Friday, January 21, 2011

Counter Punch

After a slew of Tory ads on Monday, the Liberals have countered with a pair of their own.

Yes, these are attack ads - dark, both in colour and message. But it's a substantiated attack. Harper IS bringing in a corporate tax cut and he IS buying the fighter jets. Those are facts. There are certainly valid reasons for making both decisions, but that's the debate we should be having. Contrast that to the Tory ads which were nothing more than drive-by-smears on Ignatieff. Or, for that matter, some of the character assassinations the Liberals tried on Harper in past elections.

As for the ads themselves, they'll sink or swim on the issues they discuss, but they're certainly well produced. The flying jets and sound effects get your attention (remember the car honk at the end of those great CPC ads in the '06 campaign), as do the coloured dollar signs up against a grey background.

Of the two, I think the corporate tax ad is more powerful. The rising cost of living line is something everyone can relate to (first seen last week). It's easy to grasp the idea of a big tax cut for corporations (notice the stretch limo) at a time when you're having trouble making ends meet (notice the frustrated family). Probably more so than spending on military planes which we may or may not need.

So, on the whole, a very strong response from the Liberals.



  • The Liberals didn’t put out ads until the Tories did first. Now the Liberals have reacted and reponsded by putting out these ads, paid for with money they could afford to spend much less than the Tories could.

    The Tories say “jump” and the Liberals say “how high”. I’m loving this narrative of the Liberals responding to what the Tories do, and it having to cost them more to do it.

    By Blogger Michael, at 9:54 a.m.  

  • “Right now, Canada has another opportunity to improve the competitiveness of the tax system. I am referring here to the federal plan to lower the statutory corporate tax rate to 15% by 2012,” he said. “Behind this plan is a recognition that few things matter more to Canada’s economic future than our ability to attract and retain investment.”

    And who said that? Anyone want to venture a guess? :D

    By Blogger Michael, at 9:56 a.m.  

  • Michael - I googled that and it looks like it was John Manley. I like Manley, heck I still have a few old t-shirts from his abridged leadership run.

    But he's not a Liberal MP anymore and I'm sure we can find a slew of prominent Tories who disagree with Harper on the corporate tax cuts, or GST cut, or massive deficits, or any other decision he's made.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:04 a.m.  

  • Michael (first point) - Better to respond than do nothing and let Harper be the lone voice in the discussion.

    But yes, it does underscore the need of the Liberals to do a better job raising money.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:05 a.m.  

  • John Manley said that.

    These ads are wasted money.
    Boring repeats of what the media have had in the news for weeks.
    Libs have to come up with something that Canadians haven't been told by the media, repeatedly.

    Even the 'is this your Canada or Harper's' is the underlying narrative from most Libluvin journalists, since 2006.
    It reminds one of that Lib ad with the dissintegrating Canadian flag.
    Was that 2004 or 2006?

    Easily countered.
    'Liberals made a long term committment to Canadian small businesses, now want to repeal the legislation they defended in 2008.'

    We all remember (because Canadians are not stupid) Dippers campaigning to repeal the corp tax cuts,
    and that was the reason Dion gave for NOT forming a coalition with Jack, it would hurt the Canadian economy.

    Infact, it's a coalition ad.

    By Blogger wilson, at 10:17 a.m.  

  • Oh no! John Manley expressed a private personal opinion! Oh, and the media is biased! Biased I tells ya!

    I think you can judge the effectiveness of the ads by measuring the histrionics from the conservatives.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:25 a.m.  

  • No, we're not reacting with histrionics Gayle; we're reacting with hilarity.

    By Anonymous Michael Harkov, at 10:32 a.m.  

  • Actually Gayle, John Manley expressed an opinion on a political issue as President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. That's why it's important.

    By Blogger jad, at 10:43 a.m.  

  • Calgary Grit,

    One complaint I have is that the ads go too fast, especially with 6 billion tax break ad. You hardly have time to absorb what is happening and there is no single image that makes an impact. The car horn ad that you linked to had enough sound bites (and repeated many times to create an impact) that is missing in these ads.

    By Blogger mezba, at 10:50 a.m.  

  • Yes, the fact that Manley was speaking in favour of tax cuts for big corporations as the head of a group that lobbies for big corporations is entirely relevant. You are very correct.

    I know I was surprised that big business would support tax cuts for big business. If you want to give me a big bag of cash, I'd be in favour of that too.

    Given this huge deficit we have to deal with though, maybe we should hold off.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 10:51 a.m.  

  • Wilson: Libs have to come up with something that Canadians haven't been told by the media, repeatedly.

    Except how many Canadians who don't log on to Newswatch every day are really aware that corporate taxes are going down and that money is being spent on fighter jets? And even if they are, if it's a good issue, you need to keep hammering away at it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:06 a.m.  

