You have to wonder, if Stephane Dion is not threatening to Stephen Harper, why would the Conservatives launch this unprecedented attack ad campaign before Dion and his team has had an opportunity to show themselves as the Opposition? There is only one reason: Harper and his Ministers are scared. And so they should be. Just before Christmas, the polls showed that the environment was the key issue for over 70% of Canadians. Harper’s “Clean Air Act” was an embarrassment to Canadians. The polls showed support for the Conservatives dropping and support for Dion and the Liberals on the rise.
As is typical of Harper, the poll numbers caused a swift response. In this case, it precipitated a sudden conversion and immediate reaction. “The so-called climate change” became important. Over the holidays, Ambrose was fired, John Baird was hired to replace her and all of a sudden, the Conservatives, acting like born-again environmentalists, launched a green agenda.
Harper campaigned on 5 priorities. Canadians are beginning to see that, in reality, he has only one: to get re-elected. And he will use any means he needs to get there. The question now is whether Canadians will see this latest ploy to bolster support and this negative attempt to discredit Dion as over-the-top. The ads are significant in what they do not say: Dion has the Conservatives running scared. By attacking Dion out of the start-gate, their mantra of “We’re not afraid of Dion, We’re not afraid of Dion” speaks volumes. By insisting so passionately that Dion is not a good leader, Canadians will suspect the opposite it true. As they should. Liberals at the Leadership Convention opted for a man of integrity. Precisely what Harper is not. I think he protests too much.