POLITICS

NDP Attack Ads: Stephen Harper Targeted In New TV Spots (VIDEO)

07/10/2012 03:28 EDT | Updated 08/24/2012 11:51 EDT

Hot on the heels of a Tory attack ad targeting Thomas Mulcair, the NDP is fighting back with an anti-Harper spot.

The ad, titled "Stephen Harper's Solutions," goes after the prime minister's economic record, crediting him with creating the "worst deficit in Canadian history" and criticizing his government for cuts to EI and Old Age Security (OAS). A French ad delivers much the same message.

Throughout the ad, the NDP uses images of a younger and decidedly sweatier Harper. Perhaps they hope to capitalize on the same perspiration phenomena which helped take down Richard Nixon in the 1960 American election.

The NDP is asking Canadians to share the ad on Facebook and Twitter to help set the "record straight on what Stephen Harper is really up to," according to an email sent by NDP National Director Chantal Vallerand.

Whether simultaneous criticism for overspending and cutting will resonate with Canadians remains to be seen, but the ad does illustrate that the NDP is willing to use the same advertising tactics employed with so much success by their Conservative rivals.

Some, such as the Toronto Star's Susan Delacourt, have linked Tory attack ads targeting Bob Rae with the interim Liberal leader's recent decision not to run for the permanent top job.

Tory attack ads aimed at former Grit leaders Michael Ignatieff and Stephane Dion have widely been credited with leading to two successive electoral catastrophes for the Liberals.

The NDP seems to be proving that they won't allow a similar discrediting of Mulcair without a fight. "Last week Stephen Harper launched baseless attack ads against Tom Mulcair. He thinks bullying New Democrats will distract Canadians from his reckless agenda. But it won’t work," Vallerand states in the email.

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