November 25, 2006

Is This How Bob Wanted to Win?

Now I had the option of going all mock outrage on this story, but I won’t because there is a serious issue here. There is the issue of grassroots involvement in politics.

I started my blog back in 2004 because I was amused at how Warren Kinsella was taking it to Paul Martin and the Board. He could do so from his computer. On the blogosphere, everyone gets their voice. We can agree and disagree with people. We are all a bunch of average Joes and Josies, everybody is equal. It is one of the only grassroots things left in politics.

Why am I upset that the Bob Rae campaign paid a lobbyist and communication specialist money to come post negative comments anonymously on my blog, Ted’s blog, and I am sure countless other blogs? Because they have ruined a world that we had previously used as an exchange of ideas, an open forum, a democratic space untouched by most professional communications experts (except you Warren, but you’re a punk rebel so we love you that much more)

The Globe has released the handle of the person making the negative comments all over the blogosphere saying he used the name “skip” and operated the blog Dissension Delivered (I’m assuming delivered at a price?) He is the employee of BCP, yes the BCP of Yves Gougoux and John Parisella (like we needed to see Gougouz’s face again) If you don’t know all your Quebec communications firms after last year, you aren’t as much of a news junkie as I am. BCP calls Jean Louis Dufresne a rogue employee. However, the firm was hired to do work for Mr Rae’s leadership campaign and John Parisella has been far from quiet.

Parisella doubles as a political analyst and has been slamming Michael Ignateiff since the beginning of the campaign. Now his paid employee is attacking Michael systematically and anonymously. I doubt these people are part of Bob’s campaign financing. Is this really how Bob Rae wanted to win? By corrupting the blogosphere along the way. It is the type of the scorched Earth policy we have traditionally seen from some Liberals in the past and it is one we wanted to avoid this time around.

So the campaign of the backroom has more backroomers corrupting the blogosphere. I should have known this was eventually going to happen. Every blogger must condemn these kinds of actions. Not because it is Bob Rae, but because in order to preserve the place we have created for ourselves on the blogosphere, there is no place for this kind of smearing anonymous garbage paid for by rich people. Politics is not supposed to be done this way.

I call on all bloggers Ted Betts, Bart Ramson, Jason Cherniak, Jonathan Ross, and even the professionals like Kinsella to stand united against this kind of garbage. Feel free to criticize Michael, but identify yourself, and do so without getting paid to do it. I would actually appreciate if Michelle Oliel and John Lennard would join in here as well. If we want to preserve any integrity we have on Liblogs, we have to fight intrusions like this.

12 Commentaires:

Blogger angela a dit...

(this ones for you, simon)

i dont know about the other normies out there, but when i read fud-dud or cherniak or any of those blatantly liberal folks, i dont see it as "the grassroots" but "the liberal party hack crew" ...

has more backroomers corrupting the blogosphere

followed by

I call on all bloggers Ted Betts, Bart Ramson, Jason Cherniak, Jonathan Ross, and even the professionals like Kinsella

haha a list of people active in the party. except i have no idea who ted betts is. woo, out of the loop!

yeah, its more meaningful when people do this for free, but maybe in some sick way our market system makes what rae's slimeballs are doing 'fair' ...

the litany of endorsements on this page benefit the ig campaign 24/7 (wow, works as many hours as a robot volunteer!) for a cool $0.00 ... as do the many anti-rae/everyone else little slideshows on youtube.

rae's camp actually had to pay for their comment-snark, an expenditure that one hopes will cut into their finance limits. are these finance limits supposed to be the great equalizer or something? i dont know, ive always been totally skeptical. still, thats what they do in theory.

are you asking for some kind of control of the blogosphere?

what precedent would anyone have for setting blogosphere limit laws? who knows, who cares, but lets speculate...

manpower in the form of unpaid volunteers is not generally regulated. signs are regulated, due to printing fees, which must be recorded. posts on the intarwebs, which are as durable and long-lasting as a nice campaign poster or ad in a public space (and harder to chuck into the recycle bin than a pamphlet), are unregulated. should they be? haha, that would be revolting. hands off my intarwebs!

the bc government tried to do count blogs as part of campaign limits during the stv campaign, so its not like theres no precedent for that sort of bs.

this post of yours would have been less whiny and more effective if you did go the snarky route and just point out how pathetic it makes the rae camp look. someone being paid to be online and harassing people is not the brutal attack on the blogosphere you think it is.

11/25/2006 6:17 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Angela it's one thing to do it oublicly, but a completely different thing to be paid to smear candidates.

Thia skip was constantly lying on other people's blogs knowing full well he would lose all credibility if people knew he was getting paid to do it.

ironically the blog is called dissension-delivered

delivered indeed

11/25/2006 6:33 a.m.  
Blogger lance a dit...

Astroturfing is hardly new. If you thought for a minute that politicians of all stripes were above this . . . well, naive is the word I would use.

