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What trying to ‘buy a majority’ looks like for the Harper Conservatives

Lately, Canadians have been bombarded with political attack ads and Economic Action Plan Ads from the Conservatives on major sporting events and so on the past 3 months. The costs of the former run into 6 -7 figures, I’ve no doubt, and the amount for the EAP ads has been revealed to be more then what some major corporations would spend on advertising in Canada:

The Conservative government’s big Economic Action Plan ad campaign is costing taxpayers $26 million — for three months. A marketing specialist says the federal outlay is more cash than a big advertiser like Procter and Gamble would spend in a year in Canada. The massive TV and radio buy is shared among three federal departments for slick ads that began airing Jan. 11 and wrap up by March 31.

As Steve mentioned yesterday – the last year of the Liberal Paul Martin government spent 41 million $ of various promotion for Government of Canada activities in an entire year. You can do the math as to the comparisons over a whole year – and all of this advertising for an EAP that’s basically run its course. All this is nothing more then government propaganda – combined with the CPC attack ads – to drive the Conservative government’s numbers up in the polls in the event of an election.

Harper and his Conservatives have shown they are willing to spend whatever it takes to achieve that result – fiscal restraint or not. The ends justify the means – choose whatever cliches apply. It’s little wonder the polls have moved in the Conservatives favour the past couple of months and it also shows why the Liberals believe a campaign and an election is better now then later. Better to get on a level playing field and into a campaign where more attention is being paid to what all the parties are saying, then the skewed look the Conservatives are presenting right now.

A democratic reform package that bans partisan advertising from the government (such as is done in the province of Ontario) would be a nice thing to unveil for the Federal Liberals. I understand such a package is out there… I hope that it includes something similar.

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13 comments to What trying to ‘buy a majority’ looks like for the Harper Conservatives

  • And don’t forget that tomorrow is the next edition of the Economic Action Plan, Oh Look, Shiny Thing Tour. Conservatives are again fanning out across the country at our expense to tell us what a wonderful job they did for us with the EAP and, therefore, why we should vote for them. Our money hard at work.

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    For Voters: Cup of coffee for you, bottle of champagne for Cons

    So the choice for voters will be the price of a cup of coffee, going to the party of their choice. A reward for casting their ballot.

    Or the constant sound of corks popping off champagne bottles, as we continue to fund the Conservative Party’s re-election schemes, when we have no choice, and never get even a sip of the champagne.

    The Canadian taxpayer has been funding this party for five years. It’s time to pull the plug. They clearly have no concept of the value of a hard earned dollar.

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2011/03/ending-voter-subsidy-will-not-whiff-of.html#comment-form

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  • repost from Canadas-Head-Stuck-in-the-Sand – Well, considering HarperCon has been running election campaign style ads costing a fortune over the past two months, methinks Harper really does want an election, or is planning for one anyway.

    Isn’t it illegal or something to run attack ads… when an election has yet to be called. How much is this costing the tax payer?

    repost from Leslie Catling – I contacted Elections Canada about ads run outside of an election campaign and they said there are no regulations governing any time until an election is called. Time for some changes! So that means that it is to the government’s a…dvantage to campaign the way they have been, both using unlimited party funding as well as the partisan stimulus ads as long as possible and then having a very short campaign during which time election spending is controlled. Again, unethical behaviour even when it is not strictly speaking illegal, as when they engage in money laundering in the in and out fraud scheme.

  • I’ve been advocating a 3-step plan to level the political playing field for years. Want voter engagement? Cut the ads during the “off-season”, cut funding/caps for advertising to a very miniscule amount – NOT $18 Million – more like $5 Million; less funds would force the MPs to actually get out into the ridings and meet voters, attend candidates debates (so we can see their skills in action). Keep local campaign spending at a low cap of $25000.

    Voters would agree, because they are sick of being bombarded, want to save tax dollars, and would love to see their MP once in a while. Incumbents wouldn’t be able to “get cozy” and hide out an election – like is so common with Conservatives who are too terrified to debate anyone in a public forum.

    Electors have a RIGHT to properly “interview” their MPs, and getting to see them more often – on the ground in the riding – would help. It would also engage more voters – and force candidates to be more creative in reaching out to everyone – including youth. Money should not be able to buy an election – ever.

    A person with very little money should NOT be precluded from the political process. If they want to run, a citizen should have every opportunity. Want to keep politics out of the hands of only the rich “elite”? This is the way.

  • CARP is very angry with Harper and his Contempt of Parliament, shrugging it off, as well as the long form Census, and they are leaning toward the Liberals

  • ridenrain

    “If you want Ottawa to participate, you have to vote Liberal”
    Meanwhile, Iggy’s promises evertything to anybody, as long as they vote Liberal.

    • Jon Pertwee

      Confuse, evade, avoid – ridofbrain is always prone to a smartass crack rather than making a point

      Ridofbrain = spam

      • ridenrain

        Not so snide at all. Many on the left were up in arms that Harper might use federal money to build a stadium in Quebec yet now that Iggy promised the same thing, there’s dead silence. Where did all that “righteous indignation” go?

        http://www.canoe.com/cgi-bin/imprimer.cgi?id=867208

        • Jon Pertwee

          Hey I dont think its a good idea either but unlike you I seem to have an independent opinion. Yes, ridofbrain I can choose to disagree with a political party on a particular point. Funny that freedom of thought and democratic vote thing.

          Sorry ridofbrain, not all of us are preprogrammed on party lines.

          • ridenrain

            You’ll just bark for your master but I do expect politicians to stay true to their words:

            Liberal MP Joyce Murray said: “Harper’s vote-buying stadium scheme in Quebec to benefit a right-wing media buddy: Quebec voters too smart to fall for it…”
            Liberal MP Keith Martin: “175 million for a hockey arena in Quebec City from the Cons! The PM is wasting our money…”
            Bob Rae said: “Mr. Harper can’t do a one-off just because there might be an election and political pressure in Quebec,” he said.

            Unless this is part of some greater, hockey and circus, beer & popcorn program, then it’s probably exactly the same low down vote buying scheme the media was talking about.. only their not talking about it any more.

            I am waiting to hear from these three Liberals to see if this is still an attack on democracy.

          • Redrum

            You’re just cottoning onto this now, rickets?

            He’s been saying the same thing for over 6 weeks, but it’s NOT just to pander to QC or Peladeau as the CPC was, to save its seats (which was what those 3 Lib critics were addressing), and it’s not for the NHL, but for any city that meets the criteria of a multi-use facility that the 3 levels of gov’t and a private partner are in on, with a valid biz plan & regional economic benefits. Something your party wanted very much to do, too, and still does, but retreated from only when their usual right-wing media shills balked.

            www + .nationalpost.com/todays-paper/Ignatieff+backs+Quebec+arena+with+equity+across+country/4174732/story.html

            www + .canada.com/sports/Team+player+Ignatieff+suggests+with+funding+Quebec+rink/4173770/story.html

        • Redrum

          Feds shovel $6-M at QC snowmobile clubs:

          http + ://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2011/03/14/17613106.html

          $100-M for a puppet show on the War of 1812:

          www + .nationalpost.com/todays-paper/Ottawa+plans+million+celebration+1812/4433635/story.html

          We’re in good hands with Con-State

          • ridenrain

            It’s completely different.. because the Liberals are doing it. Your simply entitled to the hypocrisy.
            It’s all summed up in your new party slogan: “If you want Ottawa to participate, you have to vote Liberal”

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