I got quoted in this Canadian Press story about those partisan ads the Conservative Party … oops I mean the Conservative government is running.
You know the ads I mean; the slick ones with all those chipper actors gushing about how much they love the government’s stimulus package because it’s creating jobs, stopping the recession and putting rainbows in the sky.
When I first saw the ad on TV I fully expected the Tory logo to pop up at the end. Instead, of course, the ad offered viewers a website address so they could access yet more material explaining why a $56 billion deficit is a good thing.
Some argue these ads are merely informational, but let's be serious; they are clearly propaganda, designed to put the government and its policies in a positive light. The government is essentially using tax dollars to brag about how many tax dollars they are spending.
This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Simply put, it’s wrong and undemocratic to force citizens to support a political agenda. I don’t like it when union bosses do it with forced dues; I don’t like it when politicians do it with tax dollars.
And yes – the Liberals were just as bad at this sort of thing when they were in power, if not worse.
The problem is this kind of abuse is hard to control. Governments have an overwhelming temptation to use tax dollars to promote themselves in the guise of “informing Canadians.”
Where do you draw the line between providing information (here’s how to sneeze into your arm) and propaganda (thanks to the great and glorious government I now know how to sneeze into my arm)?
The only answer as far as I can see, is get government to spend less and do less.
Maybe if government was doing less it would have less to brag about.