Friday, July 12, 2024

Sometimes it Just Needs to be Said

By Stephen Vance, Editor

There is a very funny scene in the 1994 holiday-season film The Ref which stars Dennis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey.


In the scene, the character Gus (Leary), a cat-burglar who is on the run from local authorities, exquisitely demonstrates the need to sometimes simply call a spade a spade.


Gus is holding Lloyd and Caroline Chasseur (Spacey & Davis) hostage in their own home. He becomes frustrated with the constant bickering between the married couple. An argument ensues about whether the husband did or did not see a stop sign that he had driven through in an earlier scene, and Gus finally snaps.


What follows goes something like this:


Gus: You saw the stop sign, didn’t you Lloyd?


Lloyd: (Stares nervously at the weapon pointed in his face)


Gus: You saw the stop sign, didn’t you Lloyd?


Lloyd: (Whispers) Yes.


Gus: Then you, are a liar. Capital “L”, small “i”, small “a”, small “r”, period.


This scene came to mind when following the shenanigans down at Queen’s Park on Monday November 30, when local MPP Bill Murdoch called Premier Dalton McGuinty a liar, and was asked to withdraw his comment or be ejected from the legislature.


Murdoch refused, and I can’t say that I blame him.


Parliamentary protocol aside, there are times when it simply is not good enough to couch comments by using language that is deemed politically correct, or socially acceptable.


According to the rules, it is unacceptable for a member of provincial parliament to call another member of the legislature a liar. It is clear why such a rule exists, and it is also clear why a member of provincial parliament like Murdoch chose to cross that line.


For Murdoch to have said that the Premier is “Less than truthful”, or that he had “Misled voters”, just would not have had the same impact, and to be quite frank would not have expressed the full truth.


To come right out and call the Premier a liar though, now that has an impact.


For those that will become upset that Murdoch used “the L word”, it must be asked, what else the Premier should be called given what he has said when compared to what he has done.


It is a fact that Dalton McGuinty promised Ontarians that he would not raise taxes.


It is also a fact that not only has he raised taxes, but he is planning on doing it again with the proposed HST.


What else can you call the promise to not raise taxes?


It might not be nice, but it is true.


It could be argued that the only thing worse than being called a liar, is to be lied to.


Our Premier told us that his government would not raise our taxes. McGuinty’s government has increased, and further plans to increase taxes in Ontario.

Ontarians might be better served by our provincial parliament if there were a rule that you are subject to ejection from the legislature if you lie to your constituents.  Then again, such a rule might make for a very empty room.


To quote Bill Murdoch, “Where I come from, we call Dalton McGuinty a liar.”


And to quote Gus, “Capital “L”, small “i”, small “a”, small “r”…period.”


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