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Could a coalition government form after Fall election?

(File Photo)
Summary

Coalition government between the Liberals and NDP is a possibility

Party leaders likely not to discuss it publicly until election night

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Five months and a single day, that’s how much time is left until the next federal election.

So don’t expect the election talk to die down anytime soon.

Some of that talk has focused on the possibility of a coalition government between the Liberals and NDP.

The idea of a merger between the two parties has always been out there but hasn’t been taken seriously since the 1990s says Dr. David Moscrop, a political scientist with UBC.

But as for a coalition, he says you won’t see Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau discussing the topic until the election arrives.

“I suspect they’ll hold the line until the election. No party wants to commit fully, enthusiastically to a coalition position if they think they can maybe eke out a win without it. Because then you’re stuck in a position where you’ve made a deal, you’ve made promises and you’d have to walk that back and of course nobody wants that.”

He says both men believe their parties have realistic chances of coming out on top in October and until that possibility no longer exists, we won’t hear much about the idea from them.

“On election night, it could be a very different thing. Because all of a sudden there is this allure because there is a potential Prime Ministership for one of them and some pretty good cabinet spots for the other party.”

But once the ballots are counted, he says things could progress in that direction very quickly.

“You can imagine maybe a coalition even though the Liberals have waved it off and the NDP is sort of open to it. If you get an election night where a coalition means Justin Trudeau becomes Prime Minister, you might see that story change very, very quickly.”

Moscrop has a suggestion for voters.

“Now is a really good time for Canadians to become familiar with the role of the Governor General because come October, it might be a very important one to understand.”

Canada goes to the polls, October 19.