And then this happened

John Baird is apparently very particular about his business cards. This matter was, perhaps predictably, a subject of some discussion during Question Period this morning. With his first intervention, for instance, Liberal Scott Brison suggested Mr. Baird was giving taxpayers the “golden finger.” After the Foreign Affairs Minister had laughed this off, Mr. Brison asked a supplementary question, which I reprint here, in its entirety, without comment.

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be quite the quid pro quo going on over there. The foreign minister gives the President of the Treasury Board a $50 million slush fund for his riding. Then the Treasury Board minister lets the foreign minister break the rules to get his golden business cards. This is a very expensive game of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. When Canadians are struggling just to get by, why are Conservative ministers showering each other with gold? Why the golden showers?

Video here.

After QP, Mr. Brison was asked by reporters about his phrasing. He responded as follows.

I’m a country guy. I don’t know how you interpret these kinds of things, but I’m not that sophisticated in that regard, but I certainly wouldn’t want to piss off the minister, but beyond that, I got to tell you though, the waste and excess of this government seems endless and John Baird is the minister of Foreign Affairs, he’s not the minister of bling and to insist on breaking Treasury Board rules so that he can have golden business cards at a time when too many Canadians are unemployed, too many Canadians are struggling speaks to the arrogance and the out-of-touch nature of this government.

Under questioning he said he was unaware of any inappropriate connotations.




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And then this happened

  1. Ooh -  a little bathhouse humour. 

    • Now THAT’S funny!

  2. I’m amazed, although I suppose I shouldn’t be, that a minister of the crown is still handing out business cards…..but if he must do this then a 3D holographic maple leaf to get attention would be more effective.

    Followed by his name and ministry in English and French…skip the rest of the word cabbage…and contact info.

    On the back it should repeat that in Chinese, Hindu, Russian, Arabic etc.

    • Maybe the card could open up like a pop up card with a selection of Canadian icons. 

      • LOL they’d probably all be British given Harp’s latest brainwave.

        • Royals.

          • Couldn’t they have a small image of Jack Layton? I mean really, what’s more Canadian than that?

  3. It’s long been known that Baird is a small minded ‘dink’, i guess this just confirms it. How long can it be before the return of the red ensign or the term Dominion of Canada makes a come back? How bout a portrait of king Steve along side the Queen in our embassies?

    • Dominion. Queen. Now there’s some sexual innuendo. Innuendo. Heh, heh… 

        • Ya! I love marc martel. He is amazing!

      • You’re a very very bad bad boy Dougie.

    • King Steve? Really, this is your first time in a constitutional monarchy, isn’t it?

      • What makes you say that?

  4. I’m personally fine with these business cards. The less there is that ties Baird to Canada the better it is for the rest of us.

    For those who don’t get it, Baird also had the word Canada removed from his business cards because the print was bigger than the font size of his name.

  5. Baird is a politician. Small minded ego-centric arrogance comes naturally and expands exponentially with appointment to high office. Baird got a jump on it by being all of that at an early age. Be thankful he isn’t the PM. As for Brison’s “golden showers” remark, is he that obtuse?

    • “Obtuse”? I think if you consult the record of Parliamentary banter, in Canada and Britain, you’ll find a fair bit of similar humour. I’m certain Brison was being quote the opposite of obtuse.

      • Really?  Sexual innuendo about urination fetishes is common Parliamentary banter?

        • I believe the last sexual innuendo in the commons was Harper to Svend.

        • I believe you would find various back-handed humour and sexual innuendo amongst other types of things that some would find “inappropriate.” My main point was that Brison clearly knew exactly what he was doing, and therefore was anything but “obtuse” in his usage.

          • You agree then that he was lying through his teeth when he “said he was unaware of any inappropriate connotations”.

          • Before labelling his response as a lie, we’d have to know what Brison considered inappropriate, wouldn’t we?

          • He wasn’t lying – he had his tongue placed firmly in his cheek.  After his – I’m just a country boy line, he continues to say he wouldn’t want to piss off the Minister.  If you saw the scrum, you, hopefully, would  get that he was joking.

