Here's the thing:
In almost every Canadian election, my vote is in play for almost every major party. In the past, I have voted Progressive Conservative, Liberal, and Green.
So despite the fact that prior to and during this election campaign, I have directed jabs (sometimes bordering on vitriol) and skepticism towards Stephen Harper and his Conservatives, it's not outside the realm of possibility that if they played their cards right, they could sway my vote. It's not likely, since I'm a fiscal, not a social conservative, but it's not impossible.
But not only are the Tories not even trying to get my vote, they seem determined to offend and alienate me, and my type of voter: the independent, the undecided. Apparently if, instead of showing blind party loyalty, you exercise your curiosity regarding policy, show an interest in meeting political leaders and try to determine for yourself how to best cast your vote, you are not welcome at Conservative events. I can understand spending tax dollars to vet the Prime Minister's security at an event, but not an attendee's political leanings. And people wonder why voters feel disenfranchised.
I could go on about Tory policies on women, choice, climate change, engine-less fighter planes, etc. But I won't.
Those are things I can tick off in the plus or minus column of each party, that will sway who I ultimately vote for, and no party's list completely matches mine. But if, after adding all the items up, it happens to be a close race to pick my ultimate choice, there's a seemingly small thing that will turn me away from these Tories.
Here's what I take personally, and what I'm sick of: those ads attacking the leader of another party for leaving the country then having the gall to come back and contribute. Every time they imply that man is un-Canadian, they are implying I am un-Canadian. I lived and worked in the U.S. I came back. I'm very happy to have done both. I feel no less Canadian for doing so. In fact, in many ways, I feel more Canadian for the experience. I value my country more since moving back. I value our differences, our languages, our tolerance, our freedoms, our progressiveness.
How is that un-Canadian?
Well said, Kat. I hate those ads, too, and how clearly they show a lack of understanding about what it means to be Canadian.
I've never liked those "he's un-Canadian" ads, either (or any attack ads) but I'm sorry to say it never occurred to me how they would look to someone who has lived out of the country for a time. And now I know! Very well said, Katrina. You make a good point!
What I love is how early they started the ads, they were obviously preparing for an election. And the ads are so damn manipulative. I get pissed off every time I see them.
I'm an American who's lived in Canada for 15 years (dual citizen now) and get that attitude from some in the US. So yeah, that annoys me too.
@Dee-Ann: yeah, I smelled election a while back, when all that economic action plan propaganda started airing.