I believe the coalition question has taken a positive turn, from the Liberal perspective. Ignatieff has offered a clear stand, delivered with confident conviction, enough to force questions to the back burner, more lingering than "dogged" at the very least. Where questions remain, are at the feet of Harper, who hasn't fully explained his own historical record. Apologists argue 2004 is ancient history, but I would submit Harper himself has volunteered the rehash with his own relentless focus on these type of "arrangements". He is talking separatists, socialists, most seats wins, so it DEMANDS the re-visit, not even really a choice.
Ducepee is running around Quebec waving this letter, a touch of poetic irony for Conservatives who love to point at a less meaningful, and subsequently rebuffed, Ignatieff signature as the big "gotcha". I believe Duceppe will haunt Harper throughout this campaign. More importantly, Harper's unilateral decision to make this a big issue will demand some attention in a debate, wherein Duceppe will summarily destory Harper on this question. In addition, today Jack Layton has jumped into the debate, offering his recollections of Harper in 2004:
"What Mr. Harper was intending to do was absolutely crystal clear to me. He was attempting to become Prime Minister even though he had not received the most seats in the House. And, that letter was signed to illustrate such an option is legitimate in Canadian constitutional traditions. There is no question about it, I was in the meetings where this was discussed...
"Mr. Harper PROPOSED this letter, it was his proposal, signed by the other leaders"
Attempting to become Prime Minister, DESPITE not having the most seats, a clear, irrefutable example of naked hypocrisy, a practical epiphany that obliterates Harper's entire argument. Harper was prepared to do what he attacks now, we now have his two partners in full agreement, the letter as almost independent verifier. That Layton offers the letter was Harper's idea, just a delicious, bursting with flavour cherry.
Harper has nothing here, the facts contradict every single one of his tenets. Rather than Ignatieff being challenged on hypotheticals, here we have two clear cases, one man prepared to undo the election results, the other PASSED on his clearer than clear shot at becoming Prime Minister. Fair to say Ignatieff was strategic, he was, but the record is the record, and Harper's is an utter logical disaster now. Yes Scare-Mongair, when the facts aren't your friend, try to scare the shit out of them and hope nobody notices.