DO YOU LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE?

I have heard some say that the attacks on the activities of senior federal Liberal executive Mike Klander are unwarranted and are beyond the bounds of a fair campaign. It seems that many feel they fall into the ‘negative campaign’ mold. I have a few things that I would like to say in defense of the decision to run with that story on my site and my justification for doing so.

The Liberal Party is back peddling on this explosive issue fast enough to back a canoe up Niagara Falls. They are pulling out all the stops to make it appear as if it never happened and I’ll tell you why that is so important to them in an upcoming paragraph. The links that I had to Mr. Klander’s webpage in my Tuesday story have already been changed. The reason? Google.ca has already flushed the cached pages of that site. This is not a normal activity. I can still access what my homepage looked like in July, but Mike’s cached pages from last week are already defunct. You need to pull some strings to make those go away.

Any searches on Google for Mike’s blog come up clear, another very suspicious development. So much for freedom of speech in Canada. Added to the disappearing references, you can add the fact that my site went offline tonight with no explanation from my Internet provider.

Back to the issue at hand.

For the record, I have never attacked Mr. Klander. I simply reprinted what he himself had to say. While he claims that his site is private, that is hogwash. He is linked to from Liberal member Chris Wakelin’s blog, and that is listed for all to see on some very prominent blog lists. If he had have wanted to keep his site amongst friends, then he should have told his good friend Mr. Wakelin and others not to link to his site. 2 clicks and you are there.

The Liberal Party of Canada has issued a few statements. One was that Mr. Klander was simply a volunteer helping out the party. That doesn’t wash with a proclamation that he has resigned. Volunteers do not resign, they simply leave. Another statement simply said that the views expressed on his website are Mr. Klander’s and do not represent the Liberal Party of Canada. This is the part that I have wanted to get to.

If you will recall the federal election campaign of 2004, if you were paying attention, the entire election centred not around policy but around a very active negative campaign against newly elected Conservative leader Stephen Harper. All stops were pulled in an all-out attempt to vilify him. There were no holds barred and several members of the Conservative team were used as examples by the Liberals and the media. Sound bites of things that people affiliated to the party had said, no matter how much time had passed, were used to demonize everyone in the Conservative camp.

Small statements and outbursts by the most insignificant candidates were blown way out of proportion to the claims of the Liberals that the opposition were all right wing whackos. The statements of a few were papered over everyone with a conservative label attached to them, and the press sucked it up. It mattered not to anyone on the other side of the aisle that the statements were not an accurate reflection of the Conservative Party or its leadership. The simple fact is that in politics, all you need do is cast doubts upon your opponents. Facts are often irrelevant and perception is king.

Although the remarks of Mr. Klander may not reflect the views of all Liberals, they do provide an eye opener into the thinking of one of their main proponents on the election front. While it may not be in very good taste to dredge this kind of material up and expose it to Canadians, we must remember that it is the Liberals who initiated this kind of politics, and you know what? It’s extremely satisfying watching the chickens come home to roost.

I guess that childhood proverb is true. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.