Cheers,
lance

11/25/2006 11:48 a.m.  
Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

I agree with Lance. Every campaign now has a blog campaign aspect to it. Part of that campaign is to give the impression that bloggers are doing one thing or another. That any campaign is or is not paying someone who is posting favourably to the campaign is not surprising. That it was the Bob Rae campaign who got busted is even less surprising.

11/25/2006 12:37 p.m.  
Blogger dollard_liberal a dit...

Well if we put it philosophically Antonio,

It's sort of a redundant point you're making. Clearly you know who I am at least and some other folks here too (even your detractors), but there will always be people going incognito... it's a good point but let's face it the smearing shall continue. This is pawwwlitics, there's no room for nice guys like us ;)

11/25/2006 1:08 p.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

antonio said:
"Why am I upset that the Bob Rae campaign paid a lobbyist and communication specialist money to come post negative comments anonymously"

according to the article he was not paid to do this. furthermore, the article states that the communications firm in question has only received a 3 thousand dollar contract from the rae campaign (one should be paying at least 500$ a day for professional consulting...AT LEAST). the Globe may be incorrect, but i would caution against making unsubstantiated accusations. indeed, it is possible that he was merely stating his own opinion and not being paid to do so. the optics, nevertheless, are not good.

now, as someone said astroturfing is a common practice. your statement that:

"they have ruined a world that we had previously used as an exchange of ideas, an open forum, a democratic space...By corrupting the blogosphere"

makes you come off as quite the pollyannish cassandra. this mythical free exchange is something that exists only in utopia. ideals can never be met in reality. unfortunately, we are left to muddle through in an imperfect world.

indeed, in a perfect world, there would be no bloggers who merely promulgate the talking points coming from their campaign's hq. again, we are left with an imperfect world; one coloured by an individual's partisan, partial, and positioned perception of reality. as such, i visit the trustworthy mouthpieces at fuddle duddle, cerberus, winnipeg grit and others to get my daily dose of the iggy hq's talking points. do i find the sycophantic partisanship displayed at such sites to be furthering an objective understanding of reality??? No, however, we can all agree that objectivity remains an ideal unattainable in a reality dominated by fallible beings.

your statement that this incident:

"is the type of the scorched Earth policy we...wanted to avoid this time around."

reminds me of the psychological theories of "projection", and "cognitive dissonance". in lay terms, it amounts to the pot calling the kettle black. unfortunately, the discourse on these liblogs has been beset by the most crass, vitriolic, sycophantic sophistry possible. some may have been paid, others merely volunteered to this end. the differing motivations nevertheless have engendered identical outcomes.

now, as for your contention that:

"skip was constantly lying on other people's blogs"

this may be an accurate description of his behaviour. however, i have read many of his posts and have not witnessed any outright falsehoods. it would be beneficial to back up your accusations with evidence. knowing your ability to interpret reading from someone's article as a "smear" against them, i take your views with enough salinity to destroy the breadbaskets of the world. please provide evidence of these falsehoods so that we can unite in our castigation of this individual's dishonesty.

your statement that:

"Politics is not supposed to be done this way."

illustrates the normative subjectivity of your argument. indeed, if only wishful thinking made it so. again, unfortunately, ideals are never achieved in reality. politics is a process whereby individuals or groups attempt to exert influence in order to acquire and maintain power. that certain unsavoury tactics are employed to that end is the unfortunate reality of the pursuit of power.

i apologize for turning this into an academic exercise, but i saw the opportunity to apply some theoretical concepts to illustrate the inherent idealism of your ontological presuppositions. nevertheless, if an objective free-standing reality can be ascertained without recourse to an archimedean meta-theoretical foundation for assessing truth, it is that this incident is not good news for the rae campaign.

11/25/2006 5:56 p.m.  
Blogger propatria a dit...

Whaaa?

11/25/2006 6:03 p.m.  
Blogger James Bowie a dit...

Some of your commentors have some truth behind them. The article stopped short of saying "Bob Rae paid people to comment anonymously on the Internet about Michael Ignatieff and what an awful person he is."

Or else we'd REALLY have a story

11/25/2006 7:25 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

Yawn.

11/25/2006 9:42 p.m.  
Blogger Quebec Liberal a dit...

How is Iggy going to grow if the Campaign Leadership of Rae, Dion, MArtha, Dryden and Kennedy have all signed the petition against the "Nation" resolution.

11/26/2006 9:55 p.m.  
Blogger Herb a dit...

Te blogosphere as a bastion of innocence and integrity! Defiled by the intrusion of a professional PR person!

Who'd a thunk it?

We're on a dangerous slippery slope here, aren't we? The next thing you know, we might see actual people involved in actual political campaigns posting here! And what then??

11/27/2006 12:42 p.m.  
Blogger anybody but iggy a dit...

Anyways, Iggy's team lied about Joe Volpe's memberships, about Rae's delegates, and about poaching "organizers" from Dion's camp - to say nothing of Iggy's own constant obfuscating and backpedalling.
So trying to pin sometthing dishonest on another camp sounds very shallow coming from the iggynation.
Just sayin'.

11/27/2006 2:49 p.m.  

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