Negative campaign ads are nothing new. They have been part of our politics for far to long. In this election however, negative campaigns have taken a different twist. Fear has become a major theme. Fear of others, fear of the future and fear of change. This is not unique to Canada. Politicians in Australia, England and now Canada have used Australian born Lynton Crosby as their political strategist. All three of these campaigns have been divisive and been about race. All three of these elections made people feel their country was not safe. Invasion was imminent.
Change in itself can be fearful and bring about doubt. Then when faced with customs or beliefs that are unfamiliar or we don’t understand can in itself raise our fears. It is easy for someone to play on those insecurities to plant seeds of fear into our minds. Despite what we are being told there is not a ‘monster hiding underneath our beds’. I am the only one who will keep you safe. No one else can take care of you. This is the election that our current government is running. This is the strategy that Lynton Crosby has used in Australia and England. Our Prime Minister knew that when he hired him and he still hired him. That in itself says something.
When it comes to the economy we are told only my way will keep you safe. Looking at the evidence indicates it has not worked for the majority of Canadians. We have not been allowed to have the discussions we deserved. We have not talked about those important issues that our country is facing. We have not even had the debates about issues that we have needed to have.
It is used to raise fears and avoid the important conversations that need to be had. A diversion to avoid talking about the economy, the environment, violence towards all woman; in particular women in poverty which is disproportionately represented by aboriginals. We are not talking about household debt, student debt, youth unemployment, human and physical infrastructure.
Our current government has put all their eggs in one basket believing that the answer to a complex economy, complex environmental and social issues is lower taxes for corporations. We are somehow made to believe if we lower taxes life will somehow magically be better. If that were true, why isn’t every country doing this? What lower taxes have accomplished is to give lower taxes to ‘Corporations’. Lower taxes haven’t created jobs; not full-time jobs anyway. The fact is simple the health of a society is measured by more than just low taxes and GDP. The health of a society needs to include policies to create a sustainable future for our country.
We need a government that recognizes the need for economic, ecological and social policies that create a strong healthy society. We need a government and a society that works together to create an inclusive future for all Canadians despite race, gender or social circumstance.
Perhaps in the last week of this election we all can start to use ‘Journalism’ to speak to the issues that doesn’t include ‘The Dead Cat on the Table.”