Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Remember how the anti-Iggy attack ads were roundly criticized?

Now that I've had my say in defending Iggy against some of the usual egg-throwing, I suppose I'll go back on the attack, too. Specifically, I found this quote about the effect of the Conservative attacks ads against Iggy to be particularly fascinating:

The Conservatives have done a terrific job of branding Mr. Ignatieff as: β€˜It's all about him, he's just in it for himself,'” said Peter Donolo, a partner at Strategic Counsel. When Mr. Ignatieff decided that the Liberals would no longer prop up the government, Mr. Donolo believes, he confirmed the negative impression that the Conservatives had helped voters to form of him, through a relentless campaign of negative advertising.

My recollection of what some of the current egg-throwers said about the ads when they were first released is that they would completely backfire against the Conservatives; that Iggy would be immune from them this time in a way that previous Liberal leader Stephane Dion wasn't.

Lo and behold, a few months after the release of those Iggy attack ads and it can be argued that the current Liberal leader is in fact in a worse position, at least according to the polls, than Dion ever was.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to note β€” yet again β€” how so-called conventional wisdom can get it way wrong, especially in its continuing effort to brand the Harper Tories as needlessly mean and divisive. On the contrary, their tactics appear to work, just as the hardball tactics of previous Liberal governments worked, too. And they appear to work in part because, well, they know what they're doing. The critics often don't.

I'll also take this opportunity to note, as I did in my last blog post, that the critics can get it wrong now about Iggy, too. He can come back. He can improve. He has time to prove his worth. But he has to overcome the tactics of his opponents in a way that involves a heck of a lot more than chest-thumping. That's what recent events suggest to me, anyhow.

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