One of the more maddening refrains we keep hearing OVER and OVER again, the observation that this budget didn't cut as deep "as expected". What that insight reveals is that one had already succumbed to government spin and manipulation, in effect an admission you bought into propaganda and were effectively played like a fiddle. The Conservatives float massive cuts, the very notion ORIGINATING with them, and when they bring in "relatively" tame, it appears just that, when really it is an exercise in manipulation.
This isn't a fiscally prudent budget, this is a vendetta budget, wherein the Conservatives go after their perceived foes. Environmentalists are attacked on the charity angle, the environment is attacked on the review angle and our public broadcaster takes a DISPORPOTIONATE and massive 12% hit, for no apparent reason, given cuts to other areas. This isn't a budget concerned with getting our fiscal house in order, this is a budget that is once again political and mean spirited. Perhaps when people are done tripping over themselves to tell us how "relatively small" the cuts, they can digest just how obscene the cuts to CBC are for example.
The title of this post tells a relevant story. It was left to a Liberal partisan on CBC itself to note this government didn't cut ONE DIME from it's advertising budget, ONE NICKLE from the PMO budget or the Privy Council, all three of which have BALLOONED under this government, to such a degree it should equate to outrage. These Conservatives spend more than THREE times that of their predecessors on government advertising. In 2005-6, the Liberals spent 41.3 million on advertising, last year the Conversatives spent 3.3 times more, a staggering 136.3 million. As well, most objective observers agree advertising has taken a decidedly partisan tone, many see the Conservatives ads as very close to a concerning ethical line. And yet, we hear very little about the nature of the advertising, even moreso the gross misuse of taxpayer money.
Perhaps the Conservatives could pledge to exclusively advertise on the public broadcaster, which would offset the CBC cuts and STILL leave 21.3 million in advertising to spread around elsewhere, basically half what the former Liberals spent. This government sees no need to cut back on self promotion, and yet we apparently need to gut our public broadcaster? This government is so self assured, they didn't even bother to announce some window dressing cutbacks on the size of the PMO, Privy Council, advertising, any organ or expression which contributes to political fortunes, which plays to Conservative advantage.
When are people going to start calling out these nonsensical advertising abuses of power, masquerading as vital means of government communication? Perhaps Canadians should weigh in with an answer to a very simple question: would you prefer the government cut the CBC or advertising promoting the government itself? I suspect the Conservatives wouldn't like the answer, but alas, no HEAT is forthcoming.