To the editor:
Now, a new debacle is at hand that needs to be addressed, and the B.C. Liberals need to be held accountable: The gross and blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars to flood television and other media with political propaganda.
Most people would agree that it is important for British Columbians to take pride in our province. Recognizing our uniqueness, our strengths and accomplishments helps to bring us together. The most recent bombardment of ads, “paid for by the government of British Columbia” would have British Columbians believe that our province has been and continues to flourish thanks in large part to the initiatives of our government. Bombardment is an appropriate word – this week alone I have kept a tally, having seen the same government-funded ad 23 times during primetime programming. “Government funded” falls under the umbrella of political rhetoric as well; the reality being that these funds come from taxpayers’ pockets—not those of our elected officials.
When you think about it, the Liberal’s three-step PR strategy should be quite obvious and transparent to everyone.
Step 1: Lay low. Close the legislature and minimize opportunities for the public to be reminded of the Liberals and all of their gaffs.
Step 2: Image damage control. Use PR to paint the Premier and her party in a positive light. Show her going to battle with Enbridge, hosting exclusive meetings with groups of women to bolster her female demographic support, shaking hands with voters, smiling, cutting ribbons at grand openings.
Step 3: Use millions of dollars (but don’t tell the voters about this part) to flood the airwaves with carefully crafted ads to remind British Columbians that the province is a wonderful place thanks in large part to the government.
Regardless of political affiliation, I would hope that British Columbians would agree that the amount of taxpayer money that any government in power is able to use for the purpose of re-election should be stringently regulated. There should be a strong distinction made between political parties using their own party funds to pay for political campaigning, and a ruling party using government funds (aka taxpayer dollars) to essentially do the same thing.
At the very least, it would be interesting to know the true bottom line of how much the Liberals have spent on their latest PR endeavour.
The most glaringly hypocritical and almost laughable part of the current ad campaign is that the first thing that the Liberals pat themselves on the back for doing well is controlling government spending. Really?
J. Durose, Kelowna