A marathon of moral parsing: my head hurts - Macleans.ca

A marathon of moral parsing: my head hurts

Paul Wells on Parliament taking up residence in the gutter

A marathon of moral parsing: my head hurts

Adrian Wyld/CP

Remember when the arrival of a stable majority government was going to allow your members of Parliament to stop squabbling and concentrate on matters of state with a little serenity? Yeah, never mind. It’s starting to look like the circus is never going to leave Ottawa.

Here’s what kind of winter it’s been. Conservative Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu said every jail cell should come with free suicide rope. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said it might be okay to fire a few warning shots over the head of somebody stealing your all-terrain vehicle. MP Larry Miller mentioned supporters of the long-gun registry in the same breath as Hitler, then apologized, then un-apologized, then un-apologized some more. Basically, he’s glad he said it but sorry you heard it. You know who else had a hard time apologizing? Hitler. Sorry. Sort of.

Then there is the rather thorny bundle of issues surrounding Vic Toews. I met Toews in 1999 campaigning door to door in Winnipeg with his boss at the time, Manitoba’s then-premier Gary Filmon. That particular election didn’t end well for either of them. I remember Toews as a pleasant fellow. He’s always a pleasant fellow, unless you ask him a question in the House of Commons and he suggests your choice is to “stand with us or with the child pornographers.” Which he did on the day before Valentine’s Day.

It was not obvious, up to that point, that we would soon look back on the first half of February with a tinge of nostalgia for lost innocence. Toews apologized, sort of, for the nasty rhetorical corner into which he’d painted opponents of his online surveillance bill. But then somebody launched a Twitter account—under the name “Vikileaks”—that released, in 140-character chunks, excerpts from Toews’s divorce proceedings.

It was a nasty divorce. I’m not familiar with another kind. By sundown on Vikileaks day, half of Ottawa had a theory about who was to blame for the Twitter account, whose owner had already shut it down.

By now the only thing missing to make this the best month ever was allegations of widespread election fraud. And here they are! Right on schedule. The formidable Postmedia reporting team of Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher revealed an Elections Canada investigation into claims that somebody systematically called thousands of voters to mislead them about where to vote.

I’m not going to give you any more of the robocall story, because it’s early days yet; the story has a million moving parts, and John Geddes will be telling you all about it a few pages from now. But if it were ever established that a political party defrauded thousands of voters out of their right to vote, well, that would be a really heavy political scandal.

Needless to say, MPs from every party set about investigating these grave allegations in a serious, non-partisan fashion. Just kidding! Of course they fell on one another like hyenas. Somewhere amid the ruckus, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae got up to admit that one of his staffers had dreamed up the Vikileaks Twitter feed with the lurid divorce details.

So that’s what you missed, if you are at all lucky. What’s it all mean?

Well. I suppose it is possible to establish a hierarchy of yuckiness in all this. On a scale of “zero” to “makes me wanna barf,” condoning warning shots as a remedy to property theft is probably only a two or three. Vikileaks was lurid and ad hominem, but it made legal use of publicly available information. Call it a six.

Neither, we might say as we continue to pick our way through the month’s moral and ethical car wreck, did Toews “deserve” to have his dirty laundry aired because he drew an odious comparison between advocates of Web privacy and pedophiles. It’s actually not true that you force me to be a jerk when you act like a jerk. Former Liberal staffer Adam Carroll, the Vikileaks guy, remained a moral free agent through the whole piece. He gets to own his choices, as Toews owns his.

What else? The NDP’s ground for decrying the election eve robocalls is diminished by their own decision to blitz voters in the riding of St. Maurice with automated calls and then forward the angriest voters to MP Lise St. Denis’s riding office, just because she jumped ship from the NDP to the Liberals. But then my ace moral compass reminds me that annoying St. Denis’s staff and clogging her phone lines is legal, whereas the election eve calls, if organized and linked to one party, would seriously not be legal.

And so on. But actually, pretty early on in this marathon of moral parsing, I’m inclined to reach a more general conclusion, which is that these people are making my head hurt. All of them. Won’t they stop?

We pay them well to go to Ottawa to solve the hard problems. Of course the solutions aren’t obvious. Of course they’re a matter of opinion, and therefore of politics, and politics makes emotions run high, and it’s never going to be a rose garden.

