The dark arts of 'oppo' researchers who search for online dirt on political opponents - 2019-09-09
OTTAWA — OTTAWA — Election day is nearing, which means the policies and hard-earned accomplishments of political candidates can instantly be overshadowed by what they said on Twitter nine years ago.
That is, it's that time when opposition researchers dig up dirt on their political opponents, overturning every rock and screen-grabbing every ill-advised Facebook screed. Dedicated teams from the leading federal political parties have been hard at work sifting through the entire online histories of opponents, all in the hopes they will tip the balance of any given riding in their favour.
The results of so-called "oppo" research can be devastating, stripping away the entire identity of a candidate and replacing it with a singular emphasis on just a few unfortunate words or outdated jokes. The specific degree of wrongdoing rarely matters; even a snippet of bad publicity will cause any potential backbencher to be permanently cast aside.