Partisans posing as normal people

When a protest is a “protest”


Althia Raj traces the “protest” of an announcement by Justin Trudeau three weeks ago to the Prime Minister’s Office and some Conservative party interns.

The staged “protest” is not a particularly novel tactic and that this one was organized by Conservatives was theorized at the time, but it is useful to have such stuff explored and explained, even if only to convey the extent (or depths) to which those who manage political parties will go in pursuit of victory. In this case, that means the Prime Minister’s Office was so eager to make note that Mr. Trudeau opposes the government’s Senate reforms, that it was willing to risk being caught out as the organizers of the “protest” of an announcement about transparency around MP expenses at a time when the PMO itself is the subject of questions about a cheque to a sitting senator.

Of course, if the goal was merely to complicate Mr. Trudeau’s announcement and be pictured in the background of photos about that announcement, then the “protest” was a great success.

In any event, if the PMO would like to send Conservative intern by the Maclean’s bureau to wave a sign bearing the answers to these questions, I would be most appreciative.


Partisans posing as normal people

  1. My gawd, the Cons are really rattled by Justin!

    • We should just appoint Justin PM right now. Perhaps via a CBC online poll. That would be much more credible and reliable than any election result, given that our elections are now riddled with Conservative fraud tactics.

  2. Political party organizes fake protest is a colossal dog bites man story but our msm can be counted on to get their knickers in a twist on behalf of The Dauphin. I often think it is not ‘Ottawa bubble’ our journos suffer from, it is Liberal bubble they are inflicted with.

    It sounds like half assed attempt to disrupt Trudeau on one of his first days in his new job – is it really ever so shocking to discover that Cons are messing with The Dauphin?

    I wish more focus was put on the story I read a few weeks ago about PMO and their obsessiveness with fabric swatches for Laura Secord when filming 1812 ads. If PMO types have time to pick out fabric for actresses in tv ads then they surely have time to organize fake protests.

    • Wow, you’ll just excuse anything won’t you?

      • Wow, you’ll express faux outrage at anything, won’t you?

        • Why do you think it’s fake to be pissed at our tax dollars going towards trolling?

          • He’s one of the fake commenters here, likely paid by our tax dollars. He and his cohort are here to disrupt and distract from anyone who wants to discuss Conservative behaviour. To his credit: at least he doesn’t shriek as loud as some of them.

          • Yes, clearly I’m a “fake” person. Obviously I’m just a typing machine. Anybody who doesn’t agree with the Leftarded Group think must be “fake”. Maybe try coming up with an original idea for once in your intellectually bereft life.

          • You are a fake person, Onan, it’s been demonstrated and you’ve admitted as much. People gain – or lose – credibility to the extent that they are shown to be truthful over time. Everything about you, including your name, has been shown to be a lie.

            There are some credible partisans on this site but you are not one of them. I don’t imagine that you are getting paid for the idiotic crap you spew here but that has nothing to do with what you say about it.

          • Because it’s all in your imagination, like most things you’re “outraged” about.

          • Just like your ability to rely on research you never did to bolster your argument.
            You are a fake even though it may not be for the reasons mentioned above.

    • Afflicted with. Inflicted upon.

      Afflicted by the Liberal MSM for many years, Hester Eastman turned to the comment boards where he inflicted his views on others.

      • Too funny, thanks for laugh. I looked up inflicted/afflicted after I wrote it but was too lazy to edit.

    • Um, the PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE organizing a fake protest, certainly IS NOT routine!

  3. Notes for new hires:

    PPG = parliamentary press gallery

    PPI = potted plant intern

  4. I’m beginning to think the next election will be won by the team that scores the fewest ‘own goals.’ In this case, some ambitious young Conservative strikers just fired one into the back of their own net.

    Friendly suggestion to the CPC: stop trying so hard.

    • Sorry but you are mistaken. If this was CPC headquarters then sure… it is just the Conservative party. However…

  5. Hmm … $1700 a month to deflect attention from Senators with sticky fingers making ten times that. Do they not teach anything about business or economics in Poli-Sci these days?

