ELECTION 2004: Let the Bloodbath Begin
Liberals Step Up Attack Ads Against Harper
|Two of the controversial new Liberal attack
ads against Stephen Harper
A campaign expected to be one of the nastiest in Canadian electoral history
is unfolding as predicted. The Liberal Party, sorry, TEAM MARTIN, is coming
under fire for a new series of American-style attack ads against Conservative
Party leader Stephen Harper.
The newly commissioned print advertisements, which appeared in today's Smiths
Falls Off Roader, among other prominent Canadian dailies, depict Harper
torturing what appear to be Iraqi prisoners.
In one of the four different advertisements, each of them sporting the title,
"DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A FUTURE PRIME MINISTER?" Harper appears to be
standing behind a makeshift human pyramid of naked prisoners, his arms crossed
and grinning broadly. Another photograph depicts the Conservative leader riding
an Iraqi prisoner like a horse.
Reached for response while campaigning in Quebec yesterday, Harper seemed unfazed
with the Liberals' new ultra-aggressive approach so early in the campaign. "It
shows their desperation," said the Conservative leader. "Besides,
those pictures are totally out of context."
Jennifer Saccharine, a spokesperson for the Liberal campaign, defended the
new series of advertisements. She said that the party is not worried that the
campaign may backfire on the Liberals.
"As if a negative attack advertisement would ever backfire. Come on. That’s
never happened before. Why would it happen now?"
Saccharine would neither confirm nor deny rumours that the pictures were smuggled
to the Liberals by Joe Clark.
Herman Hadilpe, a Quebec City accountant in attendance at a Harper campaign
stop yesterday, indicated that the Liberal ads will have no impact on his vote.
"Ah, even if he did torture a few Iraqis, he's gonna cut my taxes 25 per
Conservatives Pledge to Ban Nickelback
|"We've had a complaint that you're harbouring
contraband Nickelback albums in your home."
The Conservative Party today unveiled their policy on an issue that could become
one of the key issues of this campaign: Nickelback. Campaigning in Atlantic
Canada, Leader Stephen Harper announced that a Conservative government would
banish all music by the Western Canadian rockers immediately.
According to Harper, music video channels and all Canadian radio stations would
be banned from broadcasting any Nickelback content, including solo work by the
band's lead singer Chad Kroeger, under a Conservative government.
Furthermore, all CD's by the band would be removed from the shelves of Canadian
retailers, and Anti-Nickelback enforcement officers, as part of a new federal
Music Standards Agency, would take to the streets to investigate the presence
of Nickelback in businesses and private homes. Any Canadian caught trafficking
recorded material or electronic files of the band's music will face fines of
up to $5,000.
"Unlike the Liberals, our party is unequivocal on the issue of Nickelback,"
bellowed Harper, as he delivered a fiery speech in which he actually arched
his eyebrows. "If elected, we will do everything in our power to make sure
you will never be subjected to another Nickelback song. Vote for us, and never
again will you hear Never Again. Or that other song there about the stained
dress that sounds like every other one...God."
Added the Prime Ministerial hopeful, speaking before the Moncton Chamber of
Donut Retailers: "Sure, Paul Martin might be having his picture taken with
Bono, but in the mean time what is he doing for Candians? What is he doing about
getting Nickelback banned from the Canadian airwaves? Nothing."
Dr. Bruce Vespy, Director of the University of Smiths Falls College of Political
and Veterinary Sciences, said Harper risks alienating certain political constituencies
with his forceful anti-Nickelback stance, such as fraternity members, sorority
members and those with no taste.
"This sounds like big, interventionist government to me. And you know
the Liberals will be asking how the Conservatives will be able to afford a multi-million
dollar crackdown on Nickelback while at the same time cutting taxes by 25 per
cent," assessed Dr. Vespy, his hand up a cow's rear end.
