PC and NDP's Attempt to Trick Voters Should be Illegal

PC and NDP Attempts to Trick Voters Should be IllegalI'm not sure if you noticed, but we're a week away from a provincial election.

There was a leader debate last night I missed completely. I opted to play tennis instead. It doesn't sound like I missed much.

The PC and NDP parties ran ads this morning on the covers of two free Toronto papers that really should be illegal during an active election period. These ads are clearly designed to fool readers and those passing by into thinking they're actual headlines. Their hope, it seems, is that you're too stupid to know the difference.

Here's the PC ad on the cover of Metro News (owned by Star Media Group).


Here's the NDP ad on the cover of 24 Hours (owned by Sun Media).


Shame on the parties and shame on the newspapers for selling their journalistic integrity for a few bucks.

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When I grabbed a Metro this morning my first thought was "Leads at what???"

June 4, 2014 @ 3:54 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Toronto Mike: Have you heard the Radio ad spots out right now. Where the conservatives are doing the exact same thing. Making it seem likes it's an actual news correspondent reporting on the debate. First time I heard it this morning I actually thought for a second it was actual news vs. being a paid for ad.

I too don't agree with it no matter the party. I guess things are getting desperate for both the NDP and CPC if they are veering to those tactics.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:02 PM

this guest

I do see your point Mike though

it looks like the ndp was somewhat clearer than the tea party (formerly known as conservatives) in stating it was paid advertising.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:07 PM



Newspapers need to sell ads to make money. Like you need to sell ads on this website to make money.

Right now I'm looking at an ad on this website telling me that "Hudak wins debate. See what he said". Or is it news?

Oh wait, I have a brain, I can tell it's an ad.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:10 PM



Newspapers need to sell ads to make money. Like you need to sell ads on this website to make money.

Right now I'm looking at an ad on this website telling me that "Hudak wins debate. See what he said". Or is it news?

Oh wait, I have a brain, I can tell it's an ad.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@this guest

If a small font that reads "Paid for by Ontario NDP" is clearer, than yes.

But it's still designed to trick people into thinking it's an actual cover of a newspaper.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I don't know where to start....

1. Unlike Torstar and Sun Media, I don't approve ads that appear on this site. Google Adsense displays targeted ads based on content.

2. This isn't a newspaper. I'm not a journalist. It's very different.

3. I'm sure you could walk by that cover of 24 Hours and immediately know it's an ad. Good for you. Without a doubt, many will not arrive at that same conclusion. I guess they're not as clever as you are.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:13 PM


Wow... of all the things that should be illegal during this election cycle - _this_ is the one you are most upset about?

June 4, 2014 @ 4:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


When did I say that this was the one I'm most upset about?

June 4, 2014 @ 4:15 PM

Lyle Lanley

Totally deceitful. This really bugs me.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:20 PM


I actually think the Metro one with the NDP ad is worse because it uses the Metro logo.

The Hudak one looks more like a headline, but at least the 24 Hours masthead wasn't used.

Both should be illegal, I agree.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:22 PM



Newspapers dispense opinion and content, such as this blog. You're not as different from newspapers as you may think you are.

And I think you should give the general population more credit. i suspect the majority of people, if not all, will quickly pick up that those are ads.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:28 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Just so we're clear, you don't think the two examples above are trying to pass off ads as newspaper journalistic content?

June 4, 2014 @ 4:32 PM


Of course they're trying to pass themselves off as journalistic content. That's the point.

But don't make it illegal. Political parties/individual citizens/businesses should have every right to put their message out to the masses as they see fit. And it clearly states that these are paid advertisements. It's up to the newspapers to decide whether or not they want to accept the ads and risk journalistic integrity. Both parties (newspapers and political parties) are making choices and taking risks. I don't see how making it "illegal" will benefit society.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I refer to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards.

2. Disguised Advertising Techniques

No advertisement shall be presented in a format or style that conceals its commercial intent.

Unfortunately, "political and election advertising" are not covered by this code.

