Last week, NDP MP Nathan Cullen told the Georgia Straight that his party would be interested in forming a coalition government with the Liberals in the event that the Conservatives win only a plurality of the seats in the House of Commons in the upcoming federal election.
Soon after we published those comments, the national media jumped all over the story, even though Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was already on record as stating that he was "unequivocally opposed" to the idea.
In any case, Trudeau had the opportunity today (July 23) to further clarify his position and he did so.
“A formal coalition is out of the question,” Trudeau said at a news conference in Winnipeg, according to the National Post. “There are a number of issues on which the Liberal party and the NDP disagree on a quite a fundamental level.”
(One of those issues might be Bill C-51, which the Liberals supported after amendments and the NDP opposed.)
However, as Cullen told the Straight, Trudeau could still find himself under pressure to join a coalition if it's the only way to replace the Harper government without another election.
“If Trudeau’s willing to turn to Liberal supporters and say, ‘My dislike of the NDP is greater than my dislike of the Conservatives,’ then let him make the argument,” the Skeena–Bulkley Valley MP said last week. “But it makes no sense to me.”