The 1984 NDP campaign slogan that was oddly familiar
'Now more than ever' had been used by conservative politicians in 1972 and 1979
The federal New Democratic Party thought they had a solid campaign slogan. It was positive, urgent and easy to remember.
It wasn't "Ready for Better," the party's rallying cry for the 2021 election.
Rather, their chosen phrase for the 1984 campaign was "Now More than Ever."
But in choosing it, the NDP was treading a path that had already been well worn, and by company the party may not have wanted to keep.
"It's a catchy phrase, and Peter Lougheed may have thought so when he used it in his campaign in 1979," said CBC reporter Christopher Walmsley on The National in April 1984.
Alberta Tories liked it
The NDP was already using the slogan on billboards, rolling off the presses and in a jingle heard in radio ads.
At the time, a Liberal leadership campaign loomed in the wake of Pierre Trudeau's decision to step down, and a federal election was sure to follow soon after.
It was a proven slogan for Lougheed, an Alberta Progressive Conservative who had won a provincial election in 1979 using it.
"Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew liked the same slogan when they used it in their 1972 campaign," added Walmsley.
Nixon and Agnew, whose presidential ticket won with the slogan, were Republicans.
'Bad guys,' good slogans
Walmsley said there was "a bit of embarrassment among socialists" using the same slogan as a Tory premier and a disgraced Republican president.
"I certainly don't like the company," said the NDP's Ian Waddell. "But if it's effective..."
And party Leader Ed Broadbent took it in stride.
"All that this confirms is ... there's no such thing as a new slogan," he said. "Even bad guys use good slogans."