It’s not often the Prime Minister calls in sick. But on Tuesday, Stephen Harper was down with a vicious head cold exacerbated by his aversion to taking cold medications.

Even so, he still went ahead with meeting the Aga Khan spiritual leader, a Chamber of Commerce delegation and who knows who else on his unpublished schedule.

The man is a workaholic, a fact confirmed by many insiders who have watched Harper up close.

That is why this week’s pre-campaign ad focused on the daunting task of being prime minister, complete with the weary flick of the light switch as Harper left the office late to head home, was so effective. It approximated reality.

Which brings us to the other Conservative ad rolled out this week.

It was an attack on Justin Trudeau, using a staged hiring panel looking over the Liberal leader’s credentials to become prime minister, only to find him sadly wanting.

Nice hair, but he’s just not ready, they concluded.

This one didn’t work as well because it opens the door to wondering what the hiring panel would think of rookie Stephen Harper’s application for the job.

Harper was 43 when he became leader, exactly the same age Trudeau is now.

He had two years of experience as a party leader to start his first election, which is what Trudeau has now.

Harper’s only business experience was running a very small, secretive and mostly unsuccessful lobby operation.

Trudeau, at least, taught high school students French and math, which gave him lessons in caucus management.

But neither can claim to boast a stellar resume for the nation’s top job.

If there was truth in advertising, the hiring panel would suggest Trudeau has as much experience to lead the country now as rookie leader Harper did in 2002.

But, sadly, when election warfare takes to the airwaves, truth is always the first casualty.