Canadian citizens collateral victims of ruthless Conservative PR

December 5, 2008

Well, the idea of a coalition government seems to be all but over. It’s been killed by incompetence within the Liberal PR team, a leader trying to improvise his way out of a crisis and an absolutely ruthless Conservative flack team.

I like ruthlessness. It’s when your opponent is flinching that you need to hit him the hardest. But we’re not talking about boxing on the Wii here. This is the national political scene and Canadian citizens are taking the hits.

The Prime Minister lies in a national address to the Canadian people. Some of our MPs are calling others ‘traitors’. The ruling party attempts to bludgeon the people into compliance with ads designed to propagate fear among a population already worried about the economic situation.

Ugly PR. Bad politics.

Further reading:  Conservative propaganda won, I lost: Dion

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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


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


Conservative propaganda won, I lost: Dion

October 20, 2008

Liberal leader Stéphane Dion just announced he will step down as soon as another leader is selected.

Interesting tidbit: he says Canadians bought into the image Conservative advertising has been trying to impose. “Trying to change this image would be an enormous effort and risk for my party.”

True enough. The Dion brand has huge negative perceptions attached to it. Time for the Liberals to put somebody else on the market.


Netroots and Netroops – post 2

September 2, 2008

Prof Elmer reports on a conversation between Liberal leader Stéphane Dion and the party bloggers. Looks like Dion is mobilizing his Netroops.

Also see: Netroots and Netroops.


Liberals put Adscam behind them – now for the bad news…

August 30, 2008

This little bit (pdf warning) from the latest Angus Reid poll seems to be confirming that the federal Liberals have put Adscam behind them. Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion’s “Honesty and trustworthiness” rating is at 30%, to Prime minister Harper’s 31%. If Liberals should not have to worry too much about their past relationship with shady admen when they go door-to-door next week, they have their leader to thank for this. Also, Canadians are telling Angus Reid that when it comes to environment issues, they trust Mr. Dion a lot more (45%) than Mr. Harper (27%) – all Dion’s doing (he’s been campaigning on this since the leadership race).

But that’s all the good news the Liberals are going to get from this poll.

Approval ratings: Harper 32%, Duceppe 39% (Qc only), Layton 30%, May 21%, Dion 11%. The approval rating is like Homer Simpson falling off a cliff: every time you go down a position (“doh!”), it hurts more and more. Dion is flat down at the bottom, hurting.

The campaign starts in a few days. Let’s see how these numbers move.


The Liberals’ leaky blabbers strike again

August 7, 2008

This from this morning’s Globe:

“At the last strategy meeting a couple of months ago, one insider said Mr. Dion spent more than an hour trying to explain his environmental plan, which was so complicated even his top aides had trouble understanding it. Some Liberals feel that if it’s too difficult to sell in 30 seconds at the door, voters will tune out.”

What is it with Liberal “strategists”, can’t they keep their mouth shut? Have they all been infected with the “ahah, I know something you don’t” virus? No blabber control.

UPDATE: Okay, I’ve got 22 hits on this post in the last 7 hours, which is way more than my little PR blog usually gets (except for this post of course). Who’s telling their friends to come and see, angry Liberals or giggling Tories? Don’t be shy to post comments, I approve anything that isn’t offensive (and some that is slightly offensive) and I don’t check your IP addresses.