Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Liberal ads released: Your Canada, or Harper's?

Two new television ads dropped from the Liberals this afternoon. I'm told the ad buy will be "substantial" but what that means, I don't know. It will be a relative term, no doubt; I don't think they could match the massive Conservative buy that has been going on for months. Hopefully they'll get some play, though.

There are two ads. Both are attack ads, although one is softer and also strikes a more positive tone. Talking about the economy, and how Harper's priorities differ from those of Canadians, it also puts Michael Ignatieff up front. Conservative commenters speculated the Liberals were hiding Ignatieff in the first round of ads; not anymore:

The second ad is more of a traditional attack ad, using undistorted facts to highlight Harper's abuse of power, from refusing to fire Bev Oda for misleading parliament and playing shenanigans with documents to proroguing parliament, laughing-off election law charges against his senior campaign staff and having the ego to demand the Government of Canada be re-branded "The Harper Government."

I think I like the second one, abuse of power, a bit better.
I do think though that putting Ignatieff out there more is important for two reasons. One, it shows we don't think we need to hide him. Two, with the negative perception of Ignatieff the Conservative ad buys have implanted, the only choice is to either accept the characterization or fight it. Give people a chance to see another Ignatieff.

The tagline seems to be "Is this your Canada, or Harper's?" A note on strategy here for a moment, because I think this is interesting. Both the Liberals and the Conservatives are putting Harper up front, but for very different reasons. The Conservatives see him as a strength to lead with, and the leadership polling numbers bare this out. The Liberals, and the other opposition parties, feel differently: they lead many of their attacks on the government with Harper, viewing him as a weakness for a number of reasons. It's an interesting dichotomy. Frankly, both strategies make sense. Harper does outpace his party in popularity at the moment, and with his leadership advantage they should lead with him. And for the opposition, while I don't think the public dislikes Harper near as much as we do, we need to turn them on him to be successful, and his one-man band governing style does leave him potentially vulnerable. And if the battle is between the LPC and NDP for swing voters, an attack Harper strategy definitely has merit.

We'll see if these ads get major play, or if it's mere symbolism. I think it's a clear message though going into next week's budget: we're not backing down; we'll take the fight to Canadians.

And the way to ensure these ads get more airplay, or course, is to make a donation. Apparently if you donate $50 or more you'll receive a "Harper is NOT here for Canada" t-shirt. Could be the must-have fashion on the campaign trail this spring.

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Jymn said...

Just curious. How can the Cons afford so many ads? Why can't the Liberals do the same? Liberals have all the ammo they need. The Conservatives are disintegrating. It should be like shooting ducks at an arcade.

I have yet to see a Liberal ad on TV. I've seen hundreds of Conservative ads, mostly wildly effective attack ones. I doubt these new Liberal attempts will be any different than the past.

What will it take for the Liberals to understand the 21st century demands messaging, emotion and slogans? We need to give up higher aspirations and fight back.

Jeff Jedras said...

In 2010, the Cons raised $17.3 million, compared to $7 million for the Liberals and $4.4 million for the NDP.

Until that fundraising gap is closed (and that's a whole other story) the Conservatives can (and will) continue to massively outspend their opponents.

xyz said...

Is there a particular reason for the fundraising gap? I mean someone must be doing something wrong if there is almost 3 to 1 fundraising gap between the two major party

Jeff Jedras said...

When the donation limit was $5k and corporations and union donations were allowed, the Liberals relied on fewer but larger donations from businesses and wealthy individuals. The Reform/Alliance parties cultivated a system of many more donors donating smaller amounts. When corporate and union donations were banned (Chretien), and the limit was lowered from $5k to $1k (Harper)(think it's about $1100 or so now) the Conservative system was still good to go, but the Liberals had to abandon their strategy and adjust to the new model. Years later, despite much effort and many struggles, they still haven't.

Scott Tribe said...

It could be argued that Conservative supporters are more ideological and thus more fervent in their support of their political party.. which means they're far more willing to donate to their chief cause.

Liberals, being a moderate/centrist party, that has a party of moderates, seems to have more difficulty in whipping up their supporters into a passion, whether they dislike Harper or not. The LPC, if I'm not mistaken, is the party with the most party members. If all party members could be persuaded to donate what they are able.. they'd give their party more of a fighting chance in between elections. The problem is to spur them on to do so.

Niles said...

The money gap does not, of course, count, the 'extra' money the Conservatives have conjured/leveraged.

The in/out scam is all about getting 'extra' monies without having to raise it via political donors. They simply 'white collar' stole it from *all* Canadian citizens via cooking the books and using Government departments as their personal advertising house.

If the Conservatives had to pay for all the free airplay they have granted themselves, how deep would their pockets be again? If that's not the point gotten through to people, what *is* going to impinge on them?

PS: I'd like to see some costing genius actually figure out how much all the 'free' advertising should have cost the Cons out of their own party pocket.

ridenrain said...

Yup.. Can’t you tell that we bribed all the CBC talking heads also? They were saying “The Harper government” long before we asked them to.

marie said...

How can Harper afford so many ads? Easy, he simply uses and has ever since elected using tax dollars on a regular basis as if it were his private bank account to do and yet his con supporters are still promoting his radial behavior


Yup.. Can’t you tell that we bribed all the CBC talking heads also? They were saying “The Harper government” long before we asked them to.

Radin, a lone match in the box which actually promotes into smaller brain power. But I suppose sticking with the man who accumulates more money and has more seats really appeals to him even thought he will eventually be just as screwed as real Canadians are. It doesn’t seem to click in his dimmed scull that what Harper is doing is illegal and bogus(fraud) and facing criminal charges still doesn’t ring a bell in his world. That is typical of an immature child always cheering for the leader because he is leading. Take Tiger Woods as an example, he could do no wrong in peoples mind until he screwed up in his private life and that transferred to his golf skills. He has been losing sponsors ever since as well as public support daily, his golf game appears amateurish and others have taken up viewers support as will Harper while the Media still keeps calling him the best golfer in the world. He once was but no more but yet they still repeat those lines. Actually it makes the Media bias even if the past 2 years results say differently. Same goes for Harper but you could say the past 5 + years as his character has never changed but in actuality has become more radical bordering on physiologic behavior .Raiden rain really does not have enough to do while sitting around his CP daily and must sit around 24/7 with a totally blank look on his face as to match his lack of common sense and symptoms of being totally brain washed to the very core.

I take that back comparing RR to an immature child. At least children seem to at least have some sort of common sense which is obviously missing with RR and Harpers core supporters.

.. Can’t you tell that we bribed all the CBC talking heads also? They were saying “The Harper government” long before we asked them to

OH!!! RR which positions do you hold with Harpers party? Obviously cheer leader only and I could say a lot more but I think you can get the general drift or do generally simply donate every dollar allowable in his government or possibly more than legal.

This is my rant for the day.

Happy Saint Patrick Day to all and yes, even you RR.