In the ensuing years, each time he displayed a stunning lack of judgment or acted in his typically boorish and bullying manner, he took to blaming the messenger.
Patrick Brazeau was a young, brash leader - and was rewarded for those traits. Any time his behaviour slipped into questionable territory, Stephen Harper covered for him - ostensibly to protect his Party's brand. In so doing, he encouraged more of the same in an escalating pattern. Never once was the question asked, "how can we stop this from happening again?" More than a few people have suffered as a result - including Brazeau himself and I would argue, Stephen Harper's Conservative Party.
Rob Ford has been exactly what he advertised himself as - a brash, blinders-on, elbows-up leader. The results have been exactly what one would expect - messy. But we got what we asked for, didn't we?
The focus at all levels on competitive confidence has seen a sharpening of the political point, but leaves less and less room at the top for people to stand. Functional fixedness if failing us, which we should have seen coming. Haste and beating The Other comes at the expense of meaningful deliberation and collaborative responses, which is no small part of why we're in the deficit situation - fiscal, social, democratic - we face today. It's almost like there's a pattern forming.
More hopefully, there's another trend possibly emerging - in Ontario, the Liberal Party has picked a leader skilled in mediation over one known as a political scrapper. In relation to the afore-mentioned Brazeau, there have been voices raised among the general populace questioning the validity of lines in sand and throwing stones when we all live in glass houses. Could it be that winning is starting to take second place to achieving?
One can only hope - because the only way to move the mountain of challenges in front of us is to all pull together in the same direction.