After the latest EKOS poll, there has been a lot of talk about a Liberal-NDP coalition. Frank Graves claims that's what the majority of Canadian voters want. But, Chantal Hebert writes, that's not what the two respective party leaders want:
This fall, their mutual obsession with each other has tended to blind them to other big-picture considerations with posturing and positioning regularly taking precedence over the fight against a common Conservative foe.
Think of Justin Trudeau’s opposition to Canada’s combat role in the international coalition against Islamic State extremists. It ran counter to the advice of some of the party’s brightest foreign policy minds and it was poorly articulated but it did offer the Liberal left flank some cover from the NDP.
Or think of Mulcair’s out-of-the-blue musings about a resuscitated federal gun registry. He may have hoped to score points against Trudeau but he mostly ended up bringing long-standing NDP divisions back to the surface.
Think finally of the reciprocal suspicions that attended their handling of the delicate matter of the alleged sexual misconduct of two male Liberal MPs against two of their female NDP colleagues.
The days are long gone when Liberals, under Louis St. Laurent, thought of Dippers as "Liberals in a hurry." And Stephen Harper knows that. In fact, he's counting on the new Dipper-Lib rivalry to keep him in power.
And, unless Mulcair and Trudeau can learn to talk to each other, Mr. Harper will get his way.