Friday, November 07, 2014
The Scandal on the Hill and the Old Boy's Club
As if Stephen Harper hadn't degraded the image of our Parliament enough.
Reduced it to a fascist circus where the Big Lie rules, and shame goes to die.
Mocked it, muzzled it, or just crapped on it like a monstrous alien monkey from outer space.
Now we find out it's also a place where power corrupts even basic human decency. A boozy place stuck in the past, where young women are routinely harassed.
And considering all of the above, I have to say I found what Tom Mulcair had to say today extremely disappointing.
Two female New Democrat MPs have been victimized a second time by Justin Trudeau's decision to publicize their complaints of inappropriate behaviour against two Liberal MPs, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says.
Because what did he expect Trudeau to do after the two women complained to him personally? If he had done nothing he would have been crucified by his opponents.
Green party Leader Elizabeth May said Trudeau would have been "damned if he did and damned if he didn't" take action on the complaints. And she called on the NDP to stop politicizing the issue.
And Elizabeth May is right, it is time to put partisanship aside, and work together to clean up this ugly problem.
Parliament is in many ways living in another decade when it comes to how things work and how women are treated, NDP deputy leader Megan Leslie says.
"It's a really special place. It's a glorious place sometimes. But sexual harassment and harassment in general is an issue. Is it worse here? I'll certainly say it's different here."
"I do think that we are back in another decade here."
Time to drag that "different" place kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.
And demolish what's left of the Old Boy's Club.
One by one, the Old Boys’ perks have fallen, unlamented.
Friday nights in the Press Club, off-the-record Gallery dinners, long, liquid lunches, the first jug of draft brought up to the office on Friday afternoons, smoking in the Centre Block foyer, selective government leaks, Christmas expense account blowouts at long-ago bulldozed restaurants, unilingual anglophones aspiring to national office, ignoring sexual harassment.
The last one is proving the toughest to eradicate.
Because this too is true:
There is harassment in newsrooms, law offices, hospitals and insurance companies but the bar for a safe workplace environment should be set higher in our Parliament than anywhere else.
And I've always believed that in the Temple of Democracy one should behave accordingly.
Just like I believe that the NDP and the Liberals should work together to clean up that temple.
Evict the filthy Cons who have degraded it beyond recognition.
And make it safe and decent again...
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