There seems to be this impression out there that the 2011 NDP election campaign was all sunshine and lollipops. NDP leadership contender Brian Topp sought to re-enforce that impression yesterday, as he tries to paint himself as the candidate of positivity (unlike those other bastards? -- ed.)
"I don't believe that straight negative campaigns aimed at the Conservatives will defeat them," Topp said Friday, noting that the Liberal party failed miserably in its hardball campaign against the Tories.It's funny, because I remember being impressed with some of the NDP's negative TV ads in the last election campaign, particularly the health care pieces. And in British Columbia, where I spent the campaign (in an NDP target riding), they spent millions blanketing the radio waves with highly negative, fear mongery ads on the HST. Basically, they said Harper will make BC fire doctors and nurses and jeopardize the health care system by asking for the HST harmonization money if the referendum fails, but if you vote NDP you can keep the money and your doctors.
"The style of our next campaign may emerge as a point of debate in this leadership race. In my view, we won't defeat Mr. Harper by 'taking him on,' by 'hammering' him, or by 'facing him down,'" Topp wrote. "Angry, negative campaigning works better for Conservatives than for social democrats, because it motivates Conservative voters while persuading progressives not to vote."
Topp, in his "let me say hello" letter, said Jack Layton's "propositional" approach that focused on policy solutions rather than attacks is the way to win government.