Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The first move

Following up on this morning's post on the federal political scene, I'll offer a few observations on the Cons' immediate attack ad against Justin Trudeau:

Now, I've pointed out before that the Cons' previous attack ads against Lib leaders succeeded precisely because they made claims which were so vague as to be unfalsifiable. And by that standard, there would indeed be substantial risk in an attempt to define Trudeau as comic relief (which would seemingly allow him to defeat the Cons' definition simply by avoiding the most massive of gaffes) or as inexperienced (which falls under the category of self-defeating criticisms as a leader spends more time in the public eye).

But I have to wonder whether the first salvo against Trudeau is less an indication of the Cons' ultimate plan to define him, and more a form of inoculation against future scenes like this.

The Libs will naturally want to build up a unique persona for the man who holds their party's future in his hands. But the Cons will now have a ready-made counter to any step outside the political straight and narrow - with any originality on Trudeau's part framed as evidence of a dilettante "in over his head" rather than a distinctive personality. And the flat-out falsehoods within the Cons' ad will seem far less significant in the long run if Trudeau's actions make the underlying theme seem plausible - forcing the Libs into some much more complicated calculations as to how to set Trudeau apart without risking the Cons' message sticking to him.

Meanwhile, the Cons also look to have signaled that at least for now, they're more intent on dealing with Trudeau than managing risks posed by both the NDP and the Libs - as both points of criticism within the ad involve areas of strength for Tom Mulcair. (Hence my suspicion that Stephen Harper may be placing a greater emphasis on destroying the Libs for good than on his own likelihood of holding onto power in 2015.)


  1. Regarding the so called, Harper 'attack ads' .. I don't think its arguable, that there is zero separation between the Harper Government and the Harper Party. This isn't news to anyone.

    Thus we clearly see as Canadians, that our Prime Minister occupies himself developing attack & smearing concepts, commercial copy, approving scripts, producing and reviewing propaganda commercials. Along with his devoted Ministers, his PMO, unelected bureaucrats, party hacks, cronies and data geeks its assumed that creating propaganda of this nature is what he was hired to do as our public servant.

    Presuming or not even caring if we approve, our Prime Minister sees creation of juvenile election attack commercials that demean political opponents, two and a half years before the next federal election as part of his job description.

    It should be very interesting to determine exactly who else is involved in the making of these crude 'grooming' attempts. Are they assembled by the same advertising agency and Public relations firms that service our federal government and the Conservative party? Or are they done 'in-house' by public servants?

    By their very existence and dissemination via mainstream and internet media buys, they validate McLuhan's premise that the Medium is the Message.

    And the Harper Message is - media 'Grooming' attempts by our elected and unelected federal government's public servants, and the Conservative Party from Stephen Harper on down.. are assumed to be perfectly moral, ethical and acceptable strategy.

    The grooming softens up, build false trust and wears down Canadian voters prior to a dirty tricks assault during an actual election conducted with comprehensive electoral fraud tactics.

    At the same time, these people and processes are busy running similar levels of propaganda commercials regarding 'action plans', fabrications that cover up resource stripping, environmental attacks, litigation against charities or retired & injured military.

    Shall we expect to hear denials regarding this Prime Minister's complicity and cover up regarding torture in Afghanistan. Its breaking open again that Canada's government was a key supporter to the USA in this scandal.

    Its Stephen Harper that's in over his head... out of his mind.. and operating a political party and a government completely out of control

  2. Greg,

    Before the ads:
    The emperor walks the parade nude. The attentive & elevated crowd lining the front insist that he appears regal & magisterial. The bored & distracted masses in the back take their word for it.

    With the ads:
    A common-man has tippy-toed & taken notice of the absurd display on-parade. The reach of his voice will determine how many others take notice.

    After the ads:
    The Liberal court will regret having rushed the emperor. The elevated sycophants will deny that they ever denied the obvious. To be sure, the public will not forgive such a display - even if the emperor contorts & strategically covers his offensive bits.

    What becomes of an emperor without clothes,
    Dan Tan