OTTAWA - The Conservative party's latest political ad could be filed under the category, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
The commercial, posted this week on the party's website, features some of the same themes and symbolism as the 2011 election campaign, with the economy the central focus.
A title appears on the screen: "In a fragile global economy...Canada is strong." A montage of images of the Toronto and Calgary skylines, an aerial view of combines travelling across a field of grain, and various flag shots, as audio from a Stephen Harper speech provides the voice track.
"Notwithstanding all the difficulties and uncertainties in the world, the fundamentals of our economy are as solid as a rock," Harper says. "There are more Canadians working today than at any time in the history of this country."
The main slogan, which has begun appearing in recent months in communication to party members, is "We're Better Off with Harper."
Compare that to the narrator's message in one 2011 campaign ad, which began with a statement on the "fragile" economic recovery and the party's focus on job creation.
"We're in safe hands with Stephen Harper. With so much at stake, why would we risk changing course?"
That message of good economic stewardship versus the fear of the unknown is widely credited with helping the Conservatives secure their majority win three years ago.
Since the last election, the Conservatives have reserved much of their advertising spending for the run-up to the 2015 vote. They have paid for television and radio spots attacking Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, but this is one of the first positive-toned spots that focus on the Conservative leader.
Party spokesman Cory Hann said the current plan for the ad is for online use only. Donors were asked in an email Tuesday to contribute money so that more Canadians would be able to see the commercial.
"It shouldn't come as a surprise that we're highlighting the strong, stable leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, especially as Justin Trudeau continues to display poor judgment and show that he's in over his head," Hann said.
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