Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

How leadership will shake down in this election

  • Print
As I was jamming a peanut butter sandwhich down the old cake hole this morning, saw the second wave of Conservative election ads. It's still the warm and fuzzy Prime Minister Stephen Harper motif, all cardigans and vaseline all over the lens. The tag line for the ad was the thing that really caught my attention:"We're better off with Harper."I understand the need to play the leadership card, especially when your party has the leader that more people want to lead. But I found the ads, and the tag line, clumsy and obvious. In fact, it's hard to get away from a feeling that the motto is telling me, "things are pretty bad and while you may not trust me, you're better off voting for me than the other guy." Somehow, it just doesn't sound like a call to arms.How about "Harper: strong leadership when we need it the most." Or, "Harper: Vision, Strength, Courage." Tell us why we should vote for Harper, not that he's the best of a bad lot.Effective advertising not only drives home its point, but does it in a way that doesn't make the customer feel as if they are being buried in rhetoric. There is a lot of hokey symbolism in these ads and it seems a bit of a stretch that people who fear Harper for his inflexibility and social conservative views will be numbed by the warm and fuzzy.It wasn't so long ago that Harper was the leader who was playing catch up to his competitors on the leadership issue. However, since overcoming that hurdle, the Tories have been masterful in forging an image of Harper as the iron-fisted, iron-willed commander and chief. And based on poll results, the Tories have created an image that appeals to more Canadians than any other leader. National polls are showing Liberal Leader Stephane Dion running third in some areas of the country.However, I think it's pretty obvious that Harper is not as popular a leader nationally as, say, Premier Gary Doer is in Manitoba. Doer's personal popularity does carry his team. I'm not convinced yet that Harper's personal appeal is enough to drag the Tories to a majority. More people have warmed to Harper's image, but he remains a politician that polarizes the electorate.What is clear, however, is that the Conservative Party is going to hop on Harper's coat tails for this one. It will be fascinating to see if he can carry them over the finish line.This is going to be a great election.-30-

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

Twitter

Ads by Google