IntegrityBC: voters increasingly baffled by misleading HST advertising

Submitted by PIRA on Jun 27, 2011 – 11:42 AM

IntegrityBC has released a tongue-in-cheek, but factually faithful video in conjunction with the launch of a new section on its website devoted to cutting through the clutter of misleading advertising by both the Yes and No sides in the HST referendum debate.

The video, a spoof of the hit 1960s game show To Tell the Truth, features three caricatures of Premier Christy Clark speaking out on the HST leading the organization to ask: which is the real Christy Clark?  To Tell the Truth 

IntegrityBC’s new website section is intended to keep tabs on various claims by both the Yes and No sides throughout the debate and offer various resources for British Columbians to consult before they cast a ballot in this summer’s HST referendum.

“We hope voters will see the online resource as a safe haven from the misleading claims that are being tossed about,” said Aisha Vance, spokesperson for IntegrityBC. The organization is also inviting voters to send their own HST questions to info@integritybc.ca for an independent response.

While its video pokes fun at Clark’s various positions on the HST, IntegrityBC, a non-partisan organization, will not take sides in the debate, but will hold the government and Smart Tax Alliance to a higher standard of account because the burden of proof rests with HST proponents.

Equally, the organization warns that the HST issue is too important to BC’s future to be strictly a referendum on either Gordon Campbell or Christy Clark.

IntegrityBC believes British Columbians are being let down by the failure of both sides to stick to the facts. As one example: by claiming to guarantee that the HST will be cut to 10 per cent, Premier Clark is presumptuous in trying to have British Columbians believe that she can write a budget for a future government that she might not even be leading.

“Voters are fed up with both sides playing loose with the truth. Even the “decide for yourself campaign” run by the BC government has according to most observers become a persuasion campaign where decide for yourself has give way to let us decide for you,” said Vance.

And now both sides have filed complaints with Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) and in doing so have wasted everyone’s time and done nothing to enhance the debate.

Two weeks ago when IntegrityBC took the Smart Tax Alliance to task for its TV ads, it did not file a complaint with the ASC since the independent organization does not involve itself in political and election advertising.

“British Columbians need clarity, not antics that only serve to confuse voters. Both sides have a duty to ensure their advertising is honest, ethical and understandable – something we have seen little of in the debate to date,” said Vance.

IntegrityBC invites British Columbians to share its video and online resource with friends, colleagues and neighbours.

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IntegrityBC is a non-partisan political advocacy group promoting accountability and integrity in BC politics. By empowering British Columbians, IntegrityBC hopes to change politics in BC and allow citizens to regain trust in our government.