Shortly after Adrian Dix was elected B.C. NDP leader, a Vancouver morning tabloid edited by Wayne Moriarty labelled him a "dour Stalinist" in a headline.
It's the kind of cheap shot we've come to expect from a newspaper that still occasionally questions the scientific consensus on climate change.
Today, the B.C. NDP unveiled a new ad designed to portray Dix as anything but dour.
His upbeat message is reminiscent of the positive ads financed by the federal New Democrats when Jack Layton was leader.
Perhaps that's because the B.C. NDP campaign manager, Brian Topp, played an instrumental role in helping shape Layton's public image.
Topp realizes that progressives respond well to positive messages that offer the promise of improving society.
Don't surprised if the B.C. NDP develops a narrative along these lines over the next few months.
Maybe it will even culminate in an "Imagine a leader"–type ad with intelligent young people praising Dix on the eve of the B.C. election.
Here's one of the ads that the federal New Democrats broadcast in advance of the message above.