QB’s U.S. attack ad

Attack ads have finally found their way to the municipal election. They follow the tried and tested recipe pioneered south of the border.

So, attack ads have finally found their way to the municipal election in Qualicum Beach. Predictably they follow the tried and tested recipe pioneered south of the border.

First, you form an anonymous group. Pick a title that sounds nonpartisan, but which implies widespread, grassroots support, even though you could be no more than a couple of cranky friends with ad money. Something like “Citizens United for a Happy Qualicum Beach.”

Select your target, scour their public statements and find one or two that can be taken so laughably out of context and intent that they sound outrageous. Maybe if enough people aren’t paying attention, some will be outraged. Give your target a scary label, something like Gang of Three. That should underline to everyone how dangerous they are.

The advantage of this approach is that you won’t have to deal with complex public policy issues in any kind of depth, or make a serious attempt  to engage a well-informed electorate. Remember it’s easier to make people angry than it is to persuade them, and nothing makes them more angry than the right label. Call for balance, which implies that your targets are probably against balance. Probably against  motherhood and world peace, too.

The problem is that, in politics, it is pretty apparent that labels often mean the opposite to what they say. How confident should we be about legislation labeled an Act to Ensure Environmentally Safe Oil Tanker Traffic?

So when someone says they want to restore “balance” to municipal government, I’m open to the impression that balance is the probably the last thing they are looking for. The trouble is we don’t know what they really want because they don’t really say. In this kind of ad they don’t have to.

So, as a nonpartisan, vested resident of Qualicum Beach, who loves his community and is unafraid of controlling development (who even supports developer/resident dialogue providing it’s between consenting adults), my vote will probably not be much influenced by the recent Tea Party-ish ads that have contributed so greatly to lowering the level of political discourse in our community.

Ewan CotterillQualicum Beach

Just Posted

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Camera captures cougar lurking in Parksville’s Foster Park neighbourhood

Resident shared photo to alert others to big cat’s presence

RDN tipping fees set to go up in July

The Regional District of Nanaimo is set to increase tipping fees at… Continue reading

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read