Rumours of the Liberals' Demise are Greatly Unattributed
The Globe and Mail reported this morning that many Liberal candidates have already conceded defeat and that staffers are feeling out new jobs even before the election comes to a close. The story, titled: "Liberals quietly consider the possibility of defeat," is available here. The story quotes a litany of anonymous sources, only one of which actually confirms the story's headline ("The national campaign is not doing anything for us"). For a contest, guess in which paragraph the first attributed source appears. If you guessed 21, you win! (There are 28 paragraphs in the online story). This story should not have any unattributed quotes, or quotes attributed to "senior Liberal officials." Both writers (Jane Taber and Bill Curry) are senior political writers for the Globe and should know better than to allow Liberal candidates to comment anonymously on the campaign. In my mind, there are two reasons why a Liberal candidate would talk in such low regard of their own campaign. The first is they are honestly disappointed with a poorly-run campaign. The second is, they may be in ridings the Liberals have no hope in winning and have offered no logistical support to (the Liberal candidate in my Calgary riding doesn't even have campaign signs - he rents those big neon-lettered signs you see advertising minor league hockey registration). A less-likely reason may be that the candidates are not Paul Martin's fans and want to sandbag the campaign in order to oust Martin as leader and replace him with someone they support. I don't know if these "senior Liberals" have dishonest motives. But unless we are told who these sources are, readers can't make that judgment. If this story is going to make the Liberal campaign suffer, perhaps we should know why.