They’ll Go Neg

The Liberals have released three new radio ads in Quebec which attack Harper for going negative. It’s not quite as bizarre as the “they’ll go neg” ads the Conservatives ran after Christmas last year since those ads accused the Liberals of going negative before the Liberals ran negative ads but, at the same time, those ads did get a few corruption shots in at Martin whereas these new ones come across as sounding fairly lame. Here are the translated transcripts from Antonio:

Ad Un
“If Stephen Harper is convinced his accomplishments up to now are so good, would he spend all his money on negative ads about Stephane Dion? What do you think?”

Ad Deux
“In 2007, do we really prefer a politician like Stephen Harper, who spends his time denigrating his opponent, or a passionate man like Stephane Dion, who is concerning himself with the challenges of the 21st century? Which one is making us take a step backward?”

Ad Trois
“If Stephen Harper and the Conservatives attack Stephane Dion, is it because they are afraid of something? Afraid of his ideas maybe? Afraid of his Green Plan? Afraid…to lose power?”

I guess the plan is to try and get the message across that Dion is a better person than Harper and more honourable which may not be an awful message in itself. But at the time when more and more people are whispering that the Liberals can’t take a punch, there’s probably a better way to emphasize Dion’s character. Maybe a direct message from the guy himself.

Now, I’m not opposed to attack ads on Harper – far from it. It’s just that, in Quebec, there are a lot of good issues they could be attacking Harper on rather than “he runs attack ads”. The environment, foreign policy, child care, broken promises…pick a social issue and he’s probably off side from most Quebecers on it.

Running a negative ad which basically says “my opponent runs negative ads because he has nothing constructive to say” kind of invites most rational radio listeners to say “aren’t the Liberals running negative ads saying that the Conservatives run negative ads because they have nothing constructive to say, because the Liberals have nothing constructive to say?” [actually, screw that. I’m confused just reading that last sentence and I wrote it. Maybe radio listeners won’t make that connection].

I’m sympathetic to the fact that most of the people who used to handle our Quebec ads are in jail these days but surely there’s someone in the province who could have done better than this?

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Ads

About CalgaryGrit

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

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