The two campaigns in the London North Centre by election that went negative were the Conservative campaign (which went negative on the Liberals) and the NDP campaign (which went negative on the Greens). It’s no coincidence that those campaigns finished third and fourth, behind the positive campaigns of the Liberals and the Green Party.
I bring this up because late last night the NDP sent out an email to their supporters (and moles like me). The first paragraph read:
There’s a new Liberal leader but it’s the same old Liberal party. After 13 years of broken promises and corruption, the Liberals have picked themselves a new front man. Their choice – an out of touch academic who spent 10 years in a scandal ridden cabinet and who’s record as Environment Minister was condemned by environmentalists and the Environment Commissioner. Liberal arrogance – some things never change.
The second paragraph — ready for this? — was as follows:
Today Jack Layton offered his congratulations to StÃ©phane Dion, saying that he looked forward to debating the new leader in Parliament to get things done for today’s families.
The second paragraph loses some of its sincerity coming after the first, doesn’t it? Listen folks, we’re not going to accomplish anything by being close-minded, mean, and partisan beyond reason. And if that isn’t enough, Canadians increasingly won’t vote for these kinds of politicians and parties. The London North Centre result showed that.
If I were in charge of the NDP’s messaging, I’d turn the venom down a shade, or risk being poisoned by it.