In an election that has been described as lacking in major issues, Nickelback
could wind up as a key factor. While Paul Martin was initially noncommittal
about Nickelback after becoming Prime Minister, saying that they were a matter
of provincial jurisdiction, the Prime Minister insisted that Anti-Nickelback
legislation would be a new Liberal Government's "first priority" while
campaigning yesterday in Montreal. Or no worse than seventh.
"If I hear that stupid How You Remind Me song one more time, I
swear, I'm gonna go all Sheila Copps on someone," said Prime Minister Martin.
Bloc Québécois Decides to Run Candidates in All 308 Ridings
|The Bloc likes its chances in Calgary. "People
in Alberta wanna separate, we wanna separate. Sounds like a match made in
heaven," said Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe.
Supremely confident about their electoral chances in Quebec, the Bloc Québécois
has for the first time decided to run candidates in every riding in the country.
"We're tired of being secondary players politically. We want a chance
to form the government," said Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, explaining the
party's sudden change in direction. We want to let the Liberals continue to
shoot themselves in the foot in Quebec, and we thought it'd be easier if we
just got out of the way.
"That's why I'm here in Edmonton tonight to show off our strong slate
of candidates for the area."
Taxi driver Hank Yablum, the newly-appointed Bloc candidate for the new suburban
Edmonton riding of Gretzky-Kurri-Semenko, said he plans to try learning French
soon, but admitted he knows little about his new party's platform.
"I answered the ad in the paper, filled out a few forms, and next thing
you know, I'm the candidate. They didn't seem too concerned as to whether or
not I knew anything about the H & R Blocs, or whatever they're called,"
The new convert to Quebec sovereignty, who admitted he's never been to Quebec
("But I'll go there to check it out if I get elected for sure"), said
that he's always wanted to see his name on a campaign poster. "It's always
been a dream of mine to run for office and lose convincingly. The NDP wouldn't
let me run for them, because my hair's too short, but now, thanks to the Bloc
Quebecois, I'm living my dream."
Duceppe thinks his party is ready to make an electoral breakthrough in the
rest of Canada. "Our initial polling tells us that we'll easily match the
Liberals in parts of Calgary and the B.C. interior. Might even pass them."
University student Jason Yeung was one of several dozen confused passers-by
watching the French-only Duceppe stump speech in downtown Edmonton. He wasn't
won over by the Bloc Leader's performance. "I was just here to see if he'd
put on one of those shower caps again."
Layton Issues Controversial Tweed Ban to All NDP Candidates For Duration of
|Randy Jack Layton campaigns on Vancouver's
Davie Street yesterday
According to a document obtained by thehammer, after it was passed off to us
by someone from the CBC on the bus with us, NDP Leader Randy Jack Layton has
formally banned all NDP candidates in the June 28 federal election from wearing
tweed or "anything else that looks dorky."
The confidential document issued to all 308 NDP candidates urges party members
to wear "nice crisp suits, IRONED PLEASE, or tight lycra t-shirts, if you've
got the body to show it off. And no clip on ties."
The document, signed by Layton, warns party members that campaign funds will
be cut from any candidates seen wearing tweed sport coats or berets in television
news clips. "We actually have money now, so don't think we can't do it,"
reads a passage from the document.
Campaigning in Vancouver, Layton refused to confirm or deny the official internal
party dress code communiqué, but said a rejuvenated party needs a rejuvenated
"Just because you're a social democrat, it doesn't mean you have to look
like a constipated philosophy professor," admitted the dynamic and photogenic
leader, as he paused to squat Libby Davies for cameras, his well-toned quadriceps
on display for all to see. "Have you seen the legs on my wife? (Olivia
Chow) Look at them! They're like granite!"
Longtime NDP MP Big Bill Blaikie, who finished second to Layton in the party's
leadership campaign two years ago, admitted he's had to make some changes to
his attire to comply with the new regulations, including throwing out his entire
"I guess Jack knows best," said Blaikie, sporting a leather jacket
with baggy jeans and faux mohawk hairdo while campaigning in his Winnipeg riding
yesterday afternoon. "We're