Anyone who watches Question Period in the Commons knows what a rowdy unruly bunch our parliamentarians can be.
But the Commons descended to a new nadir earlier this week. NDP member Irene Mathyssen stood in the full glare of national television and accused 31 year-old Conservative James Moore of viewing “an image of a scantily clad woman” on his laptop computer in the House of Commons.
Mathyssen went on: “I feel very strongly that this is not only disrespectful of women but it is disrespectful of this House.” After trying to tie Moore’s actions to the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, she went on to demand he apologize to ther House.
Moore, one of the youngest and most able members, stood up to say he was totally bewildered and he didn’t know what she was talking about. Soon the story was on every media outlet in the country including Moore’s constituency in British Columbia. To make it worse some of Moore’s family and friends were in the Gallery that day.
So what happened? It turns out that Moore had been showing another member a picture of his dog on his laptop and there was indeed a picture of a young woman in as bikini on the screen. Turns out it was Moore’s girl friend.
Outrage ensued and pressure mounted to have Irene Mathyssen apologize. Which she did, abjectly, late Friday afternoon.
It seems to me this tawdry incident illustrates how sick and poisononous the political atmosphere in Ottawa is with open season on people’s reputations and mob rule in the media.
Do you share my concern?
What, if anything, can be done about it?