Friday, October 20, 2006

A brunette in Ottawa and a blonde in Halifax: The sad story of Petey MacKay

As we all know Peter MacKay and Belinda Stronach had a very public high profile romance which Peter richly enjoyed. That relationship ended under difficult circumstances when Belinda left the party after a series of difficult interactions with Stephen Harper and coming to the conclusion that she was ill-suited to the CPC party and her future was better found in a different party.

Peter MacKay left Ottawa quite wounded by her decision and found himself on television and in the press teary eyed stroking his collie dog and bemoaning how dogs were more loyal than his ex-girlfriend. Some of his CPC colleagues publicly chastized her commenting negatively on her intellect (an intellect that had earned her 30% plus of the leadership vote and had earned her a shadow cabinet position under Mr. Harper) and referred to her as a "whore" - I don't consider those proud moments for the CPC.

Now months and months later Peter MacKay, a 40 year old man, is alleged to be calling her a "dog" in the House of Commons when she is not present and able to respond. He has since denied saying it and it is hoped that the Conservatives will ask for an audio review by a specialist can give insight to that.

While one never cherishes seeing the heartache of others it is hard to see Peter McKay as a victim. From the above referenced website.

"he's had his own history of trampling hearts. He was involved in a longer relationship with Lisa Merrithew - a Maritime public relations professional and daughter of former veterans affairs minister Gerry Merrithew - when he was rumoured to have become entangled with Stronach. Before that, even as he took up with Merrithew, he was still living with a previous long-term girlfriend, a nurse named Maribeth Ryan, in Ottawa. (At the time, says one insider, it was well known on the Hill that MacKay had "a brunette in Ottawa and a blond in Halifax.").""

He also went into the relationship with Belinda Stronach with the full opportunity to know that she had had serial relationships and , by her own description, "doesn't stay home to knit on friday nights". Her values, her morals, her character etc were all perfectly acceptable during the time they shared a relationship, co-habitated, and planned for a future together. When she decided that her future didn't include him all of a sudden she became a person of questionable character both to himself and to his party.

That all changed after she left. When the bedroom door was closed in his face all of a sudden he found her morally reprehensible. outlines some of the difficulties that were faced after her departure.

It is said that Belinda faced serious consequences and wrath from the public including death threats so serious that security guards had to be sent to her childrens' school. She was quieter and more private about her relationship with Mr. MacKay commenting very little on that aspect of her decision.

In contrast Mr. MacKay was found throughout the media commenting on the personal impact That article gives a quick summary:

Reaction to MacKay's public display was equally polarized, Entwistle told Maclean's. Many people viewed it as a cheap ploy for sympathy. "I was the press secretary of the prime minister and you don't get a colour photograph on the front page of the Globe and Mail unless it is highly orchestrated. Some people thought, poor Peter, poor Peter. Others were like, grow up, man."

Some people weren't ready to say "grow up Peter" back then but surely 16 months later we are ready now?

According to the article linked above the awkwardness lingered for months. One day when she wished him a Happy Birthday he is described as glowering at her and asking "How can you live with yourself?" A question he apparently never asked himself when he screwed David Orchard or when he courted one woman while secretly dating another. A question he never asked himself during all the months he and his girlfriend co-habitated.

It got awkward to the point that "They actually moved Belinda in the House because he would stare every day," Stronach told Martin, "and it made all my colleagues feel uncomfortable."

It's been sixteen months since what everyone would agree is a difficult break up and now this 40 year old grown man is alleged to have referred to her as a "dog" by ten or so caucus members who heard the remark.

If said was not the brightest remark, if it was said, given that it reinforces a very difficult reputation that the CPC has gained about not being female-friendly. A party that calls someone a whore and accuses her of prostituting themselves now as a member referring to her as a dog? It can't do anything but reinforce a very difficult reputation. I would have thought that Peter, given his reputation of such a progressive man, wouldn't have considered that as he planned his comments. They were apparenty as well planned and thought out as him standing up and confusing dance troops and the military troops (Did it make you wonder why he was picked given that he doesn't know the difference between soldiers and dancers?) to the chuckles of everyone!

That aside - and it can be argued that it's too sweeping to say a comment made to a past lover with a bitter end represents an overall view of women - it really does call into question other things. If a grown adult man within 40 years of experience on this earth is truly saying these things and behaving this way at his place of employment we have to ask ourselves how appropriate that is. Mr. MacKay is not paid to stare at Ms. Stronach while she speaks, to make cutting remarks in response to cordial interactions, or to just generally bring his personal issues to work. If Mr. Harper is not able to function at work without bringing his unresolved emotions to the work place he needs to look through the benefit package for MP's and secure some help.

Or perhaps we can save ourselves a whole whack load of money and someone like Myron Thompson can just tell him to grow up and be a man. You'd think that with all of those role models on stoicism, manhood, and personal accountability within the CPC caucus that at least a little bit would rub off but, alas, they have not.


Blogger Dianne said...

But even the dogs can eat from the scraps of the master's table. I wish my MP(I am from Newmarket), Ms Stronach, would just quit the grandstanding. If she was an honourable woman she would just let this whole thing go. Here in Newmarket we are proud that we are suppose to be a "Character Building Community". But when our politicians are going around giving such bad examples to our children, I have a real problem trying to teach my kids.

8:15 AM  

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