Listen Up! It’s disgusting that Ralph Goodale is using an old video of Andrew Scheer to attack him

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Hugh Mackenzie
Huntsville Doppler

Will smear politics work?

Well, I guess I am going to walk straight into the doo- doo again this week. I was going to take a break, maybe write about something so uncontroversial that everyone would cheerfully nod their heads in agreement and go back to sipping their gin and tonic, or whatever. The weather has been so nice, people are happily enjoying the end of the summer season, so why stir things up?

Two problems here. First, that would be really boring and second, for good or for bad, that is just not me! Consequently, when I saw something recently tweeted by Ralph Goodale, a senior minister in the Trudeau Government, I got my hackles up.

I wonder how many people who read this column, can honestly say that the way they think today, especially on what we now call social issues, is the same way they thought ten, 25 or even 50 years ago? How many can really say that their thinking has never evolved over the years on issues such as same-sex marriage or even homosexuality itself?  I know I can’t say that. I do know, that I have grown over the years, learned to be more tolerant, caring and understanding of other people’s struggles and to recognize that everyone has a right to be who they really are and to be treated equally, in all aspects, with everyone else. That does not mean that I do not have my personal views on some of these matters. What it does mean, is that everyone else has the same right to their views, and the right to change those views and they should be respected for it.

In that vein, I was disgusted by Ralph Goodale’s tweet, last week, clearly exposing his Party’s plan to win the pending federal election by smearing their opponents, on social issues, regardless of their current authenticity, instead of dealing with the real issues that are important to Canadians today. Goodale released a video from 2005, when Andrew Scheer, as a 25-year old freshman in Parliament, spoke against legislation that would allow same-sex marriage. No question about it, that was Scheer’s  position. But, as Toronto Star Columnist, Rosie DeManno wrote on Saturday, “Shame on the Liberals for resurrecting ancient history in a pre-campaign gotcha: the video download by Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale.”

I do not know if Ralph Goodale was actually around in 2005, but he certainly was on November 28, 2017, less than two years ago, when Andrew Scheer, as Leader of the Opposition, rose in the House of Commons to defend the rights of gay people who had been fired from the Public Service. Here are excerpts from that speech, which  Goodale cheerfully and intentionally ignored when accusing Andrew Scheer of being homophobic.

“ We are here today, because many years ago and for too long, the Government of Canada, failed in its duty to protect the basic rights of hundreds of the very Canadians who had dedicated their lives to public service…………….These men and women, these citizens, lost their jobs because they were suspected of being gay. At a basic level, Canadians can perhaps picture what losing your livelihood can do to your self esteem, to your family, to your own quality of life. However, it is nothing when compared to the fear and intimidation experienced in dealing with your own government and institutions that they, (gay people) so selflessly served……………. For those who serve our country , government accusations regarding their personal lives were made even more offensive by the insinuation that they were acting against the country they were devoted to………………….All human beings have the same value and the same dignity and deserve respect………………….We need to have an honest discussion with the people who were targeted by the terrible campaign that sought to expose and humiliate LGBTQ2 individuals in the public service.”

That does not sound like a homophobe to me. More importantly, Andrew Scheer has made it crystal clear, as by the way, did Stephen Harper, that he would not change or interfere with any laws related to abortion or same-sex relationships. Harper did not and neither will Scheer if the day ever comes, when he is Prime Minister. Like all Canadians, in and out of politics, Andrew Scheer is entitled to his religious beliefs but time and again, he has been clear that any government formed by him will defend and uphold the fundamental freedoms and rights of all Canadians without discrimination and without prejudice.

It is difficult to understand therefore why Ralph Goodale and his cohorts want to take a wedge issue, with partial and outdated information, and make it the key issue in an election campaign, especially when they know it is not true. In my view it is the politics of fear, at a time when they fear for their own future and do not want to address the hard issues of the day. But perhaps Rosie DiManno said it best in her recent Toronto Star column.

“Is it too much to hope that political leaders won’t go snake belly low in their character defamation as the election campaign rachets up?……………We’re none of us the people we were years ago. It’s shabby to exploit anachronisms, to judge beliefs out of time and place, unearthing a clump of discrimination”

Is this what the election campaign is going to be all about? Only time will tell but what a damn shame if it is true.

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23 Comments

  1. John Langille on

    It’s election games. What does anyone expect? Not like the Tories don’t do the same. Fact is AS is a leader, and more will be expected from him, and more dirt dug up. Personally I think his opposition speaks to a non embracing leadership, and does the esteemed author ever ask why he cannot break the statistical tie in the polls? Truth…..because he seems like an arch conservative little man with no appealing leader qualities. I guess your perspective depends on what color you paint your hoyse; red or blue!

