Out, out damn spot
Stephen Taylor, of the Blogging Tories, has a must-read entry on his own blog -- the back story of the Conservatives' grease-spot attack ads on the carbon tax.
It explains the strategy as an all-out response to research on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Liberals and Conservatives.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion, for instance, has some credibility on the environment front, so the carbon-tax idea had to be framed as a tax. And then, as Taylor writes:
"In focus groups and telephone-based market research, Conservative planners came to understand that a carbon tax in the abstract is a well-received concept to most Canadians. What they also found, however, that when the details of achieving such a policy objective are understood, a broad majority of Canadians don’t think of it as feasible. Words like “tax-shifting” and “revenue neutral” were panned and uncomfortably rejected by focus groups when polled and the general distrust of politicians regarding new tax became a palatable conclusion for Conservative strategists. Conservative-Liberal switchers, a group that holds victory for either party, was found to have a distrust for any politician with a plan for creative tax manipulation."
Liberals and Conservatives should have a read of Taylor's post. It's well-written, well-researched and contains some foreshadowing of how things could unfold in the next election campaign.
Here's a little cartoon (Liberal-produced, you can assume) that has the little grease spot explaining how he's come to be out of work.