          • Well, if he was joking when he said that he was unaware of any inappropriate connotations, then fair enough.  If he was saying that seriously though, I don’t believe it for a second.

      • I’m sure Brison is down with the golden showers.

  6. Ha, the first thing that came to mind when I heard this, was the movie “American Psycho”.

  7. What’s the name of the Foreign Minsiter?  Bobby Brown?  (the Frank Zappa Bobby brown, not the New Edition Bobby Brown)

  8. What, no commenters are questioning Scott Brison’s judgment?  He made a joke about sexual urination in the House of Commons!  When questioned by reporters, he responded with another “watersports” double entendre: “I don’t know how you interpret these kinds of things, but I’m not that sophisticated in that regard, but I certainly wouldn’t want to piss off the minister”.

    Clearly, we’ve come a long way from “fuddle duddle”.  

    • “sexual urination.”  You have to admit, that phrase tells quite a lot about you.

      • It’s very Edwardian, I must say.

        • Are you two calling me a prude?

          • Yuppers.

          • That makes no sense.  How does one explain the double entendre of “golden showers” other than explaining that it’s a reference to “sexual urination”?  Or is it that you consider it prudish to think that Members of Parliament shouldn’t be making sexual jokes about members opposite in the House of Commons?  Would it still be “prudish” to question Brison’s judgment if he’d accused the Ministers of giving each other handjobs???

            If it’s “prudish” to think that it’s inappropriate for Members of Parliament to make sexual jokes about other Members of Parliament on the floor of the House of Commons then call me a prude, I guess.

    • Surely you are not actually scandalized by this?! It is f***** hilarious. Even Baird thought so, based on his reaction. Brison won the alpha-gay competition of the day.

      • I’m not “scandalized”.  I did think it was inappropriate for the House of Commons, though.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who thinks so.

        • I agree fully that sexual innuendos in the House of Ccommons should be deemed off limits. I’m amazed that the Speaker did not weigh in and put a stop to it..

          As for all the fuss about the cards, as a former diplomat, I think they look much better than the Wordmark version and commend the minister in choosing them. There is no need to put the name of the building in which his department is housed on his name card when handing it to foreign visitors.

  9. So, instead of yelling at one another, QP has become gay banter, lol!

    • Old Boys Club – RIP. 

  10. If one of the Ministers being made the butt of a sexual joke was a female Minister, do you suppose Brison would have gone there?  Would commenters here be so sanguine about all of this if an MP had suggested on the floor of the House of Commons that a female MP was giving sexual favours to a male MP???

    As I said above, call me a prude if you must, but I’m gonna go ahead and say that I think that an MP making a sexual joke on the floor of the House of Commons at the expense of one or more Ministers of the Crown is inappropriate, to say the least.

    • It’s not as much an innuendo as a play on words; “shower with gold” followed by “golden shower”. Really? is that the worst thing you’ve heard said about someone in the house?

      I think the more offending part of this joke is that it was said of two single men, insinuating that Harper has surrounded himself with young gay men.

      • Tony Clement is married, Baird is gay and single.  Brison is gay and married, and a former Conservative so he knows who is and who isn’t gay.  And it’s not like he hasn’t received a few barbs – I remember an MP making a sarcastic remark about his ‘wife’.  They’re all big boys, if they feel they’ve been wronged, they can complain to the Speaker. None of them are shrinking violets.

        • Tony is married? Well that’s new to me too.

          • Don’t you remember: his wife saved a drowning man at their Muskoka cottage; Tony tweeted about it, then took credit for being a hero…so yes, he has a long-suffering wife.

      • I think the more offending part of this joke is that it was said of two
        single men, insinuating that Harper has surrounded himself with young
        gay men.

        To my mind there’s several things wrong with that sentence.  Most importantly, what would be offensive about Harper surrounding himself with young gay men???  Secondly, gay or not, jokingly suggesting that one Minister of the Crown is engaging in a sexual fetish with another Minister of the Crown is inappropriate, period, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the object(s) of the mockery.  Thirdly, is everyone still “insinuating” that Baird is gay, or is it just completely accepted as fact now?  People have known for YEARS of course, but it seems to me that this is one of the first posts where I’ve seen a lot of commenters just coming right out and saying it, rather than implying it, or skating around it without ever being explicit.

