Who had June 25th in the pool?

The much-anticipated Thomas Mulcair attack ads have arrived:

Other than changing the off-grey colours from red to orange, this doesn’t look to be much more than a recycled anti-Liberal TV spot – torqued policy positions, lots of talk about “risks”, and a cameo by the scary carbon tax.

But while the style is reminiscent of attack ads of yore, there is one striking difference between this and the “Just Visiting“/”Not a Leader” campaigns. Simply put, the Tories have adopted a far more policy-based strategy when it comes to defining this leader of the opposition. Dion was branded as wimpy and weak, Ignatieff as an intellectual snob. This ad doesn’t even contain so much as a gratuitous “he’s out of touch” pot shot, despite plenty of opportunities to slide something of the sort in.

Rather, the focus is squarely on NDP policies (or “theories” as the ad mischievously calls them) – both real and, in the case of the carbon tax, imagined. That’s likely the best strategy, given the NDP’s vulnerability on economic issues, and Harper’s never-ending mantra about maintaining our “strong, stable, economic recovery”.

But it’s also possible the Tories have yet to come up with an attack on Mulcair’s personality and leadership skills they feel will leave a mark.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Ads, Federal Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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9 Responses to Who had June 25th in the pool?

  1. Mark H

    And the sad thing is, this one will work unless Mulcair and the NDP can find the right formula to counter them that seemed to elude the Liberals. In the last election my sister (who is not politically inclined) basically justified how she was going to vote by regurgitating one of the Iggy attack ads word for word.

  2. Brian from Toronto

    Sad thing? I’d say it’s great if this ad stops the NDP in its tracks!

  3. Josh

    Seems pretty lacklustre – fear doesn’t win elections, and this kind of vague “warnings” about “danger” and “risk” does not and will not save a government that has more than worn out its welcome now and will be almost a decade old by the next election.

    It’s also interesting how little this ad concerns usual “leadership” issues. But then both Mulcair and the NDP are known quantities – and the Tories have gone to great lengths to impugn Bob Rae’s Ontario government not because of its partisan stripes, but because of its leader.

  4. hosertohoosier

    Your right, Josh, fear doesn’t win elections for decade-old governments…
    *cough* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUvvBWLpXdk *cough*

    • Josh

      Well, fair enough, inasmuch as I also would not put money on another Conservative majority…

  5. Gyor

    Its the saddest ad yet, all this time with everybody talking about the power con machine and this is what gets produced.

    What extactly is supposed to scare NDP voters? A carbon tax they didn’t promise or Tax increases period? NDP voters know the NDP plan on increasing taxes, its in the party platform!

    Dutch Disease? Since Mulcair has gone around the country talking about it the NDP’s numbers have gone up, especially in angery Ontario.

    Trade agreements? Mulcair helped write part of the more progressive clauses of Nafta, he’s pro trade, he’s just not pro bad negitors. Not that it matters, outside of Quebec, Dippers don’t like most of these treaties anyways, and in Quebec Mulcair is well known well enough to be immune to shallow attack ads period.

    So the question is what was the point of this ad? To sway swing Liberal Tory voter, Mulcair vote was never the target to begin with. Still even with this task its pathetic.

    http://gerrynicholls.blogspot.ca/2012/06/rating-new-tory-attack-ad.html

    Even a Tory like Gerry agrees.

  6. Jim R

    My 2 cents is that the CPC is holding back the “citizenship thing” for when they go into election mode. Those ads basically write themselves. Example:
    “Citizenship confers rights and responsibilities. Being a citizen of France, Thomas Mulcair has responsibilities to that country. Can we trust that he will always put Canada first?”

    Also, we can look forward to an ad containing a reference to Jack Layton’s comment about Dion’s then French citizenship not being entirely appropriate.

    It should be possible to come up with a number of variations on this theme, and by the time the CPC is done carpet bombing the air waves with it, just about every Canadian voter will have at least asked themselves whether it is reasonable for the leader of a country to hold the citizenship of another country.

    • CalgaryGrit

      Jim R – I’m not sure how much play the citizenship issue will have, but you may a good point about “holding back” the good stuff. Unlike with Dion and Iggy, we’re not in a minority, so there’s a case to be made for saving the “good stuff” until we’re closer to an election.

  7. TheNewTeddy

    I think the lack of a personal attack is that Mulcair is playing well in personal popularity. Dion and Iggy were angry little nerds. Mulcair is like you and me. Something like that.

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