They can’t all stand for the little guy

Remember when “permanent campaign” was just a figure of speech? Ah, lost innocence of youth.


Stephen Harper: Here for Canada


Remember when “permanent campaign” was just a figure of speech? Ah, lost innocence of youth. A few days ago, the Conservative Party of Canada released a new wave of television ads, at least the fourth since Michael Ignatieff became Liberal leader. The New Democrats responded by releasing ads of their own. When a for-real election campaign does begin, the emotion you should feel is a premonition of relief: voting day will mean a break from election ads. That break may last as long as a couple of weeks.

What do the new ads tell us? Stephen Harper’s telling us we’re lucky to live in Canada. “We’re lucky to live in Canada,” he intones. See? The screen shows a Maple Leaf flag flapping. “A land where merit means more than privilege. Where who you are matters more than who you know or where you came from.”

Only six weeks earlier, the Conservatives released ads that showed Harper locked in his office while mobs threw rocks in the streets outside. “There’s uncertainty in the world,” a worried narrator explained. But already things are looking up. The new ads show Harper getting out of the office and walking around. Nobody throws any rocks. Still, in one scene the PM is seen wearing a hard hat. Better safe than sorry.

“Today our country is walking taller,” Harper says. There’s a shot of him walking next to Felipe Calderón, the diminutive president of Mexico, who comes up just past Harper’s belly button. Who is our country walking taller than? Mexican pipsqueaks, that’s who.

Harper’s voice-over brings it all home. “Together, as Canadians, let’s strengthen our country, make it better for families, and ensure our kids have even more opportunity than we did.” It’s the kind of ad most parties run in the last weekend before an election, ads designed to make voters feel good about a choice they may have made reluctantly.

The Conservatives have plenty of the other kinds of ad, too, the kind designed to make the opposition look like a big ball of stink. The latest shows only Michael Ignatieff’s face. The script repeats Ignatieff’s name three times and the word “tax” ?ve times. But what’s striking is that the Conservatives are running the flag-waving, walking-taller ad as often as they’re running the stink-bomb ads. This party still views its leader as one of its biggest assets.

So does the NDP. That party’s ads begin with Ordinary Canadians asking a question, then cut to Jack Layton with his tie knot loosened and his shirt sleeves rolled up. “Is it just me or has Ottawa stopped working?” Ordinary Canadian One asks. “It sure looks that way,” Layton responds. “Lobbyists, senators and insiders are getting all the breaks while more and more seniors are struggling just to pay their bills.”

Oh my. What can be done? “Roll up our sleeves, put the partisan games aside and start getting results.” Clearly Layton is the man for this job: he already had his sleeves rolled up before you came in. He lists the sort of results he would like to start getting. “Increasing assistance for seniors in need. And giving a little bit of help to those who are caring for a parent at home.”

Layton famously has other results he would be willing to take, just in case seniors and their caregivers get left in the lurch on budget day by Prime Minister Walking Tall. The NDP leader has spent the year preparing to vote in favour of the budget if he can find any pretext to do so. From that perspective, his party’s latest ads look more like an ounce of prevention than like the first act of a real election battle.

Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals have no new ads. In 2004, when Harper became leader of the Conservative party, the Liberals ran pre-writ ads seeking to define him as an awful fellow. Now that he is the one running ads against them, they have decided it’s not cricket to run ads outside of an election campaign. The Liberals are the party of late-breaking scruple.

They would be more flexible on such questions if they could afford to be. What would their ads look like? Probably roughly the same: the Liberals would depict their man as the only leader who glimpses the Canadian soul and protects the little guy. Increasingly, the big parties present interchangeable faces to an electorate that would, on the whole, prefer to be left alone. Their endless pre-electoral posturing is not matched by their ability to capture our attention.

What would a really surprising campaign ad look like? It might feature a politician admitting he gets things wrong, too. It might list areas where our country falls short and challenge its citizens to do better, instead of lining up to flatter Canadians and bribe them with their own money.

Of course all of that is fantasy. We see the ads we see because they work. Their weakness isn’t immorality: every party always believes its members are defending virtue against the barbarians. The endless ads’ only weakness is banality. In five-week doses, separated by decent intervals of two or three or four years, parties that flattered themselves on TV at our expense used to be a novelty. Now they are a fact of life.


They can’t all stand for the little guy

  1. Banal punditry too is now a fact of life. The policy based NDP ads and the substanceless Conservative ads are simply not comparable.

    • Except Wells just compared them! That's where your "not comparable" thesis falls down.

