Rachel Notley doesn't rule out coalition talks after Alberta's election

New Democratic Party Leader Rachel Notley says she would consider participating in a coalition if the PCs fail to win a majority in the Alberta provincial election on May 5.

Left-leaning party would consider working with Wildrose in minority situation

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley evoked the possibility of taking part in some kind of coalition arrangement in the event the PCs fail to win a majority. (CBC)

New Democratic Party leader Rachel Notley has raised the possibility of participating in a coalition government if the PCs fail to win a majority in the Alberta provincial election on May 5.

Speaking on CBC Radio's alberta@noon program, Notley responded to a question from a listener about possible co-operation with other like-minded parties like the Liberals, Greens and the Alberta Party.

"Once the election has been completed, and the will of Albertans is reflected in the makeup in the legislature, if we're in a minority position my party will do whatever it can to negotiate the best kind of policies for the greatest number of Albertans that we think we can, and will work with whatever party is necessary in order to achieve those goals," said Notley. 

Pressed by host Donna McElligott on the question, Notley said that could include participating in a coalition arrangement.

"We would consider a post-election arrangement in the event we find ourselves in a minority government," said Notley.

Notley also said that arrangement could include working with the Wildrose Party, a formation on the political right of the governing PCs. 

Issue-by-issue discussion

"Well, you know stranger things have happened," she said while laughing, adding "it's an issue-by-issue discussion."

"Certainly when the Wildrose was in opposition, before half of them crossed to the government, we did actually have a reasonably good working relationship with them. That's about doing the job you're elected to do, which is to try as hard as you can to make government work in between elections. I think your door needs to be open to everyone, always guided by the principles that you ran on." she said.

However, the NDP leader also noted the party rank and file has twice voted against formal co-operation with other political formations in the province.

"I've been on the record since 2009 as having an open door for co-operation," said interim Liberal leader David Swann Monday. "It's almost impossible, in my view, to work in a co-operative way with so little time. I want to get down to that after the election. But clearly the NDP are not interested in any kind of co-operation."

According to recent polling, the NDP holds a healthy lead in Edmonton and is gaining in other parts of the province. 

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