Friday, May 15, 2009

Werner Patels: Wasteful Conservative Attack Ads


But forget campaigning for now; Canadians would be just as happy if Ignatieff finally explained his position on the issues that matter to them. He is still an empty page that begs to be written on. As a result, both Liberals and non-Liberals have used the opportunity and written their own thoughts and interpretations into the empty spaces. Right now, Ignatieff is not whatever he is or intends to be, but rather every possible label others have pinned on him in the meantime: Is he a Liberal, a “classical liberal” or even, gosh, a conservative? Is he a true Canadian, or merely a former Canadian who prefers to be American or British?


The Conservatives were probably wrong to make Ignatieff's time abroad their main line of attack. Most Canadians may be indifferent about that, which increases the risk of the ads backfiring in some way. In this respect, the critics may have been right when they say the ads are a waste of the government's time. Instead, the Conservatives should have used the ads to prod Ignatieff into finally coming clean on what and who he is or wants to be. Since polls indicate that Ignatieff could be the next prime minister, Canadians deserve to know exactly where he stands on the key issues.