20 posts categorized "advertising"

October 04, 2008

People of Peterborough Speak Out: What's On Their Minds as They Prepare to Head to the Polls

People of Peterborough Riding are expressing strong opinions during this election -- many by writing Letters to the Editor of The Peterborough Examiner. Here are a few brief excerpts, just to give you a flavor of the issues being talked about in our riding. If you click on the link at the start of each letter, you can read the full text on The Peterborough Examiner website.

MP Challenge: "MP Dean Del Mastro's comment that no one will "shove (the Little Lake project) down the community's throat" indicates that if a sufficient number of citizens express disapproval the plan will be scrapped. He should show his respect for our community by telling us exactly how he will measure public support for his plan. If he announces a shoreline referendum he will be a champion of democracy."
- John Baker, Peterborough

Del Mastro's claims don't stand up to scrutiny: "While our current member of Parliament is good at quoting numbers, they bear no resemblance to facts. He gave the following incorrect information at the all-candidates debate held by Curve Lake...."  [ Related link ]
- Chadwick Cowie, Hiawatha First Nation

Del Mastro promises misleading: "Dean Del Mastro made several grand promises in the weeks leading up to the election. One of these is to build a grand party palace on the banks of Little Lake, by what appears to be a specially selected developer.....Mr. Del Mastro is tellingly silent on the essentials. All we're really getting in this process is a bunch of inch-high headline promises that are likely not even worth the price of the newsprint they're printed on. Surely Peterborough voters won't be misled by this nonsense?
- Kathy Woodcock, Knox Street

Riding needs a fresh start: "Dean Del Mastro appears to be the most partisan politician in the history of Peterborough riding. He not only squanders our hard-earned tax dollars attacking other politicians...he divides our community by pretending that his opponents oppose his rail plan."
- Helen McCarthy, Peterborough

Tories waging propaganda war: "The campaign for this election began two and a half years ago when Steven Harper took office. The barrage of attack ads that we have seen since goes beyond normal mud-slinging -it is propaganda, a focused program of persuasion and manipulation. The arguments typically appeal to emotions rather than reason. Never in the history of Canada has a standing government made such efforts to minimize their political opponents....Here in Peterborough, Dean Del Mastro has conducted a similar propaganda campaign. On a biweekly basis, Mr. Del Mastro has sent out "the pamphlets." What is interesting about these flyers is that they are little more than name calling with absolutely no details or substantiation. This is a classic propaganda technique. What kind of a representative would conduct such a campaign against his constituents?"
- Alan Buchkowski, Hastings

The art of hypocrisy: "Imagine my surprise on reading Dean Del Mastro's description of this riding: after a brief mention of children playing hockey, he goes on to tout the richness of Peterborough's arts! ... I find Mr. Del Mastro's apparent pride in the local arts scene disturbing. I would ask him to please not use the arts like this, unless he is willing to confront Mr. Harper on his appalling stance. It only makes him look like a hypocrite. And I don't vote for hypocrites."
- Kate Story, Peterborough

Tory message holds: "The funny thing is, when I began looking online for information I didn't see where any cuts have been made, what I found was an increase in government spending....it was the cold hard facts presented to me by MP Dean Del Mastro that spoke the loudest. He explained how hundreds of thousands of dollars had made their way to Peterborough for projects like the Festival of Lights, Peterborough Folk Festival and the major refurbishment to the Market Hall."
- Mike Theobald

[Please note: Link embedded in letter above provides a factual clarification re: the arts funding cuts. It also links to a lengthy discussion on other aspects of Dean Del Mastro's campaign that Mike Theobald initiated in the  comments below that post earlier in the week.]

Arts funding fundamental: "Funding for the arts should be a no brainer. It would appear that it is Mr. Harper who is out of touch with ordinary folks and their cares."
- Dan Murphy, Peterborough

Tories will take us to dark age: "Think twice before you put an "X" beside the name of the local Harper lackie."
- Brian Bird, Peterborough

Portrait's exposure was off: "Unjust characterization of candidates detracts from the real business of elections -making decisions based on facts."
- Marilyn Tudhope, Peterborough

MP silent on pension cutback: "Dean Del Mastro would get my vote and I'd promote him far and wide if he would tell me why my old age security was reduced! But since he hasn't even had the courtesy to return any of my calls regarding this issue, this loss of income for me and likely others, I guess he loses my vote and the vote of friends etc. when I tell them how mean the Conservatives are."
- Lily Rosebush, Peterborough

