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Old 12-04-2011, 08:40 PM   #421 (permalink)

giant steps
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,190

a new low for the harper tories?

Van Loan’s defence of dirty tricks debases Tories and degrades democracy - The Globe and Mail

For a while now, there’s been a dirty-trick rumour in circulation: that organized callers have been phoning Liberal MP Irwin Cotler’s constituents, leaving the false impression he is leaving politics and they would need a new MP soon.

Eventually, Government House Leader Peter Van Loan admitted that this was being done on an organized basis by the Conservatives. A sad, cynical enough moment in Canadian politics. Then he took cynicism to a new, jaw dropping level.

No mumbling the normal apologies about “overzealous workers, blah, blah, blah, won’t happen again, etc.” Instead, Canadians were told that this kind of grime should be considered vital free speech – and must be protected, not prevented, by our laws. Efforts to rein it in would have worse consequences than letting it continue. This was the sound of a politician who had left home without an ethical or moral compass that morning.

That this episode risks disappearing under the waves of the next 50 news stories is not surprising. But the story deserves more oxygen, more time in the spotlight.
And this is wrong. Not clever, not amusing, not evidence of a more sophisticated political machine that works all the angles while others are asleep at the switch. Just wrong on every level.

That it might work is not an explanation of why it should be allowed – it's a great argument for why it shouldn’t. Mr. Van Loan’s position is the same as saying one shouldn’t outlaw lying because the next thing you know, someone will be trying to outlaw truth-telling. It’s insulting, it’s beneath this government, and I'm sure it is an embarrassment to many good people in the Conservative Party.
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