A lot of people are claiming the immigration and citizenship minister Jason Kenney's "Asshole-gate" is a tempest in a teapot and now that Kenney has phoned Alberta deputy premier Tom Lukaszuk to apologize for calling him an asshole in an email to CPC caucus members, we should forget the whole thing.
Not so fast.
Let me stipulate that I am hardly one to clutch my pearls and stumble toward the fainting couch wailing "won't somebody think of the precious, precious children?" any time anyone uses forceful language. Fuck no, I'm all for a "free and frank exchange of ideas" as we used to call them at one place I worked. Strong, even profane language is a vital part of the communications tool kit and it has a valid role to play even in public discourse and the workplace.
And I'm not disagreeing with Jason Kenney's characterization of Lukaszuk. I've never met him, maybe he is a "complete and utter asshole." He is a conservative politician, after all, so what are the odds? I know Kenney and some of his fellow Reform Party refugees had hoped for the more extreme socially conservative right-wing Wild Rose Party to displace the conservative, right-wing Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta and I know how they tend to throw tantrums when the people fail to give them what they want at the ballot box, but as the conservatives like to point out when they win, elections have consequences.
No, my complaint is the complete and utter lack of judgement shown by Kenney in expressing such strong, negative and especially personal opinions about a prominent senior member of a provincial government.
This isn't one guy calling another guy a name in the bar after a few beers, or even politicians speaking frankly around the confidential cabinet table, this is a minister of the crown using an obscenity to describe the deputy premier to other members of parliament. It publicly demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for both the office and the people of Alberta.
I might think someone in my office or someone my company does business with is an asshole, and I might even mention that opinion to other people I work with, but I certainly don't put that kind of assessment down in writing in any kind of business report, letter, memo, email, phone message or even a lousy post-it note. People are routinely fired for such stupidity.
This speaks also to a larger issue of character. Looking at the kind of buffoons, knuckle-draggers, weasels and flat-out crooks the Prime Minister chooses to surround himself with, you have to wonder after a while if these are really the sort of people we really want running the country.
- The PM's parliamentary secretary Dean Del Mastro is currently being investigated for illegal campaign spending and all indicators are that he will eventually face charges. This is the same MP that was the government's point man in trying to deny and mislead over the ongoing robocall vote-suppression scandal.
- The PM's former top adviser Bruce Carson was convicted of five counts of fraud before coming to work for Stephen Harper.
- Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is an admitted serial adulterer.
- Bev Oda, in addition to her love of taxpayer funded luxury, also likes to alter documents.
- Maxime Bernier likes to pal around with people who have ties to biker gangs.
- Defense Minister Peter McKay seems to think the Canadian Forces are his personal taxi service.
- The Conservative Party of Canada itself was found to have broken the election financing laws in the In-and-Out scandal
- The entire government was declared in contempt of Parliament , an unprecedented event, sparking the last election
And we haven't discussed the things they have been getting done
The Conservative Party of Canada is not interested in good governance, social justice or what is good for the country as a whole. They are interested in getting and keeping power, lining the pockets of their supporters in the oil and finance industries, comforting the comfortable and stepping on the throat of any who would attempt to challenge them.
Kenney's sneering rudeness and lack of judgement is just the latest example of the party's entitled arrogance and contempt for all outside their fascist cadre.