It’s *worse* if you do it too

Rob Merkel over at Larvatus Prodeo rightly lambasts the Victorian ALP for wasting public money on fatuous “aren’t we awesome” promotions:

In a massive shock, the Victorian government dislikes cancer. And, amazingly enough, they fund cancer hospitals. Who woulda thunk it!

But just in case you didn’t know, the Victorian government’s just started a TV advertising campaign, complete with Delta Goodrem jingle, to tell us all about it.

Which prompts this sort of defence by ALP supporters, echoing their Liberal counterparts whenever the complaint was made of the former government:

It is a bipartisan tradition in Australian politics now. Who can forget Howard’s use of tax payer funds to sell Liberal party policy.


This is what every single government does without exception or variation… it’s not great, but Vic aren’t doing anything out of whack.

Which, since it’s a device to completely undermine any pressure on governments to stop doing this sort of thing, really annoys me. As I retorted:

I hate that excuse. “They do it too”. But if YOU do it, then you can’t complain when THEY do it, so you’re in effect reinforcing THEIR waste of our money, too. Every ALP ad costs twice as much because it’s justification for the Liberals doing it next time they’re in power.

Fortunately we don’t have to vote for one of the major parties that insists on wasting our money with this sort of shameless propaganda – and this is one very good reason why we shouldn’t. I won’t be voting 1 for either of them.

But people do. That’s how they get away with it.

7 responses to “It’s *worse* if you do it too

  1. Tax payer funded ads are just like campaign donations and printing allowances. The only time the opposition (Lib or ALP) complain is when they are severely disadvantaged by the status quo.
    Lack of MPs and poor polling are needed for the struggling political party to speak out against anti-democratic actions like government funded ads.

  2. Okay. This pisses me off.

    Not only are they cynically exploiting a horrible disease for campaign purposes, they’re using Delta f-ing Goodrem. I can’t tell you what a pleasure it was in the week leading up to my Father’s death from cancer, seeing Goodrem on the cover of a magazine hyping up how she saw “The Grim Reaper”. Especially considering that while not nice, the cancer she had has an exceptionally low mortality rate, occasionally killing the old and otherwise unhealthy.

    And to think this kind of cynicism pays off.

  3. We’ve been getting similar treatment from Anna Bligh in Queensland for some time now. Giant posters proclaiming that closing one children’s hospital while expanding another is “a gift from one generation to the next”. A TV campaign telling us the ‘facts’ about why it’s a great idea to flog off state assets… It’s the Howard government all over again, and I hope it works as well for Anna as it did for little Johnny’s WorkChoices.

  4. Considering that there is bugger all difference between the policies of the Labor and Liberal Parties at state level, I wouldn’t expect either of them not to abuse public money in this way. Populist conservatives rule. Tweedledum and Tweedle-fucking-dee.

  5. This is a response for the continuing jibes from the opposition that Vic Labor is a “do nothing government!”

    (I’d have been happier with a cheaper leaflet in the mail, or even a few Press Releases online to counter the accusation.)

  6. Good point, Bruce. That’s why I hate the November pink thing. It’s just cynical marketing.

    There’s nothing worse to me than the ‘fight’ language from celebrities – acting as if having a disease is a positive virtue and shoving it in the face of people who would probably prefer not to have a constant reminder of their condition.

  7. I made the first comment that you quoted, and I admit it was a bit cynical. But I don’t vote for the major parties and haven’t done so since about 1998. In fact I probably vote for the same party that you do Jeremy.

    The problem that I have is that many of the people who do the complaining are probably doing the least when it comes to casting their votes. They see themselves as centrists and cannot break out of the mode of voting for the major parties. I’m over the faux outrage.

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