Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's the same everywhere, depressingly

With elections underway both here, in Canada, and the USA, I'm subjecting myself to twice the normal dose of bullshit politicking. There are all sorts of examples, but the ludicrous spin-doctoring that's happening on both sides of the border is perhaps the most aggravating. For example:
  • An inquiry in Alaska found that Sarah Palin abused her power in attempting to have her brother-in-law fired from his job in law enforcement. The McCain/Palin team's response? It was "a partisan-led inquiry" whose findings can't be trusted. Which might hold water if it was a Democrat-led inquiry. Only it wasn't - the Republican members outnumbered the Democrats by more than two-to-one. So unless Palin's such a maverick that her own party would take a "partisan" position against her...
  • An FBI expert confirmed that the relevant portion of a controversial audio tape, where the current Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, can be heard confirming to a biographer that he offered a dying independent Member of Parliament a bribe for helping to bring down the former Liberal government, had not been tampered with and represented an unbroken conversation. But the PM, who claimed that his response and/or the question had been doctored, has refused to address the tape, and his legal team is arguing that the findings somehow vindicated the PM. Because, y'see, at some point afterward the tape was stopped and rewound a bit, and used to record another piece of the same conversation. Clearly, they seem to be implying, the biographer erased the part where Harper said "Just kiddin'!" by recording over it - and in the PM's presence, no less.
I have nothing of much substance to add. I voted in an advance poll and I'm taking my usual efforts to subtly influence people. But it's no wonder that people are made too fall so easily for misdirection and outright lies - there's so much of it that deception becomes the normative state of mass politics.

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