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Conservative’s Attack Ad Sets Expectation For An Ignorant Canada

The Conservative Party of Canada put out two radio attack ads late last year going after Justin Trudeau’s ‘inexperience’ in Canadian politics and the Liberal’s, though directly targeting Justin Trudeau’s, stance on legalizing marijuana. Despite both advertisements being completely unfounded and complete propaganda, it’s the anti-marijuana ad that really gets under my skin. If you haven’t heard the ad yet, take a moment to listen to it using the media player at the top of this post.

Here’s the text of the commercial, feel free to follow along:

There’s so much I worry about as a mom. Justin Trudeau’s plan to make marijuana legal certainly doesn’t help. Imagine making it available just like alcohol and cigarettes. He’s sending the message that recreational drug use is “Okay”. That’s the last thing I want my kids to think. And making it easier for kids to get? Doesn’t sound like Justin Trudeau has the kind of judgement we need in a Prime Minister. [school bell rings] Authorized by the Conservative Party of CanadaConservative Party of Canada – Marijuana

Why I Take Issue With This Ad

Canadian’s Are Smarter Than That

My first issue with this advertisement is the simple fact that it is an attack ad. Plain and simple. I don’t support nor do I condone attack ads as their entire purpose is to defame political candidates on personal and emotional ground and are often done without proper evidence or statistics to back up their claims. Political attack ads rely on an uninformed and uneducated public incapable of individual critical thought. That is not to say that the Canadian population is uninformed or uneducated. In fact, Canada is the most educated country in the world. It is, however, the premise of the advertisement. So by creating this ad, the Conservative Party of Canada is already insulting you, the voter – the Canadian public, calling you ignorant and incapable of thinking for yourself. How does that make you feel?

Well you probably wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the Conservative Party’s political attack ads have failed to hurt the Liberal Party’s standings in the polls and have failed to mar Justin Trudeau in the eyes of the voting public. The ads have in-fact backfired and helped to boost the Liberals in the polls. The latest Ipsos-Reid polls put the Liberals at 35%, Conservatives at 32% and NDP at 25% of the popular vote. Clearly Canadian’s aren’t as ignorant as the Conservative Party thinks they are, or wants them to be.

This Isn’t “Justin Trudeau’s” Party

Justin Trudeau’s plan to make marijuana legal Conservative Party of Canada – Marijuana

It is no secret that Stephen Harper runs the Conservative Party. The first six years that the Harper Conservatives were in power, report after report came out that detailed how Stephen Harper micro-managed his MPs and the entire party from the top down.

The Liberal Party platform, however, is not the work of Justin Trudeau. Regardless of his personal beliefs about marijuana, the Liberal Party delegates sent to the Liberal Convention in 2012 made the decision to support the legalization of marijuana. The platform policy was voted on by over 1,200 Liberal Party members and passed with a 77% vote in favour of making it a part of the current Liberal Platform.

Recent polls also show that some 66% of Canadians, across all political parties, support the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

Alcohol and Cigarettes Aren’t ‘Drugs’?

Imagine making it available just like alcohol and cigarettes. Conservative Party of Canada – Marijuana

The advertisement blatantly demonizes marijuana in a comparison to cigarettes and alcohol, two very legal and very dangerous substances consumed on a regular basis across Canada. I can’t tell if they are trying to say that like alcohol and cigarettes the sale of marijuana can be controlled responsibly, or if they are trying to argue for prohibition on alcohol and cigarettes, because clearly they are too available for your children to buy.

deficit-graph

So either the Conservatives are concerned about cigarettes and alcohol and would like to see those prohibited across Canada or they’re afraid that marijuana would produce so much money from taxes that even the Conservative Party couldn’t cause a deficit despite rampant programming spending cuts.

drug
noun

noun: drug; plural noun: drugs

a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.

By definition, both ethyl alcohol and nicotine are drugs. The public is fully aware of the harmful and negative effects that both alcohol and nicotine can have on a person’s physical state and long-term health. Numerous studies have shown marijuana to be no-more, or in many cases, even less harmful than both alcohol and cigarettes as a recreational drug.

If we as a society can accept the prevalence of the regulated sale of alcohol and cigarettes, there really isn’t much of a leap to leagalize the non-habit forming marijuana in the same fashion.

Parents Need To Parent

There’s so much I worry about as a mom…. He’s sending the message that recreational drug use is “Okay”. That’s the last thing I want my kids to think. And making it easier for kids to get?Conservative Party of Canada – Marijuana

An open letter to the “mom” in the advertisement,

You need to step up as a parent and teach your kids about the hazards of any drug consumption and the possible effects it could have on their lives. You need to inform them about the world while encouraging them to make decisions that will improve their lives and make them a contributing member of society, as they see fit. Don’t expect others to commit to your world view because the real world is too ‘dangerous’ and ‘scary’ for you to exist in. Instead of insulating your child from the realities of the world they will one day have to survive on their own, teach them how to live in it, to be their own person and to not succumb to propaganda and peer-pressure.

P.S. I highly doubt that your ‘child’ is looking up to Justin Trudeau, or any person in politics for that matter, as their role model and learning about marijuana from them. They will learn about it from their friends on the play ground at school whether it is legal or not.

Sincerely,

Responsible Canadians Everywhere

The War On Drugs Doesn’t Pay

“Stephen Harper’s Conservative Government is following a very different priority, working to help make our streets and communities safer. This includes combatting drug trafficking and grow-ops, especially in residential areas.” – Conservative Party of Canada Website

In 2012, Stephen Harper held a press conference where he admitted that the War on Drugs has failed and is an ineffective solution to drug regulation. Despite this, Harper’s conservatives passed Bill C-10 which would enact mandatory minimum sentences similar to the current policy in the United States, despite heavy protest and warning from Canadians and Americans on both sides of the political spectrum.

Summary

Like much of the Conservative Party’s platform and rhetoric, this advertisement relies on, and plays off of, an uninformed and uneducated public incapable of thinking for themselves.

four-whole-marijuanas It relies on people, like Randy here, that have zero understanding about marijuana, who buy into the propaganda out of fear and trust in a broken political system.

Should we really be surprised about this? Of course not. The Conservative party has traditionally been one to profit off of attack ads. It is the culture of the party and the culture of their target audience. Harper’s administration also dismisses the sciences and facts, as evidenced by his across-the-board funding cuts to environmental, health and the libraries that support scientists in this country.

A few weeks ago many blogs shared the list of cuts Stephen Harper has made as Prime Minister of Canada that directly impact furthering science and research in Canada. Here’s that list:

Update 2013.05.27: Undated list of science or environmental libraries closed is here: Natural Resources Canada is set to close six of fourteen libraries in 2012-2013, Parks Canada will consolidate 5 libraries into one, Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Undated list of women’s programs cut since 2006, including many science or health-related, including: Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health

There is one thing that Stephen Harper and I can agree on. In 2006, Harper told the world:

You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with itStephen Harper

He was right about that. I for one don’t like what this country has become over the last eight years. In the last eight years Canada’s government has turned it’s back on the environment, science, peacekeeping, social healthcare, and refugees. This isn’t a matter of nostalgia for the ‘good old days’.

Canada still has another year before we see a federal election. How much more damage will Harper’s Conservatives cause before they’ve run their course?

Sincerely and solemnly,

D’Arcy

D’Arcy Flynn is a twenty-something creative from Caledon, ON. He has a B.A from the University of Guelph and is constantly seeking new learning opportunities. With a web design & development background self-taught from an early age, D'Arcy now does something completely unrelated and writes things on this website when he finds the time and inspiration.

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