Andrew Scheer is his 'own person' - but who, exactly, is he? - 2019-06-16
No one, except for the most politically discerning, expected to see political attack ads. It was somewhat jarring to see a bobble head figure of Andrew Scheer suddenly emerge on the screen with a voice-over that intoned, "Andrew Scheer will never stand up to Doug Ford" especially regarding Ford's cuts to heath care, education and support for families challenged by autism. Similar attack ads continued throughout the week, aimed at Justin Trudeau.
Unlike Americans, Canadians have not traditionally been favourable to attacks ads. They can backfire if used insensitively. In 1993, the Progressive Conservative ad mocking Jean Chretien's face ignited strong support for the Liberal Party. Used wisely, however, ads can intuitively highlight any perceived character flaw.
The Engage Canada ads accomplished two points. They were timed for a maximum number of viewers and they contributed to speculation about Andrew Scheer. After two years as opposition leader and four years as the youngest speaker of the House of Commons, his political personality remains quiet. Unfortunately for him, at least two Conservative premiers, Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, are noisy.