Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nagging Fears

The election is in its final week now.

Many pundits and party loyalists are using the example of the last election, in which the Liberals launched a very aggressive and disconcerting ad campaign against the Tories. In the last few days of that election, the Liberals swamped the Tory boat and won a minority government. At that time, a friend of mine told me that she would be voting Liberal in order to stop the Tories. When I asked why, she quoted verbatim a line from one of the ads. That campaign was effective.

However, it also innoculated us to an extent against a similar occurrence this election campaign. One thing I've noticed about pundits, is that they rarely seem to take into account that people respond to stimuli differently after they've already experienced it.

While the Liberals are trying to be negative, the words are ringing hollow this year. I have yet to hear a single individual who wasn't already a committed Liberal parroting the words of the campaign leaders. Additionally, the Tories have acted very differently this campaign and are not stepping on any land mines.

I don't know enough about elections south of the border but their political advertisements astonish me; not merely as individual statements either. Election after election, at every level of government, in every region of the country, all opposing political candidates are sinister and scary. I don't know whether these work but given that they now ubiquitous, I suspect that they do. I wonder that the citizens there never become inured to this approach.

Speculating, I'll only say that it probably won't subside until a politician, probably an unknown, cuts across the grain and wins.

Back to our own election, unless something actually happens, I don't see any turnaround this year.


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