Paul Adams writes that it will probably take another election defeat before the Liberals and the NDP decide there is good reason for them to work together. Each party has its champion of cooperation:
Like Nathan Cullen in the NDP race last year, [Joyce] Murray has presented a credible progressive version of her party’s traditions while also arguing for party cooperation. And she’s attracted significant support — even though leadership races are when party supporters are at their most partisan.
Of course, we all know she won’t actually win.
The old ways die hard. And co-operation does not appear on either party's radar screen. That said,
there is a very slight possibility that there will be yet another opening to the idea before the 2015 election. If the Conservatives were to start polling quite a bit stronger — say nearer the 40 per cent mark — and the Liberal and the NDP were deadlocked in the mid-20 per cent range for long enough, there might be internal and external pressures for Trudeau and Mulcair to temper their intransigence about cooperation.
Regardless of polls, the first step in a progressive restoration is for the Liberals and the NDP to stop firing at each other:
A good starting point would be to look at the agreement signed by Jack Layton and Stéphane Dion when they tried to dislodge the Harper Conservatives in 2008. That would at least get the parties working together instead of against each other.
The Liberals and the Dippers don't have to re-invent the wheel. But they do need to realize that, rather than one party co-opting the other -- which was what happened when the Reform Party captured the old Progressive Conservatives -- they have to come to some detente.
Stephen Harper is betting that they won't. And, so far, his bet has paid off.