COLUMN

These fans at Jurassic Park don't look like they're interested in federal politics.

If you’ve been watching the NBA finals, then you know a federal election is on the horizon. The commercial breaks have featured political attack ads — on both sides — from third-party advertisers.

One would think that for a basketball final it might be more appropriate to advertise running shoes, sports drinks or even beer.

But, political strategists know it’s prime airtime and the perfect opportunity to get the message across.

That might be the case if it was the finale to “Big Bang Theory,” but it’s a basketball game.

People are more interested in Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry than Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer.

What happened to the days of “Bo Knows” or Air Jordan with Hare Jordan (Bugs Bunny)?

It’s important to note that the political attack ads weren’t placed by the parties themselves, but outside groups with a keen political interest.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know a lot about these groups. They’re not identifying themselves as a labour union or social cause, for example.

Attack ads have proven to work over the years.

The U.S. Republicans mastered it during the 1988 election with the Willie Horton campaign which cooked Democrat Michael Dukakis.

Here at home, former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was ridiculed for teaching at Ivy League schools in the U.S. He was more American, than Canadian, we were told.

It worked.

We’d like to think Canadians are above that. There are four leaders, each with a wide range of backgrounds and viewpoints running in the Oct. 20 election.

Focus on the strengths of the leaders, not the weakness of their opponents.

And besides, it’s basketball season. Let’s enjoy the game and leave political squabbling out of it.

James Miller is managing editor of The Kelowna Daily Courier.

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