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Canadians facing “Scandalgate”

Ruth Swanson | Interrobang | Opinion | January 16th, 2006

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
After this federal election is over, I will be happy if I never hear the word “scandal” again.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper likes this word. He uses this word all the time. He will probably call his next child Scandal. Every time he appears in the media he says something about a scandal. Maybe he's even walking around muttering it under his breath. But one thing is for sure — Harper does not want Canadians to forget that word when they go to vote on January 23.

And where there is an attack, there is a counterattack. Every time Harper brings up scandal, Martin has to reply with, “There is no scandal.” There's that word again.

This word is being used a little too liberally — no pun intended — these days. The Gomery inquiry was a scandal, Options Canada is a scandal, and the income trust is a scandal. The Canadian political system has turned into an evening entertainment gossip show; every event and comment is sensationalized fed to Canadians on the evening news.

All of the dishonest moves the Liberal government has been accused of are very serious allegations. Why are they even being called a scandal? Scandal implies gossip and sensationalism. A more appropriate set of adjectives would read something like dishonest, disgraceful, maybe even shameful. But not scandalous. High school girls are scandalous, not federal leaders.

So what “scandal” will we see next? Perhaps Gilles Duceppe's fundamental inability to properly pronounce the word “democratic” will be come the next big thing. Or the Stephen Harper smile that creeps across his face every time he pulls one over on the Canadian public. Maybe someone will leak that Jack Layton doesn't recycle.

All of this melodrama is going to result in a boy-who-cried-wolf situation. Pretty soon, Canadians are going to stop listening when a party points the finger at the opposition. Once that happens, the strength and power of the opposition will be greatly diminished. People will stop paying attention to real government injustice, and then where will we be?

Got inside information on the next big scandal? Email Ruth at
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