If the Canadian media were a focus group…

…the Conservatives would never run negative ads. Heck, we’d just surrender to a few more decades of Liberal rule.

On Macleans Capital Read blog, journalist Aaron Wherry breathlessly tells us what our betters think of the latest round of Conservative ads. Wherry headlines the article “Schoolyard tripe! Poisonous! Demeaning! Anti-American!” and proceeds to list criticism from non-partisan voices such as Jim Travers, Angelo Persichilli, the Edmonton Journal, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star! Who are these voices of reason? Reading them makes it so clear that to armchair political analysts, the Conservatives have made a disastrous misstep in running negative advertising, because nobody likes negative ads, and of course, such ads don’t work.

Thousands of dollars worth of focus groups studying the reactions of average, everyday Canadians would seem to indicate otherwise. The decisions that go into these sorts of adverts are not made on a whim. Political calculations are much more involved than started from one’s prejudices against conservatism and then spewing under-informed analysis in 750 paid words or less. There is a method to the Machiavellian madness. From the gender of the narrating voice, to its tone, to the imagery of the ads and the theme, it would seem that the Conservatives have concluded through some expensive research that Canadians seem to have a problem with Michael Ignatieff’s seeming self-serving interest in returning to Canada. “The ads will backfire”, “Canadians are turned off by negative ads”, “This isn’t the United States (oops)” are the sounds coming from the Parliamentary Press Gallery and other members of the media elite in this country. They claim to tell us what we think when it’s clear that they’re out of touch with the effect that those ads will have on us as Canadians.

The other elites — those that reside in the Liberal Party — tell us who should raise our kids, what kind of cars we should drive and whose feelings we should not offend, are of course the producers of these ads:

This may only be the first government that Mr. Wherry’s has covered, but some perspective please. The difference between these two ads and the latest round of Conservative advertising? The Grit ads were baldfaced lies; how’s your healthcare, your “scrapped Kyoto accord”, your right to choose and who was it that was prepared to work with the Bloc Quebecois? Where are the soldiers with guns in our streets?. In contrast, the Conservative ads are true. Michael Ignatieff was out of the country for 34 years, has mused that taxes will go up and the video wherein he says “you have to decide what kind of America you want, right? You have to decide. It’s your country just as much as it is mine” is undoctored. These are Michael Ignatieff’s own words. In fact, they’re so true that the only line of defense is to attack the process.

Funny that the Liberals are silent on this and it is the media who comes to their defense.

Comments

comments

  • terry1

    More of your insightful stuff once again……I am a male in my late 50's………hows that for stupidity?

  • Alex

    I dunno Terry, saying “promote its right wing Christian ideology as over 80% of its money comes from that core of voters in western towns and farm communities” sounded to me like you were getting a jab in there. At least, that’s how I read it. If it wasn’t your intention to sound that way you might consider rewriting your post?

  • Liz J

    What Ignatieff seems to be doing instead is acting like the highbrow, taking the highroad. It appears he has no clue about the facts of politics, getting down and dirty is part of the game. The truth ads put forward to inform the people of the man who aspires to lead them are tough to fight. He can't really counter them without contradicting himself.

    The Liberals count heavily on the media to be their 5th column, they never disappoint. The TORSTAR has taken them aback so they're off to lick their wounds with nowhere to hide and nothing to counter attack. They've been checkmated.

  • Michael

    The MSM is 2/3 conservative in Canada. Give it up.

  • gimbol

    Two points.

    One, I have yet to see the liberals bring out an ad in response. They said (Iggy said) they where going to be responding to the adverts, and I assumed that meant inkind. Now if they don’t do so, does this mean they can’t argue the truth (which validates the CPC message) or they don’t have the money to buy the ad time.

    Point two: this is kind of important, but if you recall it was in a previous election that Harper responded to something from the liberal war room with something like “I can take a punch”. That to me is the best response. Now I’ll elaborate a bit on that because it real message that comes out of the ad. I also recall someone many years ago that responded to this kind of attack by saying “I’ve heard worse things from better people” or something to that effect. This is the point that Iggy misses when he portrays himself as Trudeau, when he responds he gets upset, and becomes flustered….definitely not “sophisticated” like the Harvard scholar he supposedly is.

    Iggy just got defined as the great pretender.

