Political ad campaigns are insignificant

Graphic by Lena Yang

Graphic by Lena Yang

I think we’re all familiar with that Conservative party attack ad that’s on every commercial break since May of this year. By now, you’ve probably learned that Justin Trudeau wants to legalize marijuana, send winter coats to Syria and is “just not ready.”

This ad has been the template for this year’s election video ads. More so than ever, this election has become about the leaders of the parties and not the actual policies themselves. Don’t get me wrong; I know the leaders are important, but shouldn’t we know something else about what we’re voting for? Perhaps how they could benefit Canadians? International relations? Economic growth? Anything?

In this day and age, I think it’s safe to say we are smart enough to judge parties based on their policies. With a campaign budget of — hang on, you might want to sit down for this one — $13.5 million according to CBC, the Conservatives probably could have afforded to have a better written, more clever commercial. Needless to say, all of us have laughed once or twice at the ridiculousness of the whole situation. That doesn’t seem like a multi-million dollar ad to me.

The Conservatives have tried (and failed) to cover all their bases in representing Canadians. They’ve got a couple of women, a man of colour and a grumpy old guy.

What more could you ask for in terms of representation? I think we all know how the Conservatives feel about missing Aboriginal women, so why would they mind missing them in their ads? If you’re going for representation, at least include an Aboriginal or black person. Having three white people, even if two of them are female, is hardly trying.

Unfortunately, the New Democratic Party isn’t much better. In case you haven’t seen it, the NDP has put out an ad spoofing the Conservative “interview.” It’s the exact same layout, except one of the women is Asian. Though pretty funny, I’m still not sure what the NDP is actually hoping to achieve from this. Perhaps it’s just meant to stay in your memory that Tom Mulcair has a sense of humour. It’s not like the Conservatives were attacking him in the first place, though. Plus, it makes them look like liars when they say Harper has nice hair.

But the truth is that these ads have absolutely no effect on the recent polls, which would show the Liberals and Conservatives to be in a virtual tie.

Going into the final stages of the campaign, I think it’s more important than ever to be pushing the good aspects of their own parties instead of trying to tear their opponents down.

When you look at it, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals were always relatively far behind in the polls, but have spiked in the later stages of the election.

Apparently he’s just not ready to give up. The ad with him walking and talking about the Harper attack ad is the only political television ad I’ve seen in this election that is not entirely berating the other leaders. Do I think he’s ready to lead Canada? Maybe, or maybe not. But at least he doesn’t act like a schoolyard bully.

As the October 19 draws closer, please remember not to base your vote on what the parties want you to think about each other. That’s like asking what the Seahawks think of the Patriots; it’s going to be biased, unfair and probably blown completely out of proportion (unlike the balls in the AFC championship, but I digress).

This is the time to form your own political opinions, cast a ballot, and make a change.

You wouldn’t trust anyone else to decide your future, so make sure you make your own decisions for the future of our country.

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