Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BC Liberals cheating to win in 2 by-elections on Wednesday with taxpayer-paid government ads

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column
Tuesday October 28, 2008

Feel-good ads don't feel so good


You can't cheat the public for long.

- Tennessee Ernie Ford, country singer

It's bad enough when a political party is grossly hypocritical and it's worse when they cheat to win.

But when a party uses your own money to do both, it's downright disgusting.

And that's what the B.C. Liberals are doing right now - using taxpayers' money to run feel-good government advertising to try winning two provincial byelections in Vancouver tomorrow.

If you haven't seen or heard the newspaper and radio ads running constantly this month, one says:

"In the last seven years, we've cut over 100 taxes. On July 1, personal income taxes were reduced for all British Columbians ... And, in January 2009, personal income taxes will be reduced again."

The ads are illustrated with a handy chart showing how much your taxes were reduced since 2001.

Why 2001, I wonder? Oh yes, that's when B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell took office!

Doesn't that make you feel good? Good enough to vote for B.C. Liberal candidates in Vancouver-Fairview and Vancouver-Burrard?

And while businesses are regulated by truth in advertising rules, government propaganda is not.

If it was, the B.C. Liberal government ads would have to talk about the massive tax increases they also introduced since 2001.

You know - the carbon tax in July, the other 2003 Campbell gas tax of 3.5 cent a litre, the huge 50 per cent increase in B.C. Medical Services Premiums in 2002, plus insurance, tobacco and other tax increases - but why spoil the mood?

Fortunately, some politicians adamantly oppose using taxpayers' money to influence voters.

"I can tell you this: We are going to end government feel-good advertising," one of them said. "People don't want to see us use their money for that."

That was Gordon Campbell in November 2000, as opposition leader.

But now that he controls government advertising, Campbell is turning on the taps at our expense in a desperate effort not to lose both seats.

And there's more.

New full-page government ads in Vancouver papers say you can "save money" if you "take action against global warming" - thanks to provincial programs.

As if it wasn't bad enough that millions of taxpayer dollars are spent to buy votes, there's more.

This hypocritical government that runs its own ads during byelections will also severely restrict third-party advertising for 88 days before and during the provincial election.

They don't want anyone - other than the government - to influence your ballot.

But voters in Vancouver-Fairview and Vancouver-Burrard can send Gordon Campbell and his hypocrites an unmistakeable message on Wednesday by voting for B.C. New Democratic Party candidates Jenn McGinn and Spencer Herbert.

The message is pretty simple - don't try cheating us with our own money.


BC Mary said...

Well said, Bill.

And what about Campbell's permanent staff of spin doctors?

Did they arrange for stopping the 6 o'clock news to provide a FREE POLITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT for Campbell? Were they the ones who argued for 5 days about whether the Leader of the Opposition should be given equal time for the other side of the story?

Don't miss reading about the righteous wrath of a retired BCTV journalist on this topic (Harvey Oberfeld's Blog). Harvey was furious.

Then there's The Globe and Mail virtually reprinting a Campbell Press Release as their lead editorial. What's with that?? That drew a storm of outrage from British Columbians who knew better.

But I think the basic question is: what about that small army of spin doctors who toil -- at public expense -- at trying to make Campbell look good. I call them Spin Doctors. But that Order-in-Council #656 in Sept. 2006, called them "Public Affairs Officers". Their job, as I understand it, is to work all day every day trying to make Campbell look good.

At a guess, perhaps 100 were already on staff in 2006, so maybe 50 more have been added since then, that's 335 people working (?) at our expense, to keep the wool pulled over our eyes.

At an estimated salary of $50,000 each, that's a lot of money. According to me, it's almost $17MILLION A YEAR.

Gordo could be building a lot of emergency shelters for the homeless with that kind of cash.


Anonymous said...

You had to expect the advertizing blitz, wait until February when the Olympic countdown ads start and run right through the provincial election. This will be VANOC, not the BC Liberals, oops, I mean the Government of BC. Where does Elections BC come in are they monitors of content or are they complaint driven?