June 4, 2014 @ 4:53 PM

this guest

I think they are going for an at 'first glance' it's news...
attempt at hooking the viewer

I don't think they are actually attempting to make it seem
100% like 'news'

but of course isn't most 'news' editorialized content disguised
as objectivity'

June 4, 2014 @ 6:35 PM


@ this guest. I really dont mean to go at you man

@ Derrick - Piss off

@ Mike - it's pretty slimey, and two wrongs don't make a right, but the teachers ads (might as well be "paid for by the liberals") basically saying you're kid is going to die on a field trip because of Hudak's proposed cuts...let's be honest, he isn't actually going to cut 100,000 jobs if he wins anymore than Wynne is going to balance the budget by 2017 if she does. If he manages to cut 25k I'll be amazed, and probably happy as long as it's the right kind of cuts. No one wants to ruin lives here, but do we want to be Greece??

June 4, 2014 @ 10:03 PM


Sorry there was more for this guest...stupid laptop

dont mean to go at you, but c'mon, cut it out with the tea party crap, we know where you stand, but you're starting to sound like those dumb asses who say Wynne-bag and Lie-berals

June 4, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm not suggesting all political attacks ads should be illegal, just ones designed to fool people into thinking they're news articles

June 4, 2014 @ 10:14 PM


@ Mike - I know you're not, and they're beyond despicable I'm not denying it. My point is that the teachers and police and a bakers dozen other groups are all doing the Liberals dirty work for them.

June 4, 2014 @ 10:22 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Those ads are anti-Hudak, not pro-Liberal.

June 4, 2014 @ 10:33 PM


So let me see if I have this right. Not OK for PC's and NDP's to buy misleading ads in newspapers, but OK for OPP to attack PC's on TV using real cops in uniforms and police vehicles, as well as contributing funds only to the Liberal campaign, while at the same time also investigating them for criminal wrong doing is OK.

June 5, 2014 @ 7:06 AM

this guest

Mike you are right it is a trick

just as a visual analysis:

bonus points within the trick motif for the ndp designer/tricker using orange and green together (complimentary secondary colours) WHILE
using blue (traditional pc colours) on the signage that says 'makes sense'

bonus points to the pc / tea party designer for linking disparate issues 'gridlock' and 'million jobs plan' in a heading.

June 5, 2014 @ 7:44 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Very Ironic that the Sun Media owned 24 Hours has the NDP ad, and the Torstar Metro News had the PC ad. Figured it would have been the opposite.
The OPP should be investigated for their fear mongering. They are suppose to be impartial, and obviously know who gave them the leap frog clause in their contract negotiations a few years ago.

June 5, 2014 @ 8:08 AM


@this guest
You're sounding more and more like one of those aging clueless Occupy Now hippies.

I have way more time for the Tea Party people mainly because their protests are peaceful, most of them have a job, pay taxes and are familiar with the use a shower. The Occupiers fail on all of those points.

June 5, 2014 @ 8:20 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rick C in Oakville

Actually, the NDP ad was on the cover of Metro and the PC ad was on 24 Hours.

June 5, 2014 @ 8:21 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Would you please stop putting words in my mouth. I said no such thing.

June 5, 2014 @ 8:48 AM

this guest

Thank you for publicly identifying with the Tea Party Argie.
Good to know where you stand i.e. far, far, far, right wing on the
political spectrum. Like Hudak, Harris, and the Koch brothers.

However I fail to see how a visual design analysis of political advertising
makes one seem like an Occupy sympathizer.
Oh the wonders of the Tea Party mind never cease to amaze.

June 5, 2014 @ 9:03 AM


@this guest
You're making me blush. Sounds like I'm in good company.

June 5, 2014 @ 9:08 AM


Anonymous hits the nail right on the head.

June 5, 2014 @ 9:09 AM

Ben Vidal

@Gary: What nail on the head?

June 5, 2014 @ 9:34 AM


I think all 3rd party advertising should be illegal during an election period and all parties should be limited to fact-based truthful advertisements. Even better, they would be prohibited from attacking any other party. Of course, we will never see a time when the Liberals don't allow 3rd party advertising as their union buddies do a lot of their dirty work for them.

June 5, 2014 @ 9:41 AM


Gary & anonymous have their own ridiculous agendas. Can't roll my eyes back far enough.

