01.28.2011 09:04 AM

Good morning, Prime Minister! Our new ads are being received very well!

  • Vancouver Sun: The ads are “totally dishonest…These latest ads show that Conservatives are willing to do whatever it takes, to stoop to the very depths, to damage the prospects of the Liberal leader. There is no fairness and no integrity whatever to these ads.”
  • The Canadian Press: “ADS SPARK BACKLASH…entirely out of context…Carleton University communications professor Josh Greenberg said the latest Tory ads are “insulting to the intelligence.” Political ads are notorious for taking opponents’ words out of context but he said he’s never seen anything quite so blatant.”
  • The Globe and Mail: “Would Tories use an Ignatieff clip out of context?  Yes! Yes! Yes!”


  1. Cath says:

    Why if the ads are so offensive are these same media pundits continuing to air them on their networks. It gives more audience to an ad that may or may not have been intended for network consumption?

    To be honest I’d never thought the ads to be that newsworthy but there they are again on display this morning.

    Also, in the Vancouver Sun and Globe pieces the writers still make the Howard Dean comparison. Seems to me that even these folks should take some responsibility for how the ads may or may not have been viewed no?

    I still wonder though if the Liberals would have taken advantage of a similar display coming from Harper? I believe I know the answer to that too.

    Watching one of the political shows last night – CTV I believe – where this was discussed and dismissed as being more antics that all parties play. Someone on the panel stated that most Canadians aren’t paying attention and that only 15% of Canadians are paying attention to politics at all these days.

    At the end of the day neither the Tory or Liberal ads will change anything much at all.

    • I suspect the CPC have learned how to play the game very well. The MSM and the liberal-left will be obsessing how mean and unfair the Conservatives are for the next few days.

      The timing of the ads has sucked all the air in the room?

      What is the status of the tours by the opposition leaders?

      What are the opposition and media talking about?

      I am impressed how quickly a tactic can be deployed and predictable response to defend the Liberals and attack the Conservatives is repeated.

    • PETE says:

      Cath, ask Kim Campbell about that comment.

      • Cath says:

        that Kim Campbell ad was something all together different, but to coin a phrase from Warren, you already know that.

        • PETE says:


          Your excuses are sad.

          • Nothing is ever pulled it exits on the web. Did these ads get a media buy or just left on the website for “analysis” and free publicity?

          • Namesake says:

            Sigh. If only the defective attack trolls could be recalled as effectively & unceremoniously as the ‘It never happened’ ads: “This video has been removed by the user.” Poof, gone.

  2. Malcolm Barry says:

    The Tories are attempting nothing less than total trickery and those so called attack ads are an insult to everyone. Thr Harperites can rationalize all they want and what can you expect from a pig other than a grunt.

    • Aongasha says:

      Ahhhh? and as I asked before what about the ‘soldiers in the streets’ ad and others the Liberals produced in the past and no doubt will again. C’mon WK you’re the war room guy – you know that in this case history will definitely repeat itself. I actually think attack ads are amusing sometimes, but useless and don’t change many opinions.
      And the few they do —- well you know.
      What is really funny though is to try and make this only a Conservative thing. C’mon Malcolm you can’t be that naive.

      • tdotlib says:

        Not to defend the content of the ‘soldiers’ ads, BUT there is a big difference between ads deployed during the writ period and ones outside of an election.

        There is no reason for any party to be running election-style ads outside of an election. This is a case of the Cons having more money than sense, plain and simple.

        • tdotlib says:

          Also, those soldier ads were produced by a (nearly) completely different team of people.

          • Namesake says:

            plus they didn’t actually run, since they immediately got pilloried in the press as an hyperbolozing piece of desparation; plus they cost the Libs a lot of votes & maybe the election, nevertheless; so I guess it’s great that the CPC Koolaid drinkers think they’re a good reason to go with their new ones. Those who don’t learn history are… bound to support CPC.

