Political commercials fit definition of insanity

Sorry basketball fans, but as I promised, I haven’t watched much of the NBA Final.

It’s not near the top of my priority list. Based on the TV ratings, I’m actually in the majority, but I recognize that drawing more than six million viewers for anything in this country is actually an incredible feat.

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Still, on one of those times in which my television has been on the NBA final, I saw something that made me laugh. No, it wasn’t the latest antics of Raptors super fan and “ambassador” Drake. No, it wasn’t the stupidity of one of the Golden State Warriors owners.

And it wasn’t the embarrassing conduct of Raptors fans who jeered Warriors star Kevin Durant after Durant suffered a serious injury.

No, it was an attack ad against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Now, Justin Trudeau has given lots of reasons for us to be critical during his first term as prime minister. From a budgeting and a legislative perspective, he’s been a disaster. And we’ve seen him embarrass our country on the international stage.

But still, you’d think that his opponents’ supporters could come up with a better ad campaign than a reset of the “He’s just not ready” ads we saw four years ago.

For those who don’t remember, in 2015 a group called Shaping Canada’s Future ran commercials with management types discussing Trudeau’s potential for the job of prime minister. In the end, they concluded he wasn’t ready.

Judging by the results of the 2015 election, the ad did not resonate with Canadians.

Shaping Canada’s Future clearly wants to fulfill the definition of insanity, because now we’re getting ads with the slogan of “Never Ready” when it comes to Trudeau II. And yes, it’s the same people who were in the commercial four years ago.

You have to wonder, though, why they would want the same people, in the same setting with basically the same message as 2015.

Call it a hunch, but we get the feeling that no matter what Justin Trudeau did, these people would be criticizing him. He could have had the best first term of a prime minister in Canada’s history, and they would still say Trudeau II would never be ready.

Of course, Trudeau’s government gave Omar Khadr $10 million, screwed around with small business legislation, forced a carbon tax on several provinces, botched the the energy file and mismanaged the country’s finances. And he embarrassed the country in India.

Apparently this wasn’t the only attack ad campaign to be launched in Canada during the Toronto Raptors run for basketball glory. There was an attack ad against Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, too, that involves a Scheer bobblehead doll.

I haven’t seen it. But I’m not surprised it happened. You had to know that someone would go after Scheer eventually. Trudeau might have said his party wouldn’t do attack ads again, but that doesn’t prevent an organization that supports Trudeau, or opposes Scheer, from continuing with the practice.

Maybe Scheer’s opponents can launch a campaign saying “Andrew Scheer: he’s just not ready.”

You might be wondering why there hasn’t been an attack ad against New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh, but why bother wasting your money? He just keeps pushing the party closer to irrelevance.

I don’t fault political parties or their allies for launching campaigns like this, particularly at this time. The NBA final will likely be the top-rated broadcast in Canada this year. There are a lot of people watching. Sure, many of them will be like me, and will reach for the channel changer when one of these ads invades my TV. But there are others who will sit there and watch it.

After all, people will sit through another “Never ready” ad, rather than risk missing a single Kawhi Leonard shot.

You might want a separation of sport and state, but it’s not going to happen. Not this year with so much on the line in October.

This is what we can get used to during the next four months. A bombardment of political ads, some of which will extol the virtues of the governing Liberals and the opposition Tories, and others which will tear them down.

(Again, I don’t think we have to worry about much mention about Singh and the NDP).

I’m a political junkie. I’ll be paying close attention to the campaign over the next four months. I won’t be able to get enough of good political discussion. I’ll be keenly interested in the results.

If indeed the Liberals do lose this campaign, it will go down as one of the biggest collapses we’ll ever see, to go from what they were four years ago to an opposition party this year.

The Never Ready and the bobblehead commercials have nothing to do with good political discourse. These merely appeal to political stooges.

For most of us, these ads will force us to reach for the remote.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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