  • Jen

    I can't remember the exact words MM, but help me here anyway. Was it not Ignatieff who said that he admires the prime minister stephen harper for the way he handled the media.
    Didn't Ignatieff say that quebec is a nation
    whereas the prime minister who upon hearing Ignatieff's idea had no choice but to clarify it that quebec is a nation but within a united canada.- a big difference.

    Michael Ignatieff said live on Global NATIONAL TELEVISION when questioned by KEVIN NEWMAN if he, IGNATIEFF, still supports the coalition. Michael Ignatieff answered “that he HONOURS his signature on the coalition agreement”

  • gimbol

    Here’s a point the libearls seemed to have missed.

    One: The response Squidward promised hasn’t materialized yet, he’s talked about it, but to date nothing. Now, I’m no political chess player, but I’ve been reading a lot in the past and currently that the liberal party is now being lead by a someone that supposed to be smarter than the average canadian. I’m not going to dispute his level of education as known that he was privilaged to get the best education money could buy, an education level most canadians can never hope to afford.
    But if he’s so super smart, would he not have a better response than just to say he’s going to have one?
    To be fair, I guess I should assume he just wasn’t prepared for it, just as he probably thought that the story the TORSTAR was going to release on Rudy Dhalla was not going to be critical because it was the TORSTAR.
    Secondly, and this expands on the point about the response to the ads. I remember how Trudeau used to respond to this kind of thing and Iggy seems to be channeling Paul Martin instead. If I where you guys I’d be getting on the horn to libHQ and telling them that if they want the reincarnation of Trudeau either tell Iggy to do it right or not do it at all.

  • batb

    If the Canadian media were a focus group …

    … we'd just get more lies.

  • terry1

    I was getting a jab in there. We are a secular society and I don't like religious types of any stripe influencing government unduly. Harper is beholden to them for his financing.,

  • terry1

    Iggy will not take these ads lying down. He will respond in his own way on his time frame. Your instant response timeframe is not in Iggy's interest. He may respond jsut before he brings down the incompetent Tories for economic mismanagement, or, it maybe next week. Its his call but he will respond and Kinsella will be there alongside him.

  • Liz J

    Right, and we can't abide any more lies, in fact we will not stand for it.

    Don't you just love how the Liberal mouthpieces brag about when Iggy will bring down the government? As if he can do it on his own, like it's his choice and his alone to make, the others will follow his lead like Lemmings falling over the cliff.

    We all await the attack of the great Kinsella, shaking in our boots at the possibility of anything from the stuffed toy attacks to soldiers in the streets with guns and tanks.

  • paulsstuff

    Don't know if the ads are striking a nerve or not Stephen, but I have to say I don't remember ever seeing so many Libloggers commenting on one of your posts. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Liz J

    Ditto paulstuff, I was about to note exactly that. The traffic on this thread from Libs is telling indeed.

  • Omanator

    Terry1. Lets have the truth shall we. We have the lowest unemployment of the G7. Our economy is stronger than any of the G7. We have the best banking system.
    Of course the claim that Stephen Harper is responsible for the world economic malaise is a blantant lie.

  • Omanator

    Michael Read. I don't think anybody would comment on some one who studies or even works in the US for a few years. But when a Canadien spends 34 years abroad and puplicly denigrades his country, it becomes a different matter. Then he wants to be crowned Priminister ? Yea ,right.

  • Omanator

    Terry1. If he really said this than we are in deep trouble. It appears to me that the only way to unite the country is to shovel trucks loads of money into Quebec, not to mention that fact that almost all of the Ministers have to come from Quebec.

  • batb

    'Love Eric with an accent aigu. LOL! 'Got a nice hairdo, too?

    Obviously, Eric-with-an-accent-aigu, you haven't been watching the MSM lately, or reading the print media, or you've been doing so with blinkers on and earplugs. Are you familiar with Janie Taber, Owl Eyes Oliver, Don the Broooadcast Newman, Julie Van Dusen't, all the Susans: Bonnar, Riley, Ormiston, Delacourt, etc., etc., Don-smirk-smile Martin, I'm-Peter-Mansbridge-and-you're-not? There isn't a conservative in the bunch and they take up a lot of print space and camera time. There ARE a few conservative commentators but not a whole lot.

