For a while there, it looked as if the Conservatives might end up being even less interested in cooperation with the opposition parties than the Liberals were. In today's Throne Speech, though, there were some indications that there are a few places where Harper is willing to put forth bits of someone else's agenda to gain stronger support for bits of his. As this NDP press release points out, Layton was consulted beforehand, which resulted in the following wording being included:
In collaboration with the provinces and territories, employers and community non-profit organizations, [this government] will also encourage the creation of new child care spaces.On health care:
The Government will support and enable innovative approaches to health care delivery consistent with the principles of a universally accessible and equitable public health care system embodied in the Canada Health Act.On electoral reform:
Building on the work begun in the last Parliament, this Government will seek to involve parliamentarians and citizens in examining the challenges facing Canada's electoral system and democratic institutions.On support for seniors and the environment:
[This government] will work to improve the security of seniors. It will take measures to achieve tangible improvements in our environment, including reductions in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.Some of the wording is wimpy, but it's telling what was included and what was entirely left out (employment insurance reform and First Nations issues, which Layton also negotiated with Harper about). This may well be an indication of what's on the table and what's not. It looks like the Bloc Québécois may have gotten a few carrots, too--the most noteworthy being the line about the role for Quebec in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
I'm still not expecting anything good to come out of this Parliament apart from a timeout for the Liberals, but I'm not displeased.