Yesterday, I mentioned a government ad that contained a line that seems to cross the line in terms of the neutrality required by gov't. The ad is contained in this news clip and the line is, 'but we have to stay on track'. That's a line of course that the Conservatives have been pushing for a while now.
What's galling about it to me is, that I don't believe for a minute that it was slipped in there not meant to be noticed. No, my sense is that they deliberately flout the rules because they know by the time it's challenged, it will have done it's work.
So it is with other ads I've seen. Watching Kory Teneycke squirm on CTV's Power Play yesterday when questioned about a new ad, was an indication that they are fully aware of the dishonesty they are putting in front of Canadians.
The ad in question is one where they use a quote made by Justin Trudeau, 2006, during the leadership convention. He was supporting Gerrard Kennedy at the time. He's asked about Ignatieff and explains why then, in 2006, he didn't support him. You can watch it here.
The Conservatives have taken that clip and put it out there as if Trudeau said it yesterday. Out of context. Teneycke actually goes on to say, that it's not taken out of context. Huh? Is it possible that the Conservatives don't understand what context is? No, but it is likely that they willfully pretend not to understand it.
That my friends is dishonest.
Do they stop there? No, of course not. In fact, all of the ads and vids, some of which even some Liberals seem to have fallen for, do precisely the same thing.
Take this gem, for instance. Would you like some context around that quote? It's from a presser that Ignatieff held after being chosen as interim leader. Here's the transcript.
Mr. Ignatieff. Roger Smith from ctv.>> Question: MR. Ignatieff, I guess the question on a lot of people's mind today is whether the coalition -- your MP's seem to be parroting your mantra, a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition. In practical terms, in this situion, with a non-confidence vote coming up in january, what does that mean?
The Hon. Michael Ignatieff:
Roger, that means that I told the caucus this morning very clearly I will vote - I am prepared to vote non-confidence in this government. And I am prepared to enter in to a coalition government with our partners if that is what the governor-general asks me to do. But I also made it clear to the caucus this morning that no party can have the confidence of the country if it decides to vote now against a budget that it hasn't even read. So the ball is in mr. Harper's court. And I'm delighted to hear that the caucus was disciplined.
So, in December and given all the nonsense that we knew the government had been involved in, Ignatieff said that he was prepared to lead a coalition if and only if, the GG asked him to.
Kinda changes the vid doesn't it? Again, context really is everything.
Then we have the talking points, that the Conservatives are putting out there. Not ads yet, maybe, but still dishonest. Here's a little myth busting:
MYTH: An election would imperil economic recovery.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says an election would "screw up" the fragile economic recovery.
But that's not the view on Bay St. There, it elicits laughter.
"You believe that?" blurted Avery Shenfeld, senior analyst at CIBC World Markets.
National political campaigns are not a cause for concern on Bay Street, he said.
"We don't typically see a lot of financial market or business response to Canadian elections," which, Shenfeld noted, "don't tend to be revolutionary."
MYTH: The Liberals will wrest power from the Conservatives by joining in a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois.
"If we do not win a majority, this country will have a Liberal government propped up by the socialists and the separatists," Harper told party faithful recently.
But Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who spurned the coalition idea after taking over last winter, continues to deny having any interest in it.
"Let me be very clear – the Liberal party would not agree to a coalition," he said yesterday.
MYTH: A Liberal proposal to make it easier for laid-off workers to obtain Employment Insurance would be irresponsibly costly.
The Liberals want to ease employment insurance rules to help laid-off workers who cannot qualify for EI payments.
Reducing eligibility to 360 hours of work would allow another 150,000 to qualify for jobless benefits, the Liberals say, at a cost of $1.5 billion.
But the Conservatives have ridiculed that estimate, saying it would run up Ottawa's EI bill by a massive $4 billion annually.
Arguing that this tally by cabinet minister Diane Finley was vastly exaggerated, the Liberals asked Kevin Page, the independent parliamentary budget officer, to analyze their proposal.
Yesterday, Page estimated the 360-hour standard would have a $1.1 billion annual price tag.
MYTH: An election will cheat Canadians out of their home renovation tax credit.
Harper and other Conservatives have raised the spectre that an election call could nullify the tax credit program for home renovations this year.
That's because the measure, though promoted widely, has yet to become law. Conservatives plan to introduce a ways and means motion soon for that purpose.
However, Liberals say they'll no longer support the minority government, meaning defeat of the Conservatives could come first.
Not to worry, Liberals say.
"We support the home renovation tax credit ... and will ensure Canadians are able to claim (it) in 2009 no matter what," spokesman Jean-François Del Torchio said.
So, bravo to the Star for holding the Conservatives to account. There was too little of that during the last election and I see this as an encouraging sign. Meaning, more rigour being employed, something I think we all benefit from.
Lastly, I leave you with an article published today that some on the Conservative side of the the blogosphere and twitter have mischaracterized, or simply once again don't understand context...accidentally on purpose.
Some of what is contained in the article, we've already debunked, but it's this line that has people on the right all excited:
However, when asked whether he excluded a coalition with the opposition parties if the result of an election were another Conservative minority, Ignatieff called it a hypothetical question he didn't "like."
You see, they interpret that to mean, that he didn't want to be clear...didn't like the question, is evading the question again, blah, blah, blah.
All I can say people is, lighten up and discover the joys of having a sense of humour. When you see the clip, it is clear that the hypothetical he doesn't like is the prospect of Harper holding yet another minority.
Who could blame him?