About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Election vandals hit Toronto

Guelphites will recall that in the waning days of the by-election, an incident in the east and south ends where a number of homes proudly displaying the Liberal sign of Frank Valeriote were vandalized. Dangerously vandalized too, because a number of cars had their brake lines cut along with anti-Liberal graffiti smeared over the outer walls of their home. I blogged about it at the time.

Well, over the weekend a ghastly similar occurance happened in two Toronto ridings. In the riding of St. Paul's and Parkdale-High Park at least 32 cases of vandalism were reported with 17 of them involving the dangerous act of cutting brake lines. A full-scale criminal investigation is currently underway.

"Some incidents that we were investigating, when the officers were on the scene, they actually walked the street and found evidence of brake fluid in other driveways but these people happened to be away for the day or for the weekend, so they're the people that are basically reporting it now," said Insp. Larry Sinclair to the CBC.

The two ridings are currently being held by two high-profile Liberals: Carolyn Bennett and Gerrard Kennedy. And like the incidents in Guelph, the list of acts ranged from the keying of cars to tearing up campaign signs to spray painting slogans like "McGuinty lies" and "B. Rae lies." Andrew Lane, a Bennett suporter, had his break lines cut but didn't notice until he'd left in his car and tried to break only to run a stop sign and almost get hit by a TTC buc. Liberal Leader St├Ęphane Dion came out strong against the incidents calling them "hateful and dangerous."

"The cutting of brake lines on people's cars is clearly not a simple mischievous act — it is putting people's lives at risk and raises some very serious questions. [...] Everyone — all Canadians and political parties — must speak out against what is happening in Toronto. It is an obscene violation of the principles of democracy, where Canadians are entitled to express their political opinions without repercussion," he said.

Th pity is that some of the comments generated on other news sites seem to reflect those posted during the Guelph incidents. From chastising Stephen Harper's silence on the incident ("What does the leader of the Canadian government have to say about political candidates being put at risk of death?"), to suggesting that it's Conservative payback ("Should I call the cops? I swear i saw a older guy w/ grey hair and a blue sweater out there vandalising some vehicles..."), to suggesting that the Liberals did it themselves ("Steven Harper should make a statement denouncing these acts so that the Liberals can get on with it and claim Harper's statement to be an admission to guilt. That seems to be the Liberal way"). Oh, and Nazi references ("This is the 2008 Canadian Federal Election. Not the 1930s and this is not Germany!")

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