Monday, April 17, 2006

Drive by Smears

As fun as it is to see 60 comments in every leadership post I put up, one thing we've seen all too often this campaign on various blogs has been the "anonymous drive by smearing". You know the ones I'm talking about:

"I have a friend who has worked very closely with Martha Hall Findlay and he assures me that Martha is an ungodly horror to work with. She never flushes the toilet in public restrooms and gives out dental floss to kids at Halloween instead of candy.

Of course, the Anons who think they're really clever will try and peg it on another leadership camp:

"I have heard from people who know Martha Hall that she rips the wings off of pigeons in the park, so that she can watch them suffer. My candidate, Carolyn Bennett, would never ever do that and she is going to win on the first ballot!
-A well connected Ottawa Liberal"

So, as a public service announcement, ignore the trolls (except for "Toronto Liberal", who is, truth be told, pretty darn funny).


  • I think all the smears are coming from supporters of a certain candidate that are trying to devide the others and conquer on first ballot.

    Vive Cliffod Blais!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:13 a.m.  

  • I wonder if you will find me funny when I have a job in Joe Volpe's PMO and little punks like you have to come and beg me for a job.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:34 a.m.  

  • I take excpetion. As a conservative I support all of your candidates but don't like any of them.

    Horny Toad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 a.m.  

  • In case anyone missed this article by Paul Jackson in the Calgary Sun I just thought I would repost it here for your viewing pleaseure.

    Your welcome.

    Liberals who would be king are in for long wait


    The federal Liberals and their beleaguered party, which has had two less than sterling leaders of late in the ghostly forms of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin -- really do take the cake when it comes to chutzpah.

    Last weekend I decided to waste a bit of precious time scanning news reports as 13 or 16 -- take your pick-- hopefuls in the Liberal leadership race met in Edmonton.

    The likes of "acclaimed academic" Michael Ignatieff, former environment minister Stephane Dion, former public works minister and floor crosser Scott Brison, disastrous former New Democratic premier of Ontario Bob Rae, and others even less notable than this bunch.

    There were warbles the Liberals must start a process of renewal, and that process must start right here in Alberta.

    Well, that's OK, I suppose, except several candidates then spent a lot of time bashing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his supposed insidious vision of what Canada should be.

    But, hey, Harper is from Alberta, and one might bet many Albertans are mighty proud to have a prime minister from their province in Ottawa.

    So, why would these candidates come to Edmonton, talk about how essential it is to build support here, and then tear apart the prime minister for whom most of us voted and greatly admire?

    What a way to win friends and influence people.

    Ignatieff himself declared: "We've got to elect more Liberal members of Parliament in Alberta."

    Well, Michael, you can hardly elect fewer Liberal MPs from Alberta since you have not a single one here right now.

    Or didn't he know that?

    Didn't he know all 28 MPs from this province are Conservatives, and many were elected with tens of thousands more votes than their Liberal opponents.

    Later in the week, I saw Ignatieff on CTV Newsnet -- other than Fox News, the only TV channel I watch news coverage on -- and when asked why he was running for the leadership he replied: "Because I love my country and this is my home."

    Considering Ignatieff has spent little time in Canada during the past three decades -- except for the occasional long weekend visit so he doesn't entirely forget his roots -- this was a bit of a chuckle.

    Actually, this "acclaimed academic" and world traveller and commentator happens to be the best candidate in the race, which again doesn't say much for the others, but at least Ignatieff has his head screwed on properly.

    Backing the liberation of Iraq took some fortitude for a Liberal.

    Dion got into the act, condemning Harper's child care plan to give Canadian families $1,200 a year for each child they have under six years, saying: "I will not be the kind of prime minister who thinks child care can come to Canadians through the mail box."

    Now, Dion is another academic, and quite likable, but he seems to have forgotten the Liberal slur that supposedly irresponsible families would spend the $1,200 on "beer and popcorn" cost them an immense number of votes.

    Like Ignatieff, Dion is well-heeled, so he obviously can't imagine just how much of a relief, say, $300 a month, would be to the average working stiff with a wife and three kids.

    Recall those callous, arrogant and elitist types in Calgary who bristled when Premier Ralph Klein announced all Albertans would get a $400 prosperity cheque?

    Again, comments like this are not the way to win friends -- or votes.

    When it came to Brison's turn, he beamed and said: "There's a positive can-do attitude here in Alberta that I think the Liberal party of Canada needs to learn."

    There surely is a "positive can-do attitude" in Alberta, Scott, and it's the antithesis of everything for which you and your Liberal cronies stand.

    Rae's shortlived stint as Ontario premier was enveloped in chaos.

    Spending went haywire, so did taxes.

    The NDP's own constituency, Big Labour, even revolted.

    When questioned on this at the leadership forum, Rae bleated everyone knew it was difficult to govern in a recession.

