It’s an ugly bit of business.
I have no problem with tough fights and bitter political battles. I expect the federal Conservatives to go for the throat against their Liberal rivals, and the Liberals would be stupid not to do the same. I don’t have an issue with attack ads.
I do have an issue, though, with lying and theft.
A Tory spokesperson defends using a quote out of context in a TV ad, using semantics to obfuscate the shady practice: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Conservatives+take+Trudeau+brand+first+volley+attack/8245507/story.html
Airing footage in which Trudeau says as a Quebecker he’s better than other Canadians is extremely prejudicial. Whether or not the Conservatives think Trudeau was expressing his personal beliefs, it’s fundamentally dishonest presenting that footage without including the 10 seconds that preceded it – 10 seconds in which Justin said it was his father’s philosophy, passed on to them, that Quebeckers are better, etc.
It’s not clear whether Trudeau agreed with his father or not. Does ‘passed on' mean embraced or simply listened? But a scenario in which Justin paraphrases his father is an entirely different from one in which a PM-hopeful appears to expressly state the superiority of one province over another.
There’s no nice way to spin this: The ad is a lie, and our local MP, Scott Armstrong, is a member of the party disseminating that falsehood.
Unfortunately, Armstrong’s involvement in my second concern may be far larger: allegedly Conservative MPs will be using tax-payer funded mail outs to spread partisan messages about Trudeau (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/conservative-mps-urged-to-send-out-anti-trudeau-flyers-at-taxpayer-expense/article11528925/)
This is absolutely unacceptable. Stealing is still stealing even if the theft is just of paper, ink and postal services. MPs are not given free postal privileges to serve their own careers or the fortunes of their parties. These mail outs are already used to spread party propaganda, of course, but explicitly criticizing a political opponent is a tactic worthy of the worst tin pot regimes.
Two questions: Are the allegations true; does the mail out contain attacks on Trudeau? And will our MP, Armstrong, be party to this misuse of public funds?
You’ll know the answer when you get one, or don’t, in your mailbox.