Monday, September 8, 2008

It's 3am. The Phone Rings. It's Jason Kenney.

Well now that the campaign is on, the Conservatives have started continued doing what they've been doing all along - smearing the opposition with attack ads. Only today, they started early - 6am to be exact. The attempt, of course, was to "control" the media agenda by beating the other parties to the punch. Unfortunately for the CPC, the strategy backfired.

But Monday morning's unveiling of a new series of campaign ads attacking Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion received no live coverage on any of the major national television networks.

Instead, CBC Newsworld cut to the question-and-answer session after the announcement, when Conservative MPs Jason Kenney and Lawrence Cannon faced a series of tough questions.

The pair made no substantive policy announcements, choosing instead to target Mr. Dion and the main plank of his campaign platform, The Green Shift.

I find it more than a little odd that a party so rich and so adept at spin doctoring is also so catastrophically inept at organizing press conferences (anyone remember the infamous fire-escape exit after the RCMP raid?).

Meanwhile, Sweater-Vest Man was out here in Richmond, campaigning in someone's backyard. When asked by a reporter if he would stop in & out financing pending the investigation, he said something to the effect of "we will continue to follow election financing laws as they are currently interpreted and as they have been interpreted in the past". In other words "I'll keep breaking the law until someone's throws my ample ass in jail".

Finally, there's been some discussion over at Red Tory's about Dion's announcement today that, if elected, he would implement a full ban on all assault weapons. While I agree that this is hardly a susbstantive initiative one way or the other, and that Dion runs the risk of re-opening the Gun Registry debate, I would suggest that the real motive behind this announcement is to play into his ongoing attempt to frame this election as a choice between Harper's right wing agenda, and Dion's "kinder, gentler Canada". Forcing gun control onto the agenda will likely widen the urban-rural split, but will help to paint Harper as a Bush-ian extremist (as Dion has already been alluding to). Anyways, it's merely the opening salvo in what promises to be a long campaign on all sides.