Excellent comment by Andrew Coyne
The current issue of The New Yorker contains an absorbing piece by Jill Lepore on Campaigns Inc., the “first political consulting firm in the history of the world.” Established in 1933 by a pair of former journalists, the firm went on to win 70 of 75 elections for its clients over the next two decades, in the process writing the rules for every campaign that was to follow.
As Lepore summarizes them, they include: “Make it personal: candidates are easier to sell than issues… Pretend that you are the Voice of the People… Attack, attack, attack… Never explain… Say the same thing over and over again… Simplify, simplify, simplify…” And, a personal favourite: “You can put on a fight, or you can put on a show.”
So no, the Harper Conservatives did not invent dumb, dishonest, attack-dog politics — though they may have perfected it. The return of…
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