Monday, July 13, 2009

Flanagan's Folly

I'm sure you've all read the article penned by Tom Flanagan in today's G&M.

Like other articles he's written, he begins from a false premise. In this case, he is speaking about negative political advertising in such a way that we are to believe that it has always been thus.

Election campaigns have always been, and always will be, both positive and negative.

True, but the negative campaigns we are seeing from the Harper crew is not like the majority of previous negative campaigns conducted in this country. To begin with, we're not, (supposedly), in campaign mode.

The article seems to want to reinforce this myth, in the same fashion that the Conservatives reinforce all their other false messaging. In other words, if Flanagan and other Conservatives repeat this falsehood enough, Canadians will buy the fact that the Liberals are over-reacting.

He misses the fact that most Canadians, not just Liberals, find the ads insulting. But his position is another truism re' contemporary Conservatives in this country. They believe that the majority share their world view, or will if they spew it enough, in spite of all evidence pointing to the contrary.

He then goes on to do the now classic 'but they did it too!' bit, but the comparisons are laughable.

In 1988, they ran ads almost accusing Brian Mulroney of treason, of selling out Canada to the United States through the free-trade agreement.

Note the almost in that sentence. The difference of course being that today's Con's would have used the term treason, without compunction, or at least that seems to be what Flanagan is advocating. (For the record, Turner ran under this slogan: “This is more than an election – this is your future.”)

Sheila Copps compared Preston Manning to David Duke

Well, no, not really. She said the policies he was promoting appealed to peoples' latent fear, which are the same kind of policies that permit a David Duke.

In 2000, Warren Kinsella went on television to ridicule Stockwell Day's alleged (never demonstrated) belief in Young Earth creationism.

Yea, well, I never really understood why Kinsella took that route though, I personally think it's important to know who believes in creationism if they are going to hold a government file. Tough to argue that your opponent is taking horrible ,degrading shots at you when he's holding a plush toy though?

So, as he defends with example, he takes out of context what was done in the past, which of course buttresses his case...to take things out of context!

Anyway, the entire article is replete with contradictions. He slags the Lib's for employing tactics he's encouraging. It's bizarre, but consistent! It's that projection thing that the Conservatives seem completely oblivious to.

He further suggests that the Liberals are wimps, blah, blah, blah, (and by the way school girls are no more whiny than school boys), obviously taking his own advice and then suggests that this reaction is only aping what occurred in the US with the Democrats and Obama. (Oh, I'm gagging at just how rich that comparison is given his Rovian speak throughout the article.)

True? False? I suggest that the Liberals are tapping into what is reality amongst the voting public. The poll I referred to in my last post substantiates that and certainly we've heard many a comment from the woman and man on the street that supports that notion as well. People are fed up with the nonsense...and nonsense is what he is promoting.

And this to me is the most interesting failure of his argument. He's pushing water uphill, telling us that we should embrace negativity and spin because it's part of the 'game', at a time when it is being rejected everywhere.

Go Flanagan! You have concisely illustrated how the Conservatives in this country are a day late and a dollar short...our dollar, btw.

You know, we should be grateful for small mercies. The wave the Conservatives in this country are trying to ride, crested and crashed a long time ago, specifically in the US.

My bet is we (Canadians) won't be fooled again, but by all means Prof. Flanagan, continue to recommend strategy and talk to us in terms that better help us understand you and the Conservatives.

Canadians have had enough of the ad's...please make them realise they've had enough of your ilk too.

I leave you with this pearl of wisdom from Tom...sand and all:

It would have been a public service for the Republicans to run ads on the Wright-Obama relationship

My idea of public service and I suspect many others, doesn't include what that statement implies.

31 comments:

kirbycairo said...

I agree with almost everything you say but I think you may be wrong about Canadians being fooled again. I am absolutely shocked that the Conservatives even register 10% in the polls given that they are not only massively incompetent but hateful to the point of pathology. If Canadians haven't been massively turned off to this point I don't see what will suddenly change things. The fact that Canadians have not been turned off en masse by the Conservative's approach is inexplicable to me but so it goes.

KNB said...

kirbycairo...In that respect, due to questions asked, I don't think Canadians have really been polled. Meaning, our real voice hasn't been registered.

Ohhh, I like your % though. Imagine that next election. Harper's legacy.

Too delicious!

RuralSandi said...

These Cons are the first to run negative ads outside of an election period/campaign. I don't ever, ever recall getting any 10 percenters prior to this bunch. In fact, I remember reading a letter to the editor of our local paper from a guy complaining that the government (Martin's at the time) were wasting taxpayer dollars sending out the annual parlimentary report - amazing not one word complaining about the neverending 10 percenters we've received since having a Harper Con MP from the guy (who was a frequent complainer when it came to goverment during the Liberal years).

