Fortunately for me I am spending Victoria Day weekend in Newfoundland. The sun has been splitting the rocks here. What hasn't been driving conversation, at least so far, is outrage about the Ignatieff.me ads. Trust me when I say this Newfoundlanders aren't hesitant to share their perspective about anything - particularly politics.
The Prime Minister is not well-liked in these parts (a well-kept secret). You'll know our Premier lovely refers to him as Steve. Yet for a hyper-political place which is always a good barometer for fairness and unfairness I have yet to hear anyone get too exercised about the ads. Now, in-your-face campaigning can often be a rite of passage here, but so also is decency. Perhaps the ads aren't in heavy rotation, who knows, but after being in St. John's for 48 hours - a time by which I normally have heard every plot afoot in our island nation - no one seems to be in a lather, unlike some of the usual suspects in other parts of the country.
Some days after the release of Ignatieff.me it is a story still being discussed. Default logic might suggest it is because some nerves have been hit which is often the purpose of tough ads. What it is equally enjoyable I am sure for the creators of Ignatieff.me is to see all the earned media generated by the commentary of the campaign. No doubt that has helped add to the discussion about Ignatieff's legitimacy and motivations as a would-be prime minister. If the purpose of the advertising was to raise questions about Ignatieff, so far it has worked.
Rob had indicated in earlier post the outrage registered by some journalists about these so-called historic ads. As my friend pointed out their was nothing truly immortal about this narrative. Collective memory about Ignatieff's Liberal leadership loss in 2006 also seems to be wanting. Some of the questions the Conservative Party is asking about Ignatieff now were raised publicly and privately during that contest that saw Dion crowned. Rob knows better that I what sunk Iggy in the end but he was certainly not helped by his past or his then approach to politics. In some ways Conservatives are doing into Canadians what Liberals already did unto themselves.
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