Monday, April 12, 2010

You say tar, I say tomato

Bad Liberals, bad Liberals:
Liberal MPs are trying to tar current members of the federal Conservative government with the controversy swirling around former Tory MP Rahim Jaffer and demand to know why the Prime Minister called in the RCMP when he expelled Mr. Jaffer’s wife from his cabinet.
One person's tarring is another's legitimate question asking. We have a former Conservative MP, with all the allegations swirling around him, having been a principal cause of his wife's heave-ho from the Conservative cabinet and caucus...and the Official Opposition is not going to ask questions about meetings and encounters that former Conservative MP had with various members of the Harper cabinet? Of course they are. If they didn't, they'd be equally criticized. This former Conservative MP was touting his access to federal funds. The questions need to be asked, who from? Whom did he talk to?

No "tarring" in this report, where the Liberal questions were framed this way:
Meanwhile the Liberals, convinced that the business activities of Guergis' husband, former MP Rahim Jaffer, are tied to her trouble, used their time in question period Monday to document several meetings Jaffer had with senior cabinet ministers.
If there's any "tarring" in this saga, it's of Parliament by the Conservatives at issue. You might think I'm overreacting to one line in a news report but these are the little choices that help frame a narrative. "Tar" is a pejorative term that was affixed to Liberal question asking in this report. The next part of the narrative that such words feed? The Liberals should just give it a rest and stop asking questions.