Let Politicians be Politicians

By Royce Koop on Sep 18, 2008

Election campaigns are great opportunities to express outrage and rain sanctimony down on politicians. But I'm a fan of politicians being politicians. I wish that we could allow them to exist in their natural environments and behave in the ways that nature intended them to.

Case in point: MP Garth Turner, whom I'm no fan of, was asked by CPAC to allow a cameraman to follow him around while door-knocking in his riding. Turner just happened to visit the house belonging to his constituency assisant's son, who asked some very complimentary questions about the Liberals' Green Plan and lovingly sung Garth's praises. A pretty lucky break for Turner, except that he deliberately chose the house and then stood there pretending not to know who the guy was. Cue the outrage. And the apology.

Well, OF COURSE politicians are going to visit friendly houses when put in such situations. What's the alternative? Having doors slammed in your face? Old ladies hitting you with their umbrellas? People siccing their chihuahuas after you? And all in front of a national audience, too.

"This story, of course," writes Kelly McParland, "goes to credibility." [Yes, of course, it always does.] "CPAC alleges that Turner manipulated what was supposed to be a typical day in the life of a candidate." Which is completely wrong. CPAC had the opportunity to observe a politician behaving exactly like a politician: Manipulating circumstances - and especially the media - to aid in his re-election.


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