Premier says apology punishment enough after Alberta MLA’s comments
reedom of speech is often cited by those defending politicians like Alberta MLA Doug Elniski, a Conservative back-bencher who joins a number of his kin on the political right embroiled in scandals sparked by what they said before and now regret. Conservative apologists complain he and others like him are merely doing what so many other politicians don’t – speak their mind – and it’s led us to a political culture dominated by image, spin doctors and political correctness. So they say, Liberals are just better at not getting caught.
Speaking as an elector – and not one who, admittedly, tends to vote Liberal – I find this an extremely odd bit of reasoning. While it’s certainly true that our political leadership has honed its collective expertise at managing appearances over the last several decades, why shouldn’t we hold that leadership responsible for making ignorant remarks when they’re made? I really believe Conservative voters are understandably frustrated when yet another story of this sort breaks, but the solution isn’t stowing the cameras and microphones when someone like Mr. Elinski screws up. It’s shining the spotlight on him – and, as Conservatives, making sure that others like him don’t end up representing you in the future if he stumbles and somehow reveals what twisted thoughts are really occupying his mind. At the very least, such faux pas are “fair game” for the media to report on – for the simple reason Conservatives don’t raise this same complaint when a Liberal makes remarks of a controversial nature.
Besides, muzzling the media really is more a game for regimes like the theocracy that’s clinging to power in Iran than Canada’s governing political party, isn’t it?