Attack ad against Trudeau just a Harper bullying tactic

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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

Organizations: Liberal Party, Conservative Party

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • skeptic
    May 07, 2013 - 15:44

    Well written letter by Mr Tibbitt. I didn't realize Trudeau actually had a good context for his quote about Quebecers. Guess despite realizing the Harper Cons are jerks I assumed the quote, though outdated, was accurate. My bad. I feel like a teenager, rather than a middle aged respectable employed guy myself! Good on Mr Tibbit for writing this. Hope it makes some of us think. And start asking our local MP's why they're okay with wasting TAX dollars on attack ads, at a time their government is losing a bundle in annual deficit. At least those old Liberal Lefties some how balanced the budget. Repeatedly!

  • Raj
    April 28, 2013 - 22:25

    I hope Canadians remember all this come election time and punish this dictator for destroying our beautiful country and what it stood for. I REALLY DO, for the sake of our future generations. The way this Bully is damaging this nation bit by bit is truly scary. One minor fact that hardly anybody in the country recognizes his wife and kids, by he own admission a few days ago, speaks volumes about what kind of a control freak, demented, messed up guy this megalomaniac is. Please remember this at voting time, fellow Canadians, and take our country back from these goons.

  • Colleen McGill
    April 27, 2013 - 10:52

    A bully is a bully is a bully. Maybe Harper can be charged under his new 'anti-bullying' law

    • Tom
      April 29, 2013 - 05:01

      Awww poor Trudeau is being bullied. Sounds like the ads are working and the liberal spin machine is desparately trying to use the phoney political correctness arguments to stop them. You libs are so transparent it is laughable. Harper is the best financial manager that Canada has ever had. Trudeau is an incompetent wimp.

  • carole
    April 27, 2013 - 00:08

    Its wonderful to hear that some Canadians are recognizing the fact that Harper's conservatives have indeed used bullying tactics in their Ads against Trudeau. Harper's retort is ridiculous in that he still understands bullying to be Children[only] being mischievious/ or similar to that. I 'm not a conservative or Liberal supporter.

  • Gary Peters
    April 21, 2013 - 05:52

    As someone who has not lived in the west for a number of years I see the poll results and from here it appears that the west supports Mr. Harper giving him carte blanche to do what he wishes. It is refreshing to see there are still some people in the west that do take a critical look at what our Prime Minister who would be King is doing.

    • Gord Jackson
      April 27, 2013 - 01:34

      Prime Minister Stephen Harper can spin all he wants that the attack posters and ads are not 'bullying.' Of course they are, and only the wilfully self-deluded would think or say otherwise. But we shouldn't be surprised. Mr. Harper thinks nothing of having his whip bullying members of his own caucus into what they will and will not say during members statements in the House, he heads a government that now insists RCMP officers first get the Minister of Public Safety's permission to talk to members of parliament (and the RCMP is supposed to be an arms-length agency) and if you watch POWER AND POLITICS as I do, you don't need to be a Phd or rocket scientest to recognize a PMO pre-scripted, pre-progammed conservative automaton. Mr. Harper will do just about anything and go to just about any length to get his own way regardless. He's a very crafty control freak who has now also thrown Peter Penashe under the bus by calling the Labrador byelection so quickly. The man, especially after his revelation that he had held up $85 million until he got his own way, is such an embarrasment that not even the conservative party wants him in parliament anymore. So, to get him out of the news and the minds of Canadian voters, the calculations were made and the odds are now being played. Mr. H. knows that Mr. P. is well past his best before date just as he also knows that Mr. P. is about as likely to be re-elected to the House of Commons as Justin Trudeau is to cross the floor and join the conservative party.