Too tight to cell tower location: "I write this letter sitting in my garden looking at a cell tower that was brought into our neighbourhood in April of this year. Not only did our MP Dean Del Mastro not respond to our appeals for help, the tower is now sitting on property owned by Mr. Del Mastro's mother, who is getting paid a monthly fee to host the tower. And although Mr. Del Mastro says he has nothing to do with this small piece of property that sits beside the Del Mastro car lot, he likes to park his cube van promoting the Peterborough rail line right beside the tower on this property he says he has nothing to do with. Talk about adding insult to injury....We need the help of our federal MP to get this cell tower removed. We invite all of the candidates to visit our community, hear our story and have a conversation with us on how to move forward on this very serious issue. Mr. Del Mastro's slogan is 'a safer, stronger, better Canada.' Well with the cell tower in my backyard on his mother's property, I know I am not safer. My neighbourhood is surely not stronger and folks, my neighbourhood is definitely not better!
- Jill N. Jones, Ware Street

Train talk is premature: "....we did have a little problem recently in the south end, a cell phone tower on Del Mastro property on Lansdowne Street. We collected probably as many signatures opposing the tower as Mr. Del Mastro got in favour of the mythical railway. But we got no enraged outburst for our petition, not even an acknowledgement that we exist with a tower in our back yards. Mr. Del Mastro, get it down and you get our votes!"
- Pat Power, Ware Street

Better transit solutions than a train: "A Peterborough train would be nice, but the practical and affordable solution for improved transportation between Toronto and Peterborough is to get out a bucket of paint and give our buses a lane that will enable them to get in and out of the Big Smoke without getting stalled in traffic. HOV lanes aren't just greener, they are more financially responsible, because they make more efficient use of the transportation infrastructure we already have."
- Clifford Maynes, Peterborough

Bus is the ticket: "Peterborough wake up. We don't need a MP pushing for the wealthy, we need someone who cares about the less fortunate and those struggling to make ends meet and our seniors. That's who will get my vote."
- Margaret Nold, Peterborough

Harper, Conservatives have abandoned environment: "Less than two years ago, it seemed that Canadians had finally woken up to the reality of climate change and were ready to support tough government action. However, looking at voting intentions in this election, it's clear we have slipped back into complacency.... Stephen Harper is hoping to convince us it can be business as usual and that now is not the time to bring in change. The subliminal message seems to be that the warnings of scientists don't really need to be heeded. The lack of a viable program on the part of the Conservatives is profoundly destructive. It sabotages any claims to environmental leadership that Canada may still have in the world and, on a more personal level, simply destroys hope in the future."
- Drew Monkman, Peterborough

Cost of growth is too great: "It is well past time for this community to recognize that there are and must be limits to growth if we are to survive. "Empty" land is generally either agricultural fields, which we are foolishly allowing to be covered with subdivisions, or wetlands crucial to flood control and waterfowl habitat, or forests, which supply oxygen we need to breathe. Shoreline is particularly critical as the cradle of aquatic life."
- Joan Reeves, Peterborough

Clear discussion of issues needed: "As citizens we must not value low taxes over services we need, especially for our children. We can't skimp on education and health services for them and then put our failures into expensive prisons and rehabs."
- Betty Borg, Gifford Drive

Not so nice guy: "Does a leader have to bully you and lie to you for you to think him a fit leader?"
- Catherine Kaye, Fraserville

Harper's Teflon mystery: "Stephen Harper is Teflon man; nothing sticks to him. Can someone explain why? Experts condemn his policies, but Harper just promises more of the same. First, there is global warming....Second, there is his policy on youth crime....Third, Harper espouses laissez-faire economics at a time when the financial system in the United States is near collapse because of the absence of adequate regulation. Fourth, Harper justifies cuts to arts funding....What am I missing?"- Alan Slavin, Peterborough

Tory path to US: "A vote for the Conservative Party will result in a deterioration of Canada that we have not as yet experienced, similar to where the United States is today."
- George Kerr, Peterborough

Health care on death bed: "If voters search the Fraser Institute website they'll easily find an article titled 'Kill the Canada Health Act.'....Harper's Conservative cabinet is full of former Mike Harris ministers....Get ready to take out a mortgage to pay for major surgery. ....Our tax cutting Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, has taken too much out of the government revenue stream to allow us to weather the gathering economic storm and properly maintain important programs like health care. Voting Conservative will be a grave mistake for all Canadians who care about our universal health care system."
- Scott Cisco, Hastings

