Sunday, September 06, 2009

Let the Contrast Begin

Further to the release of the ads, I've read some commentary, listened to Cross Country Check-up (subject: upcoming election) and followed comments all over the internet.

I can't say that anything has surprised me. The usual suspects have uttered the predictable lines.

Imagine my shock at reading that the partisans for the NDP and the CPC don't think much of the ads. I so thought they would come out cheering! And the anti-Ignatieff, but supposedly still Liberal crowd? Well given that he is front and centre, they were predictable too.

One complaint seems to be that the ads are bland, not enough policy, details, etc. Well, instead of calling that reaction laughable, let's take a look at reality.

The summer is winding down, literally, this weekend. Accepted wisdom tells us that no one has been paying any attention to politics throughout the summer and they are just now tuning into what is happening in the country.

Timing? Perfect.

The other point that is often made, is that Ignatieff isn't well known. As I see it, this is his opening foray to correct that. I read somewhere that there are 3 more ads to come. My guess would be that the English ad will be done in French and the two French ads, will air in English, though I may be proven wrong.

Here's the thing. Anyone that has been exposed to advertising and how to build a campaign, knows that you start with specific obvious objectives and your plan is to build on them, based both on reaction and a logical plot line.

For anyone to have expected policy announcement, is ridiculous. There IS no election at this point remember. That's not immediately what these ads are about, though of course ultimately they are, but specifics will come out when appropriate. Political junkies may be anxious for detail, but you are not the target of the ads.

I'd also like to pass on a general feel from Cross Country Check-up. Often, the shows that focus on politics, have a pretty Conservative call in. The likes of Dr. Roy call repeatedly and I can only presume that an e-mail is sent out to the base, encouraging calls.

Today? I heard crickets chirp from that hard core base. A couple of Harper supporters called in, but overall, the lines were jammed with people, maybe not anxious for an election, but really anxious to boot Harper out. They were not all Liberals. Many NDP called too, but former Conservatives, Progressive Conservatives, were the ones that intrigued me.

A call-in show, does not an outcome guarantee, but there was a sense out there that I found encouraging. Not just the prospect of Harper's ouster, but more the level of knowledge in terms of what he is doing to the country. Even the least articulate of caller had that sense.

Our reputation in the world was brought up more than a few times. Citizenship and how Harper plays with that was big too. The general theme though was how Harper is completely incapable of being the leader of a minority government.

Hurray! Finally it felt as though people were getting it.

As I said, a call-in show can hardly be used as a barometer for an election that hasn't been called, but hearing NDP and PC supporters claim that they will vote for the Liberals to get Harper out, was music to this Liberal's ears.

Oh, one more quick thing. When I first saw the ads, I thought, fantastic contrast to what the Conservatives have offered. Ignatieff is speaking to the adults in the room and the Conservatives as we know, have been playing to the pimply teenagers who need to feel better about themselves by putting someone else down.

My hope was that the Conservatives wouldn't change their strategy, because played out over time, the contrast would be striking. For today anyway, my hope was not dispelled. Jason Kenney released this statement, (via Susan Delacourt).

Risky business that. We have plenty of examples of Harper denigrating the country that go back that far and further, NCC anyone? Not to mention that Kenney takes the statements out of context, as is usual.

I particularly like the US reference and elite mention by Kenney. He who studied in San Fransisco with the elite of the philosophical debate world, the Jesuits. He dropped out though... Draw your own conclusions. Hint, it wasn't because he thought they were too elite.

The statement is pap and thankfully keeping the discussion in the gutter. I say thankfully, because the Conservative tact has been to discourage voters from voting. Keeping the message low-brow to turn people off. I'd say it worked. I'd also say, the time has passed for it to have an effect any longer.

From everything I saw, heard and read today, people are tired of the nonsense.

Let the contrast begin!

16 comments:

Cari said...

I tried to listen to a great deal of it and one thing I did notice, a few people were mad at Ignatieff if he caused an election. I thought the Emcee, might straighten them out, but I do no think she knew much about politics.

****************************************Donas Kim Leaman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
****************************************Donas Kim Leaman said...

Caught the link on Twitter. Nice Article good read.

"OUR secret Weapon.... His (Stephen Harper's) Record."

Michael Ignatieff: September 1st, 2009

Never under-estimate the power of Prime Numbers. As it Turns out Michael Innatieff will likely be number 23. A number that worked out very well for Michael Jordon. He also took the high road, but of course we all know that He could practically Fly.

And we all kow that Stephen Harper has no where to go but Down.

TheTwainShallMeet

Anonymous said...

According to the Globe story today, looks like former PMO-staffer Patrick Muttart (now a Republican "consultant/lobbyist" based in Chicago) is returning to spearhead the Harper campaign/smears. Just hope taxpayers are not footing his bill :-)

KNB said...

Cari, Suhanna is all about, well, Suhanna. Rather than host and clarify, she tells us what she thinks... She does this on TV too.

Why she wasn't part of the cut, I'm unsure. Folksy good...all about me folks, not so much.

KNB said...

The Twain Shall Meet...I think Harper's prime is the same, oddly.

Makes it interesting, but the key is high road vs low.

Uh, Down, capitalized makes me think of Australia...they are fine and I don't wish this man on them. ;)

KNB said...

Anon, indeed. I just can't keep up with the slime in that party.

Too many stories, too little time.

