It’s not very often I start the day angry. I’m usually a pretty happy-go-lucky morning person. Just ask my boyfriend Riley. He hates it. But, yesterday morning my day turned sour as I did my morning read through the online news. Ray Lam, a gay candidate with the NDP in the upcoming provincial election had stepped down because the media got hold of two photos from his Facebook page. I’m not going to show the pictures because they belong to him, but you can check out the CKNW story here.
First things first, he should have removed the photos if he was running for political office… obviously. This isn’t even his first time making an effort at it. He tried to run for Vancouver City Council last fall. He should know better. But, since when did silly, flirty and fun photos become an offense so bad you can’t run for political office? Bill Clinton got caught lying about blow jobs in the Oval Office, but kept his job. Our own Premier, Gordon Campbell, got arrested while on vacation in Hawaii for drunk driving. He was CONVICTED. He didn’t resign. In fact, the people of BC seemed to get over it. He was reelected in 2005 and stands a good chance of being Premier again in 2009. What’s worse – photos from a night out with friends or your mug shots after getting ARRESTED?
What is the standard? One of the Liberal candidates running for reelection in Chilliwack, John Les, is under police investigation because of suspicious land dealings when he was mayor. He didn’t step down. He’s still running.
And then at noon yesterday, the story about Ray Lam was the lead story on Global’s newscast. It was the only story about the election. There must be more important things to talk about.
Does the public really care? Is it just dirty politics playing to an electorate only interested in sensationalism? Do people really care about a gay guy posting pictures showing him grabbing a friend’s breast? Is that so offensive that he must resign?
Sure, it showed poor judgment for someone running for office, but who really cares? People are not perfect, our politicians included. Shouldn’t they be given the same second chance that we would all expect if caught in the same circumstance? Gordon Campbell got his second chance.
Given the standard set by this lame turn of events, just who among us would ever run for office?