Don Martin: Truth dies when political warfare begins
Industry Minister Christian Paradis responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, June 21, 2012. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, September 18, 2012 7:00AM EDT
Christian Paradis has a lovely wife and three cute-as-a-button kids. He works hard as Industry Minister and, despite some ethical hiccups, is a genuinely likable Quebec MP.
So it’s a mystery why he allows mean-spirited lies to be spread under his name by the Conservative party’s smear specialists.
In what has become the opening fall fib front of Conservative attack, Paradis launched a scathing assault against the NDP, warning they would bring down an apocalypse on the fragile Canadian economy.
The weapon for this GDP carpet-bombing would be a Dipper-imposed carbon tax to penalize those who freely kick out megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Prices on “everything” would soar, they warn. Jobs would disappear. A deep recession would beckon from the carbon-constricted abyss.
There’s only one problem with this alarmist scenario, which has been dutifully parroted by Conservative robomaulers across the country.
It’s utter bovine-enhanced fertilizer. In other words, B.S.
Perhaps the NDP could respond by defaming Prime Minister Stephen Harper; accusing him of plotting to impose an economically difficult cap-and-trade carbon reduction system.
That, at least, would have the advantage of being true. Harper promised repeatedly in 2008 to take that route to slowing greenhouse gas discharges.
But that is not the same as a carbon tax. And that is not what NDP Leader Tom Mulcair (or Jack Layton) proposed. They wanted precisely what Harper wanted. Cap your emissions or trade cash to lesser polluters for carbon credits.
It’s particularly discouraging that on the eve of having relaxed and energized MPs return to Parliament Hill Monday, Conservative stormtroopers have rolled out a welcome mat of sensational untruths.
There are enough cheap shots, personal swipes and fertilized lines of fact in the partisan parliamentary arsenal without unleashing outright fabrications to spread fear where it doesn’t exist.
Christian Paradis and the classier Conservatives should not allow themselves to serve as noisy blanks in political target practice.
Sadly, and this applies to all parties at one time or another - when political warfare turns bloody, truth becomes the first casualty and lies live on in the public record.