on this one – it’s a toughie. This election campaign has been pretty quiet so far, and in English, the only ads I’ve seen have been the amateurish Harper ads. Not much is going on – everyone seems to be saving their ad spend until later on.
In Quebec, however, in French, the Liberals have already started their advertising, and they did so with what I think it the best political ad in the history of Canada. There has been some scandal around this – about which, more later. For now, it’s enough to know that the scandal (not just the ad itself) has been covered in at least one major Montreal daily.
Which leads me to the weirdest part of this little story. I was looking in the English media to see if there had been any mention of this masterful TV ad – and there it was on the CTV site: Liberal ads mock separatists, Bloc priorities. Problem is – the story is completely wrong. The story describes the ad reasonably well, but makes a huge error in suggesting that the ad is mocking Duceppe’s call for a Quebec National hockey team. It has nothing to do with that! Rather, the ad uses the extremely popular theater sports (yes, improv is very popular in Quebec) phenomenon as a metaphor for the election.
The scandal itself is that the group that rented the equipment to the Liberal Party, the Ligue nationale d’improvisation, has objected to the anti-Bloc ads and would like to sue the Liberals. For what it’s not entirely clear – basically, the ads don’t agree with their politics and they think that entitles them to halt the ad.
So, a precis of Canadian politics circa 2005-2006. There’s a silly scandal in Quebec and though it is covered in the English, non-Quebec media, they get the story completely wrong because they haven’t the faintest clue about Quebec and its culture. What more is there to know?
Update: CTV got the story right three days later, but the point remains valid. And it raises another question – why is the CTV site so lame as to not have any kind of date stamps on news stories?