Sunday, September 06, 2009

But Bland Works

This line of criticism re the Libs' English ad is as predictable as it is mis-guided. You don't want to introduce your leader to the public with an attack on the other guys. In the words of Jack Stanton, you never want to be the first one to act like an asshole. And when Nicholls writes

Well strategically speaking they make no sense. These kind of positive, hokey ads only work if your guy is way out in front.

...he misses the point entirely. They also work if you want to give the audience the impression that your guy is out in front, at least figuratively--that he's responsible, has a positive vision for the nation, and isn't interested in partisan cheap shots. You don't want to give the impression that he's a perpetually angry jerk with no class and no couth, if only because the Torys have that demographic sewn up already.

I'm sure the Libs have a darker line of campaign rhetoric at the ready, but this is not the time for it. Nicholls problem, and the problem with Conservatives generally, is that for them, if you're not accusing someone of being a pedophile or a commie, its just not campaigning.

12 comments:

Joseph said...

Great line about the audience the conservatives already have sewn up.

That is one of the reasons they don't get it. They don't realize there is an entire audience of voters they lost months or years back.

People here consider me some type of hyper-partisan for the Liberals when the truth is I fell squarely in the camp of people willing to give the conservatives a chance when they won. They weren't my choice, but I was willing to see.

I saw. And now I'm considered a shill for the liberals (by some libloggers no less). Harper earned reputation with me. I didn't go looking for it.

An ad like that is for others like me who don't read political blogs.

Joseph said...

should have said "ad like this" (speaking of the new english ad)

Jon Pertwee said...

How can you comment on blogs yet not read them Joseph? This is confusing...

Joseph said...

You are correct, Jon. My entire last sentence was a pure disaster in expressing my thoughts. My apologies.

What I meant to say was the following:

This ad is for people who don't read (or comment ;) on blogs, but who gave the conservatives a chance as I did only to find themselves bitterly disappointed in their performance and petty attitude.

Ian said...

There's positive and then there's bland. While I have nothing against positive ads, why does Iggy refuse to give anything of substance? Where does he stand on Afghanistan, EI, the tar sands and other issues? Instead of answering this we get bland, and that's what's wrong about these ads.

Joseph said...

It would be foolish for Ignatieff to start with an ad that would lay out big targets for the conservatives to savage with half-truths and distortions.

There will be an election, and that will be the time. Well, except for Harper who didn't bother to have a platform until the last two weeks in the election he called.

Terry 1 said...

I'm not sure why people want Iggy to spell out the party's stands on issues and what they will do,etc.

The Tories are desperate to jump all over anything that's promised and that givesd them something to copy knowing full well the Libs have researched it's popularity.

RuralSandi said...

Oh sure, Ignatieff gives out policy right away and then what - the media and Cons will destroy everything with their "partisan" views and misinformation and taking things out of context.

Better to have them wait if an when an election campaign is underway - ah, just like Harper in the 2005/06 campaign.

About bland - it sure worked well for Bill Davis in Ontario. All sides of the fence liked him and he remained premier of Ontario for about 14 years.....as bland.

When I see what's going on in the US and the idiots and partisans and lies - I'm ready for bland.

Jon Pertwee said...

well said Joseph. You are right. These ads are for people that politics is not their first time passion. I can see this working for my sister in Mississauga, who fits the demographic of what the Tories are lusting for. She'd like this ad because it isnt "scary" or "pinging like a casino like the last ones".

Christian said...

Terry 1 said...

I'm not sure why people want Iggy to spell out the party's stands on issues and what they will do,etc.

You are voice of reason, Terry. Given the circumstances, what's he supposed to do? Come out and give harper ammunition? christ, I wonder sometimes where peoples heads are at.

It's not an election message. Well, not technically, anyway. Be patient.

Christian said...

Ian said...

Where does he stand on Afghanistan, EI, the tar sands and other issues? Instead of answering this we get bland, and that's what's wrong about these ads.

Expanding on Terry 1's point, why would he let it all hang out now?

Relax, these aren't election ads. When the time does come, (hopefully) you'll find out where he stands on your issues.

Young Liberal said...

There is a darker line of rhetoric and it's in the French ads that were released, one criticizing the Harper management of the economy, the other criticizing their record on the environment.

I don't think we have any need to worry that the Liberals will be able to pummel Harper. To see what I mean, read my translation of the ad transcripts at my blog (http://www.youngpeopleforchange.blogspot.com)