Liberal-NDP coalition agreement signed, post 2

December 1, 2008

I admit I’m impressed. Dion, Layton and Duceppe had a very good news conference. Dion got the reporters to laugh (with him, not at him this time) and Layton was inspiring when he talked about how this is how politicians should work together.

The ‘coalition’ (of the willing?) is going to have good TV for a few hours. The pundits and minor MPs (hello Scott Reid) the Conservatives have sent on the political shows can’t compete with images of the three opposition leaders making common cause. They need to get out with their big guns, but do it intelligently. Stephen Harper wasn’t too good in Question Period (he can’t get rid of that damned sneer apparently), they need to provide better clips of him than the one when he addresses the Speaker as “Mr. Prime Minister”.

Dec 2 UPDATE: The letters from the opposition leaders and agreement are available here on the Liberal website and here on the NDP’s.

See also: Liberal-NDP coalition agreement signed

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Liberal-NDP coalition agreement signed

December 1, 2008

I’ve been spending as much time watching CBC Newsworld as I could this afternoon, with the indulgence of my boss and colleagues. Whatever will happen in the next week, the day’s events will make history.

An agreement has just been signed between the Liberal, New Democratic Party and Bloc Quebecois allowing a Liberal-NDP Cabinet with the support of the Bloc. Contingent upon the Conservatives losing power, of course… The agreement would guarantee a stable government until at least June, 2010.

Kudos to CBC reporter Rosemary Barton, who was able to translate as she read from the French copy coalition agreement she was given by the liberal flacks, before the English version reached her.

To spice it up further, the Conservatives have released the transcript of a telephone conversation involving NDP leader Jack Layton, prompting accusations of Watergate-like phone tapping.

Whatever the Conservatives had in mind with last week’s stange economic statement, it failed miserably. I’m the first one to be surprised at seeing their strategy fall apart. The PR moves of the next few days will need to be consistent with clear communication objectives if they are to regain the initiative. Their first reflex – “it’s a coup!” – does seems to be somewhat of a gaffe. The Conservative pundits I’ve seen so far look somewhat befuddled and don’t seem to have clear speaking points. Is there a problem with the Conservative spin machine?

See also: Liberal-NDP coalition agreement signed, post 2