As JJ adeptly points out the failure of the Harperites to impose their own standards in terms of consequences for actions, there is another issue at play.
Harper insists that Regina Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski's recorded remarks of 16 years ago are something Lukiwski regrets and that with his "unqualified apology", the opposition and we the voters should:
"I believe when such an apology and remorse is sought from an individual member, the generous and high-minded thing to do is to accept that apology."Who sought an apology? The demand has been to remove this individual from his position of public responsibility. Being forced to apologize is not, as JJ points out, sufficient consequences. Further, however, it leaves a gay-bashing bigot in a position of power.
There are 25 parliamentary secretaries in Harper's government. That is fewer people than are employed in the Combat Department of a single Canadian frigate. The average McDonalds franchise employs more people.
Yet, out of a population of over 33 million people, Harper believes that Lukiwski is the person best qualified hold one of those unique twenty-five positions in the country. Out of 127 Conservative MPs on the government benches, Harper can't find one person who could perform the role competently and better represent all Canadians; not just the ones who meet his prejudiced social expectations.
As Bruce points out, the behaviour of Lukiwiski was out of favour among a majority of Canadians when he was recorded in 1991.
By insisting that an apology is sufficient Harper is telling Canadians that he accepts Lukiwiski's behaviour. There is nothing high-minded in that.
Apology not accepted. Nor is Harper's support for this man.
The high-minded thing to would be to ensure that this country is served by the best people possible: those who work for all Canadians. That means ditching the bigots as they surface. Harper's first loyalty should be to the people of this country; not a minority constituency.
Harper's support of Lukiwiski only serves to demonstrate that Harper shares the same views.
And what are the odds that a question has gone out from Sandra Buckler's office to all Conservative MPs asking if any other of them were so dumb in the past as to make intolerant comments into the lens of a charge-couple device?