31 August 2015

#29 If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...

You always know that someone has policy content and substance that they would like to discuss with you when they focus instead on attacking their opponents. Not for what they have done or the ideas they have put forth, but for their perceived weaknesses or for the things you think you can spin into weaknesses. When your pockets are deep, you can hammer away at the message until a few more people believe it.

This wasn't how politics in Canada used to work. Time and electronic media have gradually worn away the substance of the debates, yes, but it took someone mean-spirited and possibly influenced by the tenor of election campaigns south of the border, perhaps, to make things mean and nasty.

I will be the last person to defend the leadership of Justin Trudeau, but I would prefer to think that I have reasons more than the superficial for not liking him or his style or the substance of his policies and his advisors. His hair? His relative youth? Not particularly pertinent in the debate.

The barrage of attacks against his two predecessors in the Liberal Party were similarly simplistic and irrelevant to the public debate. Unfortunately, they seem to have worked and the Conservative Party is pursuing the strategy with gusto. It is kind of fun to see the Liberals shoot back at some of them with a comic mocking of the Prime Minister in a similar style, but that would be better if it actually put an end to the practice instead of leading everyone down that road.

Further reading here

I violate rights
but he's “soft on terror” and
his hair is too nice

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