Election Watch #1: Attack Ads.

Since the Canadian election is 66 long days away, and since many of my readers don’t find the leadership of Canada to be affecting their daily life too much (and that includes the opinion of many of my Canadian readers as well, I fear) I plan to publish election coverage in mid-week posts, and I will try to focus my comments on material that has general significance to the democratic process. My usual fare will appear in its usual time slot on Sundays.

#1 Attack Ads.

The Conservative party of Canada and its minions have always used attack ads. It is a standard technique that has been used by bullies throughout history. The theory is that if you keep hammering away that your victim is an idiot, sooner or later people will take that as a given. In recent years, opponents who have taken the high road and not responded in kind (Adrian Dix in BC, 2013 for example) have not fared well. An unfortunate comment on our society in general, I’m afraid.
In keeping with the theme of this blog, I am hoping I can influence voters to take the more intelligent approach, and look at what the attack ad tells us.

Just Who Places This Sort of Ad?
It is common wisdom that a nasty comment often tells us the most about the person who makes it. Well, if you look at the “He’s Just Not Ready Yet” campaign that the Conservatives have been waging against Justin Trudeau, it tells us absolutely nothing about Trudeau himself. However, it does make us suspect that the Conservatives are a nasty bunch of rich old codgers sitting around in their plush chairs and opining that the younger generation is “just not ready yet.” Which is what greedy old geezers have been saying since civilization began. After all, those next generation upstarts are younger, more handsome, and a real challenge to their ownership of everything worth owning. So if I was a young person, or anyone who was different in any way from the white, wanna-be upper class, self-serving businessmen that run the Conservative party, I’d be running to another party, any other party.
Those attack ads, and those attitudes, play very well to the grassroots financial support of the Conservative party, but now that the Conservatives have filled their coffers and set a long campaign in a blatant attempt to buy the election, they would do better to change their tune and appeal to the rest of the voters.
Which, if any of them listened, is a piece of good advice, given freely in the name of fairness and journalistic balance, to show that I don’t really hate Conservatives themselves, just the horrible things they do. The nice thing for me is that I can give them as much good advice as I want, and get as much good press as I can from it with no harm done, because I know they’ll never listen to me. Gosh, I should be a politician.

And if Anyone is Interested in Facts

Justin “Not Ready Yet” Trudeau (Liberal) is 43 years old. He has been active in politics all his life, and has been in Parliament for 8 years and leader of his party for two years.

When Brian “Let’s All Fill Our Pockets” Mulroney (Conservative) became Prime Minister at the age of 45, he had been in Parliament and leader of his party for one whole year.

Joe “Hero of the New Generation” Clark (Conservative) was 39 when he became Prime Minister, had been in Parliament for 9 years, leader of his party for 3. And he lasted less than a year.

So let’s not start throwing stones, Conservatives. Your glass house is rather vulnerable, if your opponents use more ethical campaign tactics and the voters use their heads. Fortunately for the pens of the journalists and the entertainment of the general public, it’s not likely to happen. Watch this space for flying shards.

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