04.15.2013 09:40 AM

CPC attack ad: well, that didn’t take long

It’s good. It’ll have an effect. Turning the other cheek worked for Jesus. It won’t work for Justin.

113 Comments


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    bluegreenblogger says:

    ROFL: The attack ad has already run into trouble. It seems that the video was lifted from Huffpost without permission. To cap it all off, Trudeau was stripping down for a charity fundraiser. He raised something like $1900 for Liver disease. War room style quick reaction would get out in front of this if quick enough. Maybe something on the order of: ‘Trudeau thanks the CPC for supporting the fight against Liver Disease.’ Whatever, something quick though. What am I thinking? I do not think warren needs any advice from a rank amateur like me on quick and devastating responses.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/15/justin-trudeau-attack-ad-striptease_n_3084700.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/11/18/justin-trudeau-striptease_n_1101153.html


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    billg says:

    I wouldnt worry about it. That part where he claims Quebecers are just better people shouldnt hurt too much in Toronto Maple Leaf country or in Western Canada…nah…everyone knows JT is a scallywag and a kidder. Wait till the LPC gets the quote for the air time to respond.
    Its going to be an enjoyable two years watching this unfold.


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    bigcitylib says:

    Labrador by-election will tell us how they do.


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    Julie says:

    Justin can respond in the post session scrum that the ad just show’s he has nothing up his sleeve. Getting silly for a charity show’s he doesn’t have a stick up his nether region. Bob Rae naked in a lake made him appear approachable.

    If Justin spend two years building a team he will have shown the country that it is a team that will win in 2015. Not another “name that government” with power solidified in the PMO office. Enough of the Harper government. I want to see a Canadian government again.


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    Ted says:

    The real takeaway here is that the Conservatives have to go back 14 years to find “damning” footage of him… if thats the best they can do, I’ll rest easy


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      catherine says:

      Yes, I was struck by the 14 years too. One can only imagine what Harper might have said when he was 27. He said some pretty bad things about Canadians when he was in his 40’s and already a politician.


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        Cath says:

        Do you REALLY think that this is all the Cons. have?


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          que sera sera says:

          No, of course not. The Conservatives have buckets and buckets and buckets of shit. A never ending supply of shit, Cath. But that’s all they have. And all they & Harper will ever have. And the fact of the matter is it’s pretty fucking old already. Old and tired and shitty.

          Bereft of honesty, compassion, excitement, joy and commitment. Just old, ugly, tired, demeaning, demoralizing and downright shitty. Welcome to Harper’s dystopia.


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            Cath says:

            Yes, and we’ve just seen that Justin all that the LPOC have left. By choice of what was it 104,550 who politically savvy that they are knew that the ads were coming.
            The ads aren’t even that bad, very light IMO.


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        Michael S says:

        Stephen Harper was never 27. He was born middle-aged.


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    Bill From Willowdale says:

    Of course it works because it plants the seeds of doubt in the minds of people. Justin’s first test will be whether he fights back with Liberal ads. I say he should. Remember, politics is a blood sport. Nice guys finish last.


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      Brian Mouland says:

      Trudeau chose to be the leader no more shooting off his mouth without thinking. One bad step and it could be over


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    catherine says:

    One could run pictures of Harper looking idiotic (him dressed as a cowboy looks pretty stupid or the one where he has gained a lot of weight and has a overly smug look on his face) with quotes of him saying stupid things in the same era as this Quebec quote (1999 – Harper really dissed Canada and Canadians around that time, perhaps even more recently than 1999). But that would just mire Canada endlessly in this kind of cesspool.

    Trudeau has to figure out a way to speak to Canadians that is more effective than these tasteless tactics. I hope he succeeds in that because we really do deserve better than what Harper is dishing out.


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      Lance says:

      Harper’s cowboy get-up? Okay. But then…………how did that one work out?


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        Cath says:

        it’s been done…a few times before each election.


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          Lance says:

          Yeah, each one that he won. That was the point. Stop using old material, especially when it doesn’t work.


