Regarding Stephen Harper’s strip tease attack ad against Justin Trudeau, why don’t we just call it what it is? I’m not a Liberal Party supporter but that doesn’t stop me from looking up the definition of the word bully in the Oxford Dictionary. According to that book, a bully is a person who uses strength or power to coerce others by fear.
This attack ad illustrates two examples of bullying, it seems to me. The first, to use a high school analogy, would be the group of punks standing at the back of the school auditorium heckling the long-haired ‘weirdo’ in pink tights up on the stage. In the case of Trudeau, he was on the stage to raise money for liver cancer, and we can only assume that the punks who created the ad were not only heckling him, but also heckling cancer research fundraising, and maybe even the Prime Minister’s wife, who was in the audience.
The second, and more serious, example of bullying illustrated in the ad could be described as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts for the purposes of damaging or destroying a reputation. The ad quotes Trudeau, 14 years ago, as saying, “Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada because, you know, we’re Quebecers or whatever.” The Conservative Party website says this is “a shocking revelation previously ignored by the media.” However, CTV reporter Danielle Hamandjian has pointed out that in the original interview Justin Trudeau was in fact discussing his father’s opinions, not his own. What Trudeau actually said was, “His philosophy, certainly as he passed it on to us, has always been Quebecers are better than the rest of Canada because we're Quebecers or whatever.”
To continue with the high school analogy, what the Conservative Party and Stephen Harper are doing with their attack ads, and what a group of high school boys or girls do when they deliberately misrepresent the facts concerning the behaviour, say, of a teenage girl in order to damage or destroy her reputation to the point where she attempts suicide—the only difference between these two examples of bullying is the details, the degree. The substance of what they are both doing, the intent, is the same.
I’m not defending Justin Trudeau, he can defend himself. I’m only asking why, instead of standing around watching this, we don’t call it what it is?
James Fred Tibbitt - Swift Current