    • “Total trickery” is what War Rooms are all about, and ALL parties have War Rooms.

  3. Cath says:

    How many networks jumped on Peter McKay yesterday and gave Ignatieff’s Bill Gates gaffe any attention at all?

    Folks seem to be lining up on two sides. Those who dislike so-called attack ads and will never agree to them because they feel they don’t work vs. those who would never pass up a chance to make the other guy look bad when he/she screws up.

    Ignatieff and whoever advised him on his speech to his caucus took a risk at letting the guy freelance, but they also took a risk at inviting the media in to get it all. Just as the CPC took a risk in their ads. Time will tell if it sticks to one side or the other. My gut feeling is that it will not.

    You write terrific stuff in your books about taking risks and using every slip by the other guy to point that out to the consumers of what’s being aired. Wouldn’t the same thing apply to all parties? Mud sticks to all sides if going negative is effective no?

  4. W.B. says:

    Canadians used to be thought of as having kind of basic level of decency, integrity, honesty, and a kind of reticence and humility at the core. What kind of people could make something like this? Think about it. People in powerful positions in our governing party conceived, produced and approved this advertising campaign.
    I don’t think you can say, “Well Stephen Harper didn’t really have anything to do with this.”

    • Cath says:

      right – just like Ignatieff had anything at all to do with the mash-up Ted’s pushing?

    • Namesake says:

      Tom Flanagan was asked about it on P&P yesterday, and said that while he was his Chief of Staff, PM Harper personally approved all their TV ads.

      Cath: keep talking. Eventually you’ll convince yourself.

      “Stand by Your Man…”

      • Cath says:

        the new ads haven’t been aired namesake have the ads posted by Ted been ok’d by Ignatieff? Keep applying your idiot logic because it’s clear you are believing it.

        • Namesake says:

          eek, was that a flash of angry passion there, Cath? A little Howard Dean moment?! Shouldn’t that disqualify you from being taken seriously?

        • Jan says:

          Gee Cath, and you were doing so well playing ‘fair and balanced’.
          Always amusing to see how little it takes for the Harperites to go off. I can’t believe these ads are happening with Nigel Wright on board. Wasn’t he supposed to bring some maturity to the PMO?

  5. Reminds me of the backlash from the “Just Visiting ads” in the first few weeks from the MSM.

    How did that work out?

    • PETE says:


      • Dion was tougher on the Conservatives. Dion did not break away from the party position on leaving the combat mission in 2009. Let’s use METRICS that are verifiable and public.

        Check the leadership polling numbers of Dion Ignatieff and Layton. Ignatieff fell faster behind Layton than Dion. Compare the balance sheets and by election victories. How many donors?

        • smelter rat says:

          Do you ever listen to yourself CS? Get some help. Seriously. Nobody gives a shit what you think or say. Run along now.

          • Cheer up SR,

            The Liberals will have a convention Ottawa if the CPC and NDP find some common ground. It won’t be a repeat from the Fall 2009 with Ignatieff all alone trying to be the tough guy.

            What is the minimum level of support for him to keep his job 54%?

          • PETE says:

            Canadian nonsense hasn’t figured it out yet…….elections matter He prefers to live under a rock with his select stats that fool no one but his sick mind

  6. Brad says:

    I sincerely believe Stephen Harper is a mentally ill, his deep hatred of the opposition and his apparent paranoia are signs of it.

    • The Doctor says:

      If deep hatred of your political opponents and apparent paranoia are signs of mental illness, then there are a lot of mentally ill people posting on this site. Just sayin’.

  7. hugger says:

    When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    Corinthians 13

  8. They’re attack ads. (Attack ads that fewer than 15% of Canadians are even remotely interested in, BTW.) They’re supposed to be wildly inaccurate and filled with insinuation, innuendo and character assassination and lies.

