This Just In: Voters Feel Negative Ads Are “Negative”

Respondents describe the ads as "unfair", "negative"...and "hot!".

Respondents describe the ads as “unfair”, “negative”…and “hawt!“.

Trudeau’s predictable win, followed by predictable attack ads, has been followed by an all-too predictable poll:

In an EKOS Research Associates survey, 70 per cent found the ads “unfair” while 74 per cent said the ads were “unhelpful.”

Asked to describe the ads, 84 per cent said they were “negative.”

“The ads have backfired on the Conservatives, at least in the short term,” said EKOS President Frank Graves. “Many, many people think this was just the wrong thing to do at this point.”

Well, that settles it. Nothing to worry about, no need to respond. In fact, there are four other polls out showing the ads landing with a dud, which you can read here, here, here, and here.

Oh yeah, if you didn’t click on those links, they’re all from polls showing that attack ads against Ignatieff and Dion landed with a dud.

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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23 Responses to This Just In: Voters Feel Negative Ads Are “Negative”

  1. Michael Harkov

    The ads against Dion, Ignatieff, and Rae were thought to be “unfair” as well, panned by voters, pundits, media, and “experts” alike. And how did THAT turn out? So no response? AGAIN? Okay then LOL.

  2. Martin Levenson
  3. Nuna D. ABove

    The ads will likely be effective if Trudeau says dumb things and the image the Tories are trying to portray sticks. Proposing some actual policy may make the ads not work. Are the Liberal picking up any of the policy discussed during the leadership show? Marketing boards? Telecom competition?

  4. Paul O

    I forgot already – was the Mansbridge thing a Negative Ad, too, where Justin says (last Monday, just hours after the terrible event) that the Boston bombers acted because they felt “excluded”?

    Even Obama says, four days later, that he doesn’t know why they did what they did (although, to be fair, Axelrod was content earlier to blame “Tax Day”).

    Or was the Justin quote trying to attract those Canadians who say that nobody would blow anyone up if we all sang Kum-Ba-Yah a couple more times?

    Makes it tough to tell what’s a negative ad these days.

    • hosertohoosier

      Kumbaya is actually a great counter-terrorism strategy, and Canada is living proof. The best evidence suggests that terrorists do not join terrorist organizations to serve the cause. Indeed, terrorism rarely succeeds, terrorist groups often have shifting motives (how many times has al Qaeda’s mission changed), and terrorists rarely express a strong understanding of the larger organization’s goals.

      Rather, they tend to join in search of community. The best predictor is that they have a friend or relative in an organization. This is why diaspora communities may be particularly likely to produce terrorists.

      Canadian multiculturalism is our greatest weapon in the fight against terror. It has given us the most satisfied immigrant communities in the world (based on survey data). Not only does that combat alienation, it also means that even among the circles from which terrorists are likely to spring, Canada has friends (and can infiltrate those networks easily).

      What was the key to catching the 6/6/6 terrorists? Tips to the RCMP from members of the community.

  5. Vancouverois

    As I think we’ve agreed in previous discussions, the reason why the ads against Dion and Ignatieff were so effective was that they were each based in a very real and very legitimate concern. And the impression they created was borne out after they first appeared – Dion and Ignatieff each screwed up a few times, and in ways that reinforced the Conservative narrative.

    Now, we have the Mansbridge interview with JT, in which he makes some unfortunately phrased comments that make it sound like he’s full of sympathy for the terrorist murders responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings. While you can say that isn’t what he meant by them, that’s certainly how they’re being spun in parts of the media, and in a way that seems to be sticking.

    So, yeah. This is bad for JT.

  6. Irene

    Trudeau will not say any more dumb things as Harper and his misfits are known for in the past 8 years. Vancouverous. You are dead wrong and for all its worth, who the hell do you think you are making stuff up and your insinuations?

    I watched the Mansbrige interview and on where did you ever get the impression he was showing sympathy for the bombings. I can now see why Harper has such a following. They have if, that’s if they are lucky to have ,2 live brain cells but it seems they are dead too.That’s your opinion and yours alone. Most others saw JT as a very astute person and not anywhere near of what you write.

    Running scared I see. Worried about your paid job as a Harper troll?

    • tdott

      Trudeau said
      “We have to look at the root causes. Now, we don’t know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, okay, where do those tensions come from?”

      The sentence “But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded” needed elaboration. Without this elaboration it can be taken several ways – at least some of which not favourable to Trudeau.

      It’s good to hear a leader not relying on talking points, and not answering the question he wished he was asked rather than the actual question he was asked, and not fabricating facts out of thin air. It’s not so good if he can’t get his message across in a clear and unambiguous manner. This harkens back to Trudeau’s comments re Albertans running the country, and is something that Trudeau needs to work on IMO.

      • Luke

        The sentence you quoted is the one that is the problem. Overall Trudeau’s statements are perfectly reasonable. The problem is really “feels excluded.” It sounds so mushy and apologetic. We are concerned here less with content then how something sounds, unfortunately, because that is what most people will react to when this quote is used to further the narrative that Trudeau isn’t ready to govern.

        Irene, maybe you should calm down a little bit. Vancouverois is always on here commenting, and although critical, has never given any impression of being a “Harper troll.” You are really the one being a troll if you can’t handle reading a differing opinion without slagging others with over-the-top, baseless accusations.

