Hey, vote for me — I’m a moron!

I would just like to point out that — the title of this post aside — I have nothing against Joe Volpe, the Honourable Member for Eglinton-Lawrence, who is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. However, I would note that it seems rather odd that he would be getting so many donations from children. A bunch of other people think so too, so they put up a website poking fun at this odd turn of events — but it has been taken down (there’s a mirror here.

Apparently the Volpe campaign had the site removed. According to the story in the Globe and Mail, a staff worker named Brenden Johnstone wrote: “My Office has had the website suspended through CIRA [Canadian Internet Registration Authority] and CDNS [Canadian Domain Name Services] and it will be down as soon as 6 p.m.” Don’t like what someone has said about your candidate? Just have the site removed. Simple as that.

Needless to say, this caused a fairly predictable firestorm of criticism, all of which is described on the website of Stephen Taylor, a former candidate for the Conservative Party — who appears to be trying not to be too partisan about the whole thing, which is nice to see (although I’m sure some will disagree). As it turns out, CIRA did not remove the site, but the site’s domain registrar did, citing fears of a defamation lawsuit. Mention has also been made that the site was created using a fictitious name and address, which is not allowed for obvious reasons.

As my friend Rob Hyndman notes, the Volpe campaign had a couple of choices — and for whatever reason, they decided to go with the stupidest one, which is to have the site taken down and then hope that the whole thing will go away. As someone on Stephen Taylor’s site remarked, this is the “pouring water on a grease fire” approach, which accomplishes nothing but spreading the fire even further. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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