The long-gun registry is endorsed by Hitler, Liberals should help Quebec separate to get rid of Harper, and Canadians are either Conservative or child pornographers.
With a few recent cases of individual politicians lowering civil discourse in Canada, one could say they're just isolated incidences, but in looking at their audience, it's clear they're not.
On February 13 Public Safety Minister Vic Toews by all accounts made a sensational vitriolic statement, and has since apologized for it; but that's not the real problem, the fact is when Toews made his remark, he was not greeted with censure or condemnation, he was met with applause.
During Question Period last Monday the Minister responded to a question on Bill-30, an act that would give police greater access to track online activity without warrants; Vic Toews, responding for the government stated that a Liberal MP "can either stand with us or with child pornographers." As seen in the video above, Conservative MPs clapped and cheered at Vic Toews comment, yet today those same MPs denounce it.
Now you can't really judge a group of people by a radical statement one of them makes, but you can judge the group of people by how they respond to it. And the group to judge is not just the Conservative Party who applauded Vic Toews for his vitriol; the group to judge is not all politicians like additional MPs Larry Miller and Justin Trudeau who joined with their own sensational rhetoric a few days ago; and the group to judge is not all the media who demand soundbytes and controversy. The group to judge is all of them, and all of us, all Canadians.
MP Larry Miller was not on a deserted island when he suggested the long-gun registry is the instrument of Nazis; MP Justin Trudeau was not alone in the forest when he supported the breaking up of our nation for shallow partisanship; and MP Vic Toews wasn't writing in his journal when he implied his opponents supported pedophiles. All these radical statements may have appeared unrelated, but they weren't, they shared one thing, an audience, a supportive audience.
From the media that has increasingly become soundbyte driven, to politicians appealing to their base, and to Canadians who motivate them both while demanding no accountability, what connects these recent radical statements is an ever growing audience who only wants more.
Other politicians can feign outrage at Vic Toews statement, reporters can sustain themselves on another political gaffe, but they like all Canadians are part of the cause for our deteriorating political discourse.
Politicians, the press, and all Canadians are just like those Conservative MPs who robotically applauded Vic Toews after his contemptious comment; they all did the same thing they always do, applaud negativity, criticize it afterwards, and do nothing to change it.