Friday, April 06, 2007

Attack ads

I've been closely following the discussions in the media on the Tories' pre-election ad campaign. I'm no big fan of attack ads. They make you look desperate and mean. My bet is that the actual campaign will be pretty mild, if the polls and focus groups show Dion has been tagged as a wimp in the public mind. The Liberals will try to scare voters into believing Harper has a hidden agenda, which may be a tough sell. They'd also be smart to tailor their campaign to the suburban vote, or they risk losing the 905 and the similar ridings in the Montreal area.
I keep hearing commentators say the pre-election ad campaign is a first for Canada. That's wrong. The Reform Party advertised as much as it could afford before the 1993 election and had tough radio spots before the 1997 election.
The Ontario Tories lottery ad is a bit whiny, but it gets the point across. Lotteries are a sucker bet anyway. Still, it reminds people that McGuinty's first instinct is, invariably, to go negative and bring in his smear merchants. In this case, he brought in hacks to try to dsicredit the CBC's "fifth estate" report and didn't act until the Ombudsman raked the OLG and government over the coals. Whether or not the rest of the Liberal brain trust will have learned from the DiNovo fiasco (they tried to smear a United church minister in a Pardale-High Park by-election and lost a seat they could have won) and the lottery cover-up mess should be made clear in the next few months.

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