Political Coup and The Dangers of Knee Jerk Reactions to Unproven Allegations
Like many when I first heard the news about the allegations made against Patrick Brown, I jumped on the bandwagon. My first thought was how disgusting a man he is, but when I actually saw the reports and those who have launched the allegations against Brown speak; I was so shocked not to hear any accusations of criminal wrongdoing. I was expecting something similar to Jian Ghomeshi and reports of sexual violence. No we didn’t hear that at all, instead we heard from two women whose identities were masked and allegations of feeling uncomfortable around Brown after a night of partying and admittedly voiced their concerns to Brown, and Brown took them home. By no means were these allegations of rape or sexual violence. Barrie police have indicated they are not following through with an investigation.
The PC Party moved swiftly to remove Brown within a matter of hours after these allegations came to light. I’ve reported on this blog, and have heard from several sources previously that many in the PC party thought Brown would lose the next election. He wasn’t popular with the public; in fact many across the province didn’t know who he was until last week when these allegations came to light. He was also not popular in the party for being too left leaning. The speed in which the PC party moved was also a red flag. The following day caucus members held a press conference which seemed very hastily done, which also raised my concerned. The events that followed that caucus press conference, seems to strongly suggest a party coup:
The accusations being made anonymously are around misconduct, not criminal activity but the accusations are being treated as criminal in the court of public opinion.
CTV reported they had two more women who have come forward regarding allegations of misconduct against Brown, but what was reported was third party hearsay:
We had Lisa MacLeod trying to take out the executive of the party before walking into a caucus meeting trying to position herself for leadership contention:
Only to backtrack after a leader was appointed:
Then we had an appointed interim leader spar off with the press over the term “leader”
We then have the caucus’s decision overturned by the party for an election.
This all seems to point to MacLeod at present possibly Fedeli as well.
I’m not at all trying to discredit what’s being alleged by the women who came forward, but we need a balance so that women aren’t afraid to speak out but at the same time we don’t end up with knee jerk reactions and convictions in the court of public opinion based on hearsay. By the time these allegations hit social media, the damage is done, and very hard to recover from if these allegations prove to be false. There’s also a national security risk tied to this as well.
Global adversaries infiltrated the black lives matter movement, during the US election last year. If adversaries see politicians being taken down on anonymous allegations of “misconduct”, that has the very high potential of effecting our political landscape to their own advantage. I don’t know what the answers are but the past 48 hours aren’t it. I also don’t think Fedeli should be allowed to run a leadership contention either. Intern leaders have an unfair edge over the others.
There is a very real chance that the #metoo movement in Canada could have the opposite effect on Canadian women that it intends. Accusers should not be not judge, jury and executioners. There is a danger that false accusations could arise, and innocent lives destroyed. Some say, that’s justice to all the harm women have endured under powerful man, however what’s more likely to happen is as we go through this movement, employers may look upon women as too risky to hire because any accusation ejected onto social media with complete disregard for facts, and based on rumor and gossip can ruin a person in a matter of seconds. Basing allegations on hearsay could also mean that women are also subjected to false accusations of professional misconduct as well, which is something Green Party Elizabeth May is currently dealing with.
A plan to move forward must treat each party equally and with respect for the law, and with respect to each party’s rights under law. The right to speak out and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty must be upheld. Without this very basic concept of human rights, we risk descending into chaos, with real world repercussions on all of our security and will set back gains made for decades in civil rights, and equality. We are a nation of laws. We must decide if we plan on keeping it that way.