Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Methinks the Gentleman Doth Protest Too Much

As usual I am way behind the news cycle but I had to get this one off my chest.

We have in Canada what is called the Conservative Party governing us. They are basically the Republican Party without the funny southern accents.

Recently they tried to pass one of those internet snooping laws. This would allow the police to make your internet provider give them a list of all the sites you had browsed without a warrant. This would also include your private email address and any financial transactions which would of course give them your banking and credit card information. It would require the providers to install expensive equipment to monitor this. Of course you know who would really be paying for this, as if we don't pay enough for the internet in Canada. As my mother told me, if you don't have anything to hide, you don't need privacy (my mother also doesn't own a computer). If I really thought that this was going to help the police get bad guys off the street any quicker or more efficiently, I might even agree except we all know that is not going to happen, in 90% of cases it will be used to harass people.

The point man for the government was their family values Minister of Public Safety Victor Toews. Early on in the debate, Mr. Toews framed his position as," you can support the bill or you can be with the child pornographers.". This naturally pissed off people who were against the bill and really didn't support child pornography either.

Quickly up came the Twitter account Vikileaks. This is a play on Wikileaks and our minister's first name. I would show you the site but unfortunately it came down. It seems Mr. Toews has a few skeletons in his closet.
  • Like he was recently divorced, in a fairly messy divorce.
  • Like he got divorced because he was boinking his babysitter.
  • Like he has a four year son from his mistress, the same babysitter.
  • Like said mistress is now on the government payroll working for a Senator.
These are all in the public record as part of his divorce proceedings. Now in the States or Britain, the press would have been all over about that as soon as it came out. In Canada our press respects the privacy of politicians (especially when two of the national news chains support, maybe support is too weak a word, the Conservatives).

I am always happy to rejoice whenever a politician I don't support gets caught with his pants down. I even posted a link to Vikileaks on Facebook.

Mr. Toews was able to turn what should have been a humiliation and resignation into a bit of a triumph. Press stories covering Vikileaks called the tweets, "unsubstantiated". press instead of trying to flesh out more of the story about Mr. Toews' marital woes, by consulting public records, went after Vikileaks. Eventually it was found that the Twitter account came from within the House of Commons and after some time a poor Liberal staffer fessed up. The Leader of the Liberals had to make a groveling apology, the staffer was fired and the case is closed.

Quite frankly I think he doth protest too much. The only thing I can fault the poor staffer on was being too stupid to use an account from outside the HofC; one that would have been harder to trace. Mr. Toews entire political career has been about being a family values politician including opposing gay marriage. He always campaigned with his wife and family front and centre. In fact according to Vikileaks when they were separated before divorcing, he forced her to campaign with him for appearances sake.

A lot of politicians have wives and families and most of them don't use them as campaign props. You may see them on the podium on election night but that is about it. They deserve their privacy. In the 1970s our Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau campaigned with his beautiful young wife Margaret. When his marriage went off the rails it was all over the news. Some mainstream commentators stated that his choice of a flaky wife (she was later diagnosed with bi-polar illness) was a reflection of his lack judgement and fitness to lead the country. The press had a field day with the fact that while he was losing the 1979 election, she was dancing at Studio 54. And he had no right to complain, he had sacrificed his right to privacy.

Meanwhile the group Anonymous has posted videos disclosing the name of Mr. Toews' mistress on You-Tube. He is naturally not amused by this.

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