I’m getting awfully tired of seeing Liberal-bashing ads on prime time television. The end of each ad proclaims them to be “brought to you by the Conservative Party of Canada.” But the Conservative Party was brought to Canada by Canada. Elected by Canada. Paid for by Canada.
I accept the fact that Canada desired new government in the House of Commons, and I accept that this government may reallocate my tax dollars to more closely suit their own agenda. That’s why we vote.
But why am I paying for political ads? There’s no election going on now. There’s seemingly no reason for the Conservative party to attempt to curry favour from the populace at the moment. Regardless of which party I voted for I shouldn’t be forced to pay for slanderous, self-serving tripe. It’s inappropriate, irresponsible, and unethical of any government to do so.
I find this practise particularly slimy because, if the ads were showed during election time, they would be out of accordance with CRTC political advertising rules.
For example, “all candidates and parties are entitled to some coverage that will give them the opportunity to expose their ideas to the public.” I’ve thankfully been exempt from paying for Liberal rebuttal ads, though, according to the CRTC, such an opportunity is due:
“…if paid advertising time is sold to any party or candidate, advertising time must be made available on an equitable basis to rival parties and candidates. “
Furthermore, during elections, one-sided inflammatory advertisements have been all but unheard-of as far as I’ve observed. There’s a reason for this – the CRTC holds itself and television and radio stations responsible for the equitable presentation of issues by political parties.
“Section 3 of the Act requires that ‘the programming originated by broadcast undertakings should be of high standard’ and ‘the programming provided by the Canadian broadcasting system should provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern'”
These cheap-shot ads are the least of my worries, disgusting though they may be.
It’s generally agreed that the Conservatives stole the Liberal’s minority government by bombarding the public with ads bringing to light an embarassing and illegal Liberal sponsorship scandal. Fair game. However, it’s perplexingly infuriating that the Conservatives have yet failed to punish their own Minister of Heritage for doing the same thing very shortly after the election, and later took measures to justify its illegal sponsorship funds by means of a loophole in their own Accountability Act.
The Liberals’ term ended with former Right Honourable Prime Minister Paul Martin denying America’s request to set up a defensive missile shield on Canadian soil. The simply Right current Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s term began by sending Canadians to combat in Afghanistan.
The Liberals, interpreting Canada’s Charter of Rights, deemed same-sex marriage legal and in the spirit of the country. The Conservatives, ignoring the Canadian majority’s votes and morals, vowed to re-open the issue. This ended in embarassment for Harper when his discriminatory motion was defeated by a large majority.
Since taking power the Conservatives have inexplicably lowered the GST while ballooning military spending, eliminated government-sponsored child care and ended women’s support services in a double-whammy assault on women’s rights, stepped up efforts to deport even well accepted and loved illegal immigrants, and preceded children’s movies with army recruitment ads.
I urge all Canadians, whether in support or in contempt of our Conservative government, to voice their concerns to the Prime Minister. Do so by way of your local MP, your provincial premier, or email Harper himself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve never before been so motivated to vote.