I recently emailed my representative to express my concern about the treatment of Senator Bernadette Clement this week by members of his party.
His former leader Andrew Scheer and other members of his party publicly targeted Clement for crass, short-term political gain. The apparent wanted poster that was shared by his party and the rhetoric behind it led to Bernadette receiving threats against her as well as members of her staff.
No one should be made a public target for threats or intimidation regardless of their political views or party.
When Eric Duncan was first elected, it was heartening to see the comradery that formed between him and his fellow candidates here in this riding. He even said that he hated the mudslinging that politics has often degenerated into. I applauded him for saying that publicly when I worked for the Seaway News.
I truly hoped that he would be different and that he would be an example to others that politicians do not have to resort to Donald Trump-style personal attacks against one another.
If a high school student had put out a poster of a classmate, like the one Andrew Scheer shared of Bernadette, that student would suffer severe consequences, maybe even expulsion. Why do we hold our political leaders to a different standard? Where are the consequences for this?
You could say that members of other parties engage in similar behaviour, and I’m not saying that they don’t, but going back to the schoolyard example, a teacher wouldn’t accept “well they’re doing it too,” as an excuse for bad behaviour.
The current leader seems to be the embodiment of the performative mudslinging my MP, Eric Duncan, once said he so rejected.
It is my sincere hope as one of his constituents that he will stand up for my fellow constituent in Bernadette Clement and tell his party that the behaviour of this past week is inappropriate, that it shouldn’t happen again, and that there should be consequences.
I am sure this will not make him many friends within his party, and would likely hinder his advancement within the party’s hierarchy, but a good politician should put their integrity ahead of their career goals. Eric’s constituents will respect him for it.
For the good of the country, political mudslinging and de-humanizing behaviour must end. It puts people’s lives at risk and encourages extremism like we see at a typical Donald Trump rally even today.