Tuesday, 21 January 2014

2011 lecture, attack ads, & nonvoters

In this lecture staged before the 2011 provincial election politics professor Shannon Sampert discusses negative ads and campaigning. Most of what she says is spot on.

There are, however, some issues when it comes to low voter turnout. True, some people (particularly those with middle incomes) tend to not vote as a sign of being okay with direction of Canada. But there are other groups of nonvoters who consistently don't turn out.

Take, for instance, aboriginal voters - who tend to vote at lower rates than the general population. While the data tends to be a bit thin, there's been waves of indigenous activism and internationally documented horrible living conditions in First Nations communities. This would seem to show that at least some aboriginal Canadians aren't satisfied with the direction of Canada, yet this fails to translate into ballot box activity.

Clearly, there's restless, non-complacent yet consistent non-voters out here that need to be mobilized.


  1. You identify a problem that seems endemic in our political landscape, crossing both cultural and socio-economic boundaries. The only thing I think that will mobilize people is to be a conduit of information, both through the Internet and in our day-to-day associations, about the government's many failures, failures that will not be rectified as long as less and less people participate in the political process. People need to understand that politics is not an arcane and remote activity, but rather one that affects our lives and our society in so many ways.

  2. Everytime I hear or see Shannon Sampert speak, I think less and less of her. Was this a presentation on Negative Ads? Or just a partisan NDP rant.

    If she wanted to talk about negative ads, there is plenty of material from the NDP in the last couple of elections ( and the spring prior to the last election). Yet she conveniently only pointed out Conservative ads. Surprise.

    1. Most of the critics of negative ads also focus on the CONs recent federal use of them (as the recent gets more press than the past -i.e. the Martin ads - and the federal gets more press than the provincial, esp. for smaller provinces).

      And, by using CON attack ads as examples, this also means that she spent more time defending CON campaigns than she did for other parties.

      Overall, Shannon Sampert seems to be an excellent, dynamic, and reality based speaker.

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