Thursday, December 22, 2005

Phase Two

With the Christmas break fast approaching, the question now becomes how the three campaigns (well...four...we shouldn't forget Jack) will handle the January dash to the finish line.

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 move since those were, by far, the two weakest of the bunch.

[Cross-Posted to CTV Weblog]


  • From what I hear the Liberal war room is in panic mode. Everything is breaking against from Sheila Copps to national unity. Everbody knows the negative crap is coming. Obviously running on your record is not going to get it done. Liberals are sooo creative. It worked once. Let's do it again. One major difference this time the Conservative are ready. So far the Liberals are running against a referendum in Quebec, running against the PQ in Quebec, running against Ralph Klein, running against the Americans...don't they understand that none of these entitiies are on the ballott. They are supposed to be running in a federal election in Canada. Like Ian MacDonald from Montreal said today in the National Post today that Martin is so busy standing up for everything that he hasn't got time to sit down. The worst thing that can happen to a politician has started to happen to Martin. He has started to be treated as a joke in the media. Check out the Globe and Mail, check out Paul Wells blog. Let the Liberals run on negative crap and Harper continue to roll out policy. This time it will backfire. The Conservative war room this time is running like a well oiled machine. Libs will be out gunned and out classed. Libs get your resume updated and do it quick before Harper changes the rules for lobbyists.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 p.m.  

  • The reputed ads over at Taylor may or may not be legitimate (thanks, Jean Chretien & Co?) but if these whoppers are, I've written my rebuttal to add to yours:

    Enjoy, Erik

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:28 p.m.  

  • Paul Martin lies. Don't vote for him.

    "I would never for a moment suggest that Stephen Harper would prefer, for partisan political reasons, to see a separatist victory."
    —Paul Martin, Wednesday morning

    "All that motivates [Duceppe] in Ottawa is to work for separation — and it's obvious….Why else would he team up with Stephen Harper? Think about it. Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe."
    —Paul Martin, Wednesday evening

    (quotes cribbed from Wells)

    By Blogger matt, at 3:51 p.m.  

  • Grit,

    Always a pleasure to read. Here are some observations.

    No doubt Stephen Taylor's post will generate a good deal of discussion amongst bloggers and the press. If the contents of this ‘apparent leak’ are genuine Liberal strategy then the Libs will be hard pressed to use it given all the coverage that can be expected. If it's framed as desperate negativity it will be useless.

    It could very well be genuine. Given what we've seen from the likes of Kinsella and Copps (not that I object to their actions - they both deserve more respect from friends and enemies than they get) there's no reason to believe that others aren't working hard from the inside. On the other hand it could just be an attempt to provoke the CPC.

    Authentic or not (and I’m not convinced), used or not, they won’t matter much. The CPC have done a good job from the start of prepping everyone for a negative Liberal campaign.

    BTW, the grounds been whispering in my ear that Harper won't play the Adscam card. At least not directly. But you’ll agree I can’t claim to be something special calling that one.

    The CPC are flush with cash and their grassroots can't wait to pony up a 2006 donation. The base has long been reconfirmed and they'll be able to spend January concentrating on accessibles and GOTV. I know everyone likes to see a sixty yard pass but elections like football games are won on the ground.

    By Blogger thoughT particleS, at 3:53 p.m.  

  • My only wish is for a commercial that shows David Dingwall saying "I am entitled to my entitlements".

    That quote alone is enough to push the election over the top.

    By Blogger Greg Staples, at 4:02 p.m.  

  • A couple points:

    - The Liberal War-room may very well be in disaarray, (I've not been particularly impressed with Martin's advisers since he brought them on) but that doesnt say much for Harper or his war-room when he still cant get above 30% support in the polls and trails anywhere from 4-10 points depending on what polling firm you look at.

    - Attacking Layton is a dumb move -- it just reminds voters that there is another alternative out there to vote for other then the Tories. Layton and his bunch will also trumpet it as a moral victory for being important enough (or dangerous enough) for the Liberals to be going after. it plays into their "Vote for more NDP members to keep Liberals accountable" line.

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 4:19 p.m.  

