Saturday, September 20, 2008

Could We All Stop Letting the Tories Screw With Our Heads?

For the last two years the Tories have been spending millions on discrediting Liberal leader Stephane Dion. There was TV ad after TV ad. There were pamphlets. Lately there was a sea of single page flyers. (I once got four in one day.) They ridiculed Dion, made him out to be a wimp, and questioned his leadership ability. They said the Green Shift plan would destroy the economy.

It's no wonder that they had effect. A good PR firm and millions of dollars can change perceptions. Even many Liberals bought into it.

We have to set up some defences against their propaganda. We have to stop letting them mess with us.

Lately, Conservative brass are apparently spreading false rumors that Liberal leadership contenders "have their knives out" for Stephane Dion. They have even provided false quotes that were supposed to have come from Rae and Ignatieff. Despite denials and the obvious goodwill of top Liberals in working with Dion, you see hundreds of comments in newspapers and blogs repeating the rumors as fact.

During the Liberal leadership campaign, the Conservative party interfered in the Liberal party selection process. Tory campaign chair Doug Finley wrote a fake Conservative party memo saying Tories were most afraid of Michael Ignatieff as Liberal leader (and least afraid of Bob Rae) and then "leaked" it to English and French newspapers. Minutes after Rae was knocked out of the leadership race, Tory MP James Moore boasted that he and other Conservatives had handed out buttons at the convention saying "Make Bob the first NDP prime minister" and "Vote Bob. Who needs Ontario?" Conservatives boasted that they knew Rae was the biggest threat and so they made sure he didn't win.

I'm not bringing this up to open up the last leadership race - it's over. But we can't just let this crap go by - when we don't stand up to the lies they stick. I read a comment to a newspaper article today in which someone cited that fake memo (not remembering it was fake) as evidence that Bob Rae would be an unsuccessful Liberal leader.

Most Conservatives are decent people with integrity, but the current party brass is a really nasty lot. They'll keep on with their lies and dirty tricks until we stop them. We need a plan to respond to Tory attacks and nip them in the bud. The Tories have been in campaign mode for the whole 22 months they were in power, while we were apparently not even preparing for a campaign. We definitely weren't fighting back. It's amazing we're doing as well in the polls as we are.


Anonymous said...

The worst part is that they'll be unstoppable until the left gets its act together and unifies its vote.

Anonymous said...

If Tories learned how to be nasty campaigners, its because Liberals were good teachers.

wilson said...

I know, it's just 'not fair'.
But that ad the Libs are running, blaming the government for the deaths of 18 Canadians, is oh so fair, right.

Surely the Conservatives should have been in there deep cleaning a meat slicer themselves! knowing it had meat rotting in it for 11 years!!

Yappa said...

Hi Wilson -

Your assumption that Tory policy and practices had nothing to do with the listeriosis deaths is incorrect.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) lays the blame right at their feet, saying "this outbreak was 100% avoidable and unnecessary" and was brought about by lax standards and a decision to transfer inspection duties to the industry. Further, they say that listeriosis "may be the least of it." The government has also handed self-inspection to the operators of animal feed mills and cut back on avian flu preparedness. The CMAJ says, "Listeriosis pales in comparison. Overall, it would seem that, as a country, Canada is far less prepared now for epidemics than in the past." They are calling for a full scale public inquiry.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada issued a strongly-worded statement about the way the Harper government handled the crisis, saying "Minister Ritz has repeatedly disappointed the professional scientists and inspectors who work for him during the listeria crisis. The comments he apologized for (Wednesday) are the last straw. Crisis requires real leadership and Mr. Ritz is clearly not fit to lead."

Of course the Liberals need to make food safety a public issue in this election, and they need to slam government policies in this regard. We're all at risk because of an anti-regulatory ideology that has done so much damage in only 22 months and with only a minority.

Anonymous said...

Just look at your headline! What a message. Our heads are screwed without any help from the Conservatives; they are not Tories, let's at least get that straight! These people are very happy when they read such handwringing. They are also quite gleeful, knowing full well that those in the majority in this country will vote three ways. Period. In Quebec, it is four. This is a fact. It happens. The record proves this.

When people get this, the Liberals will win a majority.

If people don't get it, the Liberals will either be the largest of four, or more likely three, opposition parties. Or, they will squeak by with a minority, in which case, every plank, every single plank in their platform, will be an uphill battle. That is a fact.

All evidence supports this. Just look at past results and add and subtract. As a former NDP'er, from a long line of such thinking, I switched to Liberal two years ago firmly, never looking back. On top of this argument based on simple math, I detest Jack Layton and his sidling up to these Conservatives. These people want to unmake Canada. Even past PC's are upset with this.

As Canadians, we have only one choice and that is Liberal. They are positioned centre-left for a reason. That is where the majority sits. We have to share this space with people who disagree with us. In the centre-left, you will find former PC'ers, Liberals, NDP'ers who get reality and Greens who understand this is not the time for a new party to build itself. All together. The platform has to speak to all of them at once. It won't please everyone. It will please most of us in some way.

When you sit at the table with your family to eat, you eat together and share the food. Otherwise you gorge yourself and someone doesn't get their share.

Saying all of this doesn't even begin to speak to the fact, the simple fact, that even giving the Liberals a majority is not good enough. Do you really think those who oppose their platform will just sit down and accept this after the election. This fight is just beginning. If we lose this election, it will be over before it started. Get that voters! Please. You want it, you better stop crying and start fighting for it. I know I am.

Centre-Left voters in Canada, I know this, you don't want to hear this or face this. You would rather get mad at me than deal with this reality. The Conservatives have no problem facing this. They love it. Combine that with their attack ads and they basically just ride out these last weeks without doing anything. They get away with it. They love our arguing, our divisions. This is great for them. They can even manipulate it, make it worse, can't they? We fall for it, because we don't want to see it. That is the difference between voters, most of them, and these Conservatives.