She has proven that a female politician can be every bit as much of a boor and just as infantile and idiotic as a male politician can.
Helena Guergis should stay
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Calls have been made by the opposition, mainly the Liberals and by pundits for Helena Guergis, the Minister of State for the Status of Women to either resign or be fired from cabinet. Her latest “gaffe”, if one can call it that, was when it was discovered that one of her staffers, Jessica Craven, had written letters to the editor praising the minister and her performance in cabinet.
Craven, using the surname of her common law husband, did not disclose that she was employed by Guergis. It was later revealed that more people close to the minister had done the same thing. What we don’t know is how many letters were written to newspapers but not published because the papers smelled a rat.
When confronted with these allegations during Question Period, Guergis’ answer would have made Sgt. Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes fame proud; she saw nothing, she knew nothing. The minister had no idea what her staff was doing and described the conduct of her staffer as “inappropriate.”
This was the second incident involving the Ontario MP in as many months. On February 19, Guergis and an aide were flying out of Charlottetown PEI to Montreal and they showed up at the airport late. Guergis became extremely agitated when she was told that she had to go through security just like the unwashed masses that pay her salary do. Guergis did what children like her usually do when they get frustrated; she threw a temper tantrum. She yelled that the big bad security people were spoiling her birthday and preventing her from leaving the island which she described as a s _ _t hole. At one point she threw her shoes and banged on the window of a restricted area. After the incident became public, Guergis made a halfhearted apology and described her conduct as “inappropriate”.
When someone goes to a formal dinner and uses the salad fork to eat the main course that is inappropriate. What Guergis and her associates did in both incidents was wrong. But Guergis, who sees all this as a conspiracy to get her, will never admit that.
Nonetheless Guergis should ignore calls for her resignation and remain in her position as Minister of State for the Status of Women. She has proven that a female politician can be every bit as much of a boor and just as infantile and idiotic as a male politician can. And isn’t that what equality of the sexes is all about? It would be hard to find a better representative for the status of women.
And let’s face it; since Michael Ignatieff has become leader of the Official Opposition, Parliament, specifically Question Period has become boring. Questions that tend to blame Stephen Harper for the economic results of the worldwide recession when Canada has done better than most other countries, are almost as silly as Helena Guergis is. To the extent that the economy is relevant, the Liberals prefer to spend more time accusing the government, and by implication the troops of committing war crimes in Afghanistan. Add that to the constant whining about prorogation, Helena Guergis adds colour to what otherwise would be completely boring sessions. She should remain in cabinet for comedic value if nothing else.
Then there’s Liberal MP Wayne Easter. Coming from PEI, Easter is now his party’s unofficial Helena Guergis critic. It was Easter who first received information about the airport incident and made it public. The MP, who was a cabinet minister under the previous Liberal government, had virtually disappeared from the public scene after the Tories formed the government in 2006. Some of us thought he was dead. Thanks to Helena, we now have proof that there is in fact life after cabinet. Easter’s speaking style and constant hammering of Guergis is bound to increase the TV ratings of CPAC that could actually end up with viewership in double digits.
And let’s not forget the valuable work that Guergis does for Stephen Harper. Guergis and fellow cabinet member Lisa Raitt sit behind the prime minister during Question Period and the relatively attractive women shown behind Harper paint a nice picture when Harper rises to speak in parliament. True, if Harper was a real fiscal conservative, he would replace Guergis with a bobblehead doll; but as we know, Steve can spend taxpayer money with the best of them. Taking Guergis from the front benches would be tantamount to taking Barack Obama’s teleprompter away.
Helena Guergis must stay so Canadians can wait with baited breath for what she will do next. And there are rumours that government is looking for a new governor general. If Harper ever wants her out of cabinet he can always appoint Guergis to the vice regal post. Then we could look forward to her reading the Speech from the Throne, sitting next to her husband or a reasonable facsimile.