That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

New poll: should Ignatieff strike back?

It blows the mind. In a month where Stephen Harper has supplanted the name Canada with his own name in official reference to our government; defended (and largely hid away) a minister guilty of fraud; been hit with two separate charges of contempt of parliament; have had economic forecasts for F-35 fighters ridiculed by Kevin Page; Ignatieff is polling lower than ever, and Harper as high as he’s ever been.

One reason for this, and one reason only: Harper’s attack ads, which seem remarkably effective on Canadians. Who’d have thought? Are we more Zdeno Chara than Wayne Gretzky after all?

Michael, if you need a couch to crash on in London as a kind of reprieve from this mass Canadian madness, give me a buzz. In the meantime, I suppose the jury is out on what the next Liberal approach needs to be. Attack back? Keep calm and carry on?

Vote in the little poll here.

Correction: have replaced reference to CF-18 with the more contemporary F-35 jets. What was I thinking??


Filed under: Canada, Politics, , , ,

8 Responses

  1. MoS says:

    Unfortunately this phenomenon has been repeated enough to make clear that the Canadian voting public have made up their minds on Ignatieff and they’ve passed. It happens in politics, the best guy doesn’t always get the nod. That’s life and the Liberal Party has to live with it. Now it’s about time they figure out how they went so horribly wrong in the last two leaders they offered up and what they’re going to do right next time. What frightens me is that I sense many Liberals are content to keep pissing into the wind. Good luck with that and, by the way, Stephen Harper couldn’t be more pleased.

    • polygonic says:

      Ignatieff isn’t clicking, true, and god knows he’s had time (and plenty of reasons) to click. A shame. One wishes Martin Cauchon were in charge, but that’s a disastrous proposition for someone who’s a fan of Tom Mulcair! Oh, Outremont.

      But one observation on communication strategies: the CPC ads are always aggressive, while Harper in front of the press is placid, even flaccid, cultivating his personal image as “boring but prudent.” The Liberals have taken a rather opposite, and unsuccessful, approach. Liberal ads are warm and lovely, whereas Ignatieff in front of the press is this impassioned (slightly falsely) fellow who gets quite worked up by the daily minutae, in this deliberate “I really care!” fashion.

      Is this the wrong way around? Could he not be his positive, intelligent, well-rounded self in person, and let the ads do the heavy dramatic lifting? I think it’s a formula that’s worked for the CPC (sadly). Can’t help but believe there’s time for the LPC to turn that narrative right way round.

      • ck says:

        As much as I’m a fan of Martin Cauchon and would actually like to see him beat Mulcair in Outremont (I live in the riding), he would probably make for as bad a choice as Iggy for one reason; ADSCAM: Harpercons and Quebec separatists refuse to let go of it. Hell, Ignatieff wasn’t even in the country when it happened and yet, we see those folks at comment boards practically blaming him and demanding that he take ownership of the sponsorship scandal.

        Most of us with a brain knows that Cauchon wasn’t responsible for it, but he was actually an MP when it was all happening. Imagine those attack ads!!

  2. SD says:

    I would wait until election time before Ignatieff starts attacking back. If Liberal resources are limited, then wait until the election before forcefully attacking the Cons.

    • polygonic says:

      That may be. A campaign is when folks will pay proper attention. But there’s lots of lost ground to make up – up to Liberals whether they want to wait till the campaign begins.

      And, true, why not? Look at my post on the 2006 election. Harper did the “unthinkable” that year, coming from an average seven-point deficit at the start of the campaign to, errmm, win (if a plurality is winning).

  3. MoS says:

    Sorry SD but it’s too late. Harper has already honed his lethal weapon – attack ads. When he ought to be in trouble from blunders or scandals he simply runs a few attack ads and sinks Ignatieff ever further. He turned the last election into a referendum on Dion, avoiding having to campaign on his own pathetic record. He’s positioned to do exactly the same to Ignatieff. Harper knows he can go into a campaign with Ignatieff on the defensive which, by default, turns the contest into a referendum on Ignatieff. Game, set and match.

    • Skinny Dipper says:

      I’ll agree that Ignatieff should be attacking Harper now. However, if the Liberal Party does not have the finances to present its own attack ads against Harper, then it would not be wise to spend money before the official campaign starts.

      Martin, Dion, and Ignatieff: the Liberal Party has a problem in how it selects its leaders. The Conservatives have a modified one member (one riding)-one vote system. I am not sure if the Liberals still use a delegate based system. This takes away most say in who local riding members may support. With a membership-based voting system, there would not have been a coronation of Ignatieff. He may still have won, but he would have had to fight for the leadership position.

      • polygonic says:

        A problem in how the party selects its leaders, or a problem in how the party backs them up? There’s a big unity issue in the LPC. The post-Chretien/Martin-duopoly-era has left a bit of an anarchic gangland in its wake. I pity Ignatieff his plight, in some respects. You try and bring these folks together! Yikes

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