This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The "anything can happen" camp in both opposition parties will resist any talk of co-operation, but if you live in the world of probability rather than possibility, sober conclusions must be entertained if we are to truly rid Canada of a government I personally consider a scourge. A divided opposition is Harper’s trump card, it is the dynamic that allows an almost justified arrogance, simply take care of the base and Conservative prospects are guaranteed, the "rest" an irrelevant afterthought. A superficial review of issue after issue showing majority opposition to policies- yet little electoral recourse- proof positive that the Conservative equation is forever favourable. Look elsewhere, approval ratings at these levels amount to devastation, in Canada, it represents stable majority government, due to inefficient opposition.
Trudeau is the latest to openly muse about what may be required to defeat these Conservatives in the next election. His sentiment really no different that what we are hearing from certain quarters in the NDP, there are forces in both parties open to some level of co-operation, degree yet to be entirely fleshed out. Watching how the MP’s from both parties GENERALLY interact- partisan constructs aside- there is a fairly positive mood, which is cultivated primarily by a sense of common "enemy". Liberals, NDP, Green, doesn’t matter, we are all concerned about the government changing the environmental review process for instance, from my perspective the dangerous dimensions of application trump any tribal concern. In other words, this government is so offensive, on so many issues, as well as the toxic climate they cultivate, they will galvanize opposition. I firmly believe a Harper majority, their unbridled power, is beginning to act like a cold shower, it is putting the true damage into undeniable focus, which will allow for decisions beyond narrow self interest and arbitrary lines that pale in comparison.
Differences will always remain, fundamental philosophical departures, but surely a party with a "frontrunner" who sounds like a Liberal, and another with a former NDP leader at the helm, aren’t that far apart that no rapprochement can be had. When faced with the reality of what another Harper mandate might mean for the country we desire, big picture epiphany will be reached, it is happening one member at a time, as we continually see the consequences of this particular reign.
I’m not sure what manifestation of co-operation will unfold, but I will remain open to ever proposal, because while there are fundamental disagreements, there is also a common realization of what the alternative means. There is a way to rid ourselves of Harper in 2015, there is reasonable path, but it will require brave thinking that puts common interest above self interest.