Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On honest appraisals

For all the concerns about the Cons paying absolutely no political price for their constant dishonesty, the NDP working to change that assumption:



So how effective does the new ad look to be, particularly compared to past efforts to develop the theme that the Cons can't be trusted?

Well, the good news is that the NDP has avoided the trap which regularly tripped up the Libs. Rather than portraying the Cons' dishonesty as an affront to the official opposition (which would have been rather easy to do given that the columns cited refer to lies about the NDP in the first place), the new ad highlights the relationship between the Cons and the public. So viewers with concerns about the Cons should react relatively similarly regardless of their relationship to any opposition party.

But there looks to be ample room for improvement in the execution, as the ad is both text-heavy (featuring only a single photo of Stephen Harper at the beginning), and based entirely on media opinions rather than direct quotes. Which means that it doesn't build much of a connection between the Cons' contempt and any actual Cons - or even any of their talking points.

Of course, we have no reason to expect Harper's party to stop lying anytime soon - so there should be plenty of opportunities for the NDP to polish up its response. But while the new ad makes for a reasonably effective first step, there's a long way to go in making the message stick.

10 comments:

  1. I think the ad is well done but it is reactive. The NDP needs to project a proactive attitude. The last thing the NDP needs is to look defensive. Ignore the Con attacks. Come up with attacks of NDP's own. Hopefully, now that the current ad is out of the party's system, a more proactive approach towards messaging is on its way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed that I wouldn't want the NDP to be seen as defensive, but I don't see the ad fitting that description in the slightest. Responsive to events, yes - but in a way that helps to both lock in public perceptions about the Cons, and set up a framework for future contrasts.

      Delete
  2. "......Of course, we have no reason to expect Harper's party to stop lying anytime(sic) soon......"

    Do the members of this party of Harper prevaricate because they hate Canadians and Canada?
    Would it not be patriotic to kill them then?
    From whence I come, this is common practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aquarians Love To Fuck,

      The Conservative "base" of hard-right Albertans do indeed "hate Canada". Their leader, Stephen Harper, wrote various opinion-editorials expressing this sentiment. He despised the Canadian electorate so much, he suggested building a "fire-wall" around Alberta to protect it from Canada's "intrusion".

      In this, they are no different than the southerners who dominate the American Republican party. Resenting the outcome of the civil war, the Republicans have undertaken an effort to dismantle the American federal government. They believe the ensuing chaos will give the south license to secede.

      Like the Republicans, Stephen Harper's Conservative army are playing the same "long game"...in the hopes that Alberta may one day secede...possibly joining up with the American south (with whom they feel a cultural affinity).

      Of course, not all Conservative members understand the game as such. Most eastern members are merely wealthy "progressive conservative" refugees who lost their home because Peter McKay's betrayal. They have settled for mere power.

      Enjoy the circus,
      Dan Tan.

      Delete
    2. I'll avoid deleting ALTF's post since it's already been replied to. But no, I don't think for a second that it would be "patriotic to kill" opponents based on their hostility to social development - and indeed that divide-and-attack view seems to me only to play into the hands of the authoritarian fringe.

      Delete
  3. Greg,

    The few who obsessively follow the papers will not be impressed. They will resent the exercise in repetition that is the ad.

    That leaves the great many who tune out political journalism. They will appreciate this little "cheat sheet" which gets them caught up.

    IMO, whatever the style, the theme should continue to dominate future advertisements: "LYING LIARS!".

    The Conservative "carbon tax" gambit gave the NDP the "official cover" needed to initiate such a bold attack. Note how the claim is not being challenged, only the style (circus music, font, speed, etc.).

    This gives us license to re-formulate previously "boring" criticisms into a never-ending shower of rockets (broken election promises, policy surprises, Stephen Harper's past beliefs, ministerial misconduct, etc.).

    Let it rain,
    Dan Tan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fair point if the ad ends up receiving enough air time to reach people who do tune out political journalism. But my impression was that it's instead a web release - which will circulate mostly among people who are likely to be familiar with the source material.

      Delete
    2. Greg,

      I assumed "web release" meant YouTube ad-release. Something similar to the post-leadership Thomas Mulcair intro ad. Those would play as ads right before YouTube vids would start.

      IMO, those Mulcair ads were successful. My cousin who eschews anything political randomly tweeted "Hell yeah!" when he first saw it. Of course, he turned a bit sour when YouTube insisted on playing it before EVERY subsequent video he wanted to watch.

      C'est la vie,
      Dan Tan

      Delete
  4. I understand that modern communications experts would say that repeating the Conservative's statements would reinforce them as true in people's mind, even if you point out why they are not true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fair point to be sure. But that doesn't explain a failure to include at least a few more Con faces linked to the issue (Kent, Oliver, etc.) even if the plan isn't to repeat their words.

      Delete