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Political crisis 101: New Jersey governor vs. Canada’s prime minister

Watch above: Two politicians, two ways of managing a crisis—which will keep his political career afloat? The West Block’s panel discusses the different approaches.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s performance in the face of the bridge-traffic scandal stood in stark contrast to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s way of dealing with the Senate scandal. Two politicians, two ways of managing a crisis—which will keep his political career afloat?

Christie found out some of his staff had a serious lapse in judgement, did something beyond stupid and kept it all a secret from him. In response, he held a two-hour press conference during which he admitted that ultimately, he was responsible.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper found out some of his staff suffered a lapse in judgement, did something beyond stupid and kept it all from him. In response, Harper held no press conference and took no responsibility, placing the blame for the scandal squarely on the shoulders of his former chief of staff.

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Apology or no apology? Which strategy for managing a crisis works best?

Geoff Norquay, a veteran communications specialist with Earnscliffe Strategy Group, and Barry McLoughlin, president of McLoughlin Media sit down on The West Block with Tom Clark to discuss the different approaches.