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            Cath says:

            good point.
            que sera, sera I guess.


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    CM says:

    Anybody with hair like this should think twice about mocking someone else’s appearance …. Just sayin’

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_SdgUEowojY/TspBak5-oqI/AAAAAAAAHPM/7cb_Agdeo94/s1600/0.jpg


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    Brad says:

    Is this for the Internet only? Or has it appeared on TV?


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      ottawacon says:

      Part of the game is to have enough of a hook to ensure that the networks run it on TV a few times, gratis. I doubt you will see paid placement this far away from an election.


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      BCL says:

      Just saw it on TV. CP24.


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    catherine says:

    Wow, just saw this whole quote in its context. First, it isn’t even Justin giving his own opinion, it is him talking about what his father said. Second, you have to hear the whole quote to appreciate what his father’s message was about that.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=905697

    Really, this is the best the CPC can do? Find a 14 year old quote of Justin discussing something his father said regarding the Quebec crisis?


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      smelter rat says:

      Isn’t this the same function that Laureen attended? Heh.


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      Marc L says:

      Surprising they didn’t use the more recent Alberta quotes instead…there was really no way out of that one.


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    Tim McKenzie says:

    I don’t like this silliness. What about the REAL Questions? Like the so-called “National” Energy Program his father inflicted upon The West, stealing over $200,000,000 from Alberta and Saskatchewan to bribe his supporters in “Upper” Canada with cheap oil just so he could rule over us a little while Longer. And those were 1980 dollars. In today’s money that’s close to a HALF-TRILLION dollars looted from The West. Those were warm coats our kids didn’t get to wear. Hot meals they didn’t get to eat. University educations they could never afford. All for Trudeau. Trudeau. Trudeau. Trudeau. Now his son as risen to take his place crushing The West’s throat under his Versace boot heel.

    “What’s past is prologue. ” – William Shakespeare


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      Julie says:

      By all means blame the sins of the father on the son (yes that is sarcasm).

      Some of us are taking a wait and see approach.


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        Brian Mouland says:

        If Trudeau wasn’t his dad do you actually think he would have been elected leader


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      VC says:

      Someone should have suggested building a firewall around Alberta, or such.

      You act like a university education is an entitlement, a right of sorts. Maybe those kids should pull themselves up by their boot straps. They need a hand-up, not a hand-out.


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      smelter rat says:

      What does JT have to do with the NEP? Nothing. zip. Zero. Nice try though.


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      Donovan says:

      Are you exactly like your father? No.

      Am I like my father? No.

      You’re obsessive over something Justin never did.

      You’re vengeful over something Justin never did.

      WHY IS THIS STILL BEING BROUGHT UP? It happened OVER 30 YEARS AGO!

      It’s like holding a party and an acquaintance comes over and throws up on your carpet and leaves and never apologizes for it. You have to pay for the cleaning. But REASONABLE people move on. But NO! HE PUKED ON YOUR CARPET! And so you hate him and seeth every time you see him for over 30 years…and you go after his son for something he never did. You hold this neurotic grudge for so long and will never forget.

      You look crazy Tim. You look crazy.


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      !o! says:

      lol ur dumb


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      Fraternite says:

      This is about as dumb as someone bitching about the First Nations not getting over events centuries ago.

      If you minimise, not only are you not acknowledging a wrong — you’re handwaving away something that needs to be fixed.


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    Fred Webb says:

    Harper was out of his depth when he became leader of the cons & he still is.


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    Donovan says:

    “I, too, am one of these angry westerners … We may love Canada but Canada does not love us … Let’s make (Alberta) strong enough that the rest of the country is afraid to threaten us.” Report Newsmagazine, December 2000.

    “You’ve got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.” Report Newsmagazine, January 2001.

    -Stephen Harper

    Such a goldmine of quotes. HE HAS TO GO FOR IT. If Harper can use a quote from 1999, all quotes are fair game.