Anonymous said...

Gordo hires some sharp folks to circumvent their own laws. They work all day, every day, to make him look good and of course electable. Will the voters fal for it again this week? Who knows? I wonder just how much these gimmicks are costing us?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what I find more disturbing: That Gordon knows he's not telling the truth, or does he actually believe what he's saying?

Hailing tax "reductions" that you are only eliminating over time because you previously increased taxes in other areas, is asinine.

This is the same contemptible shell game that is the Carbon Tax. Empty one pocket, appear to fill the other with almost as much "money" (because a good portion of it is incentives and subsidies)

But the real hard currency you had in your pocket is not only less, but devalued as an investor and/or consumer because, as a whole, you have less of it!

Contrary to popular media belief, Carole James is resonating with the public. Where the Premier could have previously counted on her ineptitude
(or, more generously, her inexperience) he can't do that anymore. Her emergence as a viable alternative as a provincial leader couldn't come at a worst time for him.

Two by-election results tonight: Both NDP and massive losses in the polls traditionally free enterprise in Fairview.

There are a whole ton of people who will not forgive Gordon Campbell for his insane initiatives over the course of the last year and a half, and they are ALL former liberals, who cannot vote for their party again if he is leader, and will never vote NDP.

Translation: Plus for the NDP.

The next provincial election will be a battle for the Liberals to get that independent constituency I just referred to to the polls.

IF that doesn't happen, the NDP will be the next govt and with surprising ease.

You read it here first.

Bill Tieleman said...

The following letter to the editor was printed Wednesday in 24 hours:

RE: BILL TIELEMAN (24 hours, Oct. 27): Every cent
earned by the carbon tax has been returned to voters in the form of other tax cuts and the climate action dividend,
as the policies approved in the legislature alongside the carbon tax mandate.

Coupled with previous tax cuts, the B.C. Liberals have significantly reduced your net taxes since the NDP regime of the ’90s.

If Tieleman had done some math before writing his article based on his opinion rather than the facts, he would have known this.

- Caleb Tarzwell, via e-mail

Anonymous said...

Caleb must be a King Gordo fan. Any tax cuts our family got, was eaten up by extra charges for most everything. Maybe Caleb actually believes what she or he has written, I prefer A. G. Tsakumis ideas much better.
The byelection results should be out soon. as its almost 9 PM

Peter Frinton said...

Gee Bill- all in a dither because the Liberals continue to use media to get out their message about tax cuts, and you pound your chest screaming: "It's public money, It's cheating". But when Betty K wants a platform, the ranks form around the Vancouver mayoral duo including your fave guy- and no tax money is at stake, just the duration of a debate.

Nice logic for a guy who sure likes to get his picture taken with the big guys from across the political spectrum.

G West said...

Media Bias, yep I think so.

Here's a copy of an email I sent to the host of the CBC 'on the coast' show last night:

Dear Shiral Tobin:

While I enjoyed your short discussion with Dr Goodall, I must say I was appalled at the free advertisement for the BC Liberal Party that you included in your remarks.

Especially on a day when there are two byelections taking place within range of your signal, your blatant 'plug' for the Carbon Tax - a piece of legislation and a measure which is highly controversial - was uncalled for and unfair.

You owe your listeners an apology - your remark was offside and had absolutely no relevance to the subject you were discussing.

Many, perhaps most, British Columbians are very concerned with the state of the environment and global warming - it does not follow that they all agree with the Campbell approach to this question. In any case, these things are legitimate matters of debate. Your remarks showed poor judgment and political bias which have no place on the CBC. Especially today.

I was disappointed and surprised.

A long time listener and supporter.


By way of explanation, Ms Tobin, in a discussion about encouraging public support for primates in Africa, mentionted the lack of public support for the "BCLiberal" carbon tax plan.

G West

BC Mary said...


Interesting comment. But I'm never sure whether it's Gordo using the media ... or the media using Gordo.

Any way you look at it, they're virtually one and the same.

Now, how do you suppose that happened?