      Here's another comparison: neither set of ads gives you anything concrete at all. "A bit of help"? That is vague to the point of risibility.

      • neither set of ads gives you anything concrete at all.

        The NDP ads do. They tell you the NDP will increase assistance for seniors and provide assistance to homecare givers. Those are two concrete policies.

        That is vague to the point of risibility.

        Expecting more detail in a 30 second ad is ridiculous.

        • Expecting more detail in a 30 second ad is ridiculous.

          No it's not. One option is to have an ad that runs down the policies that the party stands for point-by-point. It's done all the time. Instead, the NDP ad is pretty much flowery with Layton and images of seniors being prominent. It's hardly the most substantive ad possible. Far from it.

          Now, is it more specific than the Tory ad? Yeah. But parties run on grand themes all the time. Unlike Wells, I don't think there's anything sinister about that. I'd also like to see the media being as self-reflective as they want political parties to be.

        • This comment thread proves that the ads simply reinfoce beliefs that people already have.

  2. The NDP's ads have had no substance since they dropped the endless references to the "kitchen table."

    I mean really…without the kitchen table there can be no substance.

    Now they're just plagiarizing Tim Horton's with their "Roll Up The Sleeves to Win" ads.

    • Why have the NDP flip-flopped on the kitchen table?

  3. "We see the ads we see because they work"

    Do they? Is there evidence that political ads change people's voting intentions, or make it more or less likely that people get out and vote? I'm not suggesting they don't have an effect but I'm really curious if there is evidence that they do, and note that I'm looking for causation not correlation.

    • The conservative ads are conceived to rally the conservative base and demoralize the rest of the voting public. Therefore, if the percentage of the public that votes decreases, the ads worked. IMO

      • Right, I agree that's part of their purpose, but do they actually work? I'm not expecting you to say yes or no (unless you've actually been researching this subject) but that's what I'm curious about.

        I'm not sure if this is what you are saying, but you can't conclude that if the percentage of the public that votes decreases that the ads are responsible for this decrease. To conclude this you'd have to control for all the other variables that might have affected voting rates. My assumption (I'm not an economist or statistician) is that this would be very difficult to do.

        As an example let's assume that voters are less likely to vote if they think politicians are scheming dirtbags who are only interested in getting elected (please note that this is just a thought experiment, I'm not claiming that this is the case). They (the voters) observe that politicians screech at each other in the house, skirt election laws, and generally show little regard for their fiduciary duty, or ethical behaviour. They give the appearance of despising each other and treat each other in a way that would get us all fired if we behaved like that at work (again, just an example folks).

        Politicians who indulge in this kind of behaviour are presumably also more likely to be the sort of politicians who would produce misleading attack ads that don't focus on policy. So is declining voter turnout a result of the general behaviour or of the ads, or for that matter, of something else entirely? In other words one of the things I'm looking for is evidence of causation, not correlation.

        • The Supreme Courts decision on election reportage mentions a number of studies on the topic which concurred it has notable effect.

          • Thanks, when I've got time I'll try to have a look at them. Hopefully they are good quality, as there are still a lot of soft science papers (and even more pop science) that are unable to distinguish between causation and correlation.

        • It's just my gut feeling, really. I suspect Liberal ads attempted the same trick when they were the leading party. It makes a certain evil, tactical sense. Mobilize your base voters while trying to get the other parties' base voters to stay home.

    • Well, the common assumption is that advertising works, especially in heavy rotation. That is the same whether you're selling tampons or a political message. There's plenty data available to back up that assumption.

      We've also seen a correlation between the polls and the ads that the Conservatives run. That's not as definitive, but when an extremely weak government survives scandal after scandal and misstep after misstep without a scratch, it's safe to say that there's something going on.

      Less safe is the assumption that negative ads keep people from voting. My nephew is able to vote for the first time this year. He won't be doing that though. It's not because of the political ads…he rarely watches television and is pretty much oblivious to politics. It's because he sees a gaggle of old white guys jabbering about things that he sees as having little impact on his life.

      The economy? He'll be working in low wage, part-time jobs for the next several years.

      The environment? It concerns him because he's afraid things are going to be bad in his future, but he also understands that nothing is going to be done because the old people (that'd be you and me) aren't going to do it.

      Health care? He's young and healthy and has never known a world without universal care.

      Seniors? Well, his grandparents seem to be doing pretty well.

      Why would he get involved? We're not talking about his issues.

  4. Is 'walking tall' a common turn of phrase? I've never heard of it before.

    • Just ask Buford T. Pusser.

