Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dirty Politics

There is an absolute truth in politics: if you sling mud, you may miss. But you'll definitely get dirty.

To me, the federal Conservatives are like the evil Galactic Empire in Star Wars: pure evil that exists to serve itself. I see no good in that party. No best intentions. No vision for a better country. Just greed.

When it comes to the opposition, the Conservatives have one plan and one plan only: try to smear the opponents. It doesn't matter if those opponents aren't even part of the official opposition, as is the case with the NDP, who mopped the Québec floor during the last election. No, the plan has been, ever since the Liberals elected their new leader, to sling mud in his direction.

And so far, they've missed every time.

As soon as Justin Trudeau swept the Liberal leadership convention, the attack ads came out. We know the one: Justin, taking off his shirt at a charity fund raiser. The Tories tried to make Trudeau look comical, adding circus music and graphics that didn't exist during the actual fund raiser, in which Trudeau actually raised $1,900 for the Canadian Liver Foundation.

I bet Harper couldn't do that. He might raise that much to keep his shirt on.

The latest attempt to discredit Trudeau was the unsolicited information leak to the press about a charity event in 2007, where Trudeau attended and spoke, and charged $10,000 for his appearance. Before he was an MP. Where no one complained about paying the fee, even though the fee was discussed up front. Even though, in 2009, an attempt by a Tory to complain to the Ethics Commission failed.

I don't want to speak to any great length on the methods to which the Conservatives have tried to sling mud at the new leader of the Liberal party. I just want to talk about what I see.

The Conservatives are sweating. They have a lot of controversy surrounding the spending practices of some Tory senators—in particular, Mike Duffy and his buy-out by former PMO Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright. (Funny, Harper's folks can dig up details of Trudeau's speaking fees but can't come up with the cancelled $90,000 cheque that Wright wrote.) They want to change the channel, turn the attention away from themselves by slinging mud at someone else.

Smoke and mirrors. Sling, duck, and evade.

It's ironic: Stephen Harper's wife, Laureen, has headed an anti-bullying campaign but can't reign in the leader of the Conservatives. Because that's what Stephen is: a bully.

Canada's only hope is that all of the opposition parties keep their teeth firmly sunk into the scandals that are now plaguing the leading party. They mustn't let the smoke deter them. Harper is counting on Canadian citizens having short-term memories. Keep the memory fresh.

Be the Rebel Alliance against the evil Galactic Empire.

"Strong, The Force, in this young Trudeau, is. Against the Dark Side, must he fight."

The Tories love to sling mud. Keep on ducking. Because when all is said and done, they're the only dirty ones.

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