****************************************Donas Kim Leaman said...

KNB, sorry for the con-fusion (pardon the pun) but I meant as Stephen Harper is The 22nd PM of Canada, Ignatieff will be the 23rd hence the Prime number 23!

But you sure have Suhanna's number!
Not sure why she has such a High profile at CBC. It is all about her impressions and she has a very hard time understanding the content or the implications. Her lack of timing and tact sadly reminds me of Steve Murphy from CTV Halifax. And you may remember him from the "Mike Duffy for Senator" interview ( although it was more of an ambush)with Dion. I once watched as he Continually interrupted the Dali Lama.

I kid you Not.

Loathsome man.

Lets hope the 23rd Prime Minister is indeed Michael Ignatieff.

He Can do Better.

Anonymous said...

Just heard on CTV...it is late, but somewhere along the line, someone has doctored Michael's ads.

Anonymous said...

Just heard on CTV...it is late, but somewhere along the line, someone has doctored Michael's ads.

RuralSandi said...

The right wing overreaction to the ads is very telling isn't it?

Imagine - Ignatieff wearing a casual blue shirt - the horrers of it all.

Oh, and sarcastic Mr. Smirk on Face, Tim Powers article in the Globe calling Ignatieff arrogant.

Imagine that, Ignatieff in the same high league as Harper, the arrogant.

Anonymous said...

Two of the principals at Patrick Muttart's (Harper's chief strategist who is condemning Iggy's American ties) Chicago-based firm, Mercury Public Affairs:

First, Terry Nelson:

Nelson’s current and past client list includes: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Consumer Alliance for Energy Security, the Irvine Company, Miller & Long Concrete and many others. Most recently, Nelson was named Senior Adviser for Senator John McCain’s Straight Talk America PAC.

Before founding CrossLink, Nelson served as the National Political Director for Bush-Cheney 2004, where he was responsible for the grassroots effort, turning out the vote, coalition outreach, and paid voter contact mail and phones. This effort produced a historic increase in turnout for President Bush.

Prior to his role in the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign he was the Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Political Operations at the Republican National Committee (RNC). While there, he helped craft the historic takeover of U.S. Senate and gains in the U.S. House in 2002 and was responsible for television, voter contact mail and phones and get-out-the-vote programs.

He also served as Political Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in 2000. In this role he directed a $55 million political program to retain the Republican majority in the House when many political analysts and media pundits predicted a return to the minority,



Second, Kieran Mahoney:


Mr. Mahoney is a prominent figure in New York politics. With more than 20 years of experience, he has unrivaled knowledge of state affairs. Mr. Mahoney has served as a senior adviser to all three of Governor George Pataki's campaigns. In addition to guiding Governor Pataki on his successful re-election bid in 2002, Mr. Mahoney helped lead Pataki to an unprecedented victory in 1998 - winning the highest margin of victory in state history. He was also a top strategist and manager of George Pataki's first gubernatorial campaign in 1994 that ended Democrat Mario Cuomo's twelve-year reign.

... Prior to recent elections, Mr. Mahoney was a national political advisor to the 1996 Dole for President campaign and managed Senator D'Amato's comeback re-election victory in 1992.


Fascinating stuff.

FredfromBC said...

RuralSandi said...

The right wing overreaction to the ads is very telling isn't it?

Imagine - Ignatieff wearing a casual blue shirt - the horrers of it all.

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"Overreaction" isn't even close to describing what is going on all over the blogosphere right now.

"Side-splitting hilarity" would be much closer. It's the simulated forest behind the blue shirt that has us in stitches, Sandi...what, you couldn't drag Iggy outside for a simple photshoot for fear he would see a mosquito, shriek like a little girl and run for his life?

Too funny...and too reminiscent of the disastrous Dion ads last time around. You guys are toast. ;)

KNB said...

Yea Fred. That's what adults across the nation are talking about.

One asshat BT muses about ad production, (have you checked the quality of the Con ads btw) and Con sheep across the land come running to see what is... nothing.

I want to thank you though for fitting right in to the title and theme of this post.

FredfromBC said...

KNB said...

Yea Fred. That's what adults across the nation are talking about.

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They are, actually. Not my fault that you choose to get all of *your* information either from the Red Star or directly from Liberal HQ. Expect the mainstream media to jump onboard soon (how can they ignore such a hilarious gaffe?)..:)

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I want to thank you though for fitting right in to the title and theme of this post.

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My pleasure. I'm confused though: am I Conservative "slime" (as you stated above) or being PAID by the Conservative Party to post "talking ponts" here (as your regulars have implied, with your agreement)? Or both?

You have some serious growing up to do, don't you?

Tomm said...

I also listened to Cross Country Check-Up. I agree it was like an Ignatieff love-in.

Let's all get naked...

I was waiting for someone to point out the arrogance of calling an election just because "we can do better". The Liberal Party's inability to see itself in the mirror continues to amaze me.

I am glad everybody got warm fuzzies and that the Harper haters got their two-bits in. But, in fact, the show never really talked about anything.

I had to choke back myself when someone called in to indicate that a manufacturing job is so much better than an oil and gas job. Good grief, is Ontario still putting flouride in the water?

Each region has different jobs that reflect the balance and realities of that region. For someone (from central Canada) to feel the confidence to imply that jobs in his region are worth more than the same level of job in another region, without being challenged, is just sad.

Harper's strength is his ability to see Canada for what it really is, not what some in the middle of the country wish it were.