The federal Tories will yank their anti-Liberal television attack ads off Quebec's French-language airwaves if there's a provincial election.
The party told The Canadian Press today that that it does not want to interfere with any provincial campaign
But the Tories deny they're pulling the three ads out of concern that they might be aiding the PQ.
They say they've held extensive focus groups that demonstrate viewers clearly distinguish an attack on federal Liberals from one on Quebec Liberal Premier Jean Charest.
They say they would temporarily shelve the ads only because they'll be less effective during a provincial election, when Quebecers are focused on provincial politics.
I'm pretty sure the "extensive focus groups" mirrored the media reaction to these tasteless, dishonest ads. Does anyone believe Harper wasn't privy to the Quebec election call? I have a feeling Charest may have mentioned it last week during the big presser. Why start an ad campaign with that knowledge? This excuse acts as though the Tories were surprised, come on! They just started running these ads, with FULL KNOWLEDGE of Charest's plans. Please.
This "decision" has nothing to do with taking the high road, it's simple recognition that the ads are having a net negative effect. In addition, the provincial Liberals may have expressed their unease at attaching their political prospects with gutter politics. Pulling the ads, under the guise of this election, allow the Tories to save face, without acknowledging the failure.