  6. First off….I kind of resent the use of the word partisan as if negative. If I have a preference for a party and I show up to an event to ‘protest’, I have every right to do so. It’s my agenda at that point and mine to control. Volunteers for a party or paid staff of a party (paid for by the party, temporarily during an election or otherwise) showing up at another party’s rally/speech to protest is also just fine (provided they are disclosing who they are)…..and if they don’t disclose who they are? smarmy, but not a problem (a landmine though of bad PR if found out). BUT…..using staff from your office (in this case the PMO), not cool AND a misappropriation of funds given their role is to serve the PMO and expressly NOT the party.

    • Never mind the pittance these interns are paid, it’s their puppet masters in the PMO that make so much taxpayer’s money to scheme up these dirty tricks that Conservative MPs had to be mobilized to undermine Brent Rathgeber’s transparency bill in order to protect us from learning just how much.

    • But it is a negative term. By definition. It’s one thing to have a “preference” for or “tendency” towards any particular political party, but “partisan” implies blind adherence, unreasoning loyalty. That’s the actual dictionary definition. Partisans excuse and even defend obvious offenses and will not change their vote, regardless of their party’s performance.There is not one single issue in Canadian politics (not our voting system, not an unelected senate, not a unethical PMO, nothing) that does more to ensure poor government than voter partisanship–our own delusional and irrational refusal to hold government to account.

      Here’s a simple test.

      1) If you think the problem with the sponsorship scandal was just a few bureaucrats and not a festering Liberal culture of entitlement then you are likely a partisan.

      2) If you think it’s okay that the taxpayer funded Prime Minister’s Office is organizing fake protests against opposition leaders, digging up dirt on those opposition leaders and sending that dirt to media outlets insisting on remaining anonymous, then you are likely a partisan.

      3) If you find yourself shrugging off or defending the Conservative non-response and total lack of curiosity to the use of their party’s private and secure data base for election fraud then you are likely terminally partisan.

      • Sorry, by definition the term partisan does NOT mean blind adherance. People can be a partisan AND have enough personal integrity to say no when the thing they are devoted to lets them down.
        Also, just becuase someone is a partisan doesn’t mean they lose their right to protest or voice an opinion…..THAT is my issue with the way Mr. Wherry used the term.
        The issue is about actual paid staffers using time they should be spending serving the PMO instead, spending their time serving the party and in a deceptive way.

        • No, partisan does indeed imply blind allegiance. See dictionary definition in KeithBram’s post.

          But you are correct, people “can” be partisan AND have
          enough personal integrity to say no when the thing they are devoted to lets them down. But less likely. It’s simply a fact that once someone has allowed themselves to sink into partisanship, they are far less likely to value personal integrity over that partisan loyalty or to even be thinking clearly enough (in regards to political issues) to do so.

          Every Canadian would be better off individually, as would
          the country collectively, if we all resisted political party attempts at manipulating us into fawning, unquestioning partisanship. That does not suggest we shouldn’t get “involved” with politics or any specific party, or volunteer for a party, or donate to a party … it simply means keep your head clear, do not concede your capacity for reason or prostrate yourself to any political party or movement. Ever. THAT is what being partisan is.

          It should never feel like a personal failure nor should it
          ever be taken defensively that your preferred political party of the day has committed some offense. Or has performed badly. Or unethically. Or incompetently. That party is not you. You should never feel the need to defend, what in any other scenario would be to you indefensible, simply because it is a political party you supported. That is not keeping a government to account. The war is not left vs right, Conservative vs Liberal (or NDP or Green, etc), the war is ALL Canadians against corruption and poor government.

          Right now corruption and poor government is continuing to
          win and we are enabling it through partisanship.

          Today, the City of Calgary is receiving good government and
          reasonably low levels of corruption (not none, but low levels). I am hard pressed to find many other municipal, provincial or federal governments that could claim the same (Saskatchewan
          maybe?) But there’s a long list of poorly functioning, corrupt or incompetent governments, each of which has a disturbingly good sized group of blind partisan defenders.

          Partisan is a negative word. And a terrible state of mind.

      • Which dictionary?