Flanigan, I think, is trying to plant a little seed in our heads that the Libs are soft - aiding Harper in a strategy.

I noticed to responses were overwhelming against what Flanigan wrote. If at election time the same sentiments came in by vote - Harper is toast.

Flanigan - you can take the US Republican our of Illinois, but you can't take the Republican out of the boy from Illinois.

Richard said...

Wow... You Liberals get pissy when confronted with reality...

Glad to see it!

Young Liberal said...

Another gem in Flanagan's article was his assertion that Conservative attack ads are of the most moderate tradition. Give me a break.

As if insinuating the Bloc is a bunch of pedophiles, or sympathizers, is moderate.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Warren Kinsella - Purple dinosaur....
How quickly some forget...

RuralSandi said...

Wow... You Liberals get pissy when confronted with reality...

Glad to see it!

Sure as hell get mad when Harper uses MY taxpayer money for this garbage. If you are a Cons supporter - how can you accept your taxpayer dollars being used like this when you people hate taxes and waste - hypocrite.

About the purple dinosaur - hardly in the same category as calling someone a pedophile

KNB said...

c_wtf Who forgot?

Cherniak_WTF said...

About the purple dinosaur - hardly in the same category as calling someone a pedophile
So now you impose degrees of attacks? Based on what?

It was quite easy to mock those idiots without having to take out Barny....
Yes, a theatrical move,and it was effective.

I have a feeling that the attack ads are effective.


Conservatives are wrong on so many aspects yet continue to delude themselves by their ideology of stupidity and paranoid hysteria.

Anonymous said...

kNB, whats with Cherniak these days? Is this the same guy who had his own blog which he shut down and supported Mr. Dion? I think I liked that one a lot better. I know that he dsen't like Ignatieff and to be honest, he is not my choice either but to tell you the truth, anyone is better than Harper so we have to live with it, support him and hope to see him oust Harper this fall.No matter how we are disappointed the Liberals made, that's who we have and he is smart enough to survive the Reform Cons game.

Irene

Cherniak_WTF said...

Irene, no I'm not the little midget that you are thinking about.

wilson said...

Chretien Liberals didn't have to use 'attack ads' outside the election period, because they had a majority. (didn't have to)

And Martin was lulled by polls and the media into assuming he was going to get 'the largest majority in Canadian history', so he used his attack ads' at the end of election period. (ran too late)

Dion didn't use attack ads because he was 'nice' and those meanie con ads would backfire. (played the victim)

MI....all of the above?

It is amazing that Liberals are allowing the 'truth ads' to go unanswered.
Cons are being given a wide open field to run at framing MI, and Libs whine that Harper is a meanie....

KNB said...

c_wtf, I see anti-Ignatieff former Lib's aren't above personal attacks either.

KNB said...

wilson, I presume you spoke to Chretien, Martin and Dion to get this great insight into their strategy?

How about this? Harper is the only one to actively employ the sick strategy of Rove and co.

Truth ads, LOL! Black is white, up is down and the sky is purple today! Truth ads, ha, ha, ha...

RuralSandi said...

Wilson - revising history are you? Minority or majority - NO other PM has issued attack ads during non-election times ever until Harper.

CWTF - I think you just want to argue for the sake of arguing - you seem to thinks it's a thrill or something. If you don't see the difference regarding the pedophile thing - you have a serious problem. Also, everyone knows you don't like Jason Cherniak - but the midget name calling is rather demeaning and childish. He can't help his height.

Cherniak_WTF said...

If you don't see the difference regarding the pedophile thing - you have a serious problem. Also, everyone knows you don't like Jason Cherniak - but the midget name calling is rather demeaning and childish. He can't help his height.
Jason Cherniak is a mental midget. Is that better for you?

Someone would like me to believe that there is a difference in degrees when Liberals insults? Somehow its better when "we" do it? Give your head a shake...
Hypocrisy is not limited to Conservatives it would seem.




KNB, call me someone who "insults" equally....

How about this? Harper is the only one to actively employ the sick strategy of Rove and co.
On that I agree.
But how will you react once the Liberals follow that path? Aren't we implementing some new voter database?

Nevertheless, the Connies are the ones that are playing to the stupidity of certain Canadians.
I've yet to see a decent Harper policy that was not a complete clusterfuck.

Steve V said...

What kind of a colossal loser, and I mean this all seriousness, picks his online name, using a mocking reference to another person? What does that say about the poster? EVERYTHING. It says, that all that drives this person is to hurl crap at others, that's it, there's no philosophy or anything, it's just a very angry person with no life who visits blogs to get some sense of worth he can't find in the real world.

