Let them eat cake, and other oddities

A look at recent doings in the wacky, wacky, wacky world of politics

Carolyn Grant

It is a crazy, crazy world out there and one need look no further than the Ukraine or Gaza/Israel to see evidence of generational hatred, and cynical politicians using it to their own cynical ends. However, being no expert on geopolitics, I am going to leave it there as we focus on other happenings in the whacky world of politics, in which we see 31 criminal charges against a former senator (politician not hockey player), phantom passengers on taxpayer-funded flights and a nation of women laughing at a pathetic excuse for a male politician.

Let us begin with former Alberta Premier Alison Redford and her ghost passengers. You remember Ms. Redford, I’m sure. Ousted from power not too long ago for a lengthy list of offences, including ridiculous expenses for various flights for herself and her entourage. Now it turns out that when travelling, Ms. Redford liked to be alone with her posse, her peeps, and in order to ensure that it was so, fake passengers were booked.

“We were told by [the premier’s] office staff and multiple staff from the Department of Treasury Board and Finance that for certain flights the remaining seats available on the plane were blocked to restrict access to Premier Redford on the aircraft,” part of the review states, as reported by the Edmonton Sun.

How very Marie Antoinette of her. What a shining example for little girls aspiring for a career in politics.

She’s already been ousted and I’m pretty sure her political career is over, so I don’t know what effect this latest news will have on the former premier. Opposition parties are, of course, calling for criminal investigation.

And speaking of criminal investigation, it’s been a Duffy-free few months so you know that couldn’t continue. Yes, the embattled, once Conservative now Independent (on account of the fact that the Conservatives didn’t wish that he be a Conservative anymore) suspended Senator has finally been charged for various alleged misdeeds. How many you ask? Why 31. 31 charges — mainly variations of fraud and breach of trust. Duffy’s lawyer maintains that his client is innocent.

Again, Duffy has been suspended from the Senate and his political career is undoubtably over as well.

You know whose political career is not over but hopefully will be very soon?  Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc of Turkey. Mr. Arinc this week called on Turkish women this week to refrain from laughing in public. Laughing. In. Public. Know why? I’ll let him tell you himself, as quoted by CBC News.

“The woman should have chastity … She should not laugh in front of everyone and not be inviting in her behaviour. She should protect her honour.”

Let’s just read between the lines here, shall we?

A Turkish woman is publicly laughing and a man — poor, innocent soul that he is — is unable to restrain himself from this blatant come on and has to sexually assault her. She invited it. Deputy Prime Minister Arinc said so.

I have watched with dismay as more and more governments around the world adopt more and more hard-line anti-female laws. Turkey’s government is becoming increasingly authoritarian according to many reports. It must be increasingly scary to be a woman in Turkey.

Which is why the response to this ridiculous statement has been so inspiring. Turkish women are Tweeting pictures of themselves laughing. Under the hashtag #direnkahkaha thousands of women are posting laughing pictures. And women around the world are applauding (well, Twitter-applauding). One particularly wonderful picture shows an elderly woman in a kerchief, her wrinkled face wreathed in smiles while she shoots Deputy PM Arinc the bird.

Now that’s a shining example.


Carolyn Grant is the Editor of the

Kimberley Daily Bulletin