It's hard to keep track, but if memory serves the new Conservative attack ads are the fifth installment. For those keeping score, the Conservatives have yet to release ONE positive ad, highlighting their supposed accomplishments, the record of good government. Apparently, the ads are set to run this weekend, during some high profile NFL games, among other placements.
The ads focus on Dion and his recent remarks on the GST. The ads are the typical amateurish stuff we have become accustomed to, with a healthy dose of negativism. The ads will re-inforce two themes- one, that Dion "is not a leader" and two, that the Conservatives are a mean-spirited bunch. When you look at what demographics the Conservatives need to improve in, particularly support amongst women, attack ads might not pay dividends. Pardon the lack of a link, but I remember some polling that showed women are less responsive to negative politics, in fact it can be a turnoff.
While the Conservatives did get some traction with their first set of attacks ads, the last couple rounds didn't seem to move the numbers, in any substantive way. I would argue that this pattern of pure negativism, without the accompanying positive message is a risky proposition. When you think about it, what a terrific opportunity for the Conservatives to release a series of ads, highlighting their very popular tax package, or their crime bill, etc, etc. Quite curious that this government never seems to have anything good to say, it's just a steady diet of anti-Dion, anti-Liberal smears. Then again, these "new" Conservatives are primarily a contrarian entity, light on ideas, most of their passion built around despising the Liberals.
I'll say it again, the Conservatives frame themselves, as much as the Liberals, with these typical ads, that get older with every new installment.