I’m sure the uber-strategists in downtown Ottawa and on the primary campaign have figured out most of it (hopefully), but I was mulling over a few general strategies that the Tories should implement to boost their chances at forming government.
- Cite examples and anecdotes ad nauseum of discussions with lifelong Liberal supporters that are coming around to the Conservative message and that are finally starting to see a real choice to Paul Martin’s dithering corrupt government and that are likely to give Stephen Harper the nod because it’s time for a change.
- While respectfully disagreeing with Jack Layton on about 99.9% of issues, credit the NDP leader for being the true and unequivocal voice for people not voting Conservative in this country. Treat Paul Martin with disappointment, but respect Layton.
- Keep Paul Martin playing catch-up on Conservative policy announcements. Make sure to announce pivotal issues on Tuesday-Wednesday to reduce the amount of time the Liberals have to turn-around on the issue before the weekend.
- When you finally go negative on Liberal corruption, DO NOT use the Leader! Use safe Conservatives like MacKay, Solberg, and Kenney to hammer away at the Liberals. Do not allow Stephen Harper to get dirty.
- Save “black powder” moments for absolutely critical moments of the campaign. These moments would come, for example, a few days after a major Conservative gaffe in the second half of the campaign, or a week before E-day. “Black Powder” moments are major controversial plays that slam the brakes on the media’s current cycle and refocuses the entire campaign around the “explosive” revelation. An example of a black powder play would be the unearthing of an old video of Paul Martin admitting that national unity (as a topic) has been a successful tool for “manipulating voters”.
- Use the Harper family to emphasize the message that Stephen Harper is the Canadian everyman with a family, young kids and that he’s a guy that understands what everyday Canadians are going through.
- Emphasize at every opportunity that Martin is out of touch with the average Canadian.
- Canadians are going to be voting for vision and change. Paul Martin has been labeled “Mr. Dithers” and offers no vision. Work this seam of the election message.