The Cons are just rad, dude! - Macleans.ca
 

The Cons are just rad, dude!


 

XXXXYou know the drill: a political party panders to a certain demographic, hilarity ensues when it fails spectacularly. Case in point: the Conservatives’ long running ‘CPC Energy’ campaign to attract young voters to the fold. He’s right there on the front page of the website, complete with frizzy hair and hipster t-shirt, wearing a look that suggests he’s more familiar with PCP than CPC. “Freak out your roommate. Join the Conservatives.” reads the copy. (A variation reads, “Freak out your prof. Join the Conservatives.”, and is accompanied with a picture of a lefty-looking post-menopausal frumpet in horn rims. Take that, haughty, frumpy post-menopausal academics!)

The site, a cliché of edgy fonts and out-there lingo (clothes become ‘swag’, news becomes ‘intel’, etc.), serves as a reminder how, when trying to recruit young’uns, political parties inevitably resort to stereotype. It also reminds me why I never voted for anything in university.

Catch you on the flipside, dudemeisters.


 
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The Cons are just rad, dude!

  1. This has been up for a while and I'm really surprised they haven't changed the photo. That dude just inspires confidence.

    • He kinda looks like Napoleon Dynamite.

      • I am pretty sure that is intentional and must be their underlying message, take the unconventional – Napolean Dynamite – route.

        • that is if Napolean dynamite was a raging *ssh*le who preferred stalin over churchill and giving wedgies to chatting up the girls in the cafeteria…

      • Vote For Pedro!

  2. Boy are the Cons behind the times – have you seen the teachers lately? Young, with it, casual dress code – I have many friends that are teachers and none of them fit the Cons profile.

  3. One variation of the adolescent "freak out" campaign featured stock photo that also appeared on a porn site.

    The only laugh the Conservatives have provided me in three years.

  4. It's hard to notice the youth campaign link there with all the advertising outlining what great work the party is doing for Ordinary Canadians ™.

  5. I find it ironic that ads intended to appeal to youth display youth in the most unflattering, stereotypical way.

    My typical response: If that's really what you "dawgs" think of us, are you that shocked when we don't join your ranks?

  6. Interesting how the Conservatives' own website alwasy seems more pre-occupied with the Liberals. One small photo of Harper in the corner vs. three photos of Ignatieff that take up almost half the page. All about him, indeed.

    • You obviously haven't had a tour of Parliament hill and its gov't controlled photo gallery, or been unfortunate enough to be on the CON's christmas calendar gift suppository list… 24/7 Harper, with new improved stomach padding!

  7. Bang on Martin! re: not voting while in school. Freaking out my prof would have been handing in an essay on time. Given the relatively small amount of attention at the national level on university funding, research, debt load for students, tuition rates etc., why would anyone outside the Poli Sci crowd care? And know, admittedly, that I'm long gone from academia, I seem to have other pressing concerns. Five years at post-secondary and I don't remember one debate on campus (with the exception of one at the municipal level). And he one the mayoral.

  8. Bang on Martin! re: not voting while in school. Freaking out my prof would have been handing in an essay on time. Given the relatively small amount of attention at the national level on university funding, research, debt load for students, tuition rates etc., why would anyone outside the Poli Sci crowd care? And I know, admittedly, that I'm long gone from academia, I seem to have other pressing concerns. Five years at post-secondary and I don't remember one debate on campus (with the exception of one at the municipal level). And he won the mayoral.

  9. Youth are sometimes a little ill-informed, but they aren't stupid. They shouldn't be treated as such. If a party really wants their support they should put together a program that appeals to them, and communicate it to them with some degree of respect.

  10. My favourite part is in the ''About Us'' section.
    (http://www.cpcenergy.ca/EN/1267/)

    ''We are against patronage and corruption. We want honest government…''

    Well, these kids must be, uh, totally bummed out! Just in the last month, we've seen a whole lot of patronage. Hundreds in fact!

    Including, of course, the 9 nine senators (to make it a solid 27 in about half a year). Those must really annoy the kids because if there's one thing a budding Conservative isn't down with is a Prime Minister nominating his BBFs to the Senate, it just ain't right, so they say.

  11. "a look that suggests he's more familiar with PCP than CPC"

    Brilliant.

  12. I think the problem isn't that the Tories are run by old geezers (at least any more or less than the Liberals), but that the kind of young people that tend to like the Conservatives are not particularly cool. I say this, by the way, as both a nerd, and a Tory. I think this is in part because joining the Conservative party as a young person is probably one of the most non-conforming decisions a young Canadian could make.

    Teachers in Canada are employees of the state, and beneficiaries of government largesse. Anybody here who was a Ontario high school student in the 90's surely got an earful about how Mike Harris was destroying our lives. At the same time, insofar as young people identify with any party, today's young people tend to be overwhelmingly left wing (the Liberals and Greens always do well in those high school election thingies).

    The problem is that actual non-conformists are never cool. Being a rebel can sometimes be cool, but only if conducted in the way in which everybody else is being a rebel. If the folks in the young Tories knew how to, or wanted to be "cool" they wouldn't be young Tories in the first place.

    Of course, in that sense an uncool ad might not be the worst thing. Indeed, it just might help a lanky "reach for the top" contestant in Leaside somewhere realize that there is a party for people just as nerdy as him. So, perhaps the survival of the adage that Stephen Harper plays chess, while [opposition leader] plays checkers is less about Harper's strategic skills, and more a reflection of the fact that Canada is governed by the former president of the chess club.

    • "Teachers in Canada are employees of the state, and beneficiaries of government largesse." Yeah, they're basically welfare cheats, those tax-dollar-sucking good-for-nothing teachers. How kind of the government to pay them $32K a year to do basically nothing except teach the nation's youth.