It may be a step too far to use the word 'loathsome' to describe Chris Tindal's Toronto Centre by-election campaign, so perhaps 'irksome' would be a better fit.
Tindal, who is running for the second time as a federal candidate forthe Green Party, has gone great lengths to avoid a substantivecampaign, make the case that he's nothing more than a walking haircut virtually by himself. This, most maddeningly, is despite all the good will he's been afforded by the riding.
During this longer-than-ever 87-day campaign period, the naive Tindal has trotted around the riding without so much as a scrutinizing glance. No background checks completed; no personal attacks launched; not one gaffe seized upon.
He's also gone unscathed in a horrendously transparent wink-and-nodcampaign aimed at painting his opponents as arrogant, partisan, and/orunruly. Most of this comes not from a stump speech, but from the safety of the Internet, where Tindal portrays himself as either a victim (Bob Rae ignored him, and may have started a rumour about him! He was pushed off a canvassing stoop by Conservatives!) or a hero (he's able to stay above partisan attacks! He discovered Barack Obama first!).
Ergo, here is the media attention Tindal so deserves:
- His posted credentials are crassly underwhelming, and barely list a day job;
- His endorsements are nothing if not problematic. One listed backer spent time as a tobacco company activist (that is: supported by the tobacco industry!);
- His personal views and party platform mirror each other down to the punctuation, which suggests he doesn't have many personal views. His website and campaign literature, devoid of policy points, further this suspicion;
- He is in desperate need of a haircut;
- And, finally, there is picture on one of his websites of a woman posing bare-chested, holding asign with his name on it. (That link, by the way, is not safe for work, or, arguably, for a federal campaign.)
Unsurprisingly, all of the above can be found with a very limitedamount of Googling.
And while none of the above amounts to any sort of scandal, just imagine for a moment if a picture of an unidentified topless woman was found on one of Liberal Bob Rae's websites. Or think what would happen if Rae's endorsements were from former tobacco company lobbyists.
Or, at the very least, consider that Tindal claims to have "moreexperience as a candidate in this riding than any of [his] nationalparty opponents." Perhaps his experience trumps his opponents in that carefully worded boast, but not so much in removing unsavory material from his websites.
The fact that no member of the press covering the by-election has done even this cursory research on Tindal should be counted as a blessing - both for him and his party.
This, however, is not to encourage any riding outrage or to say Tindalis unfit to campaign in a federal election. No, this is solely topoint out that Tindal and the Greens have been goofy, needlessly smug, and, as previously mentioned, completely irksome in this Toronto Centre by-election.