Like Unrepentant Old Hippie we suddenly started to get a lot of traffic looking at this post about Houston BC mayor and Conservative candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, Sharon Smith. Oddly, the traffic was coming from one of our friends in Nevada, Coyote Angry.
Accidental Deliberations provided the explanation by pointing out this story from CTV, and as AD points out, CTV is burying the greater of three stories - specifically the one related to democracy corrupted by the Conservative Party of Canada.
The Conservative candidate for B.C.'s Skeena-Bulkley Valley insists naked photos taken of her in her office are not an issue for the party.Well, they should be an issue, but we'll get back to that.
Sharon Smith, the mayor of Houston, B.C., grabbed worldwide attention five years ago when pictures of her wearing nothing more than a smile and her mayor's robes were widely circulated on the Internet.
Copies of the pictures were allegedly copied from her computer and circulated around the small mill town.
In one full-length photograph, Smith is seen seated naked with the mayor's medallion around her neck.
Speaking from Smithers, B.C., Smith told CTV the Conservative party is aware of the pictures, and they were never an issue in her bid for office.
"They've known since I put my name forward for the riding and the federal candidacy," she said.
Appearing at a luncheon with Smith in Smithers, Conservative Gary Lunn says the photos don't matter to the party.Gary Lunn. There's a real prize. This is a guy so incompetent that he didn't have a clue what was happening in his own ministry, lost track of the condition of a nuclear reactor and then had the country's nuclear regulator fired to cover up his own shortcomings. Leadership? Lunn might want to take a course. In any case, he's wrong. This election is NOT about leadership. It's about Harper breaking promises and ignoring his own legislation.
"This election is about leadership. Sharon has shown leadership in the riding and on council so we're very proud to have her as our candidate here," he said.
Machterschleichung (sneaking into power)
Smith is a different issue. The crux of the issue surrounding her was her appointment by the Conservative Party of Canada as "liaison to the federal government" and the blatant effort to sideline the duly elected member of parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley. In effect, Smith's appointment was an affront to Parliament and a dismissal of the democratic process. In fact, Dick Harris, chairman of the Conservative British Columbia caucus made it clear that he considered the democratic process a complete waste of time:
I and other BC Conservative MPs will work closely with Sharon Smith as she represents constituents of her riding to the government members. It will be a bonus for people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley to have direct representation to the government on so many issues,” continued Harris
Harris concluded, “Having an MP from the fourth party in the House just doesn’t cut it when it comes to actually getting things done for the folks in Skeena-Bulkley Valley .
So, Sharon Smith, obviously the annointed candidate for the Conservatives in any future election, was given the job of representing constituents, a role which belonged to Nathan Cullen of the NDP. And then Harris made his reason for the appointment based on his belief that the Parliamentary system really wasn't aligned with the way his party did business. In order to talk to government, a "representative" had to come from the government party. All others, despite the choice of the constituents, were ignored.
The Germans actually have a word for it - Machterschleichung.
That Sharon Smith accepted the role shows one set of a variety of colours. She went along with this whole idea. She too, clearly believes that democracy is inconvenient and standing in the way of her diety-provided position with a Conservative government.
That was the first, and most important, of three issues.
Schlafenzeitungen (Sleeping newspapers)
The uproar that followed Smith's "appointment" by the Harper government developed into another issue. That uproar was coming from the report in one local newspaper and a wide array of blogs, where all the research and digging was taking place. The affront to democracy, although obvious, was being totally disregarded or completely missed by the major media in British Columbia and, to a much greater degree, Canada at large. At least six blogs, with moderate readerships, were making regular posts and sending emails in an attempt to get the major news outlets to wake up.
It took four days. Four days to get a story of major significance out into the light and into the public arena. And once that happened, didn't the Conservatives immediately backtrack. Yes, and a name appeared which surfaced again during the current campaign: Ryan Sparrow.*
What became evident however, was the fact that the major media outlets were paying little or no attention to the skullduggery of the Harper government and, as self-declared public watchdogs, were not doing their jobs. They were quite comfortably asleep.
The Germans have a word for that too - Schlafenzeitungen.
Der nackte Bürgermeister (The naked mayor)
It was the digging around to find out what Harris and Smith were up to in Skeena-Bulkley Valley which dragged out an older story and the third issue surrounding Smith. In 2003 photos appeared, all over the globe, of newly-elected Houston, BC, mayor Sharon Smith posing in her publicly-owned municipal office, wearing nothing but her publicly-provided chain of office. At the time Smith refused to apologize (and she still hasn't), criticized those who published them and claimed that the photos were private; not intended for public viewing.
I'm quite certain they weren't, but those photos exposed more than Sharon Smith's body.
Take this comment from the latest CTV story:
Let's not forget that the pictures were private and were stolen from her computer. It would be nice if some of you righteous Liberals would remember Mr. Trudeau's comment that government and (for that matter the public) have NO place in the bedrooms of the nation.Alright. Let's not forget that these photos were taken in the mayor's office at Houston, BC. Let's not forget that they were taken shortly after Smith had won the election to the mayor's post. Let's not forget that Sharon Smith is now running for the party of "family values". Let's not forget that Sharon Smith treated her ascent to the Houston mayor's chair with complete disrespect. Let's not forget that Sharon Smith presumed to treat the symbols, accouterments and fixtures of the mayor's office as her personal property rather than something entrusted to her to safeguard for the public as required by Letters Patent. Let's not forget that Sharon Smith participated (obviously) with secret intent in an event which would have caused outrage had she announced she was going to do it, and then saved them without regard to consequences.
Let's not forget that in most business offices if you take a picture of your naked ass on a photocopier and are discovered, your fully clothed ass usually gets fired.
Taken as one, Smith presumed to own the trappings of her office and abused them without first considering the consequences of her actions. That's just plain bad judgement. Then she refused to apologize. That's just plain arrogant. Then she dismisses the whole thing by claiming a level of priviledge to which she is not entitled because of the public venue. That's just plain imperious.
The truth is, Smith will fit right in with Harper's Conservatives because their behaviour is no different. She's the perfect Harper Conservative.
And let's not forget that her defenders, those who are saying photos taken in a mayor's office, wearing a mayor's chain, are private and not an issue which should be public, are the same ones who went into fits of apoplexy over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky because, you know, that was different.
No problem? Right. The Germans have a word for that too - Hypokrisie.
* For Kady... because we know how she loves to read his name.