Wednesday, May 30, 2007


It would appear the Conservatives have gone to the well once too often. I can’t seem to find anything positive in the press today about the new attacks ads, in fact the reviews aren’t kind:
National Post:

There comes a point where the kick-me fun of mocking Mr. Dion becomes a public confirmation of Conservative mean-spiritedness. The latest attack ad campaign could be the sound of that line being crossed.

But the launch began badly yesterday. At an event to showcase the TV and radio commercials, those boneheaded wizards of Conservative communication banned TV cameras and radio microphones from the room. Head-scratching all round at that call, as angry network crews left Conservative campaign headquarters without the visuals to sell their story at news meetings.
But blasting Stephane Dion's "puppet-on-a-string" leadership as the culprit smacks of cheapshot desperation.

Montreal Gazette:

But David Taras, an expert in political communication at the University of Calgary, doubts whether the ads will have much impact on Canadians as they fire up their barbecues for the summer.
"It's not like people go to bed at night thinking about Senate reform," he said. "I get the sense they're barking up the wrong tree."
Even worse, the ads could elicit a backlash from Canadians, who have become accustomed to U.S.-style attack ads, but might recoil from a relentlessly negative strategy, Taras said.

Kitchener Record:
The Conservative party's decision to run TV attack ads across Canada to discredit opposition leader Stephane Dion showed mindless arrogance, a total lack of respect for Parliament and the system we are governed by, and a total lack of respect for Canadians. An election campaign is the only time we should have to endure such shabby behaviour.

Once again, Harper’s political tin ear has failed to signal him. Sometimes lauded for his “go for the jugular” approach, that mentality can also be Harper’s undoing. Admittedly, the first set of ads were effective, but the Tory braintrust can’t seem to understand the idea of diminished returns. Canadians will tolerate, even respond to negative ads, but the sheer volume isn’t attractive.
If the Tories were smart, rolling in disposable cash, they would have launched a positive ad campaign. Speak to the achievements, the direction, flesh out Harper as personable. Those type of ads would be fresh, primarily because we haven’t seen anything positive to date. Attacking Dion, AGAIN, on a fairly pedestrian topic, starts to paint the sender in the bad light, while simultaneously garnering sympathy for the target.

Most of the media have done the collective yawn today, and those that have commented are hardly supportive. I suspect Canadians will react in the same way, with the possibility of blowback.


Anonymous said...

Harper would have had to approve the ads. His hatred is so vile he's lost focus.

Harper is not a leader - good leaders don't need to resort to this nonsense. He's like a kid in the school yard playing big bully with a gang behind him.

I pity him for his sickness.

Anonymous said...

Mike Duffy has that same I watched him last nite interviewing the new liberal premier of PEI ..he could hardly contain his hatred...It showed so much...maybe he should let his hatred go as it is now good for his health...I was going to send him an email but thought better of it and he had enough stress with his partisan hatred.

Scott Tribe said...

The new Young Liberal ads on the other hand, are quite funny and take the right tact - humour - in going after the Conservatives

sassy said...

I agree with Scott
I ran across JJ’s post about the new Young Liberal ads (there are three on them) earlier today at Unrepentant Old Hippie

They are miles ahead of what the CPC attempted yesterday!

Canadian Tar Heel said...


When it comes to the game of Canadian politicking (e.g., polls, ads, rhetoric, etc.) ... I love this blog !

knb said...

It's good to see they got some exposure on MSM.

Who cares about how the NDP and con's react, they got some good air time.

BTW, could someone spike Brad Lavignes coffee with some ritalin or something? Yikes!

Gayle said...

"If the Tories were smart, rolling in disposable cash, they would have launched a positive ad campaign. Speak to the achievements, the direction, flesh out Harper as personable. Those type of ads would be fresh, primarily because we haven’t seen anything positive to date."

Shh, don't give them any ideas...

Mind you, they would have to come up with something positive in the first place.

Steve V said...

"Mind you, they would have to come up with something positive in the first place."

