Mulcair has shown a welcome willingness to work with a minority Liberal Party government post-October 19 so as to do two things: work together without the need for a formal coalition agreement between the LPC and NDP, and to establish a commission to examine the best alternatives to be presented to Canadians to replace the first past the post system, not just the modified proportional representation system.
Here’s the reported willingness to support confidence votes (without a formal coalition government) if the Liberal Party gets the most votes as between the LPC and NDP, and Trudeau becomes prime minister of a minority government:
With the strong possibility of a minority Parliament resulting from the Oct. 19 vote, the NDP says in its platform document that it would work with other federalist parties through informal or appropriate stable arrangements to end Stephen Harper’s “lost decade.”
And here is the report of his willingness to appoint a commission to examine the best alternatives to be passed into law within a short space of time, so as to replace the archaic FPTP system (making this 2015 election the last one we will have under the FPTP system):
Included in their platform, called “Building the Canada of our Dreams,” is a plan to reform the political system and “make every vote count.” The NDP is promising that, if elected, it will introduce a system of voting based on mixed-member proportional representation. That would create a Parliament composed of MPs elected in larger ridings than currently exist, plus those nominated by parties based on the proportion of the vote they received during an election.
Although proportional representation has long been NDP policy, this is the first time the party has said it would create a task force made up of members of all parties that would decide the best model for this type of democracy – and that it would be done within the first mandate.
Kudos to Mulcair for letting the Canadian voters know ahead of time that he will work in a very practical way, once the Harper government is replaced (through a Harper resignation if the Tories get fewer seats than either the LPC or NDP, or through a vote of no confidence in a Harper minority’s first Throne Speech).
These two flexible proposals ensure that a minority LPC or NDP government will be able to function after October 20, and that we are definitely going to get meaningful electoral reform and other democratic improvements to our Parliament.
As Mulcair said, we have a lot of work to do to repair the lost opportunities of the Harper “lost decade”.