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Tempests in Teapots

Sigh. I was annoyed about this on Friday, but I've been busy so I'm getting to it now. Yes, yes, img-timeline, and all that.

Shocker: Prairie Conservative MP makes homophobic remark sixteen years ago!

Look, I know that we would all prefer our politicians to be tolerant Renaissance people, because that way they end up making tolerant laws. And I'm fairly certain that the only change in Tom Lukiwski's views in the intervening time is that he's a lot more quiet about them now - or at least, not getting drunk enough on camera (anymore) to say what he really thinks in the words he would prefer to use. (Witness, for example, his comments just before the Civil Marriage Act passed three years ago). And it probably isn't a coincidence that he got elected in good old Larry Spencer's riding.)

So I wouldn't shed a tear if he quit, got some anti-prejudice Shock Treatment, or, failing all those, was shot into the sun along with all the other old fossils who continue to hold back any degree of social progress out of irrational fear or simple closed-mindedness.

At the same time, the fact that the Saskatchewan provincial NDP (who originally broke the story) and Liberal MP Scott Brison actually seem to still think that this dredged-up remark deserves (or, for that matter, will actually incur) even the loss of Lukiwski's parliamentary secretary position is either hopelessly naive or a shameless attempt to score political points. Feel free to attribute these two motivations to these two actors in whatever configuration suits you.

Oh, sure, if he'd said that now, they'd deserve and get all the blood they want - hell, Stephen Harper would have personally shot him, because Harper is still trying to sustain the illusion that half the Conservative caucus aren't redneck bigots, because it's the only way he'll ever get a majority government. It's fairly accepted wisdom that social conservatism is political poison in most of Canada (or, at least, in urban centres, which ties rather neatly into this excellent David Akin piece that suggests that the urban-rural divide will condemn Canada to minority governments for the foreseeable future.).

But, quite frankly, I hate the whole archaeology of scandal, despise the whole muckraking, gotcha-politics mindset that makes people who we have to assume are rational drag ancient news like this up with a straight face. I can't hate it when it's destroying Al Gore's election chances over his Internet comment or misquoting someone talking about him and Love Story, or slagging Pierre Trudeau for tooling around Montreal in a German uniform in 1943, and then turn around and say it's fine when it's attempted on someone I dislike.

So good on Bill Siksay for taking Lukiwski's apology at face value even if it wasn't a sincere expression of a changed mind (it probably wasn't), shame on Scott Brison for still trying to make hay from this in the House on Friday (and, incidentally, damn him for making me agree with Peter Van Loan), and back to work for me now that I've gotten my rant on. Exams are coming up.


( Walk in the shadow — Cast a shadow )
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)

you guys will need some of this , and i know sam wants a brita.
( Walk in the shadow — Cast a shadow )