How fascinating. Not only are Conservative MPs completely interchangeable when mailing 10 percenters into other peoples' ridings - apparently the same applies to quotes from candidates.
For example, today's Milton Champion quoted newly anointed Conservative candidate Lisa Raitt speaking about child care:
"When they compare leaders, parents face a clear choice," said Raitt. "With Stephen Harper they'll keep their $1,200 universal childcare benefit. With Stephane Dion, they'll lose it..."
But Raitt contended there's nothing false about the Conservatives' ad campaign.
"This ad is fair and factual," she said. "It serves as a public service announcement that reflects the true Liberal position on the $1,200 universal childcare benefit and it clearly demonstrates what's at stake in this election campaign."
Aside from the fact that this is a bald-faced lie, it's nice to see that the Conservative Party chose to quote our little local paper's interview with Raitt on their website.
Unless... wait a minute... Let's check the French side:
« Quand ils comparent les leaders, les parents font face à un choix clair, a dit la ministre Josée Verner. Avec Stephen Harper, ils garderont la prestation pour la garde d'enfants de 1 200 $. Avec Stéphane Dion, ils la perdront. »
« Cette annonce est juste et fondée sur des faits, a dit Mme Verner. Elle reflète la vraie position des Libéraux sur la prestation pour la garde d'enfants de 1 200 $, et démontre clairement ce qui est en jeu au cours de cette campagne électorale. »
My French is, well, pretty much non-existent, but even I can tell (and the Globe & Mail confirms) that that is precisely the same quote - verbatim - attributed to Josée Verner.
Of course, Verner and Raitt are both woman, so naturally they would have exactly the same things to say on the subject of child care. Or abortion. Or pay equity.
This isn't just talking points being repeated. This is a multi-sentence quote being presented as the words of a specific candidate - in fact, two specific candidates - where every single word and comma is obviously coming straight from Party Central. Even worse, the Champion article gives the impression that this was all from an actual interview with the candidate, when in all likelihood (unless Raitt has a photographic memory) it was just copied and pasted from a press release.
How sad. Not just for the state of local journalism, but that Conservative candidates are apparently not trusted to speak for themselves, and are so firmly controlled by party headquarters that any individual strengths or weaknesses, ideas or opinions, are completely subsumed by the hive mind.
You have been nominated. Resistance is futile.