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B.C. General Election: Let The Liberal Mudslinging Commence

02/17/2017 03:57 EST | Updated 02/17/2017 04:26 EST

Splat. It would seem British Columbia's 41st general election is well underway.

News that someone may have hacked the B.C. Liberal party's website caused quite the uproar.

Charges, counter-charges, flurries of tweets, threats of lawsuits, privacy investigations, possible police investigations, it had it all.

The Liberal party even doubled down on their charge by claiming that one of the computers that tried to hack its website is located somewhere in the legislature.

christy clark

Christy Clark. (Photo: CP)

Premier Christy Clark went all in by accusing the B.C. NDP of the nefarious deed.

Was NDP leader John Horgan really moonlighting?

Nope, it was B.C.'s very own Miss Marple: Delta South Independent MLA Vicki Huntington.

Talk about a splat backfiring. Clark apologized to the NDP for her groundless accusation.

How did Huntington and her staff successfully hack the Liberal party's website?

In an ingenious move, they typed a URL into the browser and hit click.

Turns out the site was never hacked, and if the Liberals hadn't been so intent on trying to score political points, they might have heard countless computer geeks trying to tell them that.

Also lost in the hullabaloo was a characteristic most hackers have in common: they don't want "the hackee" to know they've been hacked.

internet browser

(Photo: Mishooo via Getty Images)

It's a risk-losing-your-hacking-license kind of offence.

When individuals tied to the Russian government allegedly hacked their way into the computers of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, they didn't do a celebratory high-five and walk away, they stuck around.

One perpetrator has copied more than 70,000 pages of the Liberal party's website, though.

The San Francisco-based Wayback Machine -- a digital Internet archive -- routinely takes snapshots of websites, including the Liberal party's, and has done so 11 times since December 1.

As they say, the Internet never forgets.

If the mudslinging has commenced, what else can we look forward to in the coming weeks? Newspeak, spinning and severe fact-rationing.

It can seem like a cross between living in a parallel universe and the film Groundhog Day.

The 2017 Port Moody-Coquitlam provincial election blog has been tracking the government's growing list of "number one" priorities.

In 2014, Premier Christy Clark tweeted that class composition in the province's schools was the number one priority because "students' needs come first."

A year later "the top priority was and remains the development of LNG in B.C.," according to a Clark quote in a B.C. Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Update.

Last March after a clean energy conference, Clark said that "securing federal cash to upgrade the hydro grid between B.C. and Alberta was the number one priority of her government."

A month later at the Council of Forest Industries' Convention "achieving a softwood lumber agreement was the number one priority."

It would seem number one priorities shift based on the audience.

White lies are being trotted out.

Using the hashtag #bcfirst, the government also likes to boast about being number one, but never about B.C. being first in Canada for part-time jobs, first for highest housing costs or MSP premiums.

Then there will be the "defending the indefensible" spin or the "it's OK for our party, but not yours."

Case in point, this quote: "He was pretty young then. He's probably matured over the last four years. He's apologized unreservedly."

Damage control over a back-dated memo or racists tweets?

It would be the words of Housing Minister Rich Coleman, co-chair of the B.C. Liberal election campaign, last year defending then-candidate Randy Rinaldo over a series of tweets in 2012 and 2013.

rich coleman

>Housing Minister Rich Coleman. (Photo: CP)

An apology was good enough for Coleman. Should all politicians be so forgiving.

White lies are being trotted out. The other day, Coleman erroneously claimed on CKNW that B.C. has the third lowest hydro rates in North America.

Not true, according to Coleman's own source material.

Out of 11 Canadian cites, Vancouver has the fith lowest rates in one model and seventh lowest in two others. In 2007, Vancouver was second lowest in all three.

As former New York senator, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not their own facts."

So sit back and get ready for some good old-fashioned mudslinging not seen in these parts for some time, a strong dose of double standards in the political spin department and a few guffaws over fact-checking.

Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be quite the ride.

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