic gestures", the symbolism on this one is frightening. What kind of a message does it send when a government says its okay to unilaterally break a contract with thousands of workers and then take away their collective bargaining rights? Not the kind of message that I can stomach.
That's right. I am not feeling the slightest bit complacent about any of this. The Conservatives need to be stopped. I still don't trust the Liberals, and I still believe that an NDP government is what Canadians really need. But right here and now, with things being as they are, a Liberal-NDP coalition is the best option.
My apprehension comes from wondering if the Liberals can be fair while negotiating the terms of the coalition. I have a hard time believing that they can put their sense of entitlement aside and offer the NDP a significant enough role to form a true coalition. But if they can come to an agreement that is fair, I say take Harper down.
And Steve, while you are telling us (as I type) that Canada's government should be chosen by Canadians, keep in mind that only 37.6% wanted a Conservative government while 44.4% voted for a Liberal or NDP government.