06.25.2012 12:03 PM

New Con attack ad on Angry Tom

It ain’t bad, either:

But the best thing about the ad? The best thing is what one genius political pundit had to say, just last week, when he explained why Angry Steve was “going easy” on Angry Tom, and not running attack ads (like, er, the one above) against him:

“…Harper is happy to see Mulcair rise. The Liberals, who governed Canada for most of the 20th century while the Conservatives didn’t, are left squeezed from both sides but too stubborn to disappear. The left-of-Conservative vote remains split. With the Liberals dominant in the centre, Conservative parties won three elections between 1963 and 2004. With the NDP dominant on the left, Conservatives would win more. Harper doesn’t control all of Canadian politics or anywhere close, but if he left a landscape like that behind him, he could retire a happy man.”

Paul Wells, super-smart political analyst. Damn, he’s just so good.


  1. bigcitylib says:

    This one seems pretty bland to me.

  2. Jack Layton sold out Canada to Steve Harper

    Prime Minister Martin had promised to call the election within thirty days of the release of retired justice John Gomery’s final report on the Liberal sponsorship scandal, which was delivered as planned on February 1, 2006.

    Either way, therefore, a trip to the polls was imminent. But NDP strategists thought it dangerous to allow the government to set the terms of debate, and were concerned that on the key issue of political ethics the party would be caught in a squeeze between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

    They believed the Liberals would accept virtually all of Justice Gomery’s recommendations and that a chastened Liberal Party could win a majority government.



    • dave says:

      Yeah, I usually support NDP, and I remember the insider poker game stuff then that seemed to replace policy and direction. I was especially disappointed that in the subsequent election campaign that NDP let it be used by the RCMP upper echelons (and possibly the Conservatives) to float that income trust/Ralph Goodale investigation bs. Maybe the NDP inner circle were too eager to jump at the gvt, and it clouded their senses of caution.

      Oh well, as lawyer Arthur Hamilton argued today, ‘Too late to do anything about it now.’

  3. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Tame compared to what they threw at Iggy and Dion(remember the puffin poop?)……but similar in tone to the Bob Rae attack ads, imho……I dont think they are going down the ad hominem route as much these days……rather big of them……

  4. Mulletaur says:

    I just wonder at what point voters become so inured to this stuff that they just tune it out all together. I think at the phrase “economic theories”, the mental screen saver would have come up for most people.

  5. Dan says:

    Agree with the other comments that say this is pretty tame. Surprised to see an attack ad based on policy. I guess the NDP actually stands for something.

    So now the Liberals are going to have to stake out their ground: are they for polluter pay or against it? Are they for carbon pricing or against it? Are they for higher corporate taxes or against them?

    I’m sort of torn on what I’d like to see the Liberals do. On one hand, I think standing up to big oil is both morally and economically prudent, and all parties should do so. On the other hand, if the Liberals waffled their way out of taking a stand, it would make it a lot easier to unify progressives under the NDP.

  6. CanNurse says:

    Laughable, really. Mulcair said true things. This ad is hoping that people don’t know that those things are true & is saying they are “dangerous”. Ho hum. The truth IS dangerous – to the HarpCons.

  7. TDotRome says:

    I think it’s kinda lame. I’m sure Cons are thinking, “Yeah! We got all those Libs and now we’ll get Mulcair. Great ad!!” They’re a little slow on the uptick of what makes people’s heart beat. They’ll keep running boring, run-of-the-mill ads like this one, and I suspect that most swing/undecided voters will be turned off. Or better yet, driven to Mulcair. Even in the Maclean’s article, he says, “cheap mudslinging is not always more popular.”

  8. Dan says:

    BTW, sarcasm doesn’t come across very well online. Paul Wells says “Harper won’t run attack ads on the NDP because he wants the NDP to rise”, and apparently steps in a pile of shit today

    Super smart.

    Maybe Paul Wells didn’t see the polls:

    “The nationwide poll suggests the New Democratic Party would form a minority federal government if this were election day and a strong majority of Canadians believe the country suffers from an income gap, where the rich are getting too rich and the poor are getting too poor.”


    • Warren says:

      I’m not the only one poking fun at him, either. It was first drawn to everyone’s attention by National Newswatch. Talk about getting it wrong.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        TIMAAH!!!…TIMmay..timah!!!…timmay..timitimitimtimah!! ( . ) (O) <—Paul wells after getting it wrong.


