Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper kicked-off the 2011 Federal Election campaign by accusing the opposition parties of having a hidden agenda to form a coalition government in the event of another Conservative minority parliament.
Unless Canadians elect a stable national government, Mr. Ignatieff will form a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois.
– Stephen Harper
Harper warns of hidden coalition agenda, Ignatieff denies it, Duceppe is willing,
and Layton would be Prime Minister of a minority government
We will not enter a coalition with other federalist parties. In our system, coalitions are a legitimate constitutional option. However, I believe that issue-by-issue collaboration with other parties is the best way for minority Parliaments to function.
– Micheal Ignatieff
However, Ignateiff’s statement does not rule out a coalition if the Conservatives win the most number of seats, but not a majority.
Meanwhile, NDP leader Jack Layton is actively running to become Prime Minister of a minority government, especially if the election produces another Conservative minority parliament:
This time we have to do something different. This time, it’s not enough to keep Stephen Harper from his majority, this time we have to replace him …
I’m asking for a mandate to lead the next government. And if that turns out to be a minority parliament, as Prime Minister you can count on me to reach out to all members of Parliament who believe in building a better Canada.
And together we will provide an alternative to a Harper-led government — whether its on a case-by-case basis as has been done in the last five years, or more stable arrangements — I will work with the mandate you give me.
– Jack Layton
A coalition government could have the support of the Bloc Québécois, according to Gilles Duceppe who remains open to the option.
If they propose something like that, we look if it is in the best interests of Quebec.
– Gilles Duceppe
- Statement by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (March 27, 2011)