      • Or listen to the Drive By Truckers to find out what people really thought of Buford T. Pusser.

  5. I humbly suggest that attack ads be officially renamed stink-bomb ads. I'll still hate them, but at least I'll get the humourous visual of the attack-ad victim, standing there with a 'WTF?' look on their face, just stinkin' away.

    • I don't have that big a problem with political attack ads or political attacks in general. I mean, this is politics. You have to go after the other guy, and you have to defend yourself when the other guy goes after you. I don't think people want to elect members of the gentleman's debating society to lead them.

      • Which leads me to another point, now that I think about it.

        Canadians want their leaders to be tough. They loved it when Trudeau stood up to those punks throwing beer bottles at him at the parade in Quebec. They loved it when he said, "Just watch me." Chretien used to shrug off endless opposition accusations with a common man's shrug of the shoulders, then turn around and grab a homeless man by the neck. Etc, etc.

        So, when you now have Iggy talking tough, without a sense that he actually is tough, I don't think voters buy it. They'll stick with the guy who can take everything they throw at him, and right now that's Harper.

        • I think you have a point there… although I think admiration of tough guys seems to happen after they leave office. At least for me it does. I hated, HATED, the way Chretien handled his business at the time… but now, when I think of how, when confronted with an accusation, he could artfully make the questioner look stupid for even bringing the matter up, I get a chuckle. I hate the way Harper handles his business now, but maybe I'll think upon him with some fondness after he's gone.

          I also think (like you) that people tend to turn away from weakness, and Iggy's weak… at least, weaker than Harper.

          • That was the thesis of Will Ferguson's collection of biographies of Canadian Prime Ministers "Bastards and Boneheads". He argues that all our PMs could be placed into one of those categories and, given the opportunity, Canadians would prefer to be governed by a bastard than a bonehead.

          • Well right now we got a twofer.

          • Then you obviously don't get the reference.

        • Well, if it's about toughness, I say we put Harper and Ignatieff in a cage match.

          I say Iggy will make Stevie cry like a little girl.

          • So far it's been the other way around, hasn't it?

          • Ignatieff's claim to fame so far is he is a great whiner about things that Canadians could care less about.

        • Ignatieff appears to be whining everytime he opens his mouth. This adds to peoples view of him which is disdain.

          • I'm actually willing to give all leader the benefit of the doubt. Harper isn't exactly a charmer, either. However, I will judge them all on what they do and what they say. And I honestly don't think Iggy gets it. The Conservatives have been working night and day to make Iggy's arrogance the issue. So, what does he do? He always makes Liberal policies about himself – in his utterings, on the website, etc. It was the same thing with Dion. For a party that has ruled this country for most of its history, it seems to have lost a sense of what being a political winner is all about. It seems to have become a party of political losers, and I don't see any end in sight. If Bob Rae is your best backup plan, I think you've got problems.

      • This is place for grow-ups with real ideas that when put to work produce results that that they can point to with pride.
        Attack ads are for those trapped with an eight year olds mind set of me vs. them; they have no results to point to and they have false pride in slandering the work of others.

        • I'm not sure what "place" you're referring to, but I'm not sure that Canadians would appreciate you calling them a bunch of eight yr-olds. Why can't people in politics criticize their opponents AND trump their own merits? Frankly, I see very few people in this "place" on these boards that abide by your seemingly angelic approach to politics. In fact, you just resorted to calling others a bunch of children. That's something to be proud of, is it?

          • Sorry to offended you Dennis_F. I haven't named anyone but I stand by my assertion of the behavioural mindset of attack ads.
            The House of Commons is meant to function not for entertainment nor is it a game to tally up slights scored.
            It is a legislative body, "the" legislative body of this country and it could conduct itself as dry as stale bread so long as it focuses on running as functioning body.
            Again my apologies if the tone misrepresented the intent.

          • You didn't offend me. However, I think you may have insulted the Canadians who the ads are meant for. Politics has always been a bloodsport. It's never been the Harvard debating society, no matter how much Iggy yearns to return there.

          • I agree to this extent: I definitely think that people tend to look at political history (including advertising) with rose-coloured glasses. There's this mindset out there, reflected in the commentary on these boards and elsewhere, that paints decades past as some sort of political golden age, when things were significantly more civilzed and civil than they are now. Bollocks. It's always been vicious, bare-knuckle and nasty.

            The only substantive difference we see now is this phenomenon of the ads outside the writ period. I loathe them, simply because I'd rather not see this sh*t — it's irritating enough during an election, when it's sort of an inevitable evil.

