Monday, June 16, 2008

Looks Like Harper's Negative Ad Campaign Is Backfiring?

Looks like the Harper Cons negative ads are backfiring. This is according to a recent poll quoted in a story in the Hill Times this week. I found this quote from the story most telling:

"According to the Innovative poll, of those who were aware of the ads, 60 per cent said they were left with a negative impression of them, and 20 per cent said they were left with a positive impression, while 18 per cent said neither. "

That is not good news for the Harper message-controlling brain-trust.

The MSM has given the Cons more free "earned media" than they have spent on the ads themselves by the looks of it. Kind of reminds me of the MSM carpet bombing "news coverage" that was done on the personal tragedy that is Brittany Spears a few weeks ago. The MSM then finally looked at themselves, came to their senses, and decided to show some semblance of responsible journalism, and left her alone.

For those Cons who will want to equate my Spears comment to Coulliard, ask yourself if Spears was involved in relationships that undermined national security and Cabinet confidentiality.

The Cons ads are not news. They are not factual. They are not even relevant because the Dion tax shifting policy is not yet finalized. The negative campaign-style ads are just a political tactic that is infotainment masquerading as a public policy issue. Come on MSM, don't get fooled again.


  1. Anonymous1:54 pm

    You still believe what the MSM tells you hey?
    Last years ads they said they were unfair.
    They said they hurt Harper:

    Now there is universal agreement that they were succesfull to define Dion.

  2. Anon - you are absolutely right - last year’s negative election style ads did define Dion...but they also made many people look at the Cons differently too...bully and opportunistic and ready to bend the rules...which they did.

    Since then we have seen more belligerent bullying, more rule bending like on the old In-Out scheme and more questionable conduct in committees and then Bernier...just to name a few.

    The Harper Cons are hoping they can re-define Dion as a tax and spend Liberal even before they have a inkling of what they are talking about in the Dion tax shift policy.

    The MSM who like such conflict pseudo-drama stories are giving them free media. However,non-partisan thought leaders are questioning the integrity and character of the Harper government because of such Rovian tactics.

    Harper's negative ads play to reassure his ideological right-wing base. Unfortunately he needs a bigger base than he has been merely sustaining since taking power in January 2006 in order to form a majority government.

    These ads are reflecting more on defining Harper than they are on Dion this time. As they should!

  3. Negative ads are used for a purpose - they work! They are not intended to increase the popularity of the party implementing the attack ad. Rather, they destroy the party that is subject to the ad.

    That is what the tax on everything ads did - the Liberals were defined as the party that was going to put a tax on every single important aspect in Canadian life.

    It is a shame that the Liberals want to tax the least fortunate in society. Those people who may not pay any taxes but still need to heat their homes and use electricity for light and other basic household appliances. Ken, how you continue to support this party is beyond me.

  4. Anonymous10:54 pm

    Dion has stated he will implement a tax on carbon. As such, it is reasonable to assume that he will have to tax things that produce carbon - gas, heat, and electricity. These are the facts and the ads are factual.

    Being revenue neutral does not deter the above-noted facts. It is still unknown how Dion will help those poor individuals who do not pay tax and, as such, there can be no "tax shifting policy" for these individuals. Dion probably doesn't care because these people tend to vote and the Liberals only care about attaining power.

  5. One Alberta Voter2:58 pm

    I am afraid, Anon@10:54, that the selective use of facts is a far different thing from being truthful. Dion has yet to flesh out his proposal, but has made clear that the intention is to be revenue neutral. That intention, however, was completely swept over (i.e., distorted) by the Tory ads. If we are ever going to make any real progress in combatting climate change, or in civil political discourse, this kind of thing has got to be thrown out. For me this incident has only reinforced the percpetion that the government would rather play politics with climate change than take action to address it.

    As for your point about the differential impact of a carbion tax and an income tax cut, that is expectly the sort of legitimate point that should be brought out openly for debate and resolution. That won't happen at a gas pump, however.

  6. Anonymous7:52 am

    It takes courage to put a plan out for public debate knowing the attack dogs of the Conservative party will engage in ad hominem attacks. What has Harper ever done except run negative ads about his opponent.

    Stephen Harper is no leader. He has no plan. All he has is character assasin John Baird.

  7. Anonymous9:58 pm

    Dion has also forgot about the increase in goods and services to canadians - being revenue neutral is only one factor. He is trying to fool Cdns by stating the principles and implementation are that simple. He also said a carbon tax was a dumb idea 6 months ago - this demonstrates that he is not going forward on a principled basis.