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The Article

Country is doomed if Harper cannot beat Liberals’ smear factor

A colleague confessed he once thought Paul Martin was a decent sort of fellow, but now realizes in his naivety he was duped.

Martin, he now contends, is as ruthless as his predecessor, the unlamented Jean Chretien, and will stoop as low in the gutter as he has to in order to smear Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and his MPs and candidates.

Yes, as we edge closer towards an election we are seeing all the signs the Liberals will use any unholy strategy they can to do an end-run around the Canadian people and retain power.

Will it work?

Only if voters in ridings now held by the Grits are as gullible as this disappointing prime minister and his cohorts think they are.

The flim-flammery Martin’s Liberals will indulge in is demonstrated just about every day of the week.

On V-E Day weekend, there was Martin extolling the virtues of Canada’s fighting men and women and suggesting their bravery was what this nation is all about.

This from the same man who personally gutted the military when, as finance minister, he cut the defence budget 25% and its personnel levels 25%.

How’s that for talking out of both sides of your mouth?

We now know—at least, those of us who actually think with some substance about issues—that the Liberals are politically amoral.

Martin is quite prepared to twist the truth, as he did when charging Harper somehow wanted to take away the constitutional rights of Canadians, but, he, as prime minister, was going to defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms no matter what.

Martin’s charge was pure hogwash—and he knew it.

As during the 2004 election when he painted a scenario of Harper and Premier Ralph Klein having some kind of secret plot to tear apart health care.

Again, Martin knew his allegations were entirely hogwash.

But the scare tactic worked and the Conservatives nose-dived in the polls in Ontario.

There is nothing the Liberals will not do to cling to power.

Yet their lack of principle is, sadly, a positive for them.

For, just supposing they had a man of great integrity such as Harper leading their party, they wouldn’t be able to get away with mudslinging and distortions.

They’d actually have to face up to the true characteristics of their leader, their MPs and strategists.

There would be no twisting of issues and words and no stomach for running a fear-mongering campaign.

That they haven’t got an individual with political scruples at the top salves their consciences—what little consciences they have, anyway.

Now, Chretien was something of a rogue, but Martin truly pretended to be something different.

Likely, that’s why few seemed to care he spent month-after-month undermining his then-boss when Chretien was prime minister. He was relentless in his grab for the Liberal leadership, and he’ll be relentless in blackening Harper’s name.

So will his cabinet ministers and MPs.

We saw this when Immigration Minister Joe Volpe likened Conservative MPs to the Ku Klux Klan. Can you imagine the uproar from the Liberals if a front-bench Conservative MP had used that slur?

Mixed into the innuendoes that Harper has a “hidden agenda” is the foil that the Liberals are somehow the “victims” of their own treachery.

The revelations coming from Mr. Justice John Gomery’s inquiry don’t faze the Liberal cabal. Their position is that some rogue elements in their own party did this behind their backs.

Grit spin doctors say on an air they are “flabbergasted” and “shaken” by the revelations. Hence, they are working assiduously to clean up the corruption. This is a bit like the arsonist who offers to help the firefighters battle a blaze he started.

Here, let’s admit that neither Lester Pearson nor even Pierre Trudeau, would have sunk to these levels. Pearson was too ethical, Trudeau sabotaged his opponents with biting wit.

There is only one way to clean up the Liberal corruption and that’s to turf as many of their MPs out of office as possible and as soon as possible.

Can Harper do it?

If he can’t, the country is lost.

Copyright ? 2005 Paul Conrad Jackson.

Click here to read Paul Jackson’s full and fascinating biography.  Paul Conrad Jackson is one of Canada’s most distinguished and thought-provoking journalists.  He is currently senior political commentator for the Calgary Sun and other related newspapers, after being both Editor and Associate Editor for a number of years. Mr. Jackson has interviewed such world famous political figures as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, John Diefenbaker, Brian Mulroney, Pierre Trudeau, Yitshak Rabin and Benjamin Netanyahu.

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