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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Talking about Americans

Via Calgary Grit, I see that Stephen Taylor noticed that the Liberal "Standing up for Canada" ads were produced before the diplomatic row with the United States. He concludes the row itself must have been orchestrated.

I think this might be a bit of a logical jump. Really, I would have expected that if the point of the ads was to be negative without actually being negative (The Liberals defend medicare, the Liberals defend the Charter, the Liberals stand up to big bad Bush - all leaving the implication that the Conservative Party does not), there would be one like this in the can already. Or, if not an ad in the can, at least the quotes ready to be strung together into a commercial. And it can hardly be considered particularly Machiavellian if they rushed that ad to air.

It doesn't matter that the diplomatic battle highlighted this theme. The theme had to be one the Liberals were expecting to pursue regardless. I'm not saying that Paul Martin didn't do anything to bring this on, or that the Liberals don't welcome the theme. There are other pieces of evidence that suggest they took intentional steps to provoke the fight. But ultimately, I can't imagine that they imagined they'd draw the White House, not to mention some slow-witted American commentators, into the mix.

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