Earlier this week Jack Layton indicated that he is willing to consider a coalition with the Liberals if it would stop another Conservative Government. The announcement produces a number of positive resluts for the NDP. It demonstrates to those considering voting strategically not to rule out the NDP. A vote other than for the Liberals is not necessarily a vote for the Conservatives. It also throws another wrench into the Liberal campaign as Dion has been left to explain the course of action he would take as a result of an election loss. This is a scenario that the Opposition Leader should not have to publicly consider during an election campaign. Harper has warned people looking to jump ship on the Liberal party that it shows how close the NDP and Liberals are. For a Liberal voter looking to park their vote elsewhere this could be seen as a plus.
Could it work? Stephane Dion has spent time explaining that the two parties are not a good match because he is in favour of taxing pollution to pay for campaign promisses. The NDP are against taxing pollution and would prefer corporate tax hikes instead. On the surface this would be an unreconsilable stalement. The only scenario that could support a Dion lead coalition would be a Conservative Minority government where the Liberals, NDP and possibly Green Party have more seats than the Conservatives and Bloc combined. Dion only has one shot at being PM before being tossed from the party leadership. He would be willing to make any concesstions that were needed to allow him to become Prime Minister. Layton would have no problem kicking him around the same way Harper has bulldozed through Liberal ideology over the last year. Dion would be PM in title only while Layton bossed him around in a desperate attempt to keep the Liberals in power. It is not a likly scenario. It would be entertaining.