With parliament on break this week for Remembrance Day the Conservatives decided to launch another round of attack ads directed towards Stepahane Dion's record during the current session of parliament. They focus on Dion's pledge to consider rescinding the GST cut and continuation of the Stephane Dion is not a leader branding.
Personally I do not like seeing the attack ads especially since an election has not been called. However the phrase "Stephane Dion is not a leader" gets posted a lot in various forums. Clearly the message got through.
To a certain extent the Liberals are getting a taste of their own medicine. Before the Martin government collapsed they lowered personal income tax by 1%. The Conservative government raised it by 0.5% to help pay for the 1% GST cut. The Liberals have been clamouring ever since that the Conservatives raised taxes. Now they are considering reversing the GST cut to provide 'better' tax cuts. They are upset they are being accused of raising taxes.
The real problem with these ads is the current party fundraising laws. They were altered to limit how much influence an individual could have on the government through their ability to contribute financially. They were also designed to limit the fund raising ability of the larger parties to create a more balanced playing field for smaller parties. Government funding based on the number of total votes is paid out by the government to offset some of the lost revenue.
The end result is that all the parties are having major fundraising issues. Currently the Conservatives are the best party at fundraising. The Liberals are having a difficult time paying off the millions spent on the recent leadership campaign. They are not in a financial position to run counter ads that would force the Conservatives to back off.
The new fund raising laws are not producing the results they were supposed to. They need to be reviewed and adjusted to make sure parties have the funding they need in order to have a fair and honest political system.