TORONTO, January 19, 2006 ( – The eleven attack ads released last week by the Liberal party of Canada against Stephen Harper, have provided fertile ground for internet bloggers creating scathing parodies.

In the US, bloggers started influencing elections and other political events with their lightening-fast responses to events and the ability to check facts and publish results in an instant. The Canadian bloggers are catching up fast with their gleeful mockery of the faltering Liberal party campaign.

The Liberal’s original ads, which saturated Canadian television and radio, attempted to revive the previously successful strategy of painting Stephen Harper as a right wing “fascist” in league with the a sinister Bush-administration United States. The Liberals had received much criticism for the ads which have been characterized as simplistic and insulting to the intelligence and patriotism of Canadians. (see coverage:

The parodies, which must now number at least in the hundreds, started appearing a day after the Liberal ads began airing. They include comparisons of Stephen Harper with the Evil Emperor of the Star Wars movie series and one implying he shares DNA with “rightwing fascist Americans,” and “salty-tentacled” extraterrestrials.

Intended as humourous, the parodies also have a serious purpose. As the one group puts it, “We created these ads not as a political statement, but as a statement about politics.” The ad parodies are aimed at the Liberal party, but the criticism is of the depths to which the Canadian political discourse in general have sunk.

While some blogs and other websites mocking the Liberals are supporting the Conservatives, most of the conservative bloggers of influence have also had sharp words for the Conservatives for being soft on life and family issues and bowing to media pressure to move the party to the left.

The bloggers, some commentators have said, could be the future antidote to “smear advertising.” David Warren, a conservative columnist with the Ottawa Citizen, said bloggers “respond to events almost instantaneously,” He writes. “Things that would have taken a week to unfold in the old media, now break over breakfast and are resolved by noon; and an hysterical smear ad is being mocked and parodied, long before the evening news.”

The mockery must be hurting the Liberals who issued a news release complaining of the influence of a site called, the “Blogging Tories,” an aggregate site for a large group of independent bloggers who either support the Conservative party or simply oppose the Liberals.

The Liberal news release was followed by a CanWest newsline article which quoted two disaffected Conservatives who are asking the Chief Electoral Officer for an investigation into the Blogging Tories. The two accused the bloggers of having “unduly influenced the election coverage and potentially the outcome of this campaign”

True to form, the bloggers responded, literally within moments of the release, with mockery and ridicule including attack ad parodies.

Read the Blogging Tories:

View parodies:

Some conservative political blogs of note:
  Small Dead Animals

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