The Conservative Party of Canada – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s party – has redesigned its website. And this is the banner photo that appears on the first page of the new site.
In small print at the bottom, it claims the photo is referencing “strengthening self-defence laws for victims”. But to be hit in the face with this enormous image immediately upon landing on the ruling party’s website actually sends a very different (and strategically chosen) message – essentially depicting a fascist police state.
And I am sure it was no “mistake”, no naïveté where media literacy is concerned. The party no doubt paid tens of thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands) to some high-end PR firm to redesign the website, with every single image very carefully and deliberately selected.
For the ruling party to decide to “brand” itself first and foremost with this image – instead of a positive, optimistic image of Canadian wilderness (which Harper’s government is destroying), or thriving cities (which Harper’s government is defunding), or vibrant industries (which Harper’s government is deregulating) – can only be for one purpose: to strike fear of the all-powerful State into everyone, albeit at a subliminal level.
The image says: “We are in control, your ‘freedom’ is an illusion, we’ve got your number, resistance is futile.”
Its effect is chilling. And that is its intended purpose.