          • I don't see the big deal. It's all free speech to me. If you don't like it, you can turn the channel.

            The main reason pre-write ads happen more often is because the prospects of an election happen more often during minority governments, and we've had minority governments now for the better part of a decade. As has already been stated, the Liberals started pre-write ads back in 2004 – the very start of this period of minority rule in Canada.

            Fixed election dates tend to force parties to campaign earlier and earlier, too, which is what we're now seeing in Ontario, and will see federally once one of the parties eventually secures a majority.

            As the saying goes, democracy can be awful, but it's a heckuva lot better than any other system out thee.

          • There is also no spending limit before the writ is dropped.

            I agree with you, it is all free speech. Conservatives are taking heat from Liberals for using them… but if the Liberals had the cash to do it, they'd be producing attack ads of their own. And, let's face it, you've only got 20 seconds (or 30, I can't remember) to work with. In that limited amount of time, you want to maximize the political benefit for the money you're spending on the advertising. Attack ads give you good value for the money.

            But are attack ads 'good'? No. I think they contribute to the polarization of political discussion and turn people off politics altogether. But the only way attack ads will be abandoned is when voters begin punishing parties that use them. If the Conservatives saw their polling numbers drop in the midst of an attack ad campaign, you can bet they'd change course.

            Attack ads also have great potential to blow up in the attacker's face. The stink bomb goes off early. I LOVE it when that happens.

          • I don't know if attack ads turn people off. I think it's just one of those things that politicos like saying to make themselves to feel above the fray.

            They're used tactically. Often, they're used by politicians that are behind in the polls.

            In the case of the Tories, they seem to have honed in on quite an ingenious tactic: to assess a leader's greatest weakness in terms of public perception, and wale away on it relentlessly.

            They also seem to believe, and probably with some cause, that the media will give the benefit of the doubt to liberal professorial types who become leaders of political parties. So, they circumvent said media and reach voters directly. You have to admit, it's worked like a charm so far, hasn't it?

            And the amazing thing is that they get the same media to then buy into the narrative that the attack ads work.

            Harper has rewritten the book on Canadian politics. I don't know how he'll eventually be judged as a prime minister, but they'll be copying his tactics for years. They've already started.

          • Once again….there is free choice. Either watch the ads or don't. However, to suggest that the ads polarize the electorate is too simplistic. I will vote how I want to vote regardless of ads. People do have the ability to think. If they don't then that's not the problem of the rest of us. Trying to be the nanny state by outlawing these type of ads is not good for anybody.

          • You should either run for office so you can put your thesis in practice. Or you should speak to the parties and get them to act more maturely. Otherwise you are just blowing a lot of smoke.

  6. But they all DO stand for the 'little guy'. Every election. All parties. Everytime.

    And they've done so since I was a kid….a long time ago.

    However, there isn't much you CAN do for the 'little guy'. Top up the old bennies, add a few new ones. Elections used to be decided on the basis of who offered the most goodies.

    Until we spent ourselves into a black hole, which was followed by years of cutbacks and struggle to become solvent again.

    Not that it did us any good. We are right back to the black hole and our addiction to bennies again.

    The only way the govt can genuinely help the 'little guy' is with jobs….and that means training, education and trade deals.

    It does not mean idiotic attack ads, expensive unneeded purchases, appealing to the worst in people, Nixonian dirty tricks and sheer incompetence.

    • Nicely said, Emily.

    • the prime duty of a political party is to get elected.

      • You don't have to lie and cheat to do so.

  7. In 2004, when Harper became leader of the Conservative party, the Liberals ran pre-writ ads seeking to define him as an awful fellow. Now that he is the one running ads against them, they have decided it's not cricket to run ads outside of an election campaign.

    Surely you jest. They'd never do that. You mean, Harper isn't the first PM to run pre-writ attack ads seeking to cement public opinion against his opponent before the opponent has a chance to define himself? I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you. Sure goes against almost everything I read here. One would think by reading this site and most other media sources that Harper invented the pre-writ attack ad. I've never seen the Liberals criticized for doing anything like that. Shame on Harper for trying to level the playing field and play within established norms like that.

    • I'm glad Paul mentioned that too. I'm curious, presumably that was Martin [ a man i regarded about as un scrupulous as Harper] Can anyone say with any certainty when the first modern negative pre writ adds began?
      Just to be slightly pedantic. If those adds were the "hidden agenda" ads [ i didn't like them as they were concieved and delivered at the time and felt they would come back to bite the libs in the butt] i don't think they are directly morally comparable to the anti- Ignatieff ads.

