Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Greens see red over negative advertising; unveil attack ad on attack ads

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils their attack ad on attack ads during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, March 7, 2011. Prime Minister Stephen Harper can be seen in the ad being viewed during the realse.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The Green Party is going on the attack - against attack ads.

Party leader Elizabeth May has unveiled a 30-second spot that spoofs political attack ads, complete with a militaristic drum roll and ominous voice-over.

"Tired of the name-calling? Smear campaigns? Mudslinging? Are you disgusted with the state of Canadian politics?" the narrator intones. "This does not represent our Canada. It doesn't have to be like this."

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. May told a news conference on Monday that the ad is meant to encourage people to reject negative political advertising.

"We do not have to accept a contaminated, vitriolic, rabidly partisan, unpleasant political culture," she said. "It is not part of democracy."

The Greens are spending less than $10,000 to run the ad on the television networks CBC, CTV and TVA. It will air three times this week, although Ms. May didn't rule out a longer run.

The party has also launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter encouraging people to "change the channel" on negative political ads.

Ms. May acknowledges the send-up isn't meant to sway Canadians to vote Green. But she said the party felt compelled to push back against negative ads after a recent round of Conservative attacks on Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

Those since-yanked ads, which featured an out-of-context video clip of Mr. Ignatieff, prompted a torrent of criticism - even from some conservative commentators.

The Conservative Party didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to