      • CalgaryGrit

        Trudeau’s comments are certainly accurate – especially now that we know more about the bombers.

        They just likely weren’t what people wanted/needed to hear the day of the bombings.

        • jared

          The thing that frustrates me is that what Trudeau said was not his official or unofficial “response” to the bombings, but a response to Peter Mansbridge’s (I think rather condescending) question of what he would do in such a situation. And so he was actually talking to Mansbridge, not Canadians directly, and so his response has an odd (and a bit off-putting) theoretical, hypothetical, third-person quality to it. But that is the way you answer a question put to you like that, “What would you do?” It was a difficult and delicate situation made all the more difficult and delicate by the way the question was put and the structure of the interview (and notice I’m not saying there was no good or politically correct way to answer it, but the situation and interview generally was awkward.) Also, Mansbridge acted more like he was a teacher quizzing Trudeau than interviewing him imo (he is also a huge bore, slow, and is awkward generally.

          • jared

            I’d also point out that Mansbridge’s question was extremely open-ended.

            Of course the only clips that anybody bothers to watch are of Justin speaking, so his words were taken as “Justin’s message to Canadians in the immediate aftermath of the bombing” rather than “Justin’s response to Mansbridge’s extremely open-ended and vague question of what he would do in the aftermath of a terrorist attack”, which btw I thought was a question almost too condescending to respond to.

          • Vancouverois

            I find this a very odd comment. it was an interview with the CBC, for heaven’s sake – OF COURSE Trudeau knew that he was basically talking to Canadians. And I fail to see how the fact that he was talking to an interviewer rather than addressing the camera has any impact.

            As for the question being open-ended, what of it? JT has to be able to give good, solid answers to such questions.

            While understanding the motivations of terrorists is certainly important in order to prevent future attacks, the problem lies in the amount of emphasis he put on that part of the equation, and the attitude with which he seemed to approach it.

          • jared

            yes, of course, but that wasn’t my actual point. my point was that what he said was a response to Peter Mansbridge’s question, and not a “statement” (which is a linguistic genre in and of itself) to Canadians in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack, which are always formulaic and safe (such as the one Harper or any prime minister would give) and virtually never subject to controversy for that reason. When you take words that were meant to be the former to be the latter, its form (including grammatical form) can sound off-puttingly third-person and theoretical, even manipulative, and yes its content may seem or actually be inapprpriate.

            what COUNTS as a “good, solid answer” depends on what context you see it in and what it’s responding to. if you take his response as a statement to Canadians, it fails, is awkward to the extreme, and is clearly ill-timed. as a response to Mansbridge’s open-ended question of how he would respond to terrorism as prime minister, i’d give it maybe a B in terms of what we might expect from a politician. i agree that he mnight have said things better, but a large part of the critique was that he shouldn’t have been discussing those things at all, and that comes from taking his words as belonging to the second context when they actually belonged to the first and in which they are mostly innocuous.

            OF COURSE i also know contexts are never clear-cut and are mixed into one another, but i’m merely pointing out that even if it’s a difference of degree it still matters and at the very least put him on the spot of partly trying to achieve the latter while also partly trying to answer the former and in the context and form of the former (which, to pull off with COMPLETE success, is on principle impossible, cause one you’re talking in the first/second person, which is natural, and in the other you use the hypotehtical third person and which even has manipulative overtones when the topic has to do with human relations).

          • CalgaryGrit

            I think this is all part of the learning process for Justin. He needs to know that his answers are going to be clipped, and he needs to be aware what that clip is going to sound like.

          • Vancouverois

            I can see the point that a formal statement would be phrased differently. However, I don’t think anyone has been analyzing it as a formal statement – it’s well understood that it was said in the context of an interview. And I’m afraid JT’s answer comes off badly even in that context.

            Perhaps he was too eager to differentiate himself from Harper – the bit about being careful not to create a climate of fear and so on sounds like that’s what he was trying to do.

    • Vancouverois

      Dead wrong about what? That the Tory attack ads against Dion and Ignatieff worked? That “Not a leader” and “Just visiting” were so successful because they each contained a kernel of truth? Don’t be absurd.

      You clearly need to work on your reading comprehension (as demonstrated by the way you misspell my name). I didn’t say that Trudeau supports the bombings. I said that he came off sounding like he was sympathetic toward the bombers.

      If you don’t agree, that’s your prerogative. However, sneering at my intelligence and accusing me of being a “Harper troll” doesn’t make you right. Quite the opposite: it makes you look like an arrogant and unintelligent fanatic, desperate to stifle legitimate criticisms and to brand anyone who raises them as the enemy, instead of addressing them for the good of the party.

      There are many reasons why the Liberals have dropped to third party. The attitude you display is one of them.

    • Robert V

      “You are dead wrong”
      “who the hell do you think you are”
      “luck to have 2 brain cells but it seems they are dead too”
      “your paid job as a Harper troll”

      Wow. Nasty.

  7. Pingback: Jason Holborn | Blog – The Kumbaya Principle

  8. Vancouverois

    Courtesy of A BCer in Toronto, a first counter-ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ILBwN_Ut_pM

  9. Pingback: Kumbaya Counter-Terrorism | Calgary Grit

  10. Pingback: Kumbaya Counter-Terrorism | Liblogs

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