I meant to write about this one last week when it happened, but…you can blame the captain, Captain Nameless Illness.
By the way, the captain may be getting a name soon, and thankfully, if this is its name, it’s nothing scary and eek-inducing. But I can’t say for sure yet if that’s its name, I have to go through a bit of a process of ruling things out. but at least there’s hope at the end of this saga. When it gets a name, there’s a good chance that I’ll write about it.
But I digress.
Gaaa what a week. After the whole Ghomeshi thing, allegations came out on Parliament Hill that there was sexual harassment going on. Well, to be fair, all that was said in the press conference was 2 liberal MP’s were being suspended for personal misconduct. It was all very vague, but it didn’t take long before the news was broken that it was sexual harassment and that the allegations were brought by 2 NDP MP’s. Although it was bound to happen, it sucks. It sucks if the MP’s weren’t ready, it sucks if it all happened really fast and they didn’t get a chance to discuss things. But what I don’t get is they’re angry at Trudeau.
I admit I’m not there, so don’t have a right to really form an opinion. But I think I still have the right to be confused.
First, in the press conference, he never said where the allegations came from, nor did he talk about the nature of them. He did his level best to keep things as confidential as possible, unless I missed something, which is very possible.
Second, we don’t know who told the media that it was sexual harassment, and that it was 2 NDP MP’s. People are full of accusations, but we have no idea who. If it wasn’t Trudeau, why are they angry at him? Why aren’t they angry at whoever leaked the information? Is it because these people who leaked the information to the media don’t have a name so it’s easier to pick a target and fire?
Third, they say they weren’t warned that this was going to happen, even though people from the Liberal party are saying they sent a letter over explaining what was going to happen, and I swear I read somewhere that there was a discussion with the MP’s about it, but all that is a lot of one person’s word against another’s.
I feel like Trudeau is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he doesn’t act fast enough, he’ll be accused of sweeping things under the rug. But now that he acted quickly, he’s accused of revictimizing the accusers. If these things were brought to his attention, what was he supposed to do?
I listened to an interview on CBC about the issue of the MP’s being angry, and some of the alternative solutions being offered didn’t, to me, feel like solutions at all. The representative for the NDP suggested that he could have talked to the people bringing forth the allegations and figured out safe zones where the accused MP’s couldn’t go. So, hmmm, that means you’ve basically imprisoned the people who’ve already been victimized, told them they have to stay in only certain parts of the house. If they have to leave those areas for any reason, they then have to be afraid of facing the people they’ve accused. How is that any better? You realize just how far you stray from your home area of a building as soon as that is deemed your safe place, I would think.
And how does that work in a place like Parliament Hill? I’ve never worked there, but I assume there comes a time where all parties have to work together, so how do you pull that off with safe zones?
And, by suspending the 2 MP’s, doesn’t that make Parliament Hill a gigantic safe zone?
There has to be a missing puzzle piece here somewhere, because from what I know, this anger seems misplaced. I get being angry that the information got out in greater detail than intended before they were ready. I get worrying about the backlash from the sudden suspension of these guys. I get that bringing this up is scary and hard and will make doing their jobs really awkward and the process will likely intimidate others more than they already were. But I don’t get why they’re aiming their anger at Trudeau.
I hope I never come to a place where I have to face this issue, because I honestly wouldn’t know what to do. Until something fundamentally changes in the way people think about it, coming forward about it, even though it might work out in the long run, feels like you have to make a choice between slowly burning where you stand or walking through a wall of flames. There are no easy answers, and I don’t know when the day will come when the answers will be easy.