Unless they somehow manage to win a long-shot majority, the NDP finishing ahead of the Liberals will not be good for a progressive agenda in Canada.
My reasoning is simple, based on the evidence that the Liberals lean towards the Cons on many issues.
Assuming there’s no majority, if the order of finish is:
1-Con 2-NDP 3-Lib
1-NDP 2/3 Con or Lib
then the Con+Lib total will control Parliament.
Paradoxically, by finishing behind the Liberals (& assuming no one with a majority), the NDP may have more leverage in Parliament.
If the order of finish is: 1-Lib 2/3 Con or NDP, then the Libs would need NDP support on at least some pieces of legislation. One hopes.
I still think the best order of finish (assuming there’s no majority) for a progressive agenda will be: 1-Con 2-Lib 3-NDP.
This would put a clear choice in front of Trudeau: Leader of Opposition facing Harper, or Prime Minister supported by the NDP. It would be a sharp watershed moment for the Liberal Party.
The NDP is a long way from a majority right now. But, Alberta.