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      Sean Cummings says:

      He doesn’t have to go for it. Canadians know what they get with Stephen Harper. They know he eats babies, has a hidden agenda, will chain women to kitchen stoves while stealing their footwear and that he is in league with the Devil.

      They knew that in 2006 when he won the election. They knew it a couple of years ago and gave him a majority. Everyone knows what they get with Harper so any attack ads against him personally won’t work. Attack ads that go after their policies, that’s different.


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        D. Markin says:

        Hey, I would vote for Vader over Obi-Wan any day of the week.


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    Bill From Willowdale says:

    One more thing — if the Liberals had picked the candidate who is a Canadian politician, retired military officer, former astronaut, and engineer then it would be a completely different ballgame because he would be entirely qualified.


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      que sera sera says:

      Yes, I suppose one would need those qualifications to even begin to touch the depth of worldly experience proffered by a socially challenged mailroom clerk.


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      Brian Busby says:

      I see, because those we entrust with educating our youth bring little to the table. I expect that old schoolteacher Arthur Currie might disagree.


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    que sera sera says:

    I suspect if Harper tried “stripping” for charity, he would raise a fortune from those paying for him to keep his clothes on.

    Apparently since Brazeau got his ass kicked in a charity boxing, match the Conservatives have lost their eagerness for fundraising for anything other than the CPC.


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    PP says:

    Of course the negative ads will hurt JT. They will not influence the votes of the informed and engaged voters (JT is correct about that) but most of these people are already not voting for Harper.

    Harper has a committed base of around 30%. All he needs for at least a minority government is another 5-10% of the disengaged/uncommitted votes, the ones the negative ads are aimed at. Meanwhile, with a strong leader in Mulcair, and a charismatic leader in JT, there will be vote splitting between the NDP and Liberals.

    Only good thing about JT not running his own negative ad against Harper is this: the image of JT twirling in the video brought a smile to me but can you imagine if it was Harper? … eeeww …


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    que sera sera says:

    I would like to see ad condemning Violence Against Women showing footage of Brazeau and Trudeau in the boxing ring with the tagline:

    Real men don’t fight women.


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    Lance says:

    Here is the other ad –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGWuN3ZVuxU

    Did you notice it? The same ending sequence, where he sighs breathlessly, looking bored. That end segment will be in virtually every single ad the Tories put out regarding Trudeau. It reminds me of the ones with Dion doing his shrug, or Ignatieff with his wave and kiss to the crowd. Yeah….remember those?If any one here seriously thinks that these ads will not have a serious impact, then they are deluding themselves.


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    Mulletaur says:

    Attack politics is going out of vogue, and it certainly won’t motivate federal Liberals who have been turned off by years of mediocre leadership and infighting among internal party factions to come out and vote again. Giving them hope will. Justin embodies that.

    LPC does, however, need a decent research bureau to fact check and correct the record in rapid reaction.


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    Marc L says:

    I think the ad is silly. It made me laugh it’s so dumb. More significant in my mind is that completely vacuous article he wrote in the G&M this morning, which just adds to the perception that the guy is a real policy lightweight. To anybody who cares about what he actually has to say rather than what he looks or sounds like, that piece says it all.


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    james Smith says:

    Didn’t take long for these comments to add up either!
    I liked the line from yesterday that went:
    CPC will say we can’t do any better. Perhaps that should be part of the reply

    or
    Perhaps someone could just animate these fun facts:
    http://www.shd.ca/


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    JF says:

    Well there it is… it’s not as bad (or good depending on your persuasion) as the Dion or Ignatieff ads, it leans more towards the Dion campaign (where they basically presented him as a goofball) then the Ignatieff campaign (where they presented him as a menece). If I were attacking him I’d probably take a similar tack, present him as “not serious”.

    I think the Liberals should get something on the air as quick as possible. Not a negative attack on Harper (save that until the election in 2015), but a positive ad promoting Justin. Something that presents him as both very passionate and serious. As far as a direct response to these ads I’d probably have him personally go out (and dispatch his talking heads) and publically heap shame and outrage on Harper for trying to make political hay out of his fundraising for Liver Disease.


