In a move that shocked many — including both parties’ own candidates — the Liberal Party officially announced an informal deal with the New Democratic Party (NDP) to keep Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in power until 2025.
Per Global News, Trudeau said that this deal will offer “predictability and stability” to Canadians during what he called “uncertain times.”
During a press conference, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called this move “a starting point” and further stated that his party is entering this deal with “eyes-wide-open — if they fall short on what we’ve agreed to, the deal doesn’t continue.”
In exchange, the Liberals have promised to act on dental care, pharmacare, affordable housing, policies to target climate change along with other causes that the NDP have advocated for.
Liberal MPP of Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro notes that neither she, nor her colleagues were aware that discussions were being had regarding a potential deal, however, Sgro points out that it may have been a “big relief” for some.
“When you’re in a minority parliament, you have to have at the back of your mind that a vote of ‘no confidence’ could come at any time.”
Sgro echoes Trudeau’s sentiments regarding “stability for Canadians,” noting that the country has dealt with the pandemic, the Trucker Convoy, and is now enveloped with the war in Ukraine. “Canadians at least don’t have to worry about a sudden election when we need everybody’s full attention on governing Canada and doing everything we can to help Ukrainians.”
Others reacted with disapproval and vexation, notably from the Conservative side with Interim leader Candice Bergen telling CBC News that the deal is a “desperate cling to power” and further stated that the Conservatives are fighting against an NDP-Liberal majority government. “The NDP and the Liberals were meeting in secret and they cooked up a backroom deal that will see Justin Trudeau get the majority power that he tried desperately to get last fall and failed to get.”
With this agreement in tow, does this seem like an opportunistic move by both parties? Denis M. Pilon, an associate professor in the department of political science, believes that since “no single party has a majority of seats, everything sounds pretty democratic. If the Liberals follow through on what they have promised the NDP, then the NDP will be in a position to claim to voters in the next election that they made a significant difference in terms of the political outcomes of this parliament. So both could benefit.
“We won’t know until time passes.”
Based on history, however, Robert J. Drummond, professor emeritus in the department of politics, feels that the Liberals will “benefit in the immediate future.” Both Drummond and Pilon note a similar agreement between the Liberals and NDP in 1985, which led to the Liberals winning a majority government in 1987. Pilon did note, however, that this support was seen as “a crucial stepping stone” to NDP candidate Bob Rae becoming Premier of Ontario in 1990.
While both parties’ primary targets are centred on ushering in new programs for Canadians and keeping the Liberals in parliament, careful steps will have to be taken by both parties in order to gain any sort of political advantage.