This is from the Star.
Ignatieff certainly makes a point. Also, the ads may indeed help Liberal fundraising but perhaps they may also have an effect on public perception of Ignatieff. The one ad I saw showed Ignatieff talking about the US as his country. That is a good point and could indeed strike a negative response to him in many Canadians. In fact I always considered his saying that a sign that he really favored the US and his defence of the Iraq invasion and of US humanitarian imperialism is part and parcel of the same streak in Ignatieff. However, Harper is no better with his fawning before US conservatives and praising them to the skies. It seems that our two main parties like to present us with ludicrous choices.
Ignatieff strikes back at attack ads
TheStar.com - Canada -
Ignatieff strikes back at attack ads
Conservatives trying to 'change the channel' from faltering economy, Liberal leader says
May 15, 2009 Mike Funstonin TorontoBruce Campion-SmithIn Ottawa
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff launched a counter-offensive against Conservative attack ads that depict him as an "arrogant elitist" out of touch with everyday Canadians.
"When you're down in the polls, when you're presiding over the worst collapse in employment in recent memory, when you've got record bankruptcies everywhere you look, the thing you're going to do if you're in government and responsible for this mess is change the channel and that's what they're trying to do," Ignatieff said in Toronto last night.
"Is that serious government? Is that serious politics? That's the kind of government we've got."
The fact that he has "seen Canada from the outside," as a writer, teacher, and reporter does not make him less of a Canadian, Ignatieff told members of the Labourers' International Union of North America and other representatives of the construction industry.
"At any given time, there may be two million Canadian citizens living and working overseas. Is the Conservative party saying these people are less Canadian?"
The Conservative ads, appearing on the Internet and television, portray Ignatieff, who lived abroad for several decades, as an opportunistic interloper who will bolt the country again if he fails in his bid to become prime minister.
"With no long-term commitment to Canada, he's just in it for himself. Michael Ignatieff, just visiting," a narrator says on one ad.
But the ads are winning praise from a strange corner – the national director of the Liberal party.
Rocco Rossi calls the attack ads "manna from heaven," and says they've sparked a rush in donations to the Liberal party from supporters outraged at the Conservative tactics.
It seems the Conservatives, whom Ignatieff has credited with helping unite the Liberals by precipitating last fall's parliamentary showdown, are now helping fill the coffers too.
"They have this innate ability at every turn to help the Liberal party. This is one of their best favours yet," Rossi said in an interview yesterday.
As the Conservative party was flashing around an email Wednesday titled "The Free Ride is Over," highlighting aspects of the negative campaign, the Liberal party sent out its own email declaring "Enough is Enough."
"Unable to provide leadership himself, (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper has launched new ads attempting to divert attention away from his government's failures," the Liberal email said.
"Show your support and let's remind the Conservatives that their games won't work," it said.
The response so far is exceeding expectations, Rossi said.
"We're already showing greater response than any email solicitation that we've done to date. I'm very excited."
The party dramatically boosted its donations in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same time last year, and is on track to do "significantly" better in the second quarter, he said.
In response, the Liberals are painting the Conservatives as living in an "alternate universe," putting their energies into the attacks ads rather than solving the economic crisis.
Ignatieff repeated last night his threat of forcing an election if reforms to employment insurance are not made before the summer.
Ignatieff said he cannot continue to make Parliament work if substantive reforms aren't made to the federal program by the time it rises in June.
"My party wants to get Mr. Harper to make some constructive changes on EI before this summer," Ignatieff said.
Ignatieff's comments came a day after Harper shot down his suggestion for a 360-hour national minimum threshold to qualify for EI benefits. Currently, eligibility and benefits vary by region.
With files from The Canadian Press