John Ibbitson: Character attacks drag all parties down

John Ibbitson: Character attacks drag all parties down


[Trudeau and Scheer talking over each other] [Ibbitson] There has never been an election campaign since polling began in which the federal Liberals and Conservatives were equally unpopular on the eve of an election campaign. The parties are unpopular because the leaders are unpopular, and the leaders are unpopular because each side has dedicated the campaign to tearing down the leader of the other side. Andrew Sheer has made Justin Trudeau’s character the central issue of the Conservative campaign. He has attacked him over the fashion disasters of the India trip, he has attacked him over the visit to the Agha Khan’s private island, he has attacked him over expulsion from caucus of former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and June Philpott over the SNC-Lavalin affair. And then there were the photos of Mr. Trudeau in blackface. In the english-language debate,
Mr Scheer turned to Mr. Trudeau and said, Mr. Trudeau, you are a phony and you
are a fraud and you do not deserve to govern this country. [Ibbitson] Political language doesn’t get any stronger than that. But the Liberals have been equally harsh. [Trudeau] Except or course, Mr. Scheer, you won’t defend a woman’s right to choose. [Ibbitson] They’ver accused Mr. Scheer of having secret agenda to reopen the abortion debate. [Trudeau] You knew haven’t apologized for your words against LGBTQ Canadians. [Ibbitson] They say the Conservatives would strip LGBTQ Canadians of their rights. Mr. Scheer has denied the allegations, and there is no real evidence any of this is true, but it’s worked. The Conservatives have gone down
in the polls as well. The results – neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives command the support of more than one voter in three. If there is a winner in all of this, it may be NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, supports the NDP has climbed steadily since the campaign began. The Bloc Québécois has also done well. Either of both parties could end up holding the balance of power in a hung parliament. Perhaps there’s a lesson in all of this – you may be able to drag down your political opponent by attacking their character, but you drag yourself down as well.

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