What lies at the end of the high road for Justin?

The high road is a wonderful road for politicians to take. It is blissful. It is fun. It is a pleasant Sunday drive through the Canadian country side. The only problem is that the political high road does not go anywhere. And that means that if Justin Trudeau is going to take the high road in the face of Stephen Harper’s attack ads, he will never get where he is going.

But this is not to suggest that crap should be answered with crap. What we have never understood about the Conservative attack ads is that they lack any production quality. They appear amateurish. They are humourless. They come across as something shot through a keyhole. They insult Canadians.

And the worst part of Conservative attack advertising is that there is no continuity. Every attack ad seems to be its own piece of garbage. There is no family resemblance other than the lack of quality. If these guys spend all their time putting together clips of unrelated statements, you would expect that they also would take time to think. Obviously thinking is not part of their agenda.

Those attack ads used at election time are in-your-face over just a two to three week period. To not spend a few bucks producing a higher quality ad is to say you have little respect for those who see it. Eventually, the voters are on their way to the bathroom as soon as it comes on for repeat hits. And decent quality is not all that expensive. There are always lots of good ideas. Sure, the objective is ridicule. You want to show the voters what a schlemiel your opponent is. You can do that better with humour than vitriol.

Some of the best political attack advertising we have ever seen used humour. Advertising experts worry about the staying power of humour but by its nature, political advertising is supposed to be used as a hit and run play. You really do not want the voters to be saturated with them. You are working just on impressions. You want the voter to see the ad, and agree with you that, yes, Stephen Harper is a klutz!

One of the problems with the current attack ads against Justin Trudeau is that you end the silly ad with a question. The question is “so what?” There is no action you can take. The ad has wasted your time. You also see it as money being wasted by people who claim they know how to manage money. Nothing positive has been said for any politician. We have just lowered the voters’ opinion of politicians some more.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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