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      Marc L says:

      He raised funds for liver disease? That’s horrible! 🙂


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    Austin So says:

    These kinds of childish ads write salvos for free c/o your pal Gerald Butts:

    We expected attacks, but we didn’t expect even them to attack @justintrudeau for raising money for cancer research. #cdnpoli #judgement— Gerald Butts (@gmbutts) April 15, 2013

    “Going negative” implies personal attacks..are you saying that JT needs to do this? Maybe you are getting long in the tooth…


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    Corey says:

    Not sure this will work… Frankly I seem to remember a certain Mr. McGuinty winning a majority government in 2003… Remember that campaign?
    1) He didn’t need to merge with the NDP to do it…
    2) He didn’t run a negative campaign… Choose Change!
    3) The Eves campaign attacked him as unfit to lead and it didn’t work

    Not sure where this go negative or lose thing comes from… Obama 2008? McGuinty 2003? Chrétien 1993? I agree it’s necessary to provide contrast, but highlighting an alternative vision will be more important in 2015 than attacking Harper. Paul Martin tried to demonize Harper and it got him nowhere.


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      james Smith says:

      he was also called a “kitten eating monster”


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      Paul says:

      Judging by the state that he’s left Ontario in, it turns out that #3 above was spot on after all, eh?


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        Corey says:

        Not the point Paul. He won the election, Eves’ campaign strategy failed.


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          bluegreenblogger says:

          Eves lost that campaign long before it even started. Honking big defecit created apparently out of thin air spelled the end


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    Brad says:

    Apologies if someone posted this.

    This is a video of Harper declaring he will never ever run a deficit.

    I would run this on TV over and over.

    http://youtu.be/pgHxTpUsTUo


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      !o! says:

      Good one. only 3.6k views?


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      MCBellecourt says:

      E-mail it to Justin!!


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    ottawacon says:

    It is actually remarkable how easily the media are to jump onto the agenda the ads are trying to set. First working day as a leader, two years or so from an election, and he is already all but being forced by the Ottawa press corps to make responding to a youtube ad his priority right out of the box. One wonders if they salivate when they hear a bell ring.


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    WDM says:

    A couple of points.

    First, with all the respect in the world to my fellow commentators. If you’re commenting on a political ad on a website, you’re an engaged voter, and are not the target audience.

    Second, best way to counter-attack the ad: 1. Hit back 2. Show substance. The ad will only look silly if the Justin Trudeau Canadians see on TV is completely different than the caricature the Tories are trying to create.


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    patrick says:

    Here’s the difference between this, and the future, attack ads on Justin and those on Dion and Ignatief, everyone has been waiting for them since the day Justin was mentioned as a potential Liberal leader. The ads can only be watched as the “attack ads” that everyone has been expecting. So unless it knocks one out of the park and really stuck in the knife it’s watched with the detachment that comes from being forewarned and expecting.
    The ad says nothing new and could backfire – first thing Justin should mention is how they are using his taking shirt off for charity in an attack ad – which is natural since conservatives don’t believe in charity.
    A detached the ad is silly and petty, especially in a video savvy world that knows how media is manipulated, and I mean the actual media where Justin’s head is swirled for affect, and how images can be pasted together.
    And since it says nothing that hasn’t been said before, with all this time to prepare, viewers are left disappointed as opposed to inspired.
    It will appeal to the partisans but not anyone under 40.


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    Alex says:

    Warrren,

    As a previous comment said, you are the expert on this so I give a lot of weight to your opinion. However, based on the response to this ad on twitter, not to mention copyright issues due to the CPC stealing a video clip from the Huffington Post without permission, and that both Mrs. Harper and Labour Minister Lisa Raitt appears in the same charity event (albeit in a previous year) where these images are taken from, it appears that this ad is backfiring badly.

