Saturday, October 21, 2006


This whole dog and Petey show is childish and silly, hardly the type of thing I would normally discuss on this blog. My readers come here for reasoned discourse on the great issues of the day -- nuclear proliferation, AIDS research. Er... brussel sprout farts?

Right. So, this "dog" thing. In case you missed it -- say, because you were at work or having really loud sex during Thursday's question period (or, in my case, both) -- the barely audible details are like, here, somewhere.

In the wake of the incident, observers have opined on what it says about Peter MacKay's attitude towards women, and, more generally, what it says about the barriers faced by women in Canadian politics and our society at large.

I, for one, have nothing to say about any of that -- mainly because such talk invariably leads to somebody mentioning the term "glass ceiling", to which I can never help but smart-assedly respond, "Um, I think the word is skylight," which on more than one occasion has put me on the business end of a size 8 ladies' shoe (oddly, never with a high-heel). Also, somebody usually mentions the dehumanizing effect of porn, and my 'Yes, I am part of the problem' t-shirt isn't in from the printers.

But I do have a thing or two to say about how 'wagger-gate' reflects on Peter MacKay's credibility. Quite simply, it reminds us that he has none.

Now, I don't fault Minister P-Mac for denying he made the remark. Sure, compared with Trudeau's famously coy "fuddle duddle" explanation or Bill Clinton's "depends what your definition of 'is' is" semantic gymnastics, MacKay's reliance on the technicality that his impugned words didn't make it onto Hansard lacked a certain creative flair.

But it's not an entirely reprehensible position to take. The procedural fiction that if it isn't on the official record it didn't happen is a longstanding tradition central to the proper functioning of Parliament. And it goes further than you might think. You can actually murder somebody on the floor of the Commons, and if they don't refer to it in Hansard, you walk. Well, you have to take care of some witnesses -- that sign interpreter bitch up in the corner of the screen sees everything.

The tradition is akin to other universally accepted "deemed truths" that maintain social order in our everyday lives -- such as the legal presumption of innocence, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" or "the one who smelled it dealt it". Some others, I have learned, like "cybersex isn't really cheating", have yet to gain such status. (And, Honey, if you are reading, I totally thought nubian_queen1983 was you.)

But, parliamentary fiction notwithstanding, let's pretend the words were uttered. And while we're pretending, maybe you could aim your webcam just a little lower...

Er, where was I? Right. The comment. Credibility, lack of. To imply that Belinda Stronach is a dog is way beyond incorrect. It is completely and utterly (dare I say doggone?) unsupportable. Ms. Stronach is certainly no dog. A fox, perhaps, but no dog.

(And I know I shouldn't even go there, not having my t-shirt and all. But I don't think it's necessarily inappropriate to comment on the physical appearance of politicians, male or female. Why, Paul Martin himself used to muse publicly that his male pattern baldness gave him the look of a Benedictine monk. And didn't we all have fun taking a poke at Steve Harper's paunch last summer? But, of course, such superficial commentary should never overshadow a politician's stand on the issues. How a politician looks is a legitimate topic only as a passing matter of human interest. It should not be dwelled upon.)

(...Okay, not to dwell on it, but I've never thought that Belinda was really all that, despite media gushing/throbbing to the contrary. She's alright -- no Anna Bergkvist, member of the Swedish Riksdag, but alright. And in the interest of balance, I should say that Peter MacKay's physical attractiveness has also been a tad overblown by an Ottawa press corps who, after decades of Joe jowls and McCallum muss, are a little too hungry for hunkiness on the Hill. In my astute but non-gay assessment, Petey fixes up nice enough, but he's no Jan-Henrik Fredriksen of the Norwegian Storting.)

Yeah, so, anyway, Peter's comment was patently unreasonable. What's more, it's a complete flip-flop from his previous position on the issue. Recall that when a freshly-dumped Peter was off to mope for the cameras in a potato patch back home, he told reporters he was looking forward to spending time with his dog because "dogs are loyal". The obvious implication: Belinda is not loyal. The logical extension (which Peter ought to know, since, as a lawyer, he must have passed the LSAT): Belinda is not a dog. But having taken the LSAT, Peter must also know that if Belinda is wearing glasses, and the girl sitting behind her, who is not Sally, has pigtails, then Peter is wearing a green t-shirt. Which may not be relevant here.

My point is, you can't have it both ways, Peter. Well, sometimes you can. But not this time.

So, Honourable Minister, I call on you to apologize -- not just for insulting Belinda and demeaning women in general, which would be a start, but more importantly for being, well... a bit of a weasel.

