Monday, September 1, 2008

If I Ran the Campaign...

Politics is my favourite spectator sport. I find it far more entertaining than... well, sports. So, in the tradition of armchair quarterbacks everywhere, here are a few suggestions for the Liberal campaign team.

Pay attention, boys.
1) Stick to the high road.
Dion's dignity is one of his best attributes ("I'm a big boy" was the best line ever), so let Harper and his minions rant and spew and taunt all they like. It just makes them look like assholes. Not to say you can't rightly point out the many, many failings of his government and his policies - just make sure you don't get personal. Except for Danny Williams. He can be your Insult Dog.

2) Use your Grassroots and NetRoots.
Learn from Obama. Use every tool you have to engage people and keep them engaged. In fact, you should have had a big, obvious button on your 'Green Shift' website from the first day you launched it where people could register for 'updates' or 'Green Shift News' or something - and then used those contacts for fundraising. Do it. DO IT NOW.

3) Make lemonade.
I know, you're still mourning the loss of all those millions from your Corporate Overlords. Get over it, and turn it to your advantage - as in, "Yes, we used to be under the financial thumb of the corporate establishment, but now... we're not!" (you're not, right?) And give Dion more self-deprecating jokes. I wish I could remember the one where he apologized for his "Australian accent" - it was hilarious.

4) Use your proxies.
The country is full of people who are pissed off at the Conservatives. Let them have at it so you can stay above the fray. Like Danny Williams. Or how about all those Canadian celebrities who testified against C-10? I'm sure Sarah Polley and Paul Gross and all their friends would be more than happy to put together an ad reminding everyone about just how badly Harper has screwed the arts & entertainment industry. Same with supporters of the Wheat Board. Or those CMA members that Tony insulted. They don't have to support you - just remind people of what Harper hath wrought.

5) Work the regions.
Nationally, you guys look bad. But the Maritimes have a long list of their own grievances against the Conservatives. Quebec has a bunch of Bloc seats up for bid, and most of them are really unhappy about arts cuts and Afghanistan. The arts cuts will play in Ontario too, as will food safety deregulation. There, you need to woo both NDPers who think you're no different from the Cons, and old PCers like my dad who are fed up with Harper but not ready to vote Liberal yet. The Prairies... well, do what you can. And in BC (or at least, urban BC) you have the arts cuts plus those insulting 'junkie' flyers.

6) Above all, have a plan, and a vision.
Not a plan to get elected - a plan for what you're going to do after you are. The 'Green Shift' is a start. Now we need to see the rest of it, front and centre. No band-aids. No lollipops. No envelopes of cash. A solid, integrated, bold plan to help us weather the coming storms and emerge with a resilient, transformed economy and a renewed social contract. And a vision of Canada like the one the Liberals talk about but never manage to quite bring about. Progressive. Compassionate. Prosperous. Generous. Trusted and respected on the world stage. Supportive of its citizens at home.

You guys can manage all that, right?

1 comment:

  1. Right on. Now is the time for some creativity. Get it together.