I missed last night’s leader’s debate. Yes, I missed it by choice. No people who know how I am about these things, I’m not sick. I chose not to watch because I already knew what I was in for and decided to do more useful things with my time. I knew that none of the leaders would have anything new to say. Nothing interesting. Nothing I hadn’t heard before. I watch, listen to and read enough news that by this point I could probably have this debate in my head.
“No you suck!”
“Oh yeah? Well, you suck more!”
“Does all of this sucking do anything to benefit the nation of Quebec?”
“Tax cuts to large corporations! Blarf!”
“Raising corporate taxes will hurt the little people! You like hurting little people? Blarf!”
“Your lack of accountability hurts the little people!”
“It doesn’t matter, because you suck!”
And I think that about covers it.
But on the CBC news this morning I did hear one interesting line from Harper. I don’t have the quote in front of me, but it was something like the tone of this debate and all of these personal attacks do nothing for Canadians.
Wow Mr. Harper, those sure are some massive testicles you’re sporting, sir. Had my tea been ready, it would have found itself spit all over my radio. The guy who’s spent millions upon millions of dollars on commercials letting me know that Michael Ignatieff didn’t come back for me thinks he has the moral high ground on the issue of personal attacks? That’s rich! Nobody, and I mean nobody in the last several years has done more personal attacking than the Conservatives. their entire election strategy is built on exactly that. It’s all American style attack ads and fear politics, using the threat of a coalition that’s perfectly legal I might add to scare voters into giving them a majority government. Or maybe I should say it was their strategy, since Stephen Harper has just come out against his own methods.
All of this brings me to a question. If negative campaigning is suddenly bad, can I expect the Conservative party to cease it immediately? Will I never again hear the phrases “he didn’t come back for you” and “just visiting?” Will those ads be replaced by ones telling me what the Conservatives will do for me rather than ones about what the other guys can’t and won’t? And if I do see even one more attack ad, should I consider that another broken promise and a clear indication that the party is not to be trusted?
Ok campaign operatives who’s job it is to scour the internet for things just like this, ball’s in your court.