Faced with oblivion, the Liberals bring out the heavy guns.
To be honest, they're pretty effective. All very simple: Grey screen. Courier text. A woman's voice, slightly urgent, but not terribly (Not like Paul Martin last night). A super-zoomed in blurry shot, which gradually resolves into a VERY scary picture of Harper.
But the scariest part, in my mind, is the drumming. A soft, martial beat. What is it meant to evoke? For me, I think of Shostakovich's 7th Symphony, 1st movement, with a drum beat that's meant to symbolize Nazi hordes invading Russia. Somehow I suspect not everyone else thinks that. But it still has a military sound to it. Menacing. The evil Tories, the barbarians beating at the gate, coming to take your rights, kill your sons, ravish your daughters.
The best two are Hotel and Washington Times. The quoting the hotel speech might be disingenuous, but reciting lines from the Times article is brilliant. Of course, they don't mention that Harper disavowed it, but still - many a good attack ad has been ruined by too close adherence to the truth.
So - will the public see these ads as a sign of desperation, or will they, in tandem with the Star's headline screaming "Tories Head for Majority" spook everyone into voting Liberal?
UPDATE: Apparenlty, as noted by Paul Wells and Andrew Coyne, the ad threatening the presence of soldiers in the streets has been pulled. Good. That ad was just a little silly. It was the French language ad (there may have been an English one too) that basically says (I was translating on the fly): "If Harper is Prime Minister, there will be many 'Fors' and 'Against': Against the Kyoto accord. For the war in Iraq. Against the right of women to choose, for the presence of the military in all our cities. Against same sex marriage, for the American missile shield, against banning handguns. And Gilles Duceppe can do nothing. Don't vote to send us backwards. Vote Liberal."
Now, come on. Harper has promised more military bases throughought the country. He hasn't promised to stick a soldier on every street corner. He's not planning on subjecting us to a perpetual October Crisis (though in the months after Sept. 11, there were young, jumpy soldiers with guns on every street corner in DC. Biking back and forth to law school was just a little scary. Americans now are inclined to shoot first and ask later - can you imagine what they were like then?). But seriously - that claim is so completely risible that, in addition to insulting viewers' intelligence, damages the credibility of all the other claims.