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Conservatives release video attack ads that are more like skipping records

Inevitably, when a band has had a few good years of success, it’s tempting to re-package some of its greatest hits, throw in a single new track and slap a “best of” label on it.  Ladies and gentlemen, we present the Government of Canada, which today announced “new” attack ads meant to respond to Liberal threats to force an election over the spring budget. The thing is, aside from the ad seen here, none of the clips present new issues or even new attacks. As far as attack ads go, this is the “best of the Tories” CD we haven’t been waiting for.

Nothing really illustrates the perfect stalemate of Canadian politics more than the fact that nearly five years after Michael Ignatieff first took a seat in the House of Commons, the Conservatives still don’t have a new attack on him—it’s “Just Visiting” all over again. And that was really just a reheated leftover from their attacks on Stéphane Dion, remember? Of course, it wouldn’t be a stalemate if the Liberals had actually managed a convincing response to the charge in the first place. The message may be old, but Harper’s people can hardly be blamed for using a winning strategy.

Of course, it’s possible that none of this excitement will lead to an election over the spring budget. Already, the Conservatives seem to be making nice noises about negotiating with the NDP (though it might help their cause if they weren’t busy attacking the NDP, too). Over at Maclean’s, Paul Wells argues that even though Harper is trying to scare the Liberals out of forcing an election, they ought to go for it anyway. Frankly, the idea of having three elections in a 12-month period (this one, this one and that one) makes us a little ill.

• Tories fire up their attack-ad machine [Globe and Mail] • The new Conservative ads [Macleans] • Conservatives Respond to Ignatieff Election Threat [Conservative]

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