Thursday, September 11, 2008

Elizabeth May Audio: Canadians Are Stupid

This video was created by Stephen Taylor, the founder of Blogging Tories. Its an audio recording from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin in which Elizabeth May says she agrees with the assessment that Canadians are stupid.

I must admit I doubted this video, thinking it was taken out of context, but to my surprise it was not. Elizabeth May's full comment:

"All the other Politicians are scared to death to mention the word tax. And they think Canadians are stupid. And cannot.... And I fundamentally agree with that assessment. But most politicians think that if you say we're gonna put on a carbon tax and reduce your income tax, they don't think they can sell it. It's all about votes."
I cannot believe this is not a bigger story considering she's a Party leader and on the record for saying she thinks Canadians are stupid. I invite anyone to listen to the audio, the particular segment is extracted from 3/4's of the way through the program. Elizabeth May offers no explanation as to what she meant when she made the outrageous statement, nor has offered any retraction.

This video has not only generated attention because of Elizabeth May's comments, but because the Green Party acted heavy-handedly and actually threatened legal action against a blogger for posting this video. The audio is completely unedited. For the Green Party to actually threaten a blogger for posting an audio clip of what their Leader actually said, the Green Party has illustrated the worst case of bullying. For the Green Party to respond this way leads one not only to think the Green Party isn't any better then the Conservatives in repressing free speech, but is worse.


Anonymous said...

we are stupid.....16 dead from listeriosis from the removal of inspectors by the harper team and people are still voting for them...and the papers are not saying anything about this....... in Quebec they are really stupid...a few conservative crooked entrepeneurs from the mulroney bunch started a scheme to fill their pockets and help the government in power at the time...the liberals....and the people of Quebec blame the liberals...what a crock.

catherine said...

I see May's answer is somewhat incoherent and unclear.
But still, how you you read that as May agreeing with politicians who think Canadians are stupid? She IS trying to sell a carbon tax.

I think May had an important point there, but she wasn't very articulate and to say those who (presumably care about the environment) and won't try to sell a carbon tax think Canadians are stupid was a bad choice of words. However, I rather like my politicians to say it like it is, so I can't get on her back much for saying some politicians think Canadians are stupid. I think Layton underestimates many Canadians when he says a carbon tax "costs consumers" while a cap and trade "costs big polluters".

I believe both Obama and McCain think a carbon tax would be better because they have the reports from their budget office telling them so, and yet they won't try to sell it. Why? It is an important question and that is what May was touching on. Don't miss the forest for the trees -- look at the critical question May was addressing. It is much more important than whether she used the word "stupid" or the phrase "won't learn enough about carbon pricing during an election".

BTW, I am in complete agreement with the legal threat. May should not have done that.

catherine said...

whoops, talk about not being clear. I meant that I do not support the legal threat and agree with you on that. good thing I'm not a politician! lol.

Anonymous said...

Cath: "so I can't get on her back much for saying some politicians think Canadians are stupid." Okay, but she agreed with it. She didn't just say "Some people think Canadians are stupid" She Said she agrees with the assessment that Canadians are stupid.

I'm sorry but most liberal bloggers are being ridiculous. I remember during leadership they'd attack Ignatieff over a slip that implied he didn't care about some place during the Lebanon war, yet here is a Leader, an actual leader of a political party saying she thinks ALL CANADIANS ARE STUPID and not one other liberal blogger is bringing it up.

Shame on everyone else.


AM said...

I listened to the tape. What I heard May say was, I disagree with that statement.

Anonymous said...

Am: Well you didnt listen at all to it. Because she said "I FUNDAMENTALLY AGREE with that statement." You left out a word and misheard another. I suggest you re-listen to it.


catherine said...

I have to admit, I didn't listen to the tape. I am taking the printed version.

May is discussing the reluctance of politicians who believe carbon tax is the right thing but are not willing to try to sell it. I can't ignore that basic fact, that May is ON THE RIGHT SIDE here.

