Upon opening my recent edition of the News, I was initially surprised to see a full-page ad from our Yukon Conservative Party, stating that if the Liberals are elected, they will bring back the long-gun registry.
Did I not read a news release from the Liberal Party, clearly stating they will not be bringing back the gun registry? Did I not hear Larry Bagnell state the same, at the all candidates forums and in the news media?
But then, my surprise at this misrepresentation of the Liberal Party platform quickly abated as I contemplated its source. Quite simply, it is an act of desperation by an MP that has not lived up to his election promise.
But first, this unscrupulous stunt is a political strategy devised by the Republican Party of our neighbours to the south. The way it works is to state a half-truth, a twist of fact, or an outright lie, that will undermine the campaign of another party or candidate. The fact that it is not true doesn’t enter into the equation, other than as a statement of the level of the ethics of the perpetrator. And, even though the falsehood will be refuted by the slandered candidate, the falsehood is simply repeated, over and over.
When Ryan Leef was campaigning last election, he adamantly promised that he would always stand with Yukoners, even if that meant going against his party. He gave us his word.
And has Ryan lived up to his word, and stood with Yukoners against his party when we have expressed objections?
Axing Parks Canada jobs, Bill C-51, Bill S-6, the closure of veterans offices, the closure of the Canada Revenue Agency office, cancellation of the long form census, etc. On all of these issues (and many more), there was clear and vociferous opposition from a great cross-section of Yukoners. And each and every time, Ryan repeated the words of his Ottawa masters. Each and every time, he stood with his party, and not with Yukoners, as he promised.
Obviously, the tenure of Ryan Leef as our MP has been a monumental failure of living up to his election promise. And now, in desperation at the eleventh hour, he is willing to defile our political discourse here at home with this underhanded tactic from the political gong-show of our neighbours to the south.
I think the other three candidates have displayed in the past few weeks a sound working concept of fair play that wouldn’t allow the purporting of such a falsehood against their fellow candidates. A vote for any one of them would not only be a vote toward better governance, but also a prescient vote to ensure this egregious style of politics does not become our norm.
On Oct. 19, let’s send Ryan Leef and the Conservatives a clear message as to what we think of their political styling. We deserve representation that better reflects the will of the people and an understanding of the concept of fair play.