Conservative Attack Ads Focus On Trudeau’s Masculinity

It is no secret that the recent attack ads on Justin Trudeau by the federal Conservatives have failed to garner any public support, a recent Harris-Decima  poll still has the Liberals at 35% support, even after the attack ads (Macleans).  Perhaps one of reasons why the ads have failed is because of the undertones within them, which fail to make mention of any actual policies or positions Trudeau, has and instead attacks his masculinity.

Within the ad, carnival style music is playing, while Trudeau is seen walking down a cat walk. What appears to be fairy dust, and font resembling what one would see in a fairy tale is used to write the letters of his name.  There is also a mocking voice which states Trudeau was a drama teacher in the past. In contrast, Harper is shown in a hardhat while font appears bold.

Meanwhile, the ad is misleading as Trudeau was pictured at a charity event, and event which Steven Harper’s own wife attended. The attack ads are clearly aimed at men, as they mainly air during sporting events (Globe and Mail).

One of the reasons why the attack ads did not resonate with the public could be that they are trying to appeal to a different time, a more traditional period in which being a man meant being rugged and aggressive. The conservative party would do well to welcome the changing social mosaic of Canada, one which includes women in the workplace, a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage (66.4% in 2012 according to a Forum Research Poll).

Steven Harper was once quoted as saying “You’ve got to worry about image”, and how he doesn’t “want to be on the back [of a motorcycle] with [his] wife driving.” (

To this end, I have to agree with Prime Minister Harper- image does matter, which is why the conservatives would do well to embrace the changing social mores if they are to remain relevant, and be seen as a contender in the next federal election. Oh, and for the record, nothing is more masculine than a man who is involved in the community and participates in charity events.    



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