        • Sorry guys, I go by Oxford which says….
          1a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person: partisans of the exiled Stuarts
          2a member of an armed group formed to fight secretly against an occupying force, in particular one operating in German-occupied Yugoslavia, Italy, and parts of eastern Europe in the Second World War: the partisans opened fire from the woods [as modifier]:it is not in the nature of partisan warfare to produce victory in the fieldadjective
          prejudiced in favour of a particular cause:newspapers have become increasingly partisan…
          BUT again, besides the point. A partisan has a right to say and protest whatever they want….a paid government staffer who is supposed to be serving the PMO and NOT the party cannot. It’s not about partisans, it’s about deception.

          • I will always support the Stuarts, no matter what names you call me.

    • Harper and his goons made those stories up. Liberals don’t do stuff like that. Wake up.

    • Got any sources that are not Blogspot rant sites with a clear axe to gind?

      • How would that be any different than this site?

    • We have had instances of some in the media crossing the line, and the LPC trying to play off that. How does that mute or make this story any less significant? Isn’t this worse if anything, considering it involves the incumbent govt further blurring the lines between offices that serve the Gotd and not exclusively the CPC? Or are you now suggesting there’s some unholy alliance between the victim in this case[Trudeau] the HP, and the LPC to throw more dirt on our glorious leader?
      You have a curious set of political biases there bud.

      • The CBC is like the PMO. Publicly funded and in the mandate of CBC News to be explicitly politically neutral and not to be partisan.

        If it’s wrong for the PMO to use Astroturf protesters, it’s equally wrong for CBC News to use partisan Liberals as independent “man on the street” Conservative critics while hiding their LPC allegiances.

        The fact that the man on the street was a CBC employee significant enough to become a key Ignatieff strategist, I have no doubt that whoever put that CBC report together knew exactly who he was & didn’t disclose it.

        • ” it’s equally wrong for CBC News to use partisan Liberals as independent “man on the street” Conservative critics”

          Except they didn’t. In the link you provided the only party being criticized is Ontario Liberal Government.

          Did you even visit your own link?

          • It may appear that way, but not quite. The feds had been responsible for securing and distributing the vaccine to the provinces. The overarching coverage over that period was perceived delays in the feds getting the vaccine distributed to the provinces, and the federal government was the one getting most of the flak in the press.

          • Right. The CBC’s story singling out the Ontario Liberals for criticism while sparing not a word for the Conservatives is just more evidence of their Liberal bias.
            Maybe that lawyer was really criticizing the Conservatives and the CBC edited their story to make it look like he was criticizing Liberals. Oh, the CBCs anti-Conservative bias knows no bounds!

        • I’m not arguing with you on that score.

    • Um, Ignatieff wasn’t on the CBC payroll when he was in the Liberal party. Rather big difference.

    • ho boy.
      SDA and Aardvark. Stephen Taylor’s Blogging Tories as a source of honest information… bwa ha ha

      • Can you actually challenge what they’re asserting? Or are you simply going to believe what you want to believe because you’re scared that John is right?

        • I’ve spent a lot of time reading the “posts” and the comments at both places and it closely resembles a hell I’d rather not spend too much time in in the future.
          But you are correct I shouldn’t base my weighting of any future posts at those locations upon what I have come across in the past, that’s wrong.
          Hmm I wonder if the sun will shine tomorrow based on the fact it did every day in the past?

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Please forgive NotRick. Usually when he says “stupid,” it’s a self-reference but he’s a little jetlagged, having just flown in from the “vast empty plains” of Fort Smith, Alberta.

        • Wait, you want us to take as gospel, the word of amateurs?

          • You take the Toronto Star at face value, why not some bloggers who’ve actually done research and have, you know, actual evidence.

            But I know, you’ll only believe someone who you know will confirm your pre-existing bias. You’re an intellectual giant like that.

          • How do you even know what I read?

            And in any event, why WOULDN’T I trust the word of a TRUSTED INVESTIGATIVE NEWSPAPER over a bunch of partisan hacks with no credentials?