Harper claims, Liberals do: "When Mr. Harper came to power Canada had a strong economy, a healthy government surplus, and we were paying down the debt. Now, the surpluses are gone so we can't afford as much debt reduction and the North American economy is a mess. And, lo and behold, the Conservative government has been outspending Paul Martin's Liberals, who Tories love to portray as tax and spend types"
- John Hoffman, Morrow Street

World is in peril and Harper is shovelling quicksand: "This election has a fundamental theme that underlies all of the political rhetoric: individualism versus community values. The difference is huge: the global climate and worldwide poverty demand government intervention if our children's children are to survive. Instead, Stephen Harper's Conservatives ask us to choose lower taxes, appealing to our self-interest. They refuse to include the environmental and social costs of meeting individual needs. The remaining parties -Green, Liberal, NDP -understand that we have to maintain or raise taxes to combat the most serious environmental, economic and social threats ever to face the country."
- Linda Slavin, Peterborough

Non-vote is a vote for winner: "If you don't vote or if you spoil your ballot you have just voted for the party with the highest number of votes, no matter which party wins."
- Len Colp, Bailieboro

Vote with my heart or with my head?: "This is a difficult election. For the first time in my life, I am an undecided voter. I have a Liberal sign on my lawn and an NDP sign and if the Greens call I'll take a Green sign too. I'll draw the line at the blue sign or the Bloc, but that's as far as I can go."
- Margaret Slavin, Lake Street

Vote for a better future: "If you care about the future of the country and our children and grandchildren please vote for a candidate who cares about the environment and the economy, which are closely linked issues."
- Vivian Heinmiller, Peterborough


Related:
Thinking of Voting for Dean Del Mastro? Make Sure You Have All the Facts
Election 2008 Riding Profile - Peterborough: Includes Some Comments from Around the Web
Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough Riding) Voted Against....
Letters to the Peterborough Examiner re: Little Lake
Take Down the Cell Tower Citizens' Action Group: Info Gathering Sun. Oct. 5th

ELECTION HOT BUTTON ISSUES
Little Lake | Train | Economy | Environment | Arts and Culture | Crime | Aboriginal Issues |  Children/Families | Women's Issues |  Election Issues | Ethics | Political Campaigns | Peterborough
 

October 03, 2008

The Great Canadian Wish List: What We Say We Want

This list is my attempt to begin to spell out the disconnect behind what Canadians say they want and how they vote. In this post, I create my version of a Great Canadian Wish List -- what Canadians talk about when they describe what's great about their country. In my next post, I'll measure this wish list against what voters are being offered by the Conservative Party of Canada -- the party that called this election seeking a mandate in the form of a majority government.

The Great Canadian Wish List

What do we Canadians talk about when we express our values and talk about what we want for our country?

  • We talk about how we want to feel safe and secure -- to have a government that makes sound economic decisions that take the needs of the ordinary citizen into account -- and that won't cause us to lose our bank account savings or our homes.
  • We talk about how important it is to us to stop destroying the planet so that our beautiful country will be able to provide the land and water that our children and grandchildren will need to grown and thrive.
  • We talk about how industries that are doing the damage to the planet should be the ones to pay to clean it up.
  • We talk about how much our health care system matters to us -- and how important it is to us that every Canadian be able to have access to a family doctor and how chronically underserviced communities and provinces need to have their long-standing shortages in certain health specialties (for example children's mental health services; mental health services in general)?
  • We talk about how we want a government that protects the health and safety of Canadians.
  • We talk about the importance of protecting our rural heritage while creating safe and healthy urban environments -- cities in which people can walk or bike to work instead of driving their cars.
  • We talk about how we want a government that looks out for the needs of farmers and that provide Canadians with accurate and reliable information about genetically modified foods, agri-business, and other issues that affect the food that shows up on their dinner table.
  • We talk about how much we value freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and government transparency, and government accountability -- and how much we want politicians who are accessible, genuine, and trustworthy.
  • We talk about how much we regret the treatment that aboriginal people in this country have received -- and how we want to move forward in ways that take serious action to right those wrongs.
  • We talk about how much we value being part of a society in which everyone has equal opportunity to succeed -- including new Canadians -- and in which no one is discriminated against.
  • We talk about how proud we are of the Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms -- and a justice system that assumes innocence until a person is proven guilty.
  • We talk about the importance of giving young people the best possible start in life -- how the early years are the most important years: a critical time when we must invest in our children because they are our country's future.
  • We talk about how much we value our children and our families, including our seniors.
  • We talk about how proud we are about being Canadian and having a uniquely Canadian identity.
  • We talk about how fortunately we are to live in a country like Canada that is one of the safest countries in the world.
  • We talk about how proud we feel when we travel abroad and people from other countries speak glowingly about Canada and its peacekeeping and environmental stewardship record abroad.

