Monday, January 17, 2011

Just to be clear - we really don't like Michael Ignatieff

According the Conservatives, Michael Ignatieff's cross-country tour is a sign he wants to plunge the country into a divisive election, something Stephen Harper has consistently opposed ever since September 2008. So the Conservatives have responded the way they respond to, well, anything - by launching a new round of remixed Just Visiting attack ads.

So let's take a look at the 6 English ads up on the Conservative Party website - tomorrow, I'll break down the 4 French ads.

This video starts with shots of economic uncertainty and rioting in a third world country (or perhaps Toronto) to show it's a dangerous world. We then see Stephen Harper, in glasses, seriously reading papers and hard at work. After all, being PM is a serious job and we need a serious leader - one who is "here for Canada".

On the whole, the ad has a positive message, touting Stephen Harper's record in office and giving voters a reason to vote for him. So, of course, it will never air on TV.

Now, let's look at the trash that you will see on TV:

Coalition: Michael Ignatieff wants to form a coalition with the separatists and socialists? And Jack Layton too? Why hasn't anyone warned me about this before?!?!? I feel like some of the money wasted on H1N1 awareness ads last year should have been spent to let Canadians know about this dastardly threat.

Taxes: Michael Ignatieff wants to raise taxes. But not the good kind of tax increase, like the hike in EI premiums Jim Flaherty is bringing in. Ignatieff is proposing bad tax increases, like a hike in the GST or a carbon tax. Except he's not so much "proposing" them as kind of musing three years ago about not ruling them out.

Ignatieff Canada: Again, we find out that Michael Ignatieff likes Algonquin Park and has said some not-so-great things about Canada in the past. It's really "Just Visiting" with a new tag - "he didn't come back for you". Which I think just underscores why it's important for Ignatieff to offer a clear vision and explain why he wants to be Prime Minister.

Ignatieff America: Turns out Michael Ignatieff loves America. Unlike Stephen Harper.

Overall, it's hard to say much about these ads that hasn't been said before because, well, we've seen these ads before. As trashy as they are, there wasn't a huge backlash to them the first time around, so I wouldn't expect one now. They worked before, so I would expect them to work again.

Until Ignatieff defines himself better, Harper will gladly do it for him.


  • All true and well said. And what will the Liberals do about it? Well . . . . pretty much nothing. The LPC just seems incapable of waking up to the kind of enemy they are fighting.

    By Blogger Kirbycairo, at 12:32 p.m.  

  • These are no "trashier" than the ad the Libs would release if they had the money to actually air them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 p.m.  

  • Anon - The last round of Liberal ads (the "Narnia ads") featured Ignatieff talking about his values and vision of Canada.

    Yes, they were short on specifics, but certainly not attack ads of this sort.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:29 p.m.  

  • If only the Liberal's were not saddled with a leader who supported the invasion of Iraq. Then they could run tv commercials filled with all of Harper's quotes from before and right after the invasion.

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

  • The main problem facing the Liberals is Iggy, sorry but I just don't feel leadership from him,... he's like an over cooked noodle.

    Harper is a control freak, and the first few seconds of his vid reminds me of the shit he put Toronto through at the G20,... What did he do? Staged the G20 so he could make a campaign video?

    Ya, there's an election in the air and no matter the results, it will not be good for Canada

    By Blogger Zorpheous, at 3:45 p.m.  

  • This is one Liberal that wants to see an election ASAP. The sooner we have it, the sooner we can get rid of Ignatieff. WE NEVER ELECTED THIS GUY! I have no loyalty to him. I'll vote Liberal, but if he doesn't immediately resign after getting his ass-kicked I'll be joining with ANYONE who starts a pro-leadership review group. Let's have an election and get this over with already.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 p.m.  

  • CG,

    the coalition is real read Brian Topp's book. Desperate times make for poor decision. Why did Ignatieff sign the pact last and call it a three legged stool in May 2009?

    Taxes are not off the table like GST, Carbon, Payroll tax.
    The Bloc, NDP and many Liberals votes for a big increase (bloc motion) The CPC allowed only a small increase and it will delay balancing the EI fund.

    My wife is not political at ALL but the kiss of death for her was his 34 years away from Canada. The rest does not matter according to her.

    Nothing wrong with being supportive of our southern brother to the south. The problem is Liberals attack Republicans and Americans that are not democrats.

    By Blogger CanadianSense, at 8:46 p.m.  

  • CS - the coalition WAS real. Iggy never cared for the idea, but went along with it to tote the party line.

    The tax stuff is fair if the Liberals actually propose it but all they've talked about is increasing corporate taxes.

    And yes, the 34 years abroad is a problem for many. It's one of the reasons I didn't support Ignatieff for leader in 2006 or 2008. That's why I said I expect these ads to be somewhat effective at reinforcing the Just Visiting message.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:38 p.m.  

  • If Bob Rae (and others) repeatedly call CPC MPs 'the Tea Party',
    then fair game to remind Canadians of Ignatieff's "we Americans" and 'just visiting'.

    American tit-for-tat.

    By Blogger wilson, at 9:54 p.m.  

  • I can perhaps shed some light on this. I interviewed Ignatieff in September 2009, and he talked about the coalition.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:28 a.m.  

  • I was surprised to see Harper in the Pm office. I guess Conservtaives do not hold it in the same regard as the Oval Office in the USA. Can you imagine the backlash if a sitting president used the Oval Offfice as a political prop?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 p.m.  

  • "Michael Ignatieff's cross-country tour is a sign he wants to plunge the country into a divisive election."

    Or was it the fact that Iggy promised at the end of December to vote against the budget sight unseen?

    Of course, since then he sent Brison out in front of the media to say that they'd look at it but didn't hold out much hope. And the media seem unwilling to call Iggy out on it.

    Given that the Bloq has already promised to vote against the budget, and that the NDP are threatening to do the same, it seems more than a bit unfair to try to paint Harper as the one looking to trigger an election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:12 a.m.  

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