Nov 17 2011

Should Politicians Tweet Foul Language?

Published by at 11:29 am under canadian politics,social media

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.


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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Should Politicians Tweet Foul Language?”

  1. Alberta Girlon 17 Nov 2011 at 12:05 pm

    To me, the issue isn’t what he said, but that IF this had been a CPC who had done it, Pat Martin would be the first one up on his soap box demanding resignations and shame. In fact, he HAS been the one up on soapboxes many times before.

    Let’s just see if the NDP do to their own what they demand the CPC do.

    And, let’s see if the MSM allot the same scrutiny and focus onto Pat Martin who got up set that they did on Helena Geurgis who supposedly got upset in an airport.

  2. Franceson 17 Nov 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Also, were not these Tweets occurring while Mr Martin was sitting in the House? He’s using the social media what he daren’t stand up and say.

    When I hear or read of this kind of language, I lose much respect for the issuer of said language. Outrage can be much better expressed without being a potty mouth, and I tend to correlate a person’s thinking with the language used.

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