I’ve never been one for politics. To be honest, I know far less about politics than a responsible adult should. It’s something I’ve been thinking I need to re-study and learn – not because it intrigues me, but more because it infuriates me. Too often it feels like my job as a Canadian citizen is to vote for which pile of poo stinks less.
When the whole #elbowgate fiasco erupted yesterday, I posted this on Facebook:
I can only imagine the uproar of the Liberals if a Conservative Prime Minister had taken a man by the elbow and escorted him away from a conversation - elbowing a woman in the chest as he did so.
Prime Ministers aren't supposed to be bouncers.
Turns out the uproar is pretty much exactly the same as it would have been if any party’s winning Prime Minister had done this.
I stand by my Facebook post. I watched the video, like many others did. I watched some reporting on it, but that just exasperated me further. In the first video I watched the reporter say Trudeau “almost brushed” the lady standing behind him.
I have a fairly good grasp of the English language (so long as I’ve had some coffee). Almost means it did not in fact happen. Almost means no contact happened. Also, brushed implies he “barely” touched her. Neither of those words belong in reporting that story.
However. Neither do the words trauma or assault belong in the news story. It seemed to me that at first the media tried to downplay the event, and once they realized the uproar the incident caused, rolled with it and helped pour gasoline on the fire.
Did Trudeau walk purposefully down an aisle, take a man by his arm and escort him away from a group of people, accidentally elbowing a woman in the chest as he did so?
Um, yes. Watch the video. Come on. He didn’t just brush against her, he didn’t bump her. Her startled reaction and a hand reaching out to steady her testifies to that.
Did he show his true colours as a woman hater, push and shove his way through a group of people, grab and drag a man by the arm, and angrily backhand a woman who wouldn’t get out of the way?
Um, no. No, he didn’t. But by people using adjectives and verbs that paint a very different picture rather than the event that actually took place, they shout “victim” and change the direction of the conversation. We shouldn’t be sitting here wondering if our Primer Minister is about to become the Hulk and start a war against women and democracy. We should be wondering about how our government is run and if we, the people who the government was created for, want it to continue to run this way.
Should he have left his seat? Should he have touched another person with the intent of “moving them along”? Should he have been so exasperated he wasn’t aware of his surroundings and elbowed a person? No, he shouldn’t have. It showed immaturity, it showed a lack of control, it showed disrespect, it showed arrogance. It did not show that he is some sort of misogynist.
He apologized. He said he regretted his actions and that they shouldn’t have happened.
And they shouldn’t have. But there’s more to this that bothers me.
Is this seriously how our country is run? By people who shout and boo when others are speaking? By people who block the passage of a man to delay a vote? By such childish and disrespectful antics that the leader of our country is so exasperated and aggravated that he loses his common sense and awareness of proper behavior, and ends up delaying, even further, a controversial vote he was originally intending to hurry along? (Ironic, no?)
Our country is run, (and it doesn’t seem to matter who is in power) by people who willingly and self-righteously will use any ammo to further their own interests. The government was created for the people. If the government is meant to serve the citizens of its country, why would the government fail in the “satisfaction of service” department of any survey, ever?