Considering the entire new Conservative Party is predicated on negativity and Liberal hatred, I doubt they could do it.

knb said...

Liberal hatred

That's really true isn't it? I think it's given rise to so much ugly behaviour everywhere.

To be honest, I'm surprised at my own visceral reaction against the con's, but it's there.

Not that anyone cares, but I'm not a person who normally entertains emotions on that side of the spectrum. I tend to look for and find good.

In this case, I searched, I tried, I found none.

sassy said...

knb – Harper’s Liberal hatred

Sorry for repeating myself but if you have the time, I suggest the 28 May video TVO, The Agenda

Part of the panel discussion addresses Harpers obsessive hatred for anything Liberal.

Not to fret about your reaction to the recent The Cons. are masters at bringing out the worst in everyone.

Steve V said...

It's hard to be fair when there is no sense of healthy, honest debate. The entire agenda is callous calculation, the discourse reduces everything to a us vs them mentality and there is an underlying mean current.

Some of the Conservatives are good people, but those with the real control are engaged in an unprecedented propaganda campaign that always appeals to the lowest common denominator. It's all smoke and mirrors, you can't take anything at face value. Transparently obvious, the tactics rely on apathy and misinformation to confuse. Goverance has become a game, which is why my hostility grows.

ottlib said...

When I was working for a Liberal MP I had occasion to campaign with her during two elections.

My job was also on the line you see. And I always campaigned for free after the regular working day in case some mindless troll, Biff I looking in your direction, wants to accuse me of campaigning on company time.

Anyway, I digress. During the campaigns I could always tell who the Reformers were. They were the angry ones, full of hatred and totally lacking in class. In one instance I was at the door with my candidate, a petite women, when a big hulking Reform type got in her face and began shouting at her, using language not suitable in polite company. I actually put myself between her and him and got her out of there, him cursing and swearing at us the whole time. To her credit my candidate just let it run off of her without any problems. She continued the candidate canvas as if nothing untoward has happened.

At any rate, he was the extreme but he was not the exception. Every Reformer we met, which thankfully was not many, showed the same hatred, lack of class and lack of basic manners. Contrast that to the folks who stated they would be supporting the other parties. They told us they could not support the Liberals, but they were polite about it and many even wished my candidate good luck.

To conclude my little story. This guy went on his little profane diatribe on a warm early summer Saturday afternoon. All of his neighbours were outside doing their things and they all heard him. The upshot was every one of them who heard him expressed support for my candidate and they all accepted signs. By the time we left that street his house was surrounded by a half-dozen Liberal signs. I am certain that each time he came out his front door for the next month, his blood-pressure must have gone up to dangerous levels.

When ever I see Mr. Baird, Mr. Harper, Mr. Hill, Mr. Van Loan and I read all of the BS from the Conservative trolls on these blogs I am reminded of that lout that beautiful Saturday afternoon. These people really do hate Liberals.

And knb, I can understand your feelings. It is difficult to be hated, abused and treated with total disrespect by people and not want to visit the same on them. Turning the other cheek has always been difficult.

However, as that day demonstrated that kind of behaviour does come with a price and it is only a matter of time before what happened on that street, with regard to this asshole's neighbours, begins to happen on a country wide scale.

Steve V said...


The Reformers had their slogan issues, but in my exposure to the hardcore loyalists, it all started with anger and the Liberals were the lightning rod. Uniting people through a common enemy, how inspiring.

knb said...

Sassy, Steve and ottlib, thank you.

It's one thing when you are a kid to be faced with this, quite another at this stage. You kind of think you have things in check, then BAM...

It's tough to know what to with that.

I appreciate all of your thoughts. I'm darned if I'm going to give in to the vile, because if I do, it has just spread by one more person. Oh, I'll get angry and probably say/write things I'll regret, but overall, hatred cannot become the motivation of a nation.

Give me kick if you see me fall into it, :).

Steve V said...

Disgust is different from hatred isn't it?