After using one campaign to introduce new leader Tom Mulcair to Canadians, the NDP has launched another ad to fight back against Conservative attacks.
The original campaign, with Jack Layton’s widow Olivia Chow saying “Jack’s vision is in good hands,” was meant to assure Canadians that the NDP is continuing on the track Layton started for the party. Layton led the party to a historic 103 seats and Official Opposition status in the May 2011 election before dying of cancer in August 2011.
After Mulcair won the campaign to replace Layton, the party quickly put out these ads before the Conservative Party could release any attacks. This was a lesson learned from Conservative attacks on Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff – two Liberal leaders who were never able to define themselves after the Tories defined them first.
It took three months for Stephen Harper’s party to release any ads about Mulcair, because they first decided to attack Bob Rae, the interim Liberal leader. In June 2012 they released the long-awaited attack, questioning Mulcair’s economic sense and ends with the tag line “We can’t afford Mulcair’s NDP.”
Now, the NDP is fighting back with their own ads about Stephen Harper and his policies. The ad resembles those the party released during the 2011 election campaign, without a leader coming out at the end with a more positive message. It blames Stephen Harper’s policies for the current deficit and tells the audience that he’s attacking their Employment Insurance and their pensions (which, of course, he is). Stephen Harper’s solution, the ad notes, is attacking Canada’s most vulnerable.
The ads are a good way to get Canadians’ attention about what’s going on in Ottawa while the House of Commons is on summer break and to reach supporters and remind them that the fight is still on. The ads from both parties will probably not be the last we see before the House sits again in September.
This all comes with three more years until the next election campaign.
Photo Credit: World Economic Forum
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