UNBC political science lecturer Jason Morris is watching the newly formed coalition between the federal Liberals and NDP very closely.
Both parties made the merger official yesterday (Tuesday), which will keep Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in power until 2025 – the next time an election will be held in our country.
What it means is the NDP will vote with the minority Liberals on future confidence votes and budgets.
In addition, New Democrats leader Jagmeet Singh mentioned they will continue to hold the Liberals to account to deliver national dental care for children 12, national pharmacare, an affordable housing plan, and quicker action on climate change.
However, Morris is questioning why the move was made now.
“It makes me wonder if it was even necessary since the NDP has pretty much supported Liberal votes anyways.
He added there is often a public misconception on the strength minority governments have a thought process that needs to change in Canada.
“The reality is in recent political history they tend to have a duration that’s equal to a majority parliament.”
Morris is also of the opinion the NDP still has an identity crisis.
“Historically, the NDP is a party that has debated whether it is a bonafide political party that wants to hold the reigns of power or if it’s more of a movement that is trying to affect positive change according to their values.”
“There is no doubt the NDP is hoping to be able to have great advancements done in our social programs like the national drug plan and dentistry coverage for medicare that hasn’t really been expanded since it started in 1966.”
Furthermore, while the coalition won’t change much in the short term for northern residents, the long-term impact might be a little more significant.
“We could see a continuing or a worsening of polarization on how we do politics. It could be viewed as the Conservatives versus the Liberal-NDP kind of like how we have the Republicans and the Democrats in the United States or us versus them or left versus right,” added Morris.
While Morris believes a move such as this could unite the Conservatives who now have a true opposition, agreements such as this can also be a double-edged sword.
“All the same, these agreements can last as long as they need to last for the Liberals or the NDP as soon as it seems to be not in their favour anymore. The Liberals could call an election and the NDP could back out.”
The agreement is drawing dire concerns from Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty calling it a “blank cheque” for Trudeau.
Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen stated the coalition will be a disaster for the Canadian economy.