    That the press gallery and news media seems somehow surprised and preoccupied by this is, for me at least, far more interesting than the ads themselves. We know this is what the Conservatives do, why then is anyone surprised? It’s their thing. From poopy Puffins to this.

    They knew the MSM would go nuts about it and I suspect that’s why the ads were released because it plays to their base big time. Their base believes the media are all leftists and biased against them anyway, so the universal condemnation proves their point and that plays well to their base. I bet they have increased their war chest from their base while this has been making news over the past twenty-four hours.

  9. jbro says:

    i saw that ad. i’m now watching the revolt in cairo. the former is pure bs, the latter is pure inspiration.

    who gives a shit what the media thinks about the media thinks about the politicians thinks about themselves with their heads up each others’ ass.

    using free speech irresponsibly is wrong, it debases democracy. if you aren’t enhancing and respecting democracy, fuck off, you don’t get my vote.

    sorry for the language, warren. i’m tired of the whinybabies running the narrative all over the map. surely to shit somebody can simply do the right thing, stand for the right things, and resist all the bs. harper, iggy, layton, duceppe all fail that test. take me to yr leader!

    obama stays out of the ditch, and is an adult at the table. we deserve someone like that, at the very least.

  10. bc says:

    As a Conservative supporter I can openly admit that the ads are totally dishonest.

    But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that the Conservative party is the only participant in biased and malicious advertising.

    We have to go back only a few years to remember the Liberals creating ads saying Harper wanted the military, with guns, patrolling our streets. Or when we had the barrel of a gun pointing at our face with a muzzle flash to boot. Or how we’ve heard ad nausea about Harper and the Conservatives “hidden agenda”. We’ve heard Harper will take away the womans right to choose, ect.

    Politics is a messy game and although it is sometimes tiresome, I think it’s making the debate around our government alot more interesting.

    • Ted H. says:

      Typical Conservative response “Gee the Liberals did it 5 years ago”. Well the Liberals aren’t doing it now, the Conservatives are. The Conservatives in their own opinion are supposed to be the “principled party” providing “clean accountable government”. How long did it take to flush all that down the toilet?

  11. Sean says:

    sometimes Bourque has smart ass headlines that are just bang on… Today: “How do we explain Tory ads to our kids?” That might be a simple / effective line for Libs to use. How do Canadian’s explain this lying P.M. to their children?

  12. Quito Maggi says:

    It’s nice to see that the media is condemning these ads but the reality is they will be effective.

    The same things were said about the Dion ads in 2008, people will remember 1 thing, Ignatieff isn’t in it for us. We know it to be 100% false, but the truth doesn’t really matter in this case, the lasting impression will be negative. Unless we say, “Michael Ignatieff is…” and “Michael Ignatieff is in it for…” and fill in those blanks, the Cons will most certainly do it for us, they have.

    It may be too late for this election, let’s hope we learn the lesson this second time around and make sure we define ourselves long before they do the next time.

    • Philip says:

      Advertising by political parties, whether in an election period or not, should be held to the exact same standards as private sector advertising. It seems odd that we demand truth, accuracy and integrity from those who sell us toothpaste but political parties get a pass outside of an election period.

      • The Doctor says:

        Interesting you mention that. That was a big disappointment to me a few years ago when that litigation happened (if my memory serves me correctly) in B.C. over Glen Clark’s so-called “fudge-it budget”. Everyone and their dog knew that Glen Clark and the NDP knowingly lied in their statements during that election campaign (i.e., claiming the BC budget was balanced, when it was not and they knew that). Yet as I recall, the court refused to grant a remedy, and as you suggest, seemed to leave it open for politicians to have a “safe harbour” for lying.