June 5, 2014 @ 9:43 AM


@Mike - Let's be honest. If they're anti Hudak then by default they're pro Liberal

June 5, 2014 @ 10:35 AM


Philly Bob-

Anti-Hudak isn't just Liberal. It is also NDP.

You hate the Liberals we get it. They are the devil and responsible for all that is wrong.

June 5, 2014 @ 10:50 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Just yesterday I heard the head of one of the groups airing anti-Hudak ads on CBC Radio. His group only contributes money to one party, and it wasn't the Liberal party.

The unions usually back the NDP.

June 5, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

Ben Vidal

@Philly: Where do you get to make such assertions? Based on what findings?

June 5, 2014 @ 11:15 AM


@Ben,@McNulty,@Mike (the usual suspects)
Come on, are you guys serious???

Obviously, any attack against the PCs (like the recent OPPA commercial) is not only anti-Hudak but also pro-Liberal. Even of the NDP benefits from those adds, it wont matter.

June 5, 2014 @ 11:29 AM



That seems a bit short-sighted. Even I'm old enough to remember Bob Rae.

June 5, 2014 @ 11:47 AM


Interesting, I posted on this thread earlier today but my comment has been removed. I didn't think that I said anything too offensive...Did I offend you Mike when I suggested that 3rd party advertising should be made illegal but that the Liberals would never allow that as their union buddies do all their dirty work for them?

Maybe it was an honest internet problem which removed my comment?

June 5, 2014 @ 12:01 PM


Appologies @Mike, my comment has reappeared...Sorry about that!

June 5, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's okay. For the record, I haven't deleted a single comment left on this entry.

June 5, 2014 @ 12:06 PM


@ McNulty - Yup pretty much, please tell me how you see it otherwise.

June 5, 2014 @ 12:49 PM

James Edgar

I'm as upset by the OPPA adds as I am about the newspaper ads. I don't think either have a place in an election .

Btw there are union people at my workplace. I can assure you they hate Wynne and the liberals as much or more than Hudak.

The unions will possibly go NDP again. They haven't for a long time thanks to Bob Raes "Rae Days" That pissed a hell of a lot of people off.

And anyone in education that's in a union is not voting Wynne.And neither are most non union. She pissed off people as Minister of education and even more with her association with Bill 115.

June 5, 2014 @ 12:57 PM

this guest

this whole police union, liberal, pc thing
is too murky for words

the mind conceives of an entirely wide range of possibilities

June 5, 2014 @ 1:21 PM


@ Philly

So our education system is failing? No, it is better than it was 11 years ago.

Our healthcare is failing? No, it's better than it was 11 years ago.

Overall the province is better. Is there more debt? Of course there is. We have suffered through a recession and manufactoring is not an industry we can rely on anymore. That's not the fault of the Liberals. It's the world changing.

Hudak's policies will hurt the province. His plan is flawed and won't create the promised jobs. He will cut education. He will cut healthcare. All to balance the books.

June 5, 2014 @ 3:15 PM


@ McNulty - I did not say either our edcation or healthcare systems were failing. However, Gas Plant, Ornge, Email deletions....sorry man, but the Liberals are liars and crooks. I can't look past BILLIONS of dollars wasted to buy 2 seats and keep their majority...the Libs will do and say anything to keep themselves in power.

Oh, and I work in the manufacturing sector...you can put the decline of that industry squarely at the feet of the Liberals. They are completely to blame for our sky high hydro rates. They are the ones who applied the HST to Hydro, they are the ones who sell our excess to the US for less than Ontario consumers pay for it...these are facts and not up for debate. Kellogss and Unilever are both customers of my company, and the chief reason they are leaving is that it will cost them almost half the price in power to move those plants to the states. I can tell you it is a multi million dollar job decommissioning the Unilever Plant in Brampton...they aren't doing that just for the hell of it....

June 5, 2014 @ 3:26 PM

this guest

meatloaf said
two out of three
aint' bad

June 5, 2014 @ 3:29 PM


@ Philly

You really don't know a thing about the energy markets. All of what you said is bogus.

And energy prices are up across the planet. That's not the Liberals. But hey, what are facts used for? You tend to ignore them when they don't suit your needs (as shown in Tuesday Open Mike about Walkerton).

