06.12.2015 07:16 AM

New anti-Conservative ad campaign starts

Link here.

What do you think, folks? Will it work? Is the main beneficiary the Grits? Dippers? Greens? None of the above?


  1. terry quinn says:

    In my opinion it starts to make a level playing field level opposite the money poured into “government” ads by the cons.

  2. Frank Lin says:

    Not effective if the objective was to swing CPC votes to other parties. Voters who believe that government should be “there for them” are not CPC voters so it won’t move any significant vote share. What it might do is help NDP at expense of Liberals. Hard to say what the effect of that might be but vote splits that favour CPC seems to be what happens most often in these situations. One other comment if I may: I could not find any info about who is behind these ads on the website. That seems a bit slippery and is off putting to me, maybe I am alone in that but if I am not it further undermines the message. They should come out and tell us who they are.

    • sezme says:

      I agree. I think the site looks shady and I wouldn’t trust them with my money. If we want a different government, a party needs to offer a better more attractive alternative. Just shitting on the Conservatives isn’t a winning strategy.

      I’m reminded of what Steve Jobs said in 1997 when Apple was universally regarded as beleaguered:
      We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us, that’s great because we need all the help we can get. And if we screw it and we don’t do a good job, it’s not somebody’s else’s fault. It’s our fault.

    • Michael Bluth says:


      Agree that the ad won’t sway any CPC/LPC or CPC/NDP swing voters. It might help with GOTV efforts, but that’s about it.

      Agree with you about not saying who they are. Did a quick search on the domain name. The url is owned by a company called Nation Builder that lists a head office in LA. Not sure why an American company is so interested in the Canadian election. Should that be the big question to come from this ad?

      Here is Nation Builders’ mission from their web site.

      “We envision a world where everyone has the freedom and opportunity to create what they were meant to create.

      We build the infrastructure for a world of creators by helping leaders develop and organize thriving communities.”

    • edward nuff says:

      bingo frank. I’ve had it with anonymous Polibeggars asking for money from a website. no phone = no dough. Not even don draper could polish that turd.

  3. Johnny Was says:

    The wording choice for the slogan put the Friends theme song in my head and those dense stats didn’t really stick (particularly the first one).

  4. Tim Gallagher says:

    Third party ads in the pre writ period are not regulated whatsoever. Unlimited spending. No disclosure required. This is a huge flaw in the election financing legislation that used to be mitigated by non fixed election dates (e.g., in the old days the cons could call the election until anytime next May so spending now would be largely wasted). The solution is to ban third party and government ads from four months out of the fixed election date (previous Supreme Court of Canada cases would support this) and insure disclosure. Otherwise in some future election the Koch brothers et al could drop millions and millions with zero accountability, just like they do in the United States. When people see the ads they don’t care who funded them (and they won’t be able to find out if they did care). No one of course ever thinks of these ‘adverse consequences’ when they import US political ideas (fixed election dates) onto our system. There is no need for rules regarding party ads in the pre writ period as they are governed by maximum donation and disclosure rules. Third party advertisers are not. Now, if the anti-tory ads get particularly nasty the PM can drop the writ next week and freeze out the third party ads until October 20…..but that creates another can of worms.

  5. Sixth Time Commenter says:

    I don’t understand who chiefly benefits from an ABC campaign. Am I to seek out the best alternative in my riding? I assume that’s why they ask for my “zip code” on the signup page (yeah, it asks for a zip code).

    They are preaching to the choir with me, but the little quotes seem more out of context than Incredulous Justin Trudeau Lady on my radio. (Not that it’s easy to get a useful slipup from a Conservative.)

    There’s 18 minutes of taxpayer-funded value I’ve delivered this morning.

  6. Matt says:

    That’s, uh, cute.

    A group of Liberal, NDP and union elietists claiming to be a “grassroots campaign”

    “Engage Canada’s leadership group includes Don Guy, who was campaign director for former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty; Dave Gene, who was a deputy chief of staff for Mr. McGuinty and worked alongside Mr. Guy on Ontario Liberal campaigns; and Kathleen Monk, who was director of communications for the late NDP leader Jack Layton.”

    As well as Unifor, who have been running terrible radio ads, and United Steelworkers are the biggest financial backers.


  7. Marco says:

    What a waste of election dollars…..demonize the the individual…..not the institution.

