Sunday, October 25

Condoms as a metaphor for Liberal problems

This condom symbolizes the troubles the Canadian federal Liberal party are currently having:

These condoms were handed out by the University of Victoria Young Liberals in September. The idea seems smart enough at first. Rather than try to reach out to students through standard methods of communication like newspaper ads and pamphlets, why not advertise on condoms?

But the idea is not well thought out. First off, Stephen Harper is a turn-off. Nobody wants to think of a greying economist-turned-politician talking about the country's economic plan when they're in a moment of passion. He's simply "not very sexy." It's a case of using a mode of communication that seems good, but really isn't. Kind of like those Liberal ads with Michael Ignatieff sitting in a forest. It's supposed to make him seem more human and outdoorsy but it comes across as artificial.

Second, the condom simply says STOP HARPER. But stop Harper from what? That's the biggest problem with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. He's great at calling attention to Conservative screw-ups, but Ignatieff offers no concrete policy alternatives himself. He's defined himself entirely on a message of "The Conservatives are bad and we're not the Conservatives." But I think many Canadians are still waiting for Ignatieff to show what he is actually about. Certainly, Harper isn't the most popular guy, but people need to know what Ignatieff will do -- not just what he won't do.

Finally, the timing of the Liberals is all off. Just like nobody wants to hear about politics when they've got an erection, no one wants to hear about politics right after an election. Yet the Liberals have been threatening to bring the Conservatives down, even though we've just had an election.

I could try and draw other comparisons (the condoms are lubricated and politicians are slimy, it expires in four years like governments do…) but I think I've made my point. The Liberals need to rethink their messaging if they want to put up a decent showing in the next election, whenever that may be.