    To quote one tweet that I saw: “”Justin Trudeau: Good-looking AND charitable. Vote Conservative.” It seems that the Cons are a one-trick pony of negative ads, and that once you remove this they have nothing. Ronald Reagan creamed Jimmy Carter in their 1980 presidential debate in which he smiled to Carter’s attacks by saying, “There you go again.” My gut tells me that the Cons are starting to lose their negative magic, and that Justin is going to hit back by mocking the Cons for being all negative spin and no substance. If my gut is correct, then the Cons could be in a lot of trouble. Nothing scares a bully more than being mocked


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    Kitty O'Shea says:

    Have to side with Warren 100% on this one. The nature of propaganda is that it relies on superficial yet highly emotional imagery and sounds to cause further distortion within the human psyche. The vast majority of people won’t know the shirtless footage was from a cancer charity – they will be semi drunk doing their laundry or sitting in a hotel room and start laughing saying “what the f*ck?” They won’t see the comments about Quebec in context or as a flub – they might think that crazy uncle Bob from Red Deer was actually right about those goddam Quebecers. You see how it goes.

    Think you need to go covert; that is, get an attack ad out there so over the top, so beyond the pale, that it actually destroys the whole concept of attack ads against Trudeau. Yes, a radical idea. I think you Libs need some strong medicine.

    For the record, to quote Kissinger that power is the greatest aphrodisiac, I’m creamier than an ice cream cone in July after watching the striptease ;P

    Good luck.


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    Patrick says:

    Nah, that ad sucks.

    I agree they have to fight back urgently, but the ad itself sucks. Plus, the footage is unauthorized by the owner (Huffpost) and is from a liver disease fundraiser the PM`s own wife attended along with numerous Tory Ministers.

    Weak sauce.


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      smelter rat says:

      More stale beer than sauce 😉


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      Lance says:

      “That ad sucks”.

      They said that in 200, 2008 and 2011. The ones that were unfair in saddling Martin with the Sponsorship Scandal, the ones brutally questioning Dion’s language capacity, the ones questioning Ignatieff’s patriotism…….we all heard how those “ads sucked”, too. Perhaps I sound like a broken record here; but again, how did that work out? Oh but this time ITS DIFFERENT. Really.


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    Rob says:

    If Trudeau vows not to go negative (which I firmly believe is a mistake), then I think the way he gets at the Reformatories is by asking the simple question, “are you better off than you were ___ years ago.” Any government around for 8+ years starts to develop a stink. Harper and the Tories are no different. This question will resonate. Trudeau has to break his message down to the average middle class voter whose wage hasn’t increased, but whose cost of living has; who is finding it difficult, despite have a good education and a “good job” to get by; and who wants what his parent’s generation had. This generation (25-40) is the sandwich generation: stuck with the baby boomer’s debts, and unable to launch their lives the way their parent’s did. Statistics abound to make this case. If Trudeau can tap into this growing angst, I think he will hit a sweet spot that the Cons can’t touch him on because they’ve been holding the reigns while the economic sled has veered off course.


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    smelter rat says:

    The CPC laid an egg with this one. It’s backfiring, as it should. They’re desperate, and doing stupid things.


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      Lance says:

      Backfiring? Heh you can’t possibly know that yet LOL


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        smelter rat says:

        Um, yeah I do. This ain’t the only web site on the internet, yanno.


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    Pipes says:

    Ya, I new the stripping and the boxing was poor judgement in my view, regardless of the fact it was for charity.
    He’s got to go to DEF CON 3.


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    dave says:

    What I like is the sneering patriarchal voice telling me how to look at the pictures. When I hear a male voice over trying to make me sneer along with him, I know I am hearing from someone I want governing my country.


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    Ridiculosity says:

    The Conservative struck out with this one. Why?

    If people have a choice – which they do – between watching Justin strut around half naked and listening to some smarmy voice-over, what do you think they are actually going to concentrate on? Exactly. The “Quebec and Canada” and “barbaric” messaging get lost because the accompanying visual is too distracting. Bad art direction. Bad editing. This is the best Harper’s Communication gurus could come up with after having almost a year to pull it together? I’d fire them all.


