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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Gaffe roundup

It's been a couple of eventful days since I seriously tried to catch up on the Gaffe-o-Meter. Honestly, had I written an entry, I'm sure I would have predicted much lower scores... I was worried there wouldn't be enough gaffe activity to make the race interesting. What was I thinking? To paraphrase HL Mencken, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the Canadian candidate.

The Conservatives are more than well-represented in that by Cheryl Gallant. I alluded a few posts ago to her recently quoted comparison between Canadian abortions and the beheading of Nick Berg. Not so smart, but no points - nor for Jason Kenney who compares abortion to child abuse and slavery. The quotes came, as pointed out by the extremely sharp-eyed Andrew, before the writ period. Still, you really can't blame the Liberals for folding the comments into their larger strategy: convincing Canadians that the Conservatives are extremists. As I've illustrated the last several posts, it's certainly working on me.

(Andrew has an excellent post on why social issues shouldn't matter this election. I'm pretty sure I don't agree, but I'll work on that thought more over the weekend and keep you posted.)

Undermining Martin's strategy, we have Tom Wappel and Roger Gallaway noting that not all Liberals are pro-choice, and that perhaps there isn't really much of a gulf between Liberals and Conservatives on social issues. It's always good to contradict your leader on wedge issues, Tom, and Roger. Why do candidates this election have so much trouble with the concept of keeping their yaps shut? Luckily, it's barely a story, but they're still getting PROM=1*SIG=2 = 2 gaffe points. Each, because you're both idiots. Four more for the Liberals. Also for the Liberals, Carolyn Parrish says her party is running a crappy campaign. Because, duh. Since she's stating the universally-known obvious, I can't gaffe this up, even if she did change her mind later. Stories about "how's the campaign going?" are kind of like stories about polls. Who cares? Canadians have important things to decide, and the rest is sideshow. This site is all sideshow, by the way.

Column three, the BQ. The BQ continues to quietly run a solid campaign watching the Liberals hang themselves. No gaffe points for the man in the funny hat. Yet. At all. I think he learned his lesson from the funny hat.

Finally, the NDP. Malcolm Azania's internet comments have been oft-discussed of late, but coming as they did over a decade before the writ period, I can't score them. I'm also not forgiving the remarks, but at the same time, I've had those weird left-wing conversations about all white people being racist until we reject the social structures like money that blah blah blah jeepers was I ever that dumb? Sure I was, because I was twenty-three and surrounded by left-wingers at college and we were all chewing up and playing with Big Ideas. I wouldn't want much of what I thought back then held against me, either.

(Is anyone else listening to Al Rae's three-day-a-week comedy election roundup at 11:45 on CBC AM? "The NDP's leader is calling people 'brother', his candidates are discussing the relationship between blacks and Jews, and Ed Broadbent is doing rap. How long before Jack Layton is surrounded by a posse of Nation of Islam bodyguards?" Hee!)

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