If you haven't seen them yet, and I don't know how you couldn't have, the Conservative attack ads are hilariously stupid. Warren Kinsella thinks they're effective, and he may be right - however the backlash so far has been almost uniformly negative, and its pretty clear it has galvanized our base rather than caused them to stop and think. The issue is our base is pretty damn small - its those outside of it we need to worry about, and these ads could have an effect.
Which brings us to Justin Trudeau's tact to "stay positive." I agree, on a certain level, that we shouldn't stoop to the level of a pissing match. We don't need to heap more negativity onto Harper, the man is already unpopular. What we need to do is promote a positive vision, Justin's vision, so people will see we're the constructive party with momentum, not the party desperately flailing about as their numbers continue to plummet.
However, we can't rest on our laurels. I'm not sure if Trudeau has decided to run ads or not, but there has been no indication so far that he will - that is a bad, bad move. Justin's charisma and good looks are not enough to save us from being tarred and feathered even more by Canadians. People will listen to the Conservative's nonsense, and they'll turn to our side and hear crickets. What message does that send? Its like we're simply acceding to the Cons that they're going to win the ad war - it doesn't need to be that way!
So, I'll make some inquiries and give it some time. If Trudeau moves to put out some ads, whether attack or positive, he'll get a pass from me. I just want to see something.
However, if nothing comes out, we're going to have a problem on our hands. Justin won that leadership race on the basis of his personality and charisma, on the idea that he appealed to Canadians. Squandering the chance to counteract the Conservative smear campaign, which will have an effect, is not the sign of a good start to his leadership, and a near betrayal of those who elected him. Get on it, Liberals!