Have you noticed how frequently these words appeared in Federal Government TV advertisements over the last three years? Did you ever get curious why these words were used? For example, in connection with Government policy on the development of the tar sands to create jobs?
Well, unless you are around in 20 years time you will never know! The Federal Government invoked Secrecy Rules that keep the justifcation of its advertizing hidden from public scrutiny. As the CBC said: Ottawa’s “Strong! Proud! Free! Slogan can’t be explained because it is a secret!
Lacking the transparency so important to democracy, 4RG had to guess. The answers we came up with were based on the writings of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Information before and during the Second World War. Goebbels was a master of state propaganda. His justifications were quite appropriate for a dictatorship, but a disgrace to a democracy.
We concluded that the Conservatives were influenced by Goebbels’s justifications. As he suggested, the important thing was to choose words for the slogan that would appeal to commonly held emotions of citizens. If so, the credibility of the message would be stronger. “Strong” and “Free” . . . . as in “True North Strong and Free”.
Goebbels came up with the slogan “Ein Volk” Ein Reich” “Ein Fuhrer”. “One people-one state- one leader.” Perhaps his slogan was a model that inspired the three word slogan of our Federal Government.
To come: What reality do these words reflect today?