June 5, 2014 @ 3:41 PM


And those companies are leaving because the wages in the States they are moving to are lower. As is the cost of living. Why? It's Missouri.

They aren't going to comparable locations. It's not New York state or even in the North East at all. The energy prices are higher in our neighbouring states.

June 5, 2014 @ 3:48 PM


I hate to agree with McNulty but he's right, Ontario and the northeast of the US have been bleeding jobs for some time now. One of the reasons for it is the cost of energy which the southern locations have capitalized on. Therefore, I wont the disastrous reign of McWynnty. Don't worry though, the pendulum will swing back our way in a few years when things become so bad here companies will be attracted to our lousy low wages.

What I do blame them for are the various scandals (i.e. eHealth, ORBGE & the gas plant eff up) but yes, that's another topic.

June 5, 2014 @ 4:00 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Philly: I'm sorry, but you are completely out to lunch on the whole energy prices and HST higher part.

Did caterpillar go to the government and say we are paying too much in electricity lower it otherwise we are shutting down? No they wanted their workers to take a 50% pay decrease. Could you afford a 505% pay decrease tomorrow? No of course not. Reason they took their manufacturing to the US, because there are people there willing to work for 50% less. It also means those people can only afford to shop at Walmart and dollar stores too.

Again it's wages in Canada NOT electricity.

I work very closely with the consumer packaged goods industry. The reason business' are closing up shop is because of greed. About 13 years ago we had a 60 cent dollar when compared to US greenback. It was cheap to buy canadian goods, but it wasn't cheap to upgrade plants. FAst forward 6 years-8 years and we have a Canadian dollar at par. What should have been happening was investment in their infrastructure. Many of these plants are running on machinery that is 25+ years old. Look to your house how often does an AC or Furnace have problems at 25 years old. How often do they make it 25 before they have to be overhauled or replaced. Overlay that to manufacturing it's the same thing.

Better manufacturing machines that operate more efficiently would completely offset electrical costs.

Instead of this being possible something terrible happened. The global recession. Companies with manufacturing plants had their assholes pucker up tighter than a snare drum when it came to thinking about investing in capital. So they sat on bags of cash or rolled it into year on year profits

Now dollar is lower again, but to buy raw goods from the US it's much more expensive. Couple that with wages in the US actually on a decline especially in the south and you have the perfect storm for companies to leave. If they use the electricity excuse it's usually mid level management who has no clue. Kellogs and Unilever won't publicly come out and say we can get cheap hispanic workers to do your job. Instead they use the line we are closing down plants globally to make the supply chain more efficient and concentrate on certain plants that have been updated.

Kellogs shut shit down not because of electricity, but because no one is buying cereal anymore. Kellogs is in deep trouble, they laid off a number of people in their head office too. That isn't because it costs too much in electricity to have air conditioning.

Don't even get me started with Unilever, but they used to have a bunch of different offices in Ontario and they closed them up to, because their operations are incredibly inefficient.

Again the main problem is wages, electricity in Ontario isn't cheap in comparison to the rest of Canada, but it's not so explosive that it's unreasonable

As for the cost to decommission a plant yeah it may cost 5 million to do so, but it would have cost 20 mill to update everything. Tee company I work closely with has a 30+ year old equipment in their plant and they have to make a decision very soon as to what they are going to do with the manufacturing plant when it comes to capital expenditure. Guess where the upper brass is looking? Somewhere south on the map.

If electricity was so expensive. Ferrero, Royal Canin and Chapmans wouldn't have built plants here in the last 5 years. When Chapman had a fire they could have sent manufacturing to the US. So if those companies can do it why can't others?

Just get off the electricity band wagon Phil. Please?!?

June 5, 2014 @ 5:25 PM

this guest

Missouri of course would be preferable to a corporation
seeking maximum profits
over all that Canadian communists like Joe Clark might consider important
like you know grandmother having 3 *decent* meals a day

June 5, 2014 @ 6:28 PM


I don't see the pigs flying but they must be. Argie and I agreed twice this week.

Me with him and then him with me.

June 5, 2014 @ 9:18 PM

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