Casual political observers didn’t have much frame of reference to determine whether Dion was “not a leader” or whether Ignatieff was “just visiting” precisely because those talking points were utterly meaningless. And that meant there wasn’t much either could do to shed the initial label imprinted on them by the Cons.
But by putting the focus on Mulcair’s economic theories, the Cons are opening the door for him to talk about why the NDP’s plans make sense – which looks to be well within his comfort zone. And given that the public has been in broad agreement with the NDP in general as well as the very ideas the Cons are trying to paint as extreme, that may mean that even the best-case scenario includes plenty of downside for the Cons.
Greg also notes the risk of declaring yourself the “safe” option.
For the sake of comparison, here are some of the first ads run against Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff.