Have you noticed that a lot of the political ads on TV are being sponsored by groups other than the political parties, -especially the negative attack ads? With the exception of the “Taxman” ads, which are up front PC, the other ads opposing Hudak and Horwath seem to come from special interest groups.
In a day and age where the election is being fought in the shadow of Jack Layton’s call for integrity in politics, and the distasteful practices currently being played out in the U.S. is making politics feel dirty, Ontario provincial parties don’t want to associate themselves with negative campaigns. So they have other groups do (or seem to do) their dirty work.
Take for example the anti-Horwath page on line at www.dirtyndp.ca. (UPDATE: It seems that the site has been taken down this morning!) The Liberals have disguised and camouflaged the site so that the only way you can associate it with the Liberal Party is to get a magnifying glass and look carefully at the text at the very bottom of the page. “Authorized by the CFO for the Ontario Liberal Party.”
If a party is going to criticize a rival leader, which sometimes is quite justified on the basis of the facts, then they should do it up front and transparently. They should be ready to be accountable for their facts and to rebut any criticism. Hiding behind a straw group is cowardly and, frankly, suggests that you have something to hide. Any attack ad can be reworded to address facts and question past decisions, assuming that the facts are accurate.
I’m disappointed that the Liberal Party is hiding in this manner.