  2. Nice try Hugh! If you and your party had your way women would be second class citizens still in the kitchen,pregnant and without the right to vote,gays would be in jail if not worse and immigrants would be where they belong,back in their own countries! Give me a break, if you believe Andrew is woke and progressive then I want what your smoking!PS l have always supported equal rights for all even twenty years ago

    • Where is this coming from Harper was in power long enough and never once said or implied all the things you mention so why do you think the conservatives would think that way now stop and think for a minute.

    • BJ Greaves-Walker on

      Gender should not enter into hiring for a position. The criteria for the placement should be the candidate with the most desirable qualifications and experience for the position That said there are still many stereotypes about women and their abilities, and men and their abilities, that continue to impact hiring decisions, in ways that harm both men and women,

      Andrew Scheer, Conservative, is a man of integrity who has a platform that will benefit all Canadians. He is a committed patriot, dedicated to Canada ‘s future, freedom and, democracy.

  3. All is fair in love and war!
    When our parliament is run by children what do you expect.
    The games that people play and we suffer like the wimps we are.

  4. Michael Mackenzie on

    This election should be about spending, taxes and deficits. It should be about trade and the future strategy for the Canadian economy and the environment. Beyond these there is an endless list of distracting special interest issues. Sadly – it is here in the special interest mud-slinging where our political parties choose to wage their war in the hope of gaining an edge.
    What Andrew Sheer said about gay marriage in 2005 is frankly irrelevant – the issue has been addressed in Canada and he has been clear it is not on his agenda to change it. Let’s not get manipulated or distracted form what’s important.

    Another good article Hugh!

    • Karen Wehrstein on

      You’re right, climate change is definitely a special interest. Of great interest to a group of people numbering about 7 billion.

  5. Murray Christenson on

    Kudos on this Hugh, well written. Goodale is an old Liberal hack so it’s no surprise he would stoop so low as to resort to old Liberal strategy of smear tactics. For as long as I can remember, they’ve done things like this whenever their power was threatened, usually because they’ve demonstrated they’re incapable of managing a lemonade stand. It’s sort of a “yea, I know we’re bad but look over there, those guys are worse” attempt at deflection.
    This clip is not new. The Liberals have been sitting on it for a while, waiting for a time to use it. It seems with the news that Trudeau has once again broken the law that maybe they could dump this out into the twitterverse and try and change the narrative. Of course, Mr Scheer’s attitude has changed as you’ve pointed out. This Conservative party is the most red Tory party I’ve seen and there is no hope of them moving to the position the Liberals would like us all to think they occupy.

  6. Karen Wehrstein on

    Just for the record: showing a 14-year-old video of someone is not a smear or character assassination. I would like to see Scheer try to sue Goodale for defamation. “But Mr. Scheer,” the judge would say, “you did do and say everything that’s on the video. You will be held responsible for whatever words you say that are recorded, and your reputation will be based upon them.”
    .
    Scheer is perfectly free to tweet back with newer video, as of the speech you quote above.
    .
    This is much ado about nothing.

  7. Great article Hugh. Goodale’s action speaks volumes about the desperation in the Liberal party to change the channel from their poor track record on real matters the voters actually care about. Pathetic petty politics we are so sick of.. but then, we’re going to have put up with it for a few months still.

  8. How terribly dispiriting, is my reaction.
    Goodale knows better. The Liberals know that all they need to do is display a bunch of bogeymen (bogeypeople?) such as this old video and the social media nit wits will react as expected.
    As has been said, there are so many important issues that really matter to be debated at election time that it is a shame that an old hand like Goodale would stoop to this level. But he sword has two edges.
    Trudeau has a skelleton or two in his closet (which the media have been hypocritically glad to effectively bury). I suppose if Sheer’s old views are so important all these years later, Trudeau’s groping of a young reporter must also factor in a major way in how we should judge his current character and fitness for office. Trudeau recently put that down to his having a differing perceptipn of what he did to the young female than she did. The media simply lets it go at that.
    Trudeau still handles women the same way. A woman states what she felt was happening to her – Jody Wilson Raybold feeling improper interference – and he attempts to shrug it off by saying that it was a difference in their perceptions. So nothing here folks. Except the ethics comissioner doesn’t agree.
    So in fact there is lots there. And there is also a shocking double standard.
    If Andrew Sheer had done what Trudeau did social & traditional media would have torn him to shreds and had his head drying on a pike.
    I’d say that folks like ralph Goodale should be careful what they dig up on their opponents. Every candidate has things in their past which they would prefer remained private. As Hugh has said, politician’s views evolve.
    Concentrate on things which can improve the country and avoid all these childish tactics.
    We do get the government we deserve.

  9. Goretti Stinson on

    This would be inappropriate if Shreer had in any way demonstrated that that video no longer represents his anti gay attitudes, but his refusal as a national leader to appear at gay pride celebrations along side the other party leaders proves that the video is an accurate depiction of who and what he is.

