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A frame from an anti-Harper attack ad released by the Liberals on March 16, 2011.
A frame from an anti-Harper attack ad released by the Liberals on March 16, 2011.

Another round of Liberal ads target Harper's abuses Add to ...

The Liberals have created a couple more attack ads they say will hit the television airwaves within the next 24 hours.

The first says Prime Minister Stephen " has gone too far." It provides a montage of the accusations the opposition has been lobbing at the government: the Bev Oda doctored-memo issue, the so-called in-and-out election finance scandal, prorogation and the policy that government news releases must refer to the "Harper government" instead of the "Canadian government."

The second has Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff speaking directly to the camera (wearing what seems to be a rather an odd shade of pink lipstick), saying that, while Mr. Harper argues the economy is getting better, many Canadians do not share that view. The government needs to focus on pensions, health care and jobs for young people, Mr. Ignatieff says - " the things that really matter to Canadian families."

Of course, only time will tell whether any of these ads gets air play at times when real people might be watching. Liberal officials said the ad buy was "significant."

The Conservatives, on the other hand, have been running their ads for weeks during prime-time shows, major sporting events and the evening hours in which most people are glued to the tube. And all of that exposure is paying off. The party keeps going up in the polls despite all of the troubles it is facing in Parliament.

The news release that accompanies the release of the Liberal ads says Canada cannot afford to take its democratic rights for granted. But both parties, apparently, know just how much the sales pitch drives democracy.


UPDATE Several readers have phoned and written The Globe to say Mr. Ignatieff's lips are naturally pink and that they appear to be the same shade in this ad as they are in other still photographs. It is something I had never noticed before. I assumed makeup artist (which politicians - and journalists - employ before they go before the camera) had got it wrong. But maybe this is, in fact, a natural effect. /Gloria

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