TORIES CAUGHT WITH THEIR PANTS DOWN IN THE ERA OF #METOO
Political trouble often arrives in threes. It’s rare, though, for one politician to get in three kinds of trouble all at the same time.
Tony Clement, the now-former Conservative, the long-time MP from Parry Sound-muskoka, has somehow pulled it off.
With the revelation this week of Clement’s confessed sexting adventures with a would-be extortionist, this former minister and leadership contender has landed on the wrong side of at least three big themes in the political news.
The #Metoo movement; digital hacking, security and personal privacy concerns; and finally, but not insignifstart
icantly, an emerging drama at Queen’s Park, with provincial Conservatives going through their own controversies over alleged sexual misbehaviour.
We may never know what motivated Clement to place his long political career so close to the flames of selfimmolation, but we do know it took a particular detachment from some high-profile current events.
with the growing number of allegations about Clement’s relations with young women, which were popping up virally all over social media on Wednesday. Even if only the admitted case is correct, how did the #Metoo movement escape the notice of this MP?
Was Clement away during the last few years when Parliament — no, the whole world, really — was talking about sexual harassment on the job and in public life? The sins to which Clement has confessed — improper exchange of sexual information with a young woman online — were so obviously wrong, said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, that the official Opposition doesn’t even need a code of conduct to cover it.
“I don’t know that too many people would have to be told not to share explicit video and images with people that you haven’t met,” Scheer told reporters on Wednesday.
The Conservatives have been trying to appear more female-friendly in the run-up to the next election, knowing that women’s votes could be crucial to any hopes of regaining power in 2019. Clement’s alleged type of friendliness with young women — sadly not the first around Parliament Hill — wasn’t exactly the look they were seeking. One does wonder about the persistence of this behaviour, despite all the bad attention it’s received over the past few years, but that’s another sad story.
HOW DID THE #METOO MOVEMENT ESCAPE THE NOTICE OF THIS MP?
Tony Clement’s admission he sent sexual photos to an unknown party looks bad for him and the Conservatives on several counts, writes Susan Delacourt.
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