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NDP spot shoots for sincerity, misses: Pilon

The BC NDP has released its latest ad, entitled “What I stand for.” The spot features party leader Carole James criticizing the Liberal government of dishonesty and secretive behaviour.

James promises voters an, “open and honest government,” accusing the Liberal government of “secret deals,” and putting private interest before public interest.

In the ad, James says the NDP will protect public services like hospitals and schools—the ad also indicates that the Campbell government favours the higher social classes.

“Governments shouldn’t be about giving more to those who have the most,” James said.

These message are aimed at the average voter in B.C., according to Dennis Pilon, professor of political science at the University of Victoria.

“This ad is meant to convey sincerity and the message is populist and aimed at the average, not so well-to-do voter,” Pilon told The Tyee.

Pilon explained that the tone James was going for was one of sincerity, but the performance fell short.

“Performing sincerity is very hard to do, the problem here is that James is not comfortable in front of the camera,” he said. “It sounds like she's reading. She's been coached to speak slowly and in a certain way, and it is taking away from the believability of the performance.”

“NDP handlers can't seem to find the right tone that will allow James' natural personality to come through,” Pilon said. “It would be better not to use her than to feature her in a way that looks stilted.”

“This is not a good ad for the NDP," he said.

Morgan J. Modjeski reports for The Tyee.

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