News reports originating from the CBC’s Keith Boag claim a deal was worked out between Liberal leader Stéphane Dion and NDP Leader Jack Layton that would see them form a coalition government for two and a half years.
According to the CBC, the NDP would get 25 per cent of the cabinet portfolios. There wouldn’t be a deputy prime minister, however, and the NDP would not get the finance portfolio—thank God for for small mercies. The Bloc would not be an official member of the coalition, but would apparently support it.
We also hear of dissension in Liberal ranks over who would lead the coalition. Certainly, it will be a Grit, but clearly Liberal leadership candidates are uncomfortable with the prospect of Dion as prime minister.
Apparently, there are Liberals who question Dion’s moral authority to make this deal when he is set to be replaced next May. More cynical Grits reportedly fear Dion will renege on his promise to resign.
Michael Ignatieff, who reportedly has the support of more than 50 of the 77 members of the Liberal caucus, seems to be the main stumbling block. His reluctance to endorse a deal would likely be enough to derail it. However, his concerns would allegedly be set aside if Dion relinquished control to him.