    Lib-left members of the MSM and the PPG are legion. 'So many Liberal misdemeanours and downright crimes — and if it hadn't been for the National Post, the new kid on the media block, who blew the whistle on Adscam and Power Corp's behind-the-scenes influence on the LPC and its leaders, most Canadians would think the Liberals were as pure as the driven snow. We wouldn't know about Shawinigate, Adscam, the HRDC scandal, the Kyoto Accord's Mo Strong, etc., etc.

    For some reason, up to the NP's bursting on the scene, Canadians would have no idea of the LPC's particular way of doing things — none of which have been very beneficial to most taxpaying Canadians. Too many members of the MSM and the PPG are on too-friendly terms with the members of the Liberal Party and seem incapable of being impartial or non-partisan when it comes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his CPC. I'm not asking the MSM to be pro-CPC and PMSH but I would like to see some fairness in reporting, not the twisted spin the Canadian MSM seem programmed to report.

  • batb

    Oh, and BTW, Eric, the reason the MSM endorsed Stephen Harper and his CPC in the 2006 election is because it was clear that PM Paul deer-in-the-headlights Martin was a washout. They could all see their portfolios going down the tubes and Canada spiralling out of control if the Liberals stayed in power.

  • Alex

    You seem to take exception to religious people donating to a political party or having any sort of say in government. While I obviously understand your desire to keep church and state separate, religious folks have the right to have their say in our society as much as any other group, be they atheists, students, left wing, right wing, etc. It's not as if the Catholic church is donating millions of dollars to the Conservative Party.

    If you think the Liberal Party wants to unite Canadians, why do you take so much offense to religious people donating money?

  • Omanator

    RE Globe and Mail Parents rights
    Well , now we know what colour you prefer.. I for one refuse to accept that as Parent I don't have the right to decide how my child is being educated and what is being tought. The Nazis did that and brainwashed a whole generation.
    No thank you.

  • http://sovereigntyenanglais.blogspot.com/ Éric

    Pathetic.

    You; not the “mainstream media”, the same mainstream media that almost unanimously endorsed the Conservatives in both the 2006 and 2008 elections. Biting the hand that feeds you, are we?

  • http://sovereigntyenanglais.blogspot.com/ Éric

    Pathetic.

    You; not the “mainstream media”, the same mainstream media that almost unanimously endorsed the Conservatives in both the 2006 and 2008 elections. Biting the hand that feeds you, are we?

  • Richard

    brings down the Tories for economic mismanagement …

    1. it can not be done. can you not count seats? he'd need help from the bloc and that's not happening.
    2. don't you recall, your brilliant Iggy supported the budget?

    you really ned to go back to WK and get some new talking points, Gayle.

  • Bruce

    Wow, the Liberals really do live in the land of fairy tales, lollipops and unicorns. Many of them will soon be joining the hapless Dion in staring blankly out of the windows while all of them mumble something that only they can hear.

  • Bruce

    Wow, the Liberals really do live in the land of fairy tales, lollipops and unicorns. Many of them will soon be joining the hapless Dion in staring blankly out of the windows while all of them mumble something that only they can hear.

  • Liberal

    “Ditto paulstuff, I was about to note exactly that. The traffic on this thread from Libs is telling indeed.”

    Telling of what? That we’re all scared?

    Irritated by Taylor’s hypocrisy and bad taith. That is all. But tell yourself whatever fairy tale you need to get through the day.

  • Liberal

    “Ditto paulstuff, I was about to note exactly that. The traffic on this thread from Libs is telling indeed.”

    Telling of what? That we’re all scared?

    Irritated by Taylor’s hypocrisy and bad taith. That is all. But tell yourself whatever fairy tale you need to get through the day.

  • http://sovereigntyenanglais.blogspot.com/ Éric

    You know, the Bloc Quebecois is opposed by virtually every media outlet except Le Devoir, and yet it continues to win crushing seat majorities and a huge part of the popular vote in Quebec.

    Is the Conservative Party not as strong as the Bloc Quebecois? Does it not have support from the people because of the media’s portrayal of it or because, well, people don’t want to support it?

    Stop blaming “the media” for your problems. First of all, it is clichéd as hell (do you know that Blogging Tories is pretty much in line with the caricature of Conservatives people on the left have?) and secondly, if you have a good message it will filter through to the people. And if you don’t try to make that message while sounding like an ass, the media just might pass along the message for you.

