Speaking at a town hall in Nanaimo, B.C. on April 13, the Green Party leader called the PMO “a $10-million-a-year partisan operation filled with ruthless, cutthroat psychopaths.” Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, later claimed she made the comments “in jest,” according to a Metro article.
I can scarcely believe that this single-issue zealot would so malign the hardworking young people who staff the Prime Minister’s Office. Even Senator Mike Duffy, in his somewhat spiteful 2013 speech in the Senate, was much more restrained when he talked about the “unaccountable power of the PMO” and implied it’s staffed by “kids in short pants.” (A great line, by the way.)
Elizabeth May, as many of you readers know only too well, has a penchant for hyperbolic comments, which she later disavows or for which she makes excuses.
In the early days of Stephen Harper’s government, May made a nasty reference to history judging the prime minister “more culpable than Neville Chamberlain.” She later tried to justify her words by claiming she was quoting someone else.
Imagine, Stephen Harper more culpable than the man best known for his appeasement policy, and his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-populated Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany and pretty much assuring World War II would soon follow with the Holocaust and all that came with it.
Then there was the 2007 interview on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin during which Elizabeth May called Canadians “stupid.” Later she blamed her tendency to talk too fast and a faulty microphone for her words.
But when May responded on her blog to accusations that she had called Canadians stupid, she wrote: “I reviewed all this on TVO with Steve Paikan [sic] more recently and he confirmed that no one in the room thought I had said Canadians are stupid;” TVO’s director of corporate communications wrote a letter to the Green Party setting the record straight by saying “that at no point … did Steve Paikin express such a personal opinion,” and asking that May’s “blog posting be corrected.”
Aside from an, apparent, inability to control her tongue, Elizabeth May is a hypocrite. She has spoken out about breaches of decorum in the House of Commons, even small ones, yet she calls PMO staff “ruthless, cutthroat psychopaths.” I doubt she knows many members of the PMO personally, but she can describe them with these horribly insulting words.
Moreover, she’s a coward because, having made the intemperate remarks, she obfuscates, claiming her comments were “in jest.” I find no humour at all in her name-calling. It was inexcusable.
This outburst is not at all worthy of someone who has been named 2012 Parliamentarian of the Year. Let’s hope those responsible for the award take note.