Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Canada doesn't start in BC but Premier Christy Clark's $15 million propaganda campaign sure does!

BC Liberals' Ad Nausea 
Premier Christy Clark pitches her BC Jobs Plan in ads
Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday November 20, 2012
By Bill Tieleman
"Those are very partisan ads. They should be bought and paid for by the Liberal Party of B.C."
- CKNW host Bill Good, Nov. 16, on B.C. government advertising
Canada doesn't "start here" in British Columbia, despite what government television ads claim -- but Premier Christy Clark's propaganda campaign sure does.
The B.C. Liberals are ruining TV watching and radio listening with an endless $15 million taxpayer-funded parade of ads that are not only misleading and wasteful but also that we are paying for!
Enough!
All British Columbians want our economy to grow, our industries to prosper and our citizens to find good jobs.
But the only positions these ridiculous "B.C. Jobs Plan" ads create are in advertising agency boardrooms and Clark's own office!
Selling cynicism
It's the worst kind of politics -- and not just because it offends taxpayers who see a government spending $15 million that could be used to help children at risk or reduce hospital emergency room overcrowding or improve crime prevention.
No, it's even more sickening because it makes people even more cynical about elected representatives when government actually has a critical role to help those in need.
That's one lousy way to further reduce already declining participation in our democratic process -- where B.C. had a depressing 51 per cent turnout in the 2009 provincial election.
The ads are not only unnecessary; they're also untrue.
Sun Media columnist David Akin pointed that out, saying Clark's claim that B.C. created more jobs than any other province in the last year was "demonstrably false" and her other stats were "pretty wobbly too."
"Statistics Canada, said right here on Oct. 5, the most recent and up-to-date snapshot of the country's job creation numbers, that 'over the last year' in B.C., there are 44,700 more full-time jobs, 15,100 fewer part-time jobs for a net gain of 29,500 more jobs. Where on earth does Clark get 57,000 new jobs created?" Akin wrote.
It's also hard to believe B.C. has a great "Skills and Training Plan" when up to 2,000 miners will come to the province as Temporary Foreign Workers -- because the government had no response to its own task force report calling for miner training four years ago.
Doing government 'differently'
What's worse is a premier who just doesn't get it.
Clark was recently asked by the Kamloops Daily News about criticism of her $15 million ad campaign and responded this way:
"It's about content. What we're talking about in the advertising is all fact-based. So we talk about the jobs plan, we try to engage people in the jobs plan because one of the things that we have to do as we're building government policy is get the opinions and the best thinking of the people of the province," Clark said.
"So, I said I was going to do government differently. One of the things we need to is we really need to listen to people and engage them in their own government," she concluded.
Is that how you "do government differently" -- by personally appearing in some of the 90-second TV ads?
By spending taxpayers' own money to tell them you are doing a great job?
Gagging
And the sheer hypocrisy is breathtaking.
This government spending oodles of money to promote itself is the same one that tried to defend its gag law that prohibited third party advertising before provincial elections -- until the B.C. Court of Appeal rejected its legislation. Again.
It's also the same government that spent $6 million in a failed advertising effort to convince taxpayers in last year's binding referendum that the Harmonized Sales Tax was a brilliant idea.
Their advertising policy has gotten so offensive that even longtime B.C. Liberal supporters have had it.
Martyn Brown -- former chief of staff to ex-B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell -- is criticizing the ads.
On Shaw Cable's Voice Of B.C. last week he told host Vaughn Palmer that the $15 million ad budget is: "About the same price in total on environmental protection as we’re spending on these ads."
"I think first of all we should remember that every penny of that money is borrowed," Brown added. "We're going into debt to pay for those ads, so they better be worth it."
Martyn Brown's bright idea
Brown has a suggestion that I've made before to solve the problem: require opposition approval for government ads.
"Refer all major proposed government ad campaigns to an all-party committee that can scrutinize and approve or reject those expenditures, and make public that information as soon as any ad campaign goes public," Brown wrote in an opinion piece last month.
If the official opposition agrees that it's worthwhile information for the public to see, hear or read -- then go with it. If taxpayers disagree, both parties will hear about it equally.
Cynics will rightly note that Brown had 10 years as Campbell's top political staffer and was involved in every major government ad campaign but never implemented his own idea -- fair enough criticism.
But that doesn't make it a bad idea.
And Clark would be smart to realize that Canada doesn't start here -- anger starts here when a wasteful government spends our money to advertise itself for political advantage.

