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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 […]

Pointing out Conservative failures in Liberal speeches and ads is not going “negative”

I know there’s been some debate going on as to whether the Liberals should be going negative and if so, what type of “negative” we should be doing. I for one, think that the Liberals are doing the right campaign tactics when they are very tough on the Conservatives on such issues as the listeriosis outbreak:

The Liberals launched their first attack of the onrushing election campaign by accusing the Harper government of undermining food safety in the same way the Mike Harris Tories weakened water safety in Walkerton, Ont., a decade ago…Those of us from Ontario – and those across the country – remember Walkerton,” said Toronto MP Carolyn Bennett, who accompanied Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion at a news conference wrapping up a party caucus meeting here…”We remember when there was an active decision to reduce inspections and what happened to the health of those people in Walkerton,” said Bennett, MP for the riding of St. Paul’s, and the Liberal health critic. Cuts in regulatory spending by the Harris government in the mid-1990s contributed to the E. coli water tragedy that cost seven lives in Walkerton in 2000, according to the report of a public inquiry.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion on the same issue at the same press conference, calling for Agriculture Minister Ritz’s firing:

“Starting March 1, a change has been made that put our inspection situation where inspectors are more inspecting paper than meat,” Dion said. “And under the circumstances, because this change has been covered up, the minister cannot stay the minister.” Dion said that, like the Harris Tories, the Harper Conservatives “don’t believe in the role of the government” in regulating business. Dion noted that three key members of the Harper government – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Environment Minister John Baird and Health Minister Tony Clement – were in Harris’s cabinet

There is nothing “negative” about pointing out how the Conservatives ideology and averseness to government regulation may have contributed to this health crisis, as the provincial Conservatives in Ontario under Mike Harris did in connection to Walkerton. That goes for going at them over such things as their own refusal to publish details about their own environmental plan to combat Greenhouse gases. Pointing out that this isn’t showing “strong leadership”, but hiding facts from the Canadian public again is not negative, but fair ball.

Personally, not only do I want to see more press conferences or campaign rallies doing similar themes to what Bennett and Dion did, but I want to see the same thing running in the Liberals campaign advertisement ads on radio and tv when the election campaign officially get started, (presuming Michaelle Jean doesn’t throw a curveball at Harper when he visits her).

UPDATE: Want to counter those pre-election election ads on Harper’s “strong leadership”? Liberal strategists and our party would be well advised to use some of the points that Carol Goar makes to shred that claim to pieces, and all done with facts, not personal attacks. Put those facts in the LPC ads, and have Dion and other Liberals pepper your speeches with these facts.

UPDATE 2 @ 2:14pm: I agree with Jennifer Smith’s approach, which I believe is the same thing that I’m advocating.

The Conservatives don’t know how to DO positive.

In brief, I saw this very good analysis by Steve on the diminishing returns this “go negative all the time” strategy the Conservatives are employing that even has some of their Blogging Tory faithful questioning its effectiveness, and I’ll just add this: I think in some of these “10 percenter” ads the Cons have been employing, they ARE trying to list accomplishments of the positive variety that this government has done since in power, but the problem is that they’re not even able to do THAT without throwing negativity into the mix. Read the Collingwood paper in Helena Guergis’s riding (as pointed out by Impolitical) being critical of its tone:


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