Or don't. Either way, Tie Domi is still going to kick your ass.


At October 22, 2006 3:10 a.m., Anonymous Alex said...

waggergate. that's a keeper.

At October 22, 2006 11:39 a.m., Blogger Attila Vass said...

Havril, you always make me laugh. Good post.

At October 22, 2006 12:19 p.m., Blogger Saskboy said...

I have exclusive video of Peter talkin' trash about Belinda, on my blog.

At October 22, 2006 12:20 p.m., Blogger Scout said...

loved 'wagger-gate' too.

imagine, i mean, isn't this so typcial of canaduh....the biggest scandal we can come up with isn't the magnitude of a 'foley-gate', asides from sponsorhip scam-shams, we have the two 'purdiest' looking mp's have an open fling, one crosses the floor, the other freaks and does the little boy crying routine, completly ignoring his position of authority and 'power' (what , he stuck his finger in a live outlet?), and getting his'whoa is me' jabs in.

i'll admit i don't think it was appropriate when b.c. mla joy macphail set off the little wind up , jumping penis on her table at the legislature, but SHE APOLOGIZED.

the best mackay's come up with is, pardon the pun, cocky answers. i think i'll email the little s.o.b.. and steve just to see what kind of auto reply i get in a couple of months.

besides the deaf interprator woman, aren't there stations who broacast the procedings live (the most boring television in the world) and would have it on tape????? i mean, sometimes you can turn on cable and just see an empty house.....the camera just runs, and they have to back the tape up and archive it for the crtc. it's gotta be there somewhere.

so, when it emerges (unless the cons have some new secret law that prevents it), mackay may be spending time eating his own dog crap, er, pardon me, his borrowed dog's crap.

these frat boys.....didn't like 'em in school, don't like 'em in politics. 'big man on campus' translates to = 'mommy and daddy spoiled me'.

At October 22, 2006 12:54 p.m., Blogger Saskboy said... has the tape, but it's of RONa'h Ambrose's face, with MacKay's claimed voice in the background while she drones on.

At October 22, 2006 1:11 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Hey, kids...

Alex: Thanks. I'm sorta proud of that one, notwithstanding that it's a pet peeve of mine when journalists label a scandal as 'something-gate. Watergate was the name of an actual hotel, people. I'm pretty sure there are no hotels called Bingogate or Tunagate. Anyway, I couldn't resist.

Atilla: Glad to give you a giggle. Your dogosophy post today gave me a ponder. And fleas. What's up with that?

Saskboy (1): If you mean that bogus Canadian Idol footage, forget it. That's been debunked. You can totally tell it's Ben Mulroney throwing his voice.

Scout: I almost forgot about the chattering penis. Sigh -- those were good times at the Leg'. As for video proof of the Petey-mouth incident, the only camera in the chamber is focused on whoever has the floor, so none of the off-screen heckling gets caught on tape. But the comment is there on the audio track, which some networks have aired. It's muffled, but it's there. I think I also heard Myron Thompson farting, but that was appropriate in the context of questions on greenhouse gas emmissions.

Saskboy (2): Okay, that footage is legit. But that's not Rona droning on, it's the big oil lobby throwing its voice.

At October 22, 2006 3:01 p.m., Blogger Jason Bo Green said...


Honestly, I think it's - I don't mean to sound academic or pompous here - I think it's a sign of our extreme decadence that we have a press actually talking about this.

First off, a full 90% of MPs should be disciplined for poor behaviour - if we were serious about this, MacKay wouldn't have walked into a HoC where this was generally acceptable. The Liberals pressing him on are every bit as culpable here.

I don't think it was sexist in anyway - MPs insult all the time. If she'd called him a dog, would that be sexist?

It doesn't need to be sexist to be stupid - most MPs are total jerk-offs in the House.

You're the funniest guy around, man!

At October 23, 2006 6:50 a.m., Anonymous the bear said...

just curious - everyone keeps talking about how women have been disparaged by a remark made by an ex about an ex. Once you realize that Belinda's company Magna has NO women on it's board of directors, the credibility argument becomes completely baseless. This is nothing more than crass politics and the Liberals are using it to deflect us from the real debate!

