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Harper Tried NDP Deal
02/05/2006

Today's Toronto Star reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper sought to make a 2-year deal with the NDP, to ensure a secure mandate.

Apparently, the NDP turned it down claiming it would be "political suicide".

Just after the election, I was one of many bloggers suggesting that the two parties should work out just such a deal. I laid out some suggested conditions that the NDP might ask for.

Based on the offer reported in the Star, it looks like the Conservatives offered less than what I would have accepted if I were advising the NDP. On the other hand, the Conservatives seem to be justified in feeling that their position is safe for the time being. They didn't need to offer the NDP enough to say yes, and the NDP didn't need to say yes to what was being offered. (With some irony, the offer was maintenance of the "Layton budget" that the NDP won for supporting the Liberals last year.)

Of course, none of this means that the NDP and Conservatives won't be working together. They will be, on a case-by-case basis. There was just no overpowering need for a formal arrangement.


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