As we know, Stephen Harper has “apologized” for the ad, and the party’s official position has been to brush off “Poop-Gate” (as some have taken to calling it) as merely being the work of some over-zealous staffers, but according to CBC News, as reported on The National this evening, the highly interactive, craptacular notaleader website was intentionally designed to be “edgy” and “fun” in order to appeal to 20-somethings. So, by no means was this an accidental oversight — far from it. As shown in more detail in a previous post, it’s just the most egregious example of the defamatory slime being churned out by the Conservatives in order to appeal to jugend Stoßtruppen on the go.Yeah, but I'm not sure if we can really blame this one on the Americans. I'm still a young lad, so my memory admittedly doesn't stretch too far back, but I seem to remember some nasty, misleading ads in the previous election. And not all of them were products of the Right.
Of course, none of this should come as a surprise. Those of us who avidly follow the political scene south of the border are intimately familiar with this low style of campaigning where character assassination and personal destruction are pretty much the norm. While it’s quite natural that the Conservatives would readily adopt the same tactics employed by their Republican brethren (e.g., suggesting their opponents are anti-American, terrorist-loving, soft on crime, snooty elitists, etc.), it still comes as something of a shock that this poison has been injected into our political discourse. We expect this sort of thing coming from bloggers and other freelance cranks with keyboards, but when it’s authorized and approved by a political party… well then, maybe not so much.
Anyway, I'm much more concerned about this stupid diesel tax thing that the Tories are pushing. It's even worse than I concluded initially (with my cursory reading of the article and quick dismissal); all it is is a two cent drop in the excise tax on diesel fuel, which would save shippers roughly 1% of their transportation costs. Not only is it a cynical pander in the wrong direction, but it's also a joke! Anyone who thinks this pittance would actually translate into lower costs for consumers is a drooling moron.
Between this and the latest vile spewing from the McCain campaign down south, and the depressing results, I'm beginning to wonder if there's any hope left for our democracy.