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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.

Sunday 17 November 2013

MacKay's Law of Political Opportunism


The social media response to the Rob Ford scandal continues to be as interesting as the actual scandal itself, and just as insightful.  You get a real good look at what lengths people will go to for personal gain when such a meme-worthy mess hits.
I was in particular curious to see how often Godwin's Law got evoked, and by who.  When there are this many voices being raised on one subject, you need to express even more outrage or wittiness than your competitors, after all. 
Fortunately, there's not been a lot of this - the closest we got was Andrew Coyne's brilliant response to Doug Ford saying that the way Toronto Council was responding to the Mayor's antics was "kind of like what they did to Jesus" by tweeting
Andrew Coyne @acoyne
I can go Doug Ford one better: this is like what HITLER did to Jesus.
What we did get, however, was a traditional bit of political opportunism by one of Canada's masters of political opportunism, Peter MacKay.  MacKay - who famously broke his promise to David Orchard in which he committed to not merging the PCs with the Alliance Party; the same MacKay that milked his breakup with Belinda Stronach for as much partisan gains as he could squeeze out of it:
Context doesn't matter, his Party's long-term support of Ford when they surely knew he had at least some substance issues doesn't matter, only the potential gains from a cheap shot matter. 
Call it MacKay's Law of Political Opportunism: the longer a political scandal continues, the greater the probability that politicians will attempt to link their opponents to it and with increasingly tenuous connections.
Speaking of which, I seem to recall MacKay using some colourful metaphors in the House one time...

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