Sunday, January 23, 2011

Harper's Legacy of Attack Ads are Part of His Legacy of Hate

During the 1993 federal election campaign, when Kim Campbell was heading up the now defunct Progressive Conservative Party, a decision was made to launch an attack on Jean Chretien's face (video below). It was subtle, but the message was clear.

Did he look like he could run a country when he had such a "deformity"?

The backlash was immediate. Even many of her own candidates denounced the ads and made a public apology to the Liberal leader. The ads were pulled but the damage was done.

What was interesting, was the public's reaction. As it states in the news clip below, we weren't used to that kind of thing. Attack ads were nothing new, but the attacks were always on policy, never personal. How things have changed.

Stephen Harper has allowed his visceral hatred for anything "L"iberal or "l"iberal, to consume him. You can see it in the House, when he has to respond to a criticism from across the floor. At times he's teary, struggling to keep his composure. It's not normal.

And as we look back at his five years in office, the nature of his attack ads are certainly part of his legacy, and his potential undoing. They have been almost non-stop.

There was a piece on the Sudbury Star community pages, asking the question: Are Conservative Party Attack Ads Backfiring for Stephen Harper?
Are the Conservative Party of Canada’s recently unveiled attack ads backfiring for Stephen Harper? Given what’s been written about the controversy these ads are creating, versus the substance of the actual ads, I think that it may be fair to answer that question in the affirmative.

....And that’s the problem with these ads. Just what the heck are they? Some have suggested that they are clearly election ads. However, there isn’t an election underway that I’m aware of. So, ok, then they’re pre-election ads by the Conservative Party. Sure, ok, but Stephen Harper keeps telling everybody that he doesn’t want an election. Some are suggesting then, that this is Harper’s way of bargaining with the opposition parties from a position of strength: he’s showing them that if they choose to bring the government down, this is the sort of campaign that they’re in for, so hopefully one of the opposition parties will side with government come budget time. Well, that’s an interesting way to seek co-operation amongst political parties, as Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP, noted. It’s seeking co-operation by hitting the opposition leaders over the head with a two-by-four.
And Harper's lack of control was again evident in responding to the new Liberal ads, that attack two key policy errors. Sixteen billion for fighter jets (to attack the Russians) and an additional six billion for corporate tax cuts. He says that the Liberals are attacking "job creators" and the aerospace workers.

He's nuts. I'm sorry but I can't think of any better way of putting that. We all know that corporate tax cuts never, never, never, create jobs. They are only, as Bill Maher and countless others suggest, a transfer of money from those who need it, to those who don't. And Canada's aerospace workers are not guaranteed jobs because their companies can only tender for the maintenance contracts, which will be extensive. But they are up against the U.S. and Mexico, among others in Harper's aggressive trade deals.

Their chance of ever getting a piece of the pie are slim to none.

What is bothering Harper right now is that the other parties are ready for an election. He's headed up his corporate backed movement for too long, knowing that he has a steady money tap. But money isn't everything and personal assaults are getting boring.

You have to give us something, and so far, we have gotten nothing from this government but deficit and debt.

It's time to pull the plug.

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