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Fighting fire with fire

You may have heard that the NDP has released it’s own “pre-election ad” going after Stephen Harper, though I understand this is so far again an internet-only ad, as was the Conservatives ad that targeted Mulcair earlier this year:

Some critics I’ve seen (mostly media types) complain this is an ad full of half-truths, and that it puts to shame the NDP’s past pronouncements of running a high-road campaign. They’re probably right, but after seeing what ignoring ads did to the Liberal Party under Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, and how effective they were, can anyone really blame them for wanting to fight fire with fire? I don’t.

[…]

Conservative attack ads already? A distraction attempt, I’d say.

Some folks in the media and elsewhere are saying the fact that the Conservatives chose to start running attack ads going after Liberal “still interim” leader Bob Rae means they view him as the de facto next permanent leader and the greater threat then the Opposition NDP’s new leader – whoever that may be – and that the 2015 general election campaign for them has already begun.

It’s possible this is part of the “permanent campaign strategy”, but I find the timing of it coinciding with all the news about the ‘Robocon’ controversy to be a tad too coincidental. I find it equally as likely they decided to roll […]

Weekend thoughts

The Liberal delegates have (unfortunately in my view) voted to extend the wait back to 2013 before choosing a new Liberal leader. I’ve already gone over my objection to that, but it seems from what I was hearing that the LPC brought out the party leaders heavy artillery and urged acceptance of their motion, rather then accept either the 6 month requirement or a middle of the road option as my friend Jeff was putting forward. The LPC brass got their way, it seems. I’d have thought since 2006 that some of our party would learn that the Party bosses and leaders don’t always know best. PERHAPS they will get […]

Harper trying to avoid being seen as directly responsible for attack ads on Iggy.

I’ve seen a few blogs out there commenting on Harper’s extreme discomfort on being challenged over the Conservative Party’s “just visiting” attack ads on Michael Ignatieff – discomfort to the point of Harper conceding that Anyone (including Ignatieff) can be PM, and seemingly backing off or even disavowing his Conservative Party’s recent attack ads and their main attack line.

As my title says, I think the reason Harper is doing this is to avoid being seen as being directly responsible for these ads, or directly endorsing them. This, I feel, is so that in any future ad run that might cause a backlash towards the Conservative Party for being over […]

Initial polling: Attack ads may be hurting Harper worse then Ignatieff.

You’ll note both Steve and Jeff commenting on Harris-Decima, and Steve commenting on Angus-Reid (Quebec only) doing some polling on the effect of the Conservative attack ads, with the initial reports being that they may be hurting Harper and the Conservatives worse then they are Ignatieff (and by extension, the Liberals).

I believe Steve said this somewhere at his site, but I’ll say it as well; this is encouraging (if you’re a Liberal, or if you just hate negative politics in general) but I would have liked to have seen these pollsters do a general poll (to go along with their attack ad polling) to show what current voter intentions […]

Monday, Monday…

– Dan over at CalgaryGrit and Woman at Mile 0 are two more Liberal bloggers coming out in favour of Weighted One Member One Vote, and simultaneously against the Young Liberals of Canada amendment to keep a quota for youth delegates in that formula. Dan in particular goes into extensive detail why, and includes what type of a “WOMOV” setup (as he’s decided to call it) he’d like to see that might generate some of the Convention excitement. If there are blog readers out there thinking they detect a lack of support out there for this YLC amendment amongst the Liberal blogosphere, they’d be correct in their perception. It’s gone […]

A (typical) lack of class from the Conservative Party of Canada.

This sort of reminds me of the 1993 Progressive Conservative ad that distorted Chretien’s face, or the 2004 ad that proclaimed Paul Martin supported child pornography. Those instances were appalling, but this effort by the Conservatives comes close to those other 2 for most classless:

Stéphane Dion is dumping on Prime Minister Stephen Harper over a Conservative Internet spot that showed a puffin pooping on the Liberal leader’s shoulder. The image is no longer available on the website, but was captured by national television networks before it was altered.

The screenshot of the “puffin poop” can be seen at the link above. The Conservative war room apparently sensed they might get into trouble for this, but it was too late to be pulled before it nationally got displayed to Canada to remind everyone how classless this bunch really is. I figured that last weeks “warm and fuzzy” pre-election ads with Harper wouldn’t last very long, but the speed to which the Conservatives reverted to their past 2 years of negative form surprises even me.

There was a reason for all those warm and fuzzy ads last week – to try and show the “human” side of the PM. Stunts like the one this morning and the 6 am press conference yesterday releasing attack ads on the Liberals should remind people pretty quickly that the Conservatives are intent on fighting an American-style gutter-politics election – and they’ve been in that mode against Dion specifically for 2 years now. It disgusts me, but in a way, I’m glad they’re doing this now – because it reminds people of how juvenile the Conservative Party really is. Here’s hoping voters will reject this style of Karl Rove/Republican based gutter politics the Conservatives use and have used.

This attack ad stuff gets better and better

Ha ha. Check out this statement issued by Spacing Toronto that Kady O’Malley points to that shows what the Cons. are trying to do with these gas pump electronic attack ads against Dion and the Liberals may not even be legal, at least in Toronto:

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have tried over and over to brand itself the chief defender of law and order in this country. But yesterday, when it launched its latest round of attack ads on the Liberals, the Conservative Party used illegal advertising space to get its message out, according to the co-ordinator of IllegalSigns.ca.

