, 11.09.2017 11:43 AM

Go neg, sure. But don’t lie.

Here’s a little snippet from next week’s column, about this ad.

Because the media scrutinize attack ads like no other form of political communication – and because voters don’t want to admit they’ve been motivated by an attack – attack ads must be 100 per cent accurate.  There can’t be anything in them that is factually wrong.  Nothing.

In the 2000 federal Liberal campaign, for example, a colleague and I spent an entire day agonizing over whether the placement of an ellipsis in a quote in an attack ad was going to get us in trouble.  And it did.  The impact of the ad was lost to a ton of process stories.

The campaign crew helping out Kathleen Wynne are the ones who cooked up the federal Grits’ “soldiers in the streets” spots in 2006.  Those ads, more than any other factor, contributed to Stephen Harper’s subsequent victory.  Because they were bullshit.

The Working Families ad is bullshit.  The notion that Patrick Brown – who has voted with the Liberals on every single tolerance/diversity issue in the Legislature – is Donald Trump is, well, crazy.  And anyone making that claim, with a straight face, is either a liar or stupid.  Or both.


  1. Pedant says:

    The Martin Liberals used similar ads in 2004 as they did in 2006. They won the former and lost the latter. If I recall correctly, one of the Liberal ads in 2004 actually featured a gun pointed at the camera and ominous warnings consequences for gun control should the Conservatives be elected. They also featured a huddled, quivering young woman sitting in the fetal position with a “right to choose” narration. Really it was Breitbart-worthy propaganda by the Laurentian Elite.

    Granted, if I remember well the polling trends in the 2004 election, the ads didn’t really seem to move the polls. It was the Randy White video about Charter rights that moved the numbers in the final days and helped win it for the Liberals.

  2. Matt says:

    There is another group WOW (Working Ontario Women) with an add about Brown fear mongering about him restricting women’s access to abortions.

    They see their free ride ending. They are desperate and it’s showing.

    David Akin, formerly of Sun Media/Post Media and now with Global has been trying for at least a week to get WOW to tell him who is funding them.

    They won’t.

  3. James Smith says:

    You’re the expert so I defer to your take on this. I think having seen the ad once, both OWF & you are both correct, i.e. Mr Brown has a record as an MP as thes ad points to but has tiptoed around some of these issues since coming to QP & this makes him look greasy. Listening to my Wife’s take on the ad, she likes it & agrees with it’s sentiment. IMHO the Grits need to paint Mr Brown for what he is; a Trump with better manners. So perhaps Mike Pence is the kinda fella Mr Brown aspires to.

    • Pedant says:

      That’s some deep thinking there, James. Basically everyone nominally to the right of centre….is like Trump.

      Is Heather Mallick your wife?

      • James Smith says:

        Thanks for the accolade Pendant! In Mr Brown’s case I think the answer is yes; flip flopping on social conservative agenda, wanting to take us back to the dark ages, sounds pretty Trump-lite to me. The ads in question seem to be working if one can believe the latest polling.

        Sorry, don’t know Ms Mallick, but be sure to pass on my kind wishes to your spouse; Kelly-Anne is it?

  4. lou says:

    The working families coalition has always been bullshit. They are teachers. New contract a year early? Here’s the payback.

    • James Smith says:

      Yup, & the corporations funding PCPO are so very pure. BTW Were Mr Brown & Mr Trump Jr separated at birth? I mean the similarity is stunning!

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Agree with you about Brown.

    But didn’t sponsorship do in Martin?

  6. Robert Viera says:

    The ad doesn’t claim that Patrick Brown is Donald Trump.

    It uses Trump and Brexit as examples of change for the worse.

    The ad claims that Brown:

    1) Opposed marriage equality
    2) [Was] called dishonest by his own party
    3) [Would] delay minimum wage hikes
    4) Voted against working families

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