Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Attack Ads paid for with Tax dollars



Monday the Vancouver Province printed several articles about how Christy Clark’s Liberals used taxpayer resources to make an attack Adrian Dix web site. Numerous people have written in expressing their disgust as have numerous editorials been written. One of which raises a point I would like to address. The B.C. Liberal Party is being asked to cut a cheque to taxpayers and submit itself to an independent audit after it was revealed this week that employees in the legislature used taxpayer-funded resources to craft an anti-NDP attack website.

There are three issues on the table: Attack ads, Attack ads paid for with tax dollars, and paying back tax dollars misappropriated for political partisanship. First let me address the issue of attack ads. Attack ads used to be unpopular and unCanadian. If someone used an attack ad that was like shooting themselves in the foot because Canadians didn’t have the time of day for them and it would turn voters off the party making the attacks. My point is there are three types of attack ads: true allegations, false allegations and down right nasty.

We know Kash Heed was caught putting out a down right nasty attack ad on the NDP during his campaign for the BC Liberals. Someone who worked for the federal NDP were caught making a fake twitter account called VivkiLeaks that started leaking out info from Conservative MP Vick Towes divorce. Everyone said that crossed the line. Personally I think voters have a right to known if their “Christian” candidate had an affair and fathered a child with a younger woman. I personally see that as relevant. All the mudslinging in custody battles isn’t relevant but if that fact is true, then it’s true and voters have a right to know. If he was in the US military, he’d be facing charges.

Likewise the attack ad of Adrian Dix. Were the accusations true or false? The whole concept of “We can’t afford Dix” is something the Harper government is doing for Thomas Mulcair. It’s irritating because in Harper’s case it is absolutely false and is playing on a very old and outdated stereotype that he has broken.

In the past we were told the left likes to tax and spend while the right likes to balance the budget and reduce taxes. Brian Mulroney’s GST changed all that and Stephen Harper’s HST is even worse. Millions of dollars for a fleet of insider trading jets that don’t work in the arctic and billions on the banks that didn’t need a bail out. Canadians can’t afford that kind of pork barrel politics. The first aspect of the attack ads that I take offense to is that they are false.

The second aspect of the attack ads that I take offense to is them being paid for with tax dollars. It’s pretty clear that both Stephen Harper and Christy Clark are using tax dollars to promote their political party. No doubt it’s their same Pee Wee Herman advisor’s brainstorm. Someone please buy that guy a new tie.

Using tax dollars to promote your political party is very offensive and very big brother. Right now Harper has two sets of ads. One set is a BS propaganda campaign about how great his party is for the environment and the oil sands when in reality his party has done the exact opposite. These ads are clearly paid for with tax dollars which is inherently wrong.

Yet there is another set of attack ads that are ongoing. They are becoming very invasive and are everywhere. When I get woken up by a Harper attack add on my clock radio, then I take great offense to that obsessive big brother paranoia. The question is, who are paying for Harper’s attack ads. I would assume that is coming out of their political party’s contributions. Again, attack ads are bad enough but when they are flooding the airwaves when there is no election on, that is offensive. There needs to be a financial disclosure of how much these cost to make sure they fall under election guidelines. They are allowed a budget during an election. These attack ads are a part of that budget.

All this brings us back to political parties paying back taxpayers when they have misappropriated tax dollars for political purposes. Returning those tax dollars is essential as is paying a fine to act as a deterrent. Without a fine there is no deterrent. Let’s get taxpayers to pay for our ads. Worse case scenario is we will have to pay it back if we get caught. That is why a fine is in order.

Clearly the most important and the most significant misappropriation of tax dollars is when Brian Mulroney committed perjury and lied about his relationship with Karl Heinz Schreiber in the Aribus scandal when he sued the government for slander and thereby fraudulently obtained an out of court settlement. Number one: that scoundrel should be in jail. Number two: that scoundrel should pay back the 2.1 million tax dollars he fraudulently stole from Canadian taxpayers. This still needs to be addressed.

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