Canada had, up until recently, a policy of staying away from USA style ad wars, something I was proud of because I for one do not want to see “mud-slinging” during the endless streams of commercials between my favorite television broadcast. I knew deep down inside that when the Conservatives got into power that mud-slinging would come back–it is in their nature. Once the ad-wars start, the only real counter attack to this commercializing style of politics is for the opposition parties is to start counter ads of their own.
I remember in one of my Political Science classes a discussion on the effect that ads have on the public, and how in Canada, our last government tried to stay away from negative ad campaign’s. These ads seem to have an affect on the general public, like selling brand name products, selling an idea with endless bombardment of messages through the media. This affect seems to causes the public to become numb from the repetitivenesses–called “campaign-jamming,” aiming at undecided voters who may appeal to that type of message. However in negative ad campaigning, its negative effect can sometimes over-ride the desired effect intended by the waring political parties. Name calling can defeat your goal of public trust at so many levels.
For myself, when I see a political ad on the television, radio or news paper, I quickly skip it. Since I listen to CBC radio most of my time, I live in a commercial free world there. Watching television however requires a different approach to ad avoidance because I only have cable, or “peasant-vision.” So I record my shows on my DVD/Hard-drive recorder attached to my television, then during playback, I skip over the commercials. News papers on the other hand requires a different approach. I basically quit purchasing news print content, for many reasons, so “hard-based-avoidance” is exercised there.
I feel that ad wars are in poor taste from any political party at any political campaign, whether during or after an election. It is one thing for a particular party to announce their ideas to the public, but another to use the public airwaves to throw mud at another party in the form of negative campaigning–period. You will not get my vote.