So the Wynne Liberals revealed their big, big Doug Ford scandal: he allegedly paid for a few party memberships before he became leader.
“It’s nothing burger,” one senior Ontario PC operative said to me after the Ontario Liberal press conference ended. “Steady as she goes.”
Now, scandals (real or imagined) have a way of taking on a life of their own. Even though the voting public aren’t nearly as preoccupied with scandal as the media and politicians are – Exhibit A, the Clinton/Lewinsky “scandal,” Exhibit B, the entirety of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign – selfsame media and politicos are undeterred. They love scandal-mongering more than, you know, talking about boring stuff like “policy.”
Here, then, are a few helpful bullets on scandal-mongering. The politicos and media won’t pay attention, but I know my smart readers will.
- Scandal-mongering doesn’t work.
- The media/politico chattering class call everything a scandal, and always append “gate” to the end of same, to no discernible effect.
- The public already think everyone in politics is a crook, so the breathless revelation that someone involved in politics is a crook isn’t ever a revelation to them.
- Joe and Jane Frontporch, the aforementioned public, have heard the hysteria and histrionics about “scandals” too many times, and don’t believe any of it until the perp is led away in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.
- Joe and Jane believe the real scandals are things like the lack of a job, or having to lay in a hospital corridor for two days to get health care, or spending billions on security and deranged, lone-wolf fanatics still figure out a way to kill innocent people – those are the real scandals. Not someone expensing something by bona fide mistake, or the dissemination of political party membership cards, or consensual adults with zipper problems.
The Martinesque operatives around Kathleen Wynne are running the worst campaign in Ontario political history. And, the next time they cry “wolf” about some other scandal, nobody is going to believe them.