Thursday, October 02, 2008

Divide and Conquer?

Grits target BC in last-ditch attempt to win election

In a negative ad released earlier in the 2008 federal election campaign, the Liberal party accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of practicing "divide and conquer" politics.

Now, with the polls solidly favouring the Conservatives with at least a 12-point lead as the days tick down to balloting day, the Liberals have set their sites on British Columbia in a last-ditch effort to squeak out of the 2008 campaign if not with a victory, then with a less-than-humiliating defeat.

The efforts seem to be organized by former BC (NDP) Premier Ujjal Dosinjh, who appears prominently in the mini-campaign.

When examining the website, it appears that the Liberal tactic seems to be throw everything -- Insite, 9/11 Conspiracy theories, the Canada Action Party -- against the wall and see what sticks.

The Liberals have even released a campaign ad targeted at BC:

Dosanjh appears in the ad lamenting about the alleged difficulty of making British Columbia heard in Ottawa, and promises that if voters support the Liberals, he will make it so. He insists that Harper is to blame for Ontario's recession -- despite the fact that the Dalton McGuinty Liberals are currently in power there -- and insists it must not be allowed to spread to BC.

He even drops George W Bush's name in the ad, stressing the need for a truly Canadian approach to global warming (it seems that will less than three months to go with Bush in office, the Liberals are trying to take as full advantage of it as possible).

The intent of this spot -- in fact, of this entire microcampaign -- is to brand the Liberal party as the party that will "fight for BC", while trying to counter-brand the NDP as crazed -- at one point relying on the expressed beliefs of the wife of an NDP MLA (you read that right -- the wife of an MLA) -- and the Conservatives as uncaring.

In the end, however, it's still going to be an uphill battle for the Liberals in BC. After all, Liberal premier Gordon Campbell's carbon tax remains extremely unpopular, and many British Columbians continue to worry about being double-carbon taxed.

This all may be too little too late for the Liberal party not only in BC, but in the entire country during this election campaign.

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