According to this Toronto Sun article, some Liberals, like Justin Trudeau, are open to a Liberal-NDP merger. However, Bob Rae is having none of the merger talk – for now. From the Liberal perspective, Bob Rae is right and Justin Trudeau is wrong.
Though it doesn’t seem like it from the afterglow of their greatest electoral triumph ever, the NDP has limited growth potential from here on. In all probability, this will be their high water mark. The NDP ideology is too left wing to be seriously embraced by mainstream Canada, and the party has serious internal divisions between its Quebec and English Canada wings that can only been held together by a charismatic leader. And that charismatic leader is now dead.
It is likely that the new leader will not be as capable as Jack Layton and it is also possible that the party will fracture along federalist-separatist lines. All of which are reasons why a Liberal-NDP merger is the best outcome from the NDP’s perspective. It is their best – really their only – shot at power. The Liberals will bring with them the crucial factor of respectability that the dippers need to form a government.
Though it doesn’t seem like it in the shadow of their greatest electoral catastrophe ever - the Liberals should be able to recover from the debased state that they currently find themselves in. If the story of the federal PC party tells us anything it is that the brand name of an ancient political party can have an amazing resiliency. Tying themselves to explicit socialists will only tarnish the Liberal name further.
From the Conservative perspective, I think Stephen Harper is right to want a two-party system. An NDP-Liberal merger will push right-wing Liberals (and there are more of them than you think) straight into the arms of the Conservatives. And faced with a clear choice between left and right – without the chameleon-like Liberals to muddy the waters - the electorate will much more often pull the conservative lever than the socialist lever, thus making the Conservative Party dominant in a way that the Liberal Party once was.