  • "This accusation I made against Mr. Martin arises because it is Mr. Martin who has talked continually about a referendum and about having a PQ government in Quebec." (Dec. 21)

    "Mr. Martin told reporters that now is not the time for talk of a referendum lest it lead to a reduction in business confidence in the country". (Globe Dec. 22)

    So after...

    1. Calling the election an "élection référendaire".

    2. Demanding an apology for Harper's observation that "they can't wait to see a PQ government so they can stand up for federalism and fight the separatists"

    3 Baiting and then running from Duceppe.

    ...Martin suddenly discovers that "grownups are trying to do some important business here" (phrasing is from Paul Wells's 12/2/2005 request to stop talking about an élection référendaire")

    Wells is right on again today. Any words of Martin's need best before label expressed in minutes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 p.m.  

  • The Liberal "war room" does not have a clue. One of Stephen Harper's main talking points is that the Conservatives stand up for Canada. However, rather than reminding people as part of national ad campaign that Harper has, for example, called Canada "smug" "resentful", "second tier" and "second rate" they leak older and older Harper speeches to the media so it comes out as news. The 1998 speech was a good case in point. Some of what Harper said was damaging yes, but it pales in comparison to what else he has said in the past. Furthermore, the speech garnered no more than a few days coverage and the number of Canadians who even heard it were likely very few. What negative ads the party does run are full of allusions, rhetoric and half baked accusations. At a time when Canadians are highly skeptical of what politicians of any stripe have to say and annoyed at what they see as pointless bricking, I simply can not imagine a worse approach. People do not like Harper so give him a forum in which to talk, viz., a Liberal ad campaign. Do not interpret what he says; there is simply no need to; Canadians understand what "smug", resentful", "second tier" and "second rate” mean.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:21 p.m.  

  • The Liberal War Room is so short of funds for the home stretch that they risk taxpayers' fury to send their paid staff back to the office to pick up a week's pay.

    Therefore, they have a problem - the leak of these storyboards will make it tough to pay their creative people to come up with anything else.

    My prediction: They'll do a Lalonde. When he carelessly let slip part of his Budget to a cameraman, he simply changed the dollar amount, costing taxpayers millions.

    So what part of the Liberal story will they change? My guess is that they'll downplay the NDP attack and focus on their real enemy, the Conservatives. After all, Jack may be a handy guy to have around, if they can pull this out of the fire.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 4:39 p.m.  

  • Using the Fraser Institute in a Liberal attack ad is just too funny. Imagine the fun the NDP war room will have with it, if it is real.

    By Blogger Greg, at 4:55 p.m.  

  • It good to see the Supreme Court of Canada is helping out with the Charter as a point of debate.

    Please someone, pass a law that all "swinger clubs" or "bath houses" have to with 50 meters of a Supreme court judge's house.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 p.m.  

  • Great analysis, Bart, and spot-on. Yes, the Liberals are in panic mode, and going negative is the only thing they know (since they have no real and credible policies to speak of).

    While negative campaigning may have helped them in the past, it won't fly this time. You want to know why? Because voters do not fall for that Liberal scare-mongering that paints Harper as the devil incarnate.

    In addition, a majority of voters want change after twelve years. This urge to change things wasn't as strong last time in 2004. But now Adscam has fully sunk in, as has the realization that one-party rule is bad for democracy.

    In other words, the Libs have to battle a whole lot more "demons" this time around, and while it may be a close race, the writing is on the wall: Tory minority government.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:16 p.m.  

  • Oh, and it does not help either that Martin continues to flip-flop and lie on almost every single issue.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 p.m.  

  • Comments from major players in the PC and Harper, in both the french and english language, has given me several clues as to the kind of government he will be running, first identified as a Libetarian, tax credits, and defense.
    Health Care, will include private clinics, brought in from the U.S. They said a private system must be included, in order to maintain our Public System. These clinics will be expensive, and only for canadians who can pay.

    New Arrangement with Provinces.
    Provinces will be responsible for
    health care, housing, as for social assistance, immigrants, and the disabled, well the conservatives said that is neither a federal or provincial responsibility but a family responsibility. What about those that do not have families.

