Wynne suing Hudak is hardly going to help her
Apr 6, 2014

Wynne suing Hudak is hardly going to help her

The de facto practice of being a politician is to not so subtly imply all manner of scandalous inanities about one's opponents. When there is an actual underlying scandal, the shrill accusations from opponents tend to reach a fever pitch, and how an incumbent politician deals with the scandal breaking around them can make or break them.

From Rob Ford to Chris Christie to Stephen Harper, we have seen quite a range of different responses to political scandals. But the approach that Kathleen Wynne is taking to the email deletions over the gas plant cancellations seem to be the oddest yet.

She is suing her political opponent for libel. Or at least, she has given a libel notice and will possibly upgrade to the full suit shortly.

I'm failing to see how this is possibly an effective political tactic. People expect politicians to say ridiculous and overblown things about each other. Reacting via a lawsuit will come off as desperate overkill. It appears weak, as if one isn't able to take the normal blows and punches of politics.

I think the thinking behind the move goes something like this: Wynne wants to make sure that Ontarionians really, really, really, believe that she has nothing to do with the disastrous screw up of the plant cancellations. By taking the action of a lawsuit, she is demonstrating that she is super, super, super serious when she says she didn't do it.

Hudak's claims do seem if not completely spurious than certainly premature on the evidence. However, political opponents are expected to act as if everything is an enormous scandal, even when it isn't yet substantiated. Standard practice is to simply dismiss the claims as exactly that. I doubt this alternate tactic - the threat of a lawsuit - is going to go over well with the electorate. Time will tell.

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Ryan Spinney said...

The lawsuit makes it look like she's trying to silence Hudak, which not only allows him to act like a Martyr, but makes people wonder what she has to hide.

ben burd said...

perhaps she just doesn't like people telling lies about her!

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