But there’s a difference between a little roughhousing and an entire Parliament spending a month in a moral gutter. We expect more from our MPs than “He started it!” and “You can’t prove it!” Moral outrage in the face of this kind of behaviour is not sufficient but it’s necessary: outrage alone won’t solve a thing, but if we cannot muster any we are lost. Just like too many of these people.


A marathon of moral parsing: my head hurts

  1. And it all started downhill from the Conservative adoption of Lombardi’s phrase “winning isn’t everything — it’s the only thing”.  The other parties have done themselves no favors by joining the Cons in the mud wrestling matches.

  2. It might be okay to fire a few warning shots over the head of somebody stealing your all-terrain vehicle  – seems perfectly reasonable to me

    •  I actually fire a few warning shots over the head of someone who cuts in a queue line.

      • You too?

        • I also shoot people in the kneecap if they are in the 6 items or less queue with more than 6 items. I find it is an assault on my rights as a Canadian citizen.

          • I used to cheat my way into the express line, but then I took an arrow in the knee.

    •  What are you warning them of?

    •  How do they know they are “warning shots” and not “misses”? They’ll drive faster, trying to get away from being shot by an angry victim.

  3. Best.

  4. The biggest problem I see in all this is the average Canadian simply doesn’t care. Yes politicians are breaking the law and acting like 5th grade bullies in question period, and they get away with it. This is nothing new in Canada. John A MacDonald lost an election over a huge scandal and won again 5 years later and remained Prime Minister till he died. The Liberals won in 2004 in the middle of the sponsorship scandal and Jean Charest is somehow still the premier of Quebec 8 years later. It takes a lot more then a couple of broken laws and scandals to get Canadians up in arms.

    • I’m not sure what broken laws/scandal Jean Charest was involved in, but if you’re suggesting that scandals tainting the federal Libs would affect the Qc Libs, you’re incorrect. It’s very, very rare that a Quebecer will translate his distaste for the federal Libs by voting against the provincial Libs. They’re associated by name only, and little else. Perhaps the Ontario Libs are more closely related to the federal party, but not here in Qc.

    • You got that right. Canada needs some new federal institution that acts in the best interest of the “moral” majority in a totally honest, transparent and mature manner. I believe the present elected federal government approaches that ideal better than any government since John AM.

  5. PJ O’Rourke ~ Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. 

    They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.

    • well said, but there are politicians out there who actually care. It’s just that no one listens to them because they can’t state their opinion in three words or less. We have stopped listening, or caring, or both. 

  6. We expect more from our MPs than “He started it!” and “You can’t prove it!”

    I suggest the public’s lack of faith/confidence extends beyond politicians. We have expectations that go beyond the MPs, and perhaps our faith in the “checks and balances” governing parliamentarians is also eroding. For example:

    – Elections Canada’s ability to timely investigate election misconduct;
    – The Governor-General to make sound decisions on prorogation and other such matters;
    – The RCMP to properly investigate any criminal conduct in Ottawa;
    – The Speaker to maintain decorum in the House;
    – Parliamentary committees remaining impartial when investigating matters (Afghan detainees, Schreiber, etc)
    – The media to properly investigate or report news in an impartial manner (aside from op-eds).

    We expect all the above to happen in a fair, timely, non-partisan manner, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. For example, it’ll soon be a year since Robocall allegations first surfaced, and it took the National Post to light a fire under EC’s and the RCMP’s butts to do something substantial about it?

    This goes beyond trust in politicians, and extends to gov’t institutions in general. We expect more from our government agencies, institutions, checks and balances, etc., let alone from our MPs.

  7. Since he isn’t here anymore I blame Potter – how dare he predict a rational response from present day parliamentarians; really, what was he thinking.

    Thorny question though. Which came first, public apathy and indifference or the present culture of all the parties to only seek the public good after first accomodating their own needs? Or perhaps they simply can’t tell the difference anymore?

    Perhaps one merely feeds the other?

  8. Productivity. That’s the evil here( apart from immoral choices but that ones best left up to a higher authority to pass judgement on)
    In the good olde days the dippers might have left expressions of moral outrage up to the citizens of the riding, with perhaps a bit of encouragement from the party. But it would have been too wasteful of resources to round up the outraged citizenry unless the political stakes warranted it. Now everyone has the nuclear option in their back pockets, it only requires the requisite amount of cognitive dissonance to conclude that this is true direct cutting edge democracy in action and you’re away to the races.

