08.12.2015 04:34 AM

Just not ready to be up to the job

Conservative ad. Note the now-ubiquitous tag line. 


Okay. Now, here’s a New Democrat ad. Note, too, the tag line.


“Just not ready,” and now “isn’t up to the job.”

The Cons and the Dips are buying their research from the same focus group firm. That, or there is unprecedented all-party agreement on Justin Trudeau’s biggest point of vulnerability. 

Either way, I can’t recall  seeing something like this before in Canadian politics: an attack line that works with voters on the Right and the Left. Can anyone else think of a precedent?


  1. MississaugaPeter says:

    Trudeau survived the Debate. Both the CONS and NDP are wise to continue the Trudeau bashing. Both the CONS and NDP feel that they benefit with Trudeau weak. The CONS figure fear of the socialist NDP will help gain Blue Liberals and motivate their base to actually vote on E-Day. The NDP feel that most Liberals will flock to them since they would be the only party that could end the Harper era.

    Nope, never seen anything like it either.

  2. Peter says:

    “Dalton McGuinty: He’s just not up to the job.”

    – June, 1995

  3. graham watt says:

    The common research poll people is called FEAR.

  4. Priyesh says:

    Evidently, that source is Sun Media. They’ve been attacking Trudeau since Day One. The NDP has just started quoting them, but the Conservatives have been running with Sun quotes for years now.

  5. Joe says:

    After all the bumbles and stumbles and other bone headed moves most people agree with the taglines. I heard that they lost another riding head this time in Vancouver over someone who has run for them twice before. Unlike “Open Nominations” – “Just Not Ready” is true.

  6. the salamander hordes says:

    .. its all about buying into the Stephen Harper model that MP’s are insignificant pawns, unfortunately required to form parties one One. The Harper bsse does not vote for a Joe Oliver or a Paul Calandra, no more than they once voted for a creep like Rob Anders. If Canada had a truly healthy political or governance model we wouldn’t care who the Party Leader was, trusting that from a group of healthy, honest MP candidates, an exemplar would emerge as PM to represent their collective voices.

    In Canada we have a small fraction of the Americans evangel christians.. but thanks to Stephen Harper we are ready to match the farcical tea party Republican political ‘value’ system. Come hell or high water the CPC under #cpcJesus Harper is A-ok with the Harper Agenda.. Whatever the Liberal Party thinks I really dunno, their ideology seems awefully murky to me. The NDP not far off being much the same.

    Seeking any ‘glowing heart’ exemplars in political Canada right now is downright depressing.. sure, there’s a few, but its scary how scarce they are. The real exemplars are in the ranks of scientists, teachers/educators, housewives, welders, librarians and indy bloggers.. and a few notable mainstream journos and artists..

    Do we think exemplars come up with such hysterical pablum for the voting base?

    • Lance says:

      .”..its all about buying into the Stephen Harper model that MP’s are insignificant pawns…”

      “When they are 50 yards from Parliament Hill, they are no longer honourable members, they are just nobodies.” – Pierre Trudeau

      Whose model again? 😉

      • The Doctor says:

        O come on, Lance. Everyone knows that everything that’s wrong in Canada these days was invented by Harper. Before Harper came along, obscure backbench MPs strode the world like giants.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        That this PET quote is not widely known is truly a mystery to me.

        Is history no longer being taught in high school?

      • MM says:

        The difference is that with Stephen Harper they are nobodies while in parliament.

  7. Jeff says:

    Peter, that’s 1999. McLeod was Liberal leader in 1995. But you are right, it worked for Harris, and may well again. Now, will the LPC be as wise as the OLP was and hold on to their leader? One of the biggest mistakes that Liberals never used to make, prior to Dion, was to jetison their leaders after one election. Very often, it takes a loss to learn how to win. Harper lost, then won. Layton did better and better each time. If the Liberals throw Trudeau overboard, as I suspect they will, they will lose yet again in 4 years. In fact, the only federal Liberal leader who never lost an election was Chretien.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Before Jean Chrétien, the Liberals gave JT two chances to win an election and as a result we got 9 years of majority Mulroney rule. John Turner was far smarter and experienced than Justin Trudeau.

      Justin Trudeau has had plenty of time to prepare for an election. He even was in the lead for over a year. Being ahead, he was forgiven for treating older Liberals like shit. If he does not bring the Cup, the knives will come out. He and his entourage have no right to a second run. What might save Trudeau the Younger is the same thing that saved Trudeau the Older, a minority government. Then, fear of a snap election may allow him another shot. But if there is a majority, older Liberals, who have been treated as incompetent and not as a source of wisdom, will get their just revenge for the brutal treatment afforded them by Trudeau and Entourage.

