The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Friday, November 15, 2002

NPA delivers different message in Chinese

In a last-ditch attempt to garner some extra votes in Vancouver's Chinese-speaking community, the Non-Partisan Association has resorted to taking out advertisements in the city's Chinese media that say that the party will not introduce safe-injection sites for drug addicts in Vancouver.

This contradicts the message that the NPA has been giving the city's English-language media. NPA candidates, including mayoral candidate Jennifer Clarke, tell the gwailo press that they are in favour of harm reduction strategies, including the trial of a safe drug consumption facility, for Vancouver's drug addicts, although it wants to proceed with caution. For the Chinese community, which is seen by most political strategists as being much more conservative and more supportive of a "get tough" approach, the NPA gives them a different message; one that the NPA thinks will apeal to the community. Never mind that the two policies are contradictory.

What the hell were they thinking?

No politician, or political operative, should even try to think of trying to send one message to one linguistic community, and a conflicting one to another. It is no different than flip-flopping on policies and promises from one day to the next; at the very least, it causes votters to wonder where a candidate or party really stands, and at worst, makes those who try and pull the trick off to look deceitful.

It's also guaranteed to get caught. There are plenty of bilingual English-Cantonese speakers in Vancouver, and you can bet that any serious political capaign will get translations of everything that their opponents say in the Chinese-language media, and of any ads that they run. Why bothed doing it at all if you're going to get caught?

Desperation, that's why.

Addendum: There was a full page advertisement in the Sing Tao daily paper today that endorsed Jennifer Clarke and the NPA, saying that they would crack down on drug use. The $9,000 ad was not paid for by the NPA, nor was it endorsed by the NPA. It was paid for by an anonymous group calling itself "People concerned about our citizens." The ad featured a "no needles" symbol, and insinuated that COPE and mayoral front-runner Larry Campbell would set up a safe injection site, "possibly near you."
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