February 27, 2004

Frost Hits the Rhubarb

Update to an earlier post below:

Truth is No Excuse! Ads Target Liberals and Paul Martin, Not the Tax Haven

Tory ad rubs Caribbean community the wrong way Brian Laghi, Feb. 26, 04

The radio ad attacks Prime Minister Paul Martin for basing subsidiaries of his former company, Canada Steamship Lines, in Barbados to take advantage of lower tax rates there. . . .

"The tone of voice I thought was sort of mocking," said Basil Blackman, a past president of the National Council of Barbadian Associations of Canada. "I think if the Conservative Party has a problem, they should solve the problem within Canada rather than trying to bring in a third country that basically has nothing to do with the politics of Canada."

The ad is narrated by an individual with a deep Caribbean accent and includes the sound of steel drums in the background performing the song Yellow Bird. The man welcomes listeners to Barbados, "a carefree land of sun, sand and 2-per-cent corporate income tax" and refers to Paul Martin as "your Prime Minister, Mr. Paul."

Look, next time, use an Irish/Scottish/Newfie accent; we're used to it -- and we laugh. What's with these chip-on-their-shoulder types? Too touchy by half. NJC

[. . . . ] Liberals pounced on the ad, saying it was in the spirit of the old Reform party's infamous Quebec election commercials of 1997, when the faces of Quebec-based leaders had the letter X drawn through them.

That was not "infamous"; that was expression of many Canadians' wish for change -- that the rest of the country should count. It presented a home truth about Canada's government for the last 30-40 years -- that Canadians have been ruled by Quebeckers, French Canadians. It is a statement of fact. Get over it. Stop trying to associate the Conservatives with an ad from Reform. On second thought, maybe it is time to run it again? NJC

Below is an earlier post:

Ads Highlighting PMs character, Lib culture of corruption, flip-flops, gun registry, and PMs corporate tax loopholes in Barbados

Biting ads slam Liberals -- `First salvo' in likely election -- Conservatives launch radio spots Feb. 25, 04, Tonda MacCharles

OTTAWA—Five scathing Conservative party pre-election "attack" ads are about to hit the radio airwaves [in March] slamming Paul Martin's Liberals as criminally corrupt, and the Prime Minister as a dithering flip-flop artist whose company skipped out on paying Canadian taxes.

[. . . .] One — entitled Scandal 2 — stars a man reciting two Criminal Code sections: "Theft over $5,000. Maximum penalty? 10 years ... Extortion. Maximum penalty? Life in prison."

Then a woman's voice adds: "The Liberal government ripped you off. Now they want another four years. Don't you think they deserve a different kind of term? Now is the time to consider the Conservative Party of Canada."

In a spot dubbed "Barbados," a man with a stereotypical Caribbean accent says in a cheery voice: "Welcome to Barbados. A carefree world of sun, sand and 2 per cent corporate income tax for our good friends from Canada. Your Prime Minister Mr. Paul figured it out a long time ago, man. That's why his shipping company down here. In Canada he pay up to 41 per cent. In Barbados, 2 per cent."

Then the woman interjects: "If Paul Martin is leading by example, what exactly is he trying to tell us? Now is the time to consider the Conservative Party of Canada."

My Commentary:

No wonder the media are so upset! These ads sound as though they hit the nail on the head. Bring them on! Playing the race card won't work. Would someone explain that it is a Barbadian government policy to provide low tax rates -- what amounts to a tax haven for shipping companies such as our PMs CSL -- and Paul Martin was Canada's Minister of Finance when this special relationship--loop-hole?--with Canada was allowed. Paul, you wily fella! It isn't the Barbadians that should be upset -- though it suits some leftists to yell racism. Paul, you'll have to assuage their wounded feelings with pre-election grants to the Barbadian cultural association or whatever association will vote Liberal -- compliments of the taxpayers of Canada, I suppose. NJC


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