It has been an interesting week in Canadian politics. All three parties released new campaign style ads… I seem to recall Justin Trudeau telling us that he doesn’t believe in negative ads and that he will always be positive. Is this a broken promise before the election even starts?
As for the ads, I like the NDP one. It is softer and well done and “Angry Tom” isn’t there. We get to see another side of him. Sort of like the sweater wearing Stephen Harper we only get to see at election time.
The Conservative ad is interesting. The first time I didn’t like it, but it grows on you. Each person in the ad makes a statement that appeals to a different group. For instance if you are a senior, that one comment on pension splitting really hits home and gets you thinking about that issue.
I don’t know what the Liberals were thinking with their ad. The viewer’s focus has wandered off after the first couple of panels. There is so much they could have done but didn’t. While watching it keep in mind Justin says they won’t go negative.
CPP is another hot topic all of a sudden. Geez there must be an election coming. The Conservatives want voluntary contributions. Really? Nice idea, buy where is the money to come from. In these tough economic times most young people and young families are living pay cheque to pay cheque. There is no extra money to put into a plan (that they might need 30-40 years from now) when they are struggling to survive today.
The other two parties want to make it mandatory contributions. If the $1000 a year number is accurate that means a young family could lose what little extra they have on a pay cheque. And let’s not forget the small businesses that will have extra costs as well.
The Auditor General, who is supposed to be the watch dog of the public purse, got caught doing the exact same thing that the former Auditor General Fraser said was wrong… IE playing with contract amounts to keep them just below the amount needed to go to tender. When in Opposition we used to try to catch the Liberals doing this and they could always duck and weave and come up with reasons for it happening. Now it’s the turn of the Auditor General to duck and weave. It neither case is it right.
Last but not least, there is a suggestion that political staff will be banned from working on political campaigns and that they will no longer get paid by the taxpayers through accumulated leave or vacation pay etc. On our side we had to take leave without pay and we were paid by the campaign. It is outrageous to think that our tax money could be used to allow someone to leave their job and campaign.
How can you tell an election is coming? Everyone is in campaign mode and they have been for months. Like the Americans, our fixed election dates pretty much guarantee campaigning takes over the agenda in the year before the election.
As this political week comes to an end, fire up the BBQ and ignore politics for a couple of days. You won’t miss much and they will still be at it on Monday. Have a great weekend.