    And newsflash, the “mainstream media” seems left-wing to you because the “mainstream” opinion is left-wing in Canada. Conservatives only have 1/3rd or, at the very best, 2/5ths of support from Canadians. Why would the “mainstream” media take on what is, in fact, a minority opinion?

    And don’t give me that “conservative” voices are so hard to hear. From my perspective, they have far more room than they deserve. That so many newspapers endorsed the Conservatives in both the 2006 and 2008 elections demonstrates they aren’t so opposed to you as you think.

    Stop playing the victim, you guys are supposed to be the ones in power right now.

  • http://sovereigntyenanglais.blogspot.com/ Éric

    You know, the Bloc Quebecois is opposed by virtually every media outlet except Le Devoir, and yet it continues to win crushing seat majorities and a huge part of the popular vote in Quebec.

    Is the Conservative Party not as strong as the Bloc Quebecois? Does it not have support from the people because of the media’s portrayal of it or because, well, people don’t want to support it?

    Stop blaming “the media” for your problems. First of all, it is clichéd as hell (do you know that Blogging Tories is pretty much in line with the caricature of Conservatives people on the left have?) and secondly, if you have a good message it will filter through to the people. And if you don’t try to make that message while sounding like an ass, the media just might pass along the message for you.

    And newsflash, the “mainstream media” seems left-wing to you because the “mainstream” opinion is left-wing in Canada. Conservatives only have 1/3rd or, at the very best, 2/5ths of support from Canadians. Why would the “mainstream” media take on what is, in fact, a minority opinion?

    And don’t give me that “conservative” voices are so hard to hear. From my perspective, they have far more room than they deserve. That so many newspapers endorsed the Conservatives in both the 2006 and 2008 elections demonstrates they aren’t so opposed to you as you think.

    Stop playing the victim, you guys are supposed to be the ones in power right now.

  • terry1

    Harper inherited the strongest in the G20 and promptly screwed it up. He took a $10BB surplus and has forecast an $85BB deficit in two years.

    I'll pass on that strength.

  • terry1

    You continue to read me wrong. The only issue I have is that Harper pretty much only gets donations from that particular group in our Country and therefore needs to do their bidding as he cannot afford to lose the their donations. if he had a broader range of funders he would be in a better position. Of course Central Canada has written him off and he won't ever get any money there. Next the voters of Central Canada will write him off.

  • terry1

    gee, am I that scary here?

    you call me gayle……I'm a he and have no idea who gayle is
    some have called me offensive
    some have called me defensive
    two trolling broads here are trying to avoid answering my posts
    one guy thinks i'm a woman because my name is TERRY

    It must be tough being an angry tory these days all thinking the stink ads are going to save your leader's butt. Have fun but your party's over and the fat lady is warming up.

  • Ted

    Is that what you honestly believe happened? But for Ignatieff saying something should be done about EI, the Conservatives would never have launched a non-election period campaign of character assassination attacking his patriotism and dedication to country?

    I've got a bridge to sell you EofE. Good price, too.

  • Ted

    Exactly. Thank you Stephen.

    Let us not forget: Liberanos, Iggy.me, IRuby, Obamessia, Iffy, Iggo Waffle, Citoyen Dion, Cretin, etc.

    And on the other side: McChimpy, ReThuglicans, CONservatives, etc.

    It is not a trait of one side or another, but the nasty, juvenile habit of the drooling, hyper-partisan.

  • Alex

    You seem to have pretty reliable sources on where these donations are coming from. Seeing as the Conservatives receive many more donations than the other parties, I’m finding it a bit difficult to believe that the Conservatives are only getting them from “religious types.” Certainly the West accounts for several donations, but you might be surprised to find out that Western Canadians represent a very diverse group of people. All parties pander to their bases, so your point is still pretty ambiguous.

  • Alex

    You seem to have pretty reliable sources on where these donations are coming from. Seeing as the Conservatives receive many more donations than the other parties, I’m finding it a bit difficult to believe that the Conservatives are only getting them from “religious types.” Certainly the West accounts for several donations, but you might be surprised to find out that Western Canadians represent a very diverse group of people. All parties pander to their bases, so your point is still pretty ambiguous.

