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Thursday, September 11, 2008 

Green Party Of Canada Threatens BUCKDOG BLOG With Lawsuit In Attempt To Suppress Freedom Of Speech!

From: John Bennett
To: leftdog@hushmail.com
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 12:37:56 -0600

Please be informed that the if the video

Canadians Are Stupid!" - Elizabeth May

is not removed from your site with the hour the Green Party of Canada will seek means to prevent legal proceedings further slander.

John Bennett
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
(613) 562-4916 ext. 230
(Cell: 613) 291 6888
Fax: (613) 482-4632
-------------------------- (To which I replied) ----------------

Dear Mr. Bennett
You are attempting to shoot the messenger here. I am merely
reporting ... as is my right as a citizen journalist ... an item
that is CURRENTLY POSTED ON YOUTUBE ... with the following URL:


I did NOT post this item on youtube NOR did I produce it.
Therefore your threats to me as a citizen journalist have been
turned over to my solicitor.

Should I receive an apology from you within the hour, I will take
no further action against the Green Party of Canada which would
1) A nationwide news release which includes the text of your
threatening email to me,
2) Details which show that I had NOTHING to do with the production
nor posting of the item in question on youtube,
3) That as a citizen journalist, the Green Party of Canada is
attempting to suppress my freedom of speech,
4) A blog posting itemizing what has occured here including your
threatening email to me.

Should your apology to me be received within the hour as I stated,
I will take no further action against the Green Party of Canada


------------------------ (To which Ms. May's representative replied --------
From: John Bennett
To: leftdog@hushmail.com
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 13:11:13 -0600

You are knowingly asisting in slander get it down or you face legal action us & TVO.

Journalism is more than repeating. You have a responsibility to verify the facts.

Get get it down now.


You will note that I am the ONLY blogger who had legal action threatened by the Green Party of Canada. Special thanks to Stephen Taylor!

Leftdog. Is it not your goal, as a New Democrat supporter, to take away as many votes from the CPC as possible?

Why has this blog become about defaming the GPC? Let's keep focused on our collective goal: sending Harper back to the Opposition.

Dylan ... you had NO problem defaming Jack Layton and the New Democrats prior to May getting into the debate the other day ... is that how your rules work? You slam Layton but I am only allowed to slam Harper???? Give me a break!

"will seek means to prevent legal proceedings further slander."

I personally believe that Green Parties are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have slander and, uh, I believe that our, uh, legal proceedings like such as, uh, prevent and, uh, the means, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our Green Party over here in the election should help the legal proceedings, uh, or, uh, should help prevent such means and should help the slander and the Green Party, so we will be able to build up our prevent, for our Green Party.

I suppose the Greens think bloggers are stupid too.

P.S. yes you're going a bit overboard on eBay May. Harper is the one we want Jack to replace, after all.

Let's RP ... the Greens primarily blamed 'Layton' as the reason May was not going to be in the debate - they savaged him for 2 days on the internet ... but somehow I am supposed to ignore all of their heavy handed 'lawsuit' threats ... and merely go after Harper!

The Green Party of Canada is displaying its true colour here ... and they are pretty ugly right wing shades!!!

Hey, do what you want. I agree it's heavy-handed of them and this episode is going to make them look bad. I also agree that it sucks that they were able to spin the debate about the debate the way they did. But you have to remember, they're still small potatoes, and frankly not worth the effort.

I'm no lawyer, but you have not been served with a "Notice of Libel" or a "Notice of Slander" contending that anything you have said, or reported, is both not true and damaging to either Ms. May or the GPC.

But you should know, reporting something slanderous is actionable. You should never repeat anything thinking that you are safe because someone else said it first.

Good luck with it though.

Wow. That Youtube clip is really poorly edited. Clearly, her comments were edited out of a larger discussion - perhaps more than one.
Juvenile attacks like this turn people off politics, politicians and voting.

In some ways its kind of reassuring that all sides of the political spectrum feel they can resort to silly bullying tactics - something to be said for consistency.
Hey, even Ross Perot was invited to a debate...

Greens can't spell!

I would think Leftdog's goal is to get as many Canadians to vote New Democrat. If the Liberals are like the Conservatives, and the Greens are like the Liberals, what difference is there in trying to snatch Green or Conservative votes?

I hope you're not being SLAPPed.

Stehane and Liz
Ran to The Hill
To get away from laughter.
Their red and green
Turned brown when seen.
They lost their crowns soon after.

