Friday, May 15, 2009

Tory Attack Ad: "His policies seem reasonable enough, but take a look at his head."

The Conservative Party's "attack ads" on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff are pretty slick, and underneath all the rhetorical graffiti there might even be more than a valid point or two. But it seems unlikely that many Canadians who don't already vote Conservative or NDP will be swayed by the notion that Ignatieff is too smart, too arrogant, too French, too cosmopolitian, too aloof, too American, too - you know - foreign, to be up to the prime minister's job.

How to make sense of it? 1. "It's this whole Tim Horton's type thing." 2. His Iggishness declares that the advertisments are intended as a distraction, and the Conservatives are unserious. 3. Chantal Hebert is of the view that the advertisements are not fair play in Quebec, where they amount to something new and nasty.

All I have to say is if you're going to do attack ads, do them properly: "L is for Labour. L is for Lice."


Blogger Raphael Alexander said...

But it seems unlikely that many Canadians who don't already vote Conservative or NDP will be swayedI wrote precisely the same thing. I agree. I don't think that many people, particularly among those who are immigrants or second-generation children are going to have a problem with a guy leaving Canada for 34 years.

It's a catchy line "just visiting", but nothing like Dion's embarrassing shoulder shrug that they flogged to death.

5:21 PM  
Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

A couple of months ago I had the dubious pleasure of being present when a "radical philosopher" was interviewed at some academic venue. His audience could not be more conservative in that uniquely Canadian way of jumping upon the bandwagon without quite fully knowing why. Thus no one got who they were dealing with when he excused the excesses of the French Revolution by claiming most of the guillotined were guilty of treason, anyway. And when asked about Iggy he politely but tersely opined the Ignatieff was nothing better than the liberal face grafted upon American imperialism (or was it fascism?).

Just to say that fear mongering based on "foreignness" is not unique to Conservatives. It can come in surprising forms from the more "liberated" parts of a liberal constituency, as well. And they scare me more when they come from those quarters, since they are all dressed up in humanistic concern for universal human rights. That is, they appeal to the nobler side of people, who would then believe that to shun Ignatieff is one's moral duty as a human being.

3:48 AM  
Blogger Skookum1 said...

Aside from the fact that, maybe because I remember simpler times, seeing an attack ad when there's no even an election campaign underway is more than a bit tacky (and distasteful), I've been wondering if the ad was about somebody having spent too many years in India or Africa or Lebanon or China would it be just as "acceptable" (really it's not anyway)? Are Governor-General Jean or ex-Lieutenant Governor less acceptable as Canadians because they also call Haiti and China home?

Why is it such a bad thing for a Canadian to feel at home in the UK (of all places, given that remains the largest single country of ethnic origin in the Canadian census)?

And isn't it just a BIT ironic that the Tories would be playing on the ugly strain of anti-Americanism that's in-built into Canadian "patriotism"? Playing this card is pretty hypocritical for Harper, with his close ties to George W. Bush; I guess if the Liberals wanted to play nasty they could just make ads showing him and Georgie together, over and over....

As for the anti-Harvard slag, I know I'd rather have a Harvard-educated - a Harvard faculty member no less - for Prime Minister than somebody who got both his degrees at the University of Calgary. I'm sure U.Calg has an OK-ish economics department and all, but turning up your nose at someone just because they went to, and teach at, Harvard, is like turning down gold in preference for bronze....

Hick anti-intellectualism is what the ad appeals to, also, which is another ugly part of the political landscape in this country, and rooted in the tabloidization of media and the pandering to the lowest common demoninator which has reduced politics to cliches and verbal thuggery.

And this ad was nothing more, really, than verbal thuggery. "Hey stupid people that have never lived abroad, look at this smarty-pants goof who's highly respected in the US and UK? Don't you just hate him? I bet he doesn't even play hockey or go to Tim Horton's....."

Political hooliganism is only to be expected from the Tories, I imagine we'll see much worse than this once the inevitable election campaign finally comes....

7:12 AM  
Blogger Skookum1 said...

ex-Lieutenant-Governor David Lam I keyboard's been having problems....

7:13 AM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Harper and Crew must be worried about Iggy to go on the offensive right now. Wonder if the attack ads will work like they did last time? Or will they drive voter turnout even lower than the last election, which set a record for low turnout in Canada? Suspect the latter. How low can we go?

10:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home