  8. Tony Miller says:

    I’m a creative director at an ad agency, and I can tell you that this is what we call a “soft” ad. I’m still waiting for the hard-hitting advertising that will have a sense of outrage about it. 70% of the population is furious with this government and I have yet to see ads that fillet Harper over the lies he’s told and the disdain he has for Parliament. So…it’s a start, and it may move the needle a bit, in the sense that the weight of the Senate scandal + partisan ads + general weariness with the sight of him will serve to bleed support away drop by drop.

    • UFP Ambassador says:

      Clearly you are creative. Which poll did you get your “70% of the population is furious with this government” stat from? Or did you create it?

      • Priyesh says:

        Conservatives have been dropping in the polls consistently since 2011. Have been held to under 35% for the past 3 years. If 70% of the electorate isn’t fed up with him, I’d say the number is close to it.

        • UFP Ambassador says:

          Sure, polls say 70% won’t vote for them. That doesn’t make them “furious with this government”. That’s the kind drama you get from JT.

          If you want to see true fury check out the folks that just voted for Wynne and have realized they’ve been rooked.

    • Ridiculosity says:

      Tony Miller, a man who is not just a creative director, but a multiple award-winning one, is right.

      This ad is ‘soft’ and should have been killed in the editing room. Actually, it’s a concept that shouldn’t have even got that far.

      You want to entice people to act? No quicker way nuke that than by showing a fucking bar chart.

      The message is there.

      It’s just delivered in an exceptionally amateurish way.

      That said, I’d rather stuff like this flood the airwaves instead of another piece of taxpayer-funder Canada Action Plan Propaganda.

  9. Peter says:

    From the moment he was first elected, his opponents have wasted far too much time talking to one another about the blight that is Harper and telling one another that if only they could make the electorate “see” the “truth” behind his clever smokescreens, they would rise up to toss him out and put history back on its proper course. With the exception of Dion’s carbon tax, I can’t think of one memorable major policy either the Liberals of NDP ran on in three elections. It’s all been “The horror, the horror…” This ad doesn’t direct anyone to any alternative or point to corrective policies. It is a soul salve for people who wouldn’t vote for Harper to save their mothers, but I can’t see it swaying anybody.

    Plus there seems to be a widespread feeling on the left that the electorate generally is offended in principle by income inequality. If that were true, the NDP would have been much more successful historically. Inequality of opportunity, corruption, the abuse of privilege, yes, but the idea that it is the purpose of government to equalize incomes (assuming they could, which they can’t without nuking the economy) and do something about those obscene sports star and CEO salaries is dicey at best. That ad admits that average incomes are still rising ( as are house prices in most places), so while there is certainly a lot of worry on a lot of fronts, I don’t think anyone will convince the general public that they’re back in the dirty thirties when their lyin’ eyes tell them differently. The economy is not Harper’s weak point no matter how creative his opponents use of statistics to prove otherwise.

  10. Kaplan says:

    If the Conservatives aren’t there for you, then who is? The ad is missing that hook – if you convince me they can’t give me what I’m looking for, then what’s the alternative? I can’t see this working.

  11. Priyesh says:

    Even as far as attack ads go, I find it weak. But it might do something to blunt the attacks of the Conservatives.

  12. Craig McKie says:

    I think this campaign may serve to stoke some nameless fears that seem to be lurking in minds of Harperite zombie army voters. As in ‘what if the new recession DOES affect me? what if the government really IS listening to my cellphone calls? what if interest rates go up and we can’t afford the mortgage payments any more?’ Have to find a way to break their ranks, individualize the threat the Tories pose and scare them into that mental space of every man for himself. I like the evil car in the Midas ad. ‘I am going to cost you a fortune Cheryl….’ ==> Steve says ‘I am going to cost you your marginal middle class stature in your community Cheryl. You can always get a job slugging boxes at the Superstore on the midnight shift.’

    • Metakaizen says:

      Scare them INTO that mental space of every man for himself?

      Are you sure that is a good plan given the basic dividing line between conservatives and progressives, not to mention that Harper is the MASTER of harvesting the selfish vote?

      • Craig McKie says:

        Disaggregate the CPC high school losers. Many of the the deluded think they are members of a triumphal retro social movement lead by Emperor Steve to make 1956 social conditions fixed in permanency. Let them feel the heat of individually focused threats to their bogus self-images. ===> drop this nonsense and get with the cooperative commonwealth plan svp.

