NEWS

Attack ads rolling out from Vision Vancouver and NPA as election looms

11/04/2014 11:49 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST
With less than two weeks to go until the B.C. municipal elections, the Vancouver mayoral campaigns are ramping up their presence on radio and television — with attack ads.

Last week, Vision Vancouver released a radio ad in which two women are heard deciding that NPA mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe would be too big a risk, partly because of his residency outside Vancouver city limits at UBC.

"Who? Kirk LaPointe? Oh the NPA guy," the ad goes. "He doesn't even know where the Broadway subway would start. Maybe it's because he doesn't actually live, or pay taxes, in Vancouver."

- Listen to the full ad. On mobile? Listen here.

This week, the NPA fired back, releasing three television ads, all attacking Vision, and current mayor, Gregor Robertson.

"What about the Broadway subway?" one of the ads asks.  "It's been six years and he hasn't broken ground yet, let alone found the money."

Another deals with housing affordability in the city — or rather, the lack of it.

"What about the kids?" the ad asks. "What's their chance of staying in Vancouver, unless they live with mom and dad? Is that your vision for Vancouver? It's not ours."

Maxwell A. Cameron, from the UBC Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, says that close to elections, political parties try to generate more interest in their campaigns.

"We know that people pay attention to negativity," he told CBC News. "Negativity works in politics. Attacks and conflict generate media attention, generate public interest. Positive, upbeat campaigns generate less interest."

The third NPA ad takes on the issue of campaign donations, drawing attention to the secret tape where Vision Councillor Geoff Meggs made a promise to CUPE over outsourcing contracts.

"That's not a payday, that's a payoff," the ad opines.

Catchy for sure, but Cameron says all municipal parties are allowed to accept unlimited amounts of money — from unions, developers and special interest groups.

"[There are] lots of examples of people trying to influence the election outcome and they're obviously not doing it out of the generosity of their hearts," he says.

Vancouver voters are expecting to be able to make a judgement around the issue themselves, after both parties agreed to release their donor information before the election.

The NPA is promising their figures will be available November 7. Vision Vancouver had said they would release their donor information over the weekend, but have yet to issue any numbers.

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