  • Liz J

    So, Mr./Ms Liberal, you say you're “irritated by Taylor's hypocrisy and bad taith [sic]”.
    What constitutes hypocrisy and bad faith here? Were you looking in the mirror perhaps?

    You have to remember the facts free of spin are not what we can count on from the majority of the MSM. They're all Liberal hacks. Using truth ads is a method to inform the people who have a right to know as much as possible about a stranger who aspires to become PM. I'll let you in on a little secret, there are more than a few Liberals not exactly sold on the anointed one either.

    The saying “actions speak louder than words” could be rejigged in this case to 'reactions speak louder than words' , it appears Liberals and their shills are foaming at the mouth over the truth being put out.

    Hypocrisy? Bad faith? No, but I've seen plenty of it from the Liberals who are so blinded by their lust
    for power they promise the moon, put up a storefront , dress a mannequin, but nary a mention of what's in the store.

  • terry1

    1. Prove me wrong.
    2. I didn't say ONLY religious types

    The donations thye get were set in motion by Presto and Stock boy some years ago when they went around preaching their reform gospel in churches all over the west. thos doantions continue today and form the strong base of Tory donations and support. Look at where Harper would be today if Albertans were not politically deaf and blind.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Stephen, I think your post is right on the money.

    I think the ads are really quite brilliant, actually. It's not the downtown Toronto Liberals that the Liberal party is trying to relate to and win back. It's the Eastern Canadians in PEI, NFLD, NB, its the people in the 905 and 705 in Ontario. It's the people in Vancouver, Winnipeg and small cities and towns across Canada. These people rarely hear a conservative voice or opinion from the Canadian media machine. I live in Toronto and it is everywhere here – in elevators, in local community newspapers, the Star, CBC. local TV stations, on radio – ALL LIBERALS – ALL THE TIME.

    But – let's not forget – was this not all part of Mr Trudeau's plan – to make Liberalsim systemic in Canada? Didn't he try to stack the courts, the education system, the Senate, the public service (including the CBC), crown corporations with partisan Liberals? It seems it's not enough for it to be mostly Liberals – in order for it to work it must be ALL LIBERALS.

    I think ads like these are just a reality of competing as a political party in Trudeau's Canada.

  • batb

    Eric: “if you have a good message it will filter through to the people.” Guess what? That's what it's done and that's why we have a CPC government in Canada, something the left-wing media in this country are mad as Hell about and haven't stopped griping, moaning and groaning about.

    As for your question, “Why would the 'mainstream' media take on what is, in fact, a minority opinion?” it's disingenuous. It's not the job of the MSM to “take on” either opinions left of centre, in the middle, or right of centre. It's their job to REPORT the news, something our media outlets stopped doing years ago, especially when they became out-and-out cheerleaders for the Trudeau Nation and routinely turned a blind eye to Liberal corruption.

    Why do you think so many of our media institutions are in such deep trouble? Canadians haven't been able to rely on them to report the news but, rather, have had to put up with a steady diet of opinion and commentary on the news, with a decidedly left-leaning, partisan bias. If there are so many Canadians supporting the left side of the political spectrum, how come they're not supporting the left-wing — even you admit it — media?

    The Conservatives ARE in power, but, when was the last time you saw a solid news item on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and what he is accomplishing? We had to rely on reports from the U.S. and Europe during the G-8 Summit and photos from HELLO! magazine to see our gracious Canadian “first lady” in a good light. The TORSTAR showed photos of all of the G-8 first ladies and pointed out how “dowdy” Laureen Harper's outfit was compared to Mrs. Obama's, etc. Always a put-down. I have to come to the blogs to find out what my Prime Minister is doing, because the Canadian MSM isn't doing their job of REPORTING THE NEWS. The CBC, which is one of the worst culprits, has a market share of viewers at about 6%. I wonder why?

    As for your argument about the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec, that's a red herring. Only Quebecers can vote for them, so it's a completely different ballgame they're in from the Conservatives.

    Canadians should be able to expect fairness in the reporting of the news. I'm not asking for a conservative-sympathetic media, I'm asking for a media that simply does it's job and makes a distinction between news reporting and commentary/opinion.

