May 25, 2015

Question of the Day: Do election "attack ads" turn you off?

Emily PrattRebel Correspondent

The Conservative Party has unveiled its first two campaign commercials.

The first attacks Justin Trudeau's inexperience.

The second highlights Stephen Harper's leadership while in office.

I asked which type of ad is more powerful.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments!

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commented 2015-05-27 13:48:53 -0400
Why is it always an “attack” ad when it is against Trudeau? Attack ads work. It doesn’t matter whether or not you “like” them. Instilling fear has always benefitted incumbents. What I hate is vague messages that tell us nothing substantial about a party and its positions. In that vein I am not really a fan of attacking Trudeau for inexperience. Some of the greatest leaders of the Western world had little government experience. That’s why you surround yourself with advisers. I rather focus on Trudeau’s bad IDEAS. Maybe the fact he has attended events at extremist mosques?
commented 2015-05-26 17:48:20 -0400
Just a vague attack ad that does not highlight substantive mistakes or illustrations of immaturity just comes across as an opinion…..not effective!
commented 2015-05-26 11:04:03 -0400
Contrary to what is said, attack ads do tend to work. For example, when the Ontario provincial election was in high gear, Kathleen Wynne had many attack ads against Tim Hudak. Hudak stuck to his guns for the most part in comparison. And with everyone knowing just how much of a slimeball Wynne was and is, she still got voted in. Could history repeat itself again?
commented 2015-05-26 10:47:21 -0400
John Allen, I agree it would be nice if there were rules of civil conduct for campaigning. But sadly, politics is more and more like war where there really are no rules (despite what the UN thinks) and whoever fights dirtiest or more cleverly wins.

This current election is very critical for the future of Canadians. It is deadly serious. That is why the Conservatives are using the soft attack, to dispel that mean Conservative image.
commented 2015-05-26 10:40:33 -0400
The Conservative Party can afford its soft sell because is doing all the really hard hits on the Liberal Party. It serves Liberals right for their misuse of unions, police, firefighters, teachers unions and to spend millions to attack Conservatives.
commented 2015-05-26 10:40:14 -0400
I agree with Adam. If you have what it takes, you don’t need to attack the other candidate. Just state what you can do to improve the present situation. Unfortunately, for a long time now we have had to vote, not for the best candidate, but for the person we feel will do the " least damage.
A sorry state of affairs I must say.
commented 2015-05-26 10:03:47 -0400
I like both of the Conservative ads that were shown. I would not characterize the one about Mr. Trudeau “not being ready” as an attack ad because it was factual in so far as the comments that Mr. Trudeau has actually made. The ad is not vindictive or spurious; it simply shows what many of us believe, that Mr. Trudeau is NOT ready. The “positive” ad about Mr. Harper shows us what we already know about the man; that he is hard-working, that he has shared aspirations for our country that do not always come to fruition. As for being memorable, that depends on the viewer. I like ads that rebut the many, many untruths about Mr. Harper and the Conservatives that the “main-stream media” and the other political parties have spun about them over the last several years. I like ads that compare policies of all three (main ones) political parties. So far, I am clear on Conservative policies, but those of the Liberals and NDP are vague (other than they want to get rid of Harper).
commented 2015-05-26 08:16:46 -0400
Yes! Partisan messaging of any sort turns me off but partisan messaging from special interests infuriates me – folks , if you have not been following closely enough to be informed as to your best choice come election day, without the aid of these annoying last minuet ads, you really shouldn’t vote – an uninformed vote is as dangerous as a loaded pistol in a baby’s hands.
commented 2015-05-26 07:33:45 -0400
Prince Knight – unfortunately no one wants the truth – they want to stay in their little world and continue on undisturbed
commented 2015-05-26 01:44:04 -0400
I believe negative ads work, and past results seem to support that. Personally, I think that’s unfortunate. I wish they didn’t. I’d like to think I’m unaffected by negative ads, but I can’t know for sure that I’m not affected by them on some subconscious level. I think that’s probably because generally speaking, negative ads are more memorable…. like some horrible sophomoric one-hit-wonder tune from your youth that you can’t seem to stop singing in your head. Hopefully, one gets past the memory of the ad, or tune, before they’re forced to shoot themselves. (Achy Breaky Heart…. I hated that stupid song!)
commented 2015-05-26 00:44:50 -0400
Negative campaign ads (vs. “attack” ads) can be just as powerful, and I find nothing wrong with them. Not if they’re true, that is. Attack ads are something else entirely, and often aren’t capable of being reduced to truth and falsity. Their power is based on fear, and fear alone, and for me, they hold no value whatsoever.
Now, a positive ad like the one shown in Emily’s video is extremely powerful, and I think far more effective than the negative ad shown immediately prior. I would much rather be convinced by good reasons why I should vote for one party than have my intelligence called into question if I cast my ballot for another.
If the conservatives were to splice the two ads together, dramatically shortening the “Trudeau’s not ready” ad to just that one statement, followed by Harper’s message about what it’s really like to be the PM, that would be a fantastic ad.
commented 2015-05-26 00:10:40 -0400
They don’t turn me off if they’re true.
commented 2015-05-25 21:58:33 -0400
Yes, but if one side does it the other side has to. The opposition has more opportunity in front of the camera for gutter sniping, and since the national broadcaster is clearly left wing, what choice does Harper have but to bite back hard. I do rather like the Job interview one, not hiring Justin.
commented 2015-05-25 21:41:51 -0400
Show those same people the positive conservative commercial and the negative liberal commercial and they would likely say the conservative commercial is worse. You are in progressive hinterland where up is down and anything harper says or does is wrong.
commented 2015-05-25 21:26:56 -0400
I really hate them. It is as if they are telling me what to think. Thank you, no. (All parties) Give me your ideology, policy and platform and I will decide what to think.
commented 2015-05-25 21:26:32 -0400
commented 2015-05-25 21:12:59 -0400
The MSM is always running free, taxpayer funded attack ads against PM Harper, it is constant and nauseating, because they can’t slander and twist his words enough on a daily basis. It puts them in a real frenzy! Much like the frenzied freaks that followed Rob Ford around 24/7. I like the Conservative ads, because they remind people of what that simpleton, and badger Tom have said, and what they are planning to do to cripple the Canadian economy, and take away more of our freedoms. So bring them on! Remember the ad for Ignatieff, “Just Visiting” it was simple, yet effective and so true. We haven’t seen hide nor hair of that guy since!
commented 2015-05-25 20:43:43 -0400
BZ: “…this is a kinder and gentler society with feelings and an innate inability to want to actually HEAR the TRUTH!”

