I have been on hiatus for a couple of weeks and during that time I have been able to sit back and watch television and read the blogs. And, what I have seen and read is not pretty. In fact, in the nearly fifty years of following politics, I have never seen and heard the opposition parties and most of the mainstream media, behave as they have in the last few days, with their over-the-top allegations regarding Conservative Cabinet Minister, the Honourable Bev Oda, and “not” continuing funding for Kairos Canada.
In fact, the venom they are spewing is an embarrassment to all Canadians, regardless of political affiliation. Clearly, what we are seeing is the extent of the desperation of the federal Liberals, NDP and Bloc, for power, not what is best for the country — just as we are coming out of a severe economic downturn.
As many know, I worked for an Ontario MPP from 1995 until 1999 who also happened to be the Parliamentary Assistant to a minister. In that role, I know first hand that staff use the electric pen to sign documents for their bosses all the time. It is not considered “forgery.” On the recommendation of the PA or Minister, staff might also be instructed to insert words like “not.” It is not rocket science. It is business as usual. And, given how many documents are signed by a Cabinet Minister in any given week, it is not lying to not remember who inserted a particular “not.”
In other words, Oda did not perjure herself. She did not lie. She did not forge her own signature. It is all exaggeration and bullying and, like with Helena Guergis, is nothing short of mysogny.
Yesterday, for example, the Liberal Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff said outside the HOC in his scrum, “this woman, this minister.” When did he or anyone in his caucus refer to a male MP as “this man, this minister?” He also said: “She has to go.” Why? She didn’t do anything wrong. Everything that is being alleged is heresay and bluster, information they have known about for two years!
I have tried to recall a time when a male member of the Liberal Party has been treated like this? Either by the media or the Conservatives. Yet, when the Conservative Party of Canada ads came out, using Michael Ignatieff’s own words, the Liberals and many in the media called them “attack ads” and the Conservatives, bullies.
Well, this blatant media bias and embarrassing nonsense in the House of Commons has to stop. And the Speaker of the House should be doing his job instead of playing partisan politics with people’s lives and traditions. When the royal couple’s wedding and subsequent Canadian visit was announced yesterday, for example, he should have put a stop to the disrespectful screaming and yelling. This is Canada, for goodness sake.
So, where are all the feminists out there decrying the treatment of Oda? What is it about conservative females that it is okay to treat us like scum? Can professional females like myself not be considered feminist simply because we currently support PM Stephen Harper and the federal Conservative party? And, why not? Isn’t that what choice is supposed to be about? Not that all women must choose the same options, but that we have the right to make different choices.
On reproductive choice, for example, my choice would have been to not have an abortion. I also chose, along with my partner, to have both a career and a family. However, I respect women who make other choices, particularly those who choose to work full-time in the home. The irony is that feminism began (and yes, I was in school during that decade and remember well the separate “male and female help wanted ads”) in the 1950’s as a reaction to not having those types of choices.
Is it any wonder, then, that women do not want to run for political office? Oda chose to run for a seat in the House of Commons. Her voters elected her. She is accountable to the people of her riding and the country. As such, a quiet dignified parliamentary committee investigation should be allowed to examine all the facts. In the meantime, she does not deserve to be treated like a piece of dirt to be stepped on and laughed at.
Yet, that is how Canada’s federal opposition parties and the media are treating Oda — which, in my opinion, is mysogny.
C/P at Jack’s Newswatch.