This week Martin swore on Twitter, and what a kerfuffle. Our local talk radio station devoted a morning phone-in to his "foul mouth" and the local paper has written about his "profane tirade". I'm not complaining about the exposure: but what a pity that the discussions didn't touch the issue.
Swear words are a very effective part of language. They convey something that words like "extremely annoyed" cannot. What Martin was talking about was the Conservatives using closure on the budget.
Martin got the issue into the top of the media and public agenda. It's our fault for ignoring the important part and focusing on the nonessentials. The good news is that Martin's twitter followers jumped from a couple hundred to several thousand (not including me; I'm just not that interested, in general, in the mass communicated soundbite).
So here's what seems to be the problem.
NDP MP Charlie Angus: "I think what’s really offensive is what’s happening here, the continual undermining of Parliament, the shutting down of committees, the use of in-camera, the vitriolic attacks that we see the Conservatives using again and again. I think Pat Martin called it like it is."
Liberal interim leader Bob Rae: the government is coming "pretty close to being abusive in its use of time allocation."
What Martin asked was: Shouldn’t Parliament be able to debate the budget? And he drove it home with: “This is a fucking disgrace… closure again. And on the Budget! There’s not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot shit.”
I'm writing this post about Martin rather than about the closure because I'm bothered that the Conservatives have used this issue as an opportunity to try to hound him out of office. I heard a party rep on the radio making all sorts of claims beyond the swearing that Martin is unfit for office, even suggesting that his riding should rise up against him. We're familiar with that sort of tactic from the Harperites now. It's just more jackboot shit.