I'm stoked that the federal Conservatives have found both the time and money to spend on attack ads rather than aid our economy or assist those that are losing jobs and so forth. I get that the money spent doesn't come from the government and taxpayers - directly - but it's good to see that the website domain fees are going out of country (Montenegro or US).
I can't imagine that going on the offensive against your opponent, using extremely aged and out-of-context quotes during a time of low public opinion and an ailing economy is going to fix your public image. You know what might help your public image? Doing the job you were mandated to do and accepting the will of the majority (oh, and stopping with the little political gamesmanship crap in the House and with each Bill might help too).
There's a point when you'd think common sense might kick in. You're losing public support by being inactive, conniving, overly partisan and ideological and so forth. The obvious answer to correcting this problem isn't to do more of it, it is likely to do less and to act like a government that actually cares and is just as concerned as the average Joe or Joanne.
But then again common sense seems to be out of reach for the Conservatives. Hell, a contingent of them are leftovers from the Harris Common Sense Revolution days. A program that had very little to do with common sense and more to do with reason and ideology, which are often signs of a specific agenda rather than something generally useful or concerning for the public at large.
Do I think the attack ads will work? Not really. Like Kinsella has pointed out there is an entire army of Canadians who have made their careers outside of their country. Canadians generally show respect and admiration for them.
Furthermore, the whole 'Ignatieff arrogance' angle has already played out. It made its appearance during his return home phase, his running for a seat, his running for Liberal leader part 1, his running for Liberal leader part 2 and so on. The time to push that would have been a couple years ago, not now. Ignatieff is now too established in the conscience of Canadians as something else - a viable alternative to Harper.
And isn't there a hint of some type of reverse arrogance or elitism in chiding Ignatieff for working overseas? Just because you didn't get a worldly education, or international experience, or decided to live under a rock your entire life doesn't make you more Canadian or better fit for public office.
This whole episode is just a follow up attempt to the Dion breakdown. And as such you're facing an opponent that has likely learned from the past and a public that won't buy the same crap twice. Skepticism towards the ads will be higher and Ignatieff won't likely make the same missteps as Dion. Therefore, what Canadians will likely remember in the end, is that while the Conservatives put out inane attack ads, the economy burned.