A funny thing happened on Election Day as the Dippers imploded and the Tories were demolished. Orange was the colour of the month for all parties except the Greens. But it didn’t exactly show a desire to emulate Tom Mulcair and his New Democratic Party.
It was something else.
Orange registered as a subliminal tactic of a pair or more of those opinion molders who hope to brainwash a population to act in ways their clients desire. In this case, the clients were Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau. The Dippers had long ago claimed orange as their colour and that’s what made it so desirable to the mind melders working on the other two sides.
Public relations, aka PR, is the practise of getting a client’s message to a population, often using or hoping to use the media. The Bulletin gets thousands of missives from such practitioners, mostly in the spam folders. Very occasionally we get desirable tips or information so we don’t block most such emails, meaning I get a disproportionate number of member-enhancement product offers. (How could they have known?).
But back to the hosing we get from PR pros.
What seems to have tongue-tied the Dippers working on Mulcair’s policy planks was the dread of the very fact they’re called Dippers because they reputedly would dip into the pockets of all but the most destitute of us, drag out what currency they could, and go on a buying spree, ending in a disastrous effect on Canada.
And orange is their colour.
The Dippers would spend their ill-gotten lucre from your pockets on down-and-outers and lazy people who want to live off your “hard-earned” money. That is, if you’re one of those “hard-working” families who are lionized by the Conservatives or “deserving” families described by the Grits.
The Dippers would give your money to OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty) who in turn would pass it around and launch traffic-stopping parades at the worst times of day in the most congested intersections. Dippers are sensitive to that perception.
So that’s the background of orange.
Why, then, did it have such election-campaign-time appeal to Tories and Liberals? It’s because they are sensitive to the fact that over the long haul both the Harperites and the Liberals have been letting our infrastructure go to hell.
So the pledge by Trudeau to spend money fixing long-overdue rot around our nation resonated like thunder in a chamber pot.
Harper, too, said that now he has gotten our finances in order, it’s time to spend a bit of money on some things for the rest of us.
But, bizarrely, Mulcair wasn’t doing that. Nope. He or his campaign brain trust apparently decided that it’s just too sensitive an issue for a Dipper to propose spending public funds, no matter how seriously needed that action is.
Thus it was Trudeau coming out with the progressive and fiscally beneficial proposition to spend infrastructure funds which would also serve to kick-start a withered economy.
Mulcair held his tongue and instead talked about balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility. What a bore. He actually campaigned like a Tory.
His best moments in the Official Opposition were when he gave hell to the Harperites. That’s when most people early on decided Mulcair was ready!
Harper played that “ready” word against the Liberals to show how we would be anointing a high-school drama teacher Prime Minister of Canada when the kid had to first learn the ways of the world.
Mulcair began to fade around that time when the Grit brain trust dug into their funds and started buying ironic “ready” ads to counter what they almost described as a Tory slander. So they had their boy pick up the offensive chant and throw the “ready” image back at Harper’s crowd.
Mulcair was out of the picture by then. He was sidelined by the two contenders going head on and, since everyone wanted Harper gone, the outcome was congealed. Ready or not, Trudeau is prime minister.
— Frank Touby