The New Democratic Party is tired of being the conscience of the nation but not its government, and leader Jack Layton wants to change that. He has always promoted coalitions with other parties but the Liberals, aside from the stunt performed by Stéphane Dion, have been very coy.
Now, however, it looks like the window of opportunity for the Liberals to initiate a coalition with the NDP from a position of strength is rapidly closing. A Liberal strategist told me last week that "even Ed Broadbent, one of the strongest promoters of the coalition, seems to be having second thoughts. He believes that the chaos in the Liberal party is pushing many of our voters towards them."
And the NDP is increasingly interested in that section of the Liberal electorate. A source close to Layton told me last week that "one of our major sources for ideas are Liberal supporters." The strategist explained that many people advising the Liberals are "giving them a lot of ideas they don't know what to do with. We take these ideas and work with them ourselves."