It would appear, the Conservatives have reconciled themselves to the fact that attack ads aren't in the cards:
Stephen Harper is so concerned about the economy that the Conservatives are not launching any negative ads aimed at Michael Ignatieff, according to one well-placed Tory source. Although the Tories have lots of money and ammunition (example: Mr. Ignatieff's flip-flop allowing his Newfoundland MPs to vote against the budget), the Prime Minister doesn't want to appear to be playing political games in the midst of the economic crisis.As a side note, somewhat comical that even the Conservative knee jerk sleaze machine understands the public mood, while the NDP looks more partisan than ever, with their badly timed ads.
"The government is focused on projecting itself as serious about the economy. ... Anything that could make the government seem focused on other things [like an attack ad campaign] is being avoided," the source said.
You can't take Jane Taber as gospel truth, but given the genuine reality of the times, it's pretty safe to assume we won't see any overt attacks on Ignatieff in the near term. Understanding the financial constraints, it would still be wise for the Liberals to consider some "introductory" ads for Ignatieff, nothing outlandish, a small buy, that can use free media to our advantage (last year, the Conservatives announced new ads, the media played them ad nauseum, but they never made it to the airwaves in any real way, HELLO).
Apart from the possibility of our own campaign, I have little doubt, that as things cool down in Ottawa, Ignatieff will begin more high profile tours of the country. Right now, there is clearly a measure of curiosity with our new leader, everything Ignatieff does tends to make it into the news. I say, we should capitalize on the honeymoon, and get Ignatieff out there, everywhere and anywhere, while we still have the media's attention. If there is a pause in Conservative gutter politics, we can fill the void with a positive presentation, further cement a sense that the Liberals are on the move, with a new direction. A trip into Bloc heartland would bring plenty of attention, electoral chances aside. Rural British Columbia, the Conservative bunker on the prairies, all the unusual locations, a hint of bold, a sense that Liberals are reaching out, rather than realistic "winning" opportunities.