    • BJ GREAVES-Walker on

      Justin Trudeau has the arrogance to criticize Andrew Scheer for having the class to not march in the 2019 Toronto Gay Pride parade. Meanwhile he flies all over Canada, on our dollar, to hit every one going. Many Canadians are aware of what goes on at Pride Parades. In some cases, grown men walk around half-naked(or all naked) in front of Canadian children. Good idea? Please do tell–what percentage of Canadian parents would be in favour of such a thing. But in Justin’s typical fashion, all he can see is the superficial, pride-oriented element of the equation. This he rides with into the sunset for the purpose of capturing the gay and trans voter-base.

  10. BJ GREAVES-Walker on

    Canada stands at this moment at an incredible threshold in history. The fall election is not one of Trudeau vs. Scheer. This election is about the destiny of Canada. This is about whether or not the Liberal-Trudeau-Third World- Globalist will supersede our traditional communities, seize control of society, our values, ideals and most importantly, the future of the former “Great White North.”

    It is incredible that the media, in a country that was once a proud democracy, has been passively allowed by Canadians, to hide or distort the truth from the public. This media’s unjustified coverage of the Ralph Goodale attack on Andrew Scheer is just one example where they intentionally omit the fact that Ralph Goodale voted “nay” in both 1995 and 1999 to same sex marriage in Canada.

    Under Justin Trudeau, the Liberal government has turned willing journalists into public employees whose role is to serve him. A free press must be free of government and, currently, this does not exist in Canada. This is an intentional disservice to Canadians, especially those who neglect their responsibility to dig further for the unbiased truth. Free speech in Canada is now in jeopardy.

    Justin Trudeau bought an already biased leftist Canadian media when he established the Canadian Media fund and gave it $600 million of Canadians’ dollars. His intent – to demolish the Nationalist opposition in Canada and promote his reelection allowing him to complete his UN Globalist destruction of our country’s nationalism, sovereignty, our ability to hold our destiny in our own hands

    How much does it take for Canadians to recognize that this corruption of the media scheme of Justin Trudeau’s is extreme voter fraud and further, that they’re the ones paying for it? Frightening that most citizens form their political opinions from this unethical, paid off by Liberal media to dispense malicious Liberal propaganda.

    It didn’t take long for Jerry Dias, the President of Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union to publish a note in which he clearly states he will go against the advice of the many worried journalists he represents and directly attack Conservative party leader Andrew Scheer. (https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/jerry-dias-wants-to-make-an-enemy-out-of-andrew-scheer/) Unifor and Jerry Dias are Trudeau’s “friends with benefits.”

    When Trudeau was pressed on appointing Unifor to the panel meting out $600 million in tax breaks to legacy media, he had, as usual, no response.

    This arrangement of Trudeau with Jerry Dias, opens up more arguments that the Conservatives will never have a fair shake from the mainstream press, and opens us up to the same terrible relationship that exists in the states between the Republicans and media.
    Journalists and politicians alike have already begun calling out this purely partisan play, with ethical individuals like David Akin commenting “I am a member of this union as a condition of my employment and I cannot stress enough how stupid an idea this is for a union that represents journalists. FWIW: I am committed to reporting vigorously and comprehensively on all third-party political spending”

      • Fervently agree, Karen! There is simply no way that a man, with the privilege of having had Pierre as a father, has a scintilla of prejudice against gays (or anybody else for that matter).
        .
        Also, B.J., it appears that Rosie didn’t get the memo, and re: Andrew: Actions speak louder than words.
        .
        And Hugh, do you have any evidence that Justin was aware of Ralph’s statement, in advance? Personally, I would think that he was in the throes of preparing for the G-7 conference; especially as he was including no aides or ministers. Also, I disagree with your basic premise that “tigers change their stripes” over time. Personally, I retain all my adolescent moral values; to the extent of being a member of Muskoka Pride (and fighting for all disadvantaged people my entire life).
        .
        I’m certain that my comments over the years are consistent with my values.

        • A privilege to have Pierre Trudeau as a father or prime minister????
          The true face of Pierre Trudeau, Marxist, Communist who remarked to a CBC reporter after his election, “I don’t believe the ordinary people should be allowed to influence the decisions of government.” During the entire time he was PM Canada was never privy to highly classified intelligence. When he took office in 1968 the national debt was $18 Billion, largely a hold over from the war. 15 1/2 years later the debt was $200 billion, interest at 25 – 28%, The damaging residual effects of his tenure as prime minister are still felt today, particularly given that his son Justin, our current prime minister, is an incredibly more dangerous clone of his father, a self serving narcissist who will use any means to achieve the final destruction of our country that his father, Pierre began years ago.

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