The preferred euphemism for negative advertising these days is “contrast advertising,” but sometimes the really nasty thing is to draw similarities.
1. I’m a fan of negative advertising, which simply says there are differences between one camp and another, and much of the squeamishness about it is a bit silly. The federal Liberals, for instance, put out 10 news releases a day calling the Conservatives all kinds of names, but their leader won’t approve advertising that delivers the same message. So it’s all right to say these things as long as nobody will ever read them?
2. This ad is generated by a third-party group under campaign rules that are much less restrictive than are Canadian laws. Now: since a lot of readers of this blog don’t want McCain to win, don’t you think allowing third parties in to advertise during campaigns is a good idea?
3. Some of the most interesting questions in politics are fundamentally unanswerable. Note how Bush is used here as a symbol by Bush’s opponents. In 10 years, will Stephen Harper’s image be running in Conservative ads — or Liberal ads?