Sunday, July 05, 2015

The Adrian Dix Playbook

Shorter Mulcair and Trudeau: "We like the way the BC NDP and Adrian Dix did it and that's how we're going to do it too."

Oh goody.

Why can't some adults take over for these little boys.

They're on their way into a gun fight armed with an all day sucker.



West End Bob said...

Nailed it, Dana - Thanx!

Purple library guy said...

Bit of an exaggeration. Thing about Adrian Dix was, he insisted on running a completely positive campaign--not only not running personal attack ads, but basically not talking about the grotesque Liberal record in government at all--without actually having any positive platform to campaign on. He tried to run a positive campaign about nothing. Really, all I can recall that he promised was a tiny bit more money for medicare and training.

Both Mulcair and Trudeau were fairly careful in what they said. They sounded vaguely as if they were planning to run a positive campaign, but all they really committed to was not running negative ads about Stephen Harper's personality. Both left the door wide open for criticizing the Conservatives on their record or even running ads doing the same.

Also, both men have at least something to campaign positively about. Trudeau has some tax stuff, marijuana legalization, and wasn't there some kind of tax break for child care stuff that's bigger than Harper's tax break for the same, probably some other things I haven't heard of. Plus he's likely to have some more platform in the future; he keeps saying they're kind of working on that stuff and I expect there's policy waiting to be unveiled closer to the election in fear that if he tells sooner the Cons will have more time to pick it apart. I'm sure if elected he'll forget all of his "Red Book" the day after as Liberals always seem to, but it's there or at least probably will be. Mulcair has federal child care for $15/day, repealing C-51, repealing income-splitting, a general claim that they'll start doing stuff about climate change, senate abolition, proportional representation, increasing minimum wage a la Notley, and so on. So both men do have some kind of basis for running a positive campaign, where Dix really had bupkiss. The lesson from Adrian Dix isn't, never run a positive campaign. It's, never run a positive campaign with nothing to campaign on, and never run a purely positive campaign, especially when your opponent has a juicy record you could be mining.

Neither has actually committed to not going negative, they've just said they won't do personal negative ads, and may even have only said they won't do them about Harper individually. That's really a pretty safe promise. Harper's a pretty well known quantity; I don't think ads aimed at his personal qualities are going to change a lot of minds at this point. Conservative attack ads have been highly successful because they were able to define the person they attacked before the media and public had finished doing it. They seem to have been less successful, although not entirely so, with Trudeau--partly because they didn't succeed in getting ahead of people's impressions of him as well, partly just because the ads seem clumsier this time around, partly no doubt because of Trudeau's personal charm.
And they've probably left it too late with Mulcair. He's been out in the public eye for long enough, and especially with the recent bump in publicity about him, a lot of the public already has an impression of the man. But if that's true of Mulcair, it's true in spades of Harper--it's way too late to try to define him with negative ads, so self-righteously denying that you will do so is a pretty cost-free sound bite.

The Mound of Sound said...

First of all, PLG, you know and I know and everyone knows that the BC Liberals are anything but a liberal government. Put your partisan wand back in your pants and move on. Besides, remember what happened to that woman in the Windsor library.

As for their approach to Harper there are a lot of younger people who don't remember Junior's dad. He would have eviscerated Harper, marinated his innards, and had them on a grill on high before that oaf knew they were gone. It was a joy to watch him practice the dark arts of politics as a blood sport without so much as breaking a sweat.

I hate to resort to "in my day" but it's true. That was before the political spectrum shrank so disastrously, when the Left meant something as was fiercely defended. Those were the days when Liberals could work with New Dems, and did. Those were the days when many of us who never voted NDP nevertheless genuinely respected them and the role they so effectively played as the conscience of Parliament. They left their mark on a good bit of legislation by bringing public opinion to bear.

Now in this era of neoliberalism, market fundamentalism, corporatism, the political spectrum has shrunk, shriveled up. We now have Latter Day Liberals, Conservative-Lites and a powerful, anti-progressive Conservative entity. The greatest betrayal has been that of the Layton/Mulcair NDP. They played their cards to the benefit of their party at the expense of their nation. Everyone new the time-honoured Liberal game. They defended the political centre by the same tactic. If the threat was from the Left, shift left. If it came from the Right, shift right. The country prospered and evolved until Trudeau left the country with its greatest enactment, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It came into effect just at the most crucial moment - the beginning of the spread of illiberal democracy that is now worldwide. Harper has struggled to transform Canada into a similar, illiberal democracy and, time and again, has been restrained by that Charter and a fearless Supreme Court of Canada.

For all the problems we have today, PLG, don't sell the Liberals short. They gave us, with PET's intellect driving it, the one defence we've had against Harper's rancid ideology. It's your party that, today, has abandoned its post for personal advantage at the potentially powerful cost to our country. The worst thing is that your party, by skulking around, didn't have the grit to admit it. You abandoned the Left just when social cohesion was being crushed and dissolved, when ordinary Canadians are going to most need what you once were.

And I'm supposed to believe in the NDP, why?

e.a.f. said...

Dix lost the election in B.C. because he refused to use Gerry Scott. He brought in an eastern bunch, who also share the business with people who work for right wing parties. Not in my opinion a winning strategy.

Notley won in Alberta. Who ran the campaign? GERRY SCOTT.

You can easily run a positive campaign and still remind voters of what the other party did wrong and explain your party won't be doing that.

To win the federal election all the other parties have to do is remind Canadians how badly the cons have done, i.e. all their fraudster, treatment of Vets, etc. Just remind voters of the cons record and that should be enough to get them out of office. Oh, and lets not forgot to remind voters steve and his cons plan to take $38 billion out of our health care system.