The previous Liberal leader stated explicitly and repeatedly in the last election campaign that he would not enter a coalition with the NDP, let alone the Bloc. Six weeks after the election, he did.
The new Liberal leader stated explicity and repeatedly after the coalition was formed that he supported it, even affixing his signature to a letter to the Governor General to that effect. A week later, he and his anonymous minions are sending out all sorts of signals to the contrary, while his public position has evolved to “coalition if necessary but not necessarily coalition.”
His predecessor’s signature, moreover, is on a formal agreement with the other two parties committing the Liberal Party to the coalition. The selling point of that coalition is that it’s a formal agreement, binding on all sides — 18 months for the Bloc, 30 months for the Liberals and NDP — and not just an informal understanding that can be cancelled at any time. It is on that basis that we are encouraged to believe it would deliver stable government, and not merely an escalating process of blackmail.
Yet both the public and private positions of the current Liberal leader suggest that is not the case: that the arrangement is entirely contingent, at least as far as the Liberals are concerned. In which case it is hard to see why the other parties should be expected to treat it any differently.
Questions for either Liberal leader, past or present:
1: Once and for all, do you support the coalition, or don’t you?
2: Why should we believe your answer to Question 1?