Monday, June 01, 2009


Lysiane Gagnon is sorta onto something here:

As mean-spirited as they are, the negative Conservative ads launched against Michael Ignatieff will hurt him and his Liberal Party. The ads are not targeting urban, well-travelled voters, but a wider constituency that weighs much more in the polling booths.

Many people viscerally resent those who travel often and in faraway places to boot. At best, these “jet-setters” are presumed to be inordinately lucky, which triggers envy. At worst, there is the suspicion that a cosmopolitan such as Mr. Ignatieff is not a loyal Canadian.

You're close, Lysiane. Very, very close.

But I think you'll find that the purpose of the ads is not to inspire dislike of Ignatieff through "envy" of his jet-setting lifestyle. Rather, I think it is to persuade us that Ignatieff is one of a class of sneeringly obtuse liberal intellectuals who thinks so little of the "wider constituency that weighs much more in the polling booths"* that he--typical of the breed, don't you know--actually imagines them capable of making important political decisions based purely on spite.

The ads are trying to persuade us, in short, that Michael Ignatieff is someone like--well--you, Lysiane.


*And, no, she's not saying that the rural and untravelled are fat. It just reads that way.