Nov 17 2011
NDP MP Pat Martin is getting some flack today for tweeting inappropriately. A big part of me thinks, “What’s the big deal?”
“This is a f—— disgrace…closure again. And on the Budget! There’s not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot sh–,” Martin tweeted.
He followed up with another comment asking “In these uncertain economic times, don’t you think our parliament should be debating our federal budget? Some due diligence?”
But that wasn’t all. Martin went on to tell off followers who criticized his post, telling one person to “F— off” and directing the Bart Simpson-coined expression “Eat my shorts” at another.
I’ve actually got a fair bit of sympathy for Mr. Martin. I’m a bit of a foul-mouthed guy, myself (particularly if I’ve got a couple of beers in me). I don’t recall if I’ve ever sworn on Twitter before, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that I had.
That said, elected politicians are presumably held to a higher standard of civics than non-elected pundits like me. They’re supposed to set an example about respectful communication, even, or perhaps especially, if pissed off.
Also, contrary to what one might infer from Martin’s overheated rhetoric, the Conservatives were not shutting down debate by some improvised fascist measure. Closure is just part of the parliamentary rules. Majority governments use it all the time to prevent filibustering USA-style. Not exactly “jackboot” stuff.