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.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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.Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers
Posted by Jeff Jedras at 1:22 PM