          • Because you just described a bunch of partisan hacks as a “trusted investigative newspaper”. So blind to your own hypocrisy. Does it hurt?

    • Oh you don’t get it John. Only Conservative’s are “partisan” or “ideological”. Those terms are never applied to Liberals or Dippers. In the Liberals case, I guess they can’t be called ideologues because they stand for nothing. But the Dippers don’t have the same problem.

      • All parties are prone to this disease, I’ll not differentiate between them on that. It’s just the constant war footing that the Cons have run under that makes seeing them be hoist by their own petard so exquisitely joyous.
        I know that makes me shallow, still it’s nice to see the Cons get some of their own medicine.

      • I don’t recall Libs or the NDP using the Prime Minister’s Office to troll people.

        • That’s because you don’t want to remember. Maybe ask Trust Fund Trudeau about his massive army of astroturf commenters he’s hired? Half of his Twitter followers are fake accounts. Funny that, huh?

          • Show me when another party has used the PMO like this. With evidence.

          • The Gomery report did identify the PMO as being instrumental in the Advertising scandal and in the spat that ensued both the Chretien PMO and Martin’s shadow PMO trolled many a story around the various news agencies. That of course was internecine strife but was still not the proper use of the PMO..

          • By staging fake protests at opposition news conferences?

          • Planting false stories and conducting partisan business is the misuse of the PMO in the examples I gave, Harper’s just found another way of misusing the PMO but it’s all for party purposes and infighting.
            Parties are inherently corrupt and will cheat the taxpayer at every turn, That’s why there are no independents in the House or Senate, they scare the trained seals.

          • Sure, no problem. Susan Delacourt recounted a long story of Chretien’s PMO doing the same thing. I’m sure you’ll agree, Delacourt is no friend of the current government.

            Paul Martin’s PMO, thug that he was, was likely no different.

          • And you would have evidence for this or is this yet another daring piece of Omen research that exists in your wishes only?

  7. Seem to recall a gaggle of paid CPC/PMO “protesters” outside the GG’s res when Harper was about to go down the tubes on a confidence vote and he was begging the GG to let him prorogue the house to avoid the loss. Big mistake on the part of the GG letting him off like that.

    • Harper and his goons probably threatened the GG with physical violence, or perhaps blackmail or extortion. The PMO is very devious. People need to know about this.

      • No.

      • Hello Citizen!

        You should be more careful what you post, as I’m sure the PMO can see through whatever pseudonym you are using, and have likely already been alerted to your crime.

        Have a nice day, citizen!

        EDIT: Well, Citizen, it seems your sarcasm was lost on me at first. I see what you are doing here. Carry on, good Citizen.

        • I live in fear of the PMO’s baleful influence every moment of every day. So should any well-informed citizen who is awake to the massive tyranny and threat to our democratic way of life that Harper represents.

          • Yes, everyone should be terrified. Only a failed substitute teacher can save us now with his glorious hair!

          • Substitute teach is hard dangerous work.

          • Between a teacher and a mail boy I’ll take the teacher every time, but then, I don’t fear educated people like the Harper Cons do.

          • That’s so true! I was takling to a conservative the other day, and a really educated person walked into the room, and the conservative instantly ran away screaming in fear. It was really disturbing. What do conservatives have against education, anyway?

          • They fear the unknown.

          • I agree. I’ve also heard that conservatives are so afraid of education, that across this country, conservative parents are just pulling their children out of school en masse, as they prefer to have their children not graduate from high school even. Isn’t that just awful? And nobody is really reporting on this in the mainstream media, because the mainstream media is dominated by corporations who are in bed with the Conservatives and want us all to remain ignorant and buy more stuff.

          • Just like your parents did. How’s that working out for ya?

          • That’s nothing. I was talking to a lieberal the other day when a dipper tried to save a whale with a petition. Suddenly a fresh-faced young conservative bumped up against me. Strangely, when I checked my wallet…IT WAS GONE!

            Moral is: Lieberals talk, Dippers hand out pens.

  8. How could a person with any self respect allow themselves to be used like that. They are not even mercenaries, they’re working for free? But how could they think this would contribute to democracy or to Canada? Intellectual child soldiers.

