6 / OPINION & COMMENT
T H E
N A PA N E E
B E AV E R
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Opinion send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
Negative ads are a test, of sorts This weekend, the Liberal Party of Canada (and a few thousand supporters) elected a new leader: Justin Trudeau. Whether or not the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau can make good on the overwhelming endorsement he got this week — the MP from Papineau took 80 per cent of the overall vote on the first ballot — remains to be seen. There won’t be an election until 2015, and two years is a very long time in federal politics. As we’ve said before, Trudeau has much to prove over the next two years to show he’s got what it takes to lead the country. Up to this point, he has been plenty charming, but short on substance. We’ll have to wait and see whether he’s the real deal. The Conservative Party, however, was quick to try to short-circuit Trudeau’s hopes before they even really got off the ground. Less than 24 hours after he won the leadership, the Conservatives rolled out a series of ads designed to question Trudeau’s qualifications as a PM-in-waiting. (For those who haven’t seen them yet, they show Trudeau taking off his shirt on stage — at a charity fundraiser for the Canadian Liver Foundation, which strangely isn’t mentioned in the ad — and some quotes from Trudeau in 1999 saying that Quebecers were better than other Canadians.) We don’t like negative ads. They’re the lowest form of political discourse. That said, if parties want to ‘go negative’, there should be no restriction on their ability to do so. And, make no mistake, any party will employ negative ads if a) they can afford to pay for them and b) they believe they can give them a leg up on the competition. Yes, we know Trudeau has said he won’t use negative ads, but it’s a pledge we’ve heard from politicians before, and it’s a pledge that’s all too easily abandoned in the midst of a campaign. The thing about negative advertising is that it can backfire. A bad negative ad can do more damage to the party paying for them than the party being attacked. (We’d argue it’s as good a proof of ‘karma’ as there is.) But there’s another way to look at negative ads, in particular as they relate to Trudeau. If Trudeau’s bid to replace Stephen Harper and the Conservatives is derailed by ads like the ones we saw this week, then he doesn’t have what it takes to be prime minister. A credible candidate with a sound platform should be able to overcome such insubstantial attacks. If he can’t, doesn’t that mean that Trudeau’s candidacy is insubstantial?
Letter to the Editor
Kudos for downtown improvements Thank you for your excellent story in last Thursday’s Beaver, written by Charles Beale, on the historic transformation of the building housing Starlet Boutique and Starlet Shoes. Jefta and Cat Monster have been innovative entrepreneurs with vision. They’ve operated
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JEAN MORRISON OWNER & PUBLISHER SALES MANAGER SCOTT JOHNSTON MANAGING EDITOR SETH DUCHENE BUSINESS MANAGER DEBBIE MCCANN PRODUCTION MANAGER MICHELLE BOWES
ESTABLISHED JANUARY 1, 1870 J. Earl Morrison, Owner-Publisher, 1953-1978 Combined in 1965 with The Napanee Express (EST. 1861) and The Deseronto Post (EST. 1904)
ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE DIANE GROSE
their business with style and class and have been invaluable contributors to the revitalization of downtown Napanee. Of course, Teresa Rands should be given great credit for her beautiful renovation to the Superior Restaurant. Our town has been blessed to have these young innovators working to rebuild the glory of downtown Napanee. I wanted to add to the story of the renovation of the Merchants Bank Block by giving due recognition to Brian and Joan Patterson, who originally renovated the storefront which was Marlin Travel, and is now Starlet Shoes. Brian and
ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVES: LISA PRESLEY, LINDA WARNER. CLASSIFIEDS SUPERVISOR: MARY NEWTON. COMPOSING STAFF: JANE WRIGHT, MARION SEDORE, SHERI LEFEBVRE. STAFF REPORTERS: ASHLEY FOLEY, ADAM PRUDHOMME.
Joan tastefully used elements of the original building design even matching the oval window of the corner building. This provided the perfect tie-in which Jefta and Cat have continued. Also I wish to recognize McConnell Contracting who did the work on Marlin’s renovation. Much of the character of our streetscapes can be traced back to Charlie McConnell and his firm. I can say with enthusiasm that I am proud to call Napanee my home, and take pride when showing visitors my hometown. Cliff Trott, Greater Napanee
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Published on Apr 18, 2013