You have to wonder how much fake news impacts a party’s decision. In this case the Conservatives have thrown up a huge smoke screen over a Liberal MPs motion around Islamophobia. The realty is once the smoke clears the Conservatives will be left blowing smoke as they try to convince voters, especially new Canadians that they are an inclusive party.
Some of this is just so foolish that it simply leaves you shaking your head. I have seen leadership candidates express concern that this simple motion could lead to Sharia law or that it would be the end of free speech. I have seen constant reference to this motion being a “Bill” which it most definitely is not.
Every party and that includes the Liberals, NDP, and Green parties has its fringe elements and we have seen some of the Conservative fringe in action around this motion.
The sad thing for the party is that a few of the leadership candidates have bought into this nonsense, potentially self-inflicting injuries on themselves for years to come if one of them happens to win the leadership vote. Some of us have been there when motions are drafted and we know that they are always crafted to inflict the maximum damage and cause the maximum frustration and division in other parties. Hours can be spent on the wording to get it just right. And don’t kid yourself the top brass usually know what is going on and play and active part. Pretty well every motion will be checked over by the Whip’s office and an MP can rarely say the upper echelons IE PMO or Leader’s Office wasn’t aware of what their MP was proposing. Why wasn't an attempt made to get all party agreement on the wording before it was introduced? This could have been done by the MP or party brass. Clearly playing politics with the motion was part of the Liberal game plan.
With this motion the Liberals scored a bullseye and the Conservatives are left looking nasty and out of touch. Thus it is no surprise that the provincial Liberals will introduce a similar motion in a desperate attempt to rattle the Ontario Conservatives.
What is concerning is not only that the federal Conservatives fell into the trap, but that the Liberals on such an important and delicate issue set the trap in the first place.
The shame should be spread equally over both parties.