Twitter is great and all, but sometimes you need more than 140 characters to flesh out an idea. Earlier this afternoon I came across a tweet that peaked my interest. People yelling “bigot” to each other across the internet is usually entertaining. I took issue with it because the provincial government was trying to make a political statement, generalizing comments on the the internet. Follow the link to read the statement.
So, here’s what happened.
The Wildrose Facebook page posted pictures of Danielle Smith, their leader, at a Sikh parade wearing a head covering. There is a screen shot showing comments that include some remarks that were offensive. MLA Manmeet Bhullar is upset by these comments, and there is a press release from the PCs saying “Danielle Smith needs to issue an immediate apology for the reprehensible behavior of her party’s supporters.”
If I’m getting this right, there is a call from the PCs, for the Leader of the Wildrose to condemn the actions of her supporters for making comments such as “If you emulate the Muslim faith, I will NEVER vote for you.” towards the Leader of the Wildrose. The PCs are observers during this entire exchange.
Here’s the thing about the internet, you don’t know who these people are. Did you check each and every one against the voter registry to see if they were in fact Wildrose supporters? Did you ask them? They could have voted PC in the last election. Maybe they aren’t Canadians… who knows. Mr Bhullar has every right to be upset about the comments being made, just as those who wrote the comments have every right to be upset if there is a public figure emulating a culture they don’t agree with. The Wildrose didn’t endorse these comments, they aren’t party policy.
So why create a public announcement that you are upset about people chatting on a public forum? Have you ever been to /b/? Comments made by individuals are not endorsed by the owners of the forum. It reminded me of the story where Gerry Rogers was removed from the House of Assembly for being added to a Facebook group without her knowledge.
I’m assuming that Alison Redford, Danielle Smith and Manmeet Bhullar all work together and see each other regularly. Why not just stop Danielle in the hallway and say “Hey, I’m offended by the comments on your Facebook page that were made by some individuals. Can you take them down? I don’t want out government to be seen in that light”
Rather than handle it appropriately the PC party wants to use this as political leverage. THAT is my issue here, that the PCs are claiming the high road while smearing blame when it could have been solved quickly and easily without creating a fuss.
I want politics to be about policy, not cheap shots and partisan fighting.