    The PC party said that only the lowest income senior would receive the OAS. Every Canadian pays thru their taxes for the OAS, companies also pay into this plan for their employees, so every Canadian deserves this pension.

    The PC plan to keep the CPP for current seniors, the PC plan to phase it out for the future. That means that all those that paid into this plan for 20 years or so, will never see a penny of their money.
    The CPP is admired by other countries who want to adopt this plan, and we have politicians who want to destroy the plan.
    The CPP is an company-employee based plan, it belongs to every working Canadian, otherwise we are going to have a lot of retirees depending on the government for a pension.

    The fall out of responsibility given over to the provinces, is that our provincial and municipal taxes will go up. Or we will have a growing homeless population, also if seniors lose their OAS it will push them into the social housing category, as many seniors pay market rent.

    The Liberals and the NDP are aware of the above polcies, the NDP. Through this election the ndp thru fear of losing votes has avoided any mention of the above issues.
    The Liberals for some reason of their own thru this campaign, should have told the public re Harpers plans, but I havn't heard one word from them.
    (Do they plan to do the same thing as the conservatives re Pensions)

    Also, I heard that Harper wants to take the land away from Indians, and he does not like Unions, believe that the destroyed our country, I think he will come down hard on them.

    PS The Party in power can phase out the CPP no vote in parliament required.

    The PC leader said; our surplus will pay for public health care, our surplus will pay for defense, our surplus will help out some provinces.
    What happens when the surplus is gone.........

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 p.m.  

  • Equating Harper to Mike Harris? Huge mistake. Mike Harris led the provincial PCs to two strong majority governments. He came out of the woodwork with a plan - The Common-Sense Revolution. What left-wing Ontarians resented was that he stuck to his plan and kept his promises.

    I say to the liberal war-room go ahead. But you do so at your peril.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 a.m.  

  • Hey 9:10, do you want to know what I heard? You're a kook, that's what I heard.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:18 a.m.  

  • Anonymous (9:10) in quotes:
    "Health Care, will include private clinics, brought in from the U.S. They said a private system must be included, in order to maintain our Public System. These clinics will be expensive, and only for canadians who can pay."

    Which is, of course, not the party platform, by why let policy get in the way of rhetoric, eh?

    "The fall out of responsibility given over to the provinces, is that our provincial and municipal taxes will go up. Or we will have a growing homeless population, also if seniors lose their OAS it will push them into the social housing category, as many seniors pay market rent."

    Yes! I have more control over my municipal budget then the provincial budget. I have more control over the provincial budget then the federal one. Why is this bad? There is only _one_ taxpayer, not three.

    "The PC plan to keep the CPP for current seniors, the PC plan to phase it out for the future. "

    Citation please? Oh, right, your "major insiders". Come on. give it up. You know that every constiuency organization knows who is on side and who isn't. At the federal level they tend to be more circumspect. You got "insider knowledge" like I won the lottery.

    Give up the astro-turf already.

    p.s --> "What happens when the surplus is gone........"

    Hopefully parliment cuts the damn gov't down to it's responsibilities instead of infringing on the areas of provincial and municipal responsibilites.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:22 a.m.  

  • I thought Groovy's response was more to the point. Not that I disagree with anything you've said, Lance - but anon (9:10) isn't worth the effort.

    By Blogger deaner, at 11:36 a.m.  

  • Well, if we are talking about bombs dropping, I wish that someone (MSM, parties, etc) would find out the answer to a very simple and basic question:

    "Where the heck is that $1.14 million from AdScam that Martin said would be repaid to the government by the Liberal Party?"

    My MP can't get an answer either from the GoC or LPC, and even Sheila Copps had no success pushing on the LPC for proof of payment.

    I think what we have here is the Liberals using our money (which they admitted they stole in the first place) to finance their re-election.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:07 p.m.  

  • What's really bizarre is that GST claim. The Liberals need to put that talking point away and fast. It's not only contrary to basic economics (something that the Conservatives will be happy to remind people) but the NDP will simply hammer home the "corporate tax cuts" line over and over again in response.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 11:16 p.m.  

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