One thing that has become quite apparent about living in the United States is how different the tone of the political campaigns are. Being in Seattle during the country’s presidential election has given me a first hand-look at the rhetoric I had only before experienced second-hand.
Now I find myself watching the Canadian election second-hand at the same time as the Obama vs. McCain American election. The experience is surreal, and I have decided to keep track of some of the ways Canadian politicians insult one another as gleaned from the scant coverage I get.
- October 10, 2008:
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper suddenly spends $25-billion to ease pressure on Canadian banks. It is not a bailout, he claimed.
- October 9, 2008:
- CTV airs embarrassing footage of Liberal leader Stephane Dion stumbling a question about leadership and the economy; the footage quickly becomes fodder for the Conservatives
- October 7, 2008:
- Supporters of some Liberal Toronto candidates are being threatened and harassed with phone calls and vandalism; some have even had their car brake cables and phone lines cut
- September 30, 2008:
- A Harper speech urging Canadians to send troops to Iraq was directly copied from a speech by the Australian prime minister. The plagiarist has resigned, but the Conservative’s foreign policy integrity is being questioned
- September 19 – 29, 2008:
- Various resignations from candidates caught doing silly things in the past (I debate stopping this post for lack of anything interesting)
- September 18, 2008:
- The Prime Minister stands by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz despite Ritz’s joke about the food-related death of 17 Canadians and his hope that an opposition member was one of the dead
- After a government staffer insinuated aboriginal protesters were drunks, the Conservatives issue an apology
- September 17, 2008:
- A founder of the Marijuana Party of Canada has resigned as a Vancouver NDP candidate over questions about his role in selling coca plants
- September 12, 2008:
- Failing to block the Green Party leader from the debate, the Canadian broadcasters schedule the leader’s English debate for the exact same night as Sarah Palin debates Joe Biden in the American election
- September 10, 2008:
- The “progressive” Bloc Québécois separatist party is called a clone of the left-wing New Democratic Party
- September 9, 2008:
- The governing Conservative party creates an ad showing a bird pooping on the shoulder of the Opposition leader, a Liberal
Yes, the title should probably read “Canadian political defamation” because the items cover both libel and slander, but since these won’t be legal defamations I felt okay about referencing the more conversational term “slander.”