Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Luntz Kerfuffle

There was a bit of a blogosphere blow-up last week around the fact that Montreal Gazette reporter Elizabeth Thompson managed to eavesdrop (by standing in a hotel lobby, a very public place) on a speech by Republican polling guru Frank Luntz. It was well covered in Antonia Zerbisias’s blog here and here.

Elizabeth Thompson posted the whole transcript on her blog.

Here is the quote (from her original story as quoted by Antonia) that interested me:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government should do its best over the coming year to dig up embarrassing information on the former Liberal administration and portray it as corrupt, a prominent Republican pollster counselled an influential group of Conservatives yesterday.

Speaking a day after meeting with Mr. Harper, Frank Luntz described the Conservatives as allies of the Republicans and urged them to discredit the Liberals so thoroughly that it will be years before they make it back into power.

Luntz confronts a dilemma in Canada. All the usual despicable bag of tricks available to Republicans – eg, constitutional amendments against gay marriage, etc – just aren’t available in Canada. Our social values aren’t the same. So, what does he recommend – why another run at a scandal that pales in contrast to the multiple instances of corruption and criminality south of the border. I would say that advice wasn’t worth the air fare but it does tell us that the Conservatives don’t have much to run against in the next election. They just might have to stand or fall on their record.

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