Political communications and spin can sometimes be a headache-inducing exercise as you try to follow twists and turns in logic. Take this story from the Hill Times. It's about the Conservatives holding a $1,000 "leader's circle" reception before their new campaign finance law take affect limiting annual donations to $1000.
The Leader's Circle is the Conservative version of the LPC's Laurier Club, which Conservative MPs, bloggers and pundits regularly and routinely rail against.
Both organizations are perfectly kosher under current rules. With the Cons having railed against the Liberals on this though, and promising to "do politics differently" in the last election, how do you spin the do as I say, not as I do contradiction? Enter Tim Powers.
But Tim Powers, a Conservative strategist, turned it around and accused the Liberals of having a double standard for criticizing the Conservatives. He argued that the Liberals have been raising money through the Laurier Club for years and "it's a little rich" for them now to criticize the Tories.
"Whether it's the ethical issues or the fundraising, the Liberal Party is in no position to criticize anyone about how they choose or not choose to fundraise. The Conservative Party is the most successful individual fundraising machine and raises far more money from average Canadians and people in the grassroots than the NDP does, and it's also much more responsive to including the grassroots arguably than the NDP does. So, again when you look at the whole package, you see the Conservative strength has always come from people who donate under a $100 as opposed to those who donate over it, so, it's certainly a very inclusive organization," said Mr. Powers.
So, Tim is saying we can't criticize them for doing what they criticized us for doing because we also do what they're doing, but still criticized us for doing. Ouch, pass the acetaminophen.
But there's just one problem Tim. The NDP is giving you a hard time, sure, when they're not talking about big asses or acting like them. But, as a Liberal, I don't care about your little fundraising receptions. Have fun. If it's kosher under the current system then go for it.
Where I would criticize you is on the hypocrisy. You guys routinely criticize us for doing something that you're doing too. You ran a campaign on this, on doing politics differently. It's hypocritical, and a double standard. That's where criticism is fair, and warranted.
This do as I say, not as I do philosophy of politics has been a staple of the Harper government, from the day John Reynolds infamously reminded us that "campaigns are campaigns." Appointing unelected Senators to cabinet, staff becoming lobbyists, a lobbyist as defence minister, the list goes on.
Don't think that Canadians aren't paying attention, Tim. Clearly doing politics differently is out as a theme next campaign. I look forward to seeing what they come up with instead.
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