Nowhere in the ad does Harper’s campaign team declare they were hoping to persuade one million Liberal voters to stay home. But that in fact was their objective and they achieved it.Note that he says *Liberal voters*were the target of the ads, and they were the people swayed by those ads. He continues in the same column, with his focus on Liberal/Liberal-leaning voters:
Extensive focus group and polling research had told the Tories that while many Grits despised Harper, they also had serious misgivings about Dion’s “image” as a leader and his ability to communicate.
If they couldn’t persuade those million Liberal voters to come over to the blue team, the Conservatives concluded, they would persuade them to stay home on election day.
Their research had shown many card-carrying Liberals, or Liberal-leaning voters, had serious misgivings about the fact Michael Ignatieff had spent almost 30 years of his life abroad.That was Sunday. In his follow-up column, he gives a brief re-cap of what he'd said:
In that column, I suggested some of those left and centre-left Canadians who stayed at home had been "vote suppressed."So now, it wasn't Liberal voters being suppressed, instead it was all lefties.
Then, on his website, a commenter posted a question about the legitimacy of attack ads. Here is the exchange:
south america says: July 10, 2011 at 9:33 pmSo on Sunday he was concerned because the Conservatives thwarted democracy by targeting Liberal voters and getting them to stay home. Then on Tuesday he was defending his concern because Conservatives targeted left-leaning voters and manipulated them into staying home. But now, on his website, he's worried that the Conservatives managed to target non-Liberals, who were also apparently not Conservatives --- and persude them to stay home.
I’m a little confused. Are you saying the criticisms directed at Dion (“not a leader”) and Ignatieff (“left Canada for 30 years and only returned to try and be PM”) are illegitimate?Nope. I’m saying they were aimed at motivating non-Libs to stay home – not motivating Cons to vote Con.
My point is that no political party should be doing anything to discourage participation in democracy, in an era when fewer folks are voting.
In 2006, Dion managed to turn off his own people. Even Warren says it. The fact that even Liberals couldn't bring themselves to vote for him is hardly due to nefarious Conservative tactics. And in 2011, rather than persuading Liberals, left-leaners or anyone else to stay home, SOMEONE managed to persuade a whole bunch of left and centre-left people to vote NDP. Jack Layton performed well. His rise along with Ignatieff's epic failure, created the perfect storm for an NDP surge. Much as Conservatives might like to take credit for the crumbling Liberal fortunes, I'm afraid this one is on the Liberals themselves.
Don't worry Warren, no one who wanted to vote Liberal attained their apathy by virtue of Conservative ads or disappearing polling stations --- their attitude came directly from source.
And yeah, I know y'all say don't indulge Warren, but he's like a mosquito in the dark that keeps buzzing and I'm restless until I swat it. Besides, it's hard to let such falseness and contradiction stand without comment.