    I’m with Douglas Adams in the belief that coming down from the trees wasn’t a good idea and maybe even leaving the ocean was a bad first move?

    • ‘In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.’

      • However Tesla energized our world in early 1900’s with AC power… as opposed to Edison’s love of DC electricity! Even Edison himself had to eventually accept general use of AC power! Tesla’s other great inventions could have made the world a better place….too bad many of the most beneficial to the citizens have been hidden, suppressed or destroyed by the most powerful, hidden, greedy, protected oligarchy Controllers of the world.

  9. My students in HS have just come to the conclusion that all politicians are jerks.  Why vote for a jerk?  Good question….I didn’t answer

    • How about: Because one of those jerks is going to be running the show, and unless you’ve been through all the material available and actually believe there is absolutely no difference whatsoever between all of them (a highly dubious conclusion), your vote will mean something?

    •  Calling people jerks is not civil behaviour of their own.  It’s just more of the same.




    • So if a politician does something you don’t like, it justifies ad hominems? Do you really want to open up that can of worms? Because I’d wager that there are people that don’t like the same politicians you do, with a vindictive streak and a lot of time on their hands. When you open up that can of worms, you get a slander arms race that nobody wins. Not the voters, who are less informed by that kind of dialog. Not our leaders, who end up in low esteem. And who would want to run for public office in that kind of environment?

      • First.. wasn’t slander. It was factual public information relating to the character of a person who is supposed to a representative of us.

        2nd, I’ll agree it wasn’t an appropriate response. But I do not see how it was in any way inappropriate in and of itself.

      • “And who would want to run for public office in that kind of environment?”

        You live in America?  It seems like there are personal scandals all the time – Weiner last summer, Newt was asked about his ex’s open marriage claims in tv debate – and yet people are lining up to be pols in America. No reason at all to believe these power mad cretins feel shame, ever, and it would keep Canadians better informed of their pols.

        Maybe Toews constituents don’t want to vote for a dirty old man, they should know what kind of guy he is.

        • Or conversely, maybe they do.. they still should know.

          • Exactly. Story out of UK today where MP is resigning for inappropriate behaviour while Canadian msm goes out of its way to help MPs keep their naughty secrets and our standard of governance gets worse because no one has to worry about scrutiny, ever. 

            Guardian ~ March 2 2012
            Eric Joyce, the Labour MP facing assault charges over an alleged fracas in a Commons bar is to step down at the next general election after admitting to a relationship with a teenage girl.

      • let’s stick to this particulat case

        ad hominem: what arguments did Mr Toews have to offer?
        He accused people of being with the child pornographers if they objected to the bill
        I appreciated the Vikileaks for the smartness on the play on Wikileaks.
        I read 1 or 2 and left it for the media and other organizations to reort on the whole thing.
        Just as I did with Wikileaks.

        •  If you were waiting for the media to report on Toews’ divource, you’d have been waiting a while.

    • So your standard for inappropriate behavior is geographical?

      • no

        just don’t be stupid enough to use a computer in the parliamentary blgds
        he should have done it privately
        it was a response to being fedup with this MP and his hypocrisy and stupidity as an MP
        Most Canadians who are ^NOT Conservative voters appreciated it.
        He also should be given credit for ending it with grace.

    • Is ‘vwapb’ secret code for something? 

      • no, it’s my computer, being a low income senior, i wait until next month for repair

    • I actually don’t care if vikileaks was an appropriate response or not.  What I see as the heart of the matter is the media  saying that Vic Toews divorce and the reasons for it were a private matter.  Normally I would agree with this assessment.  I’m sure there are many people that have unpleasant if not lurid situations in their lives that have led to the breakdown in their marriage.  Probably most marriages end because of something unpleasant.  The difference here is that Mr. Toews is a politician that casts himself as a self-righteous god fearing moral conservative and runs for political office on that pulpit and then uses said pulpit to cast others that don’t share his so called moral and political beliefs as somehow less of an individual than himself and his party.  I would call this a hypocracy that we as voting Canadians are intitled to know about.  I also think that a fair number of the voting public would find his comment more onerous knowing his own personal history.  If anyone should jump to the conclusion that I “side” with the scumbags that prey on the vulnerable they would be wrong.  The one prison  that the conservatives should build is one in the far reaches of the frozen north where these creeps should be sent for the rest of their lives and not the usual few months or years incarceration that is usually doled out.
      As usual with most bills that this government puts before the house there are all sorts of hidden agendas that smack of civil liberties denied.  Sometimes I wonder if they believe in democracy at all. 

