In the week when Postmedia, Canada’s newspaper-chain giant, endorsed Andrew Scheer because “he is a man for whom what you see is what you get,” the Conservative party and its leader were further exposed for dirty tricks and a mounting number of campaign falsehoods.
On Saturday morning Scheer refused to say whether, as the Globe and Mail reported, the Conservatives paid political strategist Warren Kinsella and his firm Daisy Group to “seek and destroy” the People’s Party led by Scheer’s former rival for the Tory leadership, Maxime Bernier.
Kinsella and his firm were hired to discredit Bernier’s party, the Globe reported, tasked with a secret mission to find ways to portray its candidates as racists and ensure Bernier wasn’t included in the leader’s debate.
The scheme included measures to avoid third-party advertising disclosure rules, the newspaper reported. “Daisy will create an arm’s-length organization that cannot be linked to the client or any participating organization,” a Daisy manager wrote in an internal memo.
Confronted with the report, Scheer dodged, saying only that he doesn’t comment on vendors that his party “may or may not have engaged with.” Media reports indicated he refused to answer at least 23 questions on the issue Saturday.
Bernier is demanding the Commissioner of Canada Elections investigate what he calls a “smear” campaign.
It’s the latest blow to Scheer’s credibility, as the Conservative campaign has been caught making a number of statements with no basis in fact in the final days of the campaign. These include:
Falsely claiming that “modern convention” dictates that whoever wins the most seats gets to form government.
Falsely claiming the Trudeau Liberals and NDP are certain to form a coalition government after Monday’s vote.
Falsely claiming the Trudeau Liberals intend to join with the NDP in raising the GST.
Falsely claiming the Trudeau Liberals are planning to cancel social transfer payments to the provinces.
Falsely claiming, using altered documents, that the Trudeau Liberals will create a capital gains tax on sales of primary homes.
Falsely claiming in ads targeting Chinese Canadian voters that the Trudeau Liberals secretly aim to legalize all drugs.
There are no statements by the Liberals or evidence to support any of these assertions.
Earlier in the campaign, The Tyee described close ties between Scheer’s Conservatives and the International Democratic Union, a global group of conservative parties, including the U.S. Republicans, that trains political operatives in vote suppression and other hard-ball election strategies.
The head of IDU is Canada’s former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, whose party was caught up in the robocalls scandal.
Scheer won his first campaign, at age 25, by falsely accusing his opponent, at the time Canada’s longest-sitting MP, of being soft on child pornography.
The Postmedia endorsement complains Trudeau and the Liberals “presented themselves as one thing, and have been shown to be something entirely different.”
Postmedia’s bosses clearly are oblivious to irony, given that Scheer has long misrepresented his insurance industry credentials while pretending to have significant experience in the “private sector.” That experience lasted a little longer than a summer job. He criticized other politicians for having dual citizenship, while failing to disclose that he has an U.S. passport.
Postmedia’s top-down editorial does an injustice to the corporation’s many skilled journalists who take seriously their obligation to publish facts and adhere to reality. The editorial their top managers ordered up instead embraces Trump-style spin — ignoring what is inconvenient to their own interests, saying the opposite, and pretending it’s true.
Scheer in fact has shown himself willing to bend facts and falsely incite fear and confusion in order to win. In other words, he and his Conservatives have “presented themselves as one thing, and have been shown to be something entirely different.”
As for Postmedia’s masters, their right-wing biases are well documented. Yet again, their election endorsement proves, “what you see is what you get.”