  13. Dave says:

    I figure that the Conservative campaign of lauding their leader as #1 Hero, and spitting on the leader of the opposition worked great for them so far. The reruns of Dion asking for clarification of a question added to the Conservative campaign.
    The Conservatives are trying to repeat these successes with the current leader of the opposition.
    That only 15% of Canadians are really following in an involved manner is the point.
    It means that 85% are not, and that might be what makes this kind of advertising effective. I figure that the advertising works best when people are not paying too much attention to exactly what the advertising is saying, and, especially, how it is being said. Half heard, or half watched ads can still give an impression, and many of us, when we do pay attention, look for info that adds to the impression that we already have.
    These attack ads, whatever their accuracy, would still make an impression on people who are half paying attention.

    • Quito Maggi says:

      This is exactly the point I’m trying to make, most of my friends who are not political all say the same two things when I ask them their opinion of Michael Ignatieff 1) Who is Michael Ignatieff? and 2) Isn’t he that American guy who wants to run Canada?

      This little media, pundit, party op daisy chain means a grand total of 0.

    • The backlash is similar to the “just visiting ads” with the MSM being outraged and spending a couple of weeks complaining and telling us it won’t work.

      We all know how that turned out.

      It appears these two spots were only available on their website and the media ran with it. Go figure free publicity and within 48 hours the message has been sent.

      • Namesake says:

        Yes, and the message received was that the CPC has monumentally bad judgment, which even some of the most ardent Conservatives had to rebuke them for.

        The message which was summed up by Bourque’s news round-up today, thus:

        Steve, how to explain dishonest ads to your kid ?



        Tasha Kheiriddin: The latest Conservative ads don’t just go out of context, they go over the line … the Tories should focus on selling their own ideas, rather than beating up on the other guys …

        Keith Beardsley: The ads are such a stretch that they are quite frankly dishonest … the media’s chattering again … it¹s all negative and it’s all directed at the Conservatives for the sham they are trying to pull in these ads …

        Greg (yes, me !) Weston: It’s so far over the top, it’s irresponsible …

        • Review the same people on the Just Visiting ADS. How many of them have recycled their views they don’t like negative ads?

          Look at the numbers for Iggy prior to the Just Visiting Ads. Flash forward two – three months. Try to keep up, this is not junior kindergarten.

          A series of ads the last two were not media buys but got picked up and widely consumed for FREE?

          We may have 12-24 months before we return to the Polls, be patient.

  14. Cath says:

    ?Conservatives say those ads yesterday never included a media buy.
    22 minutes ago via TweetDeck
    Rosemary Barton?

  15. smelter rat says:

    In your dreams, Willy.

  16. Namesake says:

    Put a sock in it, Observant/Oscar/Consistent/ serial imposter & liar.

    I already pointed out to you a couple days ago that was a lie, from the 2006 Maclean’s interview in which he stated categorically that he is not an American citizen, so, once again, this is libelling him, and now the media, as well.


    • Namesake says:

      “The only conclusion is” — that you’re BS’ing, as usual.

      Again, yes, he sometimes referred to himself as though he were an American while he was living, working and adressing people in that country, for rhetorical effect; i.e., so as not to create a distance between himself and his audience.

      So what? That doesn’t make him a U.S. citizen; it makes him a savvy orator.

      And you cite a regulation indicating that one requirement for becoming a citizen is 5 years of continuous residence.

      So what? That doesn’t make him a U.S. citizen, either; it doesn’t show that he applied to be one, much less whether he met any or all of the other requirements, or even that one, for that matter.

      Notice, that reg. does NOT say that someone who’s been there that long is required to apply to become a citizen in order to be eligible to continue to work there;

      he probably could have just renewed his work visa indefinitely. (And where are you even getting that he had a “green card,” aka the United States Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551), anyway?)

      Moreover, it’s not even clear that he DID live there continuously for 5 years: he was recruited by Harvard in 2000, and he returned to Canada and ran in the leadership contest in Dec. 2005, and for all you know, he may have spent every summer in-between at his family home in France, which would wreck the ‘continuous residence’ requirement.

