The rationale for the launch of the Conservative negative ad campaign? Likely this: "Mulroney takes jabs at Harper." (Nice of Canwest to run the Conservative party's attack ads, by the way.) The Mulroney appearance today, combined with that new poll showing that the Dhalla allegations are not sticking, likely put the ad campaign in motion.
So what did Mr. Mulroney have to say about Mr. Harper that forced the Conservatives' hand? Some pretty major attacks, first up, on Harper's standing in Quebec and a devastating shot at his legitimacy as Prime Minister (from Star link):
"You can't form a government without seats in Quebec and if you do you can't govern in this country. And you shouldn't govern," he said, in his not so subtle shot at the Harper Conservatives' dismal showing in the Quebec polls.On the Harper GST cuts:
While explaining the powers of the prime minister, Mulroney pointed to Harper's election promise to cut the GST, which Mulroney says he can't imagine was supported by anyone in the public service.On Mr. Harper's controlling tendencies as PM:
"There wouldn't be an economist in the finance department or the Bank of Canada that would say that was a smart thing to do. It cuts $12 billion out of your revenue ... it hurts your exports," he told the inquiry.
But Mulroney said Harper would rightly argue that while "'it might be bad economic policy ... it's good politics because I won.'"
Mulroney said he when he was prime minister from 1984 to 1993 he made a conscious decision to give his cabinet ministers their reins and told them "don't expect me to be looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do."All of which goes some way to explain why we are now seeing the unleashing of the Conservative negative campaign against Michael Ignatieff. Distract and destroy, the scorched earth politics of negativity are back. Along the lines of the unprecedented character assassination they undertook against Stephane Dion. Mulroney, however, has outlined the principal problems with Mr. Harper quite effectively: his inflammatory attack on Quebecers arising from prorogation; his reckless GST cuts which have put Canada in an economic stranglehold; and his partisan, controlling style as PM. These ads will do nothing but reinforce that style.
That is sharp contrast to the Harper's very rigid central control where few decisions, if any, are made without his stamp of approval.
What's rich, in their first ad, they decry Ignatieff going negative, referencing the Grit Girl ads. Grit Girl has never been linked to the Liberal party. As has been mentioned before, there are many talented artists out there in this digital era who have nifty tools at their disposal and are politically inclined. Under Mr. Harper, there has been no shortage of motivation provided to the arts community to speak their minds on the Conservative government who has not exactly been arts friendly. Is it a surprise that some individual might speak out? Nope.
We knew this was coming, so here we go...