The Naked MP

I hope they catch the perpetrator. At the every least it should be a firing offence, if criminal charges aren’t laid.

It has been in the news around the world: A member of the Canadian parliament appeared naked during a sitting of the House of Commons. Needless to say, that is a breach of the dress code.

Those watching the proceedings on television didn’t see the unintentional infraction. The MP, changing clothes in his office after jogging, didn’t realize his camera was on. His image was broadcast on the House of Commons internal network. Embarrassing, but a minor incident.

Until someone leaked a screen capture to the media, both traditional and social. Suddenly the world was talking about the naked MP.

Have you ever made a mistake at work? Done something embarrassing? It is bad enough when your boss and co-workers know – it must be worse when the world makes you the butt of its jokes.

That political discourse has degraded in recent years is no secret. Dialogue about ideas is rare. More likely is personal attacks and political stunts.

I am hoping that the perpetrator wasn’t an elected MP. I think it most likely was a staff person who was watching the proceedings in their office.

Staffers tend to be young, hyper-partisan and not always wise when it comes to thinking through the consequences of their actions. My guess is someone saw an opportunity to embarrass a member of the other party and jumped on it. Didn’t take the time to ask if it was the right thing to do.

Maybe if they had, they would have done it anyway. Which is sad, but politics these days seems to attract a certain type of person. I do hope though that whomever is investigating this incident is able to identify the culprit and take appropriate action.

Two years ago such a thing couldn’t have happened – there was no way for Members of Parliament to attend the sittings of the House virtually. Now it is the norm.

From this incident people have learned to remember to check their cameras before disrobing in their offices. Technology has its advantages and disadvantages.

The naked MP will become part of parliamentary lore. There are lots of untold stories about what goes on on Parliament Hill..

There was one Member of Parliament who, in order to save the government some money, lived in his office. He slept on a couch and used the showers in the gym.

He had to stop after security discovered him one night on the couch, in his pajamas. Turns out MPs are required to live somewhere other than Parliament Hill. I do admire his desire to keep expenses to a minimum though.

Once they catch the culprit who leaked the photo of the naked MP I hope that person is suitably embarrassed. And maybe the incident will cause some others to reflect on how low political discourse can sink, and what they will do to make things better.


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