  • http://sovereigntyenanglais.blogspot.com/ Éric

    It's all in the eye of the beholder. Many Canadians feel that many media outlets are too friendly to the Conservatives, and give them too easy of a time. These people likely don't vote Conservative. Many Canadians feel that many media outlets are too hostile to the Conservatives. These people likely vote Conservative. Many Canadians believe that many media outlets are doing their job well, and when they criticise the government it is deserved. These people could vote either way. Members of the media – analysts, commentators, etc. – have a right to criticise the government. If they do so, are their motives immediately suspect? You do understand that whenever a media member praises the government, by that measure, their motives would also be suspect.

    Accept it, deal with it, move on. The constant attack on the media by Conservatives is a red herring of your own. Indeed, the evidence of the 2006 and 2008 elections shows the media is more in the pocket of the Tories than you all think. And, again, I have to say it is sadly clichéd. I follow blogs from all political viewpoints, and you always see the same thing. Tories complain about the media, NDPers post hostile things about Israel. Liberals complain about Conservatives. Old news.

  • terry1

    BAT B…. you contimnue to forget that well over 75% of the population in this country is left leaning or at least left of center. The newspapers are for profit organizations not conservative publicity hounds. They cater to the majority of people who buy newspapers. Look at Canwest and the NP as it is going down in flames because its readership is very narrowly based.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Hi Eric – are you saying that it's ok that the media is in the corner of the Liberals and that they have the right to these resources that other parties don't because of their affiliations and relationships?

    Is it also OK that taxpayer dollars are spent in supprting the Liberals through the CBC?

    Actually, these are not issues that we should just 'get over', they are structural inequalities in our system which make these ads necessary. Why in your mind and in the minds of other Liberal Canadians must we always play by the rules as defined by the Liberals?

  • Jen

    I am very happy and at peace knowing that the prime minister of Canada believes and treasure God and through GOD's help and guidance the PM and his party has succeeded to reign for three and years hopefully longer.
    PM has promoted our beloved NATION to the world; he also recieves great reviews amongst many nations and amazingly he is very well like by the american media.
    Also the prime minister stands firm with ISRAEL-GOD'S HOLY LAND.

  • Liz J

    “Trudeau's Canada”, therein lies the problem. Trudeau's Charter coupled with the Multicultural policies we have will eventually take down much of what this country was built on and stood for.

    'Still think Trudeau embraced multiculturalism to cover for the fact his plan was to water down English Canada and eventually our British heritage would be buried. He himself later realized perhaps the multicultural idea may not have been a good one but we're still dealing with it, it's still alive.

  • Ronald

    Kinsella is back from surgery – Would that be a lobotomy or did they find a brain somewhere?
    Retreading a hack like him certainly will not give the LPC better mileage because nobody pays attention to him.
    Just like “Garth” – Where is he now?

  • Ronald

    Kinsella is back from surgery – Would that be a lobotomy or did they find a brain somewhere?
    Retreading a hack like him certainly will not give the LPC better mileage because nobody pays attention to him.
    Just like “Garth” – Where is he now?

  • batb

    BINGO!, Beer and Popcorn, in your response to Eric.

    I have no problem when the media criticizes the government, with documentation, but not when they do it ad nauseum with no documentation, using the old trick of asking only Liberal supporters and old media hacks to comment, as often happens on the CBC. Frequently, Don Newman will stack his panels with known NDP and Liberal supporters, which is when I turn to my husband and ask, “Where's the Conservative side of the argument?” and then flip the channel.

    The media is not supposed to speak for any particular side of the political spectrum, but this is not we see here in Canada. It is supposed to report the news and when it uses reporters and columnists to air their opinions, that should be made very clear. It often isn't in the Canadian MSM. And then there's the issue of all taxpayers having to fund the very left of centre, very c/Conservative-negative CBC.

    This is unacceptable.

  • mecheng

    It puts a smile on my face that Liberals think this way.

  • Alex

    “Look at where Harper would be today if Albertans were not politically deaf and blind”

    Yeah, I think you've destroyed your point about Liberals standing for all of Canada. Like other regions in Canada, Alberta has its own set of values and political leanings. The fact that you call Albertans politically deaf and blind basically prove that Liberals still think people who don't vote for them are “wrong” and somehow misinformed, when the reality is your party has lost the trust of many, many Canadians and has yet to win it back. In other words, your party hasn't learned anything.