Self-Constructed Disgrace II

Read the news, with great sadness.

I have known this person since 1995, when I first started work on Parliament Hill, with the research bureau of the Reform Party. He was the primary author of the Taxpayers Budget; I came in for later edits. He was breathtaking in his brilliance.

As political acquaintances, we encountered each other at various points over the years. I was always impressed with his consistent civility, without airs, despite being in a particular stratosphere that most people never enter. He was so good, so important in his ideas and analysis, that he could cross political divisions among Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper, to become a senior advisor to all of them.

He was, and still is, so very important in his contributions to national futures. No exaggeration. Anyone who has heard him speak analytically, speak in terms of national and provincial economics, knows this.

When it was announced, I congratulated him on his British Columbia Chief of Staff appointment; he replied.

To me, this is a current example of “self-constructed disgrace“. Thought about sending him the article, then chose not to. He knows what I said, instead.

Could have easily been me, at another place and time. Anyone who knows me, pre-1992 or so, knows this. Or has observed this. Or has been part of the horror of the experience, where you want to rip off your face. My ex-wife experienced this, four months after we were married.

I see online comments that the circumstances do not merit the consequences. That another party was equally blameworthy.

My partner is more socially and politically astute than very many, including me, and rarely puts up with my subterfuge or ex post justifications. Calls me out on a life history, where she remembers every detail, despite only participating in the last ten years. When I tried to defend him, she blew up. Pointed out that public disgrace, be it between a “regular” couple or in a political context, is exactly the same. All is over the line, with terminal consequences. Keep it private, and maybe you will get away with it, unless it becomes public.

My mother’s adage: “Don’t ever do anything that you would be ashamed of, if others found out about it.” All too many times, not followed.

Once knew a Member of Parliament, married and having an affair with another Member of Parliament. All behind closed doors. Never any public evidence. Leaving a reception early, to go to the other. Private, and no one knows. Public, and the resignation is required, forthwith.

Says my partner: there was no other choice, from the moment of public disgrace. Smart partner.

Or, as Gerry Wand reminds me, quoting Joe Walsh, “The smoker you drink, the player you get“.

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About brucelarochelle

http://www.lmslawyers.com/bruce-la-rochelle
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1 Response to Self-Constructed Disgrace II

  1. On September 26, 2012, Lorne commented as follows (e-mail correspondence reproduced with permission):

    I agree; the resignation should have been immediate. That’s assuming I read between the lines properly. Public drunkennes can be ignored if it’s a one-off, but behaving inappropriately in public with someone not your spouse is such a huge lapse of judgement that there is no second chance. At least, not in the same position.

    I could say we need better people as leaders, but I think the current crop is probably as good as it gets (across the political spectrum). So what we need is for those who aspire to lead to understand accountability and responsibility, and those of us who follow to understand mercy and grace.

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