Digging up embarrassing old statements by an opponent and publicizing them, that is. Also, dusting off long-ago missed legislative votes, or questionable expenditures or travel.
When you get a quote that hurts your adversary, you leak it to a media organization. Once the media report on the statement, the political party then can bray and screech about how offended and outraged it is.
The outrageous Justin Trudeau quote about Alberta, by now, is well-known to all.
In a 2010 interview on a French-language program, Trudeau said Canada wasn’t doing well because “it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda.”
I think it was a dumb thing to say, and not just because I’m a member of the Alberta diaspora. If an Alberta MP had said it about Quebec, Trudeau et al would be rightly upset.
Now, as I said in Sunday’s column, politicians regularly say dumb things, and no one is ever truly shocked or appalled when they do.
Politicians and media pretend to be shocked and appalled, but voters aren’t. They’ve seen it all before.
What was interesting, therefore, was something else entirely — the way in which the three main political parties handled the controversy.