Saturday, February 24, 2007

Conservatives Smear Conservative Supporter In Attempt To Justify Previous Smear

The CPoC is now questioning the integrity of Professor Errol Mendes, a University of Ottawa human-rights and constitutional expert, who has argued that Stephen Harper's revealing the contents of this Vancouver Sun story in the HOC on Friday, February 23rd, in itself constituted a breach of one of the very anti-terror provisions Harper is fighting to preserve:

Goodale had not even mentioned Mendes's name when [Conservative House leader Peter] Van Loan replied by naming Mendes, "who of course has been a very significant contributor to the Liberal party over the years."

A spokesman for Van Loan later said Mendes' contributions to the Liberal party, listed on the Elections Canada website, were checked after his comments were published Friday. Van Loan was armed with the information in notes for question period.

However, there is a certain irony to this, because Mendes is, by his own admission:

...one of the few constitutional and human rights professors who support the government's wish to extend the investigative hearings and prevents arrest provisions that expire next Thursday unless the Commons and Senate vote for an extension.

Man, these Tories can't smear worth spit! Hint: Try saying sorry, it hurts less than you think.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

that Stephen Harper's revealing the contents of this Vancouver Sun story in the HOC on Friday, February 23rd, in itself constituted a breach of one of the very anti-terror provisions Harper is fighting to preserve

Did he "reveal" it? Tell me it ain't so... Are you serious? I can't believe it. A sitting Prime Minister of Canada "reveals" something that was printed in one of the nation's newspapers? In the HOC? I think you're kidding. He didn't go there, did he??? Gotta go. I want to "reveal" to my wife what your blog says....

Olaf said...

BCL,

Anon is right, I don't see how Mendes's comments make any sense at all. How can one be accused of breaching anti-terror provisions by reading something in the newspaper?

That aside, saying that Mendes contributes to the Liberal party is not a "smear", as you'd have it. Unless you think there's something particularly unbecoming about being a Liberal supporter to the degree that pointing out such a fact would constitute smearing ones reputation - come to think of it, you may have a case there. :)

bigcitylib said...

Anon,

A sitting PM blasts out something that would have otherwise rotted between the pages of a local tabloid? That's a revelation, definitely.

Although it may be that the origonal Sun reporter was speculating about a list's existing in the first place.

bigcitylib said...

Olaf,

Don't play dumb with me. It is OBVIOUSLY the case that Peter Van Loan thought that connecting Mendes to the Liberals would help dampen the effect of his critcisms.

Olaf said...

BCL,

It is OBVIOUSLY the case that Peter Van Loan thought that connecting Mendes to the Liberals would help dampen the effect of his critcisms.

Oh, absolutely. It's not a "smear" though, unless you think it's damaging to ones reputation. More importantly, I thought it would give me an opportunity for a joke poking fun at Liberals in general, so I took it. Get Kinsella to sue me, why don't you?

bigcitylib said...

Olaf, Olaf, Olaf,

To have the house leader of the Canadian government question your expertise because you have connections to the Liberal Party may well be damaging to your reputation. A famous person disses you in a forumn that may get reported from coast to coast?

Anywhere else and they'd get sued. Your CPoC are hiding behind the skirts of parliamentary privilege.

But this is par for the course for Harper et al, No? What is strange beyond words is that Mendes is one of the few human rights experts on their side of the issue, but they must slime him to help recover from an earlier slime job.

Weird being a Tory, these days.

Olaf said...

BCL,

Peter Van Loan is famous now? And I'm pretty sure you can't get sued for simply stating a fact, whatever your intent.

It's not a slime job, a slur, a smear, or any other S-word, not matter how much you say it is. To suggest otherwise is patently ridiculous. Van Loans response simply questioned the man's impartiality based on past decisions, which incidentally happens all the time. People who offer their expert opinions in public CONSTANTLY get scrutinized for past affiliations.

Never does Tom Flanagan say anything where he's not referred to as "Stephen Harper's former adviser". Is this a smear against his "expert" opinion. Of COURSE not. It's a necessary qualification.

What if you mention that climatologist A used to work for Exxon, and denies the occurrence of man-made global warming. Are you "smearing" that person's reputation by questioning their expertise, or revealing factual information that may rightly bring their credibility into question. Saying that someone has been involved with the Liberal party in some capacity is no different, and really not a big deal.

I know we're all going to kick up a big fuss every time the government says anything about anyone, and claim that its a smear campaign and "par for the course for this crew", etc. Try to keep it within the realm of reality.

Ti-Guy said...

Olaf, Olaf, Olaf...you could argue that smears never ever occur.

Fine. You're entitled to believe that. That's the beauty of being a Conservative.

The rest of us know the Connies operate by smear and innuendo.

Olaf said...

Ti guy,

Olaf, Olaf, Olaf...you could argue that smears never ever occur.

You could argue that I argue that smears never occur, although you'd probably want some evidence. Especially since I characterized Harper's statement against Bains a "slur" on my blog, you might have difficulty. I'm saying this isn't a smear, not that smears don't occur.

Also, could we all stop using my name in the triplicate? I have a funny feeling I'm being talked down to for no good reason. While one could only hope some day to obtain the vast wisdom of the eminent Ti-guy, I'm not sure that's a fair standard to merely engage in a discussion.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure many professors, political and constitutional experts donate to a party. Big deal!

Would be interesting to see the list of donators to the Conservative party - I'm sure you could connect many dots there.

Much ado about nothing.

Anonymous said...

An age-old mistake. Harper bit the hand that feeds him.
There's gonna be some hurtin' goin' on.

Anonymous said...

Olaf, if this was done to you, how would you respond?

Ti-Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ti-Guy said...

I have a funny feeling I'm being talked down to for no good reason.

Well, you're being talked down to, but for good reason. You may be sensible, but I find you all too focussed on engaging in complicated reasonning, often bordering on sophistry, to defend the indefensible. We are not in Court, Olaf (...Olaf, Olaf).

In any case, you contradicted yourself in your first comment:

Unless you think there's something particularly unbecoming about being a Liberal supporter to the degree that pointing out such a fact would constitute smearing ones reputation - come to think of it, you may have a case there. :)

The smiley doesn't erase the reality of a smear you yourself noticed.

alfred said...

Welcome to eastern Canadian Liberal elitism olaf.

Olaf said...

Tiguy, Tiguy, Tiguy...

Are you serious? If you can't comprehend the point I was making where I "contradicted" myself, there is nothing more I can do for you.

By the way, next time I find I can't respond to a point made by someone I'm arguing with, I'm gonna pretend I can't possibly follow their (simple) line of reasoning, and then use the "we're not in Court" line. That ought to fool a few people.

Ti-Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ti-Guy said...

As one of your (never criticised) fatheaded fellow travelers remarks:

Welcome to eastern Canadian Liberal elitism olaf.

...Olaf, Olaf.

Look, you stepped into it by trying to argue that a smear doesn't exist here. You'd have been better off arguing that all of this is simply CPC politics as usual.

Paul Wells said...

Point of information: Sun's not a tabloid. It's not a member of the Sun tabloid chain.

Paul Wells said...

Point of information: Vancouver Sun's not a tabloid. It's not a member of the Sun tabloid chain.

bigcitylib said...

Paul,

In its heart, it is a tabloid.

bigcitylib said...

By the way, Paul, thanks for the visit. You're my third celebrity after Coyne and the black guy that claims to be Jesus.