Okay, Now THIS is Insensitive

When Health Minister Tony Clement was at the Democratic Convention in Denver, he joked that, as health minister, he had approved of the buffet his entourage had set up to wine and dine visiting delegates.

Some bloggers interpreted this as Clement making jokes about the fatal listeriosis outbreak that was going on at the time back at home. I didn’t see it that way. I thought those bloggers were stretching, and I said so. At most, you could only criticize Clement for being in Denver, wining and dining American politicians while the outbreak was going on at home. At most, his joke had more to do with the political campaign going on around him, and the tendency of American political candidates to say, “I’m (insert name here), and I approve this message.”

On the other hand, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz deserves whatever he gets. Recently, when informed that an individual from Prince Edward Island had died from eating cold cuts contaminated with liseriosis, the minister reportedly quipped:

“Please tell me it’s [Liberal MP] Wayne Easter.”

Now, that is a comprehensive bundle of insensitivity (which, to be noted, he did apologize for, albeit by rote). Not only does it downplay the death of a Canadian citizen, it highlights Ritz’s uber-partisan chops by suggesting that he believes that Liberal MP Wayne Easter deserves to die of food poisoning.

Unfortunately, this sort of attitude isn’t uncommon in the Conservative party machine. Witness how if Conservative supporters question the edicts of the main party, they’re labelled “idiots” and “turds”.

Callousness towards the citizens that they’re supposed to serve? A severe disrespect of criticism or dissent? In short, a political immaturity that does all Canadians, regardless of their political outlook, a grave disservice.

Whoever we vote for, we deserve better than people like Gerry Ritz, John Bracken and Michael Donison.

Further Reading

John McCain Doesn’t Use Internet. Sarah Palin Doesn’t Know How To

Many of us have poked fun at the fact that John McCain doesn’t know how to use e-mail. While plenty such people exist, it still feeds into the story that the man is a representative of a previous generation too old to sit in the Oval Office.

But there are benefits to not having an e-mail account. For instance, McCain could be like his running mate Sarah Palin, who does use e-mail, but doesn’t appear to have a firm grasp of Internet security.

From ScruffyDan:

Sarah Palin’s email has been hacked, and the emails have been posted on the internet for all to see. How could such a thing happen? Easy, because Palin was using a yahoo mail account.

the Palin hack didn’t require any real skill. Instead, the hacker simply reset Palin’s password using her birthdate, ZIP code and information about where she met her spouse — the security question on her Yahoo account, which was answered (Wasilla High) by a simple Google search.

Putting aside the fact that it is illegal for politicians to use private email addresses for official business, it is absolute stupidity for Palin to have used a free webmail email account for anything important. Such failure in judgement is inexcusable for someone who want to become Vice President.

Hmm… Still, this could well sum up a number of people, who should take a look at Palin’s experience and take a good look at their own security.

There is no question that the actions taken here by the hacker were illegal, and the kid is in for a world of legal hurt. Still, as a commentator said, “Poor kid. I am just glad it wasn’t my 10 year old son.” We have to question a politician’s judgement for making this so easy. After all, this is a woman who’s supposed to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, after all.

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