05.04.2013 06:32 AM

Positive vs. Negative

Being “positive” and not “negative” was an interesting theory.

It’s a theory that doesn’t ever really work, however.

Justin Trudeau, take note.


  1. JH says:

    Whatever way they decide to go, I just wish Trudeau’s advisors and media friends would stop whining and tell him to stop. They make him look weak and ineffectual. Complaining about attack ads, when even the most uninvolved citizen knows every party uses them – even the dippers. Then there’s the 10%ers. I’d gladly ban them all – but again we’ve seen the attack type from all parties. And this bullying biz is really bad. It’s like whoever is advising Trudeau is trying to use what has been a long political practice, to compare to the misery some young people (and older) go through in their communities on social media etc. Not good.
    It also didn’t serve that Margaret chose to talk about someone bullying her Justin – Ouch!
    All this make the guy look like he’s just a weakling who can’t defend himself, or someone who would use others misery for political gain. He needs to man up, get tough and do what he has to do to prove he’s a strong leader.

    • Graham says:

      I can understand a mother wanting to jump in and defend her son……………if he’s 10.

      But Justin is a 41 year old man.

      It makes him look weak and tells people he can’t stand up for himself.

      But hey, maybe Justin won’t have to go negative when he’s got an adoring Parliamentary press gallery and his mom to do it for him.

      One thing is clear. The Trudeau show certainly didn’t help the Liberals fundraising numbers in the first three months of 2013.

      CPC $4.5 million
      Libs $1.7 million (plus $1.6 million in one time leadership race money, according to the LPC)
      NDP $1.6 million.

      • Kaspar Juul says:

        So you’re spinning that a mother doesn’t have a right to say her view on the matter?

        Free speech for me but not for thee spin doctor?

        Lovely brackets around your fundraising “figures”. Kinda makes your argument look compelling except for the lack of references to back up your claim.

        Guess the fax machine broke down halfway through the talking points. Nice job spin doctor.

  2. Jymn says:

    It takes a top notch communications team to make a ‘negative’ ad look ‘positive.’ That’s the key. It looks like the Conservatives, formerly so disciplined in this area, have gone a step too far. Time now for the Liberals to refine their messaging. Unfortunately, neither the LPC nor the LPC seem to have this capability.

  3. Jymn says:

    Oops – I mean, “neither the LPC nor the NDP”

  4. G says:

    Hey, you were the one pushing for his leadership and dismissing other candidates who were willing to mix it up with Harper more directly, even while he was pretty clear as to what his strategy was gonna be.

    As I suspect I will be saying many times over the years to come: told you so

  5. I think that there is a big difference between an election campaign in the writ period, and the ‘long road’ campaign facing the LPC. Where they are similar is that ultimately both scenarios are about getting a plurality of votes in the ballot box.
    Where they are different is the time frame in which they are happening. During an election, there is a little over a month to move a relatively small number of electors to either stay at home, or maybe change their vote (the Oppositions voters), to decide in your favour (the undecideds), or re-affirm their intention to vote for you (for supporters). I believe you that it is much easier and cheaper to do a lot of keeping the opposition voters at home, and to move undecideds to ‘vote against’ with so-called ‘negative’ messages. But seriously, how effective is that as part of a 2+ year campaign? A campaign where the ground game and organisational depth is what will probably determine the outcome?
    Because that is the campaign that the LPC is in right now. IF the LPC’s objective is to recruit and mobilise masses of people, and the resources in terms of $, skills, and volunteer hours, then one would expect them to be trying to, you know, win over hearts and minds. That is properly the discussion worth having right now while the LPC is deploying significant resources aimed at an E-Day some 2 years hence. And remember, it is not always about an ‘either -or’ choice. It is possible to pursue multiple tactics simultaneously towards the ultimate objective.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      Trudeau also has a lot more going for him that Dion or Ignatieff did. Both Dion and Ignatieff were good men, IMO, and would have made fine PMs, but they didn’t have the ‘freshness’ of Trudeau. I felt especially bad for Stephane Dion, because of his poor English and his hearing impairment. Ignatieff was internationally known, and would have been a world-class leader, but he wasn’t well-known enough in his own home country (kinda like Saga, a band from Toronto) and his entering the Liberal Party was poorly handled in the extreme. While it was done according to Parliamentary rules, there wasn’t enough of a media presence when it counted–and that was when he first came on the scene.

      Trudeau does have working experience outside of politics. He was a teacher. Harper was a fleepin’ mailroom clerk and only because daddy got him the job. So the ‘working experience’ thing is a bit of a strawman here.

      Teaching is not just a job. In order to be an effective teacher, you have to be able to engage your students. From all I’ve been able to glean so far, Trudeau was very good at that. In fact, Trudeau reminds me of a teacher I had in high school. Social Studies teacher–who, ironically, gave a detailed instruction on the history of Canadian politics, and the difference between Parliamentary and Congressional democracies.

      This teacher, I remember well. The others? I don’t even remember their names anymore.

      Trudeau’s gone into some not-so-friendly ridings and has made quite an impression on people who wouldn’t have given past leaders the time of day. We haven’t seen that for awhile, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s about time.

      • Larry says:

        But the record shows that Trudeau gave up, abandoned, quit teaching in B.C. after two years as a supply teacher. He cut and ran back to Quebec where he enrolled in the University of Montreal Ecole Polytechnique Engineering school…. to be an Engineer, NOT a teacher. In effect he made a drastic career change in 2002 because he changed his mind for his future career path. He flunked out of Engineering in his second year and returned to his true love — dramatic acting, working in a CBC mini-series about Papineau. When that gig ended, her re-enrolled at the UdeMtl in a post graduate course to be an environmental geographer. After one year he terminated that and decided to run in the 2008 federal election and hit the MP Jackpot. To supplement his meager MP pay, he moonlighted on the speaking circuit at $10-20K an appearance.

        So why does Justin now portray himself as a devoted teacher when he quit teaching in 2002 and kicked around for 6 years as a failed professional student and bit actor for the CBC? Please get your facts straight before you compare him to successful PM Harper.

  6. DJ says:

    It was always going to tighten in BC election. NDP is still in a very comfortable spot. Clark is going to lose (including her own seat) despite a lot of friendly mainstream media coverage. Remember the NDP can win even if they somehow lose popular vote (e.g., 1996). The Liberals have to surpass them by several points to win.

  7. ray says:

    remember “United break guitars” that little video clobbered United and still does. It wasn’t negative just true. Nothing kills like brilliant mockery and that the cons would not survive. maybe trudeau should hire the cast of 22 minutes.

  8. Mike says:

    I will not risk censure; let these words speak for me:

    A feather is light.
    What is light cannot be dark.
    Therefore, a feather cannot be dark.

  9. Kir Bistits says:

    Graham is on the money. Justin has Liberals on the map and in contention.

  10. Larry says:

    Positive vs Negative is the same as Defense vs Offense — and in politics when you’re on the defense, you’re losing.

    A sitting government is vulnerable and must defend their record; while the opposition can easily attack.

    If you can’t effectively defend, you must go on the offensive and attack with everything you got.

    Human nature being what it is people will heed the attacks and ignore the positive defense because fear conquers logic.

    Attack with the ‘negative’ and win.

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