WATCH ABOVE: NDP open to forming coalition government with Liberals. Chief political correspondent Tom Clark reports.
OTTAWA — The “C word” many tire of or avoid altogether during election campaigns doesn’t scare the federal NDP leader.
“Don’t forget, we’re the ones who made it a priority in 2008 to put the coalition idea on the table,” Tom Mulcair said in an interview on The West Block with Tom Clark. “We wrote it and signed it and the Liberals walked away from it.”
WATCH: In a year-end interview, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says a coalition is not off the table for 2015
While keeping the option on the table for 2015, the leader won’t yet commit to it, keeping his focus on the ultimate prize.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Mulcair said. “We’re going to be gunning for a majority NDP government. We’ve got a great team.”
Though he might have confidence in his team, it’s smaller than the one Jack Layton helped usher into Parliament following the NDP’s unprecedented election showing in May 2011.
WATCH: Extended interview with Tom Mulcair
When the NDP first formed official Opposition, the party occupied 103 seats. Mulcair has seen a net loss of eight members, mostly through retirement, and defection.
Just last week, Ontario MP Glenn Thibeault sideswiped Mulcair in deciding to leave Ottawa to run for the Ontario Liberals — in a seat vacated by a retiring NDP MLA.
“People make their own choices. Glenn’s going to have to explain that one to his former colleagues and frankly to the people of Sudbury,” Mulcair said. “You’re going to have to ask Mr. Thibeault what that was all about because I have been talking to him as recently as 36 hours before, discussing political strategy for him.”