The Tories have ramped up the negative ad campaign, as expected, saying they will expand into TV ads. The question now is, how do the Liberals respond. Yes, we all think the Tory attack ads are crap, with poor and mixed messenges, and that they will be ineffective and Canadians are smart enough to see past them and we are in a new era politics, blah blah blah. We all thought the same thing about the Dion ads, and the party didn't hit back hard enough, and look what underestimating those attack ads cost us.
The renewed Iggy Liberal brand is doing pretty good at the moment, and we cannot for a second allow it to be tarished by the Tories. We need to hit back. Our fundraising numbers are higher, so we should be able to afford at least some sort of commerical response. Doing a pro-Iggy or anti-Harper ad buy sends a few messages, all of which I believe would help build a pro-Liberal narrative.
1. If we actually do buy some hard-hitting ads, it shows we have the financial and organizational resources to do so at any time.
2. By responding quickly and firmly, it helps get some mental blue water between the Ignatieff era and the Dion era, by demonstrating that the Liberal Party won't be shoved around. We've had some success with the "on probation" line, we need to keep it going.
3. While it is tempting to respond to Tory attack ads about attack ads in kind, I think we need to go sober, and serious. I'm thinking an ad that just has a close up of Iggy's face, with him talking soberly about the economy, and how the Liberal Party understands the difficulties faced by Canadians, how we are working for them, etc.
Anyway, we need to step back from being partisan Liberals and understand that we cannot underestimate the ability of these attack ads to lower Ignatieff. Rather than quake in fear, however, we need to stand up and defend ourselves, just like a Liberal government will stand up for Canadians.