Below, another Canadian gets word of the election:
I remember that last time an incumbent government ran primarily on fear, little in the way of vision or positive undertones. Apparently, the Conservatives have forgotten how they rose to power and seem quite content to shift places, raising the possibility of similar outcomes. Watching Harper kick off his campaign yesterday with an almost surly disposition, he looked like a guy on the verge of losing it all, rather than one with poll wind at his back. Harper chose election eve "hair on fire" rhetoric for Day 1 of his campaign, and in so doing ended up stumbling out of the block. By contrast, calm, cool, confident, Ignatieff offered as tight a coalition rebuttal as possible, while Harper was left to defend his clear historical hypocrisy.
Reviewing the messaging, it does seem to appear the entire Conservative argument is predicated on fear. Parties conspiring to do untold harm, the economy in jeopardy, apparently waves of refugees on our shores, basically Canadians you risk it all unless you vote for the Conservatives. The problem, even the positive messaging seems to get lost in the overwhelming negative undercurrent. Now is not the time for change, so much is at stake if you dare flirt with the Liberals. Against an upstart, never tested party, possibly effective, but when fighting an opponent who's chief weakness just might be their all to known brand, the hysterics might get a bit hollow. Throw in an Ignatieff which is no lightweight, but any available "success in life" standards, the job of demonizing might not work, once people actually contrast the fear mongering with the flesh and blood. I note here, already indications from some quarters that Ignatieff will easily outpace low expectations.
A bit of a tired cliche, but there is an element of fear vs hope here, contrast the thrusts and it becomes readily apparent. The Liberals seem to be running a duel campaign of Harper ills and their alternatives, dare I say they have some semblance of a "vision". I don't see it with the Conservatives, at least their war room in all the pre-amble, not to mention the toe stubbed launch, seems to prefer fear mongering, gathering storm clouds everywhere.
I will never get ahead of myself, campaigns are forever and this one is still basically in utero. But, I must say, I'm encouraged by the early frames, particularly when one chief fear card is turning into a burning brown bag at Harper's doorstep. Fear, it's all they have apparently... Good.