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Is a coalition the path to a majority?

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh unleashed a bit of an election tizzy this week when he said the New Democrats would work with any other party to keep avoid a Conservative government (we assume he meant the Liberals and not the People’s Party of Canada).

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer jumped on this right away linking the NDP bogeyman to Enemy No. 1, the result of which, of course, will lead to the ruination of the country … or words to that effect. The dire prediction plays well to the Conservative base, but that’s about it. A coalition would spell doom for the Conservatives.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau was backed into a corner and had to deflect with a cheezy line about how the best way to avoid a coalition is to elect a Liberal. He should be more accommodating because it’s looking more and more like the path to his continued prime ministership rolls through Singh’s front yard.

Even if the Conservatives win the most seats but without a majority, Trudeau, backed by Singh and the NDP, or the Greens, or the Bloc, or independents, or all, could remain prime minister.

Singh, on the other hand, is either smart as a fox or has the luck of the Irish. With his popularity surging after both the English and French language debates, Singh has likely won the fight for third place … ironically with about the same percentage of the vote as in 2015. By suggesting he’s open to a coalition with the Liberals, he’s telling voters that a vote for the NDP doesn’t necessarily mean a Conservative government.

Our system is based on majority rule. The latest Angus Reid poll puts Conservative support at 33 per cent, Liberal support at 29 per cent, and NDP support at 19 per cent. What then, is so wrong with two parties teaming up to govern when they, combined, represent 48 per cent of voters? If the Greens, with eight per cent support, we would have a governing coalition that truly represents a majority of Canadians.

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