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Five from the fish-wrappers

The leadership candidates are stumping across Old Canada today: Harper, Dion and Layton are in Ontario, Duceppe is in Quebec, and May in Nova Scotia. But the campaign itself appears to be taking place in cyberspace

The Conservatives curtseyed away from an online ad that showed a puffin defecating on Stephane Dion’s shoulder. The too-cute-for-its-own-good Web ad was a reference to Grit leadership rival Michael Ignatieff’s too-clever-for-his-own-good musing about the “noble puffin.” Newly reconstructed family man Stephen Harper lost the initiative Tuesday after he was forced to bury his planned cheap-diesel announcement behind an apology for what he called a “tasteless and inappropriate incident.”

And the Liberals waddled away from two 2007 e-mails that compared Harper to Hitler. One of the mass e-mails, which were sent by Ontario candidate Brent Fuller, reportedly included the sub-literate subject line: “Heil main Harper.” Fuller issued a lame penance that read like one of those lines Bart Simpson repeats on the school blackboard: “These comments are hurtful to the millions of people who suffered and were killed by the Nazis and to those who remember them."

Meanwhile, much of Canada’s old media published stories about what the campaigns are doing with new media. Here are five from today's fish-wrappers:

How should the Tories minimize the fallout from the puffin gaffe? The Globe and Mail put the question to veteran strategists Rod Love, Scott Reid and Gerald Caplan.

Dion's communication principles off the mark: While other party heads are getting it, Liberal Leader better start making changes Mulroney-era communications guy Bill Fox on how the public interprets how a party will govern through how it campaigns.

Party websites more popular with young, but few of them vote Frank Luba’s thoughtful piece about a Liberal website called Scandalpedia is kneecapped by The Province’s headline.

B.C. Politicians hit the fun wall The Province redeems itself by delivering truly vital information: Ujjal Dosanjh is “a True Sikh and a Great Canadian,” while Libby Davies lists The Crying Game among her favourite films.

No one does it like Obama Radio loud-guy Buzz Bishop on how Canadian politicians are using social media.

Monte Paulsen is editor of The Hook.

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