Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The HarperPAC, Big Money, and the Americanization of Canada

As you may have heard, a group of Harper supporters have created a political action committee to attack the progressive parties. 

Supporters of Stephen Harper have formed a political-advertising unit separate from the Conservative Party that will run attack ads, targeting Facebook, Google and Twitter users, to help the Tory re-election effort as a federal ballot approaches.

HarperPAC has already produced a spot alleging Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is unqualified to be prime minister and its next project is an ad, aimed at British Columbia voters, that will warn against electing a federal NDP government.

And whatever those Cons might say, it is the final Americanization of our political system.

Decades of work to remove the influence of big money from Canadian federal political campaigns is going down the drain with the advent of political action committees, a former chief electoral officer says. 

Jean-Pierre Kingsley says Canada is headed down the road well trodden in the United States, where political action committees, or PACs, raise and spend staggering amounts of money to influence elections, without the same restrictions that apply to political parties.

And we are now living in Stephen Harper's jungle.

"We are in, effectively, a free-for-all zone," Kingsley said in an interview. "It took us 40 years of scandal, sweat to come to a regime where we had the best in the world for control of money in politics ... now we are back in the jungle."

But where is the money for this HarperPAC going to come from? And to get an idea about that all you have to do is take a look at who is on its advisory council. 

And notice that among this shabby collection of Con fanatics one of the only ones whose background is not listed is Jamie Ellerton.

The former Jason Kenney aide and former Executive Director of Ethical Oil. 

Which judging from its Twitter site still seems to have a very close relationship with Ezra Levant and his new gig Rebel Media. 

Who in case you hadn't noticed is now spending a lot of time badmouthing Pope Francis for his climate change message.

Which should tell us all we need to know about this HarperPAC.

It is most likely just another tool of Big Oil.

And it couldn't be more American.

Stephen Taylor, a longtime Conservative and former director of the National Citizens Coalition who's now a HarperPAC adviser and spokesman, denied that the group is taking a page from the American political playbook. The acronym simply offers a useful recognition factor, Taylor said.

 "It is really branding to let someone know, within the half second it takes to hear the word, what we are up to," he said. "The name HarperPAC, I think you pretty much ... know, what kind of things that we'll be up to."

Kingsley, for one, isn't buying it. "It is insulting to Canadian intelligence to say this is not American-inspired."

Which of course only makes sense...

Because Stephen Harper has always been about as Canadian as a three dollar bill.

And the good news?

The HarperPAC seems particularly concerned about the non partisan/ union group Engage Canada which is currently running this ad...

Which only tells you they're running scared.

And only makes our choice in the next election even clearer.

Will we choose America?

Or will we choose Canada?

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  1. HarperPAC

    Con artists

  2. Anonymous5:53 AM

    Or how about the Council of Conservative Canadians - CoCCs? Did they actually think about this before they put the name together? Or is it some thinly veiled misogynistic message?

  3. Anonymous6:31 AM

    If it weren't for double standards... ya wouldn't have no standards at all!

    HarperPAC BAD! EngageCanada GOOD!

    Do you even listen to yourself anymore?

    This is what *actual* Catholics think about Pope Francis:

    Up is down, black is white, backwards is forwards. PressProgress is arguing that the Pope is Catholic against Ezra Levant. The crazy is complete.

  4. I find it interesting that people like Anon 6:61am are so concerned about this particular papal encyclical. When was the last time anyone paid attention to one? What are they afraid of? Were all the other Popes and revered saints that Francis references in his treatise also wrong?

    1. Anonymous5:26 PM

      Why don't you just ask me?

      I never said that Pope Francis was wrong, nor do I think that.

      When was the last time anyone paid attention to an encyclical? Were all the other Popes and revered Saints also wrong? Hmm.. Well, no, I don't think any of that. In fact, I think they were correct, including, the present Holy Father. But that means, that you have to consider that I also think that the Venerable Pope Paul VI, was correct in a little Encyclical called Humanae Vitae. Oh, and I pay attention to that one, every single day. Know who else is correct? Pope Pius XI, in another Encyclical called Mortalium Animos and Casti Connubii. Along with many others...

      I'm not afraid of anything. I'm upset about the enemies of the Church attempting to drive a wedge between the Holy Father and Her faithful children. It's insanity, because most of you can't be bothered to know anything about Catholicism, yet have already attempted to both seize control of the Papacy, and simultaneously Canonize Pope Francis, both without authority.

      If you want to to do those things, then do what I did, and pay the price of admission. So, if you love the Holy Father so much, as, say I do, when are you going to RCIA UU4077? What, Laudato Si wasn't convincing enough for you to you know... join? Do you like it only because it agrees with you, and otherwise, you couldn't give a crap about the Catholic Church?

      There's a word for that. Hypocrisy.

  5. The Engage adds are the best ones on TV, and the Harperoids know it..that is why they are amassing great gobs of filthy lucre to try and counteract them..but, just like the Cons in the States, they will fail..
    The genius of the Engage ads is that they promote no alternative, only forcing viewers to see the rampant abuse of the current system..that is always a good thing...then voters can decide for will notice that I say 'voters'..those few left who not only think things through, but will actually go out and vote...

  6. Where Canada's youth go to stay informed of political happenings (if at all):

    See also:

  7. e.a.f.3:44 AM

    Its been interesting watching people discuss these PACs and where the money comes from. in the USA it isn't exactly a secret who donates to what PAC or how much. They have fund raisers. In Canada, if they don't have public fund raisers some enterprising kid will most likely hack the system and let us know, not that I'm encouraging that type of activity.

  8. Anonymous5:59 AM

    HarperPAC shutting down less than a week after launch