Ad Running in Peterborough Examiner in Support of Betsy McGregor

The following advertisement is running in The Peterborough Examiner in support of Betsy McGregor.

Vote_for_betsy_mcgregor_ad_2

September 30, 2008

Strategic Voting in Peterborough Riding

Whatever your reason may be for seeking political change -- a desire for change at the Federal level or here in Peterborough Riding -- according to election analysts (see links below), there is only one candidate who has the potential to defeat our Conservative Member of Parliament Dean Del Mastro on election night. That candidate is Betsy McGregor, the federal Liberal Candidate for Peterborough Riding.

Before we go any further, let me state that I think that any of the three progressive candidates running in Peterborough county would make an excellent Member of Parliament: Emily Berrigan (Green Party of Canada), Betsy McGregor (Liberal), or Steve Sharpe (NDP). The problem is that if we split the approximately 65% of the vote that will likely go to the three progressive parties in our riding, Dean Del Mastro will win because he will receive approximately 35% of the vote. It's a dilemma that Canadians across our country are grappling with at the riding level: how to prevent the very non-mainstream minority from holding on to control of our country and carrying out an agenda that is anti-progressive and (many of us would argue) anti-Canadian as well. (Read my reasons for launching this blog in December 2006 and you'll see that I've been deeply concerned about this government, our MP, and Canada for a very long time.) This is where strategic voting comes into play.

Making the decision to vote strategically may be something entirely new to you, particularly if you have a long association with or a passionate commitment to a particular party. (You may want to read tonight's Peterborough Examiner to find out why peace activist and much-loved former physician Joyce Barrett -- a long-time NDP supporter -- has chosen to vote strategically in this election and rally behind Betsy McGregor. "I wept when Dean (Del Mastro) was elected in 2006," she told The Examiner.")

The idea of strategic voting is certainly something alien for me, too. Or it was until I started listening in on the thoughtful discussions of everyday Canadians like you and me and hearing how passionate they were about preventing a Conservative majority government -- and of allowing themselves to dream of a time when we might actually have a progressive government in power in Canada again.

Uniting the left is the only way to begin the process of unseating the Harper government. By going after the Conservatives in those ridings where they are most vulnerable -- in ridings like Peterborough where the race is going to be close -- we have a chance to end up with one more progressive voice on Parliament Hill. That person will not be a voice for any one party. That person will be a voice for all people in our riding who hope for a more progressive future for this riding.

As Liberal Party MP Michael Ignatieff stated earlier this week:

"What separates us from the Conservatives is that we believe you can’t have an efficient economy without a just society.

"A just society — where every citizen is equal; where we succeed together, because we look after each other; where no Canadian goes to the wall when times are tough; where no Canadian has to walk the lonely road of poverty or ill health alone.

"A market economy demands a just and equal society.  You can’t have an efficient economy, without a just and equal society. This is the key idea behind Canadian liberalism [and progressive Canadians in general, I would argue.]

"That’s not Harper’s Canada."

And speaking of inspiring politicians, here's what Elizabeth May had to say on the subject of strategic voting a few days ago:

The Green, Liberal and New Democratic parties should prevent vote-splitting that would favour Conservatives, and carve up electoral ridings according to who has the best chance of winning, May said. "We sit down and say, `Who has the best chance of winning in all these ridings?' What I've been calling for is proportional representation by other means."

Here are some resources you may wish to consult as you begin to consider whether voting strategically is the right move for you. I will continue to add to this list during the days ahead. You may also wish to use the voting tool in the upper-right hand corner of this blog. It tells you which candidate is considered Peterborough Riding's best bet for electing a progressive candidate.

Note: The tool is updated on a continuous basis as polling data changes.