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    Moe Lavigne says:

    Liver foundation release

    https://twitter.com/pmoharper/status/323890778738917376/photo/1


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      frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Thank you for posting……a copy of this will be forwarded to my good for nothing Con MP………


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    que sera sera says:

    My best friend of 33 years died of liver cancer in the summer of 2011. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her or miss her still. I am a cancer survivor, my grandmother and two aunts also survived cancer.

    It beggars belief that the Conservatives are running ads mocking cancer fundraisers and those selfless souls who donate their time and effort to charity.

    What happened to the CPC brain trust? Fatal aneurism when Trudeau got the leadership nod?


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    MCBellecourt says:

    Some ideas here are pretty good. E-mailing them to Justin himself might help. The HuffPost is already saying something–to the Cons, that is. They’re pissed off that the Cons used their material without permission and altered it (I believe that is called plagiarizing, but we’ve been here before–Australian PM speech comes to mind).

    I hope Justin’s team reads your threads, Warren, I really do, and they would be wise to ask for your imput. If anyone else agrees with me on this, send those thoughts in your e-mails, too.

    Justin is a listener. Perhaps he might hear us. There’s a lot of us, mind you, but maybe, just maybe, it might do some good.

    Whaddya say all? 🙂


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      MCBellecourt says:

      My kingdom for an edit after I hit “submit”…as we already know, we don’t have to attack Harper the person (although it’s tempting as hell), his statements are quite enough cannon fodder. And, also, the TFW issue is a biggie for Canadians looking for meaningful jobs. They should go after that one with ouzi’s in both hands (figuratively speaking).


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    Lance says:

    “His philosophy, certainly as he passed it on to us, has always been, ya know, Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada because, ya know, we’re Quebecers or whatever,” is not a quote that can be taken out of context when you consider the fact that he himself acknowledges that his father believed this and passed on to his children. Why else would he even be mentioning it in such glowing terms if he wasn’t in full agreement? Now you take what he said much, much more recently about Alberta, partner it with this, and what do you have? Not something that is taken out of context, but a narrative about what Justin really believes. You can yell and bleat about “out of context” all the live long day, but it won’t change that very salient fact.


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      Lance says:

      “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work.”[…] “Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th Century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec. This country — Canada — it belongs to us.”

      Expect it. Sooner or later.


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        frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        A poor choice of words by M. Trudeau to be sure……. rather than “Albertans” he should have used “Refoormer a**holes” in its stead……a much more accurate, and fairer description……


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    Cromwell says:

    Our Prime Minister the bully. Charming, isn’t it ?


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    Susan MacIsaac says:

    Trudeau has lost the women’s vote – Not one woman will forget the violence against women visual, its very effective.


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    po'd says:

    Quebec quote exposed as deceptive and dishonest. Deceptive and dishonest, the Harper government legacy.

    The attack ad that writes itself.

    “Keep hittin’em in the ribs ya see? Don’t let the bastard breathe.”

    Mickey Goldmill


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    james curran says:

    I normally agree with you on these things W. But I happen to think Justin does walk on water. These ads will bounce off him like a tefflon don. I haven’t been wrong about him yet. Canadians are weary of this Conservative crap. I’ll bet ya a pint.


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    Philippe says:

    This’ll resonate with farmers and rural white haired angry men- but not women and young people. In fact, they’ll be turned off by it.


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    kitt says:

    Oh la la!!! The best ad to get more women to tune in and see this hunky new Liberal leader. And who wouldn’t want to have this hunk as PM, represent Canada to the world, even the male species can’t help but be envious or enthralled by the striping. Not to mention this was a charity event which, thanks to Justin was successful!!!! And the way that Justin kisses his wife……….. you get it? Envious old CONS, who are rejected daily because of your fat and dowdy looks, especially that ugly hair and make up on crime minister.

    I’ll bet this strip tease is saved on millions of computer :>

    Redford and other premiers are talking about another NEP because they recognize the importance of a made in Canada energy program, like other oil rich countries.


