Friday, September 25, 2009

Coming soon: Harper Government H1N1 Hand Sanitizer

(click to enlarge)

Anonymous government insiders have confirmed to the Impolitical blog that Harper Government issued Hand Sanitizer will soon begin appearing in mailboxes across the nation as part of the government's late effort to educate Canadians to the threat of the H1N1 flu.

When questioned about the apparently partisan presentation on the bottle layout, a senior Conservative source feigned bewilderment and professed absolute confidence that Canadians would receive it well. The official was confident that the "totally non-partisan" presentation was an acceptable form of communication under the Government of Canada's Federal Identity Program and that even if the use of such terminology as "Harper Government" wasn't, "who's going to make me take it off, anyway?" Besides, Canadians want hand sanitizer, the official protested, and would want the Harper Government to be seen to be acting.

Officials also reluctantly confirmed after persistent questioning that the hand sanitizer bottle originally included five photographs of the Prime Minister. In addition to the front head shot which remains, photos had been placed on the outside of the cap, on the inside of the cap, with two additional shots appearing on the back label. Extensive focus group testing, however, and written media questions to the Privy Council Office led to the decision to rein it in and go with the lone head shot of the Prime Minister. The official explanation, however, remains that the "floating head" of Stephen Harper is an obvious choice given that he is the Harper Government's chief spokesperson.

Also obtained by the Impolitical blog, the text which appears on the back label of the Harper Government H1N1 Hand Sanitizer. The message mimics in many respects the H1N1 television ads produced by the Ontario government which the Harper Government has recently commandeered and started running nationally as well:
"How can you protect yourself against the H1N1 flu virus?

Making sure we don't have an unnecessary election is the first step.

And washing your hands thoroughly and often is the best way to prevent its spread. Or use this Harper Government H1N1 Hand Sanitizer.

Cough and sneeze into a tissue, or at a Liberal — not your hand.

Keep commonly touched surfaces such as those recently renovated home tax credit areas disinfected. And stay at home when you're sick.

To find out more, go to actionplan.gc.ca or call 1 800 No-election.

A message from the Harper Government."
Similar questions as to the partisan nature of the label were ignored.

Officials say Canadians in Conservative ridings in particular should be watching their mailboxes as they are more likely to receive theirs "well before" other Canadians.