Strategic voting resources and tools:

www.anyonebutharper.ca

www.voteforenvironment.ca

www.departmentofculture.ca

DemocraticSPACE: Strategic Voting Guide

Backgrounder 7: Strategic Voting

September 26, 2008

A Citizen's Plea, Spotted in Downtown Peterborough

Img_6747

September 17, 2008

Little Lake, Big Waves: Peterborough Examiner Reveals Del Mastro's Mystery Developer; Developer Working on Project in Flaherty's Riding, Too

Puzzle

Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro's mystery developer on the Little Lake project is no longer quite such a mystery, thanks to Peterborough Examiner reporter Brendan Wedley.

Tonight's Peterborough Examiner provides Peterborough residents with some badly needed information about who is behind the Little Lake resort proposal -- details that, to date, have been withheld from all but a select few.

Del Mastro refused to tell city council or county council the name of the developer behind the business plan for the $90 million development when he first presented his proposal for the Little Lake mega-complex.

("It has the potential to harm [the developer's] business," he was insisting as late as yesterday.)

Hmmm. Interesting reaction, don't you think?

Luckily the Peterborough Examiner's Brendan Wedley was able to get his hands on a copy of the report (something City of Peterborough chief administrator Linda Reeds hasn't even been able to do) and was able to give the papers' readers the inside scoop on who has been working behind the scenes with Dean Del Mastro for the  past two years to put this proposal together.

According to tonight's Examiner, the mystery developer is  the same developer behind a massive project in Jim Flaherty's riding -- something that will make total sense, if you follow along. I'm going to start quoting Brendan Wedley now:

"The company behind the concept plan for a proposed $90-million resort on Little Lake is headed by a lawyer who represents Saverio Montemarano, a principal for Towerhill Developments and Melody Homes....

"A corporation profile of Lift Lock Lands Ltd., the company named on the business plan for the Little Lake proposal, lists Nicholas Macos as the director, president and secretary.

"Macos has represented Towerhill Developments and Melody Homes at Peterborough planning committee and city council meetings, as well as Ontario Municipal Board hearings....

"Montemarano and Cortellucci have been financial supporters of the provincial Progressive Conservative party. During the 2002 Progressive Conservative leadership campaign, Montemarano and Cortellucci contributed $44,600 to Ernie Eves through seven subsidiaries, gave $46,000 to Jim Flaherty (the current federal finance minister) and $40,000 to Tony Clement (the current federal health minister)."

That's not the extent of their Tory largesse, apparently. Back in 2000, York University political scientist Robert MacDermid reported that companies operated by Montemarano and Cortellucci contributed $254,000 to the 1999 election campaign of the Mike Harris Conservatives in Ontario -- an election that MacDermid claims "revolutionized the conduct of party politics in Ontario."

Indeed.

September 07, 2008

The ABCs of Smart Voting

I want to start out by wishing everyone the best with their campaigns, now that we're into a Federal election.

As regular readers of this blog already know, I will be backing Peterborough federal Liberal candidate Betsy McGregor and Federal Liberal party leader Stéphane Dion, both of whom I consider to be leaders of vision and integrity. (You can catch Dion's fabulous campaign launch via Scott's DiaTribes.)

That said, I also see a lot of good in the campaign messages of the NDP and the Green Party; and I would be happy to see either of them form a coalition government with the Liberals, if the Liberals are unable to form a majority government on their own. Progressive is progressive is progressive -- is not conservative.

WayoutMy campaign bottom line?

A positive outcome for me in this election, both locally and nationally, will be what Danny Williams has been campaigning for since his part of the country was betrayed last year by a Harper government broken promise: "Anything but Conservative."

A - B - C.

It's so simple and so logical -- and so essential.

Here's why.

I hardly recognize Canada anymore -- this after just 2 1/2 years of Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) rule. Imagine what our country will be like if they achieve another minority or (I hate to even type this) a majority government.

We'd be handing them a license to continue on their current path -- a path that has seen them

Many political observers have raised concerns about the Tories' future plans for the CBC (e.g. whether it will continue down the slippery slope to privatization (we've already seen the CBC TV have to resort to airing US game shows in the prime after-dinner time-slot in order to make ends meet and everyone knows that privatization is a sacred principle in neo-conservative circles); asked if the Tories still intend to privatize the food safety system in light of the listeriosis outbreak and deaths in Ontario; and wondered if we would be subject to more embarrassment internationally as other countries are left wondering what has happened to our country's traditional commitment to human rights, the environment, and global peace-keeping. Since the election of the Harper government, many Canadians have found it difficult to feel proud of our government and our country.

