These nimble fingered anti-Bobbites who seem always poised to complain about him as soon as an article is published, who are they? There are some common characteristics: they get their comments at the top (the Globe shows earliest comments first), often within a few minutes of publication. They write very brief comments; you might almost call them sound bites. And they generally do not directly relate to the article (for example, nothing in the article had to do with Bob Rae being in touch or having an ego).
I think it's reasonable to assume that they're paid Conservative operatives, working to (1) interfere with our leadership selection process and (2) begin the process of undermining the next leader. It is really unfortunate that the current Conservative party has no scruples and no respect for democracy. They seem to have adopted the Nixon playbook of Dirty Tricks. The MP boasting (below) about keeping Bob Rae from becoming our leader in the last leadership race is now Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages.
Here is what they admitted to doing last time:
Delighted Tories claim victory with Rae loss
December 2, 2006 at 4:10 PM EST
MONTREAL — A gaggle of beaming Conservative operatives waited mere minutes after Bob Rae was knocked out of the Liberal leadership race before boasting about the role they played in the former Ontario premier's defeat.
Just seconds after Mr. Rae was knocked out, a prominent Tory MP wandering the convention floor pulled out a handful of buttons mocking Mr. Rae and winked mischievously.
“There's a reason we handed out so many of these,” said B.C. MP James Moore, pointing to buttons that ridiculed Mr. Rae's track record as Ontario premier.
“They (Liberals) don't know how to play poker. . . The NDP is also feeling happy right now.”
In recent months some leading Tories admitted privately that Mr. Rae was the Liberal candidate they feared the most.
Their admissions became public the instant Rae was eliminated from the race.
One Tory operative described how a handful of government supporters proliferated at Liberal parties throughout Montreal on Friday evening and handed out anti-Rae buttons.
“Make Bob the first NDP prime minister,” one button said.
Another button aimed at underlining Mr. Rae's tumultuous time in Ontario said: “Vote Bob. Who needs Ontario?”
The party made similar buttons for all the other candidates — but it was mainly for show. Rae was their main target, said a government official.
“There were hundreds of Liberals wearing those (Rae) buttons when they went to vote today,” he said.
“It was great to watch.”
One Conservative aide took pride in pointing out that his party fabricated an internal party memo suggesting their troops were most afraid of Michael Ignatieff — and most anxious to face Mr. Rae.
The ersatz memo was leaked to a pair of English- and French-language newspapers and ran under headlines that cast it as a behind-the-scenes peek at Tory strategy.
The name of Tory campaign chair Doug Finley, the supposed author of the memo, was stamped on the document as an afterthought.
The Tories then made arrangements to get the memo leaked through a third party to English and French newspapers, Tory sources said.