Take a good look at the image below. Notice the pretty colours and the majestic provincial flag.
Notice the government logo. Whoops! Not government logo… BC Liberal Caucus logo. (This is an important distinction.)
Notice the words used. “We welcome today’s announcement that…” Notice that the words are NOT “We are proud to make the announcement that…”
The difference, of course, is that by saying the former, the government technically is not lying outright. They can’t help what people infer, right? They didn’t actually mean for us to see this as a proud policy announcement, right?
And of course, the Liberals have to be careful to state that it is in their role as government caucus, and not government itself that they perform this little stunt. This keeps the opposition from being able to bring it up in the Question Period, because what the Liberal Party chooses to endorse outside of government is its own business.
Because, as we all probably recall, the closing and subsequent re-opening of the coast guard station had NOTHING TO DO WITH the provincial Liberals. It is the federal government that controls this.
It was just a few months ago that the Harper government caused outrage in the Lower Mainland when it shut down the very busy rescue station. Now the BC Liberals are trying to cash in on the warm fuzzy sentiment that will result from setting the issue to right.
And no doubt, some people will look at this little stunt and say, “So what? No big deal. Technically, they’re not lying.”
But it is a big deal. Clearly this is a Pavlovian attempt to pair warm fuzzy feelings with the BC Liberal banner.
The sign is a deception, and as such, it’s unethical government practice (oops, I mean government caucus practice). The government (caucus) is taking credit for something it didn’t do. (Well… not technically. Right?)
Instead of relying on solid policy to make them electable, the Liberals, who are down in the polls, are doing what they always do. They’re relying on stunts to win votes. They don’t govern. They only ever campaign.