Instead of launching attack ads, Stephen Harper should be like Barack Obama

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

The Harper Conservatives are faced with a significant and real challenge: how do you counter the popularity of Justin Trudeau?

As we all know, they've chosen attack ads.

But how about something like this?

The video was created for the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner which took place on Saturday night.

These types of 'productions' are exactly what the Conservatives in Canada should be using to buoy the image and popularity of Stephen Harper.

[ Related: Are political attack ads the same as bullying? ]

Recent polls suggest that the Trudeau Liberals could win the 2015 federal election.

A new poll — conducted by Harris/Decima for the Canadian Press — suggests that 57 per of Canadians have a "favourable view" of the new Liberal leader compared to favourability ratings of 42 per cent and 40 per cent for NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, respectively.

Canadians believe that Trudeau "cares" about them and "shares" their values. In other words, they like Trudeau as a person; they have a connection with him.

Alternatively, since coming into office in 2006, the prime minister has — for the post part — operated behind a veil of government press releases and talking points. We consistently see news stories about Harper's control of his caucus and his muzzling of scientists.

Certainly, the most important thing for the Harper Conservatives is to provide good governance and to highlight their accomplishments. But Harper also has to connect with voters by showing his personality and maybe his sense of humour — like President Obama consistently does and like Trudeau is doing.

[ Related: Trudeau Liberals launch new advertising campaign to counter Tory attack ads ]

To their credit, the Harper government has done some of that: We recently saw the PMO tweet a day in the life of the prime minister.

And, remember the time the prime minister sang the Beatles song?

Why don't we see that more often? It makes him appear more likable; more 'real'.

My advice to the Tory PR gurus: Be like Barack.

Instead of pushing down your opponent, why don't you pull yourselves up.

My bill is in the mail.

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