And what have we learned?


Bruce Anderson considers the Speaker’s ruling and the campaign against Irwin Cotler.

Does the leadership of the Conservative Party interpret the ruling as carte blanche to do more of this kind of “wet-work”? If this tactic were carried out on a broader scale, would anyone really think it is nothing more than sporting politics? (As an aside, do we really think the Speaker would have arrived at the same decision if the tactic was used against 50 or 100 opposition MPs?)

Do other leading Conservatives share the views of Government House Leader Peter Van Loan, who said that the calls made into Mr. Cotler’s riding were vital free speech and a sign of good health in our democracy? If Mr. Van Loan truly is speaking for cabinet… well, that would be kind of frightening. If not, he should seek an opportunity to step back from that argument and acknowledge that a line was crossed.


And what have we learned?

  1. step back from that argument and acknowledge that a line was crossed.
     Like Tony Clement? Peter MacKay? Bev Oda?

    Pffffft! Dream on.

  2. “wet work”…that sounds like a black ops or KGB operation?

    Do political party war rooms really think in such terms?

    Disgusting when you really think about it.

  3. I look at it this way… if the Conservatives employ that tactic in 50-100 ridings, it will backfire. In fact, I think the risk of it backfiring (like it did in the Cotler case) will make the Conservatives think twice.  But, if they do employ that tactic and it actually works — that is to say, if the Conservatives aren’t punished at the polls for such a campaign of blatant misinformation — well, then, our society is really slacking off on its democratic responsibilities. 
    I like free speech, too; you’re free to shoot yourself in the foot. I think the Conservatives would be doing just that if they proceed down this path.

    • “well, then, our society is really slacking off on its democratic responsibilities.”

      Why? Is it not possible that even taking this into consideration that voters still believe the Tories are their preferred option? Kind of like how many Liberal voters were disgusted with the Sponsorship shenanigans in 2004 and 2006 but still voted Liberal anyway.  

      And I do enjoy listening to everyone pretending to be shocked and appalled about these tactics. Politicians have been having whisper campaigns conducted against them (and for them) since politics began. It is not uncommon to see such things on these internet comment boards. The only difference seems to be that Kouvalis’ company uses a telephone. Forgive me if I don’t think there’s that much of a difference.

      • Poor example… the Liberals are nearly dead as a party, due to the Sponsorship scandal. That’s what sent the party into a tailspin.

        • No. They’re dead as a party because they have been progressively getting wiped out in Ontario which has had alot more to do with the Conservatives winning back GTA voters and the Liberals largely sitting by watching it happen while offering no compelling reason to vote for them.

          Maybe the scandal had something to do with those voters taking a look at the Conservatives back in 2004 and 2006 but it’s laughable to think that it had anything to do with 2011 (especially in suburban Toronto where the sponsorship scandal had a minimal effect in 2006). 

          • Libs aren’t dead anymore than Cons were when they went to 2 seats.

          • Except the 2 Con seats moment has a giant asterisk associated with it. There were 54 Reform MPs that were decidedly conservative and some Bloc MPs sitting in the few nominally conservative seats in Quebec. To become competitive again for government all the conservatives had to do was kiss and make up.

          • @Shoulder Shrugger@62da7cdbf9f4072f8b935b5452c8d5b6:disqus 

            Reform wasn’t remotely conservative.

            I was PC for 30 years, and later joined Reform….2 entirely different entities.

          • Sorry, let me rephrase. Take the sponsorship scandal out of the equation… Would the Liberals be in the state they are in now? Maybe, but it was that scandal that made many kick the Conservative tires (myself included). Would that have happened without the sponsorship scandal? Maybe, but I doubt it.

            But I’ll go back to my original point. I can’t imagine why the Conservatives would want to replicate the Cotler strategy, because the chance of a backfire would outweigh the potential benefits — that stuff has a tendency to turn folks off.

          • On your original point do you actually have any evidence that this has actually has backfired? Lots of stuff that turns people off is actually pretty effective.

  4. More Macleans’ MAAN.

  5. Its hard, for me, differentiate between facts and fiction(opinions) in some cases.

    Just an opinion.

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