  • Mezba - true enough. The ads are quick, but I guess that's to be expected for a 15 second ad.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:06 a.m.  

  • I saw these this morning. One subtle effect I liked: the Limo stops, and you hear the sound of someone getting in, and then it drives off. But Harper is still standing there. So your imagination wonders who just got into the car?

    And you're probably going to imagine that Harper just put whoever you hate most into the limo, after paying for their lunch. I can't say it was intentional, but I think it's a good technique.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 a.m.  

  • Calgarygrit,
    google Harper f35 and see the hundreds of links,
    any Canadian who has a tv or read a news paper once a week, knows.

    And Canadians will remember, because they are not stupid,
    the #1 campaign pledge from the NDP 2008 election platform was repealing corporate tax cuts.

    Canadians will make the 'corp tax cut' connection to the 2008 coalition,
    which may very well be the Liberal plan.
    If Jack didn't toss in some coin for that ad, he should have..

    By Blogger wilson, at 11:15 a.m.  

  • Wait a minute ... didn't the Liberals support both initiative?

    Shouldn't this be:

    "Is this your Canada, or Harper and the Liberals'?"

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:23 a.m.  

  • Given this huge deficit we have to deal with though, maybe we should hold off.

    Dalton McGuinty, call your office...

    By Anonymous Jason Hickman, at 11:34 a.m.  

  • Yes now they have made the ads, but can they afford to run the ads. See if the Tories can get them to spend early when it will not impact the vote.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:46 a.m.  

  • wilson the volleyball's only dribbling over here now cuz he was exposed as a wannabe poseur on ScottTribe on Harper the born-again Keynesian.

    Tell us again how the mean ol' coalition beat up Harper and made him pay for everybody's lunch!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 p.m.  

  • Wait a minute ... didn't Harper say in Fall 2008 that if the global recession was going to hit us, it already would have, by then?

    Was Canada's unemployment a global recession -- or Harper's recession?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 p.m.  

  • I’m loving this opportunity for the Liberals to fundraise more effectively on the basis of something as tangible as a TV ad, which would have been perceived as needlessly provocative, before.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 p.m.  

  • “We will accelerate and deepen the currently planned corporate tax cuts, reducing the general corporate tax rate by an additional one per cent within four years. That means the federal corporate tax rate in Canada will be only 14 per cent by the 2012.” – Liberal press release, June 19, 2008

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 p.m.  

  • We will not run a deficit....
    We will balance the budget...

    Flaherty, Harper & the Reform/Alliance/CRRAP/CPC, countless times....

    -- unless, of course, there's a recession and we change our minds & policies. But only WE can do that responsibly!! Anyone else's reversal would be a lie or a conspiracy!!! The Coalitions are Coming, The Coalitions Are Coming!!!!!

    By Blogger WhigWag, at 2:41 p.m.  

  • Anon 2:24 - I don't think it's neccesarily fair to hit the Libs for changing a position held by their previous leader.

    That would be like Hudak coming out against something John Tory had said and then the OLP accusing them of a flip-flop. Sure, it might happen. Sure, it shows some inconsistency. But we all know it's not a big deal.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:56 p.m.  

  • Wilson - According to this poll, 61% of Canadians are aware of the F-35 purchase.

    But I'd wager that includes a lot of people who might only have peripheral awareness of the deal - they certainly wouldn't know the specifics.

    Either way, I'm sure more Canadians are aware Ignatieff lived in the US for a while and was once tied up in that whole coalition mess. There's nothing wrong with running a political ad about something people already know. In fact, I'd say you're better off talking about something they know.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:59 p.m.  

  • WhigWag all parties said NO DEFICIT in the 2008 election campaign

    ''..Layton said the platform would not create a deficit.
    But in the first year, it would boost government spending by about $8 billion; by the fourth year, it would be up to $18.1 billion.

    Because of the high cost, the New Democrats say they would reverse the Conservatives' reduction of the corporate tax rate, boosting it to 22.12 per cent from 19.5 per cent. The Tories have promised to slash corporate taxes....''

    By Blogger wilson, at 6:29 p.m.  

  • No deficit Dion:

    ''..Earlier, Dion told reporters that a "Liberal government will never put Canada into deficit. Period."

    He said his party will earmark a contingency fund totalling $3 billion a year in case of an economic downturn.

    "Fiscal discipline is now part of the Liberal DNA," he said.

    "We were the party that turned a huge deficit into eight years of surpluses, and we will continue to put fiscal responsibility first."

    The platform also pledges to drop corporate taxes to 14 per cent over the next five years and to slash the current 31.5 per cent tax rate on income trusts. Instead, the Liberals would bring in a refundable, 10 per cent tax on income trusts....'

