All things being equal, and with added evidence emerging, I'd say today's development represents the best possible scenario for the Liberals moving forward. Of note, the initial reaction in the media seems to view the Liberals as the "big winners", just to take it out of the partisan realm.
The reason, well it's pretty obvious. Putting aside the 11 people in denial online, the overwhelming condemnation of the NDP is striking. There's just no credible way to rationalize the contradictions, this was the core NDP rallying cry and it has been obliterated. The moves reeks of weakness, that fact alone works for me from the Liberal perspective. Watching the NDP cling to the most paltry of EI reforms, as though central to their cause, well, reasonable people see it for what it is, enough said. Beyond that, the NDP now have to deal with Harper, and it's hard for me to see that relationship bearing much fruit, when you take the "strain" into the totality. At best it's a net neutral, more probable it starts to do damage.
If you're going to let the government survive this week, seems a reach to see another 180 degree turn in a couple weeks when the Liberals vote non-confidence. The NDP will work to avoid an election in the coming weeks, and not much is required to assure their support.
Assuming we have some breathing room, it's really hard to see the Liberal downside. I said this before the Sudbury caucus, that I preferred to see us build "up a lather" in Parliament, get the government on the defensive for a few weeks, before we entertained an election. If we would have went now, so be it, I still have some optimism, but the "chess" play was a slow buildup, rather than an instanteous pull the plug. If all these new "relationships" mean no fall election, then it is a question of competiting realities. Yes, the economy probably improves, although nothing seismic is on the horizon for quite some time. Yes, Harper gets the Olympic glow and his personal election "scenario" want (which is concerning), but he doesn't operate in isolation. If the Liberals are truly free of this "prop up" albatross which is dragging down another leader, then I see plenty of latitude to present a strong, confident front. I'm quite comfortable listening to others defend their support, if that's the case, while we simply oppose with impunity.
If it all unravels in October, that gets us over this hump and its temporary quality more assured. If it's a prolonged awkward dance with the socialists and the separatists, then we build and build without the constant defensive posture, which has blunted us for years now. One important factor, the Conservatives have put all their cards on this coalition argument, the effectiveness of that line is quickly evaporating, a few weeks, it will enter the realm of the ridiculous and that potential hammer will be gone. No matter the timeframe, there will come a TIME where others say "enough is enough" with these guys, or the Conservatives short curcuit themselves- whatever, the Liberals are a secondary consideration in terms of blame now.
It's all good. Maybe by accident, clearly this wasn't the primary plan in Sudbury, but I'll take it.