Some Liberal MPs are voicing their discontent with the Liberal-NDP confidence and supply agreement, saying that they were not consulted on the matter and that the party may be drifting too far left.
One Liberal MP, who spoke to the Hill Times anonymously, said that the party was already too far left before the agreement, saying that the party has officially "joined this ultra-left."
The agreement, announced last week, will allow the Liberals to remain in power until 2025, so long as they commit to working for NDP priorities such as dental care and pharmacare.
The Hill Times reports that the deal came as a surprise to many in the party, adding that they were upset that they were not so much as consulted on the agreement, while the NDP caucus was able to vote on it.
Many Liberals were only made aware of the decision following a 90-minute caucus meeting where they were given time to as questions. Some, however, say they were not convinced of the rationale.
While MPs said that they weren't against the idea of dental per se, they said that it was the tab that Canadians are being forced to rack up that was the main concern.
Some Liberals voiced concerns over spending, noting that Canada just exited its most costly years ever, and that commitments to spend more may not be wise.
"There’s the irony that this was kept from members of caucus until it actually was a fait accompli," said a second MP. "And the irony here is, even though if the details of that nature were kept from our caucus, NDP MPs actually got to have a say on it. So that juxtaposition, in my opinion, is very, very troubling. But that’s how our government has been behaving since 2015."
MPs are most concerned about the drop in Liberal support since 2015. Both the 2019 and 2021 elections saw the Liberals win two minorities, each with a decrease in votes compared in the last.
MPs say that going too far left may convince some middle-of-the-road Canadians to vote for the Conservatives.
"Canadians in general are middle of the road people," said one MP.
"The next election is going to be a change election anyways. So, it could very well be that even though I have no doubt that Mr. Poilievre [the presumed front-runner in the leadership election] is a rabid Conservative, even people who aren't necessarily ideological will say, 'You know what, it’s time that we gave the Conservatives a chance.'
"But truthfully, just so you know, how I’m approaching things: I’m probably the only Liberal who was pining for Jean [Charest] to win, because I think that’s better for the country. It’s not good for Liberals, but it’s better for the country, if all of our parties don’t go to the extreme that we’ve been seeing," the MP told the Hill Times.
Another MP said that "The more you move to the left, the more you start to lose some blue Liberals," said another MP. "That’s been a big problem for Liberals since 2015."