Come on people, this isn't rocket science, and frankly why anyone would allow themselves to get drawn into debating this low rent character is beyond me.

BTW, never was a Liberal and was equally as dismissive with Dion, so the Iggy angle is just one for convience.

Anyways...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Oh poor little Steve V.

That's quite the big assertion to claim that I never was a Liberal.


BTW, never was a Liberal and was equally as dismissive with Dion, so the Iggy angle is just one for convience.
Do you have ANY proof or are you just picking something out of thin air? Right...
It's quite easy for you to post that I've never been a Liberal just because I don't like Iggy.

So SteveV. are you a total moron or can you definitely say that I have not been a Liberal. This should be amusing.
It's one thing to mock the Connies (too easy at time), but seeing the Liberals blogger start to emulate them is disappointing...

As for Dion, I did support him in the beginning, and still think that he can make a difference in Quebec. His "green plan" was a joke, not because it was bad but because he could not sell it properly to the electorate.
And guess what? Dion lost - that was an easy one to predict.

In your world, anyone that does not blindly support Iggy/Liberals is from another party.... With that kind of partisanship....

Steve V said...

Again, just look at the chosen name.

Truth hurts. And you wonder why your "your world" is such a disaster. Truth hurts.


Anyways, my apologies to everyone else.

RuralSandi said...

Steve - I couldn't have put it better. Can't even come up with his own blog name.

Angry, combative - what a waste. There are times he has something to say but it gets lost in the anger and BS.

Anonymous said...

Irene, no I'm not the little midget that you are thinking about.

Advice WTF, than quit using his name for your personal vandetta on him. I should have know better then to question him. And BTW, you are a lot smaller than he is in intelligence and probably stature considering your hiding behind his good name. Maybe he can sue you for libel.

Irene

Steve V said...

Rural

It shows what he's all about. It's so simplistically perfect, you don't need to say much else. It's not a bit right.

Irene

Maybe you don't understand the chronology, but CWTF's only purpose when he started commenting was to hijack every post on Jason's blog like a barnacle and basically stalk him like some demented moron, all the while thinking he's just so clever. It's really pathetic, not to mention boring.

As an aside, the only reason I hurl crap at this wad is because he went around trashing me to every blog he could find, only because I don't share his hatred for a certain someone. Again pathetic. I guess when Cherniak stopped blogging he lacked any therapeutic outlet, so others became the target. He's not really very complicated.

Cherniak_WTF said...

So Stevie, I see you are changing the channel...

Care to back up where I have never been a Liberal like you asserted with such bravado?


Like I've stated many times; Liberals or Conservatives, very little difference....

Steve V said...

"Care to back up where I have never been a Liberal like you asserted with such bravado?"

The onus isn't on me chump. I could actually care less, apart from this viscade you try and project, like your some objective, disenchanted Liberal. Please guy, my six year old is more complicated than your feeble automan brain. But anyways, you just keep going, that's what you do.

And I note you ignore the TRUTH HURTS part too ;)

I'm done, you're a bore. Let knb deal with you, it's a waste of time from here.

sjw said...

Karen, I think if this is going to continue for much longer you should make us popcorn.

Cherniak_WTF said...

The onus isn't on me chump. I could actually care less, apart from this viscade you try and project, like your some objective, disenchanted Liberal.
Oh but it is.
You make some farcical claim but don't feel the need to actually offer up any proof.

Maybe I should go around saying that I think you like to copulate with animals. As far as I know it's true and I could care less. You see that's pretty easy.


So you see, the kind of smears that you seem to decry and that many don't like coming from the Conservative camp are so quickly emulated by you and the other coterie of Iggy fluffers....

KNB said...

c_wrf, that was disgusting and I assume meant to be.

Get a grip. These are real people you are speaking to and Steve V is not just a manifestation on your screen.

To go after people is precisely what this post decries. Yet you persist.

You'll ask no doubt why I don't say the same to Steve V. Well, because he's right.

You targetted him for reasons unknown. Not clever. You were at one time clever, but what is said here is true. The use of the moniker, the rant, it's tired.

You know I tolerate a lot on this blog, but you're in BT commentary territory now. In fact, you and Dr. Roy lined up a couple of weeks ago. That can't feel pretty.

Argue facts...you're welcome. Target others, well, if you were in my dining room, I'd ask you to leave.

penlan said...

"Steve V said...
Again, just look at the chosen name."

Notice how he never addresses or answers to that? Just the "never a Liberal" statement? Actually people who use another persons name like he is doing is because they secretly admire that person. Perhaps this is true in his case, only hidden.

