You know it’s a rough day for the prime minister when the Sun News Network demonstrates they aren’t always a Fox News North Conservative Party lapdog by calling them on the Economic Action Plan lunacy.
If you wonder why lots of people don’t vote, it’s in part because they think governments think we’re stupid.
Running Economic Action Plan ads polls poorly. The populace thinks it’s spin. And now Sun News decided to do some simple journalism to assess whether it’s truly a shadow masquerading as an authentic…something…plan, even?
The bottom line is that governments often think we’re just stupid. We will accept these ads. We will express in polls that we think the ads are spin. We will then do nothing when they continue.
In the end, maybe Stephen Harper is right to think we’re stupid.
Here’s a hint for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Canadians expect their government to have an economic plan.
They don’t need to be reminded of it, ad nauseam, for four years, via a series of commercials that have cost them $113 million so far, with no end in sight.
The latest $29,000 government poll on the government’s Economic Action Plan (EAP), bringing the total cost of polling on it to $330,000, found almost no one is paying attention anymore.
The Harris-Decima survey completed in the spring, found of 2003 Canadians surveyed, three — count ’em, three — visited the government’s Actionplan.gc.ca website.
Only 6% of those who recalled seeing television ads promoting the plan took action because of them, and nine of them said the only action they took was to complain.
According to The Canadian Press, which obtained the poll through an access to information request, that’s the worst response rate for any government advertising campaign.
Indeed, the survey didn’t report on anyone calling the government toll-free number — 1-800-O-Canada — featured in television commercials promoting the EAP.
(When we called that number, a polite receptionist referred us to the ministry of finance website Budget.gc.ca, explaining she didn’t have a direct phone line for the EAP, nor was she aware of the Actionplan.gc.ca website, which we told her about.)
Previous surveys about the EAP — mandatory under government rules intended to ensure, ironically, that taxpayers are getting good value for their money — have found similarly high levels of public apathy and even hostility to the ads.