I think the poor woman has lost it. If that's the way she and her party treat canadians they will never, ever get my vote.

James that is why I removed the video as demanded by the Green Party of Canada within the 'hour' time limit that they set.

Clearly a case of shooting the messenger!

It's EXACTLY what's happening, Skinny Dipper. Who's against the free exchange of ideas now?

This right wing (I think Harper is a bit of a centrist :) )reader is shocked at the GPC tactics.

This kind of *hit belongs in the U.S.

Let's disagree on policy all we want, but if May said this, it is not slander, it is not libel, it is just the truth.

Thanks for the link... it will be repeated!

Did you actually copy and paste that or was it transcribed? Because if their grammar, spelling and syntax aren't any better than that, I don't think I'd be too worried about the keen legal minds they've got working for them.

For a Director of Communications, he certainly has a shaky grasp of English grammar.

It seems that the Greens have studied the Stephen Harper handbook on dealing with opposition by threatening litigation. I notice that they are not claiming that the voice was faked.

Too bad they can't afford better lawyers... you know, the kind who check their spelling and/or know how and when to consult a dictionary.


What is the issue here, is that clip not factual correct? Did she utter those words? Is this the John Bennett from Climate for change?

I think the request is RIDICULOUS.

hey buckdog found a video of her saying the infamous line... http://grumpyvoter.blogspot.com/2008/09/elizabeth-may-canadians-are-stupid.html don't know if you want post it or not but here it is for all to hear for themselves. I wonder if we as canadians can sue her for being slanderous against us? wheres tony merchant and his class action lawsuits!!

I see that stephantaylor.ca posted the same video, but the Greens haven't sent any threats there. I guess it's because they know that people who visit that site won't vote Green anyway but people who visit this site may potentially vote Green. Crazy bullying on the part of the Greens.

waitwaitwait I'd been hearing her say "they think Canadians are stupid" all along, but now it's sounding like "I think Canadians are stupid" .. Which is it?

This seems to be symptomatic of the way political parties are heading.They are beginning to see the individual voter as somebody who can be threatened and surveilled (is that a word?),rather than somebody who can be won over by argument.To even begin a corresponcence with a threat of legal action without any kind of prior dialogue is poor tactics and bad politics.

Yeah I'm uncertain, as a matter of law, whether it is libelous to post a text link to libelous material.

Any lawyers out there?

The item still remains intact at Stephen Taylors site and the original on youtube. The Green Party of Canada seems only to have threatened me ... likely as part of their ongoing strategy to attack the New Democrats more than any other party this election campaign.

I thought it was hilarious. Clearly an unfortunate mis-speak, but funny. So funny in fact the link deserves to be re-posted for anyone who missed what all the fun and fuss is about.


As a "citizen journalist" why don't you post the whole thing?

It's available on TVO's website:


People can judge for themselves. The Green Communications Director is being an idiot the way he's reacting.. but if you want to call yourself a "citizen journalist", why don't you act like one and provide context to the material. I've already given you the link before.

Until you are served, regard this as a bunch of hot air.

When and if -- a BIG if -- you are served, then call 1-800-EZRA LEVANT.


Seriously, email him. He doesn't care what party you belong to when it comes to this issue.

Do nothing without talking to a _defamation_ lawyer (see above) -- not just any lawyer. Do NOT listen to your friends or family or, with all due respect, non-lawyer commenters.

A bunch of conservative bloggers have re-posted this clip, including me. Let 'em sue us all.

You simply write them back:

F&#k You, angry letter to follow.

I am certainly aware that I am not loved in Conservative circles. I do, however, believe that for all of the hollering that Elizabeth May did about being muted in the leader's debate, her heavy handed tactics towards me speak of double standard ... or worse - regardless of which political party you lean towards.

Well, well... leftdog finally got it right.

First, I commend you on not taking the video down. Secondly, I would hope that you make no more disparaging remarks towards Ezra Levant and what he has been trying to do, on this blog. I think you may get the picture better than some of your other progressive bloggers.

I never thought I'd ever say this, but good work, leftdog.

Verify the facts? I echo Steve V. Is that her voice or isn't it her voice? Is she denying saying it? Good thing to ask her at the debate she insisted on being part of because she has a right to freedom of speech!

As a lawyer who doesn't do defamation, I second what fivefeet said.

Thanks Mike ... because I am basically a retired/self employed guy with not much cash, I can't afford lawyers and such ... so the video came down temporarily. I plan on putting it back up if (as I suspect) I am the ONLY one that the Green Party has threatened with expensive legal actions.

