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MPs Behaving Badly

Don Martin shares this about harassment from MPs

Leaving after dinner with a dozen MPs a few years ago, a female colleague of mine rolled her eyes and showed me her BlackBerry messages.

Three of the MPs had sent her suggestive invitations to meet for drinks later that night or in the future.

If they’re making such bold advances on a journalist they hardly know, one has to wonder about the treatment of staff or interns who depend on MPs for a paycheque.

Look, the vast majority of MPs are loyal husbands without roving eyes, but there is a what-happens-in-Vegas aura around Parliament Hill.

So what to make of MPs Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti, suspended yesterday from the Liberal caucus and their re-election bids over allegations of harassment raised by two female NDP MPs.

It must be stressed they both deny the allegations and deserve the right to fight to overturn what may be perceived as a conviction in the court of public opinion.

But while false allegations of harassment are not unprecedented, perhaps these particular circumstances will be seen to tilt the presumption of guilt against the accused.

These NDP MPs are not seeking revenge, they are not conniving for personal gain and must’ve known their complaint could ruin the career of a fellow MP if they became public.

Of course, that’s the rub here. The NDP MPs never intended to make public their allegations. The women just wanted the harassment to stop.

But the minute they went directly to Justin Trudeau, there was never a possibility it could be kept under wraps. The Liberal leader had to act or be accused of a cover-up.