With a federal election becoming more and more likely in 2011, the Harper Tories have launched a series of attack ads aimed at the leadership of the Liberals and NDP.
The ads mock both Liberal chief Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton, saying neither man has Canada's best interests at heart.
And while such ads are nothing new in the federal political arena ñ the same tactics were used extensively by the Tories and the Liberals in the run-up to the last federal vote ñ these new ads certainly set a bitter tone for the next election campaign, whenever that may be.
Whether enough undecided voters will be swayed by the attack ad campaign to give Stephen Harper the majority government he so desperately wants and has been working tirelessly to obtain for years remains anyone's guess. What is certain is that by taking the attack ad road, the Tories have opened the door for similar ads aimed at the Conservative record in power since 2008, and in particular the massive increase in the national debt under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's leadership.
A big part of the new Tory campaign appears to be keeping blame for the next election call far away from Harper's door.
ìCanadians should be in no doubt: the opportunist Ignatieff has decided that an election this spring is his best hope of becoming prime minister,î one ad states.
ìCanada is stronger, prouder and walking tall in the world. We're in safe hands with Stephen Harper. With so much at stake, why would we risk changing course?î
One of the ads that targets NDP leader Layton claims he was ìso desperate for power" that he would contemplate a future coalition with the separatist Bloc Quebecois.
ìThey say ambition can be blind. Just ask the NDP's Jack Layton,î the ad states.
For his part, Liberal leader Ignatieff has been quick to call the Tory ads acts of desperation from a party that, according to recent polls, remains far from majority government territory.
ìThey're not attacking our family care plan, they're not attacking our early learning and child care plan, they're not attacking our plans to invest in post-secondary education,î said Ignatieff. ìThey're doing what they've being doing for years, which is personal, low-ball attacks and that's exactly what Canadians are tired of with Stephen Harper.î
The new Tory attack ad campaign comes as the House of Commons is set to start the spring session on January 31, with a federal budget expected by March.
Get ready West Central Alberta voters ñ a very nasty federal election campaign may be just around the corner.