    Yet surely difficult times demand leadership, and firm hands at the helm, to prevent a government from slipping into weakness and chaos.

    The good news here is I'm told memories of Rae's boondoggles are still vivid in Ontario and the last thing people there want is to see him is running the entire country.

    Friends, these people better get used to the idea Harper is in for the long haul.

    Our nation is in better hands with every passing day -- and policy implementation

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:34 a.m.  

  • All I can say is that the Calgary Sun drives me up the wall! Mr. Harper could run over a cat and that paper would PRAISE him with headlines like "PM takes up fight against dangerous strays!"


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:06 a.m.  

  • So the almighty Paul Jackson from the Calgary Sun isn't too impressed by the Liberal candidates. Well, that's nice. How about we take a journey down memory lane & look at those who ran for the CPC/CA leadership in recent years:

    Stockwell Day
    Stephen Harper
    Peter MacKay
    Tony Clement
    Belinda Stronach

    The Libs may be missing a heavy hitter in their lineup, but there are several leadership candidates who can talk circles (in both languages) around any of the above names.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:58 a.m.  

  • Who is this anony-mouse? He (she) is posting bile everywhere. Thanks for the funny by the way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 a.m.  

  • TO Mr Anonymous who posted the (entire) Calgary Sun article.. you should know that you're in potential Copyright violation for re-posting the entire article rather then a link or just an excerpt.

    2ndly, contrast Mr. Jackson's article to a much more reasoned one on the Liberal candidates from the Toronto Star's Carol Goar who says Liberals should stop being so critical of their candidates for their perceived faults and get on with electing whomever - nobody's perfect.

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 7:34 a.m.  

  • Amen, CG.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 8:21 a.m.  

  • I have more uses for toilet paper than the "Calgary Sun". Paul Jackson serves the same function as toilet paper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 a.m.  

  • sovereignity up at the top has it precisely backwards, I think: the drive-bys are an attempt to sway delegates on the second ballot, where delegates are (relatively) free to choose who they wish. It's extraordinarily unlikely that any candidate will win on the first ballot, so a good old Microsoft-style FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) campaign is the way to go.

    The same thing happenend with Kerry and Dean in the United States- the latter was the frontrunner until the powers-that-be in the DLC started running a campaign claiming that Dean's opposition to the Gulf War would cost him his seat, so instead the Dems chose the equivocating Kerry, who couldn't name a bad idea for what it was.

    By the by, there's nothing sadder than a Sun columnist. They can't write, they can't analyze, they can't critique, and they have no idea how lacking in ability they are. The only more pathetic creature is one who, like our anonymous friend, actually takes the Sun seriously.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 9:33 a.m.  

  • As for Goar's article... has everybody forgotten that Stephen Harper is PM today not because he was such an inspiring candidate, but because the Quebec Liberals had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar and because the Liberal party had been, to all intents and purposes, in the middle of a civil war?

    Lionizing the man who merely picked up the pieces may be popular, but it's still nonsensical.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 9:36 a.m.  

  • if by "hands in the cookie jar" you mean an elaborate kickback scheme, brown envelopes stuffed with cash and money laundering, then yes they did have their "hands in the cookie jar"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:42 a.m.  

  • This is not a smear. It raises a point.

    Ignatieff's comments on Alberta are interesting. In his Q &A in his U of O speech he said three times that Alberta was very well-governed and that it why people want to come here. I'm sure Kevin Taft liked that one. I guess he forgot to check in to see what was actually happening in Alberta. With all the money we have here, there are no schools in the suburbs and we still have numerous neglected public health issues.

    Igantieff has a long way to go on domestic issues.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 a.m.  

  • unfortunately, until December (and maybe afterwards) - drive-by smears are going to be the order of the day.

    its human nature that people in one camp do what they can to claw down the leadership hopeful of another camp.

    Enjoy them as windows into a petty soul because

    1) they won't go away
    2) likely don't reflect the feelings of most people in whatever camps these anonymouses come from.

    however, as Quebec's Harpermaniac, I must say to the anonymous who thinks any of your potential leaders will "run circles around" Harper - good luck with that.

    I would say you're better off just wanting to beat him - even if its close. That seems a tad more realistic than circle-running.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 10:25 a.m.  

  • I thought that was a weirdly emphatic statement too - doesn't he get his news from other sources?

    I may find the CBC plagued with liberals, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear how they tell the news.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 10:45 a.m.  

  • "I may find the CBC plagued with liberals..."

    Actually my friend Chucker, the CBC is not plagued with liberals, but with persons who can see both sides of a story. This is a problem Mr. Harper needs to work on. Rational though must be expunged!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 a.m.  

  • well, Pope, you should probably let the other side of the story decide if they're perspective is properly represented.

