Tactical Lessons, Part II: The Coalition

By Jared Wesley on Dec 11, 2008

What about the coalition?  What can we learn, tactically, from their performance?

Lesson 1:  Never interrupt the spin cycle.

The first major mistake made by coalition forces:  not giving the media enough time to frame the entire crisis in terms of Harper's hubris.  Anyone who read the fiscal update knew its political purpose.  Yet, instead of letting the news cycle run its course, the opposition announced its plans to form a coalition less than three hours after the fiscal update.  (The fiscal update was announced at 4pm, and the coalition announced its intentions at 7pm.)  Not only did "coalition talk" dominate the rest of the cycle, leaving the Tories 'off the hook' for their F.U.  On top of this, the fact that the three opposition leaders were able to reach an agreement so quickly fed into the Conservatives' counterspin (it was a backroom deal, months in the offing).

Lesson 2:  Check your address book.

Sending conference call coordinates to the "wrong Duncan"?  Sure, Jack didn't say anything he hadn't already made crystal clear during the campaign.  And yes, the Tories deserve some blame for taping and broadcasting the discussion.  But the damage was already done. 

Lesson 3:  Mind your photo-op.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why Layton and Dion would agree to be photographed, on stage (Canadian flag or not), signing an agreement with Gilles Duceppe.  For starters, if Duceppe really wasn't part of the coalition, why is he signing documents?  Second, do you really need to film the Tories campaign ads for them?  Someone please explain this choice to me.  There had to be a reason.

Lesson 4:  Buy a Sony.

Enough has been said about Dion's cell-phone-camera-quality response to Harper's national address.  If you're looking to run a national campaign, buy a Sony Camcorder.  (I hear the Boxing Day Sale at Best Buy is starting early.)

Lesson 5:  It's all in a name.

This is a minor quibble, but I was a little miffed that the opposition didn't come up with a jazzier name for their "team" than simply "coalition."  Granted, many of the really catchy terms were taken.   (‘Axis' and ‘Alliance' come to mind.)  But even something as simple as the "majority coalition" or "coalition of Canadians" may have helped direct the spin.

Lesson 6:  Avoid the Senate.

I'm not sure who gave Elizabeth May the idea that she was in line for a Senate seat.  (Perhaps it was May, herself.)   Even more troubling, I'm not sure who gave her the notion to broadcast this idea.  Canadians are lukewarm - at very best - when it comes to Senate appointments.  And many in Western Canada are even colder to the idea.  (Given their recent musings about midnight appointments, the Conservatives could use this advice, as well.)

Lesson 7:  Ask permission.

I'd suggest it's a good idea to ask people - or at least inform them - before announcing their presence in an Economic Advisory Council.  The media confusion surrounding the McKenna and Manley rejections was only matched by that of Mr. Romanow's wife, who suggested that her husband had never even heard that a coalition existed.


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What can we learn from the tactics of the coalition? Lots... For starters, the canadian voting public did NOT vote for 3 parties, of which one wants nothing to do with Canada, thus the coalition is in essence, illegal. I don't recall even seeing the Bloq or any rep as a choice! To top it all off, if the coalition was put in place, Quebec (Bloq party) was going to get another 1.3 Billion $$$. I believe that backroom deals involving money to overthrow a government is highly illegal and is tantamount to treason. Bribes, backroom deals that immediately occured after the election process... Stupid is what stupid does... And there's a lot of voters that don't have the brains to figure it out!

The current party, PC's, have done more in less time than the Liberals have done since 1992, when the Creten got in. They have raised the amount of income to all Canadians, cut the GST, and above all, have provided the best plan Canada could have had when the US blew up the world economy. We are the envy of the world, will only feel a pinch recession wise, and we will prevail, thanks to Harper and his PC government.

How soon we forget the scandals and the lies of the Liberals. The best one was "I'll get rid of the GST." The lie was so blatant that the voting public actually fell for it. But there's more... 6 Billion $ of HRDC scandal money (GONE!) The gun registry, 3 billion $$$ and climbing!, Adscam! Hundreds of millions and a few people in jail... The list goes on folks, and now they went to bed with a SEPERATIST party and clown who in a statement during the election campaign stated that "The NDP has a record of balancing the budget" What budget? They have never been in office since the day I was born, 1961! Layton's on crack, Dion has done way too much acid, and the Bloq... Sell the province, put up a big wall with razor wire, before it's too late to get a decent price.

The PC's have been working diligently on the fastest budget ever produced, and the rest of the parties are not even working in the locals that they were voted in. All they're doing is crying!

How many voters out there selected 3 parties to run the Canadian government? Put up your hands!!!!! If you did, your vote does not count.. Because, as we all know, it is cancelled by elections canada.

The Cowboy....

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