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Ontario Gov't Propaganda Includes Postage-paid Reader Reply Forms, Giving Voters Way to Vent

TORONTO, ON (SP) — Propaganda booklets delivered to every household in Ontario include postage-paid reader reply forms, allowing voters a convenient way to express disgust at the waste of taxpayer money in producing the booklets. Actually mailing the reader reply forms more than quadruples the "estimated cost of production and delivery" printed on the cover, giving voters even more to bitch about.

The multi-page, full-colour booklets, produced in both English and French, are replete with colourful-yet-simple graphs and bar charts, image bank photographs of cute children, smiling citizens, properly funded water-quality scientists, and well-equipped teachers, as well as head-and-shoulders photos of beaming Premier Ernie Eves.

The most recent propaganda booklets, delivered in the spring of 2003, include:

- "Health Report — an Information Report on Ontario's Health-Care System"

- "Education Report — Helping Our Kids Learn and Achieve Their Full Potential"

- "Budget Overview 2003 — Making the Right Choices: Securing Our Future"

The reader reply cards include checkboxes allowing voters to request a total of 31 additional propaganda booklets. The "estimated cost of production and delivery" printed on the cover of each booklet ranges from $0.20 to $0.24. Based on Canada Post's business reply mail price of $0.60 for "Machineable Business Reply Mail up to 50 grams," mailing the reader reply forms quadruples the unit cost.

Pensioner Frank Wong of Whitby, Ontario examined the booklet "Health Report — an Information Report on Ontario's Health-Care System". "Hmm, so if they delivered 4 million of these across the province at $0.20 a pop, that's $800,000. If 50% of those get replies at 60 cents, that's an extra $1.2 million. Factor in the other two pamphlets on education and the budget at $0.20 and $0.24, and you get a total of… let's see… Goddamn! Muthafuhkas blew $6,160,000 on propaganda!" Wong went on to write a series of anatomically impossible instructions before mailing the reader reply form.

Suburban Toronto mother of three Amelia Stuart had hardly read three pages when she exclaimed, "These punk-asses think they can get away with presiding over the deterioration of my kids' school, and then win me back with pretty pamphlets? That bitch Elizabeth Witmer gots another thing comin'!" She proceeded to scrawl a stream of profanity across the reader reply form included in "Education Report — Helping Our Kids Learn and Achieve Their Full Potential".

Tony Clement, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, indicated that giving voters a way to release stress is in line with the Ontario government's policy of keeping people healthy in the first place. "Venting frustration with government mismanagement is a good way to ensure all these negative feelings aren't being bottled up, and negatively affecting one's health. There are so many sources of stress in our hectic modern lives. Providing these reader reply cards is our way of helping out."

Below: sample reader reply cards test the pulse of the province.

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