  8. mike sloan says:

    The New Democrats using a line from the Toronto Sun is the most surprising thing I see.

  9. DkNtwrk says:

    That’s hilarious. It’s the exact same talking point the CPC used at various levels. That is so 2013. At least the NDP are saving some money by sifting through CPC garbage for their attack ads (with some slight modifications to avoid copyright infringment). Nice to see the NDP taking the high road…

    {Nevermind that the charity business model routinely pays speakers (who also happen to make good money on their own) in order to attract crowds who will then donate to the charity. They have a budget for exactly these kind of things and, in these cases, the charity comes out well ahead of the game.}

  10. Vancouverois says:

    How about “Ignatieff: He didn’t come back for YOU!”?

  11. Peter says:

    Correction to the above: Make that June, 1999. Not enough coffee…

  12. Ron Waller says:

    The real issue here is that Justin Trudeau is a pretty boy who coasted along his whole life getting by on his name and looks. When he decided to become a politician he never bothered to do his homework and get up to speed on the issues. This is why he looks so weak and the other parties are attacking him on it.

    It’s not anyone’s fault that Justin never took his job seriously but his own.

    • Taco says:

      A Member of Parliament, charging money to be heard speaking. It’s not just a lapse in judgment, it a repetitive lapse in judgement. Even if you are a Trudeau flag waiver, you must feel queasy about this.

      The fees weren’t just for expenses, but up to $20 large a pop in some cases.

  13. jen says:

    No doubt these ads have been focused grouped and well researched.

    But who outside the Ottawa political bubble actually see these ads?

    The answer to the above question one could argue, and I say this not pejoratively or to be ageist, is that older demographics are receiving and responding to these advertisements – both the mailouts and the TV spots. Younger demographics are not as connected to things like cable and marketing distribution lists and are harder to reach. The fact is that certain types of traditional advertising (e.g. network tv ads in particular) are not nearly as effective as they were in the past – not because negative advertising doesn’t work but because its more difficult to reach target demographics.

    As for internet based ads- these are reaching individuals who are already heavily politically engaged.

    • The Doctor says:

      The other thing that interests me is the facebook push-out. What I mean by that is partisan spam that’s picked up by certain of your fb friends and re-posted, sometimes with commentary by your fb friend (e.g., “Look at what a jerk Harper is!”), sometimes not. I’m seeing a ton of it this election cycle, mostly from friends of mine who are, not surprisingly, very partisan (and in my case, all of my fb friends who do it are Liberal or Dipper). I’d really be interested in some research as to how effective this is, or conversely whether it turns people off. Personally, it bugs me, and it’s something I would never do. But I guess some partisans think they’re on such a mission from God politically that they assume this doesn’t offend or bother any of their fb friends, or they just don’t care because their cause is so noble.

      • davie says:

        I have received those as well. They come from 4 different parties, and I am thinking that maybe my friends and acquaintances might have punched ‘like’ on something or other, not meaning to pass it on to everyone else. I am wondering if fb has a way of selling this kind of service to advertisers, like political parties.

        • The Doctor says:

          Well, you’re given the option (via a prompt icon) to “share” it on fb, so I think that’s at least one way these things get forwarded and show up on your fb feed. So your fb friend who’s a raving political partisan gets it from Party Central, hits the “share” link, and I believe it then shows up on the feeds of all of that person’s fb friends. So IMO, it’s pretty much a form of spamming, albeit a bit more targeted than email spam. But it just blows me away how partisans don’t seem to comprehend how offensive that is (i.e., sending unsolicited political spam) to most of us who aren’t partisan.

          I discussed this with a friend of mine last night who has a fb friend in common with me who’s doing this. And sure enough, my friend’s reaction was “Does he not realize what a f+cking butthead he’s being?”

  14. JBG says:

    On the other hand, if both the CPC & NDP insist on framing the ballot question as: “Is Trudeau ready to be PM?”, they run the risk of Canadians answering: “Yes”.

    • davie says:

      I usually support NDP because they seem left-ish.
      They do have candidates (like Cullen) who have said that electoral reform so as to make representation an little more accurate is a priority.
      However, by behaving as though there are only two parties to choose from, a situation that is a part of the first-past-the-post election system, I begin to doubt their intentions.

  15. Michael Bluth says:

    Interesting how the Conservatives and NDP are playing against type here.