At October 23, 2006 3:26 p.m., Blogger Scout said...

oh come on...bringing personal life into politics is damned hideous, and 'dog' is a sexist remark....if he did it in off hours at a bar , then mackay wouldn't be in his position of authority. i'm not a lib. i'm non partisan, don't have respect save for a very few.
i have never, ever, heard a woman call a guy a dog. pig, yes, and that seems to be the divide in gender name hurling. men get called pigs by women, women get called dogs by men when they're brining out the razor tongues.

i don't give a hoot if stronache doesn't have any women on her board...that's her loss. i don't like stronache. but have we heard her call mackay names? huh?

i also don't like the way it was reduced to a tabloid story, but that's the media, isn't it, they had the choice to treat the story with more class.

it boils down to abuse of power and settting poor role model example for youth and children. if people can't see it was sexist, perhaps they could remove their blinders, read up more on some stats that show the inequities of gender. it's bloody tiresome, i've been living with this kind of shite for 50 years. it's no better then getting called a savage injun. wake up! is it ok to make racist remarks ?

and what's all the hype about stronache being a ho and hussy etc. , oh, and homewrecker, for being with domi???????? peter can sleep around but she can't? domi isn't responsible for his own decisions? no, too easy to blame it on 'the other woman'. this is where men and stepford have to stand up and take responsibility.

what kind of world do you want for you dauughters and grandaughters? the same unequal one? nice, real nice. it ain't gonna change if you don't wake up.


now. as for the fart havril, i think that was most appropriate given the circumstances. was it sulphorous though?

At October 23, 2006 10:47 p.m., Blogger Scout said...

oh,and bear......magna is a public company, the investors vote for the board, so don't blame belinda for that.

At October 24, 2006 12:46 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

JasonBoBason: Thanks, dude. As for me being the funniest guy around, it depends on what your def'n of 'around' is. I can say with certainty that I'm the funniest guy in this room right now... but I happen to be alone. I agree that the MSM has devoted loads too much attention to this when there are bigger fish to fry -- as in, say, the topic of actual fish frying (poaching?) in the simmering waters that were once the Arctic ocean.

Scout and Bear: WHOAH, kids. Who told you you could debate the issues here? Scout's okay because she did include the word 'fart' in her comment. Bear -- please try to be a little more flippant in the future. Thanks.

Everyone: I was a little little disappointed to see one report in the MSM refer to the Pete-Belinda nonsense as "Dog-gate". Helloooo? Wagger-gate, people, Wagger-gate. Again, for the record, I'm making an exception to my no "Gate" policy in the naming of scandals. Two other execptions I'd allow in the interest of comedy and having the MSM sound like jackasses: if there is ever a scandal involving an actual gate ("Gategate") or the Watergate hotel (um... "Watergategate"?).

At October 24, 2006 8:28 p.m., Blogger Scout said...

what about bill gates? gatesgate? or something involving a sports team......alligatorgate?

At October 24, 2006 8:48 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Now you're just being ridiculous, Scout. Please, people, wny can't we just debate the issues?!

At October 27, 2006 11:22 p.m., Blogger Scout said...

issues? i thought you said 'tissues'. geeze havril, enounciate...E noun CI ate !!!

At November 04, 2006 10:39 p.m., Anonymous William said...

"that sign interpreter bitch up in the corner of the screen sees everything."

Unendeing glee and giggles with a side of guffaw.

At November 05, 2006 1:26 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Hey William. Go hog wild with the glee and giggles, but easy on the guffaw -- it's loaded with trans-fats.

At November 08, 2006 8:04 p.m., Blogger ottawonk said...

dude, it's on. so fire up your robo-dialer.

At November 09, 2006 10:10 a.m., Blogger Havril said...

Ottawonk. Oh, no you di-in't!

Well, then, consider the gaunltet thro-- oh, shit, should I be doing something to block the release of that Screech sex tape?

At November 09, 2006 3:56 p.m., Blogger ottawonk said...

no, it totally gives you street cred with the generation-y demo who grew up in the nineties. actually, we may have to vote for you now.

(btw, if you ever get a chance to see screech's stand-up act, go for it: the funniest and dirtiest thing we saw until we saw borat.)

At November 15, 2006 5:37 p.m., Blogger Saskboy said...

You gotta post now, to look busy for the awards show.

At November 16, 2006 3:18 p.m., Blogger Alison said...

Hey havril, ottawonk is promising to pose in just a bow tie if we vote for him.
What incentives are you offering?

At November 16, 2006 3:55 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Saskboy. My handlers have been telling me to limit my public exposure during the campaign. I should rethink that.

Alison. As I posted in 'the other place', I'll wear a bowtie, but not around my neck.

At November 19, 2006 1:15 a.m., Anonymous scout said...

ok havril, that should do it for at least 5 votes. throw in a sears catalogue pose and i'll cast your way :)

and ya, come on, it's time you post again anyways, let alone for the sake of an award. do you need topic suggestions? i'm sure procrastinatrix could think of a few.


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