Friday, September 12, 2008

Is this the weekend the Liberals lose the election?

As I stated yesterday the first polls of the election are coming out and their is a beginning of a narrative of the Conservatives having momentum. CTV and the National Post will release polls this weekend and I can guarantee that they will not be kind to the Liberals. By the end of this weekend the narrative that the Conservatives have momentum will be solidified.

It will be in that narrative that the Liberals will probably begin releasing its ads directed at Mr. Harper and the Conservatives but under those conditions that ad campaign will be greeted with claims of Liberal desperation. Such claims are poison to any election campaign.

It was vital for the Liberals to force the media to begin changing what they were saying about them and Mr Harper before this weekend. They have missed that opportunity and that could very well be fatal.

Mr. Dion has run a competent campaign but there has been no sense of urgency. There has been no story arc, it has just been a bunch of seemingly random announcements.

The Conservatives are running a campaign centred on Mr. Harper. That campaign became even more centred on him as a result of the implosion of the Conservative war room. The Liberals should be getting in his face. Right now he is not under any pressure and until he is he can just coast. Paul Martin tried to do that in 2004 but the Conservatives would not let him. They were in his face from the beginning. If it were not for the wheels falling of the Conservative campaign later in that election the Conservatives could have eked out a minority government.

There are four weeks left in the campaign but the Liberals have until about the middle of the coming week to find that sense of urgency and begin to actually fight this election. If they have not done so by Wednesday they will be pretty much finished.

The Liberals have put themselves into a very nasty spot. At the beginning of this campaign they were in the position of being the masters of their own destiny. However, their lack of urgency has let that moment pass and now they have to hope for a meltdown in the broader Conservative campaign if they hope to pull this out.


Blogger Joseph said...

We are on the same page on how we see this. I just don't understand it and am hoping someone high in the liberal campaign or with influence sees it as well.

I just can't believe how methodical and plodding this week has been for the Liberals.

"Going through the motions" or "campaigning by checklist" are the phrases I keep thinking.

Are there any actual campaign strategists working on this campaign? Real campaign strategists, not analysts or policymakers?

I am beginning to doubt it.

I agree with you that a good opportunity has been squandered this week and that if the direction and the urgency has not changed by next week, it's going to be a really bad last 3 weeks.

September 12, 2008 6:13 PM  
Blogger WesternGrit said...

Perhaps we've spent too much time on the Green Shift, and not enough time highlighting other policy announcements?

September 12, 2008 8:34 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

It seems Dion is adamant against negative campaigns - all that is needed is footage of Harper at his nasties with a line: is this really the man you want to lead our country? Or clips with Harper at his nastiest right next to the Mr. sweater he is masquerading at for the election. Or a list of Harper's policies that have undermined the economy, or repeatedly pointing out that his fondness for the US when the US is in freefall is madness, or, or , or. It will be Dion's over the top obsession with the high road that brings doom.

September 15, 2008 11:11 AM  

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