    That was 2 months before the coalition demanded PMSH cough up $30 Billion in deficit spending, or else!!!

    By Blogger wilson, at 6:36 p.m.  

  • What, you're _still_ maintaining that Harper caved to the threat to beat him up for the stimulus lunch money, wilson?!

    So, what, Harper was a coward & a stooge & a traitor to his own economic philosophy, and he was also LYING when he said this to Mansbridge last week, that he did it of his own volition because we were heading into the greatest recession since The Depression?

    "No, we've taken the positions [we did], Peter, because they're the right positions for the economy.

    ..What we faced in 2008/09 were circumstances that I thought I would not see in my lifetime. But economic theory is clear. When you have a complete collapse of market confidence, when you have a global financial system that has become dysfunctional ...then the only alternative you have is for government to move in, absorb those funds ...and put them to work productively to stimulate business confidence.

    That was the situation we were in in the 1930s [and] haven't been in ...[since, for] 80 years. ...Did I think it would happen? No, I didn't, but it did. And so when it did I think we took the appropriate action."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:33 p.m.  

  • Regardless of the validity of various points raised in both sets of ads, their overall impact on me is a tendency to say "A pox on BOTH your houses"!

    Yes, negative ads have been shown to work, but they do so at the cost of alienating the "reasonable" elector from the entire process.

    And without seeming too paronoic, it's entirely possible that such an outcome is actually desirable from the point of view of political operatives.

    MUCH better to avoid consideration of the "grey" areas of policy debate by relinquishing control of that debate to the extremes on both "right" and "left"!

    By Blogger Party of One, at 2:02 p.m.  

  • Today, on Fox Journal, a panelist was saying that O had to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15% to be competetative in the world.
    Wonder how that frustrated family would feel if by not reducing the tax, the corporation they work for fired them.
    Corporations are more than mining, oil and banks. Your local vet, flower shop, restaurant and take out place are probably incorporated.
    There are over 494,000 corporations in Ontario alone. They provide lots of jobs.

    By Blogger maryT, at 4:59 p.m.  

  • Come on, mary: you really think those small biz's operating locally are going to close shop here & try to set up shop in other countries unless we keep slashing their taxes? Even if they could, who says the health care & security costs & other types of costs of doing biz. there wouldn't be even more overwhelming -- or that those markets aren't oversaturated with their partic. product or service line, already? And the biz owners that ARE prepared to liquidate here & go elsewhere will do anyway over the cost of labour as our dollar gets stronger, anyway, so why should we try to gear the whole system to them -- they just milk various corporate welfare tax break concessions dry & move on from country to country, anyway -- no sense giving them more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:07 p.m.  

  • Why is Dalton McGuinty cutting corporate taxes if it is so bad?

    By Blogger Tim, at 12:21 a.m.  

  • "Anon 2:24 - I don't think it's neccesarily fair to hit the Libs for changing a position held by their previous leader."

    Hilarious! The Liberals can't be held to account for any of their positions because they can't select a leader. But those Conservatives, boy, they're in for it if they ever change their position on anything. Or if they don't change their position on something. Either way, don't expect us to be consistent: we're Liberals. We harp on inconsistency in others!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:03 a.m.  

  • John Manley isn't just a former Liberal MP. He is a former Deputy Prime Minister, and a former Minister of Finance.

    When he talks about corporate tax policy, he does so with more than a bit of gravitas. When he speaks against the policies of the Liberal Party of Canada, people are wise to listen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:06 a.m.  

  • Manley is no longer being briefed on the full extent of the Govt's actual financial situation, nor is he working for the people of Canada. He works for the CEOs of the major corporations who have a direct personal interest in this -- half of those profits we're talking about are used to pay their bonuses. So don't tell us we should listen to him or them: you're probably one of them -- a bloodsucker. Don't want your profits taxed? Simple: reinvest it in the company, and actually create those new jobs you're bragging about / pretending to do; problem solved.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:16 p.m.  

  • Re maryT @ 4:59 PM and Anonymous @ 6:07 PM

    Yes, a lot of small businesses are incorporated. I am (for two SBs that I operate from home).

    But you may not know that SBs (under $200K gross) already get an extra break on federal corporate tax. I'm well under that limit, and although I pay a fair chunk out to fed/prov taxes, I also get a decent SB offset. And of course, private SB corporations have other advantages for the owners -- mainly being able to control how much you pay yourself, which means that you also have some control over how much you have to pay in personal income tax. It's a fine balancing act, but it can be quite advantageous over a salaried position working for someone else -- if you're prepared to hang your keister over the abyss and take total responsibility for your own income.

    By Anonymous MedEditor, at 2:30 p.m.  

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