Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Issues vs Tissues

We have probably just witnessed once of the worst “American Style” campaigns Canada has ever seen. I don’t want to ever see it again. I’m not sure when the tide turned to attack ads versus and ad that actual has some substance, but from what I saw, there wasn’t much good out there. The Conservatives have been putting out attack ads for months before the election. No one really responded back in any way that made a difference. Were the Conservatives trying to bankrupt the Liberals before the election, hoping that they would respond with ads of their own? Or was is simply to set a narrative?

This campaign season seemed to be a lot more about making the other guy look bad, than to make yourself look good. This was true of ONE of the parties. I’ll let you in on a secret, it was found in contempt by the Majority of Canadians (if you want to use the Parliamentary terms), a first in Commonwealth history. This is UNLIKE the majority of Canadians that Prime Minister Harper talks about.

This was, by all accounts, a dirty campaign. It went far further than we have ever seen in Canadian Politics. When was the last time that a reporter has been shouted down by supporters AND campaign volunteers for asking a legitimate question? Or people registered for an event being asked to leave, but not for their conduct AT the event, but for their supposed connection to another political party. When was the last time someone campaigning refused to ask questions ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN!

If campaigns want more than 60% of people to vote, they need to do a few things. Drop the negativity of the other party. They’re not the devil. Talk to 100% of the people, make as many events as open as possible. “Private events” for supporters only should ONLY be used for fundraising. All campaigning should be open events, in as much as possible. Obviously, a campaign stop at a factory can’t be open to the public.

Smearing opponents doesn’t work. It drives people away. Let people know what YOUR issues are, how YOU want to fix them, and how YOU will help the people who are in front of you. There is nothing wrong with attacking the POLICIES of opponents, as that is what you are supposed to do, it’s called a debate.

Regardless of your political stripe, people need to fight back against this sort of campaigning. There is no need for it. It looks like a schoolyard fight and is unbefitting our society.

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