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Buffy The Vampire SlayerDid Buffy character inspire PCs’ `reptilian kitten eater’ insult ?
By Sonia Verma
Sunday 14 September 2003, by Webmaster
Until yesterday, the only known evil reptilian kitten eater from another planet went by the name of Clem the Demon.
That was before allegedly bored, over-caffeinated staff at Ernie Eves’ Conservative headquarters used the phrase to describe Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty in a campaign news release.
Clem - a creature of loose skin and looser morals who features in the television show Buffy the Vampire-Slayer - might have been their inspiration.
Very little is known about Clem, who made his debut in the show’s sixth season, but we do know this: He is a notorious cheat at kitten poker.
That’s plain old poker played with kittens as currency.
Clem is believed to eat his winnings.
The insult, according to those who keep track of such things, ranks among the worst ever lobbed during an election campaign.
"I’ve never seen anything as negative as this particular claim," says Michael Marzolini, a federal Liberal party pollster.
It tops his collection of negative campaign material from around the world, which includes a never-aired television campaign designed by the U.S. Republican Party in 1984 that features two rhinoceroses having sex.
"Look what the Democrats are doing to the average voter," the accompanying slogan says.
The Tory insult is just the latest episode in a long and nasty tradition of political mudslinging.
John Quincy Adams once called Thomas Jefferson "a slur upon the moral government of the world."
Liberal British politician Clement Freud referred to Margaret Thatcher as "Attila the Hen."
But according to Marzolini, the Tories’ "evil reptilian kitten eater from another planet" jab falls flat because it is such a wild exaggeration of mild-mannered McGuinty.
"It’s wrong to think the bigger the lie, the better," says Marzolini, who has worked with Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.
He pauses, then adds: "And I’ve never known either of them to eat a kitten."