So I was all set to go out and buy for my poor, young Justin Bieber-afflicted cousin last week when I thought, ‘Hey! Why don’t I just take a quick looksie at the Conservative Party of Canada website before I go out. Who knows? Maybe I’ll finally get to see Jason Kenney arms deep in a bucket of eggnog.’ Alas, there was no such thing (such a prude, that Jason), but I found something much scarier: THE IPOD TAX.
Yuletide cheer apparently hasn’t gotten the better of the Conservative Party. Just the opposite: it seems the Christmas season is an ideal time for the kind of minor-key, hardtack fear campaign one misses so much between elections.
Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe, They all back the coalition, and now they all back an iPod tax. That’s right! An iPod tax: a brand new tax that will have you paying up to $75 more for iPods, smart phones, personal video recorders, MP3 players, and just about anything with a hard drive. The iPod tax: it’s just the beginning of the coalition’s high tax agenda.
That’s right, kids: Not even your iPod is safe from the socialist-pinko-crypto-sovereigntist coalition, the very one that will keep criminals out of jail, legislate the flowing of free drugs into the veins of addicts and force you to register your guns with the government. The streets will flow with blood of innocents. Your cousin will be Bieber-less at Christmas. Want to avoid all this? Vote Conservative. You’re welcome.
Never mind that the iPod thingy is hogwash, or that labelling the Libs-Dipps-Bloc parties as a coalition is equally as dubious. What’s fascinating about this commercial is that it is indicative of a government that believes no issue is too small, no target is too lowly for fear-mongering. And you know what? It’s been working all along.
Check this if you don’t believe me. According to Ipsos, some 67 percent of Canadians believe the Conservative government has a solid record on crime, a good-news story for the government in a decidedly mixed year-end assessment. The Cons added the meat to its potatoes by scoring well on ‘bolstering the military’ (73 percent) and Afghanistan (71 percent). Now, I’m sure the government has oodles of numbers to back up their rep on military spending and Afghanistan, and therefore merit the kudos. But crime? The Cons earned that rep the old-fashioned way: through fear.
As was noted in this corner a while back, crime rates have nosedived by about 17 percent in the last decade or so, meaning the country has become demonstrably safer since well before Harper et crew took over. Faced with this pesky detail, Stockwell Day and Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu instead attacked the source, saying there was a corresponding swell in crime going unreported. Here was Gohier’s take on Day’s contorted logic: “The problem with the current system is that it doesn’t punish crimes we’re not entirely sure are happening severely enough. That’s why the crime rate is so high, even though it’s not, but it would be if people reported all the crimes that are taking place.” (Also, read Geddes’ damning take on the Cons’ plan to build more prisons here.)
Or perhaps you like your fear-mongering with a dash of paranoia? Try Senator Boisvenu’s dark mutterings last July: “Someone, somewhere, is manipulating the numbers.”
There’s a solution to all this, of course. Stay inside and vote Conservative if you love freedom… and your iPod.