The AUMA kerfuffle, which you can read about here, is probably the most famous recent example of lashing out at criticism and detractors. First the Minister sends off a letter to Linda Sloan, which he cc'ed to all government members, all AUMA Board members, and all AUMA member municipalities, saying that because of the criticisms Sloan made of the government that no member of Cabinet or the PC caucus would attend the AUMA breakfast. Making the matter much worse however was the Premiers Chief of Staff, Stephen Carter's tweet: "Let's be clear, Linda Sloan didn't just criticize the budget, she lied. Maliciously. #ableg #AUMA" where he not only called Sloan a liar but that she did so 'maliciously'. The tweet was happily re-tweeted by many and others took to twitter to also say that Sloan should apologize. The premier has since had Carter apologize to Sloan and made Minister Griffiths play nice and go to the AUMA breakfast meeting, even though she has stated: "I firmly stand behind the minister’s comments," the pattern is clear.
While the most famous example, it certainly is not the only one that we have seen this week from the Government, staffers, or closely tied PC supporters.
Alberta Liberal leader Raj Sherman criticized for doing shifts as a medical doctor in the emergency department: "While we're talking about top ups, aren't you topping up your own salary by moonlighting in the ER?" and accused of being on twitter while he should be looking after patients: "... he was thinking about me while dealing w people's medical emergencies? or was someone else tweeting 4 him?
From just this morning Jessica Jacobs-Mino, a "communications officer", felt the need to attack Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid for his latest column highlighting political games in municipal funding. Here is some of what she tweeted (on taxpayer time?) : "
Note: I would provide links to the above tweets but they were deleted shortly after being posted and later the entire account was deleted. But having seen this game before, from the PC campaign manager, I took a screenshot just in case.
Don't like the latest poll numbers, then claim the poll is: "questionable push poll printed as legit in a major daily" without of course any proof whatsoever
There are many more examples but I think think you get the idea. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that, as far as I am aware, everyone of those tweets that I quoted came from someone who recently attended the PCAA "campaign college" where as we can see they appear to have taken full advantage of the social media seminars that took place. (sarc off)
I suspect that this is only the beginning and that as PC poll numbers go down and people start paying attention to the mess the PC's and their government actually are, that these types of attacks will only intensify as they feel pushed more and more into a corner. Not a good thing for a party whose favorite spin consists of calling people who criticize the government as being "angry", but than again understanding irony has never been much a PC strong suit. They are scared and we can expect to see much more of this in the coming weeks.