What Attack Ads Mean

16 May

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA—Imagine a regime that sets precedents in secrecy and closed-door activities. Imagine a regime that cracks down on free speech and represses dissent so much that members of the ruling party are afraid to deviate from the party line. And imagine a vast propaganda campaign that pours millions of public funds into glorifying the government and smearing the opposition.

Welcome to Canada, boys and girls! I’m going to let that just sink in for a moment.

That’s right, citizens. The Harper Government is dumping millions of your taxes into stroking Stephen Harper’s ego and bullying his enemies. And this most recent series of attacks on Liberal leader Justin Trudeau are just the tip of the iceberg.

Since the repression hit, the Harper Government has been shoving “Canada’s Economic Action Plan,” in your face. On your TV, on the radio, on the bus, the regime is hard at work trying to convince you that King Stephen is pro-active on the economy, and that he even has a plan that involves anything more than subordinating the entire country to Alberta’s oil industry. All on your dime, of course. Lots and lots of your dimes. The Canada’s Economic Action Plan media blitz cost tax payers 21 million dollars from 2011 to 2012 alone.

Though wasteful, such propaganda is not nearly as disturbing as Harper attack ads. The attacks on Justin Trudeau, though particularly pathetic and shallow, are not new. Throughout his reign, Harper bombarded the airwaves with smears against Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, Gilles Duceppe, Jack Layton, Bob Rae, Thomas Mulcair and now Justin Trudeau.

There’s two questions we need to ask. 1) Is it appropriate to run these attack ads? and 2) what is Stephen Harper afraid of?

1)      It is one thing to release attack ads during an actual election season. Smearing opposition leaders three to four years away from an election, on the other hand, is the stuff of unabashed third world dictators. The latest commercial, which juxtaposes images of Justin Trudeau posing for his charity boxing match with images of Stephen Harper pretending to be human heroically running the economy, is particularly reminiscent of fascist propaganda that seeks to glamorize strongmen while smearing any challengers as traitors. At your expense, this immature behavior is unacceptable.

2)      These ad campaigns, along with the new Tory blitz to reform Canada’ history education curriculum, show a profound distrust of the public on the part of the Harper Government. Harper clearly believes that his credentials don’t stand up on their own, and that without sixth-grade gossip-inspired smear campaigns, citizens will dump him the way he dumped Kyoto and the gun registry.

Stephen Harper is an immature bully. He attacks people he doesn’t like on the most shallow of grounds, and hey, if it doesn’t work and he ends up losing, who cares? “Screw you guys, I’m going prorogue!”

Grow up, Stephen.

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