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Friday, May 6, 2011

Michael Ignatieff Not the Only Victim of Smear Campaign

Though the media had been both perpetrators and spectators to the horrible character assassination of Michael Ignatieff, we find that across the country similar smear campaigns were taking place on Liberal candidates.

We knew this election, with everything on the line, Harper and his team would fight dirty. But we were not prepared for what took place, in what is becoming clear was the most fraudulent election campaign in Canadian history.

Harper's former VP when he was running the National Citizens Coalition, called it guerrilla warfare. And it was indeed an undercover operation. A small group of combatants whose mission was not only to win, but to destroy every Liberal in its path.

The Conservatives even disbanded their 'NDP Unit' just before the election to focus their attention on a single enemy.

And one of the victims of this war, was Glen Pearson, a decent man and hard working Member of Parliament. He never let partisanship destroy his integrity, but in the end it destroyed him.

He explains what happened on his blog: Transitions – Brutal In Their Despondency
It was expected by most that I would win and the media sent its staff to my campaign office to cover the victory party that wasn’t. It became clear as the evening progressed that the vote split between myself and the NDP was proving fatal. Yet I’d had something of a premonition of the outcome during the last few days of the contest. At doors I canvassed I kept hearing certain stories about how I spent too much time in Africa, or that my voting presence in the House wasn’t too impressive. When I informed them that I only spent one week a year on that continent (Sudan), and that I take it on my holiday time over New Years and on my own dime, I could sense the hesitation in their voice. “Oh … that’s not what we heard when the Conservatives phoned us last night.” Something that hadn’t been an issue heretofore was suddenly looming large in the final days.

It was frustrating, but I didn’t know who to talk to. It was only when the election was over that a good Conservative friend informed me that they had actually been utilizing a central office for phone calls and that none of them emanated from London itself. They had poured big money from afar into influencing my riding. What I had thought to be a local campaign had suddenly taken on national dimensions.
Mr. Pearson does volunteer work in Africa. Who knew that the Conservatives would stoop to the level of using it against him.

Sadly his story is not unique. Riding after riding, is reporting the same dirty tricks, reminiscent of Karl Rove and the way he stole elections for George Bush.

But in the process, people's lives are being destroyed. As Andrew Potter said recently of the destruction of Michael Ignatieff, Canada is 'No country for good men'.

Sadly, we are now a country where good people will be afraid to run for office. If Glen Pearson can be destroyed, anyone can.

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