“Canadians may be growing weary of — even hostile to — all those Economic Action Plan ads the Harper government has been pumping out for the last four years.”
Canadians are growing increasingly weary of — even hostile to — Stephen Harper’s “Economic Action Plan” “1984”-style propaganda. They have had enough of the prime minister‘s photos on the plan’s splashy website too.
For the four years, the Conservatives bombarded Canadians with the ads via print, radio, TV and Internet channels. In fact, Canadians are so annoyed they call the multi-million-dollar EAP ads what they really are: annoying, propaganda and a “waste of money”.
So says the most recent of eight $300 000 taxpayer-funded surveys commissioned by the Department of Finance.
Finance Canada has been running the ads since the Harper Government designed them in 2009 to give the illusion that they knew how to run the economy. Federal policy requires government departments to conduct surveys after ad campaigns “to ensure taxpayer dollars are well spent.” Finance Canada has been conducting the polls to find out whether the government’s “call to action” is being heeded.
Well, the message is NOT resonating with Canadians. NDP MP and Finance critic, Peggy Nash, tells the Canadian Press the propaganda does not “reflect people’s daily experience”.
Since the campaign launched, the number of people taking “any action after viewing the ads” has been steadily declining. For example, in 2009, a quarter of those who saw the ads “took some action”. Then, in 2010 and 2011, the number steadily declined. By April 2012, the ads moved to action only about seven per cent of the people they reached. An analysis of the 2012 numbers also shows that the campaign resonated with only one in five Canadians.
This isn’t one of those ad campaigns. The government burned $52.3 million in total EAP ad spending in 2009-10. For the spring 2012 television campaign, the Finance Department blew $3.8 million bringing the ads to our doorsteps. And another $1.1 million for the creation of the ads.
— Christine Cameron (@life_lite) February 17, 2013
The message from Canadians is very clear. Taxpayers’ dollars are not being well spent. And we’ve had enough of the propaganda. The message isn’t get through to Conservatives. A new round of TV ads today starts today. Runs until April 30.
So, why exactly aren’t the Conservatives listening? Allan Gregg, a prominent media commentator, chairperson of polling firm Harris/Decima, and strategist for the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney, says Stephen Harper‘s Canada is reminiscent of Orwell’s nightmarish “1984” world. It’s also possible that this government has studied Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels once said: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” And: “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
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