Sunday, September 20, 2009

There But For the Grace of God...

Rahim Jaffer's recent arrest for drunk driving and cocaine possession is a political scandal mostly because his wife is a cabinet minister. Jaffer himself lost his seat in parliament nearly a year ago.

When I read about the case, I'm struck by how vulnerable we all are to failure. Things are going well, we're competent and successful, and then something goes wrong and it causes a downward spiral. It's not uncommon. Although most of us get through the slump without ruining out lives, it's how some people end up broke, divorced, on the streets or in prison. Or worse.

When it happens to people in politics it's very difficult to recover. Svend Robinson had a super successful public life until he fell off a cliff while hiking and wasn't rescued for a couple of days; a short while later he inexplicably shoplifted a ring and his political career was over. Is Jaffer's story a similar reaction to his surprise loss in last year's election? I have no idea. I have never followed Jaffer's career and know nothing about him, but this story has a familiar ring to it.

Perhaps I'm just giving in to bleeding-heart liberal tendencies, but this strikes me as a time for compassion, not condemnation. If, as I suspect, this is a case of a person who's having a difficult personal time, then I wish him the best in getting the support he needs to get through it.



Anonymous said...

It just keeps happening over and over. People standing up and talking about how ethical and moral they are just to be voted into a political position. Doesn't it have a rather odeus smell?

Loraine Lamontagne said...

While you can't help thinking like a bleeding-heart liberal, I keep thinking that a judge will no longer have akk the latitude to consider difficult circumstances, such as Mr. Jaffer's, in sentencing.

Bert said...

Great post, Yappa.