  13. Michael says:

    Well, it’s no GritGirl ad…

  14. !o! says:

    It benefits whoever is perceived to be the best poised to unseat them by non-conservative voters come a couple weeks before voting.

    • !o! says:

      That in mind, the conervatives have an extremely tough uphill battle— attacking opponents will not help their tactical position all that much.

  15. Northern PoV says:

    The graph-image sucks.
    I’ve seen way better graphic displays of in-equality. this one misses the mark and is even confusing, hence the ad is wasted.
    Good idea though. If the third parties attack the CONs perhaps our Red, Green and Orange minions can ‘stay positive’.

  16. MetaKaizen says:

    Will voters think a shadowy AstroTurf group is there for them? I don’t think so.

    Also, parties need to provide reasons to vote FOR them. It is not nearly enough to say don’t vote for Harper.

    The NDP is doing a much better job moving folks specifically towards them.

  17. P Brennan says:

    lousy ad…surely better ones will follow….

  18. John Lawson says:

    Interesting contrast — This add has a good narrative and some decent supporting stats and references, however the “provenance” of the add is murky and unclear.
    The Liberal adds are the opposite — clear provenance but murky narrative.

    The new Trudeau add is clear as to who provides it — the Liberal Party of Canada — however the narrative is goofy.. JT introducing the Rose Family and saying that ” Mom and Dad are deferring paying off family debt to provide fro the children’s education — And I won’t accept it ” Duh — Since the Liberal focus is middle class families and not the Thomsons — how can the middle class NOT pay off the mortgage slower if they choose to have children and choose to help them with education. Is there one middle class family in Canada that is not faced with this decision no matter what government is in power?
    Any funds directed towards education could have been used to pay off debt — if you did not have kids.

  19. Ron says:

    It would be nice if the voters took responsibility for once and cleaned up the mess themselves, preferably by applying some common sense and their sense of smell.

  20. Matt says:

    From this morning’s Toronto sun:


    Davin Akin looks at the new ad from Engage Canada

    Conclusion – It’s pure, unadulterated bullshit.

    And before all you progressives claim it’s just the Toronto Sun, or David is a Conservative stooge, you really know nothing about David Akin. He cuts through the bull from ALL parties.

  21. Cynthia says:

    I suspect that Justin’s backroom handlers are planning a rear guard strategy to survive to the 2019 elections when Justin has hopefully matured into a authentic politician and statesman. A small election improvement would be acceptable while treading water until 2019. Above all, the Liberals do not want the NDP to ascend to government because that would totally eliminate the Liberals and making them irrelevant.

    Meanwhile Mulcair must deal with Duceppe barking up his arse and telling Quebecers that they replaced the BQ MPs with a bunch of ragtag incompetents by drinking Jacques’ Orange Crush koolaid and destroying the BQ in such a stupid manner. He was angry at Quebecer after the 2011 election and you can bet he’s still pizzed off and will rip it into les quebecois.

    Yes, I think Duceppe will be hard on Quebecers and challenge them to again vote for their own self-interest and keep the flames of sovereignty burning in Ottawa. Then there is multi-millionaire PKP leading the PQ in Quebec and possibly backrolling select BQ candidates too. Follow the money.

    • RogerX says:

      Yup, and here is Gilles Duceppe on Global TV explaining what he will be offering Quebec voters in the upcoming election, and it will eat away at the NDP support without doubt.


      I suspect that Duceppe senses the NDP are vulnerable in Quebec now that Quebecers have seen what they elected to represent them in Ottawa….. university students and a barmaid and how poorly they have been served to benefit Quebec interests. Duceppe will slide the knife into the useless NDP Quebec MPs who he rightfully says represent Canada’s interests first. Just watch!

    • doconnor says:

      It would be hard to “follow the money” since such donations would be quite illegal.

      I haven’t heard much bad about these unexpected MPs. A few have been problems, but I don’t think the rate is higher then average for MPs. I’d take university students over business people and lawyers (no offence Mr. Kinsella), anyway. The NDP has regularly advocated on Quebec issues and has done as much that would be possible as a opposition party in a majority government and as much as the Bloc ever did.

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