Liberal leader Justin Trudeau may not be ready to talk a Liberal-NDP coalition government, but Liberal supporter Stephen Bishop hopes his party leader warms to the idea if a Conservative minority is formed come Oct. 19.
“The Liberals and the NDP have a lot of the same ideas,” said Bishop, who lives in the Kildonan-St. Paul riding.
“It just comes down to a matter of scale on many of the issues,” he said.
NDP leader Thomas Mulcair threw his hat into the coalition ring back in February, telling reporters he’s willing to partner with Trudeau and the Liberals if it means relieving Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives of power.
Trudeau shot down the idea of holding hands with the NDP at the time and told a Winnipeg crowd in July he feels both parties differ quite fundamentally on key issues.
One of those discrepancies is each party’s stance on Bill C-51, the government’s so called anti-terrorism law. The NDP voted against it and would like to see abolished completely. The Liberals, on the other hand, voted in favour of it and would amend the current legislation.
Both parties would see to improvements in health care and address the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada, as well as restoring Canada Post’s home delivery system and balancing the budget in 2016.
“I think they’d be able to agree on many of the key issues and they’d be able to push an agenda that works for Canadians,” Bishop said.
Aaron Goss, a staunch NDP supporter from Winnipeg Centre, stands with Bishop in hoping Trudeau changes his tune.
“We just simply cannot allow Stephen Harper to lead this country anymore,” Goss said.
“Although the Liberals have rebuffed advances, we can’t have another four more years of Harper. We can’t afford it,” he said.
The Toronto Star reported in August the mammoth 78-day election process – the longest election campaign in modern history – would approach $500 million in costs. A typical 37-day campaign, they said, costs roughly $375 million.
Elections are normally held every four years. Harper asked Governor General David Johnston to dissolve parliament early, telling the National Post his rivals were already campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime and not their respective party’s, as is customary with election campaigns.
Meanwhile, the election will come with 30 new seats in the House of Commons after the 2012 federal electoral redistribution increased the number of seats to 338.
Three seats have been added in Quebec, six in both Alberta and British Columbia and 15 in Ontario based on a rise in population in those provinces.
As it stands now, the Harper government holds 159 of the current 308 seats, followed by the NDP with 95. The Liberals currently sit at 36.
This is one in a series of federal election campaign stories completed by Journalism Major students in Red River College’s Creative Communications program. Click here to read more of their articles.