Tuesday, 28 June 2016

End Partisan Government Advertising!

Have you seen the self-serving, totally partisan ads that Ontario's Liberal government has been putting on TV lately?  The ones advertising some of the government's most controversial policies, like the proposed Ontario pension plan, the revised provincial sex ed curriculum and the government's clean energy policies.  One of the latest ads features a bunch of small children talking about the threats posed by climate change.  Up until recently, these kinds of ads were illegal in Ontario.  But then the government tweaked the law to allow them.  Now just to be fair, Kathleen Wynne's Liberals aren't the only ones guilty of showering voters with ads designed to make us feel good about their policies.  Other parties play the same game and play it just as well.

Does anyone remember those annoying TV ads by the Harper Conservatives?  The ads sang the praises of the so-called Economic Action Plan, much of which hadn't even been approved by parliament, hence the small and much less noticeable text in the commercials that read, "subject to parliamentary approval."  One of my favourite examples is from around twenty years ago during the days of the Mike Harris government in Ontario.  The then slash-and-burn premier talked a great deal about wasteful spending, but he had no problem spending our tax dollars on signs that proudly proclaimed, "Your Ontario Tax Dollars at Work."  

The fact of the matter is that governments of all stripes engage in self-serving partisan advertising paid for by our tax dollars.  This is a practice that has to end and end now!  So whenever you see one of those pathetic commercials talking about how much of a great job our politicians are supposedly doing, keep telling yourself to remember our leaders' cynical use of our hard-earned money come voting day.  Better yet, forget about waiting until the next election.  Instead, shout out to our politicians over the phone, through the mail or on social media and tell them to stop wasting the taxpayer's money on partisan ads.  If politicians want to pat themselves on the back in the media, they should use their own parties' funds to do it, not ours!    

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