I mentioned this asinine Elections Canada idea (here) back when it was announced. And predicted that it would end badly. They make it easy for me to appear the genius foreteller. But come on. What could go wrong when hiring a bunch of young internet cools, who, by virtue of their youngness, and their efforts at coolness, have said or done some rather sordid or at least politically biased things. And gee hey, just hazard a wild and wacky guess as to the political direction of their youthful bias.
So yeah, nevermind. Canadian Press story (barely) explains:
OTTAWA – Elections Canada is scrapping plans to use social media “influencers” to persuade young Canadians to register to vote in this fall’s federal election.
Chief electoral officer Stephane Perrault says a final vetting of 13 people chosen for the campaign turned up some past activities that could be seen as partisan.
He says he didn’t have the reassurances he needed that Elections Canada would maintain its reputation for “unimpeachable neutrality.”
I’m not at all sure they can claim “unimpeachable neutrality.” For example, this.
The Conservative Party’s researchers are owed all the credit for uncovering the past left-wing proclivities of several of the cools. No, not Elections Canada. It was the Conservative Party who cottoned onto this ruse, forcing this “final vetting.”
And since this was a government project, you had to have known this part was coming…
Elections Canada had budgeted $650,000 for two full-length videos involving the influencers, plus 13 shorter versions. A spokesperson said the 13 individuals have already been paid for their work but the agency is in discussions with the production companies to try to recover some of the other costs of the project.
Pay them, then look into their backgrounds (or rather — don’t even look into their backgrounds and get caught-out by the Conservative Party who did). Good work, government. Good job.