    The Conservative ads are a little softer with the “I’m not saying never, just not yet” line.

    As Mike said the Sun as a source for the NDP quote is interesting as is the CBC as the source for the Conservative quote.

  16. tofkw says:

    Well as the classic saying goes; ‘Dipper, Tory, same old story.’

  17. Kelly says:

    Stephen Harper bombed Libya and how the country is broken in two and controlled by Jihadists.

    The U.S.A. dropped more bombs on Iraq in the first two weeks of the 2003 invasion than they dropped on Vietnam in the entire Vietnam war (13 years) and now ISIS is in control of half of the country.

    These flyers are silly.

    The three parties are now statistically tied, nationally.

  18. Kelly says:

    Stephen Harper bombed Libya and now the country is broken in two and controlled by Jihadists.

    The U.S.A. dropped more bombs on Iraq in the first two weeks of the 2003 invasion than they dropped on Vietnam in the entire Vietnam war (13 years) and now ISIS is in control of half of the country.

    These flyers are silly.

    The three parties are now statistically tied, nationally.

  19. PT says:

    It’s not like the Libs aren’t in the fray themselves. I think JT is spending more time knocking the NDP than Harper. For the Tories, they need to knock the Libs down at least 5 points to avoid losing dozens of suburban Ontario seats to the Libs. The NDP knows it’ll fall short of government unless it can solidify itself as the alternative, which means knocking the Libs out of the game. The Libs meanwhile are newly aggressive because they’re playing catch-up and they need to take the shine off the NDP if they have any hope of climbing out of third. It all means we’re in for a three-way mud fest for some time yet.

  20. All Sand and No Dirt says:

    Stephen Harper: Hasn’t he done enough to Canada already?

  21. Christian says:

    Here’s more evidence Trudeau isn’t ready.


    “Grow the economy from the heart”? WTF does that even mean??? Once again he’s trying to cover up his lack of knowledge and depth with sugar coated drivel. No way in hell will I vote for this man-child.

    • Lance says:

      Bozo eruption number….what is he up to now? I’ve lost count.

    • davie says:

      Sort of like the Unseen Hand that moves over the market pace!

    • lou says:

      Another WTF moment for Justin. He is obviously appealing to the heart because anyone with a BRAIN could not bring themselves to elect this guy. I can appreciate that he supports legalized marijuana, but that doesn’t mean you smoke a few before opening your mouth. Warren, can I propose a funding drive to get you a helmet? I imagine that the constant head palming must hurt by now. I suggest we get one for Garneau as well. Imagine your legacy being that you lost to this guy?
      Question? Who would you trust to run Canada?
      A) Justin
      B) Bag of Pucks
      C) Block of cheese
      D) Cheech and Chong. (not to be confused with Trudeau and Butts)

      • fan590 says:

        Use the word “heart.”

        It’s as crazy as some politician who went to Oxford to say “I feel your pain.”

        What type of losers talk like this, eh?

    • fan590 says:

      Somehow I don’t think there’s anything he could do to get your vote.

      And somehow I think Justin is absolutely fine with that.

      • Christian Giles says:

        You sound like a fucking Conservative. Only Cons write off potential votes as ‘not worth it’. What are you saying? Justin will only represent those who vote for him? That’s the Harper way and proves to me that you Team Trudeau types are just as bad as Team Harper. GFY.

      • Christian Giles says:

        Oh. And one more thing. Have the balls to use your real name on this website. Coward.

    • billg says:

      Next LPC ad:
      Turn on your Heart Light..
      JT call home….

    • Mark says:

      “Growth from the heart”?
      And you’re to blame
      You give Libs a bad name (bad name)

      – apologies to Bon Jovi

  22. JH says:

    Just noticed a Laurie Payton of CBC tweet that Trudeau said today that the PM was responsible for the recession. Payton then went on to say, lots of economists would disagree with him. No defending Harper, but Payton’s right – stupid thing to say, knowing only uber partisans would agree.

  23. Brooke V says:

    The closest I can think of is ” You had an option sir ” Mulroney vs Turner, I believe even the NDP were using it after the debate ( or am I wrong )

  24. John Matheson says:

    The heart of Canada is its middle class, and it was pretty obvious to me what he was taking about.

  25. ottlib says:

    But the Liberals are toast. This is supposed to be a race between the NDP and the Conservatives. I know this because I keep reading political pundits who say this, so it must be true.

    So why are they both attacking a party leader who has no chance of forming a government?

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