Monday, September 12, 2011

"No Us And Them, Just Us"

Worth noting, that prior to this "foreigners" debate in Ontario, the Liberals campaign slogan was already "Forward.Together". There was a reason for the theme, people appreciate the notion of all oars in the water toward a common goal. As well, there is a general sentiment that is sick and tired of divisions, bickering, people yearn for positive visions that speak to a sum greater than our parts. I thought the Liberals optical strategy was a sound one, and fortunately Tim Hudak has played right into that narrative, providing a concrete contrast which allows the Liberals to make the case:

In addition, the emphasis on working together for a common purpose, also elbows certain NDP messaging, who are championing positivity in politics. In other words, not only can the Liberals paint Hudak as divisive, negative in tone, they can also steal some NDP oxygen at the same time, which makes this issue- and the general themes surrounding- all the more crucial.

The Liberals already had a unilateral focus for their campaign, which I'm sure was based on some accurate reading of public mood, some fundamental contrast position that provided a potential attractive vision. The Progressive Conservatives have volunteered themselves in a bizarre move, they've decided to fight on this ground, seemingly unaware that they've highlighted a core thrust of their opponent. Your opponent wants to highlight "together", speaking to commonality for a brighter future, and one of your first campaign ads raises the spectre of differing classes of citizens, tries to pit certain groups against others for naked political ambitions? I'm sure the Liberal war room couldn't have dreamed of a more positive development...


sharonapple88 said...

To clamp down on the accusations of racism, Hudak's now angry about US workers stealing jobs from Ontarians. So, the perfect time to unleash something like this is after the anniversary of 9/11. The fact that Hudak is doubling down is making a bit nauseous about the situation. He probably doesn't care that he's acting exactly as the Liberals would like -- he must think something like this is a winner.

Unknown said...

"The Liberals already had a unilateral focus for their campaign ... based on some accurate reading of public mood, some fundamental contrast position ..."

You have just articulated why I have voted Green, NDP and Conservative (Progressive or otherwise) but never Liberal.

One big reason the Federal Liberal party has pretty much died in this country is because "policy by contrast and poll" (along with a saviour mentality, something you have written about) became all that the party was about.

The Ontario Liberals seem to want to walk off the same cliff, if your assessment of their campaign is correct (and certainly the sort of thing seen from some other well-known Liberals who blog would support you by their actions).

I find nothing much to like about that. Now, mind you, I don't much like what I'm seeing from the Ontario PCs either, because (quelle surprise!) the "Changebook" seems to playing from the same overscripted stage-managed "say what will sell" playbook.

When the votes are counted on October 6, it is quite possible that this behaviour by Team Red and Team Blue will have unleashed another Orange wave, because (again, quelle surprise) it looks like in and amongst all the focus group testing, push polling and war room antics on their side the Ontario NDP under Andrea Horwath might just actually be standing up for their principles even if it hurts. That I can respect.

Steve V said...


No offence, but that's laughable you actually think the NDP aren't doing the same thing. And, I've voted for them AND the Greens in the past as well. Every war room tries to find a narrative they think captures the public mood, that you actually differentiate on that score says more about your own anti-Lib bias than any FAIR read of reality.

sharonapple88 said...

Speaking of focus groups, what of the Ontario's NDP's stand on issues.

From the article:
"Horwath keeps her pitch tightly focused, rarely exceeding five minutes. She tells audiences, with disarming modesty, that she’s come here to heed them, not preach to them.

"But listening has its limitations. It can sound suspiciously like skating for someone who has been leader for two years and is heading into an election campaign.

"In Thessalon, when a group of local politicians seek a response to their grievances, Horwath offers sympathy but few solutions: “I don’t believe that I know the answers, and I don’t believe I actually have the insights unless I actually get them from people like you.”