That was sarcasm, right? The “public” (MSM, Anybody But Conservatives) actually wants to hear “truth”? The Russians had a snide joke about that, especially since their main MSM newspaper was labelled “Pravda” (“Truth”).
commented 2015-05-25 20:09:01 -0400
The reality is that the liberal media will call anything that the Conservatives make as an attack ad simply because it was made by the Conservatives. The fact that it is 100% the truth is meaningless to them because is still exposes their lover, Justin, as the airhead that he is.

I did find it interesting that the Conservative ad included a phrase from the one “interviewer”, “I am not saying no forever, but not now.” That is a lot more of a soft approach than the Liberals will ever say about Harper.
commented 2015-05-25 20:00:15 -0400
If they tell the truth what is wrong?

However this is a kinder and gentler society with feelings and an innate inability to want to actually HEAR the TRUTH!
commented 2015-05-25 19:42:56 -0400
These two ads I would classify as truth ads. The Liberal handgun in the face ad, was an attack ad….and a lie.
commented 2015-05-25 18:54:15 -0400
I would prefer the ads to tell me what positive things they will do for Canada, & follow through. Making snide comments are demeaning.
commented 2015-05-25 18:37:28 -0400
If the ad is slandering somebody’s character, or taking something out of context and blowing it out of proportion, then yes, I get turned off by attack ads. If the ads do not say something of substance, but are filled with emotion-triggering invective, then yes, I get turned off by attack ads.

If whichever party brings forth an ad where they can factually compare their platform with another party’s platform, and can prove why theirs is better, then no, I have no problem with those ads… except then they’re no longer “attack ads”.

As far as this ad goes, all we have to do is get a list of the latest verbal gaffes Junior has made and they should speak for themselves. These gaffes would be documented, so how can it be construed as an attack? Unless it’s politically incorrect to point out somebody’s lack of preparedness in the first place… but then, I’m not politically correct.
commented 2015-05-25 18:34:53 -0400
Peter said: “For example, “his/her nose is too big” or “he/she has a squeaky voice” or maybe they don’t dress in a manner that the attacker likes, or maybe it’s a spouse, relative, or friend that they use in the attack. These are just examples” Then there are the out and out lies like the “soldiers in our streets” ads the Lieberals ran one election campaign.
commented 2015-05-25 18:31:54 -0400
Rae Fraser said. “Not if the ad is truthful.” I second that.
commented 2015-05-25 17:53:18 -0400
Not if the ad is truthful.
commented 2015-05-25 17:41:06 -0400
If the ad is completely 100% accurate in both the information it carries, and the way it is presented, then it is NOT an attack ad. If it points out the lack of experience, abilities, or accomplishments, then it is NOT an attack ad. An attack ad is primarily one that is personal in nature, and has nothing to do with issues, policy, ability, experience, or track record. An attack is most often personal in nature, and attacks the person directly, often for character traits that are meaningless beyond being used to drive mistrust, or dislike of a person. For example, “his/her nose is too big” or “he/she has a squeaky voice” or maybe they don’t dress in a manner that the attacker likes, or maybe it’s a spouse, relative, or friend that they use in the attack. These are just examples, there are many others that constitute and attack ad. Advertisements that are frank, direct, and point out real failings in the person or party to govern, are not attack ads, and I’m all in favor of them.