Posted on | April 8, 2011 | 1 Comment
I should listen to radio more often. Fortunately I have quick-witted friends who promptly relay interesting information and coverage. Otherwise I would have missed out entirely on this past broadcast of The Current by CBC radio which covered attack advertisement.
The contradictions inherent to this kind of advertisement are quickly underlined by the three panellists: a Liberal strategist, a past Conservative communication officer and an expert on workplace bullying. We are first reminded that the kind of comments made in these ads would not be tolerated in the Canadian workplace. But that they are used nevertheless because their shock value makes them easier to remember (if you don’t have time to listen to the whole show, you can catch this specific excerpt starting at 9:34).
Most of all, the cumulative effect of these adds is to lower voters’ participation in an electoral campaign. With stunning openness, the Conservative strategists frankly admitted the success of a past Conservative campaign against Stéphane Dion, which limited the involvement of Liberal supporters. Voluntarily, parties encourage apathy in order to gain or keep power.
Cultivating cynicism is another approach explored by Conservatives recently, notably through the words of its showcase candidate Larry Smith. The latter claimed that is was normal for a government to treat more kindly those ridings which had voted in its favour to the expense of others. That is somewhat disquieting, given that as far as I know, the government elect is in charge of, and responsible for all of this country’s population, and not only of a handful of voters.
Maintaining and encouraging such a lousy climate should not be tolerated within our political system. Yet nothing seems to rule in this direction, unfortunately. After all, the Oath of Allegiance forces one to recognize the Queen of England and the Oath of Office tells you to do your job as good as you can, but no oath forces a member of parliament to serve the entire Canadian people fairly and equally well.
That is the only one I would like to hear, in any case.