That said, it sounds like EMay just wants to engage New Democrats is "silly fights" for her much craved media exposure.

I thought she had something important to say? Beyond that "she thinks Canadians are stupid."

Earlier today the video clip had about 400 views, now it has thousands of views. Looks like May's legal threats are as hollow as a dug out canoe. The greens are a joke, get used to it.


The left continues to eat it's own.



Well, I said she was shrill and now, she's proven she's also stupid. She is Canadian too after all. How is it that she can say "Canadians are stupid" and expect that she is exempt from that pool?

And her legal team seriously needs to revisit their grammar textbooks. Or take that course for the first time if need be.

I agree, bud; you're gettin' screwed over on this. I'll let ya know if I catch any flak from that wanker.

Time for a lesson in viral marketing, methinks... ;)

I think it is a question of interpretation,

It appears to me she is saying (after repeated listening):

"Politicians are afraid to mention the word tax and "THEY" think Canadians are stupid, and cannot, and I fundamentally agree with that assessment"

To my ears she is in fact agreeing with the assessment that "Politicians are afraid to mention the word tax and "THEY" think Canadians are stupid.

The tape isn't edited, but cut short, preventing us from determining proper context.

That said, the Watermelons and Ms. May have made asses of themselves for threatening to sue.

This is ridiculous and any such lawsuit has no merits whatsoever. This is just an attempt by May to cover up something she doesn't want the public to know.

A failed Liberal candidate, with a long criminal record, tried to intimidate bloggers last year too who had linked to a Globe and Mail article about him (!!!!).

If anything, this proves that the Green Party (a) needs a new, and sane, leader, and (b) that the party ain't ready yet for "Broadway".

"Right wing extremism is not tolerated well here"

Tolerated only when smearing Elizabeth May, I might add.

That being said. Unfortunate heavy handed tactics by the Greens. That's to bad. Good luck, Buckdog.


Why don't you post the whole interview?

And now Kevin Libin at the National Post Full Comment has weighed in on the issue, here's the link.


leftdog, if you need support in a legal case, I'll be there.

Leftdog, have you seen this?

First and likely last time I'll agree with BCF: she is indeed saying "they," not "I," and even the truncated context proves it.

But yes, this was heavy-handed on the Greens' part, just as were their accusations that the tape had been faked. But on the other hand it was a no-no for Taylor to suggest "I" instead of "they," and I don't blame the Greens for being pissed off.

Lizzie May and the Greens wanted to be part of the debates - whined and cried and threatened and stamped their feed and got their way - well welcome to the Big Time, girls and boys. You can't cry foul after getting what you wanted.

Having been previously threatened by a ridiculous libel suit by former BC Green Party leader Adriane Carr - now Deputy Leader of the federal Greens - I encourage you to tell them to pound salt!

And I will happily make a substantial contribution to your legal defence fund if they are so abysmally stupid as to pursue this.

Bill Tieleman
Columnist - 24 hours Vancouver newspaper
Political commentator

good on ya for leaving it up.

don't you feel kinda greasy though having people like kathy shaidle and stephen taylor sucking up to you?

I'm attempting to find out why the party is doing this. I don't agree with the threat, even though you're clearly committing libel.

They won't do squat to a John Q. Citizen during an election.

Hot air gushing out of the Watermelons.

It's just funny that you refer to this as "right wing tactics" :) I suppose you think Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Kimmy are all right wingers too!

Other than that .. good reply, and good job on posting the vid. I say put it back up immediately - the greens have absolutely no case on this one. You're not slandering anyone, you're simply posting her own words for everyone else to hear. If she mis-spoke, it's her responsibility to clarify what she meant.

Someone ... tell Saskboy that Stephen Taylor has stepped up and said that he posted it on youtube and that he DID NOT doctor anything ... He is prepared to go to court to prove it ... so ... you have just libeled me!
However, unlike the Green Party of Canada I am not going to sue anyone!

The Green Party should really have counsel explain to them the difference between "slander" (which this certainly is not) and "libel" (which this probably is not).

"You are knowingly asisting in slander get it down or you face legal action us & TVO."

Does this Green Party spokesperson officially speak for TVO?

Is it just me, or did Mr. Bennett threaten to take measure to prevent anyone else from suing for slander?

The debate was not an issue until Jack's September media buffoonery strut took place.
"May Day! May Day! May Day! Jack, what were you thinking? What happened to the dipperclusiveness of your party?
A whole week wasted not attacking Harper. Making fun of his ugly sweater ads would have had better results.

