I’m just throwing this out there, because, based on what Stephen Harper has been saying, as of right now, it seems fairly unlikely, however elections can cause strange things to happen.

Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper agree on little. But it does seem that Ignatieff and Harper DO agree that a government headed by Jack Layton would be disastrous for Canada.

Consider a scenario where, as I have previously posted, Parliament returns with the NDP around 100 seats, The Conservatives at around 145, the BQ at 15, and the Liberals sitting around the 48 seat mark.

Obviously, Michael Ignatieff will be gone as Leader of the Liberals, and someone will be chosen to take his place. I can see in this scenario a – yes, I’m going to say it, and I’m choking as I do – some sort of informal “agreement” forming. Not between the Liberals and NDP, but – here it comes – between the Conservatives and the Liberals. Maybe not a spoken one; maybe not even an announced agreement, but a simple agreement that with a few small changes to the budget, the Liberal caucus would agree to support the throne speech and budget, keeping Stephen Harper in the PMO as the lesser – from the Liberals’ viewpoint – of two evils.

3 Replies

  1. Entirely plausible, indeed very likely if such a configuration were to transpire. Sensible Liberals still have plenty of time this weekend to steel themselves to do “the right thing” on May 2nd.

  2. The scenario you are outlining is more than plausible. In fact, it has happened at the provincial level.

    Back in 1998, in Nova Scotia, New Democrat Robert Chishom tied the newly chosen liberal leader Russell MacLellan 19-19 in the seats, but Conservative leader, John Hamm, who had won 11 seats, threw is support behind the liberals. In other words their is a precedent, in recent history, to the Liberal-Conservative alliance.

    So what you are saying is not so far fetch.

    1. It’s not so much that it isn’t plausible, or even within the realm of chance, but it is a situation where I believe it to be unlikely. Stephen Harper has made his position very clear – that he intends to govern if he gets the most seats, and the opposition will do what they will.

      He has also been quite clear that the opposition will form a coalition – formal or informal – unless he gets a majority, which, as long as the Liberals looked like they were going to be #2 in the House, seemed like a reasonable thing to expect.

      A configuration with the NDP as #2 but requiring both the Liberals and Bloc to side with them to hold the confidence of the house could change things a bit. There’s much animosity between Harper and Ignatieff, but with Ignatieff gone and possibly Bob Rae taking over, everything changes.

      Ultimately, we won’t know until May 3. I certainly hope none of these scenarios play out. I would love to see the NDP take Montreal (which seems very likely) and the votes split outside of Montreal electing Conservatives, with the Conservatives taking 160-ish seats nationwide, and the NDP as Official Opposition, the Liberals #3 and the BQ with less than 12 seats.

      I think, however, the most likely scenario is the CPC will be right on the cusp of a majority – between 153 and 157 seats, Montreal will go mainly NDP with the odd Liberal popping up here and there like stuffed rodents in Whack-a-Mole. Outside of Montreal, the BQ will hold a number of seats, with the odd NDPer popping up here and there – again like a stuffed rodent in Whack-a-Mole (Smack-a-Jack).

      Who ends up as Official Opposition is anybody’s guess, but it is obvious to me right now that the Liberals are in “save-the-furniture” mode, which means, should the scenario I described play out, it is quite likely that Harper will be able to continue on as PM.

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