      • So every MP who advocates a higher tax rate, should be automatically forced to pay that higher tax rate, just because it’s something they’ve advocated? And if not, they’re private financial records should be published for the world to see?

        Anybody who thinks that Vic is the only MP in Canada who publicly advocates one thing while doing the opposite is naive to say the least.

        As Pat Martin once infamously said “Hypocrisy is the lube of political intercourse”.

        •  I’d say that would be quite reasonable if we could choose to pay higher tax rates.  I’m not aware that that’s possible, as I get a cheque in the mail every time I do it by accident.  In fact, Rick, giving people the choice to pay more tax is a pretty swell idea.  Perhaps the government would like to offer it.

  11. Two words:

    No Incumbents.

    • Part of me goes “Yes!” And part of me says that will only lead to more ridiculous levels of corruption, as they only have four years to grab all the goodies they can – and will have no voters to answer to for doing so.

      • Oh.. not as a general system. Just for this next election.

        • How about no robocalls?  Who cares if they are easier for the parties, and make cash for the companies?  Just stop it — and get rid of the attack ads too.  Just think about all the time wasted discussing these election tools — just not worth it. 

          • I’m all for banning robo-calls, but banning “attack ads” is just dumb. It’s political free speech, plain and simple. I suppose the same defence could be made for robo-calls, I just think that if you’re going to utilize a two-way medium like a phone, that there should be an expectation of being able to ask the person on the other end a question or two.

      • I think big problem is large MP salaries and their lavish pensions. Like winning lottery for most of these people and they not willing to give it up without fight. It is hard to follow your principles when so much money is involved. 

        The problem I have with no incumbents rule is that we need people to know how the system works, rules and customs they need to follow and if we get newbies all the time institutional memory will be lost and governance will worsen. 

        • As I pointed out after, not as a general system, just as a voting pattern for the next election.  Given the state of governance now, I don’t think having a whole new crop would be significantly worse, and it would very definitely get the message across to the parties that things need to change.

          I mean, I don’t even care if Alberta went all Christian Heritage (though I hate the party and think it could do some significant damage if left in too long) — just the shock it’d send through our current system would be worth it.

        • Cogent points I agree with, and no series of quotes. What did you do with our Tony?

  12. The opposition and media “outrage” is arguably Harper’s best voter suppression strategy.  Harper knows Conservative voters are the most committed voters.  Keep poking the Opposition and the media in the eye since they love been outraged, and will deliver like Pavlov’s dogs on cue.

    The media thought Ignatieff was winning the election with his “outrage” strategy.

    Haven’t you guys figured out that Harper prefers that the Opposition and media are hysterically outraged all the time?

    •  Certainly weve seen the craven nature of the committed CPC base.  What Canadians need to do is tear the rest away from Harper.

  13. You’re right, there all being childish, but every issue that was mentioned was started by the Conservatives and reacted to by other parties. A word to Liberal and NDP ministers: don’t get sucked in and start playing dirty as well. It isn’t helping.

  14. Wasn’t Carrol’s Vikileaks gag more of a response to the fact that the Lawful Access bill was terrible?  The action of putting the personal affairs of Mr. Toews on-line was meant to be an invasion of privacy, right?  I saw it as a kind of righteous comeuppance.

  15. The problem with throwing up your hands and saying your all bad is that the worst get off considerably easier.  that’s very true of Harper and the PCs who have pulled more than any other party.  Even if you don’t like anybody you have to go with the best of a bad lot. 

  16. Speaking of moral mires, it turns out tricky Vicky appointed another mistresses to the Queen’s Court bench while they were an item: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjR2mMUBZMc&feature=related

    Actually, I get the feeling conflicts of interest like this are probably pretty commonplace. I was kind of expecting a bigger bombshell from Anon.

    • Anonymous is a typical criminal organization. They bark big, but have no bite. It’s all about generating publicity for the organization, has nothing to do with any “principles”, as they claim. Funny that an organization who’s sole priority is claimed to be “internet freedom” spends 99% of it’s efforts taking down websites and shutting down internet access for those they don’t agree with.