"Maybe I should go around saying that I think you like to copulate with animals. As far as I know it's true and I could care less."

I should think that's a libelous statement - defamation of character. It's beyond the pale & if this was my blog I'd ban this person. Enough is enough. Far too much hatred coming from this pathetic loser who is incapable of having his own blog on which to state his views. Perhaps too much work, & thinking, for him trying to actually create a post.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Penlan, odd that you'd want me to explain my name...

When I choose it, there were a few posts from Jason that basically boiled down to "Israel right or wrong but always right".
If you recall, many on the right were in full racist mode with "Canadians of convenience". Jason, a staunch Liberal and Canadian except when it came to any issue remotely dealing with Israel, was writing utter garbage.
It's odd how religion and blind ideology reaps its head....
Around the time that I was going to change my "online" name, Cherniak hijacked the Liblogs in a clusterfuck that many should remember.
This led to the creation of LiberalOnline......




So will SteveV explain how I have never been a Liberal? What proof does he have? Or, he is, stating unadulterated garbage.


I still respect KNB but am finding it rather amusing to see certain reactions.
When I'm critical of Connies, there is never a peep, just a quiet acquiescence.... Point out a failure from Iggy or the Liberals, then....

KNB used to decry how the neocons in the U.S. had shifted politics into some bizarro world. I think she used to fear the same happening here, where partisanship trumped common sense.

Now a few years later, the Liberals have taken a turn to the right. The policy of M.I. are almost indistinguishable from Harper's. Who is the sole Liberals that voted for the continuation of the war in Afghanistan? Who supports Israel at every turn? Who is the man who played politics while the country needed leadership? Who support the tar sands?
The Liberals are no longer progressive.

Maybe we should talk about the hypocrisy inherent in blindly supporting a party. I see a lot of gripes about the Connies; yes they are mostly idiots that can't seem to do anything right and are setting the country back years. Does that mean that the Liberals have to emulate them in their tactics and policies?

Ever wonder why the Liberals dropped the Cadman affair? That seemed rather slam-dunk...


It is easy to point out the failures of the Connies, but should the Liberals not uphold the standards they espouse and want to see in others?

The first comment here states:
The fact that Canadians have not been turned off en masse by the Conservative's approach is inexplicable to me but so it goes.
Maybe you should look at the Liberal brand. M.I. does not seem to have helped. Peter Pumkinhead at the head of the Liberals would be polling about the same numbers at the moment...

KNB states that "our real voice hasn't been registered." - that's an easy copout. The polls are consistent overall. Liberals are stalled during a recession. You have Conservatives poisoning the Canadian culture with their agenda and slowly infiltrating the overall mood and psyche.



The party talks about renewal, yet, in Quebec at least, has put the old boys network in place. And what has that brain trust come up with to placate Quebec? Just give the province more autonomy within Canada. Even M.I. is playing that up. Harper and M.I. are saying the same thing - that should worry enough people. The man who wants to dismantle Canada and the Liberal leader agreeing on Quebec... Bye Bye la Belle province with those kind of policies...

penlan said...

wtf,

I was there during the whole Gazan massacre & the meltdown at Liblogs & Cherniak's bias, so know what you're talking about but using his name somehow doesn't seem to fit anymore, to me.

"When I'm critical of Connies, there is never a peep, just a quiet acquiescence.... Point out a failure from Iggy or the Liberals, then...."

The thing is that you are 99% of the time ONLY slagging Iggy & the Libs, say little about the Cons & use most of your comments bad-mouthing a Party that isn't really like the Cons at all. Ignatieff is centre-right, yes, but he is not a Reformer & we don't YET know the Lib policies so you can't compare the 2 Party's at this time. I think we would all be better off with the Libs in power than the Cons. Surely you can see that? And I never see you saying anything about Layton & the NDP. You hard-hit the Libs non-stop.

My eyes aren't closed, I don't agree with Ignatieff on some things BUT I care about this country which is being drastically changed by Harper & his Reformatory ideals.

Cherniak_WTF said...

The thing is that you are 99% of the time ONLY slagging Iggy & the Libs,
Really? Or it that what you want to see.
From the Liberals Kennedy, Dryden, Dion and Rae get kudos.
On the NDP, I have little time for their leader and mitigated praise for Mulcair (too bombastic).
As for Harper and his cretins... I've had no praise.

You forgot the BQ - some praise but only because they kept Harper from having a majority and don't actually have to worry about governing the country.

In Quebec, the Libs will be in time out for a little while longer AND until they actually get decent candidates + management here, should remain so...