Greg Fingas catches the apparent arrival of nuance to Thomas Mulcair’s views on coalition government. Last month, a possible coalition with Liberals was categorically out of the question. Yesterday, in an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Mr. Mulcair committed only to fielding 338 candidates and running to form a majority government. “Anything beyond that,” he said, “is pure speculation.”
Until Mr. Mulcair is asked again directly about his position and whether it has changed, it is likely too early to say to what degree his mind remains open to the possibility of a coalition, but Greg considers the ramifications.
In effect, merely in recognizing that any talk of a post-election coalition will depend on the circumstances at the time, Mulcair is taking a more cooperative line than the leaders of the Official Opposition in the previous two elections. Which means that the NDP will preserve at least some of its hard-earned reputation as the party most willing to work pragmatically toward progressive goals.
Mind you, the statement that we’ll need to see what happens doesn’t serve as quite the strong defence of cooperation that I’d most like to see. But it does open the door for a neat contrast against Libs past and present – allowing Mulcair to say he’ll consider working with the Libs and others toward common goals, while highlighting just what those goals are for the NDP. And if the Cons decide to follow up with another bizarre anti-cooperation crusade that pushes Mulcair to make stronger statements about the importance of working together rather than being as insular and narrowly-focused as Harper and company, then the result for the NDP figures to be all the better.