Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lacking definition

Adam Radwanski theorizes that it's too late for an ad campaign attacking Michael Ignatieff to succeed since he's already defined himself. Which raises today's discussion question:

How exactly has Michael Ignatieff been defined?

Of course, I'd see plenty of definitions which could be applied based on some repeated themes during Ignatieff's tenure as leader. Stephen Harper Lite. Dion Part Deux. The World's Least Effective Probation Officer. Everything to Everyone.

But these tend to be more the definitions placed on Ignatieff by others so far, rather than anything the Libs will want to run on in the next election.

And it seems particularly implausible to suggest that a more solid definition will serve to put Ignatieff on a stronger footing than Stephane Dion. After all, Dion was well on track toward a fairly clear title along the lines of "earnest, environmentally-friendly academic" until he came under fire.

In contrast, even the Libs' messaging doesn't seem to have given Ignatieff any clear theme other than "not Stephen Harper". And while it may not be a bad strategy to try to focus attention on the Cons while glossing over Ignatieff's role in keeping them in power, that hardly figures to offer a definition which will stand up to an ad blitz.

(Edit: fixed wording.)

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