This is not like exposing a year long deal between Layton and Harper to keep May out of the debates. That was two people on the wrong side acting in their own self interests and shafting Canadians who might vote Green.

I'm beginning to think that whenever one sees the NDP and the Harper Conservatives acting in unison, one should be extremely suspicious, including trying to make a big deal of these words.

How can one simply ignore the whole point that May's is trying to make with her answer?

Anonymous said...

Cath: How can we ignore the point? Because she WAS RUDE. You don't debate with someone who calls you stupid. You don't listen to people who talk down to you.

You're whole comment is irrelevant because you are incredibly bias. She has lowered the whole tone by acting like a 5 year old. Who calls Canadians stupid if you disagree with them or if yo are frustrated?

That is not how a politician should act.


Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous post. She is an ally. Why don't you get with the program and start targeting our real opponent, Stevie Harper.

mezba said...

Can't agree with you here. What May is saying, she agrees with the fact that "SOME politicians BELIEVE Canadians are stupid".

She herself is not saying Canadians are stupid.

Stavros said...

I'm a producer at The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVO.

We just interview Layton and will likely have interviews with all the major party leaders.

Watch Layon here, starts right after the intro:

catherine said...

Okay, I've now listened to the tape and I can see why the Blogging Tories clipped it where they did. If they had let May finish her sentence, her whole point and tone of voice make it clear that what you think she might have said doesn't make sense, as she makes it clear that she thinks politicians who refuse to try to sell a carbon tax are wrong. This comes across very clearly.

Therefore, if you listen to May's surrounding discussion and the entire content and tone of this specific part (not to mention the fact that she IS trying to sell a carbon tax) it is clear what she is saying is:

{inaudible} politicians are scared to death to mention the word tax and think Canadians are stupid


that she agrees this is the reason that those politicians are not trying to sell a carbon tax. She agrees with the assessment that this is the motivation behind some politicians (who, for example, know that a carbon tax can be implemented quickly and efficiently and be effective) who instead chose to sell some other plan (like cap and trade) are doing it because they think they cannot get Canadians to understand the benefits of a carbon tax.

It could be that the inaudible part holds a key (such "They say politicians are scared.... and I agree with that assessment). One could get a sound expert to pull out the inaudible part, or you could simply ask the people who were present at the time what was said and what the intent was.

Of course, that would not work in an attack ad meant to mislead. Listen to this whole section of the original tape and judge for yourself. This tape was meant to give people an impression that May said something she didn't in order to discredit her. I would call that libelous, if you want to use legal terms. What would you call it.

Oh, it is so sad that our democracy has all come down to this. Can you find a few words on some tape that due to poor sound quality or clever clipping will leave people with a false impression. I bet you can find more examples if you are so inclined to look. But, what makes someone want to do this?

Alice Cooper said...

I don't know how anyone could think this woman is capible of being an MP, much less Prime Minister. Every time she opens her mouth I cringe. And every time she says something stupid, she bats her eyelashes and plays the "silly me, that's not what I meant to say card."

Why she gets the attention she does is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Cath did you read my blog? Seriously? Because I included the after portion of her quote as well and it doesn't change anything.

It is irrational to think May made a claim that politicians think Canadians are stupid. Then she followed that up by agreeing with herself. No one says, I think politicians think Canadians are stupid, and you know what? I agree with myself.

That is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

According to the Green Party of Canada website, Elizabeth May was actually saying "I FUNDAMENTALLY AGREE with that statement" to a separate commend from someone else on radio show. Unfortunately the microphones didn't pick up the comment. I'm not sure how rude her comment would be in that context, as I don't know what that other comment was? However, I find it sickening how much focus people put on the most insignificant issues during these campaigns. Come on everyone, lets focus on what's actually important! Do you honestly believe that a politician believes you are stupid? And if they do, what's the problem; I hear people accuse politicians of being stupid every day! Get over it!

Anonymous said...

Anon: She never said "I fundamentally agree with that statement" in referene to someone else on the panel. If you actually listened to her she said she agreed with the "assessment" that Canadians are stupid.