      • These, most thinking people know are based on wacky conjecture [ he didn't come back for you] and out of context lies. Again, i don't think it was a good idea to demonize Harper in ads back then [ even pragmatically it was dumb – it played to his " i am the outsider mantra] But neither can we pretend there was no fear of a possible hidden agenda [indeed it's still an open question] based on Harper's public statements and past history. Trouble is the libs went overboard [ as Harper is doing now] Somehow no one can trust the public to figure out if the "other guy"is up to no good, or not to be trusted by the application of straight polemics. This is the real scandal of attack ads. The message is, we the public are too stupid to make up our own minds who is and who is not a danger to us. So, they to egg the pudding, tell half truths and outright distortions and yet we put up with it because THEY make the rules not us. If only we knew the power we all collectively posses to say otherwise!

    • Which is why we need to make all pre-writ ads come out of the election budget. No exceptions. Buy ads between writs, that's fine, but you'll hit your cap that much quicker during the election.

      • Agreed. Or ban them completely[ outside the writ] ; which is where i think PW may be leaning in his piece.

  8. All they have accomplished is turning me into a libertarian. Certainly the leeches, parasites and maggots want more government but those actually paying the bills want less. Why are we paying world price for oil? Why do Danes make substantially more than we do? There is so much wrong I do not know where to begin. I do know less government is only the beginning of turning things around. Still have no one to vote for.

    • So you want less government but you also want someone to make the oil you use cost less – and mandate more money for you? Isn't that a bit inconsistent?

      (GDP per capita in Canada was higher than in Denmark in 2010, as far as I can determine anyway).

    • "those actually paying the bills want less"

      Not in this country.

      Canadians are still believers in a role for government – in areas like health care, education, the environment, etc.
      I expect many are fed up with bloat however.

      For example: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110213/Har

    • "Why do Danes make substantially more than we do?"

      As do the Norwegians, the Swedes and the Germans. All have more govt than us. Your premise is wrong. Just once i'd like to see a politician run on smarter govt, not necessarily less [ although that;s ok too if you can make the case by case argument honestly and fairly] Canadians do not hate govt, they hate bad govt and inept govt and dishonest govt. When are conservatives going to realize their ideaology does not correlate with the vast majority of Canadians desires?

    • Judge Roy Bean, Maggot Hunter.

  9. Attack ads work. Everyone says so. Advertising works. Everyone says so. All parlies advertise, some parties increase support, some do not. Do ads work? Apparently not for everyone all the time.

    • It depends on the ads content.

      • So only one party at a time has the smarts to put together the precisely correct blah blah and the others are — too ignorant, don't do eno0gh research, too ideological? They should all use the same advertising company and they would all come out equal?

  10. I can't believe how much talk TV generates.

    TV is utter trash: I'd pick it as one of the biggest factors in the short attention span of people.

  11. I want to see a Liberal ad with Ignatieff on short sleeves.

    If they can spare the seats in parliament, of course…

  12. So tired of this crap – nobody "gives" you a majority. You earn it, like respect.

    To date, Canadians continue to be uncomfortable with the whole idea. Thank Jeebus.

  13. How many hundreds of comments have you posted on political blogs while not caring about politics, Merv?

    • You really oughta switch to the sergeant major avatar for this sort of thing PW. Who's Merv?

    • Paul….hundreds and hundreds more to come I hope. I love tweeking those in the media and opposition party supporters. That's one of the advantages of being retired. You can read the blogs and comment.
      I am tired of the shenanigans, the threats, the lack of meaningful legislation to address the many issues facing the country. I think the mechanics of minority governments were established for short periods i.e. 18 months. We have now had almost 10 years of minority governments and I am sick to death of the games being played by all the parties including the Conservatives. I have only one choice for a government. I have to assess the leaders and the policy platforms to determine on balance who represents my views. I will take Harper hands down warts and all over the visiting professor.

      • So will you consider on merit the likes of Rae, Leblanc or Trudeau should their chance come along? No.Then it'll be something else that rules them out of court. Face it; you're wedded to Harper warts and all. So, stop pretending you're an objective concerned citizen.

  14. "If we ignored them maybe they would go away."

    I don't usually agree with you, but in that thought, I think you've got a point. At least, I appreciate the sentiment. If shutting our mouths about attack ads would make them go away, I'd be the first to zip it.

    • Maybe we should try it. However, the media would have nothing to talk about other than the scandals du jour or the attack ads. So that won't work.

