Thursday, March 14, 2013

Peter Penashue -- Doing What Ruth-Ellen Brosseau Wouldn't

If you've taken note of what the left-wing is saying about the resignation of Intergovernmental Affairs Minister and Labrador MP Peter Penashue today, my advice is: don't.

But if you must, keep this in mind. amidst all of the howls of "scandal" is a little detail that the left -- particularly the NDP -- don't want you to realize. That detail being that Penashue's resignation in light of the apparent improper donation actually puts him on an ethical plateau lightyears above and beyond anything that the left -- particularly the NDP have themselves attained.

Indeed, Penashue has resigned as Labrador MP. The donation accepted by a campaign volunteer apparently should not have been accepted, and he's doing the right thing. He's also standing in a by-election for reelection. (This also has the left infuriated.) And in doing this he's only doing what the left -- especially the NDP -- themselves would not do.

Let\s rewind the clock a little bit to the days immediately following the 2011 federal election, when Berthier--Maskinongé MP Ruth-Ellen Brosseau made headlines for two reasons: first, she somehow managed to get elected despite spending most of the election in Las Vegas. Secondly -- and far more importantly -- the nomination papers her campaign submitted to Elections Canada featured falsified signatures.

It's illegal to submit any kind of false document to Elections Canada. But not only did Brosseau see fit to take her seat in Parliament rather than do what Penashue did and resign to stand in a by-election, but the NDP caucus gave her a standing ovation for doing so. That is just how untroubled the NDP was abut the chicanery surrounding her campaign.

Like Penashue, Brosseau herself was not responsible. This was the fault of a campaign volunteer. And while the acceptance of this apparently-improper donation can still be chalked up to a volunteer who didn't know the rules -- although the question must be raised about just why such a volunteer would be allowed anywhere near the fundraising arm of the campaign -- there is absolutely no question that the falsification of the fabricated signatures on Brosseau's nomination papers was deliberate. None whatsoever.

So the left may crow about the resignation of Peter Penashue as much as they want. It doesn't change the fact that all he's done is what the left themselves will never do: actually take responsibility for a mistake, be it his or someone else's.

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