Currie’s Corner 592 – January 25, 2018
Regular readers and listeners may have noticed that I’ve had almost nothing to say about the ‘Me Too’ phenom, or whatever you care to call it, for a very good reason. You may also have noticed that the vast majority of the commentary on this explosive topic has been done by women.
Most of us males are writing about almost anything else, and that’s unfortunate. So, here goes.
This past Thursday was rather remarkable. A male federal cabinet minister and the male leaders of two provincial parties in Canada vanished before our eyes. In all three cases, their departures followed allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” towards women. And in all three cases, the allegations had not been “independently investigated and/or verified” in any substantial way.
The automatic mantra is “zero tolerance” on such matters, and don’t slam the door on your way out of the building. ‘Due process’ has long been a fundamental principle of justice in most civilized countries. You are ‘presumed innocent’ until it is proven otherwise in front of a judge or an official tribunal of some sort.
When we wrote news stories about such things, the word ‘allegedly’ jumped up all over the place, as if it might persuade any reader or listener to withhold judgment until all the facts were in. But in the post Harvey Weinstein era, just about everything has changed.
In Ontario, Patrick Brown was quietly thinking about what he might want to do with the colours in the Premier’s office at Queen’s Park, with an election just weeks away. All of that changed this past week, and suddenly he’s the odd man out, and he might have trouble getting elected to his local school board.
What exactly did Mr. Brown do that was so hugely offensive? Chances are we’ll never know, nor will anyone have to prove anything in a courtroom of any kind. There is indeed something resembling strong evidence that he behaved inappropriately, but chances are we’ll never really know for sure.
Welcome to 2018, especially if you are male and crave a career in public life.
I’m Roger Currie