  15. This should be fun next week – Elizabeth May is releasing Green Party "attack ads", lol!!!

    Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has repeatedly lamented political attack ads.

    But, with their apparent effectiveness being repeatedly demonstrated by the federal Conservatives, the Green Party says it “has no option” but to release attack ads of its own to get its message across.

  16. 'What would a really surprising campaign ad look like? It might feature a politician admitting he gets things wrong, too. It might list areas where our country falls short and challenge its citizens to do better, instead of lining up to flatter Canadians and bribe them with their own money "

    mmm, it is a bit of a pity Obama can't run here.

    • Yes, a leader could admit that unemployment will remain high in the wake of a major recession, or that it is hard to have a detailed discussion about complex issues in the middle of an election campaign or…. on second thought, maybe that won't work.

      • Obama has at least admitted to some of his mistakes. Which is refreshingly different from the usual…who me?You must mean the previous occupant of this office crap.

        • I wa referring to Kim Campbell, not some foreigner.

          • Do you really believe she lost cuz she was too honest? I think she might have had an elephant on her back named Brian. I seem to remember she also made some dumb remarks about those who sit on the couch and watch hockey instead of learn Russian or attend highbrow arts events like her. It isn't alway wise to say exactly what you think during an election. Trudeau was said to have adored ballet. But i didn't hear him disparaging hockey fans at any time, least of all during an election.

          • No, there were a lot of factors not in her control that led to that result. But those comments, honest and accurate as they were, were not well-received. My point is simply that it is not always easy, or popular, to tell people the simple truth. It is often not well-received. Parties resort to negative ads because they work.

  17. If it doesn't matter where you come from, why do the ads keep reminding me Michael Ignattieff came from the US??

    • I guess it only matters if you want to be PM (as opposed to voting for the current one)

    • "…why do the ads keep reminding me Michael Ignattieff came from the US?? "

      Because these cons aren't bothered by the dissonance of playing the ani-American card when it falls in their favour.

      • It has nothing to do with the Americans. It has to do with a man who lived outside of Canada for 34 years, called himself an American and then suddenly shows up and wants to be PM. Do you not get the hypocrisy?

        • BS! IT's about trying to brand the other guy! And you don't care how you do it. Wild conjecture, out of context lies, bizarre fearmongering – it's all the same to you or your party.
          Your chosen party would say anything in order to obtain the advantage they think they need over the opposition leader. If Rae gets the nod you'll be claiming he's in the unions pockets despite the fact it was the unions who brought about his fall.

        • and the poopin' puffin' was for what reason?….

  18. Please. Stop with all the ads. Pull the pin, Election!

    Then: The "Harper Minority Government" can continue, unsatisfied.
    The Ignattieff fellow will get the boot.

    At which point, politics gets fun again.

    • At some poin there's got to be some media rumblings of a replace Harper in the Conservative movement as well. It's wonder that no anonymous sources have been spouting it in some paper or another.

  19. Include any pre-writ ad spending under the writ-period cap. (Ad-buys not you-tube gimmicks)
    Problem solved.

    • Good suggestion, but it will never happen while the CPC is in power, since they get to write the rules. If it wasn't for this pesky EC business focussing people's attention, they likely would have already removed the cap completely.

  20. There is a very good book on advertising: "The Age of Persuasion" by Terry O'Reilly and Mike Tennant, based on O'Reilly's CBC radio show of the same name. It is an interesting insight into the advertising business and its relationship with society as a whole.

    • Thanks, looks interesting, I'll pick up a copy.

  21. I really hope Iggy and the Liberals have a good comeback and perhaps they are saving their ammo for when the election drops. The last thing we need is a runaway victory by the Harper government. If that happens Ignatief should go back to Harvard and the elitist morons who coaxed him to quit his job and come here to be crowned should apologize to him for for bad advice, and to us for having to live through this crap.

  22. Michael Ignatieff's Liberals have no new [pre-writ] ads.
    Then what were those god-awful cheapo cartoons about fighter planes and corporate tax cuts several weeks ago?

    They would be more flexible on such questions if they could afford to be.
    The Liberals have quite a history as a party, and further back as a government, of being rather flexible even if they could NOT afford to be.

  23. The fact is that Ignatieff is the only "real person", the rest are professional politicians. But Canadians are too dumb to entrust the real person with their government. They prefer to trust the lying politicians.

  24. I believe most of us would love to view ads that focus on ‘ results’ since the Conservatives have been in power.’ But maybe that is way too real?

Sign in to comment.