Monday, October 19, 2009

The "Harper Government" announcements

Update (1:25 p.m.) below.

Here's some more "Harper Government" propaganda for you. In the stream of daily government announcements, there's a subliminal propaganda drum beat occurring. The phrase the "Harper Government" is regularly used in place of the "Government of Canada" in government announcements. That is not permitted under federal rules:
  • Here's Friday's funding announcement on the Toronto Reference Library where the "Harper Government" phrase appears.
  • Here's the announcement from the carbon capture announcement event in Edmonton on Wednesday of last week where it reads: "A partnership between the Harper Government and the Government of Alberta...."
  • Here's last Tuesday's announcement in Vancouver: "The Harper Government will contribute up to $49.7 million of the $125 million investment." (No, again, the "Government of Canada" will be contributing, as in, we the taxpayers.)
See also these five additional examples from the past month and a half with the phrase in the title of the announcement.

Sometimes, they even mix it up a bit, using the "Conservative Government," also a no-no. Examples: here and here.

Those are just a few recent examples. If someone did a comprehensive search of government websites, announcements, etc. from the past few years, the results would likely blossom.

The point here is that there is no such official beast as the "Harper Government" that can be properly referred to as such within these government communications. The "Government of Canada" designation should be the term used:
Under the Federal Identity Program, all Government of Canada communications, including advertising, must use only approved national symbols and clearly refer to the government as the “Government of Canada.” The overwhelming use of the phrase “Harper Government,”instead of the appropriate phrase “Government of Canada” in taxpayer-funded government advertisements, publications and websites is wrong. The word “Harper” is not an approved applied title for federal advertising purposes.
Here's the list of approved titles for federal institutions.

The "Harper Government" terminology should not be used as they're doing. Like the cheques, the websites, the advertising, these announcements are all part of the politicization of as many aspects of government communications as possible.

It's hypocritical for the Prime Minister to be supposedly clamping down on his MPs about their use of the Conservative logo on these big cheques when he's offside as well, inserting his own name, improperly, into the official title of the government in these government announcements. It's wrong and it's time to stop.

(thx to a little birdie for some of the links above;))

Update (1:25 p.m.): The Rural Canadian drew attention to this point yesterday as well.
A few points here firstly it is NOT Harpers government it is OUR government, it is the Government of Canada. Note:- there are well over 100 references to the “Harper Government” on the CPC web site alone, over 200 on the PM site and quite a few on the Government web site.
Somebody needs to give that guy high speed internet, the dial up, I hear, is just not on.