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Wasn't Buckdog just letting May be heard?

The "Cat's Paw" strikes again.

Leftdog, May had words between "and I agree", and "Canadians are stupid", and the quote was conveniently clipped. Perhaps if you didn't try to make mountains out of mole hills, you wouldn't be in this mess. I don't agree that the mess should exist because bloggers should get more leeway (especially ones as, well, dramatic as you).

Enough with the libel talk, I did no such thing and you know it. As bloggers we're in this together whether you like it or not.

SASKBOY ... you are still arguing that the May clip is doctored ... The person who put the item on Youtube has stepped forward and also posted the full tape on his site as I indicated. He stress that NO doctoring has occurred and is willing to fight that in court.

You continue to say here and on your site that I have 'libeled' May. I am challenging you back that you are falsely accusing me of something THAT IS NOT TRUE!

Suck it up ....

Saskboy ... here is what you said to me earlier ...
"I'm attempting to find out why the party is doing this. I don't agree with the threat, even though you're clearly committing libel."

Posted by Blogger Saskboy | 5:58 PM, September 11, 2008

Leftdog it is undeniably edited. It's CLIPPED. That means cut before you hear what is said next. What is next might or might not be relevant, but you can't deny that it's clipped at the END. To me, that is a form of editing, and to most other people too.

Again, I did not even imply that the clip was doctored. So, now the ball is back in your court for accusing me of accusing you/Taylor of something that I never said. Can we stop going around in circles now?

Saskboy ... take it up with the person who posted the video and stop saying that I have libeled May - because it is untrue and you are starting to look idiotic.

It doesn't matter if you weren't the one who made the video Leftdog, either way you posted it not to talk about it as news, but rather in agreement, and to spread the lie.

Regardless, I think the Green Party is handling things badly by threatening you, and I don't support them on it. And I think you showed poor judgement to accuse May of thinking Canadians are stupid when you clearly took her out of context.

Ask yourself how you got from "Nipping right wing butt across the web" to "attacking people Jack Layton doesn't like, while using Blogging Tory smear campaigns"?

Not doctored. Here's the whole thing, contexted, about 38:30 minutes in. (thanks to Tehanu at enmasse

Q: First of all, if all of you seem to agree that environmental costs need to be internalized, and a carbon tax is one way of doing that, why is there so little political will for a carbon tax? That's the first part [of a two-part question].

May: [starts off by the sounds of it away from the microphone] All the other politicians are scared to death to mention the word tax, and they [I?] think Canadians are stupid, and cannot, and I fundamentally agree with that assessment, but most politicians think that if you say we're going to put on a carbon tax, and reduce your income tax, they don't think they can sell it. It's all about votes.

Saskboy, you're clearly committing ridiculousness.

" ... and to spread the lie."

What lie?

Thanks for the full clip rp. If Lore Weaver hadn't clipped the rest off to start with I wouldn't have been suspicious.

You're right it does sound like she's indicated that she thinks Canadians are being stupid by tuning out the idea of a carbon tax and income tax reduction (carbon tax shift).

Or she may have meant that she agrees with the assessment that politicians are scared to death by having to mention tax changes.

"All the other politicians are scared to death to mention the word tax, and they [I?] think Canadians are stupid, and cannot, and I fundamentally agree with that assessment [that to mention a tax shift scares politicians to death.]

We won't know, since she's obviously not going to confirm now that she thinks Canadians are stupid, if she ever did have that oh so dark, and compleeeetely unforgivable thought.

You have said to me,
"I'm attempting to find out why the party is doing this. I don't agree with the threat, even though you're clearly committing libel."

... do you still content that I am committing libel?

If the greenies want to shut you down democratically I don't have a problem.

If it wasn't her and if it was doctored I would say it was libel.

Since neither of those seem to have occurred here I'll ally with an NDPer. Whom I 'may' not often support otherwise.


It's at M.A.D. too left dog.


Vote Green!

John Bennett feel free not to email me, I want a summons from the courts if you please.

You would have been, had the full clip not turned out to be a fair enough defense. Sorry, I should have reserved judgment earlier.

Thank you

Saskboy ... you have a current post on your site at the moment where you write, "Obviously what Buckdog, and several other Conservative and NDP bloggers have posted about May thinking of Canadians as stupid, is libelous and untrue ... "
- I trust that you will modify your former accusation concerning 'libel'. That would be appreciated in the spirit of reconciliation here.

