Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Via Far and Wide and Scott's DiaTribes comes a Decima Research poll which proves how out of touch with Canadians the Conservatives really are:
A new poll suggests Canadians are not impressed by Conservative party TV ads that attempt to discredit new Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.

The survey by Decima Research found that 38 per cent of respondents -- out of a sample of more than 1,000 -- recalled seeing the attack ads.

But among the 388 Canadians who remember watching the unusual, non-election-period political advertising, 59 per cent said the ads were not fair in how they described Dion. Only 22 per cent felt the ads were fair.

Fully two thirds of the respondents said the information in the ads was not relevant to their choice in the next federal election, compared with 26 per cent who said it was relevant.

And, yes, that would be a bust in the advertising and marketing world. But it's really a lot more than that. While both Steve V and Scott have excellent points, my take is a little different.

Jason Kenney's attempt to run a game on Dion, one which would require the full approval of Harper, was something which most Canadian political strategists, given the timing, would have rejected. If Harper and Kenney really understood the minds and sensitivities of Canadians generally, they would have known that the results would have cast them and not their opponent in a bad light.

Canadians generally don't like political attack ads during an election campaign. It should have been manifestly obvious that most Canadians would find Kenney's vitriolic tactic both distasteful and outside the bounds of propriety and fair-play. And therein lies my point.

That Harper and Kenney clearly did not know how their little strategy would play out with Canadians and did not restrain themselves shows how far out of touch they are with the Canadian psyche.

Running an attempted attack campaign outside of an election might have worked in some other countries. It has all the earmarks of a Frank Luntz/Karl Rove style maneuver. It was a very US Republican move which should tell us all where the Harperites are buying their political advice.

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