Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Poll: Con attack ads unfair, pope is catholic

So, a Decima poll says of the 38 per cent of Canadians that saw the Conservative attack ads, 59 per cent said they were unfair and two thirds said the ads weren't relevant to how they'd vote in the next election.

Or, in order words, Conservative supporters liked the ads and everyone else thought they were dumb. Hardly surprising. Does it mean the Conservative ads were/are a failure though? Not hardly. If the election were held today maybe.

But Harper and the gang are playing a long game. They've put the thought in voters heads: Liberals didn't get it done, Dion a weak leader, yada yada. Unfair or not its in their heads, and further Con messaging in the months to come will work to reinforce that messaging. They'll be trying to maneuver Dion into missteps they'll engineer, and having set the groundwork in people's minds twig them to say yeah, you know they're right, he is a weak leader, they didn't get it done.

I'm not saying they'll get that payoff, but that's what they're trying for, and to put to much stock into this one poll would be premature. The battle to brand Stephane continues, and we've got to fight hard.

Meanwhile, a slight chilly breeze here in Jacksonville but it's sunny, I'm in short sleeves and it's 22 degrees celsius. Life could be worse. Here's the view of the ocean out my hotel window. It's not the Pacific, but I'll take it...

UPDATE: For other takes see Steve, Scott and Dave.

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Monkey Loves to Fight said...

Good analysis. Your are lucky to be in Jacksonville now. As much as I don't want global warming, we could do with some in Toronto now since it is -15 without the windchill and downright cold.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the long play. The ads also try to create an impression of disharmony in the Liberal Party.

Ted Betts said...

Well said, Jeff.

This is a seed. They will continue to water it and fertilize it. A poll on whether people like the ad or think it is "fair" are 100% irrelevant. As Kinsella will tell you over and over, no one liked the "Daisy" ad but it was one of the most effective ads out there.

The really important point is not whether the ad is effective (who cares right now) or if it will be effective (that's the real danger) but what to do about it to make sure it is the least effective.

Dion and the party need to counter this. Claims that the ads are "unfair" actually feed the image of a poor leader. Mocking the ads like Cherniak has done is helpful but not enough. You need a counter-narrative.

Over-emphasizing the environment as the central part of our platform is not a good counter-narrative. It makes it too easy for the Conservatives to come back to their own theme that the Liberals and the former Minister of the Environment, however genuine and good policy-driven he was, did not demonstrably show "leadership".

Highlighting Dion's story as Captain Canada, the fighter who took it on the chin (almost literally) with the separatists for all of us, counters the soft/poor leader image, plays to Dion's strengths.


Dr. Tux said...

The strength of Dion and the strength of the Liberal party lies with our vision and the three pillar approach. It was the right vision for the Liberal party and it is the right vision for the country.

In contrast, Harper's administration of our country can be characterized by its complete lack of vision.

His GST cut, his so-called Child-Care plan, his dismantling of Climate Change programs, his tearing up of the Kelowna accord, all speak to the fact that this is an administration without a proper vision for our country.

Speak about the three pillar approach, speak about our vision of the country, because it is the right vision for both Canada and the world.

Ted Betts said...


I tend to agree but that's not enough to get us elected.

I think I know what Dion intends to actual do when he talks about the Three Pillars, but for the most part that is all words and Canadians by and large don't know what he means and want to see a clear plan not just some "vision".

We aren't going to win back the confidence of Canadians with just words. We have to build a story about why Stephane Dion should be Prime Minister, why he will be a good Prime Minister, why he understands the day-to-day needs of today's Canadians better than Harper.

We don't have that yet and Harper is starting to try to fill in that void.

Dr. Tux said...


First off, glad to see you're back. I know we had our moments in the past but I'm glad to see you back. Honestly.

Second, I think that the Three Pillar Approach is exactly the story we need to tell. We know what Dion did for Canada in the past, and we need to talk about that. But we also need to talk about the future. Dion's Three Pillar Approach is the best articulation of a future Canada that we should be working towards. Reconciling the economy with the environment and social justice is the right vision for Canada heading into the future.

The details of this framework are being filled in, and we can expect Canadians to take notice as tangible policies are rolled out. We know that Dion is a policy wonk so we can expect a good level of detail from him on this front.

Dr. Tux said...

Harper will try to fill in the details. So far he has failed.

The election will come down to competing vision's of the Canada that we want to create.

My Canada is one that aims to meet a triple bottom line.

Anthony said...

no wai

the pope is Catholic

I want a full public inquiry!

Anonymous said...

Friends of mine when I asked how they felt about them said they were too obvious, too boring and resented that they interfered with them enjoying the SuperBowl, etc.

Also, most said they think Harper is very "immature" and so negative they find him depressing and one mentioned that the condition of a control freak who belittles and demeans and rules by fear as a control mechanism and is a symptom of "abuse". This is not accepted in general society so why is it accepted by our PM. She works with abused woman and said his symptoms are classic...hmmmm.

Harper falls under the symptoms of an abuser. How would he abuse Canadians if he had a majority?