It’s beginning to feel an awful lot like federal election season.
The Conservatives are rolling out a series of television ads that attack their opponents while portraying Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a steady hand at the tiller in stormy times.
The gloomy ads–coupled with public tours by Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP Leader Jack Layton–make it feel like a national campaign is already underway.
The governing Conservatives claim they don’t want an election now, and say their ads are designed to keep the opposition majority from defeating them on the coming budget.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he’d be “happy” to put opposition ideas into the government spending plan, as long as they don’t include stopping or rolling back corporate tax cuts.
Notwithstanding Flaherty’s olive branch, the Conservative TV ads follow the cash-flush Tory playbook of bombarding their opponents before an actual election call, when party spending limits are enforced.