Could Canadian politics stoop to the level of American “nasty?”

Our latest column from William Thomas

Campaign 2019 has barely begun and already Canadian politics have taken a very vulgar turn.

In Mississauga members of the National Citizens Alliance accosted MPP Gurratan Singh with insults about Sharia law and political Islam. Chances are these anti-immigrant, white supremacists wouldn’t know the difference between Sharia and a sharpie but it makes for great shouting points.

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a pass on three of the five upcoming debates, protesters in chicken suits showed up at his next campaign stop. Fortunately, the chickens didn’t egg him.

In Hamilton Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was physically blocked from joining the annual Labour Day parade by angry union protesters. Their chant? “Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, same old bulls–t, different year.” Well, no matter what your political preference maybe, you have to admire their rhyming scheme.

So far Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has escaped mob pushback but the gays are waiting in the weeds for the guy who once compared same-sex marriage to the tail of a dog in a really dumb analogy that has come back to bite him in the ass.

And then there’s Maxime Bernier who should just insert the word “white” in front of his People’s Party of Canada. Bernier is on the record as saying that CO2, the carbon dioxide gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels is not a pollutant, a fact easily grasped by kindergarten children.

In his most recent brain fart, Bernier attacked the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg calling her “mentally unstable” and saying she should be “denounced” and “attacked.” So far “The Dan Quayle of Canadian Politics” has not yet referred to Malala, the world education activist child who took a bullet from the Taliban as a “spoiled little brat.” But then his campaign is just gearing up. Maxime Bernier calling anybody “mentally unstable” is like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson referring to an opponent as a “clown.”

With the air we breathe and the planet we walk on at stake, we should all vote for the Green Party. But we won’t. The NDP has been an attractive third option but now they’re exhibiting all the organizational skills of a cross-eyed Border Collie. So it will come down to a street fight between the Tories and the Grits.

Scheer and his Conservatives have their Trudeau attack ads ready to go showing the prime minister in a photo standing next to a toxic dump known a President Donald Trump. No doubt the Trudeau Liberals will counter with ads showing Scheer with his arm around a smiling car crash dummy called Premier Doug Ford. They haven’t so far photoshopped each other with images of Hitler or Charlie Manson but as I said…it’s early in the race.

I doubt Canadian elections could ever become as downright filthy as American politics where currently Trump advisor Roger Stone proudly wears a Richard Nixon face tattoo on his back and boasts about all the dirty deeds he’s done. But let’s see.

In John F. Kennedy’s first run for Congress in 1946, he was up against a very formidable candidate named Joseph Russo. So his father, tycoon Joe Kennedy paid another man to jump into the race. His name? Joseph Russo. Confusion caused the legitimate Joseph Russo to split the vote with Joe Kennedy’s ringer and the result? Congressman JFK!

Can you imagine if Scheer’s Conservatives start running robocalls warning voters to think twice before voting for Margaret Trudeau?!? Wait! Pierre’s Margaret or Justin’s mom Margaret? Stranger things have happened.

The ugliest of political deceptions often blow up in the face of the perpetrator. In the 1977 New York City primary for mayor, Mario Cuomo was running against the gay Ed Koch when posters started popping up that said: “Vote for Cuomo, not the homo.” And in a sterling example of how hate should be rejected, the citizens of New York City made Ed Koch their mayor..

In his first election to the US Senate, Lyndon Baines Johnson was way behind in the projected poll until out of nowhere a big box of votes showed up from Mexican Americans who were mostly dead and had voted in alphabetical order of their names!

American dirty tricks hit rock bottom when George W. Bush’s campaign buried opponent John McCain’s chances in their presidential primary with rumours that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. Many believe this most vile act cost McCain, the last decent Republican of our time the presidential nomination. And the worst? McCain and his wife did indeed have a black daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.

Correction: I used the terms “dirty tricks” and “rock bottom” without acknowledging the “Trickiest Dick Of All.” Nixon! Suffice to say, paying five burglars to break into your opponents’ headquarters earned Nixon a legacy of larceny forever underlined by his famous denial: “I am not a crook.”

I want to believe Canadian campaigns could never stoop so low as American politics…Wait! Late-breaking news! “Today Conservative leader Andrew Scheer accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of fathering an illegitimate chicken!”

And for comments, ideas and copies The Legend of Zippy Chippy go to www.williamthomas.ca