  9. pcase says:

    It’s pretty good. I think the value comes after it is repeated over an over. It certainly plays to the fears of the mushy middle when it comes to the NDP. And this is aimed at the party as much as Mulcair. In fact the personal attack element is quite thin. I think that the Cons are happy to play of the negatives that can be associated with the NDP brand.

    The commenter above has it right, this is actually somewhat issue based. For a Federal NDP supporter like myself, I was nervous dove straight in with dutch disease. But, he has unpacked a lot with that statement, with his messaging about leaving a environmental, ecological and economis debt for future generations, etc… The polls have not been unkind to this tract so far. It certainly provides a foundation for a polarizing campaign in 2.5 years time with 2 distinct visions.

    It also forces the Liberals to take a side on large important issues. Usually this means getting in front of the NSP and campaign to the left. That will difficult when the NDP enters as the with a plurality and as the current best hope . There certainly is a squeeze play at work here.

    On the Wells jab. Although his timing was embarrassing, i am not so sure he was all that far off. I can certainly see the Cons sitting back watching the left remained split. Although they likely had all eventualities in mind, I doubt they foresaw their numbers sliding as they have been over the last 8 weeks. I also imagine they are surprised to see that Canadians have embraced Mulcair statements re: sustainable development – at least initially, versus what they have been pitching.

  10. sharonapple88 says:

    Evidence the Conservatives have money to burn.

    Overall, I don’t think the Conservatives have to be hard hitting with their choice. Does anyone think the public at large has any definite opinions of Mulcair? It’s all about making people uncomfortable with him, just as the NDP’s commercials were about liking Mulcair in a vague way.

    My take — whomever gets the last say (the most commercials out there) will win the day.

    Wonder if the NDP will resurrect their previous ad campaign in response. (They could still be running those ads. I just haven’t seen any for a while.)

  11. AP says:

    Tame stuff. I’m waiting for the more hard-hitting ads. Something like this:

    Vladimir Lenin had a goatee.

    Joseph Stalin had a moustache.

    Fidel Castro had a beard.

    Tom Mulcair? Well just take a look at all that facial hair.

    The real reason Tom Mulcair grew a beard is because Lenin, Stalin and Castro are his real heros.

    The NDP’s Tom Mulcair: He says he’s not buying razor blades to save the environment. Wrong. He’s not shaving because he’s a communist.

    Brought to you by the Stephen Harper led Conservative Party of Canada; Clean-shaven and proud of it.

  12. AP says:

    If I could use a computer for anything more than e-mails and surfing the net I would have made the video with the ominous music and close ups of Mulcair’s contorted hairy face.

  13. kre8tv says:

    Alas, the macrocephalous scribe gets it wrong again. I like that Newswatch has opted to keep the headline running in the “Related” subhead. Nice.

    Also, I hate to be a downer here, but there is bad news in this for Liberals, too. It suggests that the Cons are finally confident that the Liberal brand is sufficiently squashed that they can now turn the ConservaDeathstar of doom on the NDP. I’m only surprised that it is happening this soon. But I guess it takes years to completely tear down a brand. Even one without much of a record in government to speak of.

    • Warren says:

      Pal, those guys have more money than God. They can run attack ads on every person in Canada and still have money left over.

      A big part of the reason they run the ads is to speak to, and mobilize, and fundraise, their base. They do it all the time. Sometimes the broader voting public is only a secondary audience, for them.

      • Sean says:

        exactly, Warren

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Warren, they have money to burn…because people who support Harper’s direction..also support the party. And for the NDP’ers out there……you don’t have to be rich to support the Conservative Party. We ain’t all bankers….just like not all NDP’ers…aren’t Wankers. (though, most of them are)

        As for the attack ad itself…pretty tame. I still think the better idea is to take out ads in all the big newspapers listing all companies (and union jobs) that rely on the Oil sands development…..and then ask the readers to consider the effect of stopping the oil sands production.

  14. Ted B says:

    Is that even a Conservative Party ad? No personal attacks. No quotations wholly out of context. No challenges to Mulcair patriotism. No made up quotations. Not even any scary music. No rolling in the dirt. A bit of the ol’ “TAX ON EVERYTHING” scaremongering, but seriously? Not much of a typical Conservative ad.

    Seems more like testing the waters to me. The polsters are going to be on the phone tonight.

    If anything, it proves Wells right, I’m afraid. They can’t appear soft on the NDP, but they don’t really want to knock them down too far.

