Saturday, March 26, 2011

Election 2011: One Person's Point of View

Photo: soxophone player, Folckr ccl
Note: The following YouTube speaker begins by saying that the Federal Tories spent $26 million on "attack" ads in the last 3 months of their government. The actual fact is those ads were paid for with taxpayer money, but the subject was advertising touting the Harper government's economic stimulus. 

This stimulus was announced in 2009 and, at the time the Tories were defeated yesterday, was nearly finished if not completely. The ads were highly partisan, but not "attack" ads. The confusion arises, I believe, in that the Harper Tories were running party funded attack ads at the same time.

Both sets of ads ran simultaneously to Tory Ministers criss-crossing the country re-announcing spending that had already previously been announced with much fanfare.

Disclosure: I'm not associated in any way with any Federal party, be it the NDP, Liberals or Conservatives. I'm a Canadian. The only time I was ever a member of a political party was in the 1990, provincially, when I joined to vote to defeat the Liberal leadership bid of Roseanne Skoke, a rabid anti-gay rights advocate who, among other things, called homosexuality "unnatural and immoral."  My membership lapsed after one year and has never been renewed. 

I have voted for all three major parties in the past. Although I do have specific views on where I think Canada should be socially. My main goal is to speak truth to power, and remind us all of what has been going on in Ottawa for the past several years. I am doing this because I believe it has brought shame to Canadians.

Also, I do not know the person speaking in the YouTube video in any way.

On to the video with this post:
This video is a 7 minute recital from an Atlantic Canadian outlining his disbelief in the Tory Party's high polling numbers. He comes  across as somewhat conspiratorial (which I do not agree with) but does make many valid points.

For example, I don't agree with his ideas about pollsters being in the PMOs pocket, but it's very strange how a government can have as many scandals as the Harper government had and still be within majority government territory. That is according to a Friday Ipsos poll release.

So how can a poll be skewed? One explanation could be that as we age it is human tendency to become more small-c conservative. The youth of the 60s-70s are now in, or nearing, retirement. Also older voters, since they are at home more, watch more TV which exposed them more frequently to the ads, and are available to answer pollster telephone calls. 

In no way am I casting aspersions on older Canadians, who I personally value and respect. They are the ones who built the country we now enjoy. It is just one possible explanation for the polling numbers.

Perhaps Ipsos should try an online poll…

So the Conservatives have spent $26 million of taxpayer money on feel good "partisan" ads in 3 months. On CBC this morning they cited that the Conservatives bought more than 6,200 individual spots over that time period. That's massive. The four other parties combined equalled less than one third that number.

But how else have they been spending our money?
In March, a scandal surfaced when it was alleged that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney used government resources to raise money for his party. It came to light by accident when a package of material was inadvertently sent to an NDP MP with the same last name as a Conservative MP.

The package includes details of a Conservative strategy to build their party brand by targeting 10 ridings that are considered to be "very ethnic," since they have "ethnic" populations of at least 20 per cent. It referred to non-caucasian voters as "targets." 

Remember, Kenney was Minister of Immigration in the just defeated government, and was dissecting Canadians into individual market segments capable of being targeted. Not only morally repugnant and reprehensible, but also a misuse of government funds.

From the letter: "There are lots of ethnic voters. There will be quite a few more soon. They live where we need to win." 

By their own statements, to the Harper Conservatives, if you're "ethnic" you're less a person than you are a market segment.

In addition, in November, Conservative senators were found to be using tax-payer funded literature to target Liberal ridings with partisan messages, according to the Toronto Star. It was reported in that paper that at least one did so at the bidding of the  Conservative National Campaign Office. This is contrary to laws passed on the spending of public money.

Remember when you were young? 
Did your parents ever catch you drinking or smoking? How many times did you do it before they found out? 

Food for thought...


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