Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taxing propaganda

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)?

Who decides?

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.


Blame Crash said...


Harper spotted at Tim Hortons!!

Latte Liberals foam at the mouth!!

AToryNoMore said...

Here is an interesting word that decsribes conservatives


brag·ga·do·ci·o [ bràggə dṓssee , bràggə dṓshee , bràggə dṓshō ] (plural brag·ga·do·ci·os)



1. overblown, empty boasting: empty boasting and swaggering self-aggrandizement

2. braggart: somebody who boasts in a swaggering self-aggrandizing way

Anonymous said...

well with a conservative majority we could then see if the small gov agenda is the real agenda or not. i hope so. its about time we let the provinces decide their own fate instead of father fed deciding. perhaps it would be easier to rid ourselves of mcguinty if the transfer payments were brought to an abrupt end.


jckirlan said...

Gerry, please just come out of the Liberal closet already!!

Blame Crash said...

I share your sentiment but even with a majority, the Conservatives can’t change everything they want to and they certainly can’t change it overnight. Now if 60 % or more of Canadians demanded “small government”, that would be a different story. But getting there isn’t going to happen fast or soon. Just think about how many special interest groups the Conservatives are butting heads against.
How about these: government bureaucracies (Federal, Provincial and Civic), Unions, Universities, the Media, our so called Judicial System, the Arts and Entertainment establishment, the crony Capitalist Welfare Bums, the Social Science racket, individuals who are financially dependant on the government (chronic EI users) and this list goes on and on. When you realize the power and the number of the opposition, it’s really surprising that the Conservatives even have a minority.

The trick is to get into power and slowly attempt to use the government power to grow your supporters by lower taxes, less government, and more freedom and starving the leftist opposition by cutting them off from your and mine taxes and to bring in laws where people have to take more responsibility for themselves.

None of these things will be easy and they will require more than a political party to do it.
It’s our society that has to make the decision to change, and that hasn’t and won’t be a easy thing to accomplish..

tao_taier said...

As it so happens, sir... I did happen to see not just one but TWO rainbows along side one another this summer in Toronto after one of the bigger storms that had passed through.




Gerry Nicholls said...

Hey Anon: Brilliant argument! You definitely have a future career in the PMO -- Bad Language Division.

tao_taier said...

Governments should spend stimulus during a down turns. The budget was good (coming from someone who actually reads them) as much of the spending is short term while providing long term benefits and stability. A way forward.
The federal government and the federal budget is not the problem.

What they shouldn't do is spend themselves to the brink during the good times while raising taxes at the same time like the Ontario Liberals have been doing for years (amidst record levels of revenue) prior to the global recession.

All the while continuously raising the minimum wage without properly offsetting the negatives that greatly impacts the private sectors ability to create jobs, primarily small businesses which bare the largest burden of such unbalanced wage increases.

Which also creates work place stagnation in the sectors that are meant to be more transient for young people looking to get work experience or add to their resumes between or even throughout the school year.

Add that to the fact that the ontario liberals refused to lower business taxes when they should of when the federal fiance minister (a former fiance minister of Ontario, no less) suggested it in order to remain competitive amongst other things.

That could of helped out the manufacturing had they of at least lowered taxes for that specific sector (which they also could of done and had the room to do for years) temporarily until that sector stabilized. Since it was one of the key drivers of Ontario's economy.

Had such a thing been done years in advance as it should of it would of been vastly more useful and broad then a "bail out" loan to the auto sector.

Ontario itself used to make up around 40% of Canada's economy. NOT ANY MORE. Yet the blame is on the Federal Conservatives? Ontario leads the provinces in job losses and has nothing to do with anything the Conservatives had done but rather, all to do with the needless mismanagement by the liberals of the Ontario economy.
Which comparatively goes almost unnoticed by the media. So much focus on federal politics while the Ontario liberals hinder our countries potential of our most populace province and moron mayor miller continues to ruin Toronto to the appeasement of the radical left wing urbanites who insist on forcing their views on everyone else. (Car free day?!? Join a frikin commune if you want to live that way, stop taking over our cities!)

The Ontario PC's would be more useful if the populists among them shut up about the HST (Which has to come into place no matter what they currently think) and focus on the budget issues that are factual regardless of whether or not they have momentum amongst voters or supporters.

I clapped when I saw Tim Hudak going after the liberals in the legislature with regards to the over-spending and over-taxation that they have continuously brought about budget after budget.

And was what brought me to officially and vocally support him.
Even though I'm not a member.

Those are the arguments to address. The HST should be lowered or offset/compensated for, but not scrapped. It doesn't have to be a tax grab and certainly shouldn't of been used as one by the liberals.

Platty said...

Hey Anon: Brilliant argument! You definitely have a future career in the PMO -- Bad Language Division

What's the problem Gerry? That's pretty much what every talk radio host has been saying about your commentary lately. Suck it up son......


Anonymous said...

This is all true but I'm willing to be that conservatives actually did what they claim to have done while liberals are exaggerating or even lying. Maybe we wouldn't need this if the media was remotely unbiased. (real conservative)

tao_taier said...

In regards to my last comment.

Ontario deficit last year was $6.4B, to go higher: