New NDP ad – going negative on the Bloc

VOICEOVER: Un vote pour le Bloc Québecois… bloque l’environment, bloque les familles moyennes, bloque l’économie, mais surtout, bloque l’avenir du Québec. (A vote for the Bloc Québecois… blocks the environment, blocks average families, blocks the enconomy but more than anything else, blocks the future of Quebec.)

JACK LAYTON: Un seul geste pour débloquer les choses. Joignez vous a nous, votez pour l’NPD.
(One single gesture to unblock things. Join us, vote for the NDP)

This ad carries a theme that the Conservatives initiated last election; like the Conservatives, the NDP are focusing on the decreased mobility of Quebeckers and their province when they vote for the Bloc Quebecois. We see a similar image in the bicycle with square wheels. Comparatively, during the 2006 campaign, the Conservatives showed an image of a bicycle with one wheel in cement as a cyclist tried with futility to move forward.

This campaign is seeing a few new developments in Canadian politics. During the last week of the campaign, the NDP usually runs out of cash and can’t finish with a heavy ad buy during this critical time. Now that they plan on spending the limit (something past their reach previously), the NDP is able to buy critical air time for ads right up to election day. However, I question the value of the NDP buying ads in Quebec. Even behind a surging Bloc and resurgent Liberal Party, the NDP still runs fourth behind the Conservatives. Close races for the NDP will be won or lost in BC and Ontario in this final week. Perhaps the NDP is making a long term investment in Quebec to establish a beachhead to show that Mulcair’s byelection win wasn’t a fluke.

Speaking to a senior NDP official in these past couple of days, the NDP has confirmed to me that they are planning an ad buy specifically targeted against Dion’s 43 abstentions in the House of Commons and these missed opportunities for the opposition to bring down the Conservative government.

The NDP could become a spoiler and this is evident in their focus during this last week of the campaign. At first, Layton said he was running for Prime Minister — a theme he will still carry this week though muted. This message served to wedge the Liberals to provide Canadians with a choice between left and right between the NDP and the Conservatives. Now that it’s crunch time, we’re seeing the NDP focusing regionally and against left-wing opponents in order to fight among a crowded field, against the inevitable perennial Liberal call to think twice to stop Harper and against the Bloc for progressive voters in Quebec.



  • john g

    It's about time Layton trains his guns on his largest potential pool of voters. Good for him. They've run a good campaign.

  • Guy Therrien

    Nice Ad too. It's basically the same things the Conservative have been saying about the Bloc for the last 30 months.

  • RM

    Too little, too late for Layton. The Liberals have a lot of momentum going into the last week of the campaign. All the “anyone-but-Harper” types are starting to smell blood in the water. What started as an effort to prevent a Conservative majority is now looking like a possible win for the Liberals.

  • matt

    Any info on the Tories ad-buys? Don’t see too many commercials here in Alberta. Are they bombarding the east with ad’s?

  • matt

    Any info on the Tories ad-buys? Don’t see too many commercials here in Alberta. Are they bombarding the east with ad’s?

  • Casual Observer

    It'll be hilarious when Layton and the NDP, after borrowing to the hilt and spending the piggy bank bare, get the same 17-18% they get if they spend next to nothing.
    Since Jacko released the NDP “platform”, a.k.a. tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend……their ratings in the polls has been on a steady downward trend.
    Jack the snake oil salesman is selling Socialism, but Canadians thankfully aren't buying.

  • Mark

    interestingly, the ballot in the video doesn't have the green party option.

  • ghorman

    Too little, too late is right.

    Recent polls are showing that the NDP is overwhelmingly the second choice of Bloc voters (as much as 40%). Mulcair's entire margin of victory in Outremont was provided by Bloc voters who went NDP. The only way the NDP is ever going to seriously get ahead in Quebec is if they peel off the left-wing, soft-nationalist vote from the Bloc.

    Instead, they spent most of their initial ad buy and campaign in Quebec demonizing Harper, which just drove voters right into the arms of the Bloc. They should have run the anti-Bloc ad immediately after (or perhaps concurrently with) the anti-Conservative ad.

    Mulcair will win his seat, and the NDP might get a few second place finishes in places like Hull and Gatineau (and the usual 'moral victories' of coming in second in east-end Montreal with 10% of the vote) but that will be it. They will have pissed away all that money and resources in Quebec that, if it had been put into Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, might have actually resulted in some more seats.

  • MaryT

    Some posters on other blogs, who are not voting conservative, and also the media, are not worried they may have gone too far and Dion could be PM. That scares them. Ontario, maybe you should get ready for Finance Minister Bob Rae. Guess your not as upset with him as we in the west are with the NEP.
    Imagine a govt with only possibly 4 members west of Ontario and none in Alberta. Real sign of a national party and sign of unity.

  • Sarah Fisher

    So is this a negative article about Bloc Quebecois?

  • Sarah Fisher

    So is this a negative article about Bloc Quebecois?