Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Green Party's Bad Idea

Apparently the Green Party believes political “attack ads” are not good for the environment.

Or at least they are not good for the political environment.

In a hysterical tone usually reserved for its pronouncements of impending ecological gloom and doom, the Green Party today called for nothing less than the banning of all political TV ads.

Get that, not just “attack ads” but all political ads.

“Canadians have been horrified by the vicious television ad campaigns waged as part of the mid-term elections,” says a Green Party news release. "We recognize that our own political culture is increasingly being contaminated by the same kind of poisonous manipulation seen in the US. Before Canadians next go to the polls, we want to propose sweeping new changes to protect our political commons.”

And so to protect our “political commons” (whatever that is) the Greens say “Canada should ban the use of television for political advertising before and during the writ periods.”

This idea disturbing for a whole bunch of reasons.

First, as someone who has been involved in producing attack TV ads both south of border and here in Canada, let me tell you what the Greens call “vicious” and “poisonous”, I call comparative and effective.

As long as attack ads are truthful, as long as they stick to issues and refrains from besmirching personalities, they are legitimate and useful forms of communication – certainly just as legitimate as those “positive” TV ads featuring smiling candidates posing with their wife, kids and dog.

There is a reason why these sorts of ads work.

Secondly, the Green Party’s desire to ban TV ads indicates the complete lack of faith the party has in the intelligence of Canadian voters.

Simply put, Canadians are too smart and savvy to get “manipulated” by a TV ad. Yes, a well-crafted ad will persuade voters if it makes sense and if it resonates on an emotional level.

A badly produced ad that hits the wrong note, on the other hand, will often backfire and hurt whichever party put it out.

In other words, we don’t need laws to protect Canadians.

Third, a ban on TV political ads will only help incumbents. Consider that holding office is a huge advantage for any party, at least when it comes to communicating with Canadians.

Often the only way Opposition Parties can reach out to Canadians is through TV ads. If you take away that power, you will take away their ability to build up support.

Last and certainly not least, a ban on TV ads is clearly a serious infringement on the right to free political expression.

You can’t help democracy by silencing those who wish to speak out.

In short, the Green Party call to ban TV ads is an idea that should be buried in the nearest composter.


Anonymous said...

Has Elizabeth May apologized to Ezra Levant?
Has Lizzy apologized to Canadians for her misleading tex message to Evan Soloman about Wind Mills causing the death of one to two birds per year?
I think if Lizzy can not be forth coming she should be banned from her free TV spots where she causes major pollution of the airwaves with misleading information

Anonymous said...

The only thing I have found to be "Horrifying" in the last 5 or so years is the leader of the Greens, screeching, pointing fingers in peoples faces. She refuses to allow other people the opportunity to reply, she continually speaks over them. That is almost as "horrifing" as the Green party getting tax payer money.
cheers Bubba

Anonymous said...

There is a reason that the Green Party has no elected representatives and not so many donations: stupid ideas like this one. Excuse me, I can vet ads all by myself. Liz May is the one of the rudest politicians we have. If you do not like them, don't watch T.V. As well, if I want to help the CPC run ads, it is MY after-tax money. If the ads are too nasty, WE party members will let our own party know. You can keep your calls for banning things, and could we please have our $1.95 per vote back. P.S. Have you noticed that we are not American?

Anonymous said...

i think dizzy lizzy has a bigger reason to ban ads. her party cannot afford them and so she would think this would level the playing field for her hapless eco-idiots.
cant we have an american primary style leadership vote just so we can vote her out. her voice makes me sad.


Rightchik said...

Saturday, November 13, 2010
Library and Archives Canada
4:00 PM

Yes, The Showdown in O-Town! Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, will be debating Ezra Levant, author of "Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands," on Saturday, November 13th at 4:00 PM. Seating precedence will be given to Festival Pass Holders.

To attend check out http://freethinkingfilmfest.ca/