In national news — with an election campaign likely to begin on Saturday and the Conservatives enjoying a healthy lead in the polls, talks inevitably surface once again about the possibility of the formation of a coalition government. This idea will emerge in full force near the last days of an election only if the combined support of the Liberals and NDP is greater than that of the Conservatives. Harper will use the idea as ammunition against other parties as he did successfully in 2008, despite the fact other countries like Germany, Australia, and the UK have them and are functioning. For their part, Jack Layton of the NDP is not skittish about publicly discussing a coalition, but Michael Ignatieff of the Liberals sidesteps the question, insisting he is intent on forming a Liberal government. However, it is hard to ignore his mantra in 2008 — ‘a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition’. The idea of a coalition is one that will be prevalent throughout the campaign.