There's been a lot of concern heading into this Federal Election about dirty tricks both in the campaign and at the ballot box. Those concerns seem to have been justified today with the above ad making the rounds on social media featuring a supposed comment by Guelph NDP candidate Andrew Seagram apparently mocking Christians.
The ad, which was sent to me from a Twitter user who's an apparent Conservative supporter, features a quote allegedly taken from Seagram's Facebook page in 2007. It says:
"Either mentally ill or a huge friend of Jesus. Either way, stay away from me."
The ad says it was authorized by the "Regional Agent of the Conservative Party of Canada." The wording seems purposefully ambiguous as it mentions neither the Guelph Conservative Electoral District Association (EDA) nor the campaign of Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach, the two parties that should be mentioned as being responsible for Conservative advertisements. I reached out to both the Seagram campaign and the Kovach campaign for comment on the ad, neither got back to me.
In the interest of analysis, the wording of the quote seems bizarre, almost as if the words were taken out of context. While the local campaigns aren't talking, people are and not jus tin Guelph. The story written by the Guelph Mercury has made it to a Canadian politics Reddit and to Ezra Levant's The Rebel. Are we looking at phase one of an ugly campaign here in the Royal City? Stay tuned.