Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More About The Messenger

Wow, what a shocker, the Conservatives are running another round of negative attack ads, this time in Atlantic Canada. Nevermind, that Peter MacKay seems to have a problem with the truth, I think the real story here is a cementing theme, which doesn't help the Conservatives in the least.

Liberal MP Robert Thibault made this comment, in reaction to this latest installment of "Liberals bad", which is actually telling:
"You expect that type of thing from them," West Nova MP Robert Thibault, a Liberal, said in a phone interview Monday.

"When you don’t have any ideas yourself, you attack the other people with the ideas."

If memory serves, these attack ads on The Green Shift, which have ran around the country at various times, represents the 5th or 6th seperate occasion, wherein the Conservatives have launched a negative campaign since Dion took the helm. For those keeping score at home, by my calculations the amount of positive ads, speaking to a Conservative vision and/or accomplishments, currently stands at ZERO. That's right, for all of Harper's pontifications about the litany of "results", the unparalled union of our federation, the "leading the world" nonsense, not ONE positive ad, nothing, nada, zilch. Given the Conservatives monetary advantages, the omission is entirely curious, but really a testament to what this government is all about.

Where are the ads, outlining Mr. Baird's "tough" plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The rhetoric says the Conservatives have a better plan, how about a compare and contrast ad, how about something to show Canadians that you are credible? Nope, can't have that, instead we are subjected to simple fear mongering and mean spirited ads. Surely, all those Conservative apologists must wonder why their party braintrust doesn't extoll the virtues of their tremendous contribution to this debate? Crickets.

Here's the good news, and a lesson which the Conservatives can't seem to grasp. The constant negativity, the perpetual attacks, have turned off many voters. The pollsters have consistently shown that the Conservatives are losing key demograpics, people they desperately need, if they are to expand their support. The percentage of women, across all age groups, which view the Conservatives as too partisan, mean and nasty, has gone up over the last year. Thinking strategically, it is almost astounding that the supposed chess masters continue along the same path, in essence reinforcing their own negative perceptions with the public. How this approach translates to expanding support escapes me, if anything the evidence suggest people want something else.

Where are the "vision" ads, where are the "good government" ads, why can't this government seem to offer anything but attacks? Maybe, it's because the reality of this government, they don't really have anything to offer anybody, apart from vote driven policies, the entire new Conservative Party predicated on what they dislike, what they "hate", rather than what they stand for. It is really an indication of a party that really stands for nothing, it's mainly nothing more than a reactionary entity. In the end, negativity is all they have, Harper more suited for leader of the opposition, than leader of men. Run the ads, and reinforce your own shortcomings, it really does says more about the messenger than anything else.


Blues Clair said...

Also, interesting that the media didn't pay much attention to these attack ads, considering how much ink was spilt on every Conservative ad release in the past. It was almost met with a shrug of the shoulders, and that goes for the blogshpere as well... the Tories shtick is getting old.

Like George Bush said "There's an old saying in Tennessee..."

Steve V said...

I wonder if they are the same bad ads they ran in Ontario? I mean, do they still have geeky virgins, dressed in yellow running around? Oily?

A Eliz. said...

I thought they were radio ads?

Steve V said...


I think they are radio ads, but they like to have the yellow shirts out too, just for an added layer of ridiculousness.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Conservatives are doing four curious things at the same time.
1. Attack ads that are turning off more voters tha they gain.
2. Constant campaigning with 10 per centers that again are creating a build up of resentment.
3. Sending gobs of money and resources on targeted ridings while taking their base for granted and ignoring "safe" seats that could leave them vulnerable to any party that wants to target some of those.
4. Sneaking through policies that will affect most people negatively and hiding reports that don't agree with their views. How many people in this country are aware that just after [parliament let out they allowed 7 mining companies to go back to the 17th century and use lakes and rivers, some salmon bearing ones as toxic tailings ponds in remote areas?

Combine all this with a fear of letting their true agenda out of the bag because they know it will not fly east of Saskatchewan and no other major policies or talking points, other than what Bush tells him and it is no wonder the best stratagy they can come up with is a campaign on leadership. The Liberals so far are the only ones counterng, correctly with national policies but it will be interesting to see which of a dozen different avenues of attack Harper as left open that the other opposition parties will take as well.

Karen said...

They are radio ads like the ones they ran in Ontario.

According to a commenter at my place who lives out East and was nice enough to listen for me, it's the Talk radio ad, but a new version it seems.

Not only do they turn people off, that format only appeals to their base, which is weird.

I wonder if they are losing support there? Not the BT types, but PC's?

ottlib said...

I am wondering if they are doing this to keep their base happy.

If the BTs are an accurate representation of the Conservative base then I can understand the need to keep doing this. It has been my experience that these folks are happiest when the Conservatives are attacking the Liberals.

Perhaps the plan is to keep the base energized and when the election finally happens they will begin to produce the "positive" ads to bring over those outside of that base.

Perhaps the Conservatives believe those who do not pay that close attention to politics would fall for such a strategy.

I guess we will have to wait and see.

JimmE said...

Cute take on this in Kady O'Malley's blog:


Anonymous said...

"Where are the "vision" ads, where are the "good government" ads, why can't this government seem to offer anything but attacks?"

Hint. Go see Warren Kinsella's blog. Because attack adds work. It's keeping McCain in the game down south.

Warren Kinsella, Liberal attack dog, knows what he's talking about.

Steve V said...


They don't work when that's all you do. And, the evidence clearly suggests they are turning people off with their negativity. McCain has run a slew of positive ads too, it isn't this one dimensional pitbull routine we see with Harper.

Demosthenes said...

The ads aren't just aimed at the general public, who by and large shrug it off as "just politicians doing their politician thing."

It's aimed at--has always been aimed at--Liberals themselves, to try to keep them fighting each other and unsure of their leader. They'll never vote Conservative, so positive ads are pointless, but they'll sure as hell try to kick out the leader if the Conservatives convince them he's "not up for the job."

Oh, and it's also to keep the base donating. You don't give money to a party that's succeeding. You give money to a party that's going to stop someone else from mucking things up.