There is more to voting than 30 seconds of attack ads

If they didn’t achieve something for the attacker, why do we continue to see them?

Kamloops This Week

Attack ads must work some of the time. If they didn’t achieve something for the attacker, why do we continue to see them during this federal election campaign?

The attack ads started early, well before the campaign officially began in early August.

Through the spring, the governing Conservatives were warning us, as we waited for the evening news to return from a commercial break, that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was “just not ready” to be prime minister.

The ads, featuring a politically correct collage of Canadians, usually ended with a jab at Trudeau’s appearance, with one of the alleged ordinary voters quipping, “Nice hair, though.”

They weren’t on par with some of the nastier advertising found in U.S. politics, but they were judged by many to be offensive.

A search online will find calls for such ads to be tossed in the dust bin of political history and replaced with ads telling the voter what a party will do, rather than what another party will not do.

Those Conservative ads targeting Trudeau and the Liberals have been followed by 30-second messages warning voters of the danger posed by a Thomas Mulcair NDP government.

And, just this week, the New Democrats got into the act, with Noah Richler — an NDP candidate in Ontario and son of famed novelist Mordecai Richler — mocking Trudeau’s stalled escalator ad.

And on it goes. No doubt there is an offensive Liberal ad out there somewhere, waiting to be aired.

For undecided voters, such crassness should serve as a lesson: Visit party websites, read newspapers, listen to and watch newscasts, attend election forums (including the KTW/CBC Radio/CFJC-TV-sponored Oct. 14 event at Thompson Rivers University), talk to supporters and opponents of all parties and speak directly with the candidates.


They might have nice hair. They may or may not be ready for prime time. But, such conclusions should be reached by digging a bit deeper than embarrassing 30-second commercials.



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