"the result of politics evolving into a playground for spinmasters, people more concerned with how things look, than the issues."....American political tactics gone north.... tee hee hee ... I mean .... boo hoo hoo

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    Sep 14, 2008 9:44 PM GMT

    The Guardian (Charlottetown, PEI)

    Prime Minister Kim Campbell didn't last long. About the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, in political terms. Handed the top job when Brian Mulroney beat it for the door, the first woman to sit in the big chair in this country soon called an election.

    First mistake.

    Then, in an unguarded moment when her handlers weren't in position to throw their bodies on top of the microphone and take one for the team, she said what she was actually thinking.

    Elections, she said, are a lousy time to have a serious discussion about real issues and policies.

    Second mistake.

    The holier-than-thou critics rubbed their hands with glee, cracked their knuckles and hit the keyboards. Shocking, they scolded. How dare she, they tut-tutted. Undemocratic, some harrumphed.

    Quicker than you could say Jean Chretien, the Right Honorable Kim Campbell was out the door, and so were just about all of her members of Parliament. For the next while the Progressive Conservative party could literally hold caucus meetings in a phone booth, with a bit of room to spare if the two elected members held their breaths and cuddled up. The party didn't recover until it dumped the 'Progressive' from its handle and handed its future over to Stephen Harper.

    Lesson learned.

    Today, the care taken to paying close attention to just about everything the national leaders say, do and wear is approaching a level not usually seen here unless you're watching CNN and the latest American election coverage.

    Harper has gone from shaking his son's hand on the first day of school - now that was a heart-warming, Hallmark moment - to wearing out his blue sweater and talking about playing cards with his son. See folks, I'm just another guy, one of you, is the message track. And so far, nothing has come close to knocking the PM off message. Not even Newfoundland Premier Danny (Millions) Williams warning that a majority Harper government would be one of the worst things to happen in the history of the country. Politicians on The Rock are so much fun.

    True, a cartoon puffin pooping on an unflattering picture of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion took a good run at derailing week one. As did the move by an aide to slag the father of a dead soldier, saying the only reason the guy was critical of Harper was because he's a Liberal.

    But an apology for the dirty bird, and the suspension of the dumb aide turned those image gaffes into one- (or two-) day wonders.

    Meanwhile, Stephane Dion, determined to fight this election on the idea of introducing a carbon tax on things that mess up the environment, ended up trying to explain why he's flying around in a 30-year-old plane that spews who knows how much muck into the air.

    NDP leader Jack Layton tried to keep Green Party leader Elizabeth May out of the TV debate, then backed down when he got caught.

    This is what passes for political discussion so far in this election.

    How a dirty bird, dumb aide, ranting premier or old airplane will affect your life is beyond me. But maybe watching news coverage being reduced to this is inevitable. Maybe it's the result of politics evolving into a playground for spinmasters, people more concerned with how things look, than the issues.

    Attack ads don't discuss issues. They try to wreck reputations. They don't tell us how a party will spend our money if we give them the keys to the vault. They try to make the other guy look ridiculous. Unworthy, somehow.

    The problem is, politicians believe spin works. That's why they use it. Unless we prove them wrong - and demand some substance in this political fight - they aren't going to change.

  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    Sep 15, 2008 2:41 AM GMT
    dudeswithbeards saidgovenor palin has her only degree in journalism from the univeristy of idaho,.. "spin" is a second language for her

    Hey.. I thought this thread would be about the Federal Election in Canada, not the election in the US.
    What gives...