With polls suggesting Canada is headed for a minority Parliament, Justin Trudeau has made it clear that he will not support a government led by Stephen Harper.
No way. No how.
But the Liberal leader was less clear Tuesday when it came to the notion of installing a government led by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
Trudeau was asked in Montreal if, in the event his party finishes second or third, he could vote for another Conservative speech from the throne.
The Liberal leader said that he has spent his political career fighting against "Mr. Harper's narrow and meaner" view of Canada.
"There are no circumstances in which I would support Stephen Harper to continue being prime minister of this country," he said, sparking applause from Liberal supporters.
But Trudeau largely ducked a follow-up asking if, in the event Liberals finish third and the NDP second, he might help Mulcair become prime minister.
"One of the nice things about elections is that it's Canadians who get to decide who sits in their Parliament," he said. "The Liberal party has always been open, in minority situations, to working with other members of the House to pass legislation that serves Canadians."
The Liberal leader then said he was confident about his team's chances on Oct. 19.
Another reporter asked if there is a "scenario at all" where he would work with the NDP, if the opportunity presents itself. Trudeau replied that he does not believe the next government will be a minority.
"But Canada has had minority governments before and Parliamentarians elected by Canadians to represent their communities, to serve their communities, have always been able to ensure that Parliament functions to greater or lesser degrees," he said.
"And I have every bit of confidence in Canadians making the right choice in this election."
Trudeau has ruled out a Liberal-NDP coalition if the vote results in a minority Parliament.
Mulcair: Trudeau can't think for himself
Trudeau and Mulcair have exchanged a number of shots this campaign that could make working together after the election an uncomfortable prospect.
In fact, some of the feistiest moments in the Globe and Mail leaders' debate last Thursday were between the two rivals.
Trudeau hammered Mulcair's pledge to balance the budget, and highlighted past remarks he made on bulk water exports while serving as Quebec's environment minister. Liberals later released a video suggesting Mulcair hasn't been telling the truth on the water issue.
In turn, Mulcair ripped Trudeau's plan to run deficits, and even took a shot at the Liberal leader's past admission to smoking marijuana.
On Tuesday, Mulcair essentially told reporters in Moncton, N.B. that the Liberal leader is incapable of thinking for himself, while bashing the support Trudeau's received from former prime minister Paul Martin.
"It actually matters who is advising Justin Trudeau because we've learned that he'll do or say whatever his advisers tell him to, even if it means saying two completely different things in the same sentence," he said.
Harper asked if he'll stick around
At an event in Winnipeg, a reporter asked Harper if would lead his party for four more years if he wins a majority government.
"I always say whatever verdict the people deliver, we will respect the verdict," he said. "And obviously if I am elected, I intend to serve."
The Tory leader also warned that Canada's economy would be in jeopardy if either of his rivals win government next month.
"This, friends, is the world we live in. It is difficult, it is dangerous, it is an unstable global economy," he said. "The wrong decisions at the national level on taxes, spending and deficits will cause real economic damage everywhere."
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