        Lastly, no, this is by no means the worst thing I’ve heard said about someone in the House of Commons.  However, that said, I’ve also heard the Speaker of the House of Commons force Members to apologize for using, and to retract, “unparliamentary language” that was orders of magnitude more mild than jokingly insinuating that two Ministers of the Crown were engaging in a scatological sexual fetish with each other.  Generally, the House holds people to a pretty high standard in terms of insults, particualrly personal insults, and PARTICULARLY sexual humour.  To my mind, a reference to golden showers is WELL down the list of things that should be deemed inappropriate in the House of Commons.  Members of Parliament have been called to task for much milder speech than that.

    • Double standard blah blah blah. Yes. Prude.

      • So, is there any banter that can be deemed inappropriate for the floor of the House of Commons then, or is it “anything goes”?

  11. Under questioning he said he was unaware of any inappropriate connotations.

    Come on.  No one really believes that, do they?

    • I do, the expression “golden showers” is new to me.

      • The last innocent :)  Long may yoy remain so.

        • Innocent… find me one popular cultural reference to “golden showers”. To me it sounds more like an underground internet story shared only in bars.

          • Try “Sex and the City” for one.

          • None of what yall suggestin’ puts your character in good light.

          • None of what yall suggestin’ puts your character in good light.

            I agree indie_light. 

            The suggestion that someone watch Sex in the City is a bridge too far.

            :-)

          • @google-7764e89375197a56fc2c368410de3204:disqus 
            Knowing what ‘golden showers’ means taints our character?Now that is really prudish.

          • In addition to Sex and the City, I know there was a joke about “golden showers” in an episode of the Office that was about a baby shower too.

            You know what, Phyllis? I think you need to step it up. I think you need
            to get the lead out. Because, if I’m not mistaken, we gave you your
            wedding shower here. We all came into this room and gave you a golden
            shower. Well you know what, where’s my golden shower, Phyllis?

            Of course, it goes without saying that South Park has had at least one episode that referenced “golden showers” and the movie “Team America: World Police” had a golden shower scene too.

            As for Brison, I don’t think it’s impossible per se for someone to be unaware of the sexual connotation for the term “golden shower”.  However, I DO think it’s impossible for a Member of Parliament who USED the term “golden showers” in the context of the political banter of the House of Commons to have been unaware of it’s meaning.  That’s like someone claiming they had no idea of the sexual meaning of the term “happy ending” right after asking someone if their massage appointment had a “happy ending”.  Yeah, right.

          • I admit the timing and delivery sounds scripted. But being from a small rural town myself, I don’t find it unbelievable that a Liberal 44 year old investment banker of United Church faith would be unaware of such expressions and slip right into it trying to put more emphasis on the older more common expression of showering each other with gold.

          • @google-7764e89375197a56fc2c368410de3204:disqus

            I don’t find it unbelievable that a Liberal 44 year old investment
            banker of United Church faith would be unaware of such expressions
            .

            I suppose it’s not completely “unbelievable”, but as a liberal 36 year old librarian of the United Church faith, I sure knew what it meant!

  12. A brilliant and witty piece of subterfuge on Brison’s part, IMO. As long as this government continues to neuter Parliament, as evidenced by its now totally cavalier disregard for the traditional responsibilities of question period and the House committee system, I suspect the opposition will resort to increasingly novel ways of conveying their message.

    What other non-violent options do they have?

  13. Rules, apparently, are for losers.

  14. After QP, Mr. Brison was asked by reporters about his phrasing. He responded as follows.
    I’m a country guy.C’mon, that’s a misprint, isn’t it?

    • You have left off the rest of the sentence.  Amazing editing on this by the pearl clutching side.

  15. From a personal standpoint what I love most about this story is that in the comments there appears to be at least one person who considers me to be a prude because I think that this type of humour is inappropriate for the floor of the House of Commons, and there appears to be at least one person who considers me to be of degenerate character because I knew what “golden showers” means.

    It’s the sign of a good complex issue that one can be considered simultaneously both too chaste and too perverted in the context of one’s position on the SAME STORY.

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