The Liberal Party is testing new videos attacking conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, one of which compares him to former US president Donald Trump.
The party confirms that a video it posted online earlier this week was the first to merge. Images of Poilievre and Trump.
The Liberals’ video uses Polievre’s recent viral apple-eating moment, when he had a brusque exchange with a local journalist in British Columbia, and attempts to show him taking a page from Trump’s political playbook. The video shows Poilievre and Trump using similar language.
Pierre Poilievre: What are you talking about? What page? Can you give me the page? Give me the page!
The page: pic.twitter.com/JedejAQFVl
Other videos liberals have posted online over the past week include one in which Poilievre calls Bitcoin a “very smart financial decision.” The video shows clips of his opponents in the Conservative leadership race criticizing Poilievre’s views on cryptocurrencies.
Its value peaked in November 2021 at more than $80,000, and the price of Bitcoin subsequently fell by almost three-quarters to just over $21,000 at its lowest point in the last year. It has since partially recovered, reaching around $48,000 this month.
Pierre Poilievre’s priorities for the economy would hurt Canadians.
But don’t take our word for it, even your conservative colleagues think it’s “crazy.” pic.twitter.com/WqatAwuZSn
Another video includes a clip of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2012 talking about raising the retirement age to 67 and Poilievre in the House of Commons supporting him.
When Pierre Poilievre and Stephen Harper were in power, they raised the retirement age to 67.
We reversed their reckless policy, lowering it to 65 and increasing payments to seniors, because when the Conservatives try to make cuts, the Liberals will always have your back. pic.twitter.com/Ku40tbc7ZL
Dan Arnold, former director of research and advertising at the Prime Minister’s Office, said it appears the Liberals’ new videos are being used to test messages before the party spends millions of dollars on an advertising campaign.
“It’s kind of a testing ground to see what you want to push for when you move toward that big TV campaign at some point in the future,” said Arnold, chief strategy officer at Pollara Strategic Insights and senior advisor at Alar Strategy Group. .
“I think now the government and the Liberals are being a little more aggressive in terms of how they act on Poilievre. I don’t know if they’ve necessarily gotten to what that vulnerability is yet.”
The Conservatives, who have been gaining ground in the polls lately, launched a national ad campaign this summer portraying Poilievre as a family man who wants to fix the country. The party planned to spend more than $3 million over three months to broadcast the ads across the country, Breaking: reported.
David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, said the video comparing Poilievre to Trump indicates that liberals know they can’t win “as long as people think Poilievre is a comfortable and safe alternative.”
“I think they’ve finally realized that they can’t just give the platform to Pierre Poilievre and let him tell his story, that they have to come out and counter him with a counterattack.”
Coletto presented data to the Liberals this summer showing the bleakest poll numbers the Trudeau government has ever seen. While the negativity he reported seems to have softened a bit, he said, the current electoral climate is “not fundamentally different” than it was a few months ago.
“The government’s approval rating is still really challenging,” he said.
The latest videos of the Liberals attacking Poilievre come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heard complaints from his own caucus about the government’s response to Poilievre’s attacks. Some MPs said they wanted the party to take a more aggressive approach.
MPs raised their concerns at a Liberal caucus retreat in September after spending the summer knocking on doors in their constituencies and hearing anger and anxiety about the rising cost of living.
West London MP Arielle Kayabaga told Breaking: at the retreat that she wanted to see attack ads targeting the Conservative leader.
“I think people need to see who he really is,” he said. “I think people need to see who he has been for the last 19 years that he has been an MP.”
Since then, the Liberals have been releasing “a lot more videos” about Poilievre and more “polished products,” Arnold said. Those videos are cut to “almost commercial length,” he added.
Arnold oversaw the Liberals’ research program during the last three elections. He said if liberals want to change public opinion about their primary opponent, they will need to spend at least $3 million to $5 million on a national advertising campaign.
That is not the goal of the liberals’ latest videos, since there is not much money behind them, he added.
Instead, the most recent videos aimed at Poilievre seem aimed at giving those already in the liberal tent something to “chew on,” he said.
“It gives them something to get excited about and motivate them,” Arnold said. “Certainly, firing a few shots at Poilievre, against Trump, will motivate the liberal base.
“Donald Trump is as low as it gets when polling people’s approval ratings in Canada.”
The videos give Liberal supporters talking points for family gatherings, he said, and help boost MPs’ morale.
“It gives them some real content to spread and parliamentarians like that,” Arnold said.
“Especially the ones on Parliament Hill fighting with Poilievre every day. Just for their own morale, it’s nice to see them getting shot at. Poilievre is certainly getting shot at a lot.”
Liberals have long talked about taking a positive approach to politics. When Breaking: asked Immigration Minister Marc Miller about the Liberals’ video comparing Poilievre to Trump, he defended the move.
“I don’t think it’s about being negative all the time, but about clearly showing Canadians, in a way that we haven’t shown, at least in recent times, who this person really is and how not to be fooled by him.” Miller said. “I think he is very, very dangerous to the state of democracy…
“He’s a kind of guy that when you’re around him you want to check your wallet afterwards. I don’t have any particular liking for him. These things shouldn’t necessarily be so personal. But in the case of Mr. Poilievre, I think “He’s a guy who is trying to deceive Canadians.
Miller’s comments sparked a fierce reaction from conservatives online.
“Oh man,” Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner posted on X with a retweet of the video. “Don’t go out here.”
“A deranged Liberal cabinet minister resorts to desperate smears about @PierrePoilievre “As they plummet in the polls,” Conservative MP Marc Dalton posted online. “It’s obvious that conservative pocketbook policies are shaking them up.”
This is a very rich figure coming from a government that has been picking the pockets of Canadians for the last eight years. It seems Marc has enjoyed his shots of Kool-Aid and can now watch her integrity evaporate for all to see. https://t.co/YFr9gfBtqz
“This is very rich coming from a government that has been picking Canadians’ pockets for the last eight years,” Conservative MP Jamie Schmale posted on X.
The Conservatives continue to maintain a large fundraising lead over the Liberals, having raised more than $7 million during the most recent quarter ending Sept. 30, about $4 million more than the Liberals raised during the same quarter. period.
Liberal Party communications director Parker Lund said the party will “continue to contrast Pierre Poilievre’s priorities that would set Canada back” in its “communications, advertising and digital engagement.”