Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘intimidation


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If you’ve ever played competitive sports, team or individual – on any level – you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about intimidation! It is there, in your face, physically and verbally as an intrinsic part of any game. Your opponent, the crowd, the other bench is constantly trying to get under your skin, using the body or anything else that’s legal or illegal to throw you off your game. And the one thing you CAN’T DO is wilt, bow to the pressure and let them beat you mentally and physically. The unwritten rules are – stand up and take it, then give as good as you get…or better.

Right now, Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party are trying to intimidate Canadian voters. Not directly, but through insidious attack ads targeting Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. By trash talking Mr. Ignatieff, they are telling us that we are not capable of making our own decisions.

The ads describe him as a cosmopolitan, absentee quasi-Canadian, a carpetbagger unfit and unworthy to assume that he could be Canada’s next Prime Minister. Seems to me that’s like saying Gandhi was not Indian because he spend his formative years in South Africa and the United Kingdom. But then, consider Mr. Harper’s love of the late Mr. Bush and U.S. Republicanism and you have the pot calling the kettle black. And didn’t the Republicans work their butts off to attribute the same elitist status to the Harvard-educated Barrack Obama. Now that didn’t work. Did it?

Marketers will tell you the investment in attack ads are necessary because they work. True, Mr. Harper’s trash talking of the last Liberal leader was effective. So now, he’s back on the negativity bandwagon. We’ll see. Mr. Ignatieff is an altogether tougher, smarter, and more resilient opponent. His intellectualism and worldliness are not weaknesses. Mr. Harper’s back-alley tactics, tendency towards ridicule and bully attitude, I think, are.

Do the Conservatives believe that Canadians are incapable of forming their own opinions? I believe those personal and scurrilous TV spots do the exact opposite. And I resent being the target of trash talk from the leader of my country. There are so many more important and critical issues at stake today. Perhaps Mr. Harper should put his party’s money to better use and debate those with his opponent.

Mr. Harper, I don’t like the way you play the game.      


I apologize for this political rant. It is not what this blog is all about. But, sometimes, something comes along and you just need to say what your thinking. I will get back to blogging about ‘nothing’ shortly.

Thanks for your patience and undertanding.