"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Change the Channel on Attack Ads

While I'm not necessarily a Green Party adherent, I do like Elizabeth May and agree completely with the sentiment here. Attack ads are completely out of control and they diminish the character of Canada and Canadian politics. In fact, there is nothing Canadian about them. A symptom of the belligerence which Americans have come to accept as the "norm" in their politics because they so slavishly adhere to their right to free speech.

Free speech is great, a right to be sure, but with rights come responsibility. I am entitled to my opinion, but in turn, you are equally entitled and have the right to not have to endure it. So in that same vain, Canadian political parties might "cling" to the notion of free speech when it comes to attack ads, but I also reserve the right to not have to endure such hateful negativity. It's un-Canadian and counter productive.

Canadian political parties have a responsibility to engage the electorate in meaningful dialogue. They have a responsibility as our leaders to model proper ethical behaviour and decorum. But in recent years, Canadian political parties, The Harper-Cons being the worst offenders, almost daily lowering the bar on civility and ethicalness, have chosen the "low road" when it comes to winning votes. It appears that the strategy now is to gain votes by lying and slandering the opposition rather than winning over hearts and minds. And quite frankly, any politician that can't do the latter, won't be getting my vote, nor should they be getting yours.

I switch channels now when a political ad comes on. And I am not inclined to switch back either. So TV networks should be paying attention also.