Monday, February 10, 2014

Smoke Conservative brand Zig Zag papers ..... "Drive, Disrupt, Disunity!"

Good Day Readers:

You have to wonder whether this is deja vu all over again. If any of the dirty tricksters get caught will Stephen Harper claim he had no knowledge whatsoever just like the senate scandal where his office staff were undoubtedly feverishly running around like chickens with their heads cut off in full damage control but, if he is to be believed, not once did he think to ask, "What's going on?"

Anyway you look at it the Trudeauites sure seem to have the Harperites worried these days!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Conservatives planning to undermine Justin Trudeau at Liberal convention

Stephen Harper's Conservatives are planning to target Justin Trudeau at the upcoming Liberal convention with a a carefully orchestrated campaign to disrupt Liberal communications, highlight disunity in the ranks and question his leadership abilities.

Bruce Champion-Smith, Ottawa Bureau
Susan Delacourt, Parliament Hill

Monday, February 10, 2014

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is the focus of a leaked six-page note that lays out how the Progressive Conservative Party plans to disrupt communications from the upcoming liberal convention in particular by attacking Trudeau as being "in over his head" and having poor judgment."

OTTAWA—Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are planning to target Justin Trudeau at the upcoming Liberal convention with a carefully orchestrated campaign to disrupt Liberal communications, highlight disunity in the ranks and question his leadership abilities.

The game plan, laid in out Conservative party documents obtained by The Star, spells out the objective in three words: “drive, disrupt, disunity.”

The six-page note says the Conservatives’ goal is to “drive our narrative” which it lays out: “Trudeau in over his head, has poor judgment, only interested in legalizing marijuana vs. PM’s strong, stable leadership, focused on what matters most to Canadians.”

The note even muses about “more gimmicky ideas,” such as distributing ZigZag rolling papers screened with Trudeau’s face and the Liberal logo to put a focus on the Liberal leader’s comments about the legalization of marijuana.

In an email to The Star Sunday, Dimitri Soudas, the Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada, did not deny the existence of the strategy note and indeed repeated the very messaging the Conservatives hope to deliver at the Liberal convention. “Canadians will face a clear choice in the next election between Justin Trudeau’s poor judgement, lack of experience and bad plan on the economy and Prime Minister Harper’s strong, stable leadership and low tax plan for jobs and economic growth for Canadian families,” Soudas said.

The party says it wants a “Conservative voice” in all stories that come out of the Liberal convention “while ensuring a consistent contrast between the Liberal leader’s poor judgment and the strong stable leadership of the Prime Minister.”

More National stories on thestar.com

The Conservatives will also be seeking to put the spotlight on any contentious policies that may be debated at the Liberal convention, being held in Montreal starting February 20. That will put the Liberals “on their heels and forced to defend themselves. If they’re explaining, they’re losing,” the note says.

The Conservatives are also seeking to exploit cracks in the Liberal party “that are opening up again.”

As proof, the document cites Trudeau’s early departure from a recent tribute dinner for former prime minister Jean Chrétien, along with Trudeau’s own decision to oust Liberal senators from the party caucus.

“Opportunity exists to fan the flames of Liberal infighting,” the note says.

To ensure that message gets out, the Conservatives are planning a concerted communications strategy using dedicated websites, online ads, online videos, daily email updates to the Conservative supporters and social media, using “pre-canned” messages.

“We can also use the opportunity to build an ‘anti-Trudeau’ supporters’ list. Encourage people to sign up to hear the real truths behind Trudeau and why he’s in over his head,” the note says.

The note makes clear that the Conservatives see Trudeau’s position on marijuana as a wedge issue they hope to exploit.

“There is an opportunity to keep the focus on this poor policy decision. Research shows that full legalization is not popular,” the note says.

The Conservatives say one possibility is to have Justice Minister Peter MacKay hold a news conference to restate the government’s opposition to legalization.

“This could at least set the table for further driving of our anti-legalization message throughout the weekend,” the note said.

The Conservatives have a history of trying to disrupt Liberal conventions, most notably at the 2006 leadership, when senior PMO staff were in attendance and Soudas was handing out buttons mocking various candidates.

The document states that the Conservatives will be trying to whip up divisions between Trudeau and former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. This is apparently based on Soudas’ observations at the Chrétien dinner.

Soudas, who was at the event with his partner, MP Eve Adams, posted on Twitter that night: “Everybody stayed to listen to Jean Chrétien’s great speech tonight except 1 person with initials #JT.”

(Liberals say that Trudeau left the event early because he had an early morning flight to catch the following day.)

With the Liberals up in the polls, the strategy note suggests that the Conservatives see Trudeau rather than NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair as their real foe in 2015, when the next federal election is expected.

Indeed, a separate PowerPoint presentation to the Conservatives’ national council says the party’s goal is to “ensure we don’t wake up on October 20, 2015 with Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister.”

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