Stephen Taylor, who has been doing a great job blogging this election, has obtained what appears to be outlines of the Liberals "Phase Two" strategy. Not surprisingly, they show the Liberals going negative on Harper, using the following lines of attack:
1. The GST cut helps the rich get richer
In my opinion, mentioning the GST cut in ads is free advertising for the Tories. I would really stay away from this one if I were running the national campaign. Attack it during the debates if it's brought up, but I can't for the life of me imagine why the Liberals would pay money to remind people Harper wants to cut the GST and they don't.
2. Jack Layton is working with Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper
I guess they need to take some shots at Layton and it's hard to do it on the policy front. However, reminding people that Layton has worked with Harper in the past might put it in voters' minds that Layton could work with Harper in the future.
3. Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe will form a coalition government
This has been a common line of attack in the past and is probably one of the reasons Harper challenged Duceppe to a debate. For Harper, he needs to go after Duceppe hard in order to dispel this. It's really interesting watching this morph into a National Unity election right before our eyes.
4. Remember Mike Harris?
The attempt will be to link Stephen Harper to the former Ontario Premier, playing to Ontario voters. Probably a good strategy, especially with all the tax cuts Harper is offering.
5. Harper doesn't value the Charter?
Interesting, given Harper continues to do the hokey-pokey on the gay marriage issue. I keep going back and forth on who benefits most from this topic and I have no clue.
So that's how we can expect the 2004...errr....2006 Liberal campaign to finish up. I presume we'll also see some more policy announcements from Martin in the New Year.
And before the CPC supporters come on here and trash the "dirty" Liberals, I fully expect the Conservatives to go negative just as hard in January. They've shown they have policy and have softened up Harper. Now, they need to hammer away at Adscam, which has been completely forgotten. I fully expect ads showing "highlights" from the Gomery Report, Brault testimony, and AG's report.
As for Duceppe, more of the same. All Adscam, all the time.
As for Layton, I expect he'll continue to do what he's been doing and maybe drop a bombshell along the lines of "Harper as Prime Minister no worse than Martin" in the dying days of the campaign, to try and stop the flow of NDP votes to the Liberals.
UPDATE: It's been confirmed that these are real, although the Liberals will drop the Layton and GST ones...smart move since those were, by far, the two weakest of the bunch.
[Cross-Posted to CTV Weblog]