Ugly ads for an ugly choice

Nobody can go negative quite like the Liberals. The Conservatives had a laughable attempt earlier, but attack ads aren’t the best medium for attacking the use of attack ads.

Despite the hypocrisy, the Conservative ad was of course correct. The Liberals were bound to go negative; it’s understandable and necessary. Just as the Conservatives need to illuminate the failings of the Liberal government, the Liberals need to remind voters of just who Stephen Harper was before his summer BBQ makeover, and to make them question just how genuine his recent reformation has been.

Campy, over the top, and somewhat amusing, though for the most part unintentionally so. It’s been a winner for them in the past. This time, staunching the bleeding would be a victory.

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18 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 1:32 pm

    I’m watching the new batch of ads right now on the liberal website. They’re brutal.

  2. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 2:44 pm

    Brutal in what sense?

  3. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 2:50 pm

    In all senses, but especially in how there is little attempt to dovetail the negative message to actual policy, either Liberal or Conservative.

    I have now watched all of today’s ads. Some are laughable (seriously, I did not make this up. I’m not allowed to make things up), others will be effective (Washington Times). However, the Liberals hesitation to use attack ads early in the campaign has allowed Harper to inoculate himself through his daily policy roll outs. FOr most people these ads will not cause a change their personal ballot question from “is it time for a change/ corrupt Liberals?” to “is Stephen Harper too dangerous?”.

    Attack ads early in the campaign, dovetailed to policy would have been much more effective than these more blatant, personal alternatives.

  4. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 3:01 pm

    For most people these ads will not cause a change their personal ballot question from “is it time for a change/ corrupt Liberals?” to “is Stephen Harper too dangerous?”.

    Didn’t they pull the 2004 election out of their collective hat in the late days of the campaign by making that exact change in the ballot question?

  5. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 3:40 pm

    Yes, but in 2004 Harper was an easy target, and the Tories did not run an exceptional campaign. It is easy to paint your opponent as dangerous when you are working with an empty canvas. When the Tories out worked the Liberals before Christmas, I just assumed that the Liberals would come out strong after the break. Meanwhile, the Consevatives were able to paint their self-portrait. If these ads are ineffective, and I think they will be, we will see just how large a mistake the Liberal strategy of passivity in the first few weeks of December was.

  6. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 4:27 pm

    I’m not so sure. The desire for a palatable alternative has meant people were eager to take Harper’s new image at face value. The reminders of just what sort of man Stephen Harper has proven himself to be seem quite jarring when compared to the recent image he has crafted for himself over this campaign. I think the ads have the potential to shock a lot of people back to their senses.

  7. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Hey, the Libs took down one of the ads already. The “Harper wants to put soldiers in our cities. Soldiers in our cities!! Soldiers with guns. Etc” ad. It was among the weakest of the bunch. Soldiers may have been pleased about the prospects of cottage barracks under the soon to be announced Liberal plan, however.

  8. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 4:28 pm

    Wow, we just posted at exactly the same time. I hit enter to post, and saw yours after mine as soon as it loaded.

  9. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 4:29 pm

    I would imagine that implying that the Canadian Forces pose the threat of a military coup could spin badly for them.

  10. Anonymous said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 4:39 pm

    http://rickmercer.blogspot.com/

    Conservative Cabinet

  11. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 4:43 pm

    The Liberals should have released this instead of those ads.

  12. Patsy Stone said,

    Tuesday, 10 January 2006 at 6:06 pm

    I too rushed to liberal.ca to view the new “attack” ads. (I personally dislike the term “attack ad” – it sounds so kindergarten-ish, like we can’t critically see through fact from fiction on our own.) Anyways, these Liberal “attack ads” are so pathetic I laughed out loud while watching them. D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E – is what comes to mind. I think the ads make the Libs look like they’ve given up already and don’t have ideas of their own to run on. Whatever the outcome of the election, though, I do take comfort that the Libs are running scared. They’ve taken being in government for granted for way too long. Switching topics to the debate though, my favourite line of the night goes to Duceppe’s referring to Martin as “a walking democratic deficit”! Priceless.

  13. Gnomes said,

    Wednesday, 11 January 2006 at 11:33 am

    A little campy scare tactics never hurt anyone’s campaign, but with the backlash over the army ad in particular, I think it’s about time for Manatee to officially revise his outcome prediction.

  14. Gnomes said,

    Wednesday, 11 January 2006 at 12:04 pm

    By the way, did you see Mike Duffy tearing into, Liberal strategist John Duffy?

  15. O'Smiley said,

    Thursday, 12 January 2006 at 10:31 am

    What’s funny is that all of the ads that I have seen (I may not have seen all of them as I have been stranded out in the middle of no where for quite some time) are directed solely at Stephen Harper, making him out to be a scary monster who will declare martial law and sell Canada to the United States. They make very little mention of Conservative Policy. Some don’t even mention the Conservative Party much at all. It is really quite ridiculous. I’m somewhat glad that it all backfired in there face.

  16. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 12 January 2006 at 10:38 am

    Well, excluding the outrageous military one, the majority of ads actually do a decent job at demonstrating the sort of man Stephen Harper showed himself to be before he was running to be Prime Minister.

    The Conservative platform is at right angles to everything Harper endorsed before this campaign. It is ridiculous to me to trust such a dramatic and self-interested shift in ideology.

  17. Anonymous said,

    Saturday, 14 January 2006 at 2:40 pm

    If you think those ads are ugly check this out:

    Stephen Trump.

  18. Anonymous said,

    Sunday, 15 January 2006 at 2:36 pm

    Paul Martin… you’re fired!


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