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Co-operation is better then co-opting.

In brief, I think how this particular situation has transpired could have been handled a lot better by the Liberals (and which they still have time to handle better).

UPDATE @ 9:58 pm: It appears things have been straightened out per the News section at the Facebook group. Antonia Zerbisias with the update:

This just in:

Hi Antonia,

The women in our office discovered your effort a few days ago and were thrilled to join and send notes to their friends about it. Our intention was to support your efforts, not hijack them. We made sure the message on our buttons was different so that people wouldn’t be confused. We understand the desire for this not to be partisan. When we released the Harper video we highlighted his attack on women, minorities, francophones and the judiciary. The important thing is that people watch that video and see the real Stephen Harper.

Jill Fairbrother
Director of Communications (Media)
Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition


My Reply:

Thanks for that Gosia and Jill.

As Elizabeth has outlined, we were concerned that you used us (and, indirectly LEAF) in your news release — and then jumped on a grassroots movement for partisan purposes. This had the potential to hurt LEAF, which is not partisan and not an advocacy group but a registered charity that has intervened in many landmark human rights cases. We have all seen what the minority Conservative government has done to Status of Women, the Court Challenges program, the funding of Montreal’s Divercite festival and other ”left-wing fringe” causes.

All of us felt that LEAF might get it next.

That said, while your message is not exactly the same as ours, we share the sentiment. However, none of us want to be actively involved with any political party for various reasons, including professional ones. It would have been tricky for us to have communicated with any MPs about this group, as much as we might have wanted all of you who agree with us to join and wear our T-shirtsl! What would have been nice however is a heads up, and some consideration of the limitations we face — as volunteers here, as supporters of LEAF and, most important, as voters who want the Harper government not to win the majority it will use to squash women’s, gays and lesbians’ and minority rights.

One more thing: I have been subjected to some personal attacks by Liberal party supporters, both here on Facebook and on Twitter, because of my objection to the co-option of our group. I don’t think these attacks have much helped the cause.

Okay. Fight’s over. Crowd disperse.

Tell all the women on the Hill — Liberal, BQ and NDP — to sign up! Let’s get this show on the road.



6 comments to Co-operation is better then co-opting.

  • CanNurse

    Thanks, Scott. I agree with Antonia, you, et al. I would, however, feel REALLY great about it all if the LPC gave the group “Proud to be…” a small donation to support this effort of Canadian women’s advocacy, in keeping with the LPC’s support of our cause & of Canadian women. Just a thought…

  • With all due respect backatcha, Scott, there should be a public, official, easily found mea culpa from the party. One that the Cons can’t spin.

    I’m really curious to see what the Cons make of this. Much better for the Libs to act now, before the sh*t starts flying, and then they have to back-peddle, saying, ‘Butbutbut, we totally resolved this on Facebook’.

    The whole deal was Antonia’s idea, but she sure wouldn’t claim to speak for all of us.

  • No, Scott, it is not resolved until the Liberal Party apologizes publicly. Not just on Facebook.

    Then, I’ll update.

    • With all due respect, an acknowledgment by the Director of Communications for the LPC should be considered as the act of contrition. Antonia obviously thinks it is.. so why can’t everyone else?

  • Good on you, Scott. Urge your party to back off.

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