Sunday, May 17, 2009

Re-Visiting Just Visiting

Attack ads are the junk food of politics. And when you haven't had junk food for a long time, the first bite always tastes good...even if it doesn't digest well. So, upon reflection, I think I'll downgrade the initial ad that was leaked from a B+ to a C+. And for the reasons outlined by Andrew Steele, this ad is a downright disaster - the short message from it is that Iggy's a cool guy who likes Algoma Park. Ooo...scary...

That said, the Tories are in B+ territory on the other two ads they released. They've actually got the visual of Ignatieff refering to himself as an American - that video is a lot more powerful than just saying the guy taught at Harvard.



And while this one is just a retread of old Dion attacks, it does nail him on the economy, making it a bit more relevant.

How effective will these ads be? That's difficult to say, although the chorus of media opinions that these ads will "backfire", are "too mean", and that "Canadians don't like negative ads", is a bit amusing since the same thing was said about the 2007 Dion adds.

I wouldn't expect these to backfire, since I do think "time out of the country" is a legitimate angle to attack Ignatieff on. Unlike "not a leader", "just visiting" isn't an argument that Ignatieff would be a bad Prime Minister - it seems more designed to just bug Canadians and make them uneasy about the guy, so that voters are more receptive to future attacks. And, on that front, I'd expect some limited success.

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17 Comments:

  • You might want to change that to Algonquin.

    As for the spin here in QC, it is not good from what I have heard from the Francophone pop. Many of the critiques - espresso drinker internationalist - actually make him more endearing.

    By Blogger william, at 9:41 AM  

  • Alqonquin Park is beautful, especially if you like camping, bears and nature overall.

    A good choice for a favourite spot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:11 AM  

  • I doubt the ads will backfire but they won't endure. The notaleader ads against Dion were so effective because every bump in the Liberal camp gave the pundits an excuse to claim that Dion was in fact notaleader. By comparison, it's highly unlikely there will be any news that comes up that will give the pundits opportunity to refer to the time Iggy spent out of the country. So once the ad campaign runs out the attack will simply fad from most peoples mind.

    By Blogger Robert McClelland, at 10:53 AM  

  • Is this little clip the whole context of Iggy's speech here?

    I doubt it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:21 PM  

  • these ads are just the avant gout, something to set the palate and make us hungrier for the real thing, the next round, the main course.

    The best part has been iggy's response . . . very 3rd grade schoolyard.


    As Patton often said . . . Find 'em, Fix 'em, Fight 'em.

    By Blogger Fred, at 1:29 PM  

  • Ouch... that "my country too" video clip is pretty smarting. I personally view his "avoiding bloodshed and civil war" comments on Quebec as worse - that guy is right out to lunch on Canadian federalism. Still, I think this could be Harper's toughest election battle - Ignatieff cuts an imposing figure.

    By Anonymous Jason Bo Green, at 1:59 PM  

  • Stephen Harper, born in Ontario in 1959, moved to Alberta in 1978, moved back to Ontario in 2002 until the present, NOT AN ALBERTAN

    By Blogger ktr, at 3:05 PM  

  • The question is: did Iggy say the things attributed to him?

    If not, then he should explain how they came to be attributed to him.

    If so, then don't Canadians deserve to know the truth? The exhausting Liberal Leadership contest doesn't seem to have brought it out.

    I certainly don't see any evidence that this fellow sees this as anything more than an opportunity for self-aggrandisement.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 6:52 PM  

  • I hope there is an elction soon. It has the potential to save a lot of pension money if enough seats change hands.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:10 PM  

  • I am actually starting to like some of these ads. They almost make Ignatieff look good. The voice-over doesn't really sound like it is genuinely upset about what Ignatieff has done.

    Maybe these will turn out as good for the Liberals (although that "You need to choose the America you want" comment isn't very good.)

    By Blogger Scott, at 9:22 PM  

  • The problem I have with Ignatief is that he hasn`t paid his dues to this country.

    He was missing when we were going through all the gut wrenching referendums.

    He was missing when we were going through Meech and Charlottetown.

    He was missing when we were going through the Constitutional Crisis.

    His writings against Quebec Nationalism in his books will not do him much good in Quebec.

    Maybe I`m just too old.

    By Blogger Lindsay, at 12:45 AM  

  • Old maybe, Lindsay. A touch racist Im guessing as well. This whole "who's more Canadian" is distasteful and a bad path to proceed down.

    By Blogger Gene Rayburn, at 9:24 AM  

  • Gene, calling some racist because they're unsure of a white male academic is sort of a joke - grow up.

    It may be distasteful, sure - but racist? Earth to Gene.... hello, Earth to Gene.

    OTOH, maybe we're doing a great job as a society developing better values and morals if criticizing Ignatieff's time in the US and Uk has become our modern definiton of "racist". Maybe your comment shows something progressive about our crazy modern times.

    It doesn't mean you're not an idiot, though.

    By Anonymous Jason Bo Green, at 12:25 PM  

  • That was rude of me, I take it back fully.

    However, I do believe very passionately that using the "racist" barb deployed in a partisan political battle between two white guys is a) tasteless, and b) demeaning to the people of the world who are legitimate victims of racism. I don't feel the comment shows an understanding of what racism really means, and I feel the comment is using a true struggle for dignity and means as nothing more than a convenient rhetorical tool in a cheap partisan wrestling match. I do think that this kind of usage of the term is unkind -- not to Lindsay, but to the people, black and white and every other color, who have fought and given their lives against prejudice and inequality.

    You're not an idiot, I retract that whole heartedly.

    I think we can all use that term with more integrity and honesty than is found in your usage of it, however.

    By Anonymous Jason Bo Green, at 12:40 PM  

  • ktr,

    your logic on harper not being an albertan is flawed. if you are going to apply the iggy logic to harper you'd have to say: "not an ontarian" which i believe most people would agree with.

    as far as the ads go, i think they'll be effective as long as iggy cannot shake his tendency to sound arrogant. as long as he continues to sound arrogant, aloof and condescending the ads will stick. and, i think the conservatives have focus tested these things like crazy. the conservatives aren't worried about votes from urban sophisticates, they want the suburban families, rural votes and urban blue collar workers. we'll see how these ads play to those audiences.

    harper's real problem lies in quebec.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:09 PM  

  • The effectiveness of these ads will be determined by Ignatieff, not Harper.

    "Not a leader" worked on Dion because he was consistently outperformed in parliament by Ignatieff; because abstained on Tory budgets, and because his team bungled a number of things (eg. Outremont by-elections).

    "Just visiting" will work if Ignatieff appears too pro-American; if Ignatieff makes some gaffe reflecting his time out of the country ("The Liberal party is a timeless institution, like Eatons"); or if Ignatieff appears self-serving and out of touch.

    If it fails, round 2 of attack ads will start talking about the coalition.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:58 PM  

  • By Blogger sa, at 12:00 PM  

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