Monday, January 29, 2007

Attack Ads Show Conservatives Weakness

As most have now seen or heard, the Conservatives launched a largely baseless and tasteless attack ad campaign in an effort to delay an election and retain control of their minority government.

The first set of ads take aim squarely at Liberal leader Stephane Dion, while a second wave will hit the French language channels shortly. Money is no object for the Tory spin doctors on this one.

Mr. Kenney (Secretary of State for Multiculturalism) refused to discuss the Tory budget for this negative-advertising campaign, saying only that his party will spend “as much as it takes to drive our message home.”

A more realistic assessment of the situation came from deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, “They're running scared”.

Scared and rudderless. The irony is that the Tories would have nothing to fear if they would just show some political skill. The environment is the number one issue with voters, and every other party in Parliament has recognized this and taken a strong stand on the issue. All Harper needs to do is get on board with the issue and he can pick and choose who to work with almost indefinitely.

He can leave the Liberals in the cold while forging ahead with the help of the Bloc or the NDP, or he could silence the Liberal critics completely be tabling an environmental platform that they would be hypocrites to reject. But Harper isn't getting it, and in the process he's making his party more politically irrelevant by the day. In failing to provide leadership on global warming, he is resembling a 15th century pope instead of a 21st century leader - screaming in the face of science that the sun DOES revolve around Earth, because its god's will.

In Harpers view, the will of God is for every drop of Albertan oil to be extracted, sold and burned - with no consequences for anyone except to become filthy rich in the process. It's a view point that is fundamentally out of touch with other parties, Canadian voters and most importantly - reality.

It is time for the Conservatives to step up or risk being ridiculed alongside history's other great nay sayers.


kitimat said...

Well said,

The conservatives are doing the bare minimum. Harper doesn't want any obstacles to economic growth. But he doesn't seem to understand that it will be far more expensive to drag our feet on this issue.

Hopefully the IPCC gathering on Friday will illustrate the urgency
required to act now.

E. R. Dunhill said...

As an American, I envy this dilemma. You write, “The environment is the number one issue with voters…” South of the border here, the only thing that has really gotten the public interested in the environment are:
1. A movie
2. The fact that our choice to knock-over someone else’s government has raised the price of gasoline
Since American industry is behind the petroleum 8-ball, I wish Canada would forget oil shale and get fat selling us Prairie Province biofuels.

timethief said...

I agree with you. These attack ads do expose a weakness and a lack of due care and attention to what the likely response to them will be from western Canadians. I haven't spoken to a single person yet who has said anything positive about these ads at all. IMO the effect they have may be quite the opposite of what is intended.