  17. Oh goodie – about time someone did this to him.  And people wonder who is lowering the bar in politics?  How quickly the photo of Meier got posted of him obviously sitting in a stock car and then made fun of.

    RackNine sues Pat Martin and NDP for $5 million 

    “Martin’s words were defamatory, and, in the very least, carried the innuendo that Meier and/or
    RackNine had committed criminal activity, fraudulent activity, participated in a conspiracy, intimidation, sabotage and/or deceit,” the claim says. 

    “RackNine rascals,” “young punks,” and “Edmonton hillbillies” were some of the terms Martin used in relation to the company.” 


    • They’re doing this for publicity — “innuendo” is awfully hard to prove in a court.  Martin’s rhetoric indeed has been over the top.  When I see del Mastro sweating and lying and reading his script, then over to Martin, with his overhyped bombast, and then Rae — calm, cool, intelligent, and experienced — I wonder why the other two parties picked these guys to fight this one.  And I appreciate that despite third party status, Rae is ensuring the Liberals get more attention than the NDP, whose leadership race isn’t even capturing attention.

    • It’s about time somebody shut Pat Martin up. The guys a friggin’ psychopath!

  18. Rae is very good at what he does, but Martin isn’t MP material – he blew it this time as Parliamentary Privilege does not extend outside the HoC and defamation can garner getting you sued in Canada.  

    Hopefully the city of Edmonton will join in for calling them “hillbillies”.

  19. Dear media who insist that it was not appropriate to air Vic Toews’ dirty divorce laundry:  You have demonstrated that you have officially spent so much time in the make believe world of the press gallery that you have absolutely no concept of how normal people think anymore.

    I’m a gay person who has spent 20 years listening to Reform/Alliance/Conservative politicians argue against my human rights, compare me to pedophiles and shoplifters, say that business owners should be allowed to force me into the back of the shop, and generally present themselves as beacons of morality against which the rest of us just don’t quite measure up.  And Vic Toews, as the justice minister who brought forth the motion to reopen the same sex marriage debate, is a chief among them.  And it’s not just me and other “non traditional families” who have been duped.  Religious voters thought these clowns actually shared their devotion to traditional values.

    If you seriously believe that voters don’t have a right to know when politicians are misrepresenting themselves and violating the standards that they’re attempting to force on other people, well then, you have clearly spent way too much time at political cocktail parties and forgotten who you are on the Hill to serve.  Or is it that you are all such prolific philanderers that you don’t realize the rest of us, well, we find that sort of thing quite tacky?

    Whatever it is, Wells, Coyne, the rest of you…. I used to have a lot of respect for your analysis, but it’s now become clear that you don’t represent me.  I leave you to serve the white, heterosexual, male establishment while I seek a more worldly voice on Canadian politics. 

    • So do you think the media should be publicly outting gay MPs/officials? Making public every MP who’s ever cheated on his wife/significant other? Or should these things only happen to the politicians that you don’t like?

      • They should be publicly outing anybody whose personal conduct contradicts their public policy positions and/or the branding that they use to get elected. If Vic Toews wants to get elected – as he has done – by effectively telling voters that I’m an immoral affront to the traditional family who does not deserve equal rights, then Vic Toews had better be a moral family man himself.  So when it turns out that I – miss “immoral queer” — am a beacon of virtue compared to him, I’d say the public has a right to know.

        Since the other political parties don’t run on platforms of personal morality, there is nothing in their MPs romantic or sexual lives, however distasteful, that could constitute a conflict with their public positions.  On the other hand, if an NDP MP were caught evading taxes, using private health facilities, driving a Hummer to the grocery store, or evicting gays from an apartment they owned, they’d deserve a lot more scrutiny for that than a Conservative MP, and yeah, they should be outed for THAT. 

        As for outing gay politicians, I can assure you it’s well understood between the gay politicians and the gays at large that we’ll respect their privacy until they use their position to oppress us.  So far, no closeted gay politician has.  Therefore, no hypocrisy for the media to bust.

