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In Canadian politics as usual a hatchetman is a journalist? or columnist? who is nominally neutral in an election, and may switch political spots between election?s, but during elections remains focused on publicizing negative "facts" and systematically devoting energy to negative campaigning against a particular candidate, to ensure that candidate cannot stay on-message? but must devote time to responding to this.

A hatchetman who runs for the office himself in order to carry this disruption into all-candidates meeting?s and other debates and create partisan? material becomes a mad dog - but then loses the appearance of neutrality and is subject to campaign finance? limits. While small parties may rely more on mad dogs, big ones hire hatchetmen.

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