A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Guilty Until Proven Innocent.

Recently there have been a spate of ladies coming forward saying they have be subject to unwanted sexual advances ranging from verbal suggestions to actual physical touching or 'interference'. It is difficult for me, a 70 year old happily married (for 40 years) MALE to fully understand both the mindset of the male who forces themselves upon a woman and the woman who does nothing about such actions for years. There is no doubt that some individuals, both male and female, can and are intimidated by their partner, colleague or boss be they of the opposite sex or not, or that unwanted sexual activity is not acceptable both inside and outside the workplace.

That said I am troubled by the assumption, particularly when it comes to individuals in the public eye, that any such activity did in fact take place as published in various print or online media and / or social accounts. It seems that in order to destroy an individuals political, corporate, medical or personal life it is only necessary to make public 'allegations of inappropriate sexual activity' and its game over for that individual who is then faced with months if not years of attempting to clear their name though the courts at great expense both financial and personal. Lets be clear I am not attempting to excuse or protect those who have indeed forced themselves upon others but the implied assumption that they are guilty as soon as the allegations become public is equally troubling.
In the #MeToo age, once accused of sexual misconduct, you are merely a passenger. The only thing you can control is the damage — and even then, only barely.”
In keeping with the general focus of this blog I wonder how many of such allegations towards political figures are (directly or indirectly) politically motivated, certainty here in Canada (but not so much in the U.S. it seems) it seems to be a good way to eliminate the competition. Allegations of political malfeasance abound but rarely have any lasting effect (at least not until investigated) but accuse a politician of sexual inappropriateness (even 10 or more years after the all edged incident) and he or she is done in short order!

“.....no one should celebrate a political climate in which any and all allegations, with no investigation or analysis, deliver career ruin. “

One final though on this, unless those that are unconformable with the actions of a colleague or others speak out at the time and let those around them know where their personal line lays as and when such actions occur then perhaps they are condoning further 'unwanted touching' or actions. For some a hand on a shoulder or a hug to thank them for something is natural and acceptable, for some it is not, anything beyond that is obviously unacceptable without specific consent and should be met with a firm NO.

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers


Owen Gray said...

There is a difference between an accusation and a conviction, Rural.

Rural said...

And politics is a blood sport, Owen.