  20.  Paul – Just as a defense lawyer has to be careful of what issues he brings up lest he open new lines of questioning that were formerly prohibited for the prosecution to raise, Vic Toews managed to hoist  himself on his own petard re public revelations of his private life.  He did it on two fronts.  One, he set himself up as a pseudo Minister of Family Values and his hypocrisy relates to his credibility in that area.  Second, his “you’re with the child pornographers” comment regarding the new on-line legislation was in essence “You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.” Vikileaks was a very effective way of pointing out the flaw in that line of thinking.  The media fell down on their job by not reporting this much earlier and it is no excuse to try to claim some kind of moral high ground.  Pick it up Paul and the rest of you, and do what we so often hear the media claiming to do.  Protect the public’s right to know.

  21. Take Stephen Harper out of the equation and things get a whole lot better.

    • That bag of cats he herds will be loose all over the place then.


    To: Rush Limbaugh (ElRushbo@eibnet.com)


    Cc: Stephen Harper (pm@pm.gc.ca )


    Subject: Condolences on
    Your Loss



    Morning Mr. Limbaugh:

     I am sorry to report that you have not
    yet managed to replace Stephen Harper as Canada’s most despised Liar
    and Azzhole.

    Your foul mouthed character assassination of an honourable young woman for no
    reason but political spite has actually topped the political assassination of
    Helena Guergis as the best public display of “Assholinistic

    Unfortunately it can’t come up to Prime Minister Harper’s vicious accusation
    that Medical Marijuana is a major contributor to the illegal trade in the
    street and his proposal that all licensed growth be eliminated.
    Anybody who grows it under License now obviously suffers from criminal
    tendencies that pose a threat of diversion that must be pre-emptively curbed.


    further compound the bullsh@t justification for terminating personal growth,
    suddenly Grow-ops are the biggest danger to public safety and welfare. Medical
    Marijuana has suddenly been elevated to the primary source of residential
    fires, home invasions, the source of mould, lung disease, toxins and environmental
    pollution. Going by the never-ending flow of factual stupidity and outright
    lies  from the PMO, I  have no doubt Marijuana will be determined to
    be the cause of Climate Change as further justification: another “Unreported
    Crime” that fulfills Stockwell Days’ prophesy.

    You might not believe me Mr. Limbaugh, go and take a good hard look at


    Smee.                             http://goan-smee.blogspot.com/


    lots more dirty linen there


    Blaine Barrett



  23. “These people are making my head hurt” is what’s wrong with the average person. Engage in this information, research it to death, find out everything there is to know, and draw your own conclusions based on hard evidence. Of course it’s going to make your head hurt: our democracy is a farce and the state of society is disgusting. I thoroughly enjoyed this article until the third-to-last paragraph, at which point I became extremely frustrated that such infantile nonsense would be expressed to readers. You claim that we pay them to take care of this stuff, but in a democracy it’s the people who take care of the issues and the government that takes care of the people.

  24. i hate other peoples kids. and that sums up democracy. 

  25. @PW – Maybe it’s time to say it again – don’t ya just love comment boards?

  26. Using publicly available information on the operation of CIMS, and who was robocalled on ELECTION DAY (not just election eve as Paul claims in his article), it’s already apparent that Pierre Poutine had the Conservative Party’s voter information database as a resource at their disposal.

    So I guess it’s already “a really heavy political scandal, as Paul stated.

    The rest of the evidence and logic I’ve gathered at my blog for your review. If you find a flaw, please point it out.


    The warrant, recording of Poutine, and some payments that may (or may not have been) related to the illegal robocalls. The payments at least confirm that the CPC happened to be legitimately using the same dialing service as Poutine did.


  27. I agree.  The most important quality in a representative is not their speaking ability, nor is it their academic background. It’s their character.  

  28. I’d have to say 75% of the comments here are just as childish, petulant and in the same moral gutter.  50% of them are basically saying “The Cons are bad, so it’s ok to use gutter tactics”.  Or, “it’s ok to post details of a person’s private life on the internet and threaten extortion, as long as you’re doing it for the right side”.

    Half these comments are justifying gutter behaviour.

    Political discourse is just as dirty on the internet, or on the street, as it is in parliament.

    As far as I’m concerned, the ends never justifies the means.  We have democracy to resolve our differences.  Too many people have no respect for the opinions and desires of others.  I think it’s just another side to today’s “me, me, me” narcissistic culture.

  29. “We expect more from our MPs than “He started it!” and “You can’t prove it!”” Not really… our government has been mired in that scenario for the past 6-8 years. I don’t expect anything intelligent from those squabbling  babies.