Until recently the Conservative attack ads on television have been simply silly as they posed the suggestion that despite his nice hair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau might not be ready for the job of prime minister. Oddly enough that might have been true of his father in 1968. After less than half the experience Justin Trudeau has in parliament, Pierre Trudeau handily won election as Prime Minister. Nobody said he was not ready.
But the Harper attack ads on the son swung from silly to surly the other day. It was almost as if the timing was to catch Trudeau’s team before the release of his seniors’ program. The attack ads swung to a seniors theme that accused Trudeau of ignoring this segment of the Canadian population. It even suggested that income splitting for seniors was in jeopardy if he became prime minister. As income splitting for seniors has been about the only protection for them against inflation since the Tories have been in power, those were fighting words..
But the Conservatives have never let something as simple as the truth stand in the way of one of their scurrilous attack ads.
One amusing aspect of this Conservative campaign is that there is nothing new in it. The Diefenbaker Conservatives, trying to fight off a Liberal resurgence in the 1962 or (more likely) 1963 federal election said the same thing about Liberal Leader Lester Pearson. The Nobel Prize winning Pearson answered by parading an impressive array of Liberal candidates before the television cameras that were ready to form a government. That is something Justin Trudeau can do today and Stephen Harper cannot. He has too many replacements to make.
The advantage Justin Trudeau has that his father did not have is that Justin Trudeau knows and has worked hard with his political party. He has built a strong party and nobody is selling it short.
And if the Liberals want to run attack ads, the best available theme might be the rats leaving the sinking Harper ship. It is when you look at what is left of the Harper cabinet and the zombies that he and his party are choosing as candidates, you really do wonder if Stephen Harper does want to run everything himself?
In fact, the Liberals could use the same theme against the New Democrats. It is obvious that Thomas Mulcair would not be ready to run the country himself but you really wonder where he would find a cabinet in his lacklustre line-up of candidates.
Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry
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