“There are no circumstances” under which the Liberals would prop up Harper should the Tories emerge with only a narrow plurality of seats, Trudeau said Tuesday in his strongest statements to date on the possibility of a Tory minority.Which means Trudeau's answers to the two questions I'd raised now look to be as follows:
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has long maintained that his goal is to ensure Harper doesn’t win government. He has also said he would be willing to work with the Liberals to ensure that happens.Although he has said he would be “willing to work with others,” Trudeau has already rejected the notion of any formal coalitions, including with the NDP.On Tuesday, he sidestepped the question of whether he would support a NDP minority.
A. Will you commit to voting non-confidence in Stephen Harper at the earliest opportunity?
Not exactly. Trudeau's promise is to not vote confidence in a Harper government - but that's different from committing to vote non-confidence, leaving open the possibility the Libs might again simply sit on their hands rather than voting one way or the other. But it's at least something more than Trudeau had offered before.
But then we get to...
B. Will you commit to voting confidence in a government led by the leader of a current opposition party at the earliest opportunity?
Not at all. And this is just as crucial a decision point as the first question: if the Libs fail to offer support for an alternative government, then we could well end up in the second election campaign the Cons seem to be hoping for - with Harper continuing to hold power on a caretaker basis for lack of anybody able to take power.
Which is to say even if one takes him at his ever-changing word, Trudeau has a long way to go before committing to the basic process needed to ensure a change in government.