Using today’s technology, it has never been easier to pull images, video clips and sound bites out of context and reassemble them in a way that casts an individual in a very negative light.
One cannot find a better example of this than the most recent Conservative attack ad directed at newly minted national Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau.
Such blatant misrepresentations of what were really said and done are used because, as was so obvious in the cases of Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, attack ads work at shaping public perceptions.
The Record’s letters-to-the-editor page has recently been peppered with contributions concerning a Harper “dictatorship.” If we continue to accept blatant misrepresentations of the men and women who seek public office, we will indeed find ourselves under a dictatorship of sorts: a tyranny of cynicism, stupidity and pettiness.
Come on, Canada. We can do much, much better than this.
Let’s insist that our political discourse be based on substantive issues, not on image manipulation.
The rumours that Sir John A. MacDonald was a drunk didn’t seem to make him any less capable a prime minister, but if he were in politics today he’d never even make it to the back benches.
If Justin Trudeau doesn’t make the mark let it be for his policies, not because he did something we often applaud our firefighters for — taking his shirt off for a charitable cause.