Chris Selley: Does journalistic 'fact-checking' work? That depends what you mean by 'work' - 2019-07-29
Politicians have always had a tricky relationship with objective reality. Dishonesty, or more simply lack of interest in the truth, is a trait shared by some of history's most revered and most reviled leaders alike. And in free democracies like Canada and the United States, reporters have traditionally relied on rival politicians and experts to correct the record.
The 2015 federal election campaign, in which competing narratives about the Conservatives' economic record took centre stage, provides some good examples of the approach.
"Trudeau fended off … attacks (over planned deficit spending) by attacking Harper, saying Conservative prosperity has not trickled down to the middle class," The Canadian Press reported of the second leaders' debate of the campaign. "Under the prime minister, Canada has had its worst economic growth in 80 years, Trudeau said."