Justin Trudeau appears to have ruled out any coalition arrangement with the NDP. But Chantal Hebert believes that such an arrangement is still possible:
But what if, instead, the Conservatives finished only two or three seats ahead of the runner-up?
Would Canada then not be better served by a minority government whose stability was ensured by some form of formal understanding with one of its opposition rivals?It was in similar circumstances that David Peterson’s Liberals struck an alliance with the NDP to replace the Tories in power at Queen’s Park in the mid-1980s.
If the result had not been as close — a mere four seats separated the first-place Conservatives from the Liberals on election night — chances are the Tory status quo would have prevailed.
No leader is going to talk coalition as he or she goes into an election. But, ultimately, voters will determine what arrangements will be necessary in the House of Commons:
If they were to make a move along the lines of a coalition or some looser arrangement to oust Harper they would have to cross the Rubicon at the time of the speech from the throne.
Likewise, the current speculation is almost always premised on a second-place Liberal party to the exclusion of a) the NDP keeping the lead opposition position in a minority parliament and b) the Conservatives falling to third place.
Conventional wisdom currently has it that the odds for such outcomes range from improbable to unthinkable.
Voters have been known to defy the conventional wisdom.
A quick note: We'll be in Montreal for the next couple of days. Enjoy Spring. It's finally here.