The Conservatives didn’t just use a single illegal video screen to play the fiercely partisan advertisement. IllegalSigns.ca co-ordinator Rami Tabello told Spacing that every single screen that the spot is playing on at Toronto gas stations is illegal. According to media reports, gas station video screens are the primary vehicle for reaching Torontonians.

Ryan Sparrow didn’t happen to come up with  this idea,  by any chance?

[email protected]:56pm: And now, the idea whether it’s legal or not seems to have gone DOA before it even starts:

Fuelcast, the company that operates the ad system, said Monday it won’t run the Conservative ads at the pumps because it has a policy against political advertising.

Again I ask, was this Ryan Sparrow’s idea? Or Jason Kenny’s brainstorm?

UPDATE [email protected]:51pm: And now, we find out from Kady that the Cons are claiming via the aforementioned Mr. Sparrow that the Cons. have a “binding” agreement with Fuelcast, and the company is expected to honour the agreement.  So if Fuelcast refuses, will the Cons. sue em? I mean, they’ve shown themselves to be a rather litigious lot when it comes to suing their political opponents – I can’t see why they wouldn’t go after a private company – particularly as it involves their partisan political propaganda strategy (try saying that phrase quickly).

There must not be a lot of work for Cons. staffers right now.

I’m guessing that’s who’ve they’ve got roaming around Ottawa today:

..teams of Tory kids in yellow T-shirts have fanned out across downtown Ottawa to hand out post cards critiquing the Dion carbon tax thingie.

I guess they saw the Young Liberals doing this during the Cadman affair, and they figured it would be a pretty cool idea too.. which would be good if they had an actual youth wing of the Conservative Party (which they don’t) so my suspicion it’s Cons staffers.

I’m also suspecting these are Conservatives staffers because they’ve got their pre-programmed parrot lines down to a tee, from what Kady says.

[email protected]:30pm: Steve Marsh, who had a good blog here but has not been blogging of late, informs Paul Wells what are on these post-cards that the Cons kiddies/staffers are handing out:

Having seen the postcard, I can state that “critique” is far to generous a description of what it’s trying to do. It’s a collection of clippings laid out to look like they’re from a wide variety of sources, although in fact there are only three: a Sun Media editorial, an article from the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation and a quote from NDP leader Jack Layton, who must be very proud to be in such company.

The attack ads on the carbon tax shift begins. Arm yourselves! (with facts)

My title partly derives from the fact I was watching a movie last night called “The Last Legion” and felt in that sort of mood today when reading that the Conservative attack ads against the Liberals proposed carbon tax shift has begun; willingly aided  by the Toronto Sun – no surprise there (By the way, congrats to Jason for being thought of as relevant enough to warrant getting mentioned in a Conservative attack website. I’m sure he’ll put that on his belt buckle of achievements).

I actually agree with part of what the Sun and Lorrie Goldstein said as highlighted by Steve over at his blog that the Tories are very worried about this plan if they’re going to such lengths already to attack it before the details and meat of the plan have even been released, and that without having a plan of their own to point to, the Cons. could be vulnerable (that’s Lorrie’s wording, I agree with Steve – they WILL be vulnerable).

I also agree with Danielle that it’s going to be very easy to point to the utter hypocrisy John Baird and the Cons. have on this file toward a carbon tax. They could barely come up with a response to British Columbia implementing it, but now when Dion and the Federal Liberals propose something along the same vein,  “ITS A TAX ON EVERYTHING!” suddenly is the Conservatives fear mongering cry.

What I will say however to Liberal strategists and advisers is that it’s a lot easier to defend this if we actually have specifics to point to, rather then generalities. I realize Garth Turner is doing the best he can with what he knows or is allowed to talk about, but the public and the media and the bloggers need more.

The OLO or the media affairs wing of the Liberals needs to be told that, if they aren’t aware of it already. The Cons are already trying to define to the public in an unfavourable light what a terrible thing a carbon tax is. I realize it’s rather silly to be attacking a plan when all it is right now is a concept, not an official meat and potatoes policy, and I realize the last couple of polls shows the majority of Canadians seem to approve of the implementation of a carbon tax (hence the Cons. attempting to go nuclear now) but the risk is still there that without having any details on the plan, the issue gets defined negatively.

Let’s get the policy details out in the public NOW and have a full throated debate about the merits of this plan based on its specifics, so we can rebut the Cons. propaganda and fear mongering over this concept, which is all it is right now.  Let’s not wait until the general election – whenever that is. (and I am by the way a member of that Facebook group that Jim mentioned – I still believe we should be forcing an election now whether its in the summer time or not, but thats another story).

I believe the fear has been that if we release specifics now , the Cons. will copy it or attack it. Well, they’re already attacking without specifics, which is I think more dangerous,  and we have no fear they will copy this idea, so let’s get the debate over the idea on a level playing field so we have a fair fight here.

UPDATE: Remember when Al Gore warned about Harper back in 2006? Looks like his warnings have come true:

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has accused the oil industry of financially backing the Tories and their “ultra-conservative leader” to protect its stake in Alberta’s lucrative oilsands. Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord — an international agreement to combat climate change.

I’m thinking John Baird regrets trying to claim that Gore approved of the Coservatives so-called climate change plan to fight so-called greenhouse gases when he attempted that stunt last year. (H/T Jeff)

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