NDP isn't allowed to reach out to voters

In an article today, Justin McElroy builds a case that the NDP in attempting to reach out to voters in a fun and innocent 'dad joke' is doing something shady in requesting very simple contact information on their party built web page designed for this purpose.

Lets be clear about a few things. After campaign finance reform that the NDP promised for three elections, we are now in a post reform era. No union, no corporate donations. Neither of the big parties (and none of the smaller parties) are allowed to take financial contributions from said organizations. Most of us think this is the right thing. This isn't to suggest that the law enabling such reforms is perfect, certainly it can take some tweaks to make it better, but that's the law nonetheless.

Regardless, parties are now obligated to reach out and expand their base, accessible voter pools by whatever means are left. They all do it and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Every party does this very basic outreach when appealing to the public for support on [cause]. The pitch is always, "sign your name here to stand for/against [policy]". These pages are almost exclusively hosted by their respective parties and they get the data you voluntarily submit.

More importantly, in finding a way to attack the NDP here, Justin makes contact with a former BC Liberal insider who interestingly enough, validates the idea.

So what's the problem?

Good question. Except that no other party gets to face this scrutiny.

Maclean Kay, who served as Christy Clark's speech writer when she was premier, makes a point on this. Its easier for an opposition to do this as they're building their contact list when being critical of government. But why can't a governing party do the same inversely? Such as "add your name to stand and defend [governing party's policy] from opposition attacks" or, "our leader is a dork, but a good guy, share a joke with us". Why is this any different? Fact is, it isn't any different.

What Justin does here (deliberately?) is to add a layer of cynicism and distrust of politicians. I don't remember seeing Justin throwing shade in the BC Liberals direction when Clark or Campbell made folksy attempts to reach out to the public.

Maybe this is one of those morality tests that only applies to the NDP.

Regardless of your opinion of John Horgan, let the guy have his dad joke gimmick and leave out the unnecessary spin here.

Nice way to inject politics into fathers day.



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