I’m struggling here.
On the one hand, it’s HILARIOUS that a political candidate was caught ON TAPE in his non-politics job urinating in a coffee cup while on the job in someone’s house (maybe the loo was occupado. Maybe he had a Condition. Maybe he was just really into his job and didn’t want to muck up his vibe). That’s not something you should have to BOW OUT OF AN ELECTION FOR. What, because you peed in a cup while on a job (it’s not like he put the cup back in the cupboard, did he?) you can’t hold public office? Who among us has never peed in a cup before? Maybe not at someone else’s house, I guess, while you’re fixing their plumbing.
Another candidate is being dragged under the bus because he makes weird crank calls that border on sexual harassment. Or rather, because he made them. On his YouTube channel. Another candidate bowed out of the election because she said some shitty things on Twitter. So on that hand, I think things are getting a little bit ridiculous. Since the early 90s, we’ve been living our lives online. We’ve been saying things that someone, somewhere can probably call up out of a cache from a deep, dark Internet Pit of Despair.
Sure, we have to be held accountable for the horrible things we do (and we ALL do horrible things). But unless you’ve done something *criminal* (and in some cases in SPITE of your having done something criminal), where does all of this silliness get us? I would much rather vote for someone who said, “yeah, I said those things. I did that. I had a wee in a cup and that was really shitty, but it won’t affect my ability to govern responsibly. I’ll just use my own cups from now on” than for someone who says “I have never done anything potentially embarrassing, ill-advised, or risky. I have always done exactly what I’m told to do, no thing more, and nothing less”. I would rather vote for someone who’s done stupid things and who’s said stupid things because one would hope at least they’ve learned something.
But then there’s the other hand.
I have a HUGE problem forgiving my Conservative Party of Canada MP for the horrid things he said in a drunken video from 1991 that he most likely assumed would never see the light of day. Back in 1991 when gay bashings happened on a regular basis outside of Saskatchewan nightclubs (I’m hoping that’s changed, although it breaks my heart that OUTSaskatoon has a section on their website about gay bashing and that this shit still happens), when you could get away with being “bi” in Saskatchewan as long as you were a woman and in a city and willing to put up with every guy on the face of the planet saying “can I watch, hurr hurr hurr”. Back in 1991 when AIDS was still, at least around here, considered to be a “gay junkie disease”.
Maybe I have this dilemma because MP Tom Lukiwski’s “apology” for his comments never really sat well with me. He apologized for what he said, apologized to his family and his kids, and said he would spend the rest of his career trying to make up for those comments. Yet he has never, to my knowledge, done anything to actually make up for those comments. If I were to be charitable (and let it never be said that I’m not charitable), perhaps I would think that he donates large sums of money to PRIDE events and organizations (but, to my knowledge, has never attended a PRIDE event). Maybe he does things in his private life like, I dunno, say “that’s mean” whenever someone else makes a homophobic remark. But the man has been sued for libel and has published flyers which are outright lies, so I’m not real inclined to be super charitable here.
Do I think Tom Lukiwski should bow out of the election? Hell no. Do I think he should have lost his job over that tape? I don’t know. The party at the Legislative Building from which that tape was taken was seventeen years old when it was found. Lukiwski’s predecessor (who was denied the possibility of running in the election that saw Lukiwski elected), Larry Spencer, is on record as wanting to outlaw homosexuality, and following those comments was removed as “family issues critic” by then Canadian Alliance Party leader Stephen Harper, so we know that there’s a line that can be crossed. Lukiwski didn’t cross it with his drunken party tape, but Spencer did (to be fair, Spencer went on a long tear about how the gay rights movement is a conspiracy dating back to the 60s and was convinced that Trudeau’s legalization of homosexuality in the 60s was going to lead to legalized polygamy and paedophelia, so clearly Larry Spencer was a complete crackpot who was a liability to the party).
And it’s not like Lukiwski is a total waste of carbon. He introduced a motion into the House of Commons 10 years ago to rework equalization formulas so that Saskatchewan wasn’t being hosed because non-renewable resources are still included in the formula. In fact, the Conservative Party of Canada campaigned, in Saskatchewan, on removing non-renewable resources from the equalization formulae so that we’d have more than a billion dollars in revenue that we could keep instead of sending it to Central Canada. AND he owned up to not having kept that election promise. So it’s not like the guy has a black and calcified soul completely.
My point here though is that I don’t know why I don’t have any problems with some stupid crap a teenager said on Twitter, but I can’t bring myself to move past my own MP’s drunken ramblings at a party. #Glob forbid someone should post some of the stupid stuff *I* have done at parties. Like the time I drank a whole can of cigarette ashes. Or the time I got into a fight with David’s garage (I lost). Or the time I attempted to wrestle with a guy who’d been, apparently, his high school’s wrestling team leader (I lost). Or the time I couldn’t leave the armchair to help a guy who turned green and toppled to the ground. Or the time we had Topless Night.
I guess. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t bow out of the race. If you’re your party’s candidate for your riding, be honest up front about the dumbass things you’ve done. If you feel strongly about them, back yourself up. Trust me, voters are going to cast their ballots based on your party’s platform, not on whether or not you peed in a cup. Hell, MAKE THAT A THING ON YOUR CAMPAIGN. Every picture of you should feature a coffee cup, buddy. That’s what we call charisma. Evidence of this theory is the fact that my MP was re-elected after that hideous video was released.