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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Elizabeth May: The Wall Comes Down

I've been to a number of Ontario's press gallery's Spring Flings, which is the same kind of thing. Politicians say wildly inappropriate things, make fun of themselves and each other in entirely non-PC ways they would never dare to do in public.  

Similarly, I've got a collection of infantile swag produced in backrooms and a memory full of grossly inappropriate things said by political people away from microphones and outsider ears.  Everyone in politics does.

In a business that's as much about destroying your foes as anything else, run by people who view the working of democracy as war and the prize being incredible power and access to ridiculous sums of money, does this come as a surprise to anyone?

If you answer yes, you're either naive, lying to yourself or (and this is most likely the case) you consciously or unconsciously towing the line.

As scandals ranging from sexual abuse to questionable HR practice to the expenditure of public funds show us, there's a lot of dirty laundry to be aired in our political places.  The same can be said of the other institutions on which our democracy hangs, like justice.

And that's the thing, isn't it?  Bad behaviour that has existed and been known about by everyone, including journalists, is being exposed.  

It wasn't before.  There was an unwritten code about what did and didn't get discussed; if someone got caught, they were often fair game, but some things just weren't talked about.  If you did - if you still do, in many fields - you're cut out, ostracised, removed from the tribe.  It's the typical whislteblower story.

I'd be curious to know if Althia Raj is being rebuked by the insiders of that world for taking and airing the video.  It's interesting how many other folk came forward to discuss the May incident, considering it happened at an "in camera" event where lots of other inappropriate things were no doubt said.

It goes without saying, of course, that plenty more video exists on plenty of phones.

Naturally, people who benefit from doing their deeds in the backroom are working double-time to pull the blinds closed again.  Threats are being issued, actions taken; I'm sure we'll hear about more clamp-downs on bringing smartphones into venues like Spring Flings at the same time as journalists question why they have to give up their phones for budget lock-ups when governments are leaking the news anyway.

Good luck, folks, but it won't work.  Whether it's Canada Post, the auto sector or the education industry, the reality is that which adapts, survives while that which doesn't fades away.

You can't change access or stifle the impetus to share - not without becoming oppressive in the way people respond to negatively.

All you can do is evolve with the times.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    The event was not in camera. It was on the record.