It seem that a few bloggers are suggesting that the NDP should now strike some sort of "official cooperation" deal, or even a coalition.
Unfortunately, this is one of those silly ideas that appear smart before one looks at the facts. It's one of those ideas that look good according to the Left/Right spectrum idea. However, the political spectrum does not work all of the time.
Note, before I go on, that Canada has the Single Member Plurality (SMP) electoral system, which does not really allow for cooperation. I'd prefer a more proportional electoral system, but since we currently live with the SMP system, we have no choice but to work with it.
Let's look at what has happened to the NDP every time we cooperate with the Liberals.
1962: Conservative Minority: Liberals get 99 seats, NDP gets 19. NDP helps Liberals.
1963: Liberal Minority: Liberals get 128 seats, NDP gets 17. NDP helps Liberals.
1965: Liberal Minority: Liberals get 131 seats, NDP gets 21. NDP helps Liberals.
1968: Liberal Majority: Liberals get 154 seats, NDP gets 22.
1979: Conservative Minority: Liberals get 114 seats, NDP gets 26. NDP helps Liberals.
1980: Liberal Majority: Liberals get 147 seats, NDP gets 32.
1984: Conservative Majority: Liberals get 40 seats, NDP gets 30. NDP helps Liberals.
1988: Conservative Majority: Liberals get 83 seats, NDP get 43. NDP helps Liberals, note that Liberals got more seats.
1993: Liberal Majority: Liberals get 177 seats, NDP gets 9. Liberals proceed with one of the most anti-progressive governments ever, with massive cuts to programs. NDP goes into gutter.
The key trend here is that every time the NDP helps the Liberals, the Liberals become strong again and the NDP goes nowhere. That is why the Liberals are so upset with us right now: they see us as a "get out of jail free card", and this time, we ain't cooperating.
Therefore, to avoid repeating history, the NDP must avoid official cooperation with the Liberals. This is why our current strategy, that of being a free agent, getting what Canadians want with whatever party will cooperate, is the best way that the NDP can go. The thing is, in order to attract new voters, the NDP must appear to be an independent party and not an appendage of some other. The NDP must not be aiming to be Canada's conscience (it's easy for Pinocchio to squish Jiminy Cricket), but its governmental brain.
But it time for us to all of us to face one fact: Harper is not the great Satan. If there is one thing that this Conservative Government has shown, it is that Harper is not the total doom of Canada. Therefore it is time to stop buying into this line: it's usefulness has come and gone. And it is this line that most people who want official cooperation between the NDP and Liberals use.
To be honest, the thought of "Fossil" Dion being Prime Minister of Canada scares me more than Harper and his non-existent "hidden agenda", and I don't want my party to be a stepping stone for Dion to get there.