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Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Liberal Party ads miss the mark

The Liberal Party has released new political ads. Two are in French and one is in English. I will critique the one in English.


First thing that comes to mind is that the government doesn’t bring ideas to market, individuals do that. Mr. Ignatieff is basically suggesting that Canadians can only ‘take on the world’ with government help, but whatever. I’ll focus on the style not the substance.

As far as strategy is concerned I think this ad is a bust. This is not the time to go positive. He should be making his case for why we need an election, not talking about how hopeful he is. This ad should be featuring a list of woes that the Conservatives have brought down on the Canadian people. You should be meant to conclude that an election is desirable to kick the scoundrels out (I think the French ads my do this, but why only the French ones?). Instead you are left concluding that big government is good.

The main argument that the Conservatives have been using against Mr. Ignatieff is that he has lived in foreign countries for much of his life. The merits of this argument can be debated but is it really wise to remind people of your opponents point against you? He should really drop this ‘global perspective’ language; this is not the debate he wants.

Finally the ad is visually boring. He should be talking over images of business men shaking hands and children playing with cute dogs. Or they should have at least had a more interesting back drop than a few trees. Give him an office to look Prime Ministerial in.

Over all, these ads give the Conservative Party nothing to be afraid of.

(here are the French ads)

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on September 6, 2009 | Permalink


This piece is ludicrous. You claim the ads miss their mark but you haven't even watched the french ones.

"First thing that comes to mind is that the government doesn’t bring ideas to market, individuals do that. Mr. Ignatieff is basically suggesting that Canadians can only ‘take on the world’ with government help, but whatever."

Really? Then why are the conservatives taking credit for the economic recovery that's occurring because of the very stimulus spending they didn't want to have?

Seems to me that WAS a government plan, no?

Posted by: Byron | 2009-09-06 12:04:04 PM

Tories' ads, too, are routinely criticized in sophisticated circles for being bland or corny, but they've been quite effective in reaching their intended audience. We'll see how these do. The English one, anyway, makes it clear to me that Ignatieff's going to campaign on seriously interfering with (sorry, "investing in") the economy. The guy has his good qualities, but economic savvy may not be among them.

Posted by: garnet | 2009-09-06 12:53:56 PM

A Liberal victory means 1) Kyoto or its successor the Copenhagen Accord; 2) surrender in Afghanistan; 3) a resumption of Ontario elitist rule, 4) less money for health care, more for the CBC; 5) extreme arrogance, and 6) deteriorating relations with the US.

Harper may be disappointing but he is WAY ahead of the alternatives because none of these things will occur.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-06 2:37:45 PM

Typical greenwashing with the forest background. Phoney smile.
No substance.
No plan.
In short, Seinfeldian ie an ad about nothing other than my intelligence insulted.


Posted by: beachgirl | 2009-09-06 2:59:02 PM


This post was mostly concerning the English ad, which is what I said in the post itself. So I don't get your point.

I would say the economy is recovering despite the actions of the Conservative government, not because of it. Governments can's save economies they can only get in their way. Is that even handed enough for you?


I didn't complain that it was corny, I said it was visually uninteresting. Corniness often plays well in politics.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-09-06 4:35:29 PM

This advertisement does exactly what an advertisement released prior to an election should, set the groundwork for an election. The Liberals are planting seeds here, the election after all has not even been called yet so going into heavy attack dog mode would be silly. Harper should be worried that Iggy apparently has the financial ability to buy ad time and shape how the country sees him. His will be the campaign of hope, of someone who has had a fascinating life full of valuable experiences (worked well for Obama) that he will bring to Prime Minister. Now he can’t remain this positive throughout, but what you’re not getting is that this is a marathon, not a sprint, it’s about the long-term. That’s why the ad works.

Posted by: Wade Tomlin | 2009-09-06 5:06:47 PM

Why does the Ontario Master Race always appeal to "Canada's leadership position?" Don't they realize that it never existed? Worst of all, why do so many people fall for it? Canada has never led anything.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-06 5:09:38 PM

More Ignatieff means less beer and popcorn.

Posted by: johndoe124 | 2009-09-06 6:43:03 PM

Zebulon Pike
"A Liberal victory means 1) (...); 2) surrender in Afghanistan"
Do you mean the whole Canadian contingent will constitute itself prisoner(that's what it sounds like)? Or do you mean all of NATO will give up? In the latter case, do you mean this would come about because of the new Canadian leadership? Which would contradict a later post where you wrote that "Canada has never led anything". Come to think of it, just what do you mean?

Posted by: Nothing New Under the Sun | 2009-09-06 11:44:08 PM

It means they would immediately withdraw the troops before completing the mission. That constitutes surrender. They'd do it to protect Toronto from snow too.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-07 6:48:43 AM

US conservative George Will is also calling to leave Afghanistan along with 57% of the US population.

You spoon fed muppets should get off Fixed News once in awhile.

Posted by: Byron | 2009-09-07 7:11:55 AM

A majority in Canadian polls say they want the troops to return. Has it happened? No.

If those CBC-worshipping lackeys who believe in segregated schools won't do that, what chance does Mr. Will have?

President Obama and Mr. Harper says the Afghanistan War will continue, and so it shall. It is the good fight against international terrorism.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-07 8:31:04 AM

No one here noticed, but the English ad was done in front of a 'green screen'...and amateurishly at that. Watch it enough times and you may come down with motion sickness from the jittery background (what, they couldn't afford a tripod?)...

Posted by: FredfromBC | 2009-09-08 6:34:34 AM

The French ads are just recycled Liberal talking points. I don't see what's so exciting about them either. Oh boo hoo Harper said there wasn't going to be a deficit, now we have a huge deficit, which makes them fiscally irresponsible, but they're not doing enough. The Liberal party can't decide whether the government needs to spend more or spend less. (I suppose their plan is just to tax more *and* spend more, but they'll never admit this.)

Posted by: K Stricker | 2009-09-08 9:27:31 AM

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