Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Action Plans ads just as corrupt as you thought

Harper has spent over $100M of taxpayers' money on “Economic Action Plan” advertising. These ubiquitous ads promote scaled-back spending, non-existing programs and a stimulus package that ended 3 years ago. They also assure Canadians the Government of Canada Harper Government is making the economy a top priority.

Many believe Harper has been freeloading campaign advertising all along. A recent $30,000 internal poll — on the effectiveness of Action Plan ads — confirms this is the actual agenda:

The Harris-Decima survey found 38 per cent were happy with the Conservative government’s performance, the lowest level among the 10 such polls conducted since April 2009, when the first wave of action plan ads was released.

Big Jim is serious about the economy (either that or he needs more bran in his diet…) Unfortunately, managing the economy requires more than image consultants and confidence schemes.

Clearly there’s no reason to poll the government’s perceived economic performance in a survey measuring the efficacy of a public service announcement. That is, unless the real purpose of the ads is to promote the Cons as good economic managers.

Harper pal chimes in

Gerry Nicholls, former vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition (while Harper was president,) does not mince words:

I don’t think the Conservatives are losing sleep that no one is visiting the website. I think the message behind the Economic Action Plan was primarily political, that is, to show Canadians that the government is doing a good job with the economy. [They are supposed] to work at a more subconscious level: Conservatives-economy-good.

Voting reform perspective

The source of this corruption is really our primitive voting system, FPP, which doles out 4-year dictatorships to minority parties. When the Cons won a “majority” on 40% of the vote in 2011, Harper ended up with 100% of the power.

This kind of nonsense does not happen in the rest of the developed world. There, multi-party majority governments are the norm. No single party — or leader — winds up with absolute corrupt power.

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