[In this piece, Chantal Hébert seems to be juggling mixed messages. But there is information here I haven't found elsewhere in the Anglo press. -jlt]
Montreal - Arguing that replacing Stephen Harper with a more progressive prime minister was an absolute priority, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois set aside some signature policies to strike a coalition pact with the Liberals last month.
|Polls show that Ignatieff's accession to the leadership raised public acceptance of the coalition.|
Jack Layton agreed to stand down on his call to end the Canadian mission in Kandahar and Gilles Duceppe agreed to take no for an answer on a host of Bloc-specific agenda items, including allowing Quebec's language law to take precedence over the federal Official Languages Act.
The arrival of Michael Ignatieff as leader did not dampen their public enthusiasm for a Liberal-led coalition government. In the week leading up to the budget, Layton and Duceppe have continued to talk up that prospect.
Their thinking presumably is that if, as is widely expected, Ignatieff defaults on the coalition next week, they will go after him with all guns blazing. But they might end up shooting blanks.
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