In the wake of the Progressive Conservatives’ unprecedented surprise re-election in Alberta last month — and by unprecedented surprise, I actually mean their twelfth consecutive victory, which somehow threw our highly paid punditry for a loop — there were a wave of transparently silly post-mortems from columnists seeking excuses for their obviously misguided support for the Wildrose fruitcake party. One of them blamed immigrants. One of them, absurdly, said that the Progressive Conservatives had won for so long that it had become too hard to tell which elections they could win and which they couldn’t.
The latest post-mortem appears courtesy of anti-healthcare, provincial-rights lunatic Gerry Nicholls, formerly Harper’s sidekick at the National Citizen’s Coalition, in the National Post:
One way to turn things around would have been for Wildrose to run ads aimed at degrading Premier Alison Redford and the PC brand name. Yes, I am talking about running “negative” ads. But Wildrose didn’t go negative. Instead they finished up the campaign with positive, jump on the Wildrose bandwagon style ads, the kinds of TV spots you run when undecided voters are leaning in your direction.
Yes, that’s the problem, folks. Wildrose wasn’t negative enough! If they’d just manned up and run some proper attack ads, everything would have been okay. But now, thanks to their cowardice, Nicholls claims that “Canadian conservatism is dead.” Actually I agree with him, if by “Canadian conservatism” he means the politics of John Diefenbaker or even John A. Macdonald. The current crop of “conservatives” never would have supported Confederation if they’d been around at the time, and I’m not sure Nicholls would have either. Confederation gets in the way of the provincial rights of the real nations in Canada, like Alberta!
But I digress. The real point is that it’s nice to have on record, from one of the leading figures in the Canadian neo-conservative movement, his explicit belief that the most important part of a successful political campaign is attack ads. Having better, more popular policies than your opponent? Purging your ranks of fascist crackpots who think gays are destined for a lake of fire or that white people make superior politicians? That’s not nearly as important as cheap and nasty sloganeering about your opponent!
Strangely, this is not the first time Nicholls has gone on record celebrating the value of attack ads. Of course, the only reason you could possibly think that attack ads have any meaningful political value is because you think that the average voter is an easily frightened ignoramus. Is that what Nicholls thinks of the people of Canada?Tweet