    I link to the CBC on my site because I support the CBC. That doesn't mean it wouldn't stand to have more of the "public" it purports to represent represented. A single conservative voice would be nice. On radio or TV. Just one. To balance out the Strombos, Tremontes, Enrights, Bronstetters.

    I like them all, don't get me wrong. But do I feel they represent my part of the Canadian public? No.

    ps. I am honoured to have the Pope address me.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 11:04 a.m.  






    By Blogger andrewridgeley, at 11:15 a.m.  

  • No kidding, eh CG?

    While my Manitoba PC leadership threads have developed the most comments, at least a half to two-thirds of them are of the trolling variety.

    Who actually thinks that this works?

    By Blogger The Hack, at 11:24 a.m.  

  • Mine, hopefully, is interpreted as the joke that it is.

    By Blogger andrewridgeley, at 11:28 a.m.  

  • A joke, maybe, but with a sliver of truth that is truly revealing. How many "joke" posts claim that "when so-and-so wins you'll be begiing' me for a job"? Isn't that interesting? It seems that many Liberals are mouthing words like "vision" and "rebuilding" but their first thoughts are about the trough and who will be in charge of the line-up to said trough. That's where Liberals need to look if you ever want to win again. Ideas and vision are just so much crap floating by if you guys are still a sewer of expected patronage.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:38 a.m.  

  • Pope,

    I'M a liberal and *I* think CBC is too slanted. They're not ludicrously liberal, but they don't see "both sides of a story" as you suggest.

    I like a liberal viewpoint, but not from news - I like my news the way I like my male corpse lovers - cold and hard.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 a.m.  

  • I'm glad anonymous posted the entire Jackson article here, as he has correctly concluded that anyone who would bother reading it would have the cognitive skills required to figure out out that whole "clicking on a link thing" works.

    Conservatives suck, by the way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 p.m.  

  • As somebody who has done some drive-by smears, I'd like to say a few things in response to Mr. Calgarygrit's attack on my daily activities. Firstly, I know he is very popular and charismatic, but I've heard he smells. Secondly, the times I professed to like him were fraudulent - fraudulent like his long golden locks. Cherniak in '06! Hoo yeah!

    Oh and I think the main cause for the increased smearing isn't from Liberals, but Conservatives. With Andrew Coyne on walkabout Tories have no online homeland (well there's freedominion but its more of a mental hospital), and are left to settle for taking potshots at the Liberal front-runner.

    Regarding Harper winning over Quebec: the scandal was in issue in both 2004 and 2006. While it may have made federalists receptive to an alternative voice, it is his vision of open federalism that won BACK traditional soft nationalist supporters of the party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 p.m.  

  • Far be it from me to try and contradict the Pope, but this: Actually my friend Chucker, the CBC is not plagued with liberals, but with persons who can see both sides of a story is more than a smidge silly. Are you saying that in his report on the Federal Accountability Act, Keith Boag was giving us the "other side" of the Act by going on a rant about Harper's so-called "war against the media"? Is that, uh, fair and balanced? Or, more plausibly, it is a case of the liberal boo-hoo-hoo's because Harper won't jump through their hoops like Martin did?

    By Blogger RGM, at 5:08 p.m.  

  • You don't have to be a liberal or a Liberal to dislike Harper and his cone of silence.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 9:29 p.m.  

  • One of the problems, CalGrit, might be that you're using the default Blogger commenting system. Perhaps switching to something like Haloscan, like high traffic blogs like Atrios' Eschaton or Digby's Hullabaloo use, might be a better choice. It doesn't invite anonymous commentating like the default blogger system does.

    (Barring that, you could simply turn off anonymous commenting. People could still use pseudonyms, but even that works wonders to enforce a level of consistency.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 p.m.  

  • Aww cerebrus, you think Conservatives feel that we need to have reporters hanging outside the doors of cabinet like groupies at a concert?

    Or that we think it doesn't make sense for Harper to control the flow the message that gets to the media, especially while his ministers are learning their files?

    Or that we really even question Harper treating the media like the enemy when we all tend to agree that the communist/pinkos with microphones..are the enemy?

    By Blogger Chris, at 12:00 a.m.  

  • "Communists"?

    Aside from everything else, does anybody else think that Chris wouldn't know a Communist if one pranced up to him in a CCCP jersey and started quoting Lenin to him in Russian?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:27 a.m.  

  • Curious, Does the prohibition against smears apply to Paul Jackson?
    I mean can I smear him. Please.
    I mean when someone discribed Paul Jackson as a profesional political writer I just about pissed myself laughing.
    Profesional, LOL
    Writer, ROTFLMAO
    Can I smear him please.
    As an aside.
    The Calgary Sun is probably the least right wing biased paper in Calgary.
    Mostly because I don't think Quebecor cares what they write as long as money is made.
    The Herald is way way worse

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 p.m.  

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