“How NDP, Liberals can best oust Harper: Hepburn” (The Toronto Star)

Ontario NDP Leader Bob Rae (left) and Premier David Peterson during a leaders' debate in August, 1990.

(The Toronto Star):

While opinion surveys show the NDP in the lead, the ruling Conservatives are still widely predicted at this stage to win the most seats, given how each parties’ bases of voter support fall. That would mean Stephen Harper will remain prime minister [of a minority government] after the Oct. 19 election.

In that happens, what will the NDP and Liberals do?

Will Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau put aside their differences and work together to defeat the Harper government in Parliament at the first possible chance?

Most political pundits are promoting the idea that the NDP and Liberals would form a coalition government, with MPs from both parties serving as cabinet ministers.

It’s an easy scenario to paint, but the reality is that it’s fraught with pitfalls, jealousies and potential public resistance. In addition, Trudeau says he has no interest in a coalition and Mulcair doesn’t have very much more enthusiasm.

Rather than trying to form a troublesome coalition, though, the best way for the NDP and Liberals to oust Harper would be to work together under a written accord with a two-year expiration date.

To see how such an accord can work, voters only need to look at the 1985 ‘Liberal-NDP Accord’ in Ontario. […] The two-year accord was declared a success by Liberal and NDP politicians, as well as business and community leaders.

If the current election ends up in a minority Conservative government, the NDP and Liberals should copy the lessons from the 1985 Ontario accord experience – and unceremoniously boot Harper out of the Prime Minister’s Office the first chance they get.

Full column here