    • Now, now .. the poor dears are working on securing their future.
      The brightest lights will go on to an internship with one of the big
      boys .. AEI, Heritage, Heartland, Manhattan, Whatever … and come
      back to churn out the fundamentals of feudalism at one of the many
      income-support programs .. NCC, CTF, Frontier, Manning, Whatever ..
      that the “small contributor” clan operates for the Cause.
      Who knows, there may well be a Donner Prize SuperDooper Star
      among them. Glory, yes.

      • career counsel much?

      • Hey, it’s a better landing than being homeless and bankrupt like most Liberal interns.

        • Cite your source.

          • Your mom.

          • Is your mom still working the street?

        • Indeed. The strets of Toronto are LITTERED with FILTHY LIEBERAL homeless interns. They wave their pathetic, frayed red ties and soiled ADSCAM flags as they pitifully seek donations to ‘La Causa’. You try to give them a buck and a quarter for a cup o’ Tim’s but they DEMAND a fin for a ‘latte’, whatever that is.

    • Isn’t that the point of hiring ambitious and very young people — they work late and do what they’re told!

      This is just becoming laughable — and so far, only Hester/Tony has showed up here to defend, but hang on: a deluge of fake commenters will arrive soon. Can’t take them seriously either.

      Curious to know: to what depths will the PMO sink to show its fake support? Maybe send interns to First Nations blockades this summer?

      This is adding up to be the biggest fake government in our history — even harper in his fake Forces jacket (“to pay tribute to the forces” ).

      • Not a chance. Most of the FN’s people i know aren’t particularly PC – it’s part of their enduring charm and essential honesty. Turn up on most reserves or major protest as a fake protester and you seriously risk getting a pounding.

        • Idle no more: one pounding at a time.

        • That’s great that you consider generational racism to be “enduring charm and essential honesty”. You shouldn’t be encouraging racism.

          • Then why do you attack Idle No More as a bunch of dumb losers, on this very page?

          • You can be racist and a dumb loser at the same time. Look at kcm2.

          • NotRick Omen calling someone else “racist”!
            Classic Projection.(That deleted comment was NotRick suggesting that Rob Ford’s crack smoking had earned him the “black vote”.)

          • Or Harper for that matter,

          • “Generational racism” is supposed to mean what exactly in this context? Even when you are being offensive you fail to hit the target. I don’t think there’s anything you or i could teach FN’s in this country about racism. They’ve read that book cover to cover; know it by heart in fact.

      • a deluge of fake commenters will arrive soon

        says the guy with 4 “Guest Votes” up-voting his nonsensical comment. Ya, everybody who doesn’t agree with you must be a “fake”. Keep telling yourself that and you’ll soon be surrounded by fakes.

        • The only fake commenters are conservatives. Everybody knows that. The Liberals and NDP would never stoop to such tactics, ever. The Liberals and NDP are ethically beyond reproach. The conservatives, on the other hand, are despicable.

          • You should spell your new fake name “hypocrites,” Bean.

          • Seeing as you now seem to have a problem with progressive, pro-Liberal posts, I can only assume that you have flipped and have turned into a paid stooge of the PMO. This is sad, because I seem to recall that you were once progressive. What happened?

          • The bastards wore me down, Hippo!

          • No of course not. The fact that over 50% of Trust Fund Trudeau’s Twitter followers are fake accounts is obviously evidence of how honest and open and transparent he is. Obviously. And the NDP would never ever issue talking points to their Unionized benefactors, would they? No, no. Of course not.

            Conservatives are evil. Everyone else just farts fairy dust.

          • Not true. Once posted a comment on a recipe site. Something about adjusting the salt. The minute it was posted hordes of LIEBERAL flying monkeys pounded it with venal smears. They were literally POUNDING SALT!

            Standing tough, though.

    • I’ve had summer jobs that paid a lot less. let’s see: haul garbage and mow lawns or be “used” holding a cardboard sign while making connections within a group who might pay me six figures in a couple of years if I play ball?