The mere timing of this election raises further concerns and questions. Was this election called in a hurry in the hope that the current government would be returned to power before the U.S. election results come in? (A wave of change in the U.S. might not bode well for a Canadian Conservative government.) Is the government concerned about the outcome of the ethics committee hearings, the follow up to the Schreiber, investigation, and the outcome of the Harper "misappropriation of personality" trial (a.k.a. the Cadman affair)? It's clear that what has brought about this election was a sense of urgency from within the Conservative Party to seize the day (and potentially deplete the funds of other political parties, according to a recent rather Machiavellian op ed piece by long-time party advisor and pundit Tom Flanagan) rather than any grassroots groundswell of desire to head to the polls by average Canadians.

Here is my plea to everyday Canadians at this crucial juncture in our country's history.

  • Refuse to allow yourself to be swayed by all the vote-buying of recent weeks and months. (Here's where the vote-buying tally sat as of Friday. Pretty incredible, huh?
  • Take time to research the record of this government and this Prime Minister. I was going to direct you to the House of Commons website www.howdtheyvote.ca, which tracks the voting records of all MPs, but all versions of that URL have mysteriously ceased to function. Very mysterious, in a 1984 kind of way. I mean if ever there was a time for this website to be available to Canadian voters, it's right now.
  • Look beyond the smoke and mirrors of elections advertising. Do your homework and vote with your brain rather than allowing attack ads aimed at CPC opponents and political ads starring the PM as Super-Dad in Utopia to do your thinking for you. You may be more chilled than thrilled -- and you may be less likely to buy into the PM's "just an ordinary dad" pitch and persona (unless your idea of an ordinary family guy is a family guy with neo-conservative roots so deep no hair-dresser could hope to cover them) once you've done some independent research. Seriously! Prime Minister Stephen Harper was one of the founders of the Reform Party of Canada and headed up the right-wing think tank the National Citizens' Coalition before that. So people -- write this on your garage doors so other people get the message: Steven Harper may be a Conservative, but he's anything but progressive. There's no such thing as a Progressive Conservative in Federal politics anymore. They went the way of the dinosaur after Mulroney had his way with the party. It's a shame because there were some really good people in the PC Party of yesteryear. But those days are gone.

Related:

IMC Winnipeg: 10 Good Reasons Harper's "Conservatives" Should Get the Boot

September 06, 2008

Young Voters influenced by Negative Political Ads

Noway Negative attack ads have a powerful impact on younger voters, a recent study published by the Journal of Consumer Research has found.

Researchers from Notre Dame and the University of Texas at Dallas used real advertisements from the 2004 US presidential election to show that, although negative political ads are explicitly disliked, they have a powerful impact on voters’ mindsets that positive ads do not – and the potential to change preference and behavior in ways that benefit the party running the attack ads.

After viewing an ad that attacked their favored candidate, about 14 percent of the voters “dug in their heels” and indicated stronger support for their favored candidate. At the same time, another 14 percent of the young voters viewing that same attack ad were influenced by the ad’s content to weaken their support for their preferred candidate and to switch their support to the party conducting the attack ads. Viewing positive ads did not lead to significant voter movement.

September 05, 2008

Questions About Webpointer at CPC Attack Ad Headquarters

When did the Conservatives set up a pointer from notaleader.ca to willyoubetricked.ca?

Whodoyouvotefor

Was there some concern that the Dion attack ad strategy was too subtle for the average voter -- that the message wasn't negative enough?

I'm not in the habit of visiting this website, so it's possible this pointer has been in place for some time. I was simply less-than-impressed by the added layer of nastiness.

And now I feel compelled to launch into an attack ad mini-rant in honour of the occasion.

The strange thing about attack ads is that while we all claim to hate them, research proves that they tend to be highly effective in influencing voters to change their opinion about the individual being attacked. (There are exceptions, of course -- like the 1993 Chretien ad, which backfired on the PCs.)

Launching attack ads outside an election period seems particularly inappropriate. I would love to know whether there are any other cases of a political party launching the kind of sustained personal attack campaign that Dion has been subjected to virtually since he became Liberal party leader. Does anyone know?

December 15, 2006

Smoke and Mirrors

When I read that a new study is reporting that anti-smoking ads sponsored by tobacco companies are actually encouraging young people to smoke, I couldn't help but think about the media satire Thank You for Smoking, which has as its hero a tobacco industry lobbyist. It's getting harder to draw the line between truth and fiction these days.