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15 comments:

Eleanor Gregory said...

The phrase "Canada starts here" reminds me of the sometimes CBC radio ads "Canada lives here". Maybe the CBC should complain.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Martyn Brown has no right, to even open his mouth about anything. He was the brain dead witness at the trial, of Campbell's theft and corrupt sale of our BCR. We wondered, if he would be able to, remember his way home from court.

I don't remember a time when, the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals didn't thieve and waste our tax dollars.

Christy makes me furious. She says, we have the lowest taxes in Canada. However, she always forgets to mention the HST. You add 7% on pretty much everything. No money came trickling down from big business, as Campbell and Hansen promised. We are paying Harper and Christy to steal from us. BC citizens have had no benefit from the HST, what-so-ever. Big business jacked their prices up, even higher.

That Christy is stealing our tax dollars, for her futile campaign, is nothing new. We saw her and her ministers spending. When we have to pay, for nail salon visits. I guess anything goes.

DPL said...

In Ms. Clark's mind its only money except it's our money being spent on crazy adds, while real programs affecting real people are shortchanges.The scary part is that some people actually believe the crap they are selling

Richard Smiley said...

Yeah. My mother, a pensioner of GIS, lives with other pensioners in a small rural subdivision that after 44 years of neglect by the owner/operator of the water system, who got it for one dollar and milked it ever since, is now facing a yearly bill for 1300 dollars as her contribution for a new water system. Total cost will be a bit over 10 million dollars. For the second year running, in spite of lowering the amount requested, no provincial grant money was announced at the UBCM annual meeting. There isn't any money available.

Anonymous said...

Well this is an opportunity for the NDP to show leadership. No, absolutely NO government paid "feel good" ads, ever. There's no need to send "the message" through expensive ads as the internet is easily accessible. If there's a major initiative that does need marketing such as a new social service or a hospital, fine, but no ads regarding
"we're on track for a better British Columbia". None.

Let the MLAs get the message out to their ridings and make them do it.

Also, there needs to be some kind of direction that the NDP Caucus Research will NOT at any time use government time for partisan purposes.

If the NDP starts the same thing, then it won't be long until blog contributors actually belive the crap the NDP will be selling.

Here's an opportunity for the NDP
put an end to this nonsense fluff.

and Bill here can lead the way in getting the NDP to do so.


DPL said...

I would tend to disagree with anon 3:23 on one point.
Martyn Brown is one sharp guy. Used to run into him on treaty meetings. His memory was great and knew who to cozy up to. He went on the stand, and like so many others got amnesia. Christy took over and shuffled him into the side lines. Not a bright move Christy because he sure knows where the bodies lie, as the old saying goes. He is speaking out now and the more he talks the worse Ms. Photo op looks to be.

The nice thing about Bill,s blog is he allows comment from all sides of an issue. I just wish the security , I'm not a robot was easier to see, and I've got 20/20 vision

Anonymous said...

This femme fatale $15,000,000.00 propaganda campaign reminds me of something Imelda Marcos or Evita Peron (Madonna) would have pulled.

All that's missing for Madonna Clark to take up singing on the radio like the two tin-pot-divas she obviously uses as role models.

My big question is just how many shoes and push-up bras does Chesty Clark has in her closet?

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

I see that B.C's Devilled Ham has some kind of infatuation for push up bras and shoes..

Ah well, what ever rows his boat.

We're ok, he's ok, its ok.

As long as it isn't excessive and doesn't becomes a habituate.

Anonymous said...

I see that B.C's Devilled Ham has some kind of infatuation for push up bras and shoes..

