Archived Story

Don’t count on ads to inform on issues

Published 9:40am Monday, August 20, 2012 Updated 11:41am Monday, August 20, 2012

With the election less than three months away, it’s clear that the television stations, Internet and other media will soon be bombarded with ads from candidates, particularly ads bashing the opposing candidate.

We would hope that your vote is not based solely on the information in these ads.

The bottom line is, virtually every issue involving government policy involves a world of complexity and gray area. From health insurance to farm subsidies to taxes, it is impossible to sum up a candidate’s position or record in a 30-second commercial or sound bite.

In addition, it is also impossible to determine someone’s character or ability to lead based on only a few pieces of information. If one looked long and hard enough, every politician probably has a skeleton in their closet.

As a citizen, it is important that we look beyond the ads.

Places like newspaper voter’s guides, web sites and organizations not attached to a political party such as smartvoter.org, and plenty of other resources can provide good information on candidates.

Let’s hope that, when it comes to political ads this year, they annoy voters more than they sway them.

  • Swede
  • camobabe

    One should also be wary of visiting government officials who are portraying their own radical views as governmental policy or objectives for the people. A good example is the recent visit by DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to Fergus Falls to spread false information about the upcoming ballot referendum issues, Photo ID for Voters, and Defense of Marriage. Ritchie used his office to spread misinformation in this paper, even while he was being challenged in the state supreme court for his efforts to distort and falsely portray these issues. And, only a few days later, the supreme court ordered him to knock it off, to put the questions on the ballot as the legislature had defined them, not as he and his liberal cohorts wanted to portray them in false terms.

    • Phaedrus

      So what, specifically, was the “misinformation”? Accusing others of something is entirely too easy, you can just make stuff up as you go. What, specifically, was said that was false?

      • Swede

        Ritchie is campaigning against a ballot measure, offering his opinions as fact.

        “Ritchie said the amendment, if enacted, would primarily affect four groups of voters: those who register to vote on election day (more than 500,000 in 2008), those who vote by mail-in or absentee (as many as 250,000, said Ritchie), those whose IDs don’t have information corresponding to their registration, and eligible voters with no ID”

        If Ritchie was not an advocate for the DFL, and actually perfomed SOS duties, he might explain both sides of the argument. This man’s has a minority point of view opposed to Ritchie:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBcC52E1m2k

        Is it not a bit strange that the Secretary of State tried to change the text of a ballot measure, making the measure’s intent unrecognizable, and it took the supreme court to tell Ritchie he does not have this authority?

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