Canadian Partisanship Appears on YouTube

If you are a Canadian who watches TV, chances are you know all about the Conservative ads airing despite the lack of an election. It is also apparent that there is a lack of ads from any other party.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

It may be strategy on the other party’s part, but it appears as though partisanship has made its way onto popular video sharing site YouTube in a strangely revealing way.

The first indication was what appeared to be a grassroots based shot at the Canadian Heritage Minister over her questionable use of limousines. The video was first reported on Digital Copyright Canada. Michael Geist then picked up on the news.

The video is called ‘Oh, Bev Oda‘ and features various stills, some photoshopped and some original, with some video editing techniques. It complements a parody of the song ‘Lola’. The video even gained media coverage. Not bad for a video that, as of this writing, has only gained 1,200 views after being featured on Digital Copyright Canada, Michael Geist’s blog and

Regardless, it looked as though the Member of Parliament simply got satirized by a YouTube member and got some press coverage for it. Is it as simple as that? Likely not so. Slyck has noted that, on closer inspection, it looks more like a pro-Liberal partisan attack – something absent on traditional Canadian airwaves. The user who uploaded the video, ethanjacobs, also appears to have uploaded another video called ‘Stephane Dion IS a Leader‘. Stephane Dion is the leader of the Liberal party of Canada.

An appeal to a younger audience? A quiet way of counterattacking the Conservative attack ads? Maybe. It appears as though Conservative forces also wanted a piece of the action as well when a video was uploaded in a similar style against two opposition parties (NDP and Liberals) over an issue with ‘the Status of Women’. A website appears at the beginning of the video: ‘’

The website describes itself as “Conservatively trying to make sense of it all”. It currently features criticisms of Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, among other things. While some say a new election is coming when the budget bill is tabled (and potentially voted down), it seems campaigns have already started on both sides. It also seems as though YouTube is starting to be a place where various parties can duke it out, slinging mud at each other just like political parties in the US.

Is it simply the fact that YouTube is present and has the eyes of many of the younger generation? Maybe, but bear in mind that for the first time ever, there have been two minority governments in a row in Canada. There also appears – though too early to tell – that the potential exists for a third minority government. So it makes sense for parties to pull out all the stops to get an extra vote or two regardless of where it comes from.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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