    • Anything that stops Trust Fund Trudeau is a great contribution to Canadian democracy. Trudeau’s a reckless child who simply wants power for the sake of itself. And probably to promote future speaking gigs. Send the kid back to high school where he belongs.

      • Then why is Harper the one who can’t stop campaigning?

      • Don’t you think people are getting sick and tired of these vicious, hateful, personal attacks? It’s pretty well accepted that people don’t get to pick their parents and the inheritance they get from them. Are you guys planning to run ads about this Trust Fund? Or Maggie?

  9. I’m willing to believe that just about every pmo that comes down the pike has its share of those who’re willingly to stuff every square inch of their brain pans with party bilge, in order that they might one day get to kiss the arse…er ring of the king – whoever that king might be at the time. The question that always occurs and reoccurs to myself with this govt is, where is the adult supervision? There simply is none; it’s over the top and guts, glory and god bless king Steve in every case. It’s like watching one of those videos of a wolf pack eating something while it’s still alive. It’s fascinating but ultimately nauseating if you watch too much of it. But you can’t blame the wolves, they’re conditioned to behave that way. The uber- partisan has a choice now – doesn’t he/she?

  10. This is such a non story. Half the protests going are fake. Occupy? Paid for by a rich American Foundation. Genuine movements have genuine guts behind them, not Foundation money or NGO activism.

    • No, Occupy was grassroots. You’re thinking of the Tea Party.

      And besides, how many fake protests are being funded and organized BY THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE just for trolling?

      • Exactly. Every single person who makes a pro-Conservative post on the internet is now a paid shill for the PMO. The only real people posting on internet comment boards are real people who support progressive parties like the Liberals, NDP and Greens.

        • Ladies and gentleman, you’re ‘progresssive LEFT? They cant even spel! LOOSERS! Conservatives have proven time and time to be principkled stwerds of our FINANCES!

          OK, the ‘parody’ is getting tired. Time to CEASE and DESIST! Forthwith. My apologies to all.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Cite your sources. Any of them.


            There’s several thousand e-mails there that show quite a clear picture that OWS was no “grass roots” organization. Does a “grass roots” organization keep an office at 60 Wall St? Seems like that’d be pretty bloody expensive for a bunch of bums and violent crooks.

  11. The PMO: a bunch of toddlers, running with scissors.

    • Call in Justin Trudeau. I’ve heard he’s got several weeks experience dealing with children in a class room. He might even be able to explain why running with scissors is bad idea without putting his foot in his mouth.

      • Calling in Justin Trudeau to run the PMO is the best idea you’ve ever produced on these boards. I’m pretty sure the electorate will take that suggestion, as soon as they get the opportunity.

        Thanks for contributing!

        • Oh I’m sure everyone in Quebec will think he’s just swell. The RoC, not so much. Who’d elect a guy who’s greatest achievement in life is getting a million dollar trust fund from his daddy?

          • Justin will be elected in a landslide. The only thing that could possibly prevent this would be Conservative electoral fraud and perfidy. The Conservatives will stop at nothing to prevent the true will of the people, because all conservatives hate democracy and love dictatorship.

          • So you’re already claiming the other side is cheating before you’ve even lost? Ha!!! Trust Fund Trudeau is completely unelectable West of Toronto. He’ll be lucky if he finishes in 2nd place. But lucky for him he’s got that million dollar oil-financed trust fund to fall back on when the Liberals give him the boot and realizes that the market for failed teacher-turned public speaker – turned politician – turned loser public speaker again – won’t pay what it once did.

          • I guess you have been looking at any polls recently.

          • No, it’s summer in Canada, and I have a life. I’m not staring at polls. You should try going outside sometime, it’s nice.

          • I’ve been outside – just mowed the lawn, actually – and been following the polls, too. See, unlike Cons, my brain can entertain more than one idea at a time.

          • Don’t give away too much about your upcoming campaign.

  12. The title of the article brilliantly describes Aaron Wherry.

  13. so be it…one would have expected a higher standard of tutorial for these malable interns from the PMO or given the current view of the CPC they got the best they could expect!

  14. Canadian political history is rife with this sort of thing including fistfights.