The most vicious political advertisement I can recall, the only one really deserving of being called an attack ad, the Conservatives launched against Jean Chrétien during Kim Campbell’s brief and hapless campaign 20 years ago. The ad was sour and mean.
It showed Mr. Chretien with a snarling twisted expression, suggesting he was not fit as a representative for Canada. All of Canada knew of Mr. Chretien’s facial paralysis, a lifelong condition for him.
The ad fell to Earth quicker than it was launched.
It was scarcely on the air, when people who might never have dreamed of voting for Jean Chrétien, or against the Conservatives, instantly went Liberal. Exploiting — mocking — a person’s looks radically offended Canadians’ famously decent sensibility, and the Conservatives paid a searing price in their near-total devestation because of it. It wasn’t the only element, but it surely triggered the negative landslide.
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