Jamey Heath, co-manager of Nathan Cullen’s campaign, sets his candidate’s outlook against those of Thomas Mulcair and Brian Topp.
This is the nub. Mulcair and Topp both support coalition governments with Liberals. There must, therefore, be sufficient ground among progressive voters to cooperate, and that it’s not hara-kiri to try. The NDP won more seats in 2006 after doing a budget deal with Liberals in 2005. It won more seats again in 2011 after trying to make Stéphane Dion prime minister in 2008. Voters, especially those in Quebec, don’t punish cooperation. Recall the barking dogs that got nothing done.
So back to Lego. Each candidate who gets that the NDP changed in May recognizes, in different ways, the need to add another piece to form government: progressive Liberals. The bet that Mulcair and Topp ask New Democrats to make is that enough of them can be convinced to vote NDP before the next election to replace Harper. Cullen is more generous. He says if a coalition is the endgame, why not find ways to cooperate before the election as well as after? Because the progressive majority depends on Quebec and progressive Liberals, and should be used as soon as possible.