Ah well, what ever rows his boat.

We're ok, he's ok, its ok.

As long as it isn't excessive and doesn't becomes a habituate.

Dave Hester said...

How can anyone with a shred of decency, morals, intelligence, integrity, honesty and common sense defend the liberals on how they govern this province.What a waste of Bc taxpayer money Crusty was misquoted when she said "Families first" Your motto "Families First" was so meaningless unless you meant "Chinese families first". The BC liberal government is quick to help out thousands of immigrant legal and illegal immagrants that has not put a nickle into our economy .The BC liberal Temporary Foreign Worker program is increasingly little more than a government-sanctioned way for big business foreeign owned corpereating to by-pass Canadian workers and substitute with cheap foreign labor.Reality means nothing ,perception is everthing.

Anonymous said...

The B.C. liberals just took other huge hit with this one.It is just more proof were the BC liberals and crusty Clark priority are.More smoke and mirrors from the Liberals and Clark to give the impression that they are interested in what voters think., when in actual fact, they could care less. I find itIronic in that the province is broke, and still issuing massive royalty credits to liberal supporting non resident gas producers. Maybe if they had all the revenue from natural gas instead of giving most of it away they could assist with some other programs. Maybe ensuring that the most income tax revenue is generated by natural gas service jobs, rather than evaporating into china and the USA would also help on the revenue side.Maybe not giving a way dividend paying assets like BC Rail would help with the revenue side.Crusty Clark plan is to bluff her way through every problem with platitudes and the big grin! That's what has worked for her all her life and if the people of B.C. let her get away with it, she'll keep using it. Not to mention a full on criminal for her role in BC Rail.Shame on the BC liberal blowing 15 Million dollars of taxpayer money when we have the second worst child poverty rate in canada SHAME

e.a.f. said...

$15M on ads??? What a waste of money. This province is in debt up to its eyeballs & c.c. spends that kind of money on ads which reflect only her version of the facts! Given her credit card tab, I am not surprised by the amount of money being spent. I can't stand the comercials. They aren't true. The comericials are clearly, at least to me, pre election comericials for the lieberal party. I suggest they take them down & spend the money on something worth while, like the emergency at Surrey Memorial Hospital, or on the retro fit of some of B.C.'s schools, etc.

like the article but please do something about the "captcha" thing. I can't read it half the time & that is when it comes up. Harvey O.'s is much more readable. thanks.

DPL said...

The adds are on TV constantly. Each time I see how BC is in great shape etc etc, I think of the programs cut, the sneaky deals and the increased numbers of folks at the food bank and places like The Open Door, which is now feeding over one thousand a DAY. What a waste of money by a desperate gang

Anonymous said...

Make Your Own Personalized Political Ads!

We are in the midst of a full-on election fever here in British Columbia.

Our airwaves and Internet are awash in political advertisements that run the gamut from subtle innuendo to outrageous accusation.

For too long, these political weapons of mass destruction have been reserved for the Vancouver elite. What's a Joe Six-Pack or a Hockey Mom to do?

This inequality is downright UN-Canadian and it will not stand. My fellow prisoners, It's time to run our own Attack Ad Campaign.

Now slandering the other side is as easy as goofing around with those refrigerator poetry magnets.

Actually, it's even better than that since you can't embed your refrigerator on your blog.

So if you have a way with words and know how to BS Big Time, we should talk.

The programs I use are CS6 versions of Photoshop, illustrator, Indesign and After Effects, my system is a HP Z820 WORKSTATION 2 X INTEL 8C E5-2690 2.9GHZ 64GB RAM 2GB VIDEO- 2 x 2 TB hard drives.

I got a lot of time on my hands.

It's all for free!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why even bother? The NDP is going to come up with their own, and they will continue taxpayer funded government advertising 8 months after they win the election.

and no need to tell the specs of your Banana Junior 9000. It's not the software or PC, it's what a person can do with all that junk is what matters.

I can do the same thing and probably better on a PC that is less than that.

and more importantly, so can Bill