15 September 2008

Turn the page

Campaigns that are purely negative don't work.

Relentless bile just doesn't get people to turn out to the polls and vote for something. 

People need something to vote for.

The federal and provincial Conservatives started out this campaign in an all-negative series of vicious personal attacks.   Provincial Conservatives attacked Stephen Harper.  Harper attacked Stephane Dion.  The only difference was the target.

But this video - one of the latest from the Liberals - is the kind of stuff that actually starts to make voters look twice. 

It offers a positive, upbeat message while at the same time conveying critical comment about the key opponent's position. 

The thread that runs through this spot is change.  It's titled "Turn the page", as in leave the past behind and move forward.

If you want to get a truly stark contrast in messages - even allowing for different formats - compare this commercial with the Danny Williams' speech from last week. 

Gutteral, angry and clearly focused on vengeance for past wrongs.  Take a look at any federal Conservative comment on Stephane Dion. Nasty and personal;  stinking of animosity.

Then look at this again.

There aren't two more starkly different ideas or approaches.