Sunday, October 22, 2006

# 192 LET COOLER HEARTS HEADS PREVAIL

It’s all a matter of opinion, and this is my opinion.

First, a bit of background. This story is about the Good Man (GM) and Good Woman (GW) who once had a romantic connection and a Conservative Party connection. But then the PM secretly offered GW a prestigious post in the Liberal Party and she found it an offer too attractive to refuse. She crossed over. Meanwhile GM had no suspicions, no warning. When he heard what she had done, the shock caused a staggering personal and political rift between them.

That was some time ago. Now only last week, while government was in session, a Liberal party member sitting adjacent to GM inquired in a murmuring voice something about how his dog was doing. And GM reportedly replied, “I don’t know. You have HER now.”

A mike picked up the conversation and immediately so did the media. When GW was asked about it, she did not hesitate to respond. She condemned GM for his slurs and emphasized that this kind of disrespect to her showed disrespect for all women.

Now I don’t think that slurring race, gender, or religion is acceptable. But I do think Politicians need to think beyond their own id. But when I watched GW asserting and re-asserting her demands for a stand-up ‘personal apology’ in the House, my assessment was that GW has a self-serving, self-preserving, mindset. I am in favor of positive action to end gender discrimination, but her response was not for that intent. Her intent was to portray herself as a flawless victim. How disappointing that she had such a narrow vision of the situation that she failed to realize that this was not so much victimization as a golden opportunity.

So now I have to ask. How would the public have responded if GW had simply stated these facts?

“Yes, GM and I had a personal relationship that ended badly and left both of us wounded. There were circumstances in our relationship that earned him the right to speak badly of me and I of him. Beyond that, I have nothing further to say because I have no time for personal issues that could sidetrack me from my commitment to the constituents that I serve.”

With that kind of response, we might be convinced that here at long last was a politician to be admired. A politician who understands that in the hallowed halls of government there is serious work to be done. And the GM/Bad Man, whose best defense up to this point has been deny, deny, deny, would have no comeback. And GM felt compelled to speak, her truth would have forced him to speak his truth, rather than denial. Such a response would also send a message to Parliamentarians about parliamentary decorum as well. A message that would have many re-considering their own ridiculous rants/antics. She would have made all of us so proud of her. Proud of her authenticity. Proud of her commitment. Proud enough to want her for our next Prime Minister.

But no, she had to waste that golden opportunity to seek revenge. But I’m not surprised. In politics, self-preservation and small-mindedness still rule. Obviously anything different (i.e. complete transparent honesty) is indicative of a wise politician-in-the-making and in this country that species has long been on the endangered list, and is now extinct.

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