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    Stephen Skyvington says:

    POLITICS

    The power of positive campaigning

    By Stephen Skyvington

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013 5:56:31 EDT PM

    Look, no one likes a good attack ad more than I do. Lord knows, I’ve created a few of them myself over the years. But I’m telling you, if the Harper Conservatives think their attack on newly minted federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is going to work, I’m afraid they’re sadly mistaken.

    For those who haven’t yet seen it, the ad shows Trudeau at a 2011 fundraising gala for the Canadian Liver Foundation. He removes his shirt and shimmies back and forth across the stage to the strains of “What a Girl Wants” in a sleeveless T-shirt. Images of an even younger Trudeau alternate with the impromptu striptease, and include sound bites taken out of context where Trudeau suggests that Quebec should become its own country and that Quebecers are better than other Canadians.

    After hammering home the point that Trudeau has no judgment, the ad ends with a flowery signature of his name, complete with stardust, suggesting the new Liberal leader is a princess. As if this isn’t enough, the announcer then tells us that Trudeau is in “way over his head.”

    Now, while I understand where they’re coming from, taking a page out of the standard Conservative playbook by running ads attacking the new leader of the federal Liberal Party, the fact is Justin Trudeau is not Stephane Dion or Michael Ignatieff. Unlike those two, the eldest son of former Liberal Leader and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is actually likeable. In many ways, Canadians have grown up with the youngster and like the kind of man he has grown up to be.

    The other mistake the Conservatives have made with this ad is a classic one in politics. We teach and preach that you never, never, never fight the last election. 2015 will not be like 2011 or even 2008. By choosing to run attack ads right out of the gate once again, I believe the Conservatives have made a mighty blunder. The ad attacks the leader of a political party. Trudeau, quite clearly, is the leader of a political movement.

    I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know why it happened. But for some reason, the Canadian political spectrum has undergone a remarkable seismic change in the last six to 12 months. A whole new generation is turned on by the potential of politics. And the leader of that movement is Justin Trudeau. But unlike his father, who was anything but a populist, Trudeau 2.0 is a man of the people — albeit young people.

    And as we saw in the last two elections south of the border, young people are starting to vote. In ever increasing numbers. And they’re not voting conservative.

    Now, before you go handing the keys to 24 Sussex to young Mr. Trudeau, there’s many, many obstacles the new Liberal leader will have to overcome in order to become prime minister of Canada. For one, he and his party are going to have to come up with some substantive policies sooner rather than later. They’ll also have to show they are better at managing the economy than the Conservatives—no easy feat, to be sure. The Liberals will also have to convince Canadians—and themselves—that the vicious infighting which has so plagued the party during the past 10 years is finally over.

    There’s also the little matter of Thomas Mulcair and the New Democratic Party, who last time I looked happened to be the Official Opposition to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Although Mike Harris managed to go from third place to first in the province of Ontario in 1995, it typically takes two elections to make that kind of leap. Which is one reason Justin Trudeau’s youth—he’s 41 years old—made him an attractive choice over Marc Garneau and even Bob Rae.

    Recently, Trudeau made it clear that while he will respond to any attacks the Conservatives choose to make against him, he won’t “go negative” by running attack ads of his own. While some practitioners of what we call “the dark arts” disagree with this strategy, I personally think it’s brilliant. Canadians are growing sick of all the negativity in modern politics. The recent presidential election south of the border sank to disturbing new lows.

    Now, I have no idea who sanctioned this ad. The Conservative Party? The prime minister’s office? The prime minister himself?

    It doesn’t much matter.

    But whoever is responsible for this embarrassingly amateur piece of drivel—the worst attack ad since the dubious “Is this a prime minister?” piece in 1993, which suggested Jean Chretien would be an embarrassment to Canada if he were elected prime minister—they’d better smarten up and smarten up fast.

    Otherwise, we Conservatives will be hearing three words we never thought they’d hear in 2015: Prime Minister Trudeau.

    Stephen Skyvington is the President of PoliTrain Inc. and can be reached at politrain@sympatico.ca.

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