New set of Tory ads take aim at Dion leadership
Parminder Parmar, CTV.ca News
Published Friday, November 2, 2007 10:34PM EDT
The Conservatives are about to launch another set of attack ads against Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.
In one of the television ads, a photo of Dion is juxtaposed with a picture of a woman beside a cash register. An announcer then comes on and says the Liberals are planning a "multi-million dollar tax grab by hiking the GST."
The ad goes on to state that Dion does not know how to set priorities, is "not a leader," and "not worth the risk."
It will run during an NFL game on Sunday and will continue to be aired the following week.
"To begin with, it is going to run on the Eagles-Cowboys game, which is Sunday night," Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre told CTV Newsnet's Mike Duffy Live.
"The reason for that is there will be normal, everyday Canadians who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules sitting back, having a cold one."
Poilievre said the Tories want to point out that Canadian families could see their taxes increase under a Dion government.
But one Liberal strategist says the ads are blatantly misleading. Scott Reid told Mike Duffy Live that the Liberals are planning on cutting taxes, not raising them.
"(Dion) believes that we should be cutting personal income taxes first and deeper than Stephen Harper," Reid said.
"He believes that we ought to be investing in health care, child care, and very importantly in a greener, stronger environment."
CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife said the advertisements are a follow-up to a campaign the Tories rolled out after Dion was elected leader of the Liberals.
"(The Conservatives) believe that their previous ads had already established in the public's mind that Stephane Dion wasn't a strong leader," Fife said.
"Now they've taken it to the next step."
For the past few months, Dion has faced reports that there is internal dissent over his leadership within the Liberal caucus. He was also facing heat for losing a high profile byelection in September in what was considered a relatively safe Liberal riding in Quebec.
This week some Liberals privately questioned Dion's political judgment when he said he would revisit the issue of a GST cut announced by the Harper government.
Fife said he asked Conservative strategists why they are taking a chance running ads that could help push the Liberals to dump Dion if Tories believe he is such a weak opponent.
"Their viewpoint is that it's impossible for the Liberals to get rid of Stephane Dion, to be able to replace him with someone like Michael Ignatieff or Bob Rae. So, they're just going to keep pounding away at him," Fife said.