I Approve This Bill

Like Michael Chong’s QP reforms, which died in parliamentary purgatory, this is a worthwhile bill by Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, albeit one unlikely to ever see the light of day:

Kevin Lamoureux, a Liberal MP from Winnipeg, wants all political party leaders to be forced to stand by the content of their ads, with U.S.-style endorsements or tag lines at the end, acknowledging that approval for the advertising comes from the top.

It wouldn’t kill negative advertising by any means, but it would at least make political parties wear whatever mud they throw. While I’m sure the Tories will shoot this bill down, they have been the victims of some truly nasty ads themselves in the past, so it’s one they should at least consider.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Ads, Federal Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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4 Responses to I Approve This Bill

  1. Luke

    What will this accomplish? If the American way is the example, I hardly expect this would do anything to improve the tone of political advertisements. American political ads are awful.

    I think it was Andrew Coyne who was proposing a while ago that it would be an interesting exercise to force political leaders to do the voice-overs on their ads, to make it directly and abundantly clear that any attacks are explicitly supported from the highest levels. Maybe this would actually achieve something. (But I doubt it, and I’m sure it will never happen.)

    • CalgaryGrit

      I don’t see it as a cure-all, but it would at least provide a disincentive to run negative ads.

      The big difference is that there’s a lot more third party advertising in the US. Plus, the multi-party system makes the math of going neg slightly less favourable.

  2. Paul O

    The problem isn’t the ads the political parties air. Those are already identified as coming from the Party.

    And changing the tag to be the Leader’s voice really only turns a Party into even more of a personality cult than the media creates today: not a good thing.

    The real problem is with the ads sponsored by various third-parties who do not reveal their affiliation to a particular political party. Or worse, that they are only there to attack a certain political party and not to advance any particular policy apart from that party’s defeat.

    • CalgaryGrit

      Agreed. Though there isn’t a ton of third party advertising at the federal level. At least not currently.

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