From a chat I had with a Conservative a few weeks ago:

“We have a huge pre-writ ad campaign ready to go against Dion. If we knew he was really going to defeat us on a confidence motion, we’d roll it out. But if we’re wrong, we can’t roll it out once and then again a few months later.”



  1. One set of attack ads will write themselves if Dion is serious about his claim that Liberals will make arts funding one of their main planks this election.

  2. actually, that’s a clever election plank. Rumour is that Atwood is wavering between Harper and Dion.

  3. And the Liberals, who have been planning for an election since December 17th, 2006 when Stephane Dion announced his “dream team” and appointed Gerard Kennedy as his “Special Advisor on Election Readiness”….. what do they have ready in the can for pre-writ?

  4. Riley

    If you listen to David Smith today, the answer is ‘not much’. I thought Smith’s comments were shocking.

    Weren’t the Liberals told by Dion to gear up for election last fall, and than in the spring, but they are still not ready. Do any Liberals pay attention to their leader?

  5. Here we are… in the dying days of summer, the evening shadows grow longer, sooner, our hearts heavy with the regret of time slipping by.

    Good timing for a pre-writ ad campaign?

    (Sorry for the grade school poetry… the coffee was good and thick this morning.)

  6. Yay! Election!

    (Maybe. I’ll believe it when I see it.)

  7. With by-elections happening in two of the biggest media markets in Canada, I sure hope the pro-rated portions of this massive ad buy don’t put the Conservatives over their by-election spending cap. But I’m sure they’d never contravene the elections act…again, I mean contravene it again.

  8. Wells, thoughts on the Tory ads?

  9. Paul

    Is it significant or important that Harper seems to have lost, more than lost, more like infuriated Wente? Could this level of on the record media disdain grow and would it be significant?

  10. John W, he never had her to begin with. I will never forget stumbling upon her column on the eve of the 2006 ballot day when she warned readers about Harper being too extreme for this country.

  11. Hey JWL : I doubt very much most Liberals are listening to their leader as the few that I know and hang out with here in Victoria from my former days as a Liberal actully crave an election so that they might lose quickly and then vote in a and I quote from one of them : ” Real Leader ” which behooves me as come December they will have an opportunity at their leadership convention and when I ask why the hurry the response is that they want someone they can trust to actually stand up and vote against the gov’t in the spring – go figure and this is why I am not that worried for my party right now because if this thinking is prevalent then Flanagan just might be right in his prediction.

  12. Wayne, periods and commas are your friends, not your enemies!

    Also — has anyone theorized yet that “we’ll vote no when we’re ready to vote no” all comes down to funding, in the end? The Liberals are doing pretty terribly in the fundraising department… maybe all of the staff is just scared of going bankrupt, and hence the constant cry of “no not yet!” despite the political rhetoric… and the lack of pre-writ ads, apparently. (Though they do have at least one Green Shift ad banging around somewhere.)

    I also tend to feel like the Cons would probably run ads 24/7, election or no, if they figured they could get away with it. They seem to love turning government into an instrument of constant campaigning, what with the increased ad spends in government, increased polling, rebranding of various things… who do you suppose made the decision to make the new tax bracket red-coloured in the 2008 T1? Or to make the booklet cover teal? In February, I spotted (and wrote an e-mail about, which I just pulled out of the archives) “Tax Savings for Everyone! Click here to Learn More!” … an official Government Banner Ad.

    Has there been any major in-depth reporting on ostensibly-governmental advertising? I think that could use some looking into, while we’re discussing ads…

  13. Boudica

    You may be right, but I thought today was particularly vicious and accurate. Sounded like a lefty blogger on a roll.

  14. Hey Mike G; I started mainframe computing in 77 and the result of so many years of typing cause problems repetitive motion and now arthritis so when you are my age and your wrists burn think about me wishing you a good day and good wrist health and good punctuation

  15. Has there been any major in-depth reporting on ostensibly-governmental advertising? I think that could use some looking into, while we’re discussing ads…

    No, there hasn’t, which is pathetic. For the past two years, there have been massive spikes of happy feel-good federal government advertising right around the time of every confidence vote in the Commons.

    Daniel Leblanc, where are you?

  16. “You may be right, but I thought today was particularly vicious and accurate. Sounded like a lefty blogger on a roll.”

    Indeed she was. An angry lefty blogger at that…

  17. Paul/others, any thoughts about Duceppe (apparently) changing his mind & agreeing to Harper’s sit-down before the by-elections?

  18. Jason … I think part of it is that Duceppe owes Harper a bit of a personal favor. Early in 2007, Duceppe was thinking of running as leader of the Parti Quebecois. Harper phoned him and reassured him that he would NOT be triggering an election if Duceppe left and the BLOC was leaderless.

    Also, the day after Duceppe decided to stay put, Harper was not in Question Period. Lawrence Cannon answered Duceppe’s questions, and took one shot, along the lines of “Mr. Duceppe, we hardly missed you”

  19. Tom Flanagan fans can listen to his words of wisdom on CHQR radio, Thurs, Aug 28th, 11:07 am …


    eg: “Yah, I suppose there is contradiction there … politics is not an exercise in logic…. Politics is an exercise in getting support and building a coalition. Logic may not be irrelevant, but its not the primary thing”

    Dion, are you listening ???

  20. Junkie, re: Dion listening. Two words, Green Shift. (Ya, I know I’m asking for it). It’s funny that Conservative friends think that the Liberals, who have been extremely successful in the past, don’t understand coalition building. How long has it taken Harper and other Conservative leaders to bring happily together again the infamous three sisters?

  21. Paul, allow me to hijack this post with a Random Reader Question That The Reader Has No Rational Basis For Believing You Would Be Able To Answer, or as I call it for short, a RRQTTRHNRBFBYWBATA.

    Why can’t I get Maclean’s in my local Costco anymore? The apparently ditched The Economist, too. My routine used to be schweeeet: My girlfriend would walk around shopping, and I’d go grab some samples from the meat department, pick up Maclean’s and the Economist, and sit in the sample chair, flipping through the mags and deciding which one I should buy this week.

    Now I’m forced to do the same with a woodworking magazine and the latest People. It’s just not the same.

  22. “Weren’t the Liberals told by Dion to gear up for election last fall, and than in the spring, but they are still not ready. Do any Liberals pay attention to their leader?”

    There’s a bit of a difference between being ready and staying ready. It’s (relatively) easy to book a plane, nominate candidates, write a platform, etc. It’s not as easy to keep a plane waiting, keep your nominated candidates from resuming their lives, keep your platform up-to-date etc.

    Compounding the Liberals problems is a lack of cash. You don’t need money to run the winning campaign but it sure makes it easier.

  23. The latest Nanos Poll may give pause to some……

    The latest Nanos poll shows that the Liberals and Conservatives are gripped in a deadlock (LP 35%, CP 33%, NDP 17%, BQ 8%, GP 7%).

    Atlantic and Ontario numbers are positive for the LIBS and they are 1 point behing the CPC in Quebec

  24. Well! The CPC just called me and asked for my support in the election, and asked to put a sign in my lawn. This election is happening!

    About the polling, the Sun had an interesting graphic today, yet failed to point out, the actual election tallies in comparison to the polls just before the election, have behaved like this the past 2 election:

    1. a sharp rise for the Conservatives with actual tally compared with prevailing polls at the time

    2. the opposite effect for the Liberals

    I think this points to ineffective polling, together with effective campaigining, and the knee-jerk response of the Liberals as the “natural governing party for Canada”.

  25. At least going over the election spending limit is one problem the Liberals don’t have to worry about. They would have to have raised funds for that.

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