Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the 'How dare you!' gambit.
While most Canadian environmental groups are charities and must disclose the sources of their funds, Ethical Oil does not. Ms. Marshall said that the group accepted money from only Canadians and Canadian companies, although she declined to directly say if that included Canadian corporations controlled by foreign entities. Many of the large energy companies active in the oil sands are foreign-owned or -controlled. “You can look up the definition of a Canadian company,” she said Source: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/oil-sands-foes-are-foes-of-canada-minister-says/
Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues. Example: Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver has slammed "environmental and other radical groups" campaigning against the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal to connect Alberta's oilsands to a new marine terminal in Kitimat, B.C.
"Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth," said Oliver in an open letter published Monday. "They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources." Source: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/01/09/minister-spills-ink-over-pipeline-opposition
In his letter, Mr. Oliver declared that Canada’s regulatory system was “broken” and suggested that reviews could be done in a“quicker and more streamlined fashion.”
His letter does not outline suggestions for how that can be achieved, and his office did not respond to requests for comment. But representatives of several Canadian environmental groups said they believed that the government planned to severely restrict public input on environmental assessments.
But last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also suggested that foreign interests were taking over Canada’s regulatory process Source: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/oil-sands-foes-are-foes-of-canada-minister-says/
Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary 'attack the messenger' ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as 'kooks', 'right-wing', 'liberal', 'left-wing', 'terrorists', 'conspiracy buffs', 'radicals', 'militia', 'racists', 'religious fanatics', 'sexual deviates', and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues. For Example, In an interview Monday, Mr. Oliver deliver a blunt message – that the independent panel reviewing the Gateway pipeline should not allow foreign-backed opponents to hijack the hearings and kill the project through tactical delays. He goes on to say in a CBC interview Environmental and other "radical groups" are trying to block trade and undermine Canada's economy, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Monday.
Oliver's comments come one day before federal regulatory hearings begin on whether to approve Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline, which would deliver crude from Alberta's oilsands to Kitimat, B.C., for shipment to Asia Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/01/09/pol-joe-oliver-radical-groups.html
Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can 'argue' with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues. For Example While Oliver took aim at foreign funding for environment groups, foreign investment is a major part of the oilsands. American, British, Chinese, French and Norwegian companies have all invested in the oilsands. The difference, Oliver says, is that Canada needs the foreign capital.
"They’re helping us build infrastructure to help us diversify our market. Other groups are trying to impede … the economic progress; they’re trying to block development; they’re trying to block projects which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in government revenue and trillions of dollars in economic development. That’s the fundamental difference. Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/01/09/pol-joe-oliver-radical-groups.html "
Silence critics. (This appears to be our current governments favourite tactic) If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of theircharacter by release of blackmail information, or merely by destroying them financially, emotionally, or severely damaging their health. Example: Sources say the government isn't just talking, CBC's Margo McDiarmid reports, but will be targeting environmental groups when the House finance committee reviews charitable funding next month.