Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Public Advertising

You know, for people who rail against the government using public money for partisan purposes, they're really quite good at it themselves. It doesn't really surprise me, of course. Anyone who remembers the Mike Harris years in Ontario (oh, and look who's in that picture - none other than John "uncle Tom" Baird and Jim Flaherty, two Harris ministers!) remembers publicly-funded television ad campaigns praising the work of the government, and billboards everywhere with slogans like, "This road brought to you by Mike Harris." One of McGuinty's most popular promises was that he would cease all partisan advertising by the government of Ontario.


At 5/24/2006 2:32 p.m., Anonymous Loraine King said...

Dear Grit, Like yourself I remember the Harris era and I have noted the Harper Conservatives' fondness for using government resources for political propaganda. A few other similarities come to mind, the first relates to my former MPP John Snobelen and his method: conveniently create a crisis, I believe was the term he used. The repatriation of dead soldiers, for example, which was a decision that could have waited for a better time to be announced. Another is to belittle institutions. You may wish to correct me here but if memory serves Harris holds the all-time Commonwealth record for his absenteeism from a Legislature. When this was pointed out to him he said that answering questions in the Legislature was for him a waste of time. His successor Eves followed in Harris’s footsteps with a mostly non-sitting Legislature, presenting his budget at Magna, but he was caught off-guard when he had to recall the Assembly in a rush, with all pomp and circumstances, bang-smack in the middle of the SARS crisis. I believe this will be the next phase of the Harperisites: sit in Parliament as little as possible, substitute a free press with a controlled press, one that will print party-line propaganda releases, and restrict journalists’ access to elected representatives in Government. While Harris targeted women on welfare, the Harperisites are aiming higher – a lot higher. Two women stand above the PM in the Canadian hierarchy: the GG and the Chief Justice of the SCC. I may be the only one here to feel this here but I find that a comment like ‘she thinks she’s a god’ comes pretty close to the ‘who does this women think she is’ we used to hear around the watercoolers of our nation when Clarkson was GG.


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