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NDP ads another sign election is looming

[PoliticsWatch updated 4:55 p.m., March 14, 2007]

NDP Leader Jack Layton goes green in one of three new NDP ads released on Thursday.

OTTAWA - In yet another sign of a coming spring election, the NDP released three new ads on Thursday all focusing on NDP Leader Jack Layton.  

The three ads are issue-oriented and outline an NDP platform aimed at "middle-class and working families." 

The ads can be seen on the party's newly created YouTube account.  

In one ad, Layton quickly explains what views as a "prosperity gap," blames Liberal and Conservative governments and then promises to increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour and reduce ATM fees.  

"Don't let them tell you it can't be done," Layton tells viewers.

The other two ads focus on the environment and health care. 

With the NDP now in the ad game that leaves the Liberals as the only one of the big three parties not to launch ads this year. 

A recent Globe and Mail story suggested there has been much debate in senior Liberal circles about whether to respond to six Conservative attack ads questioning Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's leadership abilities.

The Liberals have yet to respond with either attack ads or positive ads such as the ones the NDP released on Wednesday. 

Dion and Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff have both publicly insisted they do not plan to use attack ads and would prefer to take the high road instead. 

The Liberals sitting on their hands is not sitting well with MPs as the Tory ads have coincided with a plunge for the Liberals in recent polls. 

"We've been negligent in putting forth a positive image of our leader," retiring Liberal MP Joe McGuire told the Hill Times this week in frank comments that echo what many Liberals are saying privately.  

"We've basically done nothing to counteract negative ads and if people in (Dion's office) think that (negative ads) just doesn't work they should wake up because it does work." 

McGuire said the Liberals have to either counter with their own negative ads or counter with positive advertising. 

In another sign that the parties are preparing for an election the Green Party announced on Tuesday that it was holding a "campaign university" on Thursday and Friday in Ottawa to "provide candidates and campaigners with the tools and skills necessary to maximize the Green vote during the next election." 

The Conservatives are holding a candidates school in Toronto on the weekend and the NDP have a similar training seminar in the coming. The Liberals have not announced similar preparations. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said again this week that he does not want to have an election this spring.  

However, as was noted in a column by the National Post's Don Martin on Wednesday, that hasn't stopped Harper's party from releasing 11 recent quotes from Dion and other Liberal MPs saying they would vote against the budget or wanted an election in the spring or soon. 

"Perhaps Mr. Dion should reflect upon his past comments and those of his Liberal colleagues – who suggested months ago that the Liberals would vote against the budget, no matter what was in it!" the Conservative party said. 

:  Related Links

> NDP Ads (YouTube)

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