“There are over 30-million reasons to vote Liberal – what’s yours?” asks the first round of Liberal TV ads for this election campaign. One version of the ad has ordinary Canadians talking about how great the economy is doing. The next version features “special Canadians” – specifically three women of colour, a female doctor from Newfoundland and a young white man who sets off our gaydar – talking about how the Liberals preserve minority rights, women’s rights and equality rights. It’s all rights, all the time.
“The Charter Of Rights And Freedoms is extremely important to me,” says the spiffy young man and we’re, of course, expected to know why it’s important to him, considering his cool hair, soul patch and chipper singsong accent. And it can’t be because he practices some obscure religion – he’s in downtown Vancouver; they have no religion there.
This special Liberal attention made it seem like an opportunity to ask a few queers their opinion of the spot. If the Conservatives or the NDP do special ads for special people, we’ll review them in a future issue.
Jane Ford, 41, writer/publisher
It is thrilling to live in a country where a political party targeting gays means “for a vote” rather than “for extinction.” I didn’t think I could love the Liberal Party more than I do. Having given us the right to marry, they forever earned my loyalty. They are my Kevin Federline – they may embarrass me sometimes with their cornrows or a rap album, but frankly we have a child together, called Baby Gaymarriage so I’m not going anywhere. I loved how they used real people who actually seemed real, unlike the Conservatives’ commercials with Stephen (rather gay turtleneck) Harper, which seem to be presented by the Geppetto Theatre Of Wooden Players. I haven’t seen acting that questionable since The Starlet.
Kelly McCray, 44, co-director ofEdward Day Gallery
Definitely more diverse than the current Buckley’s Cough Syrup TV ad – but the faces aren’t as fun. Queer friendly, but not too diverse – just enough so you don’t sneeze. If Buckley’s works, Canada works.
Keira Grant, 26, marketing & public relations coordinator
Wow, that ad was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Way to get a United Colors Of Benetton assortment of people to say absolutely nothing about any policies the Liberals have ever implemented that benefit queers, people of colour, immigrants or women. I think political ads like this, which lack any substance, cheapen democracy and insult the intelligence of the voters. I seriously hope NDP leader Jack Layton takes Paul Martin to task to substantiate the claim that they’ve done or will do anything significant for socially and economically marginalized populations in Canada. Oh, do First Nations people on reserves have any clean drinking water yet?
Philip Wong, 31, executive directorof the Lesbian GayBi Trans Youth Line
If the Liberals can do anything about the gloomy overcast weather from sea to sea, I’ll make up the other 29,999,996 reasons to vote for them. The ad is a bit uninspired and doesn’t address any of the key concerns folks have about responsible government, health care, the environment or the economy. If I’m dragging my ass in the slush out to vote this January, save the warm fuzzies and give me some meat.