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2011 Election

Bloc candidate suggests NDP opponent will lose because he is Aboriginal

Image courtesy of Globe & Mail

Wow. I feel like if the late-MSNBC correspondent Keith Olberman were still with us on television he would be encouraging us north of the border to get out our pitchforks and torches because it was time for the Worst Persons in the World. Sadly, Olberman has been banished to the land of internet news, but I will gladly make the comparison in his absence.

According to the Globe and Mail, Bloc candidate Yvon Lévesque made the assertion Friday that “certain voters will not choose the New Democratic Party now that they’re running an aboriginal candidate.” Even though his NDP opponent, an Aboriginal community leader, was reportedly Mr. Levesque’s good friend! Pond scum!

My first thought was that maybe he had a momentary lapse and tweeted this for some unfathomable reason, but later found out that this was a statement reported to an accredited news site! This thought – as disgusting as it is that he even thought it in the first place – somehow managed to pass the smell test for Mr. Levesque, who has since issued a formal apology at the behest of an unpleased party leader, Mr. Duceppe.

But the NDP in the form of its race-crusading leader, Jack Layton, has said this apology is not enough. They are demanding that a reluctant Bloc leader dismiss this candidate outright, something Duceppe is refusing to do. The issue will likely stop there, but is raises an interesting point:

Would dismissing Mr. Levesque for an untenable and unquestionably racist opinion be throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Bear in mind I know nothing of this candidate, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wants to be in politics out of a desire to improve the human condition for his constituents, and enhance the democratic discourse in this fine country of ours, and not that he simply craves power. Let’s assume he is this first, ideal candidate: does an inexcusable mistake such as this warrant his outright dismissal? Does this trump the contribution he could make, or the years of work put into to getting to this spot?

I am of two minds on this. I’d love to know what you think. Maybe answer the poll and give me your thoughts.

About awreeves

Editor-in-chief at Alternatives Journal. Author of 'Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian carp Crisis'.


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