Conservative Party ad: “Michael Ignatieff: Just Visiting”

Within the last few minutes, the Conservative Party of Canada finally rolled out an ad defining a message track about Michael Ignatieff. Take a look:

The main message from the Tories here is that Michael Ignatieff has been out of the country and is only back in the country for his own ambition. The “Just Visiting” line is a good one because it will ring true to many Canadians and their perceived sense of commitment to country. In fact, Michael Ignatieff has already tried to pre-emptively blunt this form of attack by writing a book titled True Patriot Love wherein he outlines his mother’s family’s commitment to this country.

Narrator: Why is Michael Ignatieff back in Canada after being away for 34 years? Does he have a plan for the economy? No, instead he’s running attack ads hiding the fact that he hasn’t offered any economic ideas… just attack ads. With no long term plan for the economy, he’s not in it for Canada… just in it for himself. It’s the only reason he’s back. Michael Ignatieff: Just Visiting.

It’s interesting to note that the Conservative Party has framed “Grit Girl” Youtube vidoes as Liberal attack ads. Most observers note that the professionally produced though anonymously released ads are most likely being churned out by the Liberal Research Bureau or by Liberal HQ. Usually the videos first see wide distribution on the blog of Ignatieff’s war room captain Warren Kinsella.

The image is strong and cynical. It show an image of the Liberal leader simply drifting by and transitory. The Conservatives are also accusing the Liberals of running attack ads. The ad touches upon the #1 issue in the economy successfully underscores Igntieff’s main negative. Some observers will remember that Ignatieff once mused that if he didn’t ascend to the Prime Minister’s Office that Harvard would likely take him back.

  • erkanter

    Are you serious?!! This ad is an embarrassment. Ant-intellectual messages like this only discredit the Party. Appealing to petty distaste for education and metropolitanism is not a good way to win voters. This was a foolish miscalculation. Attack ads are universally disliked and can only contribute to voter cynicism, it's time to change tactics.

  • erkanter

    weak ST…weak.

  • Erin

    If 34 years out of the country has rendered Ignatieff so egregiously out of touch with Canadians, and so unqualified and undeserving of the title of Prime Minister, as the Conservatives are claiming, then why has he been able to so seamlessly rise through the ranks of our political system to go from MP to leader of the Liberal party in a period of merely four years? A schoolteacher from Brampton, hog farmer from the prairies, or single mother of two from the North would never be able to do that.

    The issue is not so much Michael Ignatieff as what he has exposed about our system and who it caters to. In a country where running for political office is a basic right of every citizen, Ignatieff demonstrates that some 'more distinguished' members of our society (even if they've been gone 34 years) face less challenges and obstacles to achieving positions of political power than others.

    The Conservatives like to bash Ignatieff, but I wonder if they care to address the larger structural inequities of our system? I suspect not, since, as a party, they have benefitted from the very same classist politics that allowed Ignatieff to parashute in.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca Stephen Taylor

    That Stephen Harper is a real blue-blood isn't he?

  • bert

    Joshaidan,,repeat after me,,TRUTH ads,,,TRUTH ads,,not attack ads.TRUTH ADS.And the truth hurts Liberals and the MSM.,because they cant handle the truth.

  • bert

    Gerry you of all people should know better..Its a truth ad,,not lame like you.Truth ad,,repeat several hundred times or has the Liberal brainwash gotten to you too.

  • jacob

    he runs attack ads? what are you doing?

  • Lucy

    I despise attack adds of any kind put forth by any party. We are a better nation and a better people if we insist that we want no part in them. Let us here about real ideas, policies and party platform. Attack ads are childish and set such a poor example for our children. It is a bully tactic that Canadians should reject. Do not expose us to any more of this garbage…that goes for all the political parties in Canada.

  • Abdula

    I find it interesting how conservative pundits are the only ones that seem to think these ads are anything but laughable. The following two sites have differing opinions but are respective of the building thought on the way the conservatives are conducting this dubious campaign.

    http://billarends.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/885/

    http://itsmypulp.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/conse

  • Ross

    Conservatives calling Liberals opportunist?

    Pot calling the kettle black.

  • SteveP

    The Conservatives are right on. Michael Ignatieff has it backwards! First you should become Prime Minister. Then fill your pockets with bribe money. Then move to the USA to live…………………Right Brian?

  • Lola

    Conservatives and their cronies are just jealous of Ignatieff's accomplishments. Hmm, actually a Canadian who is not obsessed about beer and hockey. Nice to see a cultured, educated Canadian male for a change.

  • Tyler

    Does any rational person really care if Ignatieff left the country for a period of time? No!

    NDP!

  • RAC

    Please, our relatively decent economic performance has naught to do with this government. Do you not understand that this government was going to run a deficit BEFORE the recession hit?? Just because a PM has a resolute looking jaw and appears calm in the face of crisis does not imply that he knows what he's doing. The only good thing about Mr Harper is that he seems bent on following Obama policies, which offers some hope on the environment and other areas. I do find that amusing, given Harper's position slightly right of Attila the Hun, that he's become a Obama mimick.

    I suppose when your only policy idea centers on tax reduction, regardless of previous lessons learned, it's not surprising that he would find someone with a few actual ideas..

  • RAC

    I find it absolutely amazing that a party lead by a socio-path whose concern for the common man is as close to absolute zero as possible, would have the gall (and apparently loads of money) to run these ads. To spend this much on pure attack ads while taking enormous liberties with the truth is a sad commentary in these times where our country and the world are assailed by enormously complex problems. But, I suppose there’s the rub, accusing Ignatieff of those things that they themselves are guilty of – no real policy or direction!

  • Pat

    The ad has made me want to know more about Ignatieff and his true interest in Canada….is there any?

  • Pat

    The ad made me look into Ignatieff's bio and I realized he is not the man for the job.

  • Judy

    Enough already… I am tired of the ads…. Iggy went away and came back….. so what?Many of us do that…. does that make him less Canadian? no… it just makes him more worldly… and He came back to be PM… now that is commitment! A thankless job to be sure

  • Judy

    Enough already… I am tired of the ads…. Iggy went away and came back….. so what?Many of us do that…. does that make him less Canadian? no… it just makes him more worldly… and He came back to be PM… now that is commitment! A thankless job to be sure