    • Nic Coivert says:

      IT seems to me more of an attack on alternative viewpoints, or opinions, an attempt to contain the dialogue to what the conservatives deem relevant, setting themselves up as the gold standard on economic policy.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Wait for it….it just gets better from here.

  15. Tim says:

    I’m not sure why you are so angry with Paul Wells. We all now he’s this weird dude from Sarnia, specializing in penetrating insights into the obvious and general everyday bullshit. I don’t pay him any mind. I’d like to think someone like you could ignore him as well. But you don’t.

    • Warren says:

      I enjoy poking him. Don’t read it if you disapprove.

    • Balcony says:

      Paul wrote a mean column about Warren a decade ago in the National Post that downplayed Warren’s importance in the Chretien-era Liberal war-rooms. Really.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Tim….Paul Wells is so insightful because he has a bigger brain than most people…..if you ask Paul that..he’ll tell you it’s true.

      I think another reason paul can see the future is the dolphinesque forehead so prominent in his photo’s is actually an organic sensor that allows him to see into the future. If you listen closely as Paul is composing his written text, you can hear the cliques, clacks, and smaks eminating from his forehead into the future. If you had some type of detection device, you could also hear the echo returns of future events coming back to Paul (TIMMAY!!) which he then deciphers as required.
      You’ll have to excuse his most recent terrible misinterpretation of Harper’s strategy for Mulcair, however, he must have had sinus issues that affected the returning signals.

      Don’t worry…once his head clears, Paul will be back on form.

  16. billg says:

    Honestly, other then quarts and pickled eggs what’s more enjoyable then gloating. I knew that would tickle your funny bone. Can’t wait for the next edition of inkless wells.

  17. Tim says:

    As long as you’re having fun.

  18. Michael Behiels says:

    PMO war room gang switched gear once they saw Mulcair’s gang surpass the Cons in the latest polls.

    The Libs, the PMO gang believes, will finish themselves off.

    Liberla Voters it seems are moving faster and sooner than many Liberals movers and shakers thought they would.

    If Liberals want LPC to move back into 2nd place they had better get their act together!

  19. Raymond says:

    All they need is footage of Tom’s meltown during QP a few years back. Anyone have a link?

  20. Tim says:

    Honestly, this is one of the weakest attack ads released by any party in many years. It has no punch, the messaging is tired and was probably produced in-house at CRG using CS and incurring virtually no cost at all. Even thinly veiled CPC front group NCC`s web attack on Rae was of higher quality and resonated more, both in terms of production quality and messaging.

    If this is seriously the best Tories are bringing against Mulcair, they are LITERALLY going to get their ass kicked in 2015. If I were at CON HQ, I`d be more worried about their own escalating record of policy failure and sheer public fatugue with their unwavering dishonesty than with economic views of Mr. Mulcair`s which were vindicated just last week by a major OECD report. Sure, they`ll likely escalate the campaign, but what are they going to say? “Hi, we’ve presided over an economy that can accurately be described as ‘war on the middle class’, we’ve lowered ethical standards so much that Martin/Chretien/Mulroney look like mothers Theresa, eviscerated basic environmental standards in the service of corrupt foriegn special interests and disgraced our proudest democratic institution to get them passed, rammed the Senate with worthless hacks in violation of our most heartfelt promises, opened a debate on abortion we pledged not to, and we’ve decimated Canada’s once-proud global reputation… but, no, be afraid of that bearded dude from Montréal who’s talking about practical solutions which can move our country forward…”

    Am I missing something?

    I am actually quite surprised to hear Warren praise this ad, even as moderately as he does in the post. I get that he wants in on the Justin train on the ground floor, but don`t let it warp your sometimes sound political judgment: this ad sucks, both absolutely and relatively.

    To me, this is weak sauce, and smacks of both confused Tory strategy and mounting desperation in the face of abysmal poll numbers. An effort to get free media in the run-up to the summer without spending any actual cash as someone above suggests. This speaks to the core problem of the modern Conservative Party: they`re a campaign, not a Government. Never have been. Never really aspired to.

    They are phenomenal when petty personal crap is the game, but lamentably useless at national leadership. Incumbent Governments confident in their own record and achievenements don`t sit around lobbing amateur Youtube clips at Opposition leaders three years before elections. It`s just weak, IMHO, permanent campaign era or not.

  21. JamesHalifax says:

    hey…Warren is using the old, “The enemy of my enemy, is my friend” routine.

    The more an ad attacks the NDP, the more potential voters may go Liberal. It’s just common sense.

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