      So, again, and for what better be the last time:

      as Michael Ignatieff stated to Peter Newman for Macleans in 2006, and as I quoted before,

      “I shouldn’t have used the ‘we.’ I’m not and have never been and will never be an American citizen, so I shouldn’t have done that. Sometimes you want to increase your influence over your audience by appropriating their voice, but it was a mistake.”


      — but your continuing to ignore that isn’t a “mistake,” ‘Consistent’: it’s a malicious lie.

      And you know what? there’s no shortage of Liberal-friendly lawyers frequenting this blog who might just track you down one from all your ISP trails on this & Garth Turner’s blog to put your libelling ass in jail, one of these days.

      • Lance says:

        The ads have already appear to allude that Ignatieff identifies himself as an American more than as a Canadian. I may be mistaken of course, but I’m thinking that if there is going to be any suing an/or jailing done, I suspect that would have already been done on that score, let alone when a commenter among many alludes likewise. Get a hold of yourself.

        It seems that Ignatieff himself acknowledges that he made a mistake in pandering to his American audience with the identifier “we”. My concern, and I daresay the concern of many others, is that in doing so, he appears to be able to readily identify himself with whatever appears convenient. His bald about-face on many previously held views and convictions already speaks to that. I believe those are rather distasteful traits for a potential PM to have. It suggests that he is a dabbler, a dilettante; someone that cannot possibly be taken seriously when given his history, may just as readily make another “mistake” and morph into something else when convenient; that this run for PM is another example of that, and thus will be regarded by many as nothing more than a carpet bagging opportunist. And THAT is why those “just visiting” ads and the subsequent ones put out on TV are so successful; they merely reinforce what is already distasteful in the minds to so many Canadians. And to have that emboidied in their leadership will be an anathema to them.

        • hugger says:

          There will be no recession.

          There will be no deficits.


          “I just want to be very clear on the record that the reference to the next generation of fighter aircraft does not preclude a competition,” MacKay assured fellow MPs. “An open and transparent one.”

          Above quote from Ottawa Citizen

          “I believe those are rather distasteful traits for a potential PM to have. It suggests that he is a dabbler, a dilettante; someone that cannot possibly be taken seriously when given his history, may just as readily make another ?mistake? and morph into something else when convenient; ”

          Bearnaise or ketchup with your crow?

        • Namesake says:

          My comment was directed at some now-deleted comment by the person who goes by a series of names (Consistent, Observant, Harry S, Oscar, Willy, etc) who has repeatedly asserted in various fora that the Opposition Leader not only most definitely is a U.S. citizen (which is false), but who also advocates torture, starvation, & genocide (which, again, are all false, I have demonstrated to him or her on this site), in the deliberate attempt to irredeemably impugn his character and ruin the party’s electoral prospects.

          I regard that to be an assault on our very democracy.

          Judge him on the basis of what he has actually said or done, fine, but not on the basis of deliberate lies by a shameless sociopath.

  17. Lance says:

    This latest ad won’t even a blip on the radar of the non-engaged electorate percentage, which from what we are now understanding, amounts to 85%. Before the real election campaign begins these ads and the “outrage” they generate now one way or the other will be utterly forgotten in the face of everything else that comes up during campaigns. Only the remainding 15% who are partisan one way or the other will care, and they’ve made up their mind already long ago.

    How this latest ad about Ignatieff is different from the “soldiers in our streets ad” that were never aired widely is that the “soldiers in our streets ad” was reported on during an election campaign when people are naturally more engaged. It was just another arrow in the hide of a government that at that point, was already rolling over. These are not happening with the ads about Ignatieff. The Liberals will have to look somewhere else for their kryptonite. That kryptonite probably exists, but this is not going to be it.

  18. James Curran says:

    With the exception of the Liberal ads being FACTUAL, right Les?

  19. Cath says:


    The story if the media had cared to do their research. Oh, and a really like how the same media continue to refer to the “Howard Dean” moment, yet criticize any comparison. It all started with them in the first place.

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