Done. I've removed the accusation and replaced it with a more fair assessment.

Thank you ..... (and on your site as well)

So ... now I wait for an apology from May's campaign!!!

Sorry to hear about all the trouble the Greens are giving you, leftdog.

I see that Saskboy has accused you of libel (which he later retracted, only to be more "fair").

And didn't he call Layton a coward the other day? Of course that's not half as bad as calling somebody a sexist.

Well done leftdog!

Poor Mr. Bennett is about to find out what happens to the six sigma stupid end of Canadians when they threaten even a lefty blogger with litigation.

You are up at the National Post, Small Dead Animals, Five Feet of Fury, Steve Taylor, The Tyee my own little site and, I suspect, several hundred others. Soon even lefty bloggers are going to join the outrage.

Ms. May calling Canadians stupid will make it into the next news cycle.

Thank you.

As a Green supporter I am pissed. It doesn't matter that what you posted may have lacked context or misrepresented the Green Party, actions such as these create a dangerous chilling effect, and must be denounced.

Shame one you Green Party

Yes Eric, Layton was a coward, and as it turns out a 'colluder' too.

Two things.

First, it is absurd for the Greens to threaten action against a blogger. It's a huge backfire politically, completely unreasonable.

Second, if you think that May was calling Canadians stupid, and not agreeing with the statement "politicians feel Canadians are too stupid to think long-term," then you are, I believe, incredibly stupid. Only an idiot would think May went up there and said "Wassup Canada, you suck ass, go to school. PS vote Green."

You keep calling yourself a citizen journalist. Perhaps you should start working professionally, I suggest you apply for the Weekly Standard.

Saskboy, you're not all bad. ;)

More from the clip:

"EMay: "How about the people who buy Hummers?"

Steve Paikin (?): "You want to put them in jail, right, Elizabeth?"

EMay: "No, I want them shot! Jail isn't good enough for them. I'm a politician who'll never get elected, what can I tell you."


What with the spelling and grammer and the fact that it is only you thus far makes me suspicious. Has anyone confirmed this with the Greens?

Given that the Cons were so afraid to have her in the debates, that Stephen Taylor is the "author" of the out of context clip and that it is now being touted by ex-Western Standard Natty Po right-wing journalists, I suspect another smear job.

A Rovian attempt to discredit May? And you are playing right along.

Frankly I don't care either way, its just interesting to watch these dirty machinations work, to watch the blind partisanship of all involved work toward an end that hlps the CPC. Its almost beautiful in a diabolical way.

Maybe you ought ot check out what Greg Bester, a fellow Dipper, has to say on this.

Mike - myself and someone else have checked the headers on Bennetts emails to me .... and it is him ... a Director with the Green Party Campaign, sent from his Blackberry which is probably why there are typos ... in his haste to try and quash me.

What's his e-mail address?

Expect an apology today.

Not smart on May's part. Once a video is on the web, trying to suppress it is like trying to kill a Hydra.

May is throwing away any political capital she may have earned over the debate kerfuffle.

But Mike's comments are interesting. Is there a possibility that this is not really from the Green Party?

Mike has raised the concern that Bennett's email may not be from him - IT IS ...
he has confirmed with a number of reporters that he did, if fact, email me with threats of lawsuit.
Seems that it is not only Mr. Bennett who is trying to discredit me!

Totally agree that most canadians are stupid.
Look at what we have done to Canada in just 300 years.
Can you drink the water around your area?
Can you find an abundance of fish out east?
Will their be oil for the next generation?

We are stupid animals for the most part.
We will vote in tax cuts, cheap beer and cheap fuel even if it means the death of a once fine country.
It's happened to many other countries and it will happen to us.
Cause we are all here for economic prosperity.
Oh Canada.

Purely being curious about free speech in Canada. Where does it say in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that freedom of speech is protected?

What we have in fact done, is taken the Constitution of the United States and made freedom of speech a given, in Canada.

Sure you can post on a blog with its server in the United States freely. Will any of the CRTC controlled media in Canada bother with you? If we did not have the United States as our neighbour we would be as free as China.

Elizabeth May said that politicians think Canadians are stupid, and then she went on to say that she fundamentally agrees with that...that politicians think we're stupid; she did not mean to say that she thinks we are stupid.

But way to prove the mis-interpreted version of her statement correct by